Since 1918 Yerevan has been the capital of Armenia. It has a little bit more than one million inhabitants and a drive through can be a bit chaotic – especially during rush hours. Yerevan still looks a lot like it did once, magnificent Soviet Union city, so these capital should not stay overlooked when traveling around Armenia.
Yerevan tourist attractions are many, but if nothing else, make sure to see at least a few – marked by many, as best Yerevan tourist attractions.
Best Yerevan tourist attractions
Republic square / Hraparak
The central and main square in Yerevan is the Republic Square, known also as Hraparak among locals. There’s a huge fountain on one side of it, which probably looks glamorous when it works, but unfortunately it was off and in a bad shape during our visit. The Republic Square is surrounded by 5 most recognized buildings in Yerevan – the National gallery, History museum, Government house, Ministry of foreign affairs and one of the best hotels in Yerevan – the Marriot Hotel. The Republic Square was once named as Lenin square and during the Soviet times, the square was not missing the Lenin’s statue.
If you ask us, the Tsitsernakaberd memorial is one of the most emotional tourist attractions in Yerevan and also in Armenia. If you don’t take time for any other Yerevan tourist attractions, you at least take time for this one. Armenia’s history was very bloody and sad during the WW1, as Turks murdered more than 1,5 million Armenians. The horrifying crime was never admitted by Turks and that is also why both countries still grow hate between them. That’s also the main reason why no land border crossing between Armenia and Turkey is open.
The Tsitsernakaberd memorial is grand, but if it will not leave you speechless, the interior will. Inside of the Tsitsernakaberd memorial is a museum of the genocide, with all the photos and descriptions of the brutal acts, which will leave your heart with a big scarf… Nevertheless, it is a great and beautiful done reminder of the past, which should never be forgotten.
Ararat brandy production
Brandy production in Armenia has a long history – everything began in 1877, during the Russian Empire and the Ararat brandy production is the oldest production in the country. Everything started with wine but just one decade later brandy took over the production.
If you’ll be visiting Yerevan and stopping at the Tsitsernakaberd memorial, you will pass the big orange brick building with the name Ararat. A stop is a must and not just to buy the brandy, but also to take part of the guided tour with tasting. The Ararat brandy (especially the older one) is delicious and if you don’t believe us, you might be convinced by Frank Sinatra, Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill – fans of the Ararat brandy.
The Northern Avenue
The Northern Avenue is actually a pedestrian street, opened in 2007, with 450 meters in length. It is full of shops for everyone who can afford to spend up-scaled brands. There are also luxury residences there. If nothing else, a walk on it is interesting and will also take you up to the City Opera house.
The City Opera
Even though you might not buy ticket for any of the shows, it is nice to walk around the Opera House in the afternoons and evenings, as the area is full of trendy cafes and bars. But if you’re more interested in shows, check out last-minute tickets, which can be bought cheaply.
Yerevan has a large stairway, made out of limestone, which is full of modern sculptures. Cascades are also full with trendy cafes and are actually one of the most recognized tourist attractions in Yerevan. The building of Cascades started already in 1971, but everything was finished no sooner than in 2009.
The Blue Mosque
The main religion in Armenia is Orthodox, but we can still find a beautiful Shiite mosque from 18th century here. The Blue Mosque is by now the only mosque in Yerevan.
Karas – national food chain
Armenia got its own first food chain in 2005. We could say Karas is somehow fast-food restaurant, but with some differences – you will not get hamburgers here, but luckily just local Armenian dishes. If you are looking for cheap, good and local food, Karas will not disappoint you. There are menus in English as well.
Every city is unique and much more interesting because of its local markets and you can find some interesting ones in Yerevan as well. It depends what you like best, but flea markets are really worth the exploration.
Tea or coffee
Not long ago, Armenia did not even have the culture of drinking coffee in a café, but Yerevan has lately been getting more and more popular with all kind of interesting cafes. Join the modern locals, while zipping a cup of Turkish coffee or maybe thyme tea…or just indulge yourself with a glass of Ararat brandy.
Yerevan tourist attractions are much more than the ones written above, so take time for Yerevan, as it has much more to offer than you have ever imagined. Even though you were never keen on big cities, Yerevan might surprise you as well.