What to Do in One Day in Yerevan [Armenia]

When I booked my train ticket from Tbilisi to Yerevan I was so excited. Going to Armenia has been on my bucket list for quite some time, but due to some increase in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbajan it was heavily recommended to avoid certain regions.

Therefore, I decided to go to Yerevan and decide on the spot what to do. Mainly I stayed in Yerevan and I did some small trips outside of the capital city, but it was visible that something was not ok. On the roads outside of Yerevan there were plenty of army trucks and inside the city there was more police than I expected. so I decided to play it safe.

It’s not like Yerevan doesn’t have plenty of things to offer.

Known as the “Pink City” due to its buildings being built with tuff, a volcanic stone formed from lava flows which glows red-pink or orange in the Caucasian sun, Yerevan can be quite a stunner.

Yerevan is supposed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It was founded by King Argishti I in 782 BC, on land that had been already lived on for three thousand years before that. Back then, it was known as Erebuni.

The first thing I did in the morning was to walk up the Cascade – a staircase complex which takes you from ground level all the way up a hill – in order to see the Ararat mountain watching over the country. But, that did not happen. Instead I got a pretty awesome view over the city.

My accommodation was on Pushkin street and I soon found out how cute the neighborhood is. Even if Yerevan is mostly known for its Soviet architecture, near this street I managed to catch a glimpse of older houses and get an idea on how the city used to look a century ago.

I also managed to find a cute mural dedicated to the world-famous composer Aram Khachaturian.

Yerevan’s heart is at Republic Square which houses the Government House, the History Museum and the National Gallery, Armenia Marriott Hotel and two buildings that used to be the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Communications.

Located quite close, the Moscow Cinema has an interesting past. It was built in the 1930s on the same place where the Saint Paul and Peter Church used to be (the church it was demolished by the Soviet rule).

On Charles Aznavour Square in front of the cinema, there are plenty of sculptures and big a chess game.

I loved discovering every day life in Armenia. Old men were playing chess. The local buses are very picturesque. There is almost no traffic.

If there was a place that I really wanted to reach that was Gum Market. Similarly to Georgia, Armenia is known for its good food and fresh produce. So, I decided to go to Gum market in order to buy some fruits and veggies and some jam 🙂 The moment I entered the market I was hit by the smell of spices, pomegranate and figs.

An older lady found me and she made me try everything. My favorite discovery was the dried peaches – I cannot even explain the deliciousness of it all. I left with my backpack full of goodies ( no exaggeration).

From Gum market I started running away from a messy rain and I stumbled into Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral. Armenia prides itself for being the first country in the world which adopted Christianity as the state religion, in the year 301. This cathedral is the largest one in the country and its sharp geometric lines makes is quite distinctive.

As I was looking for some souvenirs, I decided that there is no better place to do some shopping than the Vernissage. And boy, was I right. The Vernissage is an open air market and you can find find here anything your heart desires.

I ran very randomly into an antique book store. Outside they were selling newer books, but once I entered it I was surrounded by old toms in Russian.

One of the things I noticed almost immediately is that almost every single gate in the center of Yerevan is beautifully painted. This started as an art project which became now an irreplaceable part of Yerevan.

The evening ended with a second visit to the Cascade. From here I finally saw the picture I had in my mind – the Ararat mountain in the distance and a city ready to start its evening in the foreground.

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