Planning to see what to see in Yerevan is exciting for a first time visitor. When it comes to prices and places to go to, doing your research is overwhelming and time-consuming. So to help you with it, we came up with a short summary of how we spent our two full days in Yerevan.
1. Book a hostel near the Republic Square.
We booked a hostel a walking distance away from the Republic Square. It was strategic to help us enjoy a free breakfast and spend less on taxis. Hostels can cost you around AMD 12,000 (USD 25 or AED 94) a night on a private room or AMD 3,000 (USD 6 or AED 25) on a shared dormitory. Of course, total cost depends on the number of nights you prefer to stay.
Apart from our accommodation expenses at the Best Hostel Republic Square, we only spent around AMD 12,000 (USD 24.85 or AED 93.75) for our 2-day “do-it-yourself” tour in Yerevan.
2. Visit the Sergei Parajanov Museum.
We are no artists but what we enjoyed most is the small museum built in honor of the famous film producer Sergei Parajanov’s artistic works. His unique crafts are well preserved. Taxi from the Republic Square cost us AMD 1,000 (USD 2 or AED 8) while entrance fee per person is AMD 700 (USD 1.5 or AED 5). Note that opening time is at 11.00am.
3. Take time to see the Genocide Museum and Memorial.
Most of the taxi drivers do not speak English so it would be best to know the Armenian equivalents of the places you want to reach. We paid AMD 600 (USD 1.5 or AED 5) for a taxi from the Parajanov Museum. The Tsitsernakaberd (Genocide Museum) was built to recognize and commemorate the thousands of Jews killed during the genocide. Entrance to both the memorial and the museum are free.
4. Enjoy the amazing view of the Republic Square.
Whilst we were busy at the Genocide, we asked the cab driver to wait for us because it is difficult to grab a cab from there. So waiting time plus taxi from the Genocide to the Republic Square cost us AMD 2,000 (USD 4 or AED 16). It was good that we sit in those benches around and capture some live moments. It was even better to enjoy the dancing fountain at night. The lights are so romantic and adorable.
5. Learn history and art from the National Museum.
The last entrance to admit is 5.00pm so make sure you reach earlier. The museum was divided into two. One is for art with an entrance fee of AMD 800 (USD 1.65 or AED 6.25) and the other is for history with an entrance fee of AMD 1,000 (USD 2 or AED 8). We made it to the famous paintings of world’s known artists. But we ran out of time to get inside Armenia’s history which showcased its beginnings from stone age up to the present.
6. Feed your tummy with a sumptuous meal at Karas Restaurant.
A 5-minute walk from the National Museum is one of the best restaurants that are serving deliciously cooked pork, chicken, beef, lamb. They also serve white steamed rice. Prices range from AMD 700 to AMD 3,500, depending on your choice. Two of the budget friendly orders are chicken kebab at AMD 700 (USD 1.45 or AED 5.50) and pork shawarma at AMD 950 (USD 1.96 or AED 7.40). It is always fun to eat good food but it is even best to do it with friends.
7. Get a glimpse of the beautiful North Avenue.
Because we wanted to enjoy each place we set our foot on to, we decided to continue our Yerevan exploration on another day. A 10-minute walk from our hostel is the North Avenue. It is a home to middle-class and high-end shops in Armenia. Cafes and food hubs are found along the North Avenue whilst in the underground are shopping malls and branded luxuries.
8. Get a chance to see the Opera House.
Towards the end of North Avenue is the Opera House. A little more walking and crossing of the street, we reached the iconic building. We are not fond of operas so we decided not to go inside. For your information, entrance varies from AMD 2,000 (USD 4.14 or AED 15.62) to AMD 8,000 (USD 16.56 or AED 62.50).
9. Pass by the Painter’s Vernissage in Saryan Park.
A 10-minute walk from the backside of the Opera House is the Cascade. But along the way, we passed by the art market where the local artists are showcasing their talents and artworks.
10. Do not miss the Cascade.
This 572 steps architecture is most impressive. We decided to take the elevators located at the left side and get to reach the top. It is totally free. At the top, we saw the full view of Armenia. Mt. Ararat is also visible.
11. Find contemporary designs at the Cafesjian Center for Arts.
On each level within the Cascade Complex, when you go up either using the elevators or climbing through the steps, one can enjoy what Cafesjian Center for Arts has to offer. Great sculptures and wonderful talents are attention grabbing. Entrance is free.
12. Go for a leisurely stroll in Haghtanak Amusement Park.
It was not the end when we reached the top of the Cascade. We walked a little farther up where we get a chance to see another set of art displays. On the right side, after crossing the streets is the Haghtanak or the Children’s Railway Amusement Park. Entrance is free.
13. Visit the Victory Park.
We continued walking towards the end of the amusement park for another 10 minutes until we reached Victory Park. Replicas of rockets, planes and other war vehicles used by Armenians during the World War I are found on display in the park. Entrance is free.
14. Take a look inside Mother Armenia Museum.
At the heart of the Victory Park is the giant statue of Mother Armenia. The base of it is a museum where stories of famous soldiers who fought during the war are kept and their uniforms, guns, and weapons are preserved. Entrance is free but a donation of any amount is accepted to help maintain the museum.
15. Make a trip to the Matenadaran Museum.
We walked back to the entrance of Hagthanak Amusement Park to grab a taxi so we can get to the Matenadaran Museum where old manuscripts are kept. We were charged AMD 1,500 (USD 3.10 or AED 11.71). Entrance to the museum is AMD 1,000 (USD 2 or AED 8). Unfortunately, we were not able to get inside because we were late by 5 minutes! Timings are from 11.00am to 5.00pm.
EXTRA NOTE: Long walks are expected. It is not possible to visit them all at once. So if you intend to have a one day tour in Yerevan and spend the rest in in monasteries located in different provinces, just pick some nice places you like and maximize your day off.