Travel Guide to Armenia
A trip to Armenia is something that should be always there on your list if you are an explorer. Unfortunately, this is one country that might not be in everyone’s bucket list, as it is not a popular destination. As a result, there might be very little information available on this destination over the web. We even don’t know if the information which is available on Armenia is reliable or not. However, in this article, we will provide you with reliable and authentic information on Armenia, which can definitely guide you to plan your trip to Armenia.
Armenia is undoubtedly a beautiful country to explore, but we must tell you at the beginning that it is not tourist-ready. Yes, you have to keep this in mind and set the correct expectations for yourself. Don’t have an expectation like you have, when you visit a place like Bali or Phuket. No, Armenia is not like one of them. It is much different, yet it has much to offer to the tourists.
But, sometimes not being tourist ready really helps, as you won’t find those touristy nagging which can annoy you, while you are on your holidays. However, don’t create an impression on your mind that tourists are not welcome to Armenia. Yes, the people are really friendly and they receive & guide the visitors as well as whoever visits Armenia. However, don’t expect an infrastructure like Singapore, Dubai or Kuala Lumpur, which can receive a high volume of tourists.
Armenia was a part of the Soviet Union, and it has got a history that is quite eventful. It was explored by various invaded on numerous occasions in the past, due to the strategic advantage provided by its location. As a result, we find a cultural mix of Persian and Ottoman in Armenia, along with strong Roman influence. In a later part, Armenia was divided. One part went to Turkey, while the remaining part was annexed to the Soviet Union.
As a tourist, you can expect a strong confluence of different cultures, especially in the monument, food, and people. Now you might have understood, why we have mentioned previously, that Armenia has a lot to offer to the tourists. Armenia in the past has been plagued with multiple political instabilities, and some of them exist today as well, especially with Turkey and Azerbaijan. These political conflicts have affected the development of Armenia as a nation and have left it largely economically crippled. Also, when you travel to Armenia, you have to keep in mind that Armenia is a Christian state, it is the first country in the world which adopted Christianity.
Armenian’s welcome you
When you come to Armenia, you might enter the country with any of the two of the international airports, Shirak International Airport & Zvartnots International Airport. The last one is located in the capital city of Yerevan, and the majority of the international flights land there. The infrastructure of Yerevan is much better than Shirak, where the other airport is located. So, when you are booking your tickets for your trip to Armenia, make sure you select Yerevan as the destination.
Take a Note
Now once you come out of the airport, don’t get surprised as hardly anyone speaks English. The majority of them speak the Armenian language, and you have to somehow manage with that. However, if you can speak Russian, then definitely it is going to be an advantage for you. The good thing is, even though people don’t speak English, most of the road signs are in English and Armenian. So, expect the language to be one of the major barriers while you are in Armenia. Maybe, once you leave Armenia you might pick up a few words such as ‘barev’ means Hello or ‘merci’ means Thank You.
On your trip to Armenia, you will discover how friendly the Armenians are, and they can simply go out of their way to help you and guide you to get the best out of Armenia.
Let it be Yummy
Now let’s talk about the food, you might have not known that the famous Shashlik is not a Russian dish, but it’s a local dish of Armenia. Same with Dolma as well, it’s a discovery of Armenia, and largely enjoyed by the Armenian people. The majority of the food items are meat-based, and most of them are grilled or barbecued. Veggies might have a tough time in Armenia, their best bet could be salads or veg sandwiches. With all the dishes thin flatbread is served as complimentary. Tourists love Armenian food, as it is a core part of the Armenian culture. As a tourist, you can ask locals to guide you for selecting the best and famous food to eat when you are at Armenia.
Won’t run out of budget
Armenian Dram is there official Currency which is accepted all across Armenia.
Both, the accommodation as well food is quite cheap in Armenia. One can pay around 20 USD per day, and get a decent accommodation. Even fuel is cheap as well. You can exchange your currency at the Airport, while you land in Armenia.
Armenian Assures your Safety
Armenia is very much safe for tourists, except a few of the bordering areas which are marred by political unrest. Even the rate of petty crime is a bit low across Yerevan. Also, you might find that the few of the areas are sparsely populated.
Roaming around Armenia is easy
For transportation, buses are available and it can take you to the major points in the city. Similarly, you can find taxis as well, which also cater to the major areas in the city. However, in remote areas, you might not find either Bus or Taxi.
So, there are two options for you in that case. First, you can hire a car with a chauffeur, and move around the city. Second, you can hire a self-driven car.
Both the options are quite cheap and absolutely affordable. There are international car rental companies such as Hertz and Sixt, where you can get cheap deals. Apart from this you also get shared taxis in Armenia, these taxis are called marshrutkas. The roads are not all good and do expect some bumpy patches.