Things To Do in Armenia: Top Places and Activities

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Things To Do in Armenia

Armenia, a country rich in history and culture, offers a myriad of experiences for travelers. Nestled in the Caucasus region, this small nation boasts stunning landscapes, ancient monasteries, and a (Read More)unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. Whether you're exploring the vibrant streets of Yerevan, tasting the renowned Armenian wines, or hiking through its picturesque national parks, Armenia has something for everyone.

Here is the list of 23 Things To Do in Armenia: Top Places and Activities

1. Explore Yerevan: Armenia’s Vibrant Capital

Explore Yerevan: Armenia’s Vibrant Capital
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Known For : Vernissage Armenian Genocide Memorial complex

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is a city rich in history and culture. Begin your journey at Republic Square, known for its stunning architecture and dancing fountains. The square is surrounded by important buildings, including the History Museum and the National Gallery. The city also boasts a vibrant café culture, perfect for relaxing and people-watching. Yerevan’s nightlife is lively, with many bars, clubs, and live music venues.

Best Time: April - June, September - November

12 Attractions

2. Visit the Temple of Garni

Visit the Temple of Garni

The Temple of Garni, located in the Kotayk Province, is a well-preserved example of Greco-Roman architecture in Armenia. It stands on a high plateau overlooking the Azat River Gorge, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The temple’s classical design, with its columns and intricate carvings, is a testament to Armenia’s ancient history and cultural heritage. Nearby, you can explore the ruins of a royal summer palace, a Roman bathhouse with a mosaic floor, and a medieval church.

3. Visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum

Visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum

The Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum, located on Tsitsernakaberd Hill in Yerevan, is a solemn site dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who perished during the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The memorial complex consists of several elements, including the Genocide Memorial, a 44-meter-tall stele symbolizing the national rebirth of Armenians, and a circular structure with an eternal flame at its center. You can also visit the museum which is located underground.

4. Tour the Areni-1 Cave Complex

Tour the Areni-1 Cave Complex

The Areni-1 Cave Complex, located near the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor Province, is an archaeological site of immense historical significance. The cave complex consists of several chambers, each with unique findings that shed light on the daily lives of Armenia’s ancient inhabitants. You can explore the cave and learn about the early production of wine, a tradition that continues in the region today. The nearby village of Areni is known for its wineries and annual wine festival, where you can sample a variety of local wines.

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5. Try Out the Armenian Wines

Try Out the Armenian Wines

Armenia is known as one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, with a history that dates back over 6,000 years. Armenian wines are diverse, ranging from robust reds to refreshing whites and unique fruit wines made from pomegranates and apricots. Wine enthusiasts should visit the Areni region, home to the famous Areni-1 cave, where the world’s oldest known winery was discovered. The area hosts the annual Areni Wine Festival, where you can sample a wide variety of local wines and enjoy traditional music and dance.

6. Visit the Only Remaining Mosque in Armenia

Visit the Only Remaining Mosque in Armenia

The Blue Mosque, located in Yerevan, is the only active mosque in Armenia and a significant cultural and historical landmark. The mosque’s striking blue dome and intricate tile work make it an architectural gem. You can explore the mosque’s serene courtyard, prayer hall, and adjoining garden. The mosque also serves as a cultural center, hosting exhibitions and events that promote understanding and dialogue between different cultures.

7. Enjoy Street Performances at Northern Avenue in Yerevan

Enjoy Street Performances at Northern Avenue in Yerevan

Northern Avenue, located in the heart of Yerevan, is a bustling pedestrian street known for its vibrant atmosphere and street performances. This modern thoroughfare connects Republic Square with Freedom Square and is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Throughout the day and into the evening, Northern Avenue comes alive with musicians, dancers, and other performers showcasing their talents. In addition to street performances, Northern Avenue hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.

