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Travelling to a  new country may sometimes be challenging especially for people with a completely different cultural background. Armenians are much like any other Europeans in their manners and lifestyle, though a bit more traditional in provinces. If you are planning your first visit to Armenia,  just look through our top tips to save money and the list of dos and don’ts to get a better visitor experience.

Public Transportation in Armenia

When it comes to routes outside Yerevan the most common type of public transportation is the minibuses (marshrutkas). Prices for transportation from Yerevan to other regions of Armenia vary from AMD 200 (USD 0.45) to AMD 7000 (USD 14) depending on the distance. To get to remote sights of Armenia you are advised to take a minibus to the nearest settlement and then continue your way walking, hitchhiking or by taxi. This will help you to save money

There are four major bus stops in Yerevan: Kilikia Central Bus Station, Northern Bus Station, Gai Bus Station and the bus station behind Sasuntsi Davit Train Station. The Northern bus station connects the capital to northeastern parts of the country, while Sasuntsi David Bus Station connects Yerevan to the southern provinces.

Here is some basic information on how to get to cities around Armenia from these bus stations.

From Kilikia central bus station you can take minibuses to Tbilisi and Tehran as well as some towns in Armenia: Gyumri, Abovyan, Armavir, Sardarapat, Ashtarak, Oshakan, Ohanavan, Agarak, Talin, Byurakan, Etchmiadzin,Stepanavan, Alaverdi, Jermuk, Sisian, Stepanakert (Artsakh Republic).

Call centre’s phone number:  +374 10 565 370

From Northern bus station you can travel to Sevan, Dilijan, Ijevan, Vanadzor, Tchambarak, Martuni, Martakert, Gavar and Vardenis.

Call centre’s phone number:  +374 10 621 670

From Sasuntsi David Bus Station you can go to Abovyan, Ararat, Artashat, Dvin, Vedi, Khor Virap and Yeghegnadzor.

From Gai Bus Station you can go to major touristic spot of  Garni and Geghard and villages of Voghjaberd, Hatsavan.

The railway links don’t cover the whole country, but there are several destinations you can reach by train. From Sasuntsi David Train Station you can go to Araks, Armavir, Batumi, Gyumri, Yeraskhavan,Tbilisi, Alaverdi, Ararat, Sevan.

You’ll find detailed information on the schedules here:

http://www.ukzhd.am/en.html

Transportation in Yerevan

The public transportation in Yerevan costs only AMD 100 (USD 0.25). It’s a fixed price for buses and minibuses and the price doesn’t change depending on the distance of your ride. There are no tickets and you pay directly to the driver as you get off. No free seats doesn’t mean no space, because the drivers usually pick up passengers who will simply stand. So it’s better to avoid minibuses on rush hours and use metro instead.

If you cannot figure out which minibus to take simply download the app ”Yerevan routes” (available for Android and IOS devices).

Yerevan Subway

The quickest way around Yerevan is by its underground metro system.  The cost is only 100 dram (less than USD 0.30), with access to 10 stations. Launched in 1981, Yerevan metro offers clean and comfortable metro stations, featuring interesting architectural design and decorated with multicolored stones. The trains run every five minutes from 6:30 am through 11:00 pm. The Yerevan metro runs an overall distance line of 14 km and has become part of the lives of the locals and visitors alike. During the summer months, when it’s too hot, Yerevan metro becomes the best place to cool off.

Taxi service in Yerevan

Official airport taxis cost about 5,000 dram (around USD 11). There are also people at the Zvartnots airport who ask you if you need a taxi as you exit. They will often offer a better price (about half price) than the official taxi as they have already dropped off a passenger and are looking for any possible fare back – though you will have to walk a bit further to get to their cab.

Taxi service in Armenia isn’t very expensive, and sometimes it is actually a better choice when you are in a hurry. The price per 1 km is 100 AMD  (less than USD 0.30), but there is a minimal payment of 600 AMD (from 1 to 4 km). The average price for a taxi ride within Yerevan’s center is 600-700 AMD. You can find taxis everywhere, but not all have meters. To avoid misunderstanding simply download the app ‘’GG’’ to find and order the closest cab to your location with fare pricing.

