How to travel from Armenia to Georgia (or from Georgia to Armenia) on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train. This Georgia Armenia train guide provides detailed information about tickets, immigration, what it’s like on the train, plus first-hand tips.

Important note: In May 2024, trains between Tbilisi and Yerevan were temporarily suspended due to landslides in northern Armenia. Services between Georgia and Armenia have now resumed. The summer 2024 timetable has been released – details below.

Travelling from Tbilisi to Yerevan or vice versa? The sleeper train that runs every other night during the winter months (October to May) and daily during summer (June to September) is a safe, convenient and best of all, atmospheric way to travel between Georgia and Armenia.

It’s definitely a ‘slow travel’ option (taking just over 10 hours), but tickets are affordable, the train is comfortable and safe, and waking up to early morning views of Mount Ararat as your roll into Yerevan is something you won’t soon forget.

A train carriage with a label reading Armenia.
The new and improved Tbilisi-Yerevan train, which started running again in June 2021 after a brief pause.

If you’re at all nervous about road safety, the train is a more reliable choice than marshrutka minivans, which are notorious for driving at high speeds and with little regard for road rules.

I have travelled between Georgia and Armenia by train three times in the past few years. This guide brings together all my tips for the journey plus advice from other travellers.

Read on for my advice for buying train tickets, negotiating immigration, and making the most of the journey from Tbilisi to Yerevan or Yerevan to Tbilisi by train.

Looking for things to do in Yerevan or Tbilisi? Here are a few awesome Yerevan activities and Yerevan souvenir shops, plus some unique Tbilisi sights and top Tbilisi restaurants to get you started!


Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.


Tbilisi to Yerevan: Quick links


Why take the train?

The first two times I took the Tbilisi to Yerevan train, I thought it was a cool way to travel. On my third ride, I fell in love with the journey.

The summer train in particular is a lot of fun. The excitement you feel from locals travelling to visit family or maybe spend their annual leave on the Black Sea Coast is infectious.

On our most recent trip, the cabin next to us slept four generations of one Armenian family who were off to Batumi for a holiday. They had a tablecloth laid out and a full spread of nibbles, which they generously shared with us.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
On board the old Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

As well as being a cool local experience, you see a lot more of the landscape when you travel by train versus marshrutka or bus. Travelling in the direction of Tbilisi on the summer train, you get to see a big chunk of northern Armenia – from the rusty skeletons of industrial factories in Alaverdi, to the lush Debed Canyon and the rolling fields outside Gyumri.

Check out this short video for a taste of the scenery and people on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train. This was filmed on the summer evening train back in 2019:

Yerevan Railway Station, a Soviet era building with an equestrian statue out front.
Yerevan Railway Station.

Tbilisi to Yerevan train schedule

The Tbilisi to Yerevan train has two timetables depending on the season.

Things change up every year – so don’t rely on last year’s schedule to plan this year’s trip. The summer timetable is normally released in mid-June.

Winter schedule (low season: October-June)

During low season (October 1 until June 14), overnight sleeper train #371 runs from Tbilisi to Yerevan every second night on odd days of the month (i.e. the 1st, the 3rd, the 5th, the 7th, etc.). The train departs at 8.20pm and arrives in Yerevan at 6.55am the next morning.

Tbilisi to Yerevan timetable (winter)

Train frequency

Every 2nd day

Departs from Tbilisi

8.20pm

Border crossing

~10.30pm

Arrives in Yerevan

6.55am

Total travel time

10 hrs 35 mins

Ticket price (GEL)

82-165

Travelling from Yerevan to Tbilisi in winter, train #372 leaves from Yerevan’s main railway station every second night on even days of the month (i.e. the 20th, 22nd, 24th, etc.). This train departs at 9.30pm and arrives in Tbilisi at 7.35am the next morning.

Yerevan to Tbilisi timetable (winter)

Train frequency

Every 2nd day

Departs from Yerevan

9.30pm

Border crossing

~3.30am

Arrives in Tbilisi

7.35am

Total travel time

10 hrs 5 mins

Ticket price (AMD)

12,000-24,000

Summer schedule (high season: June-September)

As with last summer, every train will originate/terminate in Batumi, calling into Tbilisi on its way through.

Travelling from Tbilisi to Yerevan, train #201 calls into Tbilisi at 10.08pm (after originating in Batumi at 3.40pm). It arrives in Yerevan the next morning at 9am. In summer 2024, this train will run every other night (see note in red above).

Tbilisi to Yerevan timetable (summer)

Train frequency

Every 2nd day

Departs from Tbilisi

10.08pm (departs from Batumi at 3.40pm)

Border crossing

~ 12.40am

Arrives in Yerevan

9am

Total travel time

10 hrs 52 mins

Ticket price (GEL)

95-220 GEL

Travelling from Yerevan to Tbilisi in summer, train #202 leaves Yerevan at 2pm and calls into Tbilisi at 10 past midnight. (It is more of an afternoon train than a night train – but there is still an option to reserve a bunk.) It then continues to Batumi, arriving at 7.30am the following morning. In summer 2024, this train will run every other night (see note in red above).

Yerevan to Tbilisi timetable (summer)

Train frequency

Every 2nd day

Departs from Yerevan

2pm

Border crossing

~ 9.20pm

Arrives in Tbilisi

12.11am (arrives in Batumi at 7.28am)

Total travel time

10 hrs 11 mins

Ticket price (AMD)

9,355-22,485 AMD

Timetable anomalies

For months with an odd number of days, the schedule changes slightly. For example, in 2021 there were back-to-back trains to Yerevan on October 31st and November 1st, while the train to Tbilisi skipped a day and only ran on October 30th and November 2nd. The same thing happened on December 31st/January 1st.

Normally there are no trains on the days when the schedule switches over from winter to summer/summer to winter. For example, there was is night train service on October 1, 2023.

Where does the Tbilisi to Yerevan train stop?

The Tbilisi to Yerevan train route looks like a reverse ‘S’. First, the train travels directly south to the border. After passing immigration, it tracks through the top of northern Armenia before turning west to Gyumri then south to Yerevan.

The train briefly stops at several stations between Tbilisi and Yerevan, including at Vanadzor and Gyumri.

In summer, the train makes several more stops between Tbilisi and Batumi: At Zestafoni (for buses to Mestia), Samtredia, and at Ureki and Kobuleti on the Black Sea Coast.

The train waits for around 2-5 minutes at each stop, except for Gyumri, where the train pauses for around 20 minutes. Immigration takes roughly 60-90 minutes on each side of the border (more info about immigration later).

You can board/alight the train at any station. I do not recommend using this train for domestic travel – the fast train between Tbilisi and Batumi is more efficient and more comfortable.

A modern pink and white train station.
Gyumri Railway Station in Armenia.

Ticket types & fares

There are three types of berth on this train:

  1. First class spalny vagon (abbreviated to CB in Russian, also known as ‘soft seats carriage non-modernised’), a private cabin that sleeps two people
  2. Second class compartment (Купейный, also known as ‘compartment carriage modernised’), a cabin that sleeps four people on two bunks
  3. Third class platskartny (Плацкарт, also known as ‘compartment carriage non-modernised’), open-plan sleeper cars with beds and no doors

For summer 2024, there is a fourth category called ‘carriage with numbered reserve seats’. This seat-only (no bed) option is only suitable for the afternoon train from Yerevan to Tbilisi. When I asked about this category in Tbilisi, I was told that I could not buy this type of ticket.

The table below outlines the different train classes, inclusions and ticket prices. Georgian Railways does not publish Tbilisi to Yerevan (TBS-EVN) fares online, so I have to check these in person. Prices are thus approximate.

Note that fares change slightly every day based on exchange rates, availability of tickets and other factors. I try to keep these figures updated, but they are only an indication. All prices are per person.

1st class (Spalny Vagon or CB)

First class carriage on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

DETAILS

  • Private compartment with 2 beds for 2 people
  • All of the above plus a TV

FARE (TBS-EVN)

  • From 220 GEL

FARE (EVN-TBS)

  • From 22,485 AMD

2nd class (Купейный)

Second class carriage on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

DETAILS

  • Closed compartment with 4 beds for 4 people
  • All of the above plus a safety box

FARE (TBS-EVN)

  • From 125 GEL

FARE (EVN-TBS)

  • From 15,545 AMD

3rd class (Platskartny or Плацкарт)

Third class carriage on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

DETAILS

  • Open carriage (no cabin doors)
  • Includes: AC, bed linens, individual lights, power sockets

FARE (TBS-EVN)

  • From 95 GEL

FARE (EVN-TBS)

  • From 13,415 AMD

Reserved seat

DETAILS

  • Seat only (no bed)

FARE (TBS-EVN)

  • N/A

FARE (EVN-TBS)

  • From 9,355 AMD

For 2nd and 3rd class, it is slightly more expensive (~500 AMD/5 GEL) to buy a ticket for a more lucrative bottom bed (Нижнее) versus an upper bunk (Верхнее).

A fourth ticket category called ‘coupe with increased comfort’ was introduced in 2022. It is a regular 2nd class bunk with some extra perks (toiletries, slippers, tea). Last I checked, it costs around 2,000 AMD (14 GEL) to upgrade.

Children under 5 years old travel free. Tickets for children aged 5-10 are discounted at roughly 3/4 the cost of an adult fare.

Tickets for the Tbilisi Yerevan train.
Paper tickets for the Yerevan to Tbilisi train.

How to buy tickets for the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan

Buying tickets for the Tbilisi to Yerevan train is trickier than you might think. There are no authorised resellers, and although it is possible to buy tickets online, the website is glitchy.

Prior to 2023, several agents in Tbilisi could pre-purchase tickets on your behalf for an extra fee. This is no longer an option because staff at the railway station now require a hard copy of your passport.

As of 2024, there is one tour company in Tbilisi that has found a workaround for this rule and is now pre-selling train tickets via Get Your Guide. More details below.

At present, you have three options:

  1. Purchase tickets in person from the railway station (the easiest and most reliable method)
  2. Buy tickets online via the South Caucasus Railways website (fiddly, but possible)
  3. Buy tickets online via Get Your Guide ( convenient, but expensive)

Note that tickets (one-way or return) can be purchased from any railway station in Georgia or Armenia that is located on the train route.

Buying train tickets at Tbilisi station

International trains depart from Tbilisi’s main train station, Central Railway Station. It is located in Didube district adjacent to the Station Square Metro Station.

See the exact location here on Google Maps (detailed instructions for how to get to the station are below).

Ticket counters are located inside the main building on level three. Counters are open from 8am until 8pm daily. After 8pm, there will usually be a few desks that remain open until the last train of the evening departs.

When you arrive, take a paper ticket from the electronic dispenser and wait until your number flashes above one of the cash desks. Staff here speak English, but it helps to have your date of travel jotted down on a piece of paper (or just point to the little calendar on the desk).

You must present your passport at the time of purchase so that staff can enter your details into the system. Don’t forget to bring it with you.

(The first time we travelled on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train, I reported that it was possible to buy tickets with a photocopy or a digital image of your passport rather than the physical document. This appears to have changed.)

The attendant will run through the available seat options and prices. Payment can be made with cash or card, but more often than not the card machines aren’t working. There are ATMs near the escalators if you need to withdraw cash. Payment can only be made in Georgian lari.

It is possible to buy return tickets in Tbilisi, meaning that if you plan to return to Georgia by train, you no longer have to wait until you reach Yerevan to buy your ticket for the trip back. If this applies to you, I highly recommend buying round-trip tickets in Tbilisi.

Buying train tickets at Yerevan station

Yerevan Train Station (Sasuntsi Davit Train Station) is open 24 hours, but ticket desks are only staffed from 9am until 6pm. The station is located south of the centre, adjacent to the Sasuntsi Davit Metro Station.

See the exact location here on Google Maps (detailed instructions for how to get to the station are below).

Tip: Avoid going in the morning because this is when agents come to purchase bulk lots of tickets on behalf of their clients. We once arrived at 8.45am and queued behind two men, each carrying a wad of passports 10 thick. We had to wait a full hour before it was our turn. Buy your return tickets in Tbilisi to save yourself the chaos of Yerevan station.

People buy train tickets at cash desks inside the Yerevan Railway Station in Armenia.
The ticket desks inside Yerevan train station.

The four cash counters for the Tbilisi/Batumi international train are located in the left-hand wing of the station as you enter. Tickets for domestic electric trains to Gyumri are sold in the right wing.

