If you are looking for a new travel destination that is open for tourists and has already been adjusted to covid-19 safety regulations, then Armenia is the exact place to consider for your trip. The fast growing tourism infrastructure and diverse activities can fill up a several-day tour program, during which you will uncover the huge potential and the unspoken history of Armenia. This brief Armenia travel guide features several important tips and useful information you need to consider before you travel to Armenia.
Armenia Entry Requirements
Armenia’s visa regulation is quite easy these days. Travelers go through the border control checkpoints with their valid passport and visa if needed. In general, Armenian visas are issued for 120 days with an option of prolonging it for another 60 days. In all, one can stay in Armenia for 180 days during a year. Citizens of the following countries do not need visa to travel to Armenia: Albania, Andorra, Argentine, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican.
Armenia also issues visas upon arrival, which however is currently suspended because of the pandemics and the new travel regulations. You can still apply for Armenian e-visa on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia (www.mfa.am). For some countries’ citizens Armenian visas can be issued only upon an invitation from Armenia. You can check the updated list of these countries in the abovementioned link.
Visa fees for the countries who need one to enter Armenia are as follows:
- Visitor visa for up to 21 days of stay – AMD 3000
- Visitor visa for up to 120 days of stay – AMD 15000
- Multiple entry visitor visa (for up to 60 days of stay with 6 months validity) – AMD 20000
- Multiple entry visitor visa (for up to 120 days of stay with one year validity) – AMD 40000
- Official or Diplomatic visa – Free
- Single entry transit visa – AMD 10000
- Multiple entry transit visa (with one year validity) – AMD 18000
Suggested Budget and Money Saving Tips
Today tourism in Armenia is rich with numerous offers for various types of travelers. Whether you like comfortable traveling or you are more of an adventure style traveler, Armenia will surprise you with its diverse market. For the past several years besides the high-end hotels, many resorts, hostels, guesthouses and boutique hotels have opened their doors to travelers. Next to more expensive hotels, you can book a much affordable 3-star hotel or a cozy guest house both in Yerevan and in the country’s provinces.
If you are looking for budget options to travel in Armenia, then consider booking your overnights in one of the many guesthouses or small hotels. The latter are perfect for private tours or family tours as you will learn about the daily life of local people, taste common Armenian food, have your privacy and enjoy the cozy gardens. You will approximately need 10,000 – 20,000 AMD (20 – 40 USD) per room with the breakfast included. You may find numerous Armenia travel blogs with recommendations on their preferred spots.
As you explore Yerevan, you will be fascinated by the variety of restaurants, cafes and wine corners that serve delicious local and international food. The prices in the popular spots vary between lower and upper middle budget, some of them offer signature cuisine in more luxury restaurants. However, there are many other food corners that serve local, Middle Eastern and Caucasian food, which are quite affordable and are perfect for a budget meal. One can enjoy a full meal between 3000-5000 AMD (6-10 USD) in these small restaurants.
Many Armenia travel guides refer to the public transportation for travelers, however, it is noteworthy that not all mini-buses are convenient for traveling around. Most of the public transportation is not yet adjusted for foreigners, as you will not find the routes written in any language other than Armenian. Nonetheless, at the Yerevan Central Station you can take intercity buses to several destinations in the north of Armenia, whereas in Sasuntsi Davit Station you will find other buses heading to the southern regions of the country. From Sasuntsi Davit Railway Station you can also take a ride to the second biggest city of Armenia – Gyumri, or get on a train to Tbilisi, Georgia.
If you are traveling on your own and want to navigate inside Yerevan and around the city, it is best to have the local Uber-like application, called GG, on your phone. This way you will avoid overcharged fares by ordinary taxi drivers and will have a comfortable ride to wherever you go. GG also has shared taxis to several destinations in Armenia, such as Gyumri, Vanadzor, Dilijan, etc.
You can also find options for a car rental if you have an international driving license with you. The price for a car rental may start from 25,000 AMD (50 USD) per day and you get discounts if you rent it for a longer period.