Keep Connected

Lots of cafes with free WiFi have mushroomed all around Yerevan and in a number of towns of Armenia lately, so you don’t have to spend extra money on internet connection.

There are three GSM service providers operating in Armenia: VivaCell MTS, Ucom and Beeline and their customer service is really good with almost everyone speaking decent English .  It is strongly advised to acquire a temporary prepaid SIM card from one of the providers as they are cheap and convenient, allowing both local and international calls, no charge for incoming calls and no monthly fee. Mobile internet and UMTS are also offered from all companies, as well as the normal full range of wireless services.

A few useful mobile apps for visitors

Spyur Armenia Yellow Pages contains information on over 10000 companies, organizations and state structures of Armenia and Artsakh. Once you download the app, you can get the company’s address, phone number, location on the map and other important information offline.  

Rate.am is another great mobile app available for both Android and IOS devices which will provide information on live exchange rates from Armenian banks and registered exchange stores. With the help of this app you can find the best exchange rate and locate the nearest bank.

Zvartnots Airport app will enable you to keep track of the flights from and to Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan by adding them in your favorites list and receive notifications about changes in the flight status.

A2B Transport, Yerevan Routes and GG Taxi  mobile apps are your ultimate companions in Yerevan. With the help of the first two apps you get the complete lists of all public transports, their routes and stops all over Yerevan, while GG Taxi helps to order cabs with meters, so as not to pay extra for a taxi ride.

VELOPARK mobile app is great for all cyclists visiting Armenia. With the help of this app you can detect the nearest bike parking spots, bicycle rentals and maintenance centres. The app also has other useful features, like adding new places and reviews as well as finding your bike if you have forgotten the parking place.

LOCALZ app will help connect you to nearly 160 guides around Yerevan, receive tailor-made suggestions and book tours.

OTHER YEREVAN app with route maps and location lists is a must have for those interested in urban architecture, while YEREVAN EVENTS app

is your guide to events, such as exhibitions, parties, festivals, workshops, concerts and much more.

HIKEArmenia is a great app for hikers and trekkers who want to discover the wildlife of Armenian countryside. The app provides information on the trail essentials and ability to contact local guides.

Some Dos and Don’ts While in Armenia

Female visitors should be aware that unaccompanied women are an unusual sight after dark. In the outskirts of the city, a single woman walking alone at night may attract attention.

It is very common to offer your seat to elderly passengers, women or children on the public transport. It is done out of respect. It is also considered polite to let women first to the bus or train or to enter a room, and the “ladies first” rule is considered important.

When visiting churches, men and women are supposed to dress modestly (i.e. no shorts, miniskirts, sleeveless shirts/tops), though most churches don’t say anything to tourists passing through. Since entrance is free, lighting a candle can be a nice, but completely optional gesture. You should always talk quietly when you are visiting a church.

Overall, Yerevan is a safe city, though theft and pickpocketing are not unheard of, particularly targeting foreigners. Use common sense and usual precautions when walking on the street at night, especially after drinking.

Hitchhiking is not as common as in the days of the post-Soviet collapse, but it’s still perfectly safe and acceptable. Drivers often don’t expect anything, but offer anyway, and sometimes they’ll take the marshutka fare. Flag cars down by holding your arm in front of you and patting the air. This is how taxis are flagged and buses and marshutnis as well. During your ride, don’t be surprised if you befriend a driver and eventually end up staying a few days in the driver’s house with his family.

If you want to experience a true Armenian culture, stay away from the Westernized hotels and the “Armenian branded” ones and just choose a local b&b. The language barrier will be significant in the rural areas of Armenia if you do not speak Armenian or Russian, but if you take a phrase dictionary with you, you should have no trouble, as people are patient.

Bargaining is uncommon in Armenian stores, in markets, however, it’s a must! Tipping is increasingly common in Armenia, especially at cafes and restaurants. Many Armenians will simply round up their checks, or leave ten percent. Tipping is usually not expected in taxis, but again, rounding up is not uncommon.

If you are dining with Armenians, they will feed you until you cannot eat any more. The food is generally safe, even from the roadside barbeque stands.

The tap water is also generally safe, as it comes directly from mountains, but it’s safer to stick to bottled water. You can get both mineral water with gas and normal spring water on almost every street corner. This water is available in both the rural areas and the capital.