When it’s your turn at the counter, tell the cashier your desired destination and the date you wish to travel. Hand over your passport so they can enter your full name and document number into the system. This will be printed on your ticket. Staff speak English.

Some ticket counters appear to have card machines, but when we last travelled, staff emphasised that it was cash only. There is an ATM inside the entrance to the railway station if you need to withdraw dram.

Even though it still seems acceptable for agents to buy tickets in Armenia, I have seen people get turned away from the ticket desk in Yerevan for not having their physical passport in hand. I highly recommend taking your physical passport/ID card with you when buying tickets from either Yerevan or Tbilisi train station.

Pre-purchasing train tickets online

Starting from March 2018, it is possible to purchase train tickets for the Tbilisi to Yerevan/Yerevan to Tbilisi train online via the Armenian South Caucasus Railway website. You can also use the website to confirm the train schedule and ticket prices (in AMD).

Key points:

  • Online ticket sales open 40 days in advance and close 2 hours before the train departs
  • You can purchase maximum four tickets at a time
  • You can pay with MasterCard or Visa (but not with PayPal, Apple Pay, etc.)
  • There is an additional service fee of around 2,000 AMD per ticket

The page is available in Armenian, English and Russian Just be warned: The website is temperamental. Sometimes the payment portal works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes tickets are available, sometimes there is an inexplicable error message.

Directions for using the South Caucasus Railways website

1. Navigate to this page, change the language to English, and select ‘Aren’t you registered yet?’.

2. Set up an account by providing your name and contact details, email address, passport number, and passport series number (depending on your passport, this might be called ‘type’ on the document).

3. Validate your account via email, then log in and select the ‘Purchase a ticket’ option from the top menu.

4. Enter your departure date. Select ‘Mode to and back’ if you want a return ticket.

5. Enter the departure/arrival stations (‘Tbilisi-pass’ means Tbilisi passenger), and the number of tickets you want to purchase. If you are buying multiple tickets, be sure to tick the ‘In the same compartment’ box so that you are seated together.

6. Select the coach category and class. This part is finicky, but combinations that seem to return a result are: Non-modernized + carriage with numbered reserved seats (AKA 3rd class); Non modernized + soft seated carriage (AKA 1st class); Modernized + compartment carriage (AKA 2nd class).

7. Hit search, and the page will refresh and display a ticket option below the search box (see screenshot below). Click ‘View the trains’ to see your assigned berth. If you’re unhappy with your spot, click ‘Search again’.

South Caucasus Railways website for buying tickets online for the Yerevan Tbilisi train.

8. To complete the order, click on the green check mark on the bottom left. The system pulls your personal info from your profile, so double check everything is correct and edit it on the ‘Profile’ page if necessary.

9. Proceed to the payment page and enter your Mastercard details to complete the purchase.

Once complete, you will receive a confirmation email in English. It states that you need to present your booking number and passport to board the train. However, sometimes there is confusion at the station around e-tickets, so I highly recommend you do the following:

  • Screenshot the ticket confirmation page at the time of booking. If you can, save it in Russian as well. Print both.
  • Print the voucher that is sent to you by email, being sure to include the section with your carriage and berth number.

Please note: I regularly hear reports of difficulties with the website. If you have any updates or tips for booking tickets online, please leave your comments below for other travellers.

Pre-purchasing train tickets through an agent

There are a handful of tour companies in Georgia that are authorised to purchase railway tickets on your behalf without having to present your physical passport.

In 2024, the Tbilisi-based company Well Done Travel started selling train tickets online via Get Your Guide. The good thing about using this platform is that you can request a full refund up until 24 hours before the train departs.

This service obviously incurs additional fees, including a commission. Presently, prices are as follows: 130 USD for first class; 89 USD for second class; 79 USD for third class. That is roughly double what you would pay if you bought tickets yourself at the station.

I have not used this service myself yet, but I have spoken to a staff member about the details. As they explain it, to pre-book your tickets from home, use the Get Your Guide platform to search for a date and a class. The company will then request a copy of your passport via email. Once they have purchased the tickets, they will send the physical document to your hotel in Tbilisi.

If you end up using this service, please let me know what your experience was like in the comments below. Personally, I still highly recommend going to the station and buying your own tickets in person.


Train tickets FAQ

How far in advance should I buy tickets?

This is the question I get asked most frequently. My advice is always the same: Try to buy tickets as soon as possible.

There is a much higher demand for the train during the summer months, especially on weekends and holidays. Tickets regularly sell out. If you are travelling in July or August, I highly recommend buying tickets as early as possible.

In winter, you might be able to get away with buying tickets the day before or on the day of travel like I have on several occasions.

Tickets sales open 40 days in advance. People often return tickets on the day of travel, so if you missed out on a seat, you might be able to buy a last-minute ticket at the station.

If you can’t get a place on the train, there are alternative ways to travel between Tbilisi and Yerevan. More information below.

Are tickets refundable/exchangeable?

If you no longer wish to use a ticket you’ve paid for, you can obtain a refund up until the day of travel. To do this, you’ll need to present your ticket in person at the railway station cash desk. There may be a fee for changing or refunding a ticket.

It may also be possible to upgrade your ticket on the day of travel for an additional fee.

Do ticket prices go up or down closer to the date of travel?

Ticket prices locked in until the day of travel, at which point prices change. The 3rd class open wagon tickets decrease in price by around 1000 AMD on the day of travel.

For all other classes, the price goes up (but not by much). At Yerevan Station, for example, tickets for the Tbilisi/Batumi train cost an extra 1000-2000 AMD approximately if you purchase them on the same day.


Departing from Tbilisi

In Tbilisi, all international trains arrive and depart from Tbilisi Central Railway Station, a four-storey shopping and station complex in Didube district.

→ The exact location of Tbilisi Central is marked here on Google Maps.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
Central Railway Station in Tbilisi.

How to get to Tbilisi Central

Tbilisi Central is located in the northeast part of the city, approximately 5 km from Freedom Square. It is adjacent to the metro station (Station Square I / II) where the city’s two underground lines intersect.

To get there from Liberty Square or Avlabari, ride the red metro (First Line) to Station Square I. The fare is 1 GEL, payable by MetroMoney card or chipped debit card.

When you get off the subway, follow the signs towards the Tbilisi Central exit. If you happen to be on the green Saburtalo line – for example, if you’re coming straight from Didube Bus Station – you will need to cross over the red line platform to exit. If you don’t, you’ll pop up in the middle of a hectic market a long way away from the train station. I have taken the wrong exit a few times and it’s never fun, especially if you’re carrying luggage.

The entrance to Tbilisi Central is 100 metres from the metro exit. As you walk out of the metro, you will see a TBC bank on your left. The railway station is the next building over, the one with the white wave-shaped roof.

If you’re taking a taxi, your driver will drop you at the front of the station. A taxi to Tbilisi Central from Freedom Square or from Didube Bus Station costs around 5-7 GEL when booked through Bolt.

The ticket desks and railway platforms are located inside the station building. Once you go through the main door, ride the two escalators up to level three.

How early should you arrive at the station?

If you’re boarding the train at its point of origin (in Tbilisi in winter or in Yerevan in summer/winter), the train will probably be waiting on the platform an hour ahead of time. Passengers are allowed to board around 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time.

Remember that the summer train originates in Batumi and only makes a ~60 minute stop in Tbilisi on its way to Yerevan.

Either way, I recommend arriving at the station at least 45 minutes early to claim your bed and settle in.

You do not need to go to the ticket desk to validate your ticket. Your paper ticket (either purchased from the station or online) is all you need to board – along with your passport and a visa if you need one.

Ammenities at Tbilisi Central

At Tbilisi Central Station, there is a large-ish waiting area with seats adjacent to the ticket desks. You’ll see an electronic timetable board above the escalators that you can use to track the progress of your train.

On the upper level, there is a buffet-style canteen restaurant called Central Food Station that is open from 9am until 8pm daily. There are bench seats with power sockets overlooking the train platforms, and at the back of the dining hall there is a restroom that costs 50 tetri to use.

There are several convenience stores in the area, including an Ori supermarket near the metro station (open until 11pm). There are several ATMs and currency exchange desks located inside the station building.

Luggage storage at Tbilisi train station

If you want to drop your bags off early, there is a luggage storage facility at Tbilisi Central located inside a separate building on the left-hand side of platform 1.

The office is open from 7.30am until 8pm daily. It costs 20 GEL per locker per day. The lockers are big enough to fit a couple of bags inside (we often store 2 carry-on sized suitcases in the one locker).

See here for more information about storing luggage in Tbilisi.

Boarding the train in Tbilisi

When it comes time to board the train, there will be an announcement in Georgian. Keep an eye on the time and double-check the electronic board for any last-minute platform changes.

The train platforms are located two levels down and accessed via outdoor staircases next to the ticket windows. The train to Yerevan usually departs from platform 3.

Carriage numbers (printed on your ticket in the ‘No.’ column) are marked on the outside of the train, close to the doors. Each carriage has its own steward who will meet you at the door to check your tickets. They may cross-check them with your passport/ID so remember to have your documents handy.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
The old Armenia – Georgia train.

On board the Tbilisi Yerevan train

What is the Tbilisi to Yerevan train like?

As mentioned, the old Soviet locomotives that once ruled this route are now gone, replaced with new Russian-made cars. They’re still not the fanciest carriages in the world, but they’re clean and comfortable. I’ve definitely experienced much worse (i.e. Vietnam’s Reunification Express in the early 2010s).

The old brown faux-leather seats and floral carpets of the Soviet train have been replaced with more sterile blue and green plastic fit-outs. Beds have double-layer plastic mattresses and thick pillows – they’re actually pretty comfortable.

Compare the old and new trains:

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
The old second class berth on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.
Second class carriage on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.
Second class berth on the new train. Photo: South Caucasus Railways.

When you board the train, the top bunks will be folded up and the bottom beds set up like regular seats. About 30 minutes into the journey, the steward will hand out sealed plastic packs containing two sheets, a pillowcase and a small towel. You can use these to make up your own bed.

Travellers Keith and Nette took the new train right after it launched and were kind enough to email me all the details. Here’s part of what they had to say about riding in First Class on the new train:

“The train departed and arrived on time. We boarded about 20 minutes before departure and everything was super smooth. About half the cabins were empty in our car. Bedding and such was clean, and we were given water, instant coffee and sweets, slippers, a small towel etc. Bathroom facilities were very good, though the one (of two) with the shower was closed that night for some reason. The train staff are very sweet and give you an orientation before departure, but don’t have English The bed is pretty small and might be uncomfortable for someone very tall or very large.”

Luggage storage, bathrooms, WIFI & other facilities on the train

First things first: There is no dining car on the Tbilisi Yerevan train. Be sure to pack enough drinking water and snacks to last the journey. Hot water is available on board for making tea or coffee, and there is access to a microwave if you want to heat something up.

First and second class cabins have overhead luggage storage above the compartment doorway. These slots are suitable for keeping small bags that are light enough to lift above your head. (To give you an idea of the size of the nook, you could comfortably fit 4 carry-on-sized suitcases side by side.)

Larger bags and suitcases should be placed under the bottom bunks. If you have a large suitcase or something heavy that you can’t lift overhead, you’d do well to reserve a bottom bed.

The new trains have individual power sockets in every berth/cabin, right under the fold-out table. There is WIFI on the train, but don’t count on the connection being fast or reliable.

If you have a Georgian SIM card, use the app to activate roaming and make sure you have some credit on your balance before you leave Georgia. That way you can continue to use your phone after the border crossing.

The rest of the train is fairly basic. Each cabin has a large window fitted with a block-out blind, a folding table, ladders for the top bunks, coat hooks and overhead lights. First and second class cabins also have a small electronic safe above the bottom bunks.

Each carriage has two bathrooms with a toilet, washbasin and shower. Soap and paper towels are provided. As is the way with public bathrooms, these get progressively less appealing as the journey goes on.

Bathroom on the Georgia Armenia train.
A bathroom on the new train. Photo: South Caucasus Railways.

Smoking is prohibited inside the cabins and in the hallways.

There is central AC/heating, but it seems the system only works when the train is moving. If there is a long wait at the border or the train is delayed for some reason, be prepared for a long and rather uncomfortable wait.

Cabin windows are sealed and cannot be opened.

What to pack for the train ride

To reiterate: There is no food cart on the new train from Tbilisi to Yerevan, so you’ll need to bring enough snacks and water to last the night.

