Before our trip to Armenia, I spend a long time searching for what to see in Yerevan. I read blogs, reviews, publications in travel magazines. As a result, I got a fairly standard list of the main attractions.
To begin with, I will show you a map of Yerevan with attractions, briefly tell about each of them (all details can be read on Wikipedia and other popular resources – everything has already been rewritten several times), I will focus on visiting these attractions in winter and show a photo.
Map of Yerevan with landmarks
Made a map for you – as you can see, the main attractions are concentrated in the city center. In theory, each of them from the center can be reached on foot. From distant sights (for example, from Victory Park with the statue of Mother Armenia) you can get back by taxi (500-700 drams). We lived in the center (a review of how we rented the apartment) and reached the sights for our two, but since the weather was bad for us and it was very cold, and on the second day we got sick, we returned to the center by taxi. Fortunately, it’s inexpensive there. In summer, in fine weather, we usually walk such distances.
Sights of Yerevan in the center: description and photo
I turn to the list of attractions.
The main attraction of Yerevan is, of course – Republic Square , the central square of the city. On the square you can see the following buildings, which form the square itself: this is the Government of Armenia (it will not be difficult to recognize the building by the clock tower), then the Central Post Office of the Republic of Armenia, the Marriott Hotel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Ministry of Energy, as well as the Museum of History complete the general view of the square. In summer, the fountain is decorated with singing fountains, and in the winter, a Christmas tree. New Year’s Eve is also held on Republic Square – a concert, fireworks, and festivities.
Vernissage is located not far from Republic Square – these are shopping malls where you can buy souvenirs or just admire handicrafts. The main trade takes place on weekends, but some shops are also open on weekdays. By the way, on January 2, Vernissage has already begun its work (closer to lunch).
On Abovyan Street, not far from Republic Square, the Northern Avenue begins , which stretches to Freedom Square and the Opera House. This is a pedestrian street like Arbat in Moscow or Weiner St. in Yekaterinburg. On New Year’s holidays, a Christmas market is located on this street (it began to work on the holidays from January 3 or 4), the street is very beautifully decorated and it is very pleasant to walk along it on a winter evening. On Northern Prospect and near it there are a lot of cafes and restaurants.
I also want to note the Charles Aznavour Square at the cinema “Moscow” . Nice place too. There are large chess sets (which, however, are already very battered by time), unusual sculptures, also pay attention to the Royal Tulip Hotel – this is the oldest hotel in Yerevan, it was built in 1926. Today it is one of the most prestigious and expensive hotels in the city. If desired (and opportunities), you can live here 🙂
Literally 100 meters from the square is the Dalan Art Gallery , where you can not only see some paintings (free on the 2nd floor), but also buy souvenirs (on the 1st floor), as well as eat in a rather interesting setting (also on 2nd floor, entrance through the courtyard of the gift shop)
Read also the article “Rent a car in Yerevan: prices, reviews, photos of the roads of Armenia”
Freedom Square is another popular attraction in Yerevan. It houses the Opera House, next to Swan Lake (in winter – an ice rink). Also, on New Year’s holidays, a Christmas tree is installed here, New Year’s decorations, various entertainments are held. For some reason, I have not very pleasant associations with Freedom Square, despite the fact that it is quite nice and cozy there. It’s all a matter of young Armenian entrepreneurs dressed up in suits of “Masha and the Bear” and adhering to everyone: first they run up with the words “I want to be photographed”, then squeeze the money.
After passing about a half kilometer we get to the Grand Cascade . What is a cascade? Perhaps this is a unique decoration of the city, a similar I have never seen anywhere else. Cascade is a composition of stairs (they are made of white tuff mineral), fountains, plants, as well as statues. A cascade was created to connect the Lower and Upper cities. To date, the last flight of the Cascade is not completed, but you can still climb to the very top. In clear weather, this is an excellent observation deck of the city, as well as Mount Ararat.
Pay attention to the square in front of Cascade. Sculptures, works of modern art, are placed throughout the area. This, for example, is a copy of the New York monument of love LOVE, and an interesting blue bird or fairy-tale beast. Also pay attention to the statue of the “fat aunt”, honestly, I don’t even know what this sculpture is called, but they say that it was brought from Copenhagen – the climate didn’t suit her there, but in Yerevan it was just right. Judging by the fact that a guard walks nearby and says that it is impossible to touch an aunt, she really is a foreigner!
If you climbed the Cascade, you can walk to Victory Park . It contains the monument Mother Armenia . They say that from that place also a bewitching view of Ararat opens.
If you are lucky with the weather and these observation platforms are not enough for you, you can go to the Radisson Blue Hotel , next to Victory Park. On the top floor there is a panoramic restaurant “Adastro”, the cost of coffee there is about 1300 drams – you can combine business with pleasure.
Not far from Cascade, at 53 Mashtots Ave., there is a museum of ancient manuscripts of Matenadaran under the government of the Republic of Armenia. The museum was created in 1920, its collection was based on manuscripts that were previously the property of the Echmiadzin Monastery. Entrance to the museum costs 1000 drams. Opening hours from 10.00 to 17.00 except Sunday and Monday. I really wanted to get into this museum, but I couldn’t even get to it and inspect the building from the outside.
