The Ultimate Three Day Itinerary
Yerevan is the stunning capital of Armenia and the country’s largest city. The grand Soviet-era architecture alongside the city’s rich history made this one of our favourite destinations in the Caucuses. Yerevan’s love of art, literature, religion and wine is quite enchanting, and we felt like we could have stayed for weeks. Many travellers will begin their journey in Yerevan Armenia, so here’s three days’ worth of activities, food and wine to keep you busy!
Most accommodation in Yerevan Armenia will provide breakfast, so tuck into some hearty Armenian fare before you head out for the day. Your first stop in Yerevan should be the Armenian Genocide Museum. Although it is a confronting start to your visit, understanding this horrific era in Armenian history is integral to understanding Armenia today and its relations with its neighbours.
The Museum is an incredibly sobering experience, with excellent English signage and photographic displays. A visit to the Museum and the Memorial will take at least two hours.
Catch a marshrutka (we caught number 21) or taxi into the city for lunch at Baguette & Co (28 Tumanyan St). This tasty bakery has a huge range of sandwiches and sweets and whips up a fantastic coffee. In the afternoon, wander up to the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, commonly known as Matenadaran (53 Mashtots Ave). Book lovers will be amazed by the 17,000 manuscripts, fragments and parchments on display. The Matenadaran houses priceless manuscripts dating back to the 7th century, as well as a huge 28 kilogram manuscript named the ‘Homilies of Moush’.
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At 4pm, head down to Republic Square to join the free Yerevan Walking Tour. Your guide, Varko, is a local artist who is very well-travelled and speaks excellent English. His three-hour tour around the Yerevan city centre is a great chance to learn more about Armenian culture and history from a local point of view. Varko is very knowledgeable and is always happy to answer questions. will take you to plenty of sights, including the Blue Mosque, Yerevan Cascade, the Opera, and St. Sarkis Cathedral. A tip at the end of the tour is appreciated.
After the tour, you will end up at one of Yerevan’s great bars. Our favourite was Calumet Ethnic Lounge Bar (56A Pushkin St). Here you can grab a cheap pizza and even cheaper beers with your fellow tour buddies while mingling with Yerevan locals.
Many of Armenia’s most impressive sights are only a short drive from Yerevan, making them perfect day trip material. Today check out the stunning rock-hewn Geghard Monastery. This 13th-century complex is mostly carved from living rock, and the spectacular cliffs surrounding the complex are striking.
The monastery was a hive of activity in its heyday, once housing religious buildings, living quarters, a library, school and scriptorium. The interior of the main church building is quite haunting, with the candles and grey stone giving it a real medieval feel. Pack a picnic and enjoy the views.
A short drive (or longish walk) 10 kilometres towards Yerevan is Garni Temple. This pagan temple was built in 77 AD but has lost most of its original charm after extensive restoration work. It’s nowhere near as impressive as Geghard Monastery, but if you are in the area it’s worth a visit as the history is still quite interesting.
We visited Geghard Monastery and Garni Temple in our hire car, but the easiest option is to hop on a day tour or hire a taxi for the day. Most hostels and hotels can help to arrange this. If you prefer public transport, catch a minibus from the Gai bus station (near the Mercedes Benz shop) in Yerevan to Garni, then catch a taxi or walk to Geghard. The first bus leaves Yerevan at 11am and costs 300 drams.
At night, it’s time to indulge in your first taste of Armenian wine. The perfect place to start has to be Wine Republic (2 Tamanyan St)! This was our favourite restaurant in Yerevan. Great Italian food with an English-speaking sommelier to help you choose the perfect matching wine. Heaven.
Start your day with a visit to the Armenia History Museum, located in Republic Square. The Museum showcases Armenian history from the Stone Age to the modern era. The Museum has undergone recent renovations, and now has excellent signage in English. The Museum has tens of thousands of fascinating exhibits, but perhaps its most well-known exhibit is the world’s oldest shoe. Yes, that’s right – a 5,500-year-old leather shoe.