The new train has a potable water dispenser and a hot water dispenser for making coffee/tea. First Class and 2nd Class Comfort passengers get a bottle of water on boarding. I still think it’s a good idea to bring an extra bottle of water in case the taps don’t work.

A small pillow, pillowcase and sheets are provided.

Consider bringing:

You should also bring along any important travel documentation, including details of your accommodation and travel dates if you’ve previously visited Azerbaijan (see more in the border crossing section below).

For more packing tips, check out my list of 25 train travel essentials and my Georgia packing list, which includes tips for how men & women should dress in Georgia.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
Somewhere in northern Armenia.

Scenery on the journey

The landscape between Tbilisi and Yerevan is magical. You’ll obviously see much more scenery on the summer train, especially on the Tbilisi-bound train which arrives in the beautiful Debed Canyon area at dusk.

Arriving in Yerevan in the morning, you will be treated to glimpses of Mount Ararat through the window.

Outside of Yerevan, it’s mostly grasslands, farmland and distant hills. Near Debed (especially between Vanadzor and Alaverdi) the landscape changes dramatically as the train cuts through tunnels hewn from rocky slopes lined with thick green forest.

There is a nice lake to see near Amavir. Unfortunately though you can’t spot any monasteries from the window!

Staying safe on the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan

I personally felt very safe on the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan (and Yerevan to Tbilisi), and I’d have no problem recommending it to travellers, including solo females. Just how much security and privacy you have depends on what kind of berth you choose.

The door to our four-person berth was lockable from the inside and fitted with good lighting. The hallways were also well-lit throughout the night.

Don’t be bothered by the red tape all over the doors, air vents and light fixtures: These are intended to stop people from smuggling things over the border. Don’t mess with the seals, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.

In summary: Exercise common sense, and if possible, lock the door to your cabin for security.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
Beautiful Armenia.

Crossing the border from Georgia to Armenia

The Tbilisi to Yerevan train crosses the Georgia Armenia border around Ayrum-Sadakhlo. The state line is about 70 km south of Tbilisi, or 2 hours (give or take) into the train journey. From Yerevan, it takes around 6 hours to reach the border, which is 200 km north of the capital.

Georgian and Armenian immigration are done separately by border agents from both countries, with a short amount of travel in between. All up, it takes around 1.5-2 hours total to pass through immigration.

Most of the time you can stay in your berth, but increasingly travellers are being asked to disembark the train. Stewards do encourage passengers to be ready to leave their berth or answer to border guards if required. The steward will keep your cabin lights on and door open until the immigration agents are finished searching the carriage and processing all passports.

Always hold onto your train tickets because immigration staff may cross-check them against their passenger manifesto.

Georgian immigration – leaving Georgia

The night train reaches the Georgian border zone at around 10.30pm (or around 12.40am if you’re travelling on the Batumi summer train).

Georgian immigration normally takes place on the train, meaning no one needs to leave their berth. Sometimes this changes, though. Under normal circumstances, agents will board the train and collect everyone’s passports. You may or may not be invited into the train steward’s room to sit with border agents and answer a few basic questions.

Border agents use portable computers to run the passports and/or visas. Passports are then redistributed with exit stamps inside. This process usually takes an hour or so, but be prepared to wait longer (up to 2+ hours) at the Georgian border.

If the border crossing takes longer than expected, the train will always make up time to arrive in Yerevan at the scheduled time.

Armenian immigration – entering Armenia

Armenian immigration takes place 45-60 minutes after all passengers have cleared Georgian immigration.

Passengers who don’t need an Armenian visa on arrival can stay in their berths. The procedure is similar: Agents will collect your passport, possibly ask you a few questions, then re-distribute passports with entry stamps once they’re all ready.

Armenian immigration is typically faster, taking 15-30 minutes.

Obtaining an Armenian visa at the border (Armenian visa on arrival)

As of April 2018, people of 45 nationalities – including Australian, US and British passport holders – no longer require a visa to enter Armenia as a tourist for up to 180 days. If you hold one of the lucky passports on the list, that means no more visa fees, and no more disembarking the train for immigration procedures at the Armenian border.

Please visit the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for a full list of visa-exempt countries.

For travellers who do require a tourist visa (including Canadian, Chinese, Israeli passport holders and others), you can either organise an e-visa online in advance or obtain an Armenian tourist visa on arrival at the border.

For the latter, you will need to fill out a standard visa application form, which asks for your intended length of stay, the address of your first hotel, etc. There is a space at the top of the form to attach a passport photo, but when I travelled, no one had one. You might be required to show proof of onward travel.

A 21-day tourist visa costs 3,000 AMD (or 7 USD). There is a staunch anti-bribery policy at the border, so agents may be reluctant to accept foreign currency (GEL or USD) lest there be any confusion over exchange rates and change. Thus, you should pay in AMD equivalent.

Tip: Not every cash exchange in Tbilisi carries Armenian dram. If you want to change some AMD before you leave Georgia, head to one of the small offices in the bottom of the apartment building directly behind Avlabari Metro Station.

When we first travelled, one woman who presented a US note was turned away and we had to lend her GEL. The agents told us to bring AMD next time so we could pay the correct amount. I advise you bring the correct amount of AMD to avoid confusion.

The Armenian visa is a full-page visa, so make sure you have enough room in your passport.

The unofficial policy on travellers who have previously visited Azerbaijan still seems to stand. If that’s you, please do take note of the section below so you can be well prepared.

A hand holding out a passport with stamps from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
My passport full of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan stamps.

Have you been to Azerbaijan?

There is no law or rule against visiting Armenia after you’ve been to Azerbaijan – as long as you meet the visa requirements. However, it’s no secret that the two neighbouring countries don’t exactly get along.

On my first trip to the region, I sensed that Armenian immigration agents were perhaps mandated to discern your prior movements in Azerbaijan. Having just come from Azerbaijan (via Tbilisi), we were singled out and questioned far more intensely than the other train passengers who had not been to Azerbaijan.

After we were granted our tourist visas (still mandatory for Australians at that stage), an agent asked a series of questions about our visit to Armenia (where we were going, for how long, etc.) as well as the nature of our trip to Azerbaijan. He soon pulled out a piece of scrap A4 paper and started taking freehand notes.

He wanted us to confirm our travel dates, give him a list of all the places we went to in Azerbaijan, plus the name and address of our hotel in Baku (which I thankfully had on me). After a few more tense minutes, he handed the passports back and we were free to board the train.

Our bunk mate – an elderly Japanese man who was travelling solo and like us, had just come from Azerbaijan via Tbilisi – didn’t fare so well. His limited English (paired with the fact that he didn’t have his hotel information with him and kept having to return to the train to rummage through his papers) meant that he was kept in the immigration office for over an hour. He seemed to take it in his stride, but it couldn’t have been a pleasant experience.

By the time the three of us got back on the train, it was well past 1am. The steward must have forgotten about us because he neglected to make our beds before he turned in for the night. Luckily we had our sleeping bag liners with us and we were able to use those as sheets.

While everyone’s border experience seems to be slightly different, I don’t think our encounter with Armenian immigration was unusual.

Other travellers have reported a similar situation of having to turn hotel details over to border agents – one traveller’s report on Seat 61 tells of how immigration went one step further and actually telephoned the hotels in Azerbaijan she had stayed at to verify her information.

I have since revisited both Armenia and Azerbaijan multiple times. Sometimes I am questioned, sometimes I am not. It depends, it seems, on several factors including your nationality and the border agent who is on duty.

Bottom line: Be prepared to answer the border agents’ questions, and make sure you have your hotel information written down somewhere handy.

Love trains as much as I do? Here’s how to travel between Tbilisi and Baku, Azerbaijan by sleeper train.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
Yerevan and Mount Ararat.

Arriving in Yerevan

As the train pulls into Yerevan, you are treated to stunning views of Mount Ararat in the distance. Stewards give ample warning that it’s almost time to disembark the train, at which point you should gather up your bed sheets and leave them on the side of your couch.

All trains arrive at Yerevan Railway Station. Note that the free railway station WIFI usually doesn’t work in the early morning. There is a Viva Cell shop where you can buy an Armenian SIM card directly across the road from the station. It opens at 9am.

There is a VTB ATM inside the station building if you need to withdraw dram.

Update: The VTB ATM is no longer working and there is no other cash machine at the station. You might want to exchange a small amount of Armenian dram before you get on the train. In Tbilisi, you can buy dram from the small offices behind Avlabari Metro Station.

Read next: Awesome things to do in Yerevan.

How to get from Yerevan Railway Station to your accommodation

You can connect directly to the metro (Sasuntsi David Station) from the railway station via the underground walkway. Take the stairs on the left before you exit the building then walk through the tunnel. You will see the entrance to the metro on your left.

Yerevan only has one metro line. To get to the centre, ride the train north (in the direction of Barekamutyan) for two stations to Republic Square. Single metro tickets in the form of plastic tokens can be bought from the cash window as you enter the underground (100 AMD per person).

Alternatively, if you want to take a taxi, there is a cab rank out the front of the train station. The fare to Republic Square should be around 300 AMD. Note that a raucous fresh food market is held in front of the station building on weekday mornings, which makes the car park a bit frantic!

Here is everything you need to know about travelling by taxi in Yerevan.

Where to stay in Yerevan


Yerevan to Tbilisi train: The reverse route

In Yerevan, trains depart from the historic Yerevan Railway Station (officially Sasuntsi Davit Train Station, known locally as Kayaran), located off Tigran Mets Avenue.

→ The exact location of the Yerevan Railway Station is marked here on Google Maps.

The interior of the train station in Yerevan, with white domes and gold moulding.
Inside the magnificent Yerevan Railway Station.

How to get to Yerevan Railway Station

Yerevan Railway Station is located in the south of the city, approximately 3 km from Republic Square.

To get there from downtown, you can ride the subway to the adjacent Sasuntsi David Metro Station.

After you come down the escalators at Sasuntsi Station, turn right and walk through the pedestrian tunnel. Enter the train station building by following the staircase on the right, or just walk to the end of the tunnel, pop up on street level, then double back into the station via the main door.

Alternatively, a taxi from the centre of Yerevan to the Railway Station costs around 300 AMD. If you’re taking the summer train that departs in the afternoon, make sure you leave yourself enough time. The traffic was so bad on the day we travelled (a Monday) that it took a full 45 minutes for us to get to the station from Republic Square.

Ammenities at Yerevan Railway Station

Yerevan Railway Station has a more conventional set up. The historic station building is huge and quite beautiful, with ample seating. As well as the amenities in the pedestrian underpass, there are diner-style cafes and a few little shops directly outside the station building.

There are some handy services in the tunnel network under the train station, including xerox/copy shops (in case you need to print off an e-voucher), currency exchange desks, snack shops, and a pharmacy.

There’s also a public restroom that costs 100 AMD to use. Note that there are no toilets inside the railway station so unless the guards are kind enough to let you use theirs (which happened to me the first time I took the train), this is the closest bathroom.

As you enter the station building, you will see a VTB ATM immediately to your right. If you have to kill time, there is a small train station ‘museum’ inside on the right which may or may not be open in the evening.

The station has free public WIFI, but the signal is usually very weak.

There are luggage storage lockers inside the station, but at the time of my last visit they were not operational.

Boarding the train in Yerevan

Train platforms are located at the back of the building. The Tbilisi train usually departs from platform 1.

Someone will be waiting at the main entrance to the platform to check your tickets and direct you to your carriage.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
On the old Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

Crossing the border from Armenia to Georgia

Travelling the opposite way from Yerevan to Tbilisi, immigration proceedings are much the same.

Armenian immigration – leaving Armenia

In winter, the train from Yerevan arrives at the border point in the (very) early hours of the morning. Mercifully, all the immigration proceedings normally take place inside your berth, so you don’t have to step out into the cold, dark night.

In summer, the train arrives at the border at around 9.20pm.

Last time we travelled, exiting Armenia was very straightforward. We weren’t questioned, and our bags were not searched.

Georgian immigration – re-entering Georgia

The summer train crosses into Georgia late in the evening while the winter train crosses the border in the early hours of the morning.

When I last travelled, customs was done on board. Since then Georgia has tightened up procedures. In spring/summer 2022, several travellers reported having to disembark the train to pass immigration inside the station. Be prepared for longer waits of up to 2+ hours.