If you return to the center, you can visit the Church of the Holy Mother of God Katogike . Perhaps this is the oldest church in Yerevan. It was originally built in the 13th century. Later the church was completed and from the 17th century another, large church stood on this site. The most curious thing is that the church survived during the earthquakes and during the wars, and was destroyed by the Soviet government in 1936. It was then that the very first small chapel of the 13th century was discovered!
We pass to the southern part of the city. The Blue Mosque is located on Mashtots Avenue, opposite the City store (which used to be the central market building) . It was built in the 18th century, when Yerevan was ruled by the Persians. In total there were 8 mosques in the city, but only one – the Blue Mosque – has survived to this day. Entrance to the mosque is free for everyone (in the first days of the new year, it is possible that the mosque will be closed).
Not far from the Blue Mosque, on a hill, is the Kond district, or, as it is also called, “slum area”. Suppose that with this name your hair does not stand on end, like my husband, who immediately presented the Brazilian favelas, where tourists are generally not recommended to go. In fact, it is, simply, an old city built on a hill in the 19th century (new Yerevan was built during the Soviet era). The area is completely safe, I read a lot that love is friendly there, but we met only one grandfather cleaning the snow, but he also smiled at us, congratulated him on the New Year, showed where to go. And the area consists of narrow streets, on which, oddly enough, cars drive around, low-rise houses, from which, by the way, you can hear funny festive music, near the houses there are columns with cold water, and the windows have curtains. In general, such a time machine. Personally, I am a lover of everything modern,
Further south – two popular sights of Yerevan, one might say, symbols of the country. Cognac factories (and museums) Noah and Ararat . Previously, it was one single plant, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the plants were also divided. Ararat factory was bought by a French company, and Noah remained with the Armenians. Both plants can be visited with a guided tour. Information can be obtained on the official websites of factories, or by phone. An excursion to the Ararat factory is included in the price of the Yerevan Card; you can buy it online as well . In addition to the excursion to the factory, the card allows you to visit 4 more excursions, 40 museums in Yerevan for free, get discounts in cafes and shops of the city.
On New Year’s holidays, excursions at the plants are not held.
Tsitsernakaberd , or the memorial complex to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, is another attraction of Yerevan that you can visit during your visit. It is better to get there by taxi (from the center, or from the cognac factories) literally for 500-700 drams, it will be faster and more comfortable than going on foot. On the hill is a 44-meter stele, next to which is the Wall of Mourning. There is also the Genocide Museum on the hill. They say that a good view of Ararat opens from the hill. In winter, of course, the chances of seeing Ararat are almost zero. A walk to the memorial is also not a good idea, so if you still want to visit this complex, then take a taxi and go to the museum.
And finally, another attraction that I want to talk about is the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator. It is the largest Cathedral in Yerevan, and the second largest Cathedral in the Caucasus. It looks really impressive. But inside – not a bit of resemblance to our Cathedrals. Not a single mural, not a gram of gold, no luxury. But a very beautiful chant was during the Christmas service (they celebrate Christmas on January 6)!
Sights of Yerevan in winter and New Year
I tried to note all the nuances of visiting the sights of Yerevan during the New Year holidays during the story, however, I will dwell on them again. First, dress for the weather! As far as I understood, we were very unlucky with the weather, and this winter in Yerevan is very cold, usually warmer, and in some year, throughout January, the temperature was freezing up to +10. Therefore, be prepared for all occasions: to see the sights, dress better and warmer! Secondly, on the first, second, and maybe the third of January, many institutions do not work. This applies primarily to cafes and restaurants, and those attractions where a ticket is required to enter (plus the Blue Mosque). Museums of cognac factories are also closed until January 7th. And thirdly, a short daylight hours. It gets dark at about 5.30 p.m. Everything else,
The main attractions of Yerevan on New Year’s Day are Republic Square (this is where the New Year’s meeting with mass celebrations and fireworks takes place), as well as Freedom Square in front of the Opera House (everything is very beautifully decorated and the stage is set – for Christmas, for example, there was also a concert) . Here are some photos from the new year in Yerevan:
Here are the main attractions that I wanted to tell you about. You can watch them yourself, or you can book a tour of Yerevan and find out more about the history of these places and the culture of the city.
We failed to visit all of the above attractions, as failed to see Ararat. What places did you like most in Yerevan? Perhaps this is a walking Northern Avenue, Cascade (though you can’t see this anywhere else), and the Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator (somehow very soulful there!). Perhaps, having arrived in the summer, the impressions of Yerevan would have been completely different, but in the winter the impressions were blurred and, frankly, I did not experience any delight.
Read also the article “How to Travel to Armenia on Your Own: A Mini-Guide”
Nevertheless, I wish you an interesting pastime in Yerevan and, most importantly, excellent weather, which can smooth out all the shortcomings! Do not forget to share the article on social networks and like it if you really do! Thank you!