For lunch, stroll around the corner to Jazzve (2 Abovyan St). At this terrace restaurant, you can watch the happenings on the street, or simply relax with a coffee or a wine for an hour (or three) like the locals. Jazzve serves up good quality Armenian staples, plus cheap beer and some Western favourites.
After lunch, if you need a few souvenirs make sure you check out the Vernissage Market (Aram Street). This market is packed with handicrafts and antiques that will make your Mum or Grandma happy. If souvenir shopping isn’t really your thing, then check out one of Yerevan’s many art galleries. We suggest the Armenia Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art (1/3 Pavstos Biuzand Blvd), which exhibits contemporary and avant garde local artists.
Next stop is the Noy Erevan Brandy Factory (9 Isakov Admiral St). This fascinating distillery and winery are named after the biblical figure Noah. Noah’s Ark is said to have landed atop Mount Ararat nearby (now located in Turkey – it’s a long story), and after the flood subsided Noah planted the first grape vine in Ararat Valley. The factory is located in the walls of the old Yerevan fortress. A tour of the factory will take you through the ancient cellars of the fortress, including the ‘secret tunnels’ once used for escapes (and transporting wine of course). You will also get to taste two brandies and one wine (tasting and tour 3,500 drams per person).
For your final dinner in Yerevan head to Dargett Craft Brewery (72 Aram St). Not only does this brewery make its own beer, it also serves up a delicious dinner. Make sure to book if you are visiting on a weekend.
Armenia is located in the Caucasus region, close to the Turkish border. The area has been considered the gateway to Europe and Asia by rulers for centuries – perhaps much of the reason for its war torn past.
You can find direct flights to Yerevan from Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Greece and the UAE for under US$200. However, many people opt to fly in and out of Tbilisi in Georgia and visit Armenia by land.
Armenia shares land borders with Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. Border crossings with Azerbaijan and Turkey are both closed as a result of ongoing hostilities. From Iran, Didar Seir City runs an overnight bus from Tehran to Yerevan via Tabriz.
You can buy tickets at the bus station, or at Didar Seir City offices in Tehran or Tabriz. From Georgia, minibuses to Yerevan depart from Ortachala, Avlabari and Sadguris Moedani bus stations in Tblisi.
- Yerevan has a growing wine bar scene, mainly located in the area surrounding the Yerevan Cascade. Armenia claims to be the world’s first wine producer, with evidence of wine production in the area from over 6000 years ago. There are plenty of delicious varieties to choose from.
- Yerevan has a very simple one line metro system. Buy tokens (100 drams) at the ticket booths at the station entrance. The metro is poorly signed, though, so take a metro map with you. There are also plenty of minibuses or marshrutky (100 drams) to other parts of the city.
- Taxis are cheap, but be prepared to bargain as they can spot tourists a mile away!
- There are quite a few upmarket hotels in Yerevan Armenia and a good quality hostel scene. We stayed in a great value private room at JR’s House just outside the centre of the city.
Would we recommend it
Absolutely! The city’s mix of post-Soviet charm and European style gives it a unique vibe that is difficult to find in other European capitals. There are expensive fashion labels and fast cars, yet you can enjoy trendy bars, art galleries and restaurants at a fraction of the cost of other European cities.
Our favourite part of visiting Yerevan Armenia was learning more about Armenia’s past. While a visit to the Armenian Genocide Museum is quite confronting, it is one of the few museums dedicated to this shocking and seldom discussed topic and is incredibly well curated. Beyond Armenia’s more recent history, thousands of years of war, religion, winemaking and art mean there is no shortage of other historical sights to see in Yerevan.
Thank you for reading this Guest Post article ‘Yerevan Armenia: The Ultimate Three Day Itinerary’, by Travelators. I hope it helped you to decide what to do while in Yerevan Armenia for three days.
Have you been to Yerevan Armenia? I would love to hear it 🙂 Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below or if you know any other places to see while there. Let us know what you thought, and if there’s anything we missed.
Disclaimer: This is a Guest Post and all views are based on Travelators own experience.