Stepping to a completely new horizon is both overwhelming and exciting. Most of the time we just look at the pictures of lovely points of escape, famous and known to a specific country of destination but not knowing exactly where to start. So here’s our good news to all of you who are actually planning to get to Armenia on a budget. We’ve come up to share with you some of our budget itineraries that you may choose from to make your stay more fruitful.
Option 1: Areni Wine Factory – Khor Virap – Noravank – Tatev
For a price of AMD 13,000 (USD 26.92 or AED 101.56) per person, we enjoyed a one full day tour at some of the most visited sites in Armenia. We booked this unguided tour package from Best Hostel Republic Square. We started the tour at 8.30 am, normally at 7.00 am, because one of our companions is late. We were dropped back at our hostel at 8.30 pm.
The beautiful stories and landscapes of the monasteries of Khor Virap, Noravank and Tatev already took our breath away. Plus the meaningful experience with the world’s longest cable car “The Wings of Tatev”. It was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Option 2: Charents Arc – Garni – Geghard – Lake Sevan – Tsaghkadzor
Frequented destinations in Armenia includes the temple of Garni and the monasteries of Geghard and Sevanavank. We were glad that it cost us only AMD 7,000 (USD 14.49 or AED 54.69) per person to see these amazing treasures hidden in the rocky slopes and in the mountain tops. Again, we booked this unguided tour with Best Hostel Republic Square. We left the hostel at around 10 am and went back to the hostel at 6 pm.
We were surprised at the magnificent view brought to us by the window to Ararat. The Charents Arc is the first stop before we get going to Garni, the only surviving pagan temple after the declaration of Christianity in Armenia. The Geghard Monastery is surrounded by a breathtaking panorama. In the hillock of the Pearl of the Armenians “The Lake Sevan” stands the ancient Sevanavank Monastery. We had a great relaxing time there. We also went to visit Tsaghkadzor, the best ski resort in Armenia, where we get to ride the open cable experience the snow at the top of the mountains.
Option 3: Parajanov Museum – Genocide Memorial and Museum – National Museum – Republic Square
This is a do-it-yourself itinerary where we just get around the museums within Yerevan. Museums are actually one of the best ways to get to know the culture, values, and tradition behind a country. Unlike the National Museum which is just a walking distance to the Republic Square, the Parajanov Museum and the Genocide Museum can be reached only via a taxi. We enjoyed Sergei Parajanov’s strange yet unique artistic works whilst he is held captive in prison. On the other hand, we journeyed through the past history of Armenian massacre in the Genocide Museum. Back to the Republic Square, we marveled at its beauty and visited the arts section of the National Museum.
Entrance fee: National Museum – AMD 800 (USD 1.66 or AED 6.25) for arts and AMD 1,000 (USD 2.07 or AED 7.81) for history. Parajanov Museum – AMD 700 (USD 1.45 or AED 5.47). Genocide Museum – FREE. Taxi within Yerevan cost AMD 1,000 (USD 2.07 or AED 7.81) per way.
Option 4: North Avenue – Opera House – Art Vernissage – Cascade – Victory Park – Mother Armenia – Matenadaran Museum
This one is more of a walking tour. From our hostel located in the Republic Square, we passed by the North Avenue until we reached the Opera House. Few steps from the backside of the opera, we found the Art Vernissage which is on our way to the Cascade. We took the time to visit every stage of the Cafesjian Center for Arts found inside and outside the Cascade. The top most part of it gave us the full view of Armenia. We continued walking to the Haghtanak Amusement Park for about 30 minutes. Next to it is the Victory Park where the statue of Mother Armenia and its museum are found. The museum entrance is free but we have donated some amounts so we could take pictures inside. After spending an hour, we headed back to the entrance of Haghtanak where we took a taxi going to the Matenadaran Museum for AMD 1,000 (USD 2.07 or AED 7.81). Entrance to the museum also cost AMD 1,000 (USD 2.07 or AED 7.81) per person.