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Looking for some things to do in Armenia?
We got you covered!
Armenia is a tourist destination not known to many. A lot of times, people hear it from friends who have stumbled upon this well-kept treasure, enticing them to go and visit the place themselves.
Others find it in random searches of easiest short vacations to take.
No matter how you have come to know of this small country, you have chosen a great place to escape to. Mountains and monasteries can’t wait to tell their stories; wines and delicacies are anticipating your arrival. Armenia is calling: you must go!
- What are the things to do in Armenia?
- 1. Stay at Yerevan, Armenia
- 2. Enjoy the view of Mount Ararat
- 3. Sample local food and fruit wines
- 4. Ride the world’s longest cable car
- 5. Set foot at the Tatev Monastery
- 6. Admire Lake Sevan from the Sevanavank
- 7. Spot some mountain goats at Noravank
- 8. Explore the Armenian Alphabet Monument
- 9. Have a taste of Armenian music
- 10. Check out the Republic Square
- 11. Experience snow in Mount Aragats
What are the things to do in Armenia?
There is quite a long list of activities in Armenia. The key to knowing what counts as valuable for you is by aligning them with your idea of a perfect getaway. Do we have the same preferences? Let’s see as I list down to you 11 best places to visit and things to do in Armenia.
1. Stay at Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. It provides a rich cultural introduction to anyone visiting the country for the first time.
Staying in Yerevan, Armenia is beneficial for you in a lot of terms and here’s why:
- Your tours are easier to commence from this point.
- Your options for accommodations that will suit your preference are endless.
- You are nearby essential shops, local restaurants and recreational parks.
- You are a stroll away from many interesting tourist sites.
- You are not that far from the Zvartnots International Airport.
2. Enjoy the view of Mount Ararat
Geographically speaking, Mount Ararat is shared by the countries of Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Iran. Mount Ararat is not only considered as one of the top sights to see in Armenia but it also is an important spiritual symbol for Armenians.
It is widely regarded as the resting place of Noah’s Ark in the Bible, hence the name “holy mountain.”
3. Sample local food and fruit wines
Lilit, our tour guide who provided us our places of visit in Armenia, seems to have an endless number of good restaurants in mind. You definitely must try a taste of everything I had: Armenian salad, Armenian yogurt soup and Armenian bread.
There will be persimmon stalls everywhere, calling you by name. Pork shawarmas at your neighborhood stores will save the day.
Get lost in the world of Armenian wines during your stay. A personal favorite would have to be the semi-sweet pomegranate wine. Other varieties include mango and mixed berries.
4. Ride the world’s longest cable car
Going to Tatev Monastery, it is fun to ride the cable car. Although you have an option to ditch the heights and drive up to the complex, I believe this activity is one of those things to do in Armenia that you must not pass up on.
The Wings of Tatev is officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the world’s longest – a bit high yet stable, in my opinion. Two cabins await a maximum of 30 visitors at the holding area in Halidzor, with a restaurant offering Syunik cuisine. These cable cars will take you on a 5-kilometer journey atop the hills and roadways. A one-way trip lasts for a little over 10 minutes.
What’s there to see during your ride?
You will see abandoned villages.
You will spot some hiking trails.
You will see an interesting road leading to the Devil’s Bridge, with a natural zig zag pattern formed by winds and waters over the years. No one can understand how the road and the bridge came to form. Some say people have drowned in the Vorotan River running below the bridge. Others point out how a small amount of water enters the bridge while a big amount exits it.
5. Set foot at the Tatev Monastery
The Tatev Monastery is a historical complex which is one of the oldest in Armenia. Inside the complex, You will find towering fortress walls and medieval structures. An ancient oil mill can be found inside. It was restored into an interactive museum where people can see how Armenians developed their culinary heritage during the early times.
When the master creator finished the Tatev Monastery, he went to the edge of the cliff. After gesturing the sign of the cross, he said: let the Holy Spirit give me wings! He dived down deep – and lo and behold, wings sprouted from his back!
Sevanavank is a monastery complex which housed the first two churches in Armenia after Gregory the Illuminator converted the king of Armenia to Christianity. St. Harutiun’s Church has already come to ruin, but St Karapet still exists.
Two other churches followed after a few centuries as initiated by Princess Mariam, the daughter of Ashot I of Armenia. The desire to build churches here came from a dream she had wherein the 12 apostles flew across Lake Sevan and instructed her to put them there.
7. Spot some mountain goats at Noravank
Don’t be fooled by the name. Noravank, translating to New Monastery, is actually more than seven centuries old. The monastery sits beautifully along cliffs of red rocks. Its artistic sculptor has become famous for his depiction of God, Jesus, prominent Bible figures and the saints in human poses.
You know the cross where Jesus Christ was laid? A piece of that wood stained with his blood is hidden here somewhere…
One of the most notable buildings in the monastery is the St. Astvatsatsin Church. The church was constructed by the prince in a way that the rectangular building’s facade showcases a cross. Below it is the tomb of the prince’s family, and above the very steep stairs is a chapel so small yet so elegant.
Before you go back to your car, stay awhile and look for some mountain goats along the cliffs. The bezoar ibex are native to Armenia. They are notorious for their stupendous ability to climb narrow parts of the mountain.
Did you know?
You can book a hike starting from the Noravank Monastery for the sole purpose of following herds of mountain goats.
8. Explore the Armenian Alphabet Monument
To commemorate the 1600th founding of the Armenian alphabet, a complex within the Artashavan Village was created in 2005. The park includes big sculptures of all 39 letters, plus some statues of prominent Armenians. A Holy Cross made from small holy crosses can be seen standing on a hill just across the alphabet monument. Every year, a small cross is being added to the installation. Imagine that!
9. Have a taste of Armenian music
Two words: Danceable, contagious.
Armenian folk music is Middle Eastern to my ears, a kind of music that I personally enjoy. However, a few notes more and you’ll find it extremely different from the rest. It is its own, and we danced till our heads hurt from all the spins it commands.
Some folk-inspired restaurants have live cultural bands playing for their guests. Explore Yerevan, Armenia and you’ll find quite a lot of choices for an evening filled with mesmerizing food and musical fun.
10. Check out the Republic Square
Are you a fan of big iconic signs in tourist spots? If you’re the type who snaps a shot at names of places on giant fixtures, head to the Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia where you’ll find the I LOVE YEREVAN sign in front of the History Museum of Armenia.
Head there at night and you’ll have a sample of the liveliness of the Yerevan nightlife. You can book a budget-friendly Yerevan city tour here.
11. Experience snow in Mount Aragats
Not to be confused with Mount Ararat, Mount Aragats is the highest point in Armenia. It is a four-peaked volcano celebrated not only of its beauty but also of its divinity.
The story goes like this…
Gregory the Illuminator, Armenia’s patron saint, was the one who introduced Christianity to the dominantly pagan community. While he was praying in Mount Aragats, he was filled with light from a holy lantern.
Nowadays, when people come to Armenia and winter has yet to come, tours offer a drive up the snow capped peaks of Mount Aragats for those who wanted to experience snow.