Georgia has fairly strict policies around tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs. When we travelled, we were asked if we were carrying cigarettes, booze or any medication. According to signage on the train, passengers with prescription meds should carry the original packaging plus a doctor’s letter in either Russian or English.

When we travelled in summer, the Georgian border agent who processed our carriage asked my partner to present his medication and doctor’s letter. She studied everything for a few minutes before handing it back over.

Do you need a visa for Georgia?

Georgia offers visa-free travel for one year to passport holders from more than 70 countries. Citizens of India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and a handful of other Asian and African countries are, however, required to obtain a 90 or 30-day tourist visa prior to arrival.

Check if you need a visa for Georgia here on the official MFA website.

If you’re travelling from Yerevan to Tbilisi by train and you do require a visa for Georgia, you will need to obtain an e-visa in advance. You can do so via the Georgia E-visa Portal or through my partners at iVisa.

Note that if you’re travelling from Tbilisi to Yerevan and later returning from Yerevan to Tbilisi and you require a visa for Georgia, you will need to obtain a multiple entry visa or two separate single-entry visas. I recommend you contact the relevant consulate for advice specific to your situation.

If you are entering Georgia on a tourist visa, you might be required to present additional documents such as travel insurance and/or proof of onward travel.

Kartlis Deda Mother of Georgia statue in Tbilisi, looking out over a panoramic city view.
Tbilisi.

Arriving in Tbilisi

Upon arriving in Tbilisi, the train passes through the northern outskirts of the city before tracing its way along the river.

Tbilisi Central has free WIFI, and there are several ATMs inside the station and directly outside the main entrance where you can withdraw GEL.

How to get from Tbilisi Railway station to your accommodation

If you are arriving on the summer train, you will get to Tbilisi just after midnight. The Tbilisi Metro stops running at 11pm, so you will need to take a taxi to your accommodation.

When you alight the train, follow the staircase at the end of the platform up to the ticket area and waiting room. There are often taxi drivers waiting here to meet passengers – I strongly suggest you give them a polite ‘No thank you’.

I recommend using Bolt to book a taxi. Instead of going out to the main entrance, a more convenient place to meet your driver is the back entrance of the station. On Bolt, this pick up point is marked as ‘Dadiani side’.

To get there, go down the first escalator, make a hairpin bend, then exit through the glass door on the right, near the electronics shop. This will bring you out onto T. Dadiani Street, a much quieter street where there are no taxi drivers around to hassle you.

Expect to pay around 6-10 GEL for a cab to Freedom Square or Didube Bus Station.

Where to stay in Tbilisi

  • Pushkin 10: Budget hostel near Liberty Square.
  • Vagabond B&B: Mid-range hotel in Marjanishvili with communal spaces.
  • Communal Sololaki: Boutique hotel in Tbilisi’s oldest neighbourhood.
  • Stamba Hotel: High-end hotel in trendy Vera with beautiful rooms and restaurants/cafes onsite.

Browse more hostels and boutique hotels in Tbilisi.

Ortachala Bus Station in Tbilisi, with a sign for the Tbilisi Yerevan marshrutka minivan.
Ortachala Bus Station in Tbilisi.

Other ways of travelling from Tbilisi to Yerevan

If you missed out on train seats or you just prefer to go by road, there are other ways of travelling from Tbilisi to Yerevan or Yerevan to Tbilisi.

The closest border crossing to Tbilisi is the Bagratashen-Sadakhlo border. Travel time to Yerevan by road is around 5-7 hours (270 km) depending on the mode of transport you use.

When crossing into Armenia by road, you must disembark the car (or minivan) and cross the border by foot, carrying all your luggage with you. Once your driver passes immigration they will pick you up on the other side. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the time of day, how busy it is, and how many people you are travelling with.

If you are coming from Western Georgia, there is a second crossing south of Akhaltsikhe that you can use to travel to Yerevan via Gyumri.

Option 1: Private transfer with GoTrip

If you want complete flexibility, consider booking a private driver for the day. GoTrip.ge, my favourite transport service in Georgia, has drivers that can take you across the border.

With GoTrip, you can build out a full-day itinerary, stopping at the monasteries in Northern Armenia, in Dilijan for lunch, and at Lake Sevan before being dropped off at your hotel in Yerevan in the evening. The price is set at the time of booking and includes unlimited photo/sightseeing stops along the way.

Check prices for this Tbilisi Yerevan transfer itinerary I created

Option 2: One-way transfer tour

This is a great option if you’re on a short timeline and you want to do some sightseeing along the way. There is a lot to see between Tbilisi and Yerevan, including the UNESCO-listed Sanahin and Haghpat monasteries, and the legendary Lake Sevan, the biggest lake in the Caucasus.

My preferred tour company in Georgia, Friendly.ge, offers a private cross-border itinerary with the option to finish the day in Yerevan. It includes hotel pick up, and stops at Lake Sevan and Dilijan

Check prices here on Viator

Popular Envoy Hostel also runs a transfer tour to Yerevan once a week on Saturdays. Use the code WANDER when you book to receive a small discount.

Enquire here on the Envoy website

Option 3: Marshrutka van or Minivan

Marshrutka van is the most affordable way to travel to Yerevan from Tbilisi – but it is not terribly comfortable. Travel time is around 6 hours, including the border crossing.

Hayreniq Tour runs air-conditioned minivans (an upgrade on the regular marshrutka) from outside the Armenian church near Avlabari Metro Station to Kilikia Bus Station in Yerevan. There are 3-7 departures daily from Tbilisi depending on the season, starting from early morning until the evening. A ticket costs 20-25 USD.

Reserve a seat online here via 12Go and get instant booking confirmation

Marshrutka drivers depart from the same square in Avlabari throughout the day. The fare from Tbilisi to Yerevan is a flat 50 GEL. There is also an option to take a local minivan from Central Bus Station in Ortachala for 30-40 GEL.

Your complete guide to travelling by train from Tbilisi to Yerevan — including route info, tickets, visa information, and first-hand traveller's tips.
View from the window of the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

Tbilisi to Yerevan train: Summary of key points

  • During the low season winter months (October 1 to May), the sleeper train runs every second night (even days for Yerevan to Tbilisi, odd days for Tbilisi to Yerevan).
  • In summer 2024, the overnight train will again run every second night between Batumi and Yerevan, stopping in Tbilisi on the way through. The schedule is different for July and August – see above for details.
  • Ticket sales open 40 days in advance. If you are travelling in summer, especially July/August, it is essential to purchase your tickets in advance.
  • The only reliable way to buy tickets is by going to the station in person. It is possible to buy tickets online via the South Caucasus Railways website or through an agent.
  • Check your land border entry requirements on the Armenian and Georgian MFA websites before you travel. If you need a visa for Armenia, visa on arrival is available. Or you can apply for an e-visa.
  • If you have previously been to Azerbaijan, you should have your travel details and hotel addresses handy (i.e. written out on paper and kept on you during the border crossing).
  • There is no dining cart on the train and no stops for food, so bring your own snacks and plenty of drinking water.
  • If you can’t get train tickets, there are alternative ways to travel to Yerevan. My preferred option is a one-way transfer with GoTrip, incorporating stops at Lake Sevan, Dilijan, and the monasteries in the north.

Do you have any additional information to share? I am always grateful for updates from other travellers. Feel free to leave a comment below.


Bookmark this guide:

Armenia Travel Guide

Discover insider tips, itinerary inspiration, and all the best things to see, do and experience in Armenia!

Armenia Essentials

My favourite resources and tools for planning a trip to Armenia.

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258 Comments

  1. Hello Emily, thanks for all your information – you’re a great help before our upcoming journey. We are currently looking for an option to travel from Tbilisi to Yerevan and wanted to ask, if you know if the train is still on pause – and how long this pause will approximately last. We are looking for a train on an even day mid August and saw on the website that trains will operate from Tbilisi to Yerevan on even dates. Do you know if we can trust this information? Because in July the trains seem to only operate on odd dates. Thanks so much for your help!

  2. Wonderfully helpful, this is really great! I’m trying to purchase tickets online for Yerevan to Tbilisi and back, but I keep getting this error message after following the above steps and hitting search: “Todays currency rate is not entered.” Has anyone else encountered this?

    1. Hi Oliver – I haven’t seen that error before. What date are you looking at for tickets? The train is temporarily on pause due to landslides in Armenia.

  3. Just a warning for those wanting to book an entire private first class compartment online…

    We (a couple) started off by visiting the ticket office in Tbilisi for a Yerevan->Tbilisi 1st class compartment. They told us they only sell a very limited amount and that they were sold out. They told us to buy the tickets in Yerevan. Fearing it will also sell out that side we went for the online option. We tried every permutation of the coach class & category and simply went for the most expensive one thinking that would obviously be first class. To our surprise when we eventually boarded a few weeks later we were placed with 2 other people in second class. They also thought they had 1st class tickets by following exactly our procedure. Luckily they were a wonderful couple from Norway and an hour later we managed (at a reasonable fee) to convince the conductor to make another empty 2nd second class compartment available and we could split up again.

    So if you attempt to buy online check the schedule and calculate the price (which is 52080 AMD for 2 tickets at time of writing). I have just now gone through all the permutations again now and couldn’t find a price as high as that which might imply that – at least currently – 1st class tickets are not available online.

      1. Hi Emily,

        Amazing work and fantastic instructions!

        are there any updates on the Summer 2024 schedule? Trying to book a Yerevan – Tbilisi ticket for mid-June…

        1. Same here. Looking for any updates on June’s schedule. I’ve tried a lot of time and only got “To search vacancies by requested datas aren’t possible”.

  4. Hi Emily!

    Thank you for this wonderfully effective and lucid post about train journey and ticket booking process to commute between Tbilisi and Yeravan (and the other way around). The level of granular details were really thought through and helpful.

    Using your tips, I booked a ticket for myself from Yerevan to Tbilisi for April beginning.
    The website is pretty smooth, no bugs or glitches and the payment went through in the first attempt itself. Full marks to them for this.

    Avaiabilty of seats was a challenge though, despite the fact that there’s still a month for my travel date. Also, the booking process was little confusing- there’s somthing called as coach category and has four options to choose from (Non-modernized, Mordernized, Business and Economy class). And the, there’s a filter on coach class, again with 4 options (Carriage with numbered reserved seats, compartment carriage, soft seated carriage, all).

    In a nutshell, there are 16 combinations to choose from. I found this little overwhelming.
    I was seeking a budget friendly options and though I should be able to find something for ~AMD 9K. But the most affordable option was for ~AMD 15K (~USD 35). Looks like there’s been a significant uptick in the fares in the last couple of years.

    Having said that, don’t know what class to expect when I show up at the station. My ticket doesn’t divulge much details- just the coach # and the place (I guess seat #).

    Nonetheless, I am happy that I have been able to book a ticket online. Looking forward to the wonderful journey ahead. It’s the first time that I’ll cross international borders through a train.

    Cheers!
    Rahul

  5. Hello Emily! Thanks for such a meticulous blog. Really appreciate your efforts and insights.
    I’ve read your other Caucasia blogs too and can’t say enough how much they’ve helped me to plan better. I am going on a 3 weeks trip to Caucasia in March, will explore all the 3 countries.

    I have a question as well- please could you shed some light on the train schedules for 2024. I intend to travel from Georgia to Armenia via train in early April (maybe in the other direction as well).

    Many thanks for your asssitance.

    Cheers
    Rahul

  6. Thanks so much for the detailed info on the blog, it definitely helps! I had some unpleasant situation when I traveled from Yerevan to Tbilisi by train on Dec 20th, so just a heads up for future travelers.

    I traveled solo and bought the first class ticket online according to the instructions in the blog post above (it’s a miracle that the site worked, but I have to try several times). When I boarded the train, the conductor put 4 people and a baby in 1 room. The whole first class carriage was empty. I asked the conductor why there were 5 of us squeezed into 1 room when the first class supposed to have only 2 people per room. The conductor told me that I’ve been assigned to the room and have to stay there unless I pay him 30USD in cash. He proceeded to lock all the empty rooms in the carriage. The other passengers in my room also tried to change carriage and was told the same thing.

    I think the conductor saw the opportunity and took it. No one wants to travel with a baby in a small room for 10 hours. We eventually budged and decided to collectively pay the conductor the bribe he asked for. Another solo traveler and I got a room and managed to get some sleep.

    There was no wifi or mobile data in the train. I tried to argue with the conductor about my ticket but I couldn’t access my receipt online. The mobile data only came back when we crossed the Georgian border at around 4.30-5am.

