If you’re looking for amazing things to do in Armenia then check out this post now! It’s brimming over with expert information about monasteries, food, and more!
There are some places that we have been that really stick with us, and Armenia is one of those countries. Small and tucked into the base of the Caucasus mountains, not too many people put it on their bucket list and even fewer will go. What a shame! Just like a Starburst Strawberry candy, it makes a huge impact.
It was hard to pare it down, but we’ve come up with the top things to do in Armenia. Of course there are many more. But, if you decide to buy that ticket, and you do the things on this list, you can be sure that you’ve gotten a great taste of Armenia, from all the Armenia attractions, what to eat and where to eat, and of course where to stay!
In this travel guide, you will learn all the best places to go in Armenia, starting with the best things to do in Yerevan. We’ll tell you what to do, where to stay, what to eat, and more.
- Top Things to do in Yerevan
- Top Things to do in Armenia Outside of Yerevan
- Things to do in Armenia – Armenian Food
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Our first few recommendations are all located in the capital of Yerevan. Chances are this will be the way you enter the country, although we entered by driving south from Tbilisi.
When we do fly into a city, we will usually rent a car and go outside the capital for a few days, however, we rely on public transportation or our own feet while we are there.
Luckily, Yerevan is very walkable and you can see these top things to do in Yerevan in one or two days.
Top Things to do in Yerevan
Downtown Yerevan is such a contrast to the rest of the country. It is modern, filled with cafes, restaurants, malls, and cinemas. There is plenty to do, and wandering around, grabbing a tea and a sweet whiling the day away window shopping is always a great idea.
While you are out, you can look for some typical Armenian souvenirs such as woven textiles, items made from obsidian, or some sweets such as chocolate or dried fruits.
Built in 1924, Parliament Square is the center of Yerevan and is surrounded by many important buildings, like the Government House and the History Museum, but what makes the square so popular is it is where families go to walk around, play a bit of soccer, eat an ice cream, and just get outside and talk with the neighbors.
The architecture and fountains create beautiful surroundings for an evening sabbatical.
The National Gallery is an art museum is one of the must-sees in Armenia. The permanent exhibit has works of art from ancient to modern times highlighting artists from the region as well as a few from world famous artists like Chagall.
Cost: 800 AMD for adults and 300 for children over seven.
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 – 17:00.
A gorgeous building, it’s easy to spot the Opera House. Shows and concerts are frequent and inexpensive.
Check out their website for upcoming events, or just go to the box ticket office in front and see what is available.
One of many green spaces in the city of Yerevan, this sprawling park is well manicured, a quiet respite from the chaotic city traffic. It’s a great place to take a stroll or sip on a coffee or tea.
Top Things to do in Armenia Outside of Yerevan
After leaving this Eastern European capital, it can be challenging driving Armenia’s roads, but it’s well worth it.
The rest of our recommendations can be done in a two-day Armenia road trip, which is how we did it. Even with the many potholes, it was a fantastic way to see the countryside.
World Heritage Sites Sanahin and Haghpat
Armenia is famous for its monasteries and many are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Up on the top of a hill, in a small town are two very worthwhile ones you should visit: Sanahin and Haghpat.
We loved the steles that decorated the floor of Sanahin, which is easily one of the best things to do in Armenia.
Site Geghard Monastery – One of the Best Things to do in Armenia
Geghard was our absolute favorite stop on the trip. It’s not far outside of Yerevan, and it has an other-worldly peace that surrounds it.
It is situated deep in the Azat Valley right next to the river. The complex was hewn from the rock, and as you walk among its narrow corridors, up steep steps, you can feel the ancientness of this holy place.
We were lucky enough to hear some A Capella singers give a short concert while we were there, and we also marveled at the amazing Kachkar crosses that UNESCO has inscribed on their list of notable intangibles.
Temple of Garni
The Hellenistic Temple of Garni is also well worth a stop and easily one of the top things to do in Armenia. It’s very close to Geghard and can easily be done before or after your visit there.
Garni is located in a town of the same name and was built in the 1st century and continually used until Christianity became the official religion in the early 4th century.
Both Garni and Geghard are very popular Armenia attractions, but even still you can out-wait the buses and have plenty of time by yourself on just about any day.
A little further afield is Lake Sevan. At an altitude of over 6,000 feet, it is a beautiful sight with lots of recreational activities available as well as restaurants and cafes.
There is a hill you can climb to visit two monasteries at the top, so be prepared for a hike.
Armenian Alphabet Monument
One of the smallest, but most fun Armenia attractions that Jim and I visited was the Armenian Alphabet Monument, built in 2005 to celebrate the invention of this Christianity-based lettering system.
It was raining the day that we visited, but it did not put a damper on the cool steel letters surrounded by a beautiful landscape and creek. So, if you’re not sure what to do in Armenia, definitely check this place out.
One of the largest Armenia attractions that everyone wants to see while in this fascinating country is Mt. Aragat which is famous, renowned as the mountain where Moses’ ark finally came to rest on land.
Things to do in Armenia – Armenian Food
Finally, no visit to Armenia would be complete without trying some of its delectable food. We loved everything from the stuffed grapeleaves (tolma) to the lamb stews, but the dish that we will remember the most is lavash.
Lavash is a traditional flatbread made in deep kiln-shaped ovens. It was one of the things I was most looking forward to experiencing, and when we finally chanced upon a spot where they were baking bread it was awe-inspiring.
The baker makes a simple dough, rolls it into small balls, then meticulously (and surprisingly quickly) pulls it out to a see-through thinness.
Then the flat dough is slapped on the inside of a very hot oven with the fire blazing at the bottom. In seconds the dough bakes, is darkened in a few spots and is ready…and delicious!
You may not have heard of this small, less-visited country, but Armenia really is worth a trip. You can do almost everything in one short week, and it’s pretty inexpensive as well.
Go ahead, travel on the edge. Life is never boring that way! If you’re daring enough to go, you should really check out some of these hotels in Yerevan!
We loved out trip to Yerevan and talk more about it on our travel podcast episode, Trip to Armenia!
Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
Friday 13th of April 2018
Gorgeous photos! I visited Armenia briefly a while ago and I wish I stayed longer. Can't wait to come back soon!
Saturday 14th of April 2018
Thanks Rose. I know what you mean about staying longer in Armenia...we concur!
Saturday 31st of March 2018
It is actually biblical Mt. Ararat and Noa’s Ark lended there
Thursday 5th of April 2018
Eliz, Yes, that's the one!
Tuesday 5th of September 2017
It's on my bucket list for sure Corinne, especially after reading your blogs, watching the video and viewing the photos. There is the heritage piece too, of course Thank you for the beautiful posts!
Tuesday 5th of September 2017
Karen, I really hope you get there. You will really enjoy it.
Friday 16th of June 2017
I hope so, too Vicki!
Thursday 15th of June 2017
It wasn't on my list to go but could be now! Love the alphabet monument and the food sounds great!
Friday 16th of June 2017
Amandq, I think you would enjoy it.