Syunik, Armenia
Syunik, Armenia

Syunik

Landscape views in Syunik
Photo by Ani Adigyozalyan

ARMENIA

Asia

Armenia Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Yerevan

Location:

Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan; note - Armenia views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both

Currency:

drams (AMD)

Area:

29,743 sq km

Population:

3,011,609 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1%; note - Russian is widely spoken (2011 est.)

Religion:

Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9% (2011 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+4

Tel Code:

+374

Weather

Climate

Armenia has a diverse climate, with mountainous regions having a colder climate, while the lower-lying areas have a milder, Mediterranean-like climate. The country experiences four distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters.

Summer (June-August) temperatures can reach up to 35°C (95°F) in the low-lying areas, while the mountain regions have cooler temperatures, typically around 20°C (68°F)

Winter (December-February) temperatures can drop to -20°C (-4°F) in the mountain regions and around 0°C (32°F) in the low-lying areas.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Armenia depends on your interests.

  • For outdoor activities such as hiking and trekking, the best time to visit is from May to October, when the weather is mild and there is little snow on the ground.
  • For skiing and winter sports, the best time to visit is from December to February, when the mountain regions receive heavy snowfall.
  • For cultural and historical sightseeing, any time of the year is suitable as the majority of the attractions are indoor. It's worth noting that in the spring, the country is covered in blooming flowers, which makes it a perfect time for nature enthusiasts. Also, the fall is known to be one of the best times to visit as the country is covered in colorful leaves, making it a beautiful and unique experience.

Transportation

Public transportation

Armenia has a well-developed public transportation system, which includes buses, minibuses (marshrutkas), and trains. Buses and minibuses are the most common form of public transportation, and they connect major cities and towns within the country. The train network connects Armenia with Georgia and Iran and is a convenient option for traveling to or from these countries.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in Armenia and can be found at taxi stands or hailed on the street. Taxis in Armenia are relatively affordable, but it's recommended to agree on a fare before starting the journey as some drivers may take advantage of tourists.

Car rental

Renting a car is also an option for visitors to Armenia, which can be a good way to explore the country's remote areas and scenic routes. Visitors should be aware that the road conditions can vary and the driving itself can be challenging. It's also important to note that traffic laws are not always strictly enforced, so extra caution is needed when driving.

Bicycle

Bicycle is also a good way to explore the country's remote areas and scenic routes, particularly in the summer time. Bicycle rental is available in some cities, but it's not as popular as other options.

Domestic flights

Domestic flights are also available in Armenia, which can be a good option for traveling to remote areas of the country that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation. It's also a good option for travelers looking to save time and get around the country quickly.

Accommodation

Hotels

Armenia has a wide variety of hotels, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly options. Visitors can find accommodation in major cities such as Yerevan, as well as in smaller towns and villages. Many hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and restaurants.

Guesthouses

Another option for visitors is staying in a guesthouse. These are often family-run and offer a more personal and authentic experience. Guesthouses are also available in major cities and smaller towns and villages, and they can provide a comfortable and affordable accommodation.

Homestays

Homestays are a great way to experience the local culture and customs of Armenia. Visitors can stay with a local family and get a sense of the daily life in the country. Homestays can be arranged in most towns and villages and can offer a unique and immersive experience.

Camping

For more adventurous travelers, camping is a popular option for accommodation in Armenia. Visitors can camp in the country's national parks and other wilderness areas, and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of Armenia. It's important to note that camping equipment needs to be brought from home as it is not widely available for rent in Armenia.

Hostels

Hostels are also an option for budget-conscious travelers, and are more common in major cities such as Yerevan, Gyumri and Vanadzor. Hostels offer dormitory-style rooms and shared facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Armenia Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Armenia is a country with a rich history and culture, and it offers a wide variety of things to see and do for visitors. From ancient monasteries and churches to stunning landscapes and delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone in Armenia. Here are the top 10 things to do in Armenia:

      1. Visit the ancient city of Echmiadzin

      Echmiadzin is the religious center of Armenia and home to the country's main cathedral, the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, which was built in 301 AD. Visitors can also explore the nearby ruins of the Zvartnots Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

      2. Explore the medieval city of Ani

      Ani is an ancient city that was once the capital of the medieval Armenian Kingdom of Ani. Today, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it offers a glimpse into Armenia's rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the city's ancient walls and churches, including the Church of the Redeemer.

      3. Take a trip to Lake Sevan

      Lake Sevan is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Armenia, and it's a popular spot for swimming, boating, and fishing. Visitors can also explore the nearby Sevanavank Monastery, which offers stunning views of the lake.

      4. Visit the Khor Virap Monastery

      The Khor Virap Monastery is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Armenia, and it offers stunning views of Mount Ararat. Visitors can also explore the underground cell where St. Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years.

      5. Explore the Garni Temple

      The Garni Temple is a well-preserved ancient temple that dates back to the 1st century AD. It's the only pagan temple in Armenia and offers an interesting glimpse into the country's pre-Christian history.

      6. Visit the Noravank Monastery

      The Noravank Monastery is a beautifully preserved medieval monastery that is nestled in a narrow gorge. Visitors can explore the monastery's intricate carvings and frescoes, and also enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

      7. Take a stroll in the Yerevan's Republic Square

      Yerevan's Republic Square is the heart of the city and it offers a glimpse into the city's history and culture. Visitors can take a stroll through the square and admire the architecture of the National Museum and the History Museum of Armenia.

      8. Take a day trip to the Haghpat Monastery

      The Haghpat Monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most important examples of medieval Armenian architecture. Visitors can explore the complex's intricate carvings and frescoes, as well as enjoy the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

      9. Take a dip in the Jermuk hot springs

      Jermuk is a small spa town in the Vayots Dzor region of Armenia, famous for its hot springs. Visitors can relax in the warm waters of the hot springs, which are said to have healing properties.

      10. Try the local cuisine

      Armenian cuisine is known for its delicious flavors and use of fresh ingredients. Visitors can try traditional dishes such as dolma (stuffed grape leaves), khorovats (grilled meats), and the delicious sweet pastry known as gata.

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