    The conductor also smoked in the carriage, we closed the room’s door but it was too stuffy and warm.

    It was quite an adventure, other than the situation above, everything was great. The bathroom and shower were clean and the border crossing was smooth.

    1. Hi Veryn, thanks so much for your report – I’m really sorry to hear about the drama you had on your journey. I haven’t heard about this situation occurring in first class before. It seems there is always some confusion over tickets purchased online, which is why I suggest printing everything including the receipt so that you have it on paper.

      I’m sure your comment will help future travellers so thanks again for taking the time to write.

  7. Hello,
    I´ll be travelling alone between Tbilisi – Yerevan and I was thinking about purchasing a seat on 1st class. However, I´m wondering if i´ll be alone in the 2berth sleepers or if I must buy two seats.
    Thank you

  8. Hi, this blog has been very helpful and I’ve booked my tickets for a trip next week from Yerevan to Tbilisi using the website.
    I’ve printed off the attachment sent after the order and copies in Russian and English from my purchase history.
    The “e-ticket” contains details of my name, passport etc and the train and seat number with the only other unique bit being the Purchasing Unique Code and 8 digit.
    Is that it? There’s no bar code etc to be scanned.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Graeme, great, that sounds like the best you can do. As an extra precaution I would pop over to see someone at the ticket desk before the train departs just to triple check. Safe journey!

  9. I seem to have successfully booked some train tickets for travel next month from Yerevan to Tbilisi – yay!

    The booking process on the South Caucasus Railway website actually seemed fairly easy. However, I have made our family booking all in my name – so all four tickets show as my name – as I couldn’t seem to see any way to input names of other passengers when booking.

    Does anyone know if this will be a problem when we come to board the train in Yerevan? Or if we have our passports – and my complete booking details – will that probably be okay?

    Many thanks.

      1. Many thanks. Fingers crossed that having my name on all four tickets doesn’t cause any issues! It will be myself, my wife and our young son who are travelling – however, I ended up booking four berths just to ensure that we get to have the sole use of the compartment. Albeit I know some border guards will be joining us in the middle of the night!

  10. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for this site and your full-fledged guides to different routes, cities, etc. I really appreciate that and quite often your info is more correct and updated than I find in Russian. As for Yerevan train I’d like to make an addition re South Caucasus Railway site – despite stating the opposite the system do accept VISA cards

    1. Hi Emily,
      I have tried to book two tickets through the website, but for both it would pull my details from the profile. I assume I have to change the second ticket’s name, any chance you know how to do it?
      Thank you for your blog – got so much inspiration from it! Petra

  11. Hi Emily,
    Thank you for all the information you posted here and on your other pages! I’m planning a trip from Yerevan to Tbilisi in October, and I was checking the South Caucasus Railways website, but I can’t find the overnight train. Would you (or anyone else reading this) know if the schedule for the winter of 2023 is different then previous years as well, meaning no night trains from Yerevan to Tbilisi?
    Thanks!
    Tessa

    1. Hi Tessa, the October winter schedule hasn’t been released yet but it should be the same as last year. In winter there are always overnight trains as the service to Batumi is discontinued. Hopefully the timetable will be up soon.

  12. Hello!

    I would like to book a couple of seats in the night train from Tbilisi to Yerevan on October 1st. In the blog is mentioned that there might not be trains when the winter schedule is taking over. Can anybody confirm if that is still happening? I have been trying to check it in the Railway station website, but it is not returning any result; I do not know if it is still too early, or the website is just buggy. I really need to travel to Yerevan on that day and if I have to find an alternative, I would like to do it as soon as possible.

    Thank you very much for keeping updated such an amazing blog. Thank you!

    Roberto

    1. Hi Roberto, I have been checking too every day and the schedule isn’t up yet. The changeover happens on September 30, so hopefully the website will be updated soon.

  13. When trying to book Tiblisi/Yerevan/Tiblisi tickets via the South Caucasus Railway website – if receiving the message ‘To search vacancies by requested datas aren’t possible’, does that usually mean that seats on a particular journey are now sold out – or is it just often a quirk of the ‘buggy’ website that such a message is received when trying to book?

    1. Hi Andy – in my experience it often means that tickets haven’t been released. Are you trying to book for a date after September 15? I noticed today that that’s the last available date on the site. They will switch to the winter schedule then, and tickets will be released closer to the date.

      1. Many thanks for your reply – much appreciated. Yep, I was looking at some post mid-September dates – and so I’ll hold off for a bit more and hopefully the railway company will update with new winter timetable details in due course. I’d imagine there could be a good job going at the Southern Caucasus Railway Company, for someone who has good website building/development skills! Keep up the great work on your own website/blog – some fascinating and insightful reading.

  14. I just bought two first class tickets from Tbilisi to Yerevan in late September on the web site, without trouble. Thank you very much for all the tips and instructions Emily!

  15. Hi Emily,
    Thanks so much for this blog. It’s incredibly helpful! I arrive in Armenia in a few days and will hopefully take the Yerevan-Tbilisi train around 10 Sept. Just to confirm, is it right that there is no sleeper train in summer and that the only option is the 2pm train that arrives Tbilisi at 0:11? A few websites mention a train leaving Yerevan at 9.30pm, but this seems like it might be old info..
    Best wishes,
    Matt

    1. Hi Matt – this is correct. The train continues on to Batumi. It has been that way for many years now, I took the train in 2019 and it left in the afternoon. Enjoy the ride!

  16. Hello!

    Firstly, thank you for the detailed information! I’ve experienced the buggy-ness of the online booking website and decided that it will be better buying the tickets there in person.

    I plan to arrive in Tbilisi 3-4 days before travelling to Yerevan in December. Will I be taking a big risk of the tickets being sold out while buying it at the station? I understand December isn’t the peak season but I’m still concerned about how fast the ticket will be sold out. Should I arrive earlier to guarantee my tickets for a specific date?

  17. Hello, Emily! Thank you so much for all the detailed information!

    I have two questions:

    1) When we are asked to leave the train to answer questions, shall we take our luggage with us? If not, is there a risk of being robbed?

    2) Mom and 3 years old daughter travelling. You think it would be better the night train or the daily marshkruta.? I know you prefer the train. But if I have to get out of the train to cross the border in the middle of the night and have to wake her up, I wonder how complicated it could get…. Thank you!

    1. Hi Naty, you don’t have to take your luggage but I would absolutely take any valuables. Personally I would not feel comfortable taking a child on that road, but it’s entirely up to you! There are also private transfers available that allow you to do some sightseeing along the way.

  18. Hi Emily,

    First of all, this post is amazing. Really helped a lot! However, I do get stuck on purchasing a ticket on the Armenian Railroad website.

    As you mentioned, the website is buggy and only the ‘non-modernized’ coach category option seems to work. Do you know how to purchase a ticket for a private business class compartment for two people? From the looks of it, when you book a non-modernized coach ticket, you automatically end up in second class.

  19. Dear Emilio,

    thank you for much valuable information. Unfortunately I also have a problem buying tickets online (message “To search vacancies by requested datas aren’t possible). I wanted to buy a single ticket from Yerevan to Batumi. Do you perhaps know if tickets for such a route are sold at all at the Tbilisi railway station?

    Regards,

      1. Hi Emily
        Your blog is very helpful, thanks! So far our travel in Georgia has been great!.

        Unfortunately we are not able to open the website to book online tickets. It seems not to work at all. Does anyone here know if there are still train tickets available (for Barumii-Yerevan or Tbilisi-Yerevan)? We are in Ureki (close to Batumi) right now, but will head back to Tbilisi in a few days and try to buy tickets to Yerevan at the Tbilisi train station.

        All info is welcome, thanks!

        Stefanie

        1. Hi Stefanie – that’s strange, it’s working for me. You can try buying tickets at Ureki station as the summer train also stops there. Otherwise they are sold in Batumi, too. Good luck!

  20. Dear Emily,

    thank you very much for your helpful guide. I am trying to book a ticket online one-way from Tbilisi to Yerevan in mid-august.
    I registered on the website, and I can correctly login without any issues. I wrote the information as mentioned in the above screenshot you shared. However, when I tried to look for trains to book for 2 people – I tried on odd days as you suggested – it appears the following message at the bottom of the page in red: “To search vacancies by requested datas aren’t possible”. The message appears whatever date I try to look at for the whole months of July and August (I tried both).

    As you mentioned if I don’t manage to book the tickets in advance I will have a hard time finding my way to Yerevan in mid-August.

    Do you have any suggestions about which other ways I might try?

    1. Hello Leonard, yes I am getting that message for dates in mid-August too. I am not sure why – it could be that tickets are already sold out. Unfortunately the website doesn’t give much away. Maybe try it again closer to the date. Or else you can try your luck with buying tickets at the station, just make sure you have a backup plan (marshrutka or taxi) in mind.

    2. Hello Leonard,
      I am also trying to buy some tickets from Tbilissi to Yerevan (13th august), and receive the same kind of error message: “to search vacancies by requested datas aren’t possible”.

      I wanted to know if you ever found any solutions to that issue ?
      Thank you in advance!

  21. Hi Emily,
    I want to go from TBS to Gyumuri. Do you think it makes sense to take the sleeper train? What time in the morning would it arrive? Thanks!

    1. Hello Hugh, yes sure – otherwise you will have to change vans as there is no direct marshrutka service from Tbilisi to Gyumri that I’m aware of. The train arrives in Gyumri at 6am.

  22. Hi, I just need an advice, is the train available if we wish to travel from Tblisi to Yerevan on 29 July 2023? We will be arriving on 28 July in Tblisi and planning to take the train going to Armenia.. I’m a bit confused on the schedule of summer train… Thank u

      1. Hi, I read your post that it is better to buy train tickets a few days advance going to Yerevan. Wouldn’t be hard for us to buy tickets on the train station upon arrival in Tbilisi on 28 July to travel in Yerevan on next day – 29 July? Also, you mentioned we can also buy tickets for returning back from Yerevan to Tbilisi (on the same time if we purchase tickets going to Yerevan) as we plan to return on 3 August from Yerevan? I would really appreciate your advise.. Thank you

        1. Hi Jasmin – July is peak season so there is a chance the train will be sold out. I would highly recommend buying tickets sooner, the website is up and working at the moment if you want to try that. And yes, you can buy your return ticket in Tbilisi.

          1. Hi Ms Emily, We are currently in Armenia right now and we will travel back to Tbilisi tomorrow via train. Is Bolt taxi available 24/7? as we will be arriving in Tbilisi by 12 midnight. Also can you suggest which bank in Georgia can we withdraw our cash through ATM? Thank you so much

          2. Hi Jasmin, yes Bolt is available 24/7 in Tbilisi. I recommend using CartuBank or Basisbank as they have higher withdrawal limits. Otherwise TBC and BOG are just fine as well. Safe travels!

  23. Wow, thank you for this post. It is truly useful. So thankful for this.

    May I please ask you a question. I will be doing this journey around 18th or 19th September 2023, going from Yerevan to Tbilisi. Will those dates count as summer season or winter.

    As according to the timetables the train arrives in Tbilisi at 00.11. What’s the best way to approach the arrival? I suppose public transport will not work in Tbilisi after midnight right, so I would have to take a taxi to my accommodation?

    Thank you for your time again.

    1. Hi Oscar – yes that’s right, summer schedule lasts until October. I have details for public transport and taxis in Tbilisi inside the post. The metro stops running at midnight so best to use Bolt. Safe travels!

  24. Hello,
    I am travelling with y wife and 4 year old Son from Tiblisi to Yerevan on 3rd July 2023
    1. How i can book the ticket online from Georgain Railway site ( Yerevan station not in list)
    https://www.railway.ge/en/traffic-general-schedule/
    2. Do we have train from Georgian Railway & Armenian Railway ? If yes which is better
    3. I want to book ticket online as this is prerequisite to get VOA in Georgia, I am worried if no confirm booking to exite from Georgia, how the immigration office will react to issue us VOA.

    Thanks !

    1. Hi Manoj – you cannot buy tickets through Georgian Railways, you need to go through South Caucasus Railways using the link in the post. There is only one train. I cannot speak to visa requirements, but it is possible to buy train tickets online up to 40 days in advance of your journey. Have a safe trip!

