You are a first-time visitor to Yerevan confronted by a question of which are the best attractions in the capital city of Armenia. From the modern Cascade stairway, to the historic Erebuni Fortress, here are the top ten must-see attractions on any Yerevan sightseeing trip.
1. Yerevan Cascade Stairway
Yerevan Cascade is a giant glorious stairway, that links center of the town with the upper neighborhoods of the city. When one goes up the stairs, a spectacular view of the Biblical Mount Ararat and a candy sweet view of the city opens up.
Tip: Look for the many artworks while going up the stairway to explore the cascade of Yerevan beyond the stairway.
2. Zoravor Surb Astvatsatsin Church
One can find a number of Armenian churches in Yerevan. However, I recommend to visit Zoravor Surb Astvatsatsin Church which is one of the oldest surviving Armenian churches in Yerevan.
Tip: Look for Zoravor Church in a backyard of Pushkin and Ghazar Parpetsi Streets. To learn about the diversity of religious architecture in Yerevan, click here.
3. Singing Fountains at the Republic Square
If you visit Armenia during summer, coming to the Republic Square late in the evening is a chance to experience the “singing and dancing” fountains in the heart of Yerevan.
4. National Gallery of Armenia
Soak up some culture at the largest art museum in Armenia, the National Gallery of Armenia located at the Republic Square. The building also houses the Museum of National History.
Tip: Entrance to the National Gallery is free on last Saturdays of each month.
5. Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran)
Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, commonly referred to as Matenadaran, is a repository of ancient manuscripts, a research institute and a museum in Yerevan. Matenadaran, in ancient Armenian means “manuscript store” or “library”.
Tip: Matenadaran Museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00. Days off: Sunday and Monday.
6. Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex
The memorial complex to the victims of 1915 genocide stands on a hill summit in Tsitsernakaberd (Swallow’s Fortress) Park. Built into the side of the hill is the Armenian Genocide Museum, which provides guided tours in Armenian, Russian, English, French and German languages.
7. Erebuni Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve
Erebuni Fortress located on Arin-berd Hill was erected by the Urartu King Argishti I in 782 B. C. The fortress is located in Erebuni district of Yerevan and can be reached either by car or by public transport. The Museum and archaeological site are open from 10:30 – 16:30, and are closed on Mondays and public/national holidays.
Tip: There is no professional photography allowed in the area of the fortress, amateur photography and video recording costs at about 2EUR.
8. Sergei Paradjanov Yerevan House Museum
The Museum is a tribute to Sergei Paradjanov, one of the greatest figures of the 20th-century world cinema. Guided tours are available in Armenian, Russian, English, French, and German languages. The museum is open every day from 10:30 to 17:00.
9. Yerevan Brandy Company
Yerevan Brandy Company fortress-like distillery, where the legendary Armenian brandies under ArArAt trademark are produced, sits on a hill overlooking Hrazdan Gorge. The company offers guided tours and brandy tastings.
Tip: Guided tours are to be booked at least one day in advance.
10. Vernissage open-air market
Vernissage open-air market is located nearby the Republic square and is a place where one can buy authentic and local souvenirs.
Well, I guess the smells, the colours, the sounds and human interactions are something you can explore by yourself. All I can recommend is to wake up at sunrise and walk around the streets and backstreets to get a feel for the pulse of the city.
Come back and tell us about your newbie experience in Yerevan. I bet you will have something to say!