Best Hotels in Armenia
Armenia has a number of great hotels located around the country, offering various accommodation options and experiences. In our Armenia travel guide, we included some of the best hotels in Armenia:
- Marriott Hotel (Yerevan)
- Set of hotels “Tufenkyan” (Yerevan, Dilijan, Dzoraget)
- Hotel “Best Western Paradise” (Dilijan)
- Grand Hotel Yerevan (Yerevan)
- Hotel “Villa Kars” (Gyumri)
- Berlin Art Hotel (Gyumri)
- Hotel “The Alexander” in Yerevan (best choice for luxury tours in Armenia)
- Grand Resort Hotel (Jermuk)
- Hotel “Mirhav” (Goris)
- Hotel “Arevi” (village Yehegis)
- Resort “Apaga” (village Yenokavan)
- Hotel “Kefilyan” (village of Haghpat)
- Hotel “Kaghni” (village Dsegh)
- Concept Hotel (village Debet)
Things to See and Do in Armenia
In many Armenia travel guides, travel blogs and videos you will find Armenia being presented as an open-air museum for it is rich with history and living culture. Armenia opens up new narratives and gives you a completely fresh perspective to the world in general. Yerevan is a perfect spot to start your historical tours and then travel outside the city to find the many cool places to visit in Armenia.
Take a wine tour in the southern regions of Armenia, during which you will visit Vayots Dzor province, explore the Areni-1 cave, where the oldest leather shoe and an ancient 6000-year-old winery were found. Taste Armenian wine made from local grape varieties, served with homemade cheese and olive plates.
Travel to the north to see the highest summit of Armenia – the mount Aragats and the cultural sites located on its slopes. Drive up north and explore the fascinating urban architecture of Gyumri, taste the local donuts called “yaghli” and visit their local history museum or the newly renovated Gyumri beer factory.
Lake Sevan, the largest body of water in Armenia, will take your breath away with its stunning views and majestic mountain ranges. After Lake Sevan, drive to the nearby spa town of Dilijan in the region of Tavush, which is becoming a gastro and culinary cluster of Armenia.
Looking for unique adventures in Armenia? Consider visiting Yenokavan village to fly over deep canyons on a zip-line, do an off-road trip, hike down to the waterfall of Lastiver or do horse riding. In the northern region of Lori experience the rapid currents of Debed River through a memorable rafting trip, or spend a night in WOW Glamping near Dsegh village. And if you love hiking, install the Hike Armenia application on your phone, and find numerous interesting, well-marked routes to explore Armenia on foot.
Churches in Armenia
You will find many museums and state cultural reserves in many parts of Armenia that are worth a visit. What you will encounter the most as you travel in Armenia, are various churches and monasteries that once were huge educational and spiritual centers. Nowadays most of these churches function as religious sites where the entrance is free for the visitors. Others, though in ruins today, still maintain a unique magical appearance. In this Armenia travel guide, we put up a list of some of the most beautiful churches in Armenia worth visiting while traveling around the country.
- Echmiadzin Mother Cathedral with the surrounding churches of St.Hripsime and Zvartnots temple (Armavir; All listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites)
- Geghard Cave Monastery (Kotayk; UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries (Lori; UNESCO World Heritage)
- Khor Virap monastery (Ararat)
- Noravank monastery (Vayots Dzor)
- Zorats church (Vayots Dzor)
- Tatev monastery (Syunik)
- Odzun church (Lori)
- Kobayr monastery (Lori)
- Saghmosavank church (Aragatsotn)
- Akhtala church (Lori)
- Kasakh basilica (Aragatsotn)
- Yereruyk basilica (Shirak)
- Tegher monastery (Aragatsotn)
- Marmashen monastery (Shirak)
- Harichavank monastery (Shirak)
- Haghartsin monastery (Tavush)
- Goshavank monastery (Tavush)
- Sevanavank monastery (Gegharkunik)
- Karmravor church (Aragatsotn)