  25. Dear Emily,
    This information has been so helpful. Thank you. I need a bit of advice as based on the information provided here, you mention that in June (summer) the Train runs everyday (at different timings). I reserved hotels accordingly and I’ve been trying to book tickets online but it still shows it’s running only on alternate days. I’m looking at booking the overnight on the 19th of June. I’m in the UAE and will arrive in Armenia only on the 16th. Any advice would be great!
    Hannah.

    1. Hi Hannah – they are always a bit late with updating the timetables when things change to the summer schedule. But it should be updated by the 15th of June.

  26. Dear Emily,

    thanks so much for this super useful guide! A few days ago my partner and I bought our tickets (Tbilisi>Yerevan) from the ticket counter at Tbilisi train station. We only had photos of our passports with us, which was no problem at all, but we did have to pay in cash.

    Although we went there about a week in advance, there were only 3rd class/Platskartny tickets available for the day we wanted to travel (a Friday), so we quickly snatched up the last two 2nd class tickets for the next available date (Sunday). I guess this means that we’re approaching peak season

    Can’t wait to catch this train and explore Armenia, although we will sorely miss beautiful Georgia!

    A million madlobas for all your great work, it’s been incredily helpful!

    1. Thanks so much for the updates, Babs! It’s looking like summer will be a very busy season. I’m glad you managed to get tickets. Safe travels and enjoy!

  27. Hey,

    Do you know if this train is currently working? I’m trying to book tickets online for early May, but so far, it doesn’t seem like it’s working. Is it too early to buy the tickets?

      1. Hi I am currently here at Tbilisi, Georgia. I have some few questions:

        1. Is the Tbilisi Center Railway Station only place to buy train tickets to Yerevan, Armenia?
        2. If so, then what is their schedule? We are planning to go back to Armenia this coming May 25th.
        3. Can we also buy in Tbilisi Center Railway Station a TWO-WAY tickets from Tbilisi to Batumi and vice versa?

        Thanks so much!

        1. Hi Jeanilyn – yes, but you can also buy tickets in Batumi. The schedule is in this guide. And yes of course you can buy return tickets. For domestic trains it’s easier to buy online (I recommend using TKT.GE).

  28. How much possibility there is that in April I may risk finding sold out tickets from Yerevan to Tblisi if I purchase them the same day?

    1. Hi Luca – April is still pretty quiet. But people might be travelling for Orthodox Easter, so I would check those dates. I would try to buy your tickets the day before if possible.

    1. Hi Dave – I would keep your laptop locked in your bag and put the bag under your feet/blanket. That’s what I normally do with valuables on sleeper trains. Lock your berth (if it’s private) too. Generally speaking I think the risk of having things stoled on this particular train would be slim. Have a safe journey!

      1. Hi Emily, thanks a lot for your blog! It has helped me a lot with my trip. Last week I bought a Tbilisi to Yerevan third class ticket and it costed me 98.5 GEL (and it was the very last available one on the whole train). The return one costed me 128.5 plus 1 GEL (a commission). Just wanted to let you know!

        1. Thanks Nito for the information! The increased fare and scarcity of tickets was surely due to Orthodox Christmas. Lots of people are travelling at this time of year. I’m glad you were still able to get a spot on the train!

  29. Hi Emily,
    I am a Chinese (Hong Kong) citizen, and planning to visit Georgia and Armenia in coming late March, would you please let me know if the train crossing the border has equipped by heater (warm air-conditioner) ? Thank you.

  30. Hi Emily,
    Thank you very much for your helpful post! Have been following your blog for some time as I’m planning to visit Armenia and Gergia in early November.

    I’d like to know if I take an overnight train from Yerevan to Tbilisi, do you think I’ll have time to catch the once daily train directly from the Tbilisi station to Kutaisi? Are the trains always on time? Also, will I be able to get the ticket right away at the counter or have to buy it few days in advance?

    That’d be awesome to get a reply from you. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Lea, trains are usually on time so you shouldn’t have any issues. But I highly recommend you take a train to Rioni Station instead – it’s a lot faster and more comfortable. Rioni station is a short drive from Kutaisi and there is a public bus that meets passengers to take them to the centre. The Poti train leaves Tbilisi in the morning and is the best option. Use TKT.ge website to pre-buy your ticket.

  31. Great website, and I wish I knew about it a few years ago when I visited the Caucasus on two different trips in 2018 and 2019. So informative & helpful.

    So I am planning to visit Georgia at the beginning of November of this year, and the plan is to fly into Batumi from Istanbul, and stay for 5 days. And I’m hoping to go to Yerevan afterwards. It seems like there is no airline service operating between Georgia & Armenia during that time of the year, so I’m relegated to having to use the train. Is the train service from Batumi to Yerevan operate only in the summer, or do they operate year round? And if not, would the train station in Batumi sell tickets for a one way train from Tbilisi to Yerevan? Or do I have to purchase them at the Tbilisi Railway Station? I do want to purchase the tickets with enough time in advance, to have availability. Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Hans,

      The Yerevan train only services Batumi in summer (until October). You can still buy tickets at the station in Batumi. It’s not a busy time of year, so you would probably be fine buying your tickets a day or two before in Tbilisi as well. Have a safe trip!

  32. Hey,
    You write the Batumi-Erevan train takes no passenger in Tblissi. According to South Caucasus Railways (Armenian Railways) site, it is possible to travel on this train from or to Tbilissi.
    Departure from Tbilissi towards Erevan is 22:45.
    Arrival in Tbilissi from Erevan is 00:11.

  33. Hi Emily

    I’m hoping to take the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan right around October 1. I understand the schedule changes from summer to winter then. Not having any luck online figuring out if the train won’t run on October 1st because its a Saturday (summer schedule) or if it will run because its an odd numbered day (winter schedule). You have any tricks to know for sure? Deep in planning for 3 weeks in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Exciting!!

    One other question. Do you know if you can just get a ticket from Tbilisi to Gyumri to enjoy a day there?

    1. Hi Ken, normally they skip a day when the schedule changes. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is no train on October 1. I see there is a train scheduled for September 30 – can you travel that night instead? Yes, you should be able to buy a ticket for Gyumri.

      Keep in mind that Azerbaijan’s land borders are still closed. Enjoy your trip planning!

  34. Wanted to add our experience on a recent Friday night train from Tbilisi to Yerevan.

    We bought 1st class tickets a few days ahead of time at Tbilisi, but didn’t need to. The train was half empty. The ticket office did not accept credit card even though they had the machines. So we had to get cash from the ATM across the hall.

    The train appeared to originate in Tbilisi. When we got on, it was a sweltering 36C degrees per the LCD screen inside the train. They did not turn the power on until the train departed, exactly at 8:20pm on time. About 20 mins later the AC turned on, but then turned off again within a hour, never to turn on again for the rest of the journey.

    Around 10:45pm we reached the Georgian border. Nothing happened for about an hour, except for being left to rot in the heat (32C inside at this time). We could not figure out what was going on since none of the train staff spoke English, except that we noticed another train was there at the same time which they probably had to clear first. At 11:30pm customs came and asked us if we had anything to declare. Finally at 12:15am, a Georgian immigration officer came on and collected all of our passports, and returned them at 12:45am. 2 miserable sweaty hours later we were off for Armenia.

    At the Armenian border many men got on and were sweeping the train. The first immigration officer came on and checked our passports. He went through many pages off my passport but didn’t get to the pages with the Azerbaijan stamps before a 2nd officer with the portable scanner machine arrived and he handed them over to the 2nd officer. The 2nd officer scanned and stamped them and handed them right back – no questions about Azerbaijan asked. Total time at the Armenian immigration was less than 15 minutes.

    Despite the 2 hours at the Georgian border, the train arrived in Yerevan exactly on time at 6:55am. Our very sweet attendant woke us up at 6:00am to see Mt. Ararat out the window. When we arrived in Yerevan, the ATM did not work, which the swarming taxi drivers were very excited to tell us about and offer to drive us to an ATM in town. We went down the stairs to the Metro and exchanged our leftover Lari at an exchange desk in the tunnel, and got to the Metro.

    Overall it was a decent journey but in the summer without the AC, I can’t recommend it. Thanks for all the info on this page though.

    1. Thank you very much for the detailed trip report, Shri. I’m sorry to hear that about the aircon – what a shame, those trains have only been running for a year.

      Thanks for the insights and advice, very helpful for other travellers!

  35. Hi Emily,

    This blog post has been very helpful. I am planning on travelling from Tbilisi to Yerevan on the 9th July. I arrive in Tbilisi in the evening on the 4th July, since I cannot buy the tickets online. Would it be fine to buy the tickets 3 days beforehand or should I try to buy them as soon as possible?

    Thanks

  36. Hi Emily,

    Thank you for your detailed guide and review. I experienced the overnight train from Yerevan yesterday and it was an awesome and memorable experience. The border control was smooth and fast, everything mentioned on this guide is exact and helpful.

    @ernmatt.edit

    1. Hi Shri – I can tell you with 100% certainty that the land borders between Georgia and Armenia are open (including the rail border), and the land border between Georgia and Azerbaijan remains closed. I have crossed into Armenia by land twice in the past year.

      The next announcement on Azerbaijan will come on July 1.

  37. Hi, Emily! Thanks for all the information. It’s so helpful. I was just thinking is there any options to buy tickets in advance for people that don’t live in Tbilisi? As the online option right now is not possible it looks quite sad…

    1. Unfortunately not Krista… Best to go to the station as soon as you arrive in Tbilisi. Hopefully they will upgrade the railway website this year.

  38. Hi, we’re planning to use the overnight train from tbilisi to yerevan this January 2022. Are the prices indicated for the rooms/ cubicles posted on top the fee for each person? or this is the price of the whole room? Thank you!

    1. Hi Emily, we will are going to Yerevan from Tblisi in March (2 people) and we wanted to buy the tickets for the overnight train. The website seems to be working for us but we are not sure which option to select for the coach category and coach class. If we want a compartment just for us two should we select the same option as you have above in your picture?
      Thank you

      1. Hi Joao – yes that should be correct for 2 people. The website is not allowing you to complete payment at the moment (we have been trying but no luck) so I would recommend buying tickets in person in Tbilisi. You shouldn’t have any trouble getting a ticket in March as it’s not too busy. Good luck!

        1. Thank you so much Emily! Yes, we are also having some difficulty in booking it online. We were just afraid that it could be sold out or something like that so it helps you thinking that it should not be very busy!

  39. Hi Emily, love your website, so much information.
    Quick question, can I only get on the train in Yerevan going back to Georgia?
    Can i get on in another town in Armenia?

    Cheers Cindy (Brisbane, Australia)

    1. Hi Cindy – I believe you can board at any of the stops mentioned including Gyumri. Best to double check in Yerevan though as things may have changed with restrictions.

    1. Hi Cristine,

      You should check the Armenian MFA page for official advice as things change all the time. But the last I checked, you need either a negative PCR or proof of vaccination to enter Armenia by land. If you are coming back to Georgia by train, you need a negative PCR regardless of your status.

      I hope this helps!
      Emily

  40. Hi! Thank you so much for such a thorough description with all needed details for the train!
    We are planning on travelling from Gyumri to Batumi on the overnight train on September 27, and will be booking the ticket by September 23.
    Is it possible to book the tickets from Yerevan on the 23rd and then pop up in Gyumri on the train on the 27th? Or do we have to board the train from the station we booked the ticket at?
    Thank you for any valuable info on this matter!

    1. Hi Norlena, that’s a very good question! I’m not sure to be honest but I think you should be able to book your seat from Yerevan since it’s the main station – I would definitely give it a try.

      If you get a chance, please pop back and let us know if it worked!

      Have a safe journey!

  41. Emily Lush, Thanks for such a great travel blog!
    I just came back from the three countries and I loved them!

    You are a star! Have a great day

  42. Hi emily, your blog is super duper useful for us. We planned to travel on 2nd week of September. Is it safe to travel from yerevan airport to tbilisi at around 1am via gotrip?

    1. Hi Gladys,

      GoTrip is completely safe, however the timing might not work as the border likely won’t be open until 10am. I advise against travelling on the roads after dark. It might be best to stay the night in Yerevan then make an early start the next morning.

  43. very,very good and detailed blog
    Really provided all the necessary info and more

    I don’t think i can cut this during this trip to Tbilisi but maybe next time
    Thank you

  44. Hi Emily! OMG Your blog is pure amazing!!!
    Thank you so much for all the info!!!

    I am planning to travel by train between Baku-Tbilisi-Yerevan this August and your blog is just amazing!!