8. Go Shopping

Go Shopping

Shopping in Armenia offers a unique experience. Yerevan is the main hub for shopping, featuring upscale boutiques, souvenir shops, and local markets. The Vernissage Market, held on weekends, is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Armenian crafts, including handmade carpets, jewelry, ceramics, and woodwork. The Gum Market is another popular spot, known for its fresh produce, dried fruits, and spices. For a more modern shopping experience, head to the Dalma Garden Mall or the Yerevan Mall, which offers a range of international and local brands.

9. Climb the Cascade in Yerevan

Climb the Cascade in Yerevan

The Cascade Monument in Yerevan is both a functional structure and a piece of art, elegantly connecting Yerevan's downtown with the residential areas on the surrounding hills. Ascending the Cascade offers a remarkable view of the cityscape, including notable landmarks like the Opera House and, in the distance, the majestic Mount Ararat. The journey to the top can be made via a series of escalators, providing an easier way to enjoy the panoramic views.

10. Ride the Longest Aerial Tramway in Tatev

Ride the Longest Aerial Tramway in Tatev

The Wings of Tatev, located in the Syunik Province, is the world’s longest two-way aerial tramway, stretching 5.7 kilometers across the stunning Vorotan Gorge. This engineering marvel connects the village of Halidzor with the Tatev Monastery, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The tramway ride takes about 12 minutes and provides a unique perspective on Armenia’s natural beauty. The Tatev Monastery, a 9th-century masterpiece of Armenian architecture, is the main attraction at the end of the ride.

11. Learn the Historicity at Museums

Learn the Historicity at Museums

In Yerevan, the History Museum of Armenia and the National Gallery of Armenia, both located in Republic Square, are must-visits. The History Museum houses over 400,000 artifacts, covering Armenian history from prehistoric times to the present. The National Gallery features an extensive collection of Armenian, Russian, and European art. The Matenadaran, also in Yerevan, is one of the world’s richest repositories of ancient manuscripts and books, with over 23,000 items. In Gyumri, the Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life offers a glimpse into 19th-century Armenian life.

12. Hike in Dilijan National Park

Hike in Dilijan National Park

Dilijan National Park, often referred to as the “Armenian Switzerland,” is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks. Popular routes include the hike to Parz Lake and the trail to Haghartsin Monastery, an ancient monastery nestled in the woods. You can discover hidden waterfalls, natural springs, and breathtaking viewpoints along the trails.

13. Discover the Beauty of Lake Sevan

Discover the Beauty of Lake Sevan
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Lake Sevan, often referred to as the “Jewel of Armenia,” is the largest lake in the Caucasus region and one of the highest freshwater lakes in the world. The lake’s azure waters are ideal for swimming, boating, and fishing, while the surrounding beaches and picnic areas offer perfect spots for relaxation. One of the main attractions near the lake is the Sevanavank Monastery, located on a peninsula that provides panoramic views of the lake and mountains.

Best Time: June - September

14. Hike at the Khosrov Forest State Reserve

Hike at the Khosrov Forest State Reserve

The Khosrov Forest State Reserve, located in the Ararat Province, is one of Armenia’s oldest protected areas and a paradise for nature lovers. The reserve is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. You can explore numerous trails that offer spectacular views of the surrounding scenery and visit several historical and cultural sites, such as ancient monasteries and fortresses, adding to its allure.

15. Visit the Ancient Monastery of Geghard

Visit the Ancient Monastery of Geghard

Geghard Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a breathtaking destination located several miles from Garni in the Azat River Gorge. This historic monastery is renowned for its unique construction, with half of the complex carved directly from a granite monolith and the other half consisting of natural grottoes and caves. The site is also famous for its holy water spring and the St. Gregory semi-cave church. You can explore the monastery's intricate stone carvings, cross-stones (khachkars), and well-preserved frescoes.

16. Go Skiing at Tsaghkadzor

Go Skiing at Tsaghkadzor
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Tsaghkadzor, a popular ski resort town in the Kotayk Province, is the perfect destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Located just an hour’s drive from Yerevan, Tsaghkadzor offers a range of activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The resort features modern facilities, well-maintained slopes, and equipment rentals. The ski season typically runs from December to March, with the best conditions in January and February. Tsaghkadzor’s slopes cater to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers.

Best Time: June - September

17. Go Cafe Hopping

Go Cafe Hopping

Yerevan is dotted with charming cafes that offer a cozy atmosphere and a taste of Armenian hospitality. Armenian coffee, similar to Turkish coffee, is a must-try. It’s strong, aromatic, and traditionally brewed in a special pot called a “jazve.” Many cafes also serve a variety of teas, often infused with local herbs and fruits. Pastries and sweets, such as Gata and Sujuk, are commonly enjoyed with coffee or tea. Cafes in Armenia often feature live music, local art, and comfortable outdoor seating, making them perfect places to relax and soak in the local culture.

18. Experience Armenian Cuisine in Local Restaurants

Experience Armenian Cuisine in Local Restaurants

Food in Armenia is hearty and often features fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try Lavash, a soft, thin flatbread, is a staple at every meal and often used to wrap other foods. Khorovats (Armenian barbecue) is a must-try, with marinated meats grilled to perfection. Dolma, grape leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice, and Khashlama, a slow-cooked meat and vegetable stew, are other traditional favorites. For dessert, try Gata, a sweet pastry, or Pakhlava, similar to baklava.

19. Visit Old Khndzoresk Cave Village

Visit Old Khndzoresk Cave Village

Old Khndzoresk, located in the Syunik Province, is a fascinating cave village that is carved into the slopes of a gorge. You can explore the cave dwellings, churches, and other structures, as well as a swinging bridge that connects the two sides of the gorge. The bridge provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and adds an element of adventure to the visit. Old Khndzoresk is also home to the St. Hripsime Church, built into the rock and dating back to the 17th century.

20. Take a Scenic Drive Through the Selim Pass

Take a Scenic Drive Through the Selim Pass

The Selim Pass, located in the Vayots Dzor Province, is a historic mountain pass that offers stunning views and a journey through Armenia’s rugged landscapes. The pass is part of the ancient Silk Road and features the well-preserved Selim Caravanserai, a medieval roadside inn built in the 14th century. Driving through the Selim Pass, you’ll encounter breathtaking vistas of rolling hills, deep gorges, and distant mountains. The route is particularly beautiful in the spring and summer when the landscape is lush and green.

21. Relax at Jermuk Hot Springs

Relax at Jermuk Hot Springs

Jermuk, a resort town in the Vayots Dzor Province, is famous for its hot springs and mineral waters. The town’s natural hot springs, rich in minerals, are believed to have therapeutic properties and are used to treat various ailments. You can enjoy a soak in the warm, healing waters at one of the town’s many spas and wellness centers. The Jermuk Waterfall, one of Armenia’s largest waterfalls, is another major attraction. The town’s beautiful landscapes, with mountains, forests, and lakes, offer opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking.

22. Explore the Age-Old Churches

Explore the Age-Old Churches

Armenia, the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD, is home to some of the world’s oldest churches. These ancient religious sites are scattered throughout the country, offering a glimpse into Armenia’s spiritual and architectural heritage. The Echmiadzin Cathedral, located in the city of Vagharshapat, is considered the oldest cathedral in the world, built in the early 4th century. Another significant site is the Khor Virap Monastery, offering stunning views of Mount Ararat. This monastery is famous for its underground chamber where Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years.

23. Visit the Noratus Cemetery

Visit the Noratus Cemetery

Noratus Cemetery, located near Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik province, is an open-air museum of medieval Armenian khachkars (cross-stones). This historic cemetery dates back to the 9th century and contains over 800 khachkars, making it the largest collection of its kind in the world. Each khachkar is unique, with intricate carvings and inscriptions that tell stories of the people buried there. One of the most famous stones depicts a wedding scene, illustrating how Armenians viewed life and death.

Armenia is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, natural wonders, and cultural delights. Each Armenian destination offers its own unique charm and beauty. As you explore the country, you'll not only witness breathtaking landscapes but also experience the warmth and hospitality of the Armenian people.

This post was published by Pranay Prasun

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