    Please, if you don’t mind answering, do you know, by any chance, if Baku-Tbilisi by train or bus is open yet?
    I was planning this trip before corona and not being able to make the first sector by train just makes me so sad!! Otherwise, the only alternative is by plane, correct?

    There are no issues if I start my journey in Azerbaijan, passing through Georgia and reaching Armenia as the final destination right?

    Thank you so much!! 🙂

    1. Hi Ardit, thanks for the kind words! Azerbaijan’s land border is still closed so transport has not resumed yet. Certain nationalities can fly in – you can find that info on the Azerbaijan MFA website or the US Embassy in Baku site is helpful too.

      There are no issues with visiting both Armenia and Azerbaijan (in either order) as long as you don’t enter Nagorno-Karabakh.

      Have a wonderful trip!

  45. I just booked two adult tickets on the 31st July train from Yerevan to Tblisi using
    https://www.railway.am/ru/table
    The English version of the website doesn’t seem to work, but Russian does, once you found the train on the above site click through to
    https://ticket.ukzhd.am/
    It was easy to register on the website, enter all details and then pay. Took ten minutes and the e-mail confirmation arrived immediately.
    So far, so good…

    1. Thank you for the note, Chris! I also tried the system a couple of days ago and indeed it seemed to be working well. I’m glad you got your tickets. Safe travels!

  46. Hello, thank you so much this is fanatic info and I will be using your travel agent suggestion to make booking tickets easier. Is there any requirement for pcr to travel between countries? I will be travelling from UK and my wife from Kuwait so we will have when we land but were looking to stay 2 weeks before we took the train.

    1. Hi Graham, terrific! I’ll tell them to expect you.

      You should check the official ministry pages for entry requirements as things are changing day to day. But I can tell you that right now, both countries require a negative PCR to enter by land.

      1. Ah OK my wife and I had 2 jobs so we don’t need to fly in to Tblisi apparently, I will look into that thanks

  47. Hello, on 29th of May 2021 I will be in Tbilisi. Do you know if the trains from Tbilisi to Yerevan run again please?

    1. Hi David,

      There has not been an announcement yet, I will update the post as soon as there is. I do not see land borders opening by the 29th unfortunately.

    1. Unfortunately there’s no update yet on land border openings. I will update the post as soon as I know – and I’ll probably be on one of the first trains myself!

  48. Hi🐱,

    Thanks 4 this very useful blog 👍😊

    I’m planning to take the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan with my kitten who will be in a special transportation bag, is it allowed to travel with pets please?

    Thanks and have a nice day🕊

    David

    1. Hi David,

      As far as I know pets aren’t allowed on the international trains – but I could be wrong. I recommend calling the station or going to ask in person to get a definite answer. If you find out, please drop back and give us an update as it might come in handy for other travellers.

      Thanks so much! Good luck!

  49. Hallo, greeting from Malaysia!
    Your blog save me a lot of time for researching of the information from Tbilisi to Yerevan. However, it’s very hard to register an account in the train website. I will try it again tomorrow.

  50. Hello,
    I am trying to book tickets from Tbilisi to Yerevan on October 13th, a single adult ticket but each time I try the above date or any other I get an error message; “To search vacancies by requested dates aren’t possible.”

    Did any one ever encounter this error?
    Any ideas how to resolve this?

    1. Hi Dov, I haven’t seen this error message before. Maybe someone else can weigh in. It could be because the date is close to the transition from summer to winter timetable. You might need to wait another week or two for the timetable to be finalised. Just a thought!

    2. Hi Dov,
      Chanon here. Please see my comment just below yours. I’m trying to get the similar tickets for October 3rd and got the same result.
      I emailed Yerevan Railway and asked, they said the tickets will be opened for sale around the end of September. Asked if there is any specific dates, the answer was “not yet”.
      Let me know if you have a way to resolve this, we also needs several tickets and the date is closing in too!
      Thank you!

  51. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for writing this blog. It’s been extremely helpful in navigating Armenian train for us.
    Quick question, we are trying to book a train from Tbilisi to Yerevan on 3 Oct, which is the winter train. Somehow the online system only allows booking on 30 Sep. Would you know if winter train can be booked online as well?
    Thank you very much
    Chanon

    1. Hi Chanon,

      Yes, as far as I know you can book both trains online. Probably they haven’t quite finalised the timetable or released tickets yet. It’s right on the cusp of the changeover from summer to winter schedule. I would give it another week and check again. Also double check for other dates around Oct 3 just to make sure it isn’t a glitch in the system.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Thank you, Emily.
        Yes, that is our plan for now, to check back in a few days. Seems like they need some time to settle the system, as I saw summer train schedule on 1 Oct as well.
        Thanks again, this is super helpful.

  52. Hi Emily,
    Your blog is incredibly helpful! We are hoping to travel from Tbilisi to Yerevan on 1st October but are not sure if the train will be running that night. Everywhere I’ve looked it says high season ends on 30th September and low season begins on 2nd October which leaves 1st October in between. I’m assuming it does run that day as it’s an odd day.
    Thanks, Andy

    1. Hi Andy!

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m afraid that sounds right – as far as I know, there is no train to Yerevan on the 1st. Perhaps you can travel by marshrutka and catch the train back instead?

      Have a wonderful trip. Do let me know if there’s anything else I can help with!

  53. Jacek Cracow
    Hi Ilona;
    How is your journey with 3rd Claas ticket :-)?
    Have a nice stary in Armenia 🙂

    We are back on Poland in our offices🙂
    Regards to your Dad 🙂
    Jacek

    August 12, 2019 at 10:15 am Reply

  54. Hi Jacek (and others),
    We had to buy a third class ticket because everything else was booked! There were really only 2 tickets left. But it’s fine. I am expecting something like a hard sleeper in India.
    My father was Polish, but I am Belgian and living in Cairo for the moment:-)
    Best,
    Ilona

  55. I keep the fingers cross for you. Let me know how is your ticket :-)?

    Jacek

    Ps. Cairo/ Egypt? Your name seems to be Polish 🙂

  56. I AM sorry not to dwóch off the dictionary! Of course I wanted to write: “Let me say some words about…..”

    1. Hi Jacek!

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train.

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the journey. I absolutely concur – it’s awesome travel experience!

      Enjoy your travels in the Caucasus and thanks again for commenting!

    2. Dear Jacek, thank you so much for your comments! Sounds very good. An experience as we like it. I am more concerned about getting the ticket. But we are boarding now (from Cairo where we live) and will do this first thing tomorrow. Best, ilona

  57. Hi Ilona,
    i am back again :-). Let me say domek Worda about the trip by train Tbilisi- Yerewan. IT was
    was very succecfully :-). The journey was really adventure. I would like event to say: “You can’t say you have been in Georgia if you had not gone by night train :-). The train was very old but clean and save!
    I think the train “remembers” if not Stalin then for sure Gorbatchow’s time and his Pieriestrojka :-). The carpets, toilets, all sounds during the trip remains about Georgia communist time :-). I met in the train many people from all over the world:-). Everybody of course could choice the 6 hours bus marshrutka but they prefered to go by this train:-). Nobody has complained! But how can you complain with the exponats in museum :-)? You just accept it and you are happy to experience this alive museum of communist time :-). Finally I absolutely recomende the trip to the past with time machin- the train Tbilisi/Yerewan (or return).

  58. Hi, Emily.

    Great article. I just have one question. I’ll be traveling solo and I’d rather have a cabin to myself (don’t like sleeping with strangers). If I pay for a first-class bed, would I have to pay for both beds to have the whole cabin to myself? Thanks.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Yes, I believe that’s right. One traveller did this previously by booking online, but you can also buy tickets in person in Tbilisi or Yerevan (just explain to staff at the station that you want the whole berth – they speak English).

      Enjoy the journey!

  59. Me too, Jacek. Love trains. Will take a train over a bus or plane any time. Yes, let us know how it was!
    Enjoy!
    Ilona

    1. Hi Emily,
      I’d like to ask for the seat booking, TBSYerevan train, actually I want to book with 1st class train, private compartment with 2 beds for 2 peoples) but I’m not sure for 2 question.
      1. coach class -> I have to choose non-modernized?
      2. Coach class -> which one I have to choose for 1st class (SV) train : carriage with number reserver seat/compartment caggiage/soft-seared carriage

      Could you please advise for me.
      Thanks you so much

  60. Hi Ilona,
    Yes, that’s the best and sure solution. Many people resign and go by bus, but I stick to night train:-),

    Tomorrow is my train trip ;-). Exciting 🙂
    I will let you how IT was -).
    Jacek

  61. Dear Jacek,
    Thank you for this information. So you are suggesting that it is a glitch in the system? Ok, I will try to buy it in the station on the 10th for travelling on the 17th. Hopefully that will be ok.
    Best,
    Ilona

  62. Hi Ilona,
    I had similar problem. I came grom Baku to Tbilisy to but Rocket. For today that’s 2 August 2019 Rocket were solid lut. For tomorrows 3rd August were 4 left for 2nd Claas. For 4 rd August there was quite mamy opportunities. No way you must come to Tbilisi and but IT in person. Then you have 2-3-4 days to see Tbilisi 🙂 or you take 5 hours bus to Yerewan.
    Jacek what’s up —

  63. Hi, thanks for the info!
    What about situation when u want to travel on a train from Yerevan to Tbilisi and its the end of month so 31st and then 1st ? Its both odd days, so is the train not departing then, even though it says … every second night? 🙂
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ola! Good question.

      Yerevan to Tbilisi is actually on even days of the month, so in your example, there would be trains on the 30th and the 2nd.

      I believe that for months with 31 days, the train on the 1st of the next month is skipped. I am not 100% sure, though – I’m trying to find out more info for you now. I’m curious to know this myself!

      It also depends what month you’re travelling. In summer, the trains are daily, and there is a break in the schedule when it changes over from the summer to winter timetable.

  64. Hello
    I’m planing travel from Tblisi to Yeravan 1st october, by train, but I don’t know if it’s possible this day

    1. Hi Angel,

      Hm, you’re right on the cusp of the changeover to the summer schedule. Have you tried searching for tickets online?

      I have a feeling there unfortunately won’t be a train that day. According to the online schedule, the first winter train is on October 2 (leaving Yerevan). Since the Tbilisi trains runs on odd days, the first one will be on the 3rd.

  65. Hi all,
    I am not managing to buy these tickets online. I do everything everyone else says but I keep on getting the message: ‘To search vacancies by requested datas aren’t possible’. I seem to see trains end of August (I think) but is it possible that it is sold out 17 days before I want to travel? If I search via an agent there still seem to be spots.
    Best,
    Ilona

  66. Just paid 39,45 lari for a platzkart (Tbilisi to Yerevan, one way, one person). Maybe I missed something in your blog?

    1. Hi Jakub,

      Thanks for report – there was recently a price update.

      The online ticket price is currently 41 GEL for 3rd class, so that sounds just about spot on 🙂

      Enjoy your trip!

  67. Hi,

    what is the difference between the different “Coach Categories”. I also am trying to book for Aug. 3rd, and when i choose “modernized” I get to choose more options for Coach Class. Why did you choose “non-modernized”?

  68. So detailed information ! Thank you very much. In two weeks time 2-8 august 2019 we go with my wife to Armenia. Train will be our transport mean:-)

    Thx for your help

    (Poland)

  69. Hello,

    Thank you for this informative post. I am trying to book a Tbilisi to Yerevan train for 3rd August. I am able to get the booking up on the website, but I cannot for the life of me get the correct class I want. It only gives me the option of third class. Any ideas?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Todd,

      It could be that 2nd class is sold out. Have you tried plugging in alternative dates, maybe for a weekday? Friday/Saturday trains are usually in high demand in summer.

      Some other people have reported that the system won’t let them purchase 2nd class tickets any more. Unfortunately I don’t have any insight into why this may be… Perhaps someone else will chime in!

      Worst case, you could buy third class tickets and try to upgrade at the station when you arrive.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  70. Hi Emily,

    Great resource as everyone else has said!! Just wanted to add to the mix that I was also successful in booking a ticket on the Armenian ticket website. You have to sign up to an account first and once you have done this all seemed to work fine.

    Mastercard only as others have mentioned. We booked the soft-seated carriage which I guess is the two person compartment because it was the most expensive. Make sure you edit everyone’s details as it will default to the person who’s account it is. Then a confirmation was sent to my email which I hope is as good as a ticket.

    The website is not excellent but once you get more familiar with how it works you will eventually get there! Looking forward to our trip!

    Thanks again Emily for such detailed and comprehensive advice.

  71. Hi – having booked SV Tbilisi>Yerevan online successfully in May and traveled in June, I just tried it again (https://ticket.ukzhd.am/login.aspx) to see if I could replicate / it still works, and it does seem to.

    Here’s what’s working for me:

    – Select “Date of departure” (as a test I tried it with 2 dates: 24 July, and then 12 August – it worked with both… note however you cannot buy a ticket online more than 40 days in advance)
    – Leave “Mode to and back” unchecked (assuming 1-way)
    – Leave “Date of departure (back)” empty
    – Choose “Station of departure” as “Tbilisi-pass.”
    – Choose “Destination” as “Yerevan”
    – Enter # of tickets (total + children if applicable)
    – Under “Coach category” select “Non-Modernized”
    – Under “Coach class” select “Soft-seated carriage”

    Click “Search” and when the page refreshes, scroll up slightly and you should see “You have one minute to select the train” in red, and below that, the following info in table format:

    No. Train ~ Name [route: Batuni-Yerevan] ~ Coach Class [Soft-seated carriage] ~ Coach Number ~ Seats ~ Station of departure [Tbilisi-pass.] ~ Date of departure ~ Destination [Yerevan] ~ Date of arrival ~ Total sum

    You can view the location of your assigned berths by clicking “View the train’s” (next to “Search again”); if you’re not happy, you can click “Search again” and it should provide an alternative assignment (if available). You can’t directly choose exact berths.

    If/when you’re satisfied, click the green checkmark (under the red warning “You have one minute to select the train”), and then “Input data of passengers”, then “next” to proceed to payment screen, then click on the green “INECOBANK” logo, then enter card details (MasterCard ONLY!), then click “PAY”.

    A bit clunky and not the most intuitive, but it did work for me… Good luck!

    1. Awesome – thank you, that is entirely the process I ended up following and we have our tickets. will confirm and provide details about our trip in August!

  72. We have been attempting to use the agent to purchase SV class tickets from Tbilisi to Yerevan in August but have been told that “Currently, SV tickets for the trains to Yerevan are no longer available to be purchased in Georgia.”

    I am not sure whether to interpret this as there is no SV service anymore or just whether the agent is no longer able to book tickets.

    I would love to hear from recent travelers whether they have been able to book SV tickets on the Tbilisi-Yerevan service.

    1. Hi Michael, sorry to hear you’re having trouble. Did you see Jamie’s comment from a few days back? He was able to book SV tickets online recently.

      I’m not sure how to interpret that message, either. I will be taking the train again next week and will ask in person at the station – but it might be too late.

      Hopefully someone else can chime in!

  73. I took the Tbilisi>Yerevan overnight train #201 the other week and wanted to supplement this super-useful post and comments with some info from my recent experience:

    1) I bought my ticket online about a month in advance (https://ticket.ukzhd.am/login.aspx) without issue. I booked SV (1st class) and since I preferred to avoid sharing my compartment with a stranger, I entered my name and passport details in both berth fields and paid for 2 tickets. Within seconds of paying via credit card, I received a confirmation email, in English (from “South Caucasus Railway”).

    I wasn’t sure if that email, which contained a “purchase code”, was in actual fact the e-ticket, or if I needed to show it at the window at the train station so they could print something more “ticket-like”, but it turned out to be the former: my print-out of the email was in fact the actual e-ticket (I confirmed this at the Tbilisi station ticket window when I got there about an hour before the train was due to depart, and later on the platform, the conductor just looked at it and nodded when I was boarding the train).

    2) When I boarded the vintage Soviet train it was boiling hot and stifling; I asked the provodnitsa (attendant) in a sweaty panic if there would be air-conditioning and she said yes. Well, the a/c came on intermittently only for the first hour or two of the journey (and only when the train was moving), and thereafter the blissful blasts of cool dry air cut out altogether, making for a very warm and stuffy night. (I couldn’t see a way to open the window in my compartment, and it was a heatwave anyway so I’m not sure it would’ve helped much.)

    3) I had been to Azerbaijan the prior week and had AZ stamps in my (U.S.) passport, but my experience with Armenian immigration was a non-event: the agent came in with that comically-large portable computer, sat on the opposite bed, ran my passport, was smiley and friendly and didn’t say anything about my having been to AZ or ask me any questions about it either — the whole thing took less than 5 minutes.

    4) I didn’t see a charging outlet in my compartment — people were charging their phones from sockets in the corridor.

    Overall an easy, glitch-free experience, save for the sweatbox compartment (and somewhat jerky, fitful ride). Early morning view of Ararat was glorious. Happy to try and answer any questions people may have!

    1. Thank you Jamie, this is extremely helpful! I’m happy to hear the online ticket system worked for you and that you had such an easy immigration process.

      I am taking the train again next week – not looking forward to the hot and sweaty summer conditions I’ve heard about (last time, I rode the train in winter).

      Safe travels and thanks again for the detailed trip report!

  74. Phenomenal job on providing straightforward, thorough, and deliciously organized information! I’ll be traveling in the area for 3 weeks in June-July. My path will be Georgia-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Armenia-Georgia and I intend to take overnight trains for each journey. I’ve read through a few pages so far and will continue, but I have a few burning questions. 1) Do ticket prices increase as the time grows nearer as they do in Europe? I’m usually the book-everything-in-advance kind of traveler, but after reading through your blog and comments, it seems worth it just to buy train tickets once I arrive. 2) Is there smoking allowed inside the cabins? That would absolutely ruin the train ride for me. 3) Since I’ll be traveling in peak season, should I anticipate any of these legs being sold out? I’m not sure how to book hostels without knowing exactly when I’ll move onward. I do plan to book as many train tickets as I can once I’m on the ground. I know you haven’t traveled in peak season yet, so this question is directed at those who have and may have some insight. 4) How rank are the toilets? I feel like I have officially seen the worst there is to see (Vietnam-Laos border crossing), but I can’t help but wonder if these Caucasus train toilets will “hold my beer” on me. Trying to be mentally prepared. Thank you for your hard work! It’s much appreciated!

    1. Hi Virginia! Glad to hear you’re finding my posts helpful. That’s exactly the route we took.

      To answer your questions:

      1) As far as I know, ticket prices do not go up. The fares are always changing and I try to update this post as often as possible to reflect that. I’ve never come across any indication that fares go up closer to the date.
      2) No, smoking is definitely not allowed inside the cabins (thank goodness)! Probably you will find people smoking in the hallways.
      3) The trains do sell out in summer, yes. I recommend buying your tickets from the station a few days in advance – that will give you enough time to find a Plan B (marshrutka in most cases) should they be sold out. I would be more concerned about the Tbilisi to Yerevan leg, as it’s more popular.
      4) I’ve lived in SE Asia for 3 years – in my experience, the toilets are pretty much on par, maybe slightly better. It’s nothing to worry about, though. Just bring hand sanitiser or wet wipes with you and you’ll be fine.

      Let me know if there’s anything else I can help with!

  75. Hi Emily,

    Really interesting and informative blog.

    Second guinea pig entering the fray at this point. Bought a return Tbilisi-Yerevan ticket online – http://www.ukzhd.am/en.html – yesterday and *did* get a confirmatory email back from CJSC. Trouble is, I’m not quite sure what it is I *have* bought although I’m absolutely positive my account has been charged about £38. Some options on the website worked and some didn’t so I went with ones that did. The email has just details of one leg from Tbilisi to Yerevan and a purchase code leaving me unsure as to whether, a. I need to take further action on this email for the Tbilisi-Yerevan leg of the journey and/or, b. buy another single back from Yerevan. A number doesn’t seem to be very much to be showing a conductor, especially when my own experience of train conductors in the old Soviet bloc had them virtually wanting to know the state of your underwear.

    So, this, I will have to sort out in situ but am not best chuffed. Reason I bought online in the first place was because I thought it might make things a little simpler but this process has probably caused more stress than buying tickets at the station would have. I know this CJSC online system is in its infancy and am sure it will be of great assistance to international travellers in years to come but it doesn’t really tell you very much at the moment and is far from intuitive. Personally, I will be buying tickets on the ground next time, at least until the website becomes a lot clearer.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Mick,

      Thanks so much for the update. Yes, I think the website still has a lot of kinks to iron out. £38 sounds like enough to cover a return leg. That’s strange that the confirmation isn’t more specific.

      I hope it all works out on the ground – keep us posted. This is extremely helpful for other travellers (myself included – I am doing the trip again in July).

      Good luck!

  76. Hi Emily,
    Just to give you an update on my experience of purchasing an on line ticket with Azerbaijan Rail. During the course of yesterday and again today, despite my forwarding several emails to the company there was no response. It would not have been possible to travel last night in those circumstances. My bank has promised to credit my MasterCard with the appropriate amount. Perhaps I was just unlucky, but my advice to would be train travelers in that country, is to proceed with caution with on line transactions.

    1. Hi Joe,

      Thanks so much for updating us and for being the guinea pig in this case. I’m sorry to hear the tickets didn’t work out but pleased you got reimbursed. We purchased our e-visas online with no problem. I wonder if it wasn’t a problem specific to the rail website.

      The lack of communication is a worry!

      1. Hi Emily, We didn’t succeed in obtaining our ‘trial’ tickets confirmation, as I have stated in previous emails. After our money was accepted and the confirmation flashed much too fast and then disappeared. There was no follow up email. I doubt very much if it was a website glitch, because I emailed their official website numerous times. Our bank has to confirm if they will credit my card. In the end we had to pay Advantour 124 E, almost double the true amount, for a two berth compartment. Ironically they ask for feedback from the public as they are aware there are problems. I again replied without receiving an acknowledgement. Sorry for being so long-winded but I feel that potential travelers on the Baku to Tbilisi route at least, should be aware of this. Thanks Joe

  77. Similar to the other comment we’re having trouble using the online booking as we can’t exactly understand the translation of the class available. When we search for “non-modernized” (not sure what that means) that is the only way any available seats show up and it says they’re “soft-carriage” (again, don’t know what that is). Wondering if anyone else has had luck using the site to buy specific tickets (we need first class)? We’re concerned we can’t wait till we arrive as we’re only going to Yerevan for one day so we’d be buying 24 hours in advance for the May 4th train which I would
    assume will sell out. We’re now considering flying to Tbilisi instead although of course that’s more expensive and doesn’t get us the convenience of traveling while we sleep.

    1. Hi Lauren,

      Did you see the tip from a previous traveller about using an agent to book tickets? The price is inflated, but it still might work out better than flying.

      Hoping someone can weigh in and help you out with the booking system!

  78. Hi Emily,
    This may be of interest to travelers in Azerbaijan. My wife and I are going there next month, and we intend to travel in a two berth on the Baku to Tbilisi train. Because their on-line site is very difficult to accomplish, I decided to do a dummy run. I booked the cheapest ticket for one ( 12 E ) and filled in the details as well the 3D Secure additional feature. I should have received my ticket by email but haven’t done so. I noticed their website kept capitalizing the first letter of my address. I think email addresses are case insensitive so it shouldn’t effect the issue. I have written three urgent emails to them – the ticket is for tomorrow night, but so far no reply. My bank has told me that the company has charged my account. Without the email evidence the ticket can not be redeemed at Baku railway station. I know it is an expensive test of the system but I thought I would let you know for potential rail travelers. Joe Keane

    1. Hi Joe,

      This is beyond helpful, thank you! Please let us know how it pans out and if your confirmation shows up tomorrow morning. If not, I will emphasise this flaw as it could obviously derail a lot of future travel plans.

      Keep us posted!

  79. Hi Emily, thanks for your sensible comments. It makes it easier for us to finalize our plans. Planning a trip is almost as exciting as the actual event …almost. It’s nice when you get tour head around it. Best wishes.

  80. Hi Emily,
    I think my reply just now may have gone out before I had finished. I will condense this contribution. Your post has caused us to have a rethink about our schedule. We may stay for the celebrations – like our St Patrick’s Day I suspect. I am not as a rule a ‘Parades’ buff, but this seems different. Bye the way, is the Military Road tour not for the squeamish? We had a nerve wrecking experience before on the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Thanks for your very informed posts. Joe Keane

    1. Hi Joe,

      I’m not sure if there’s a parade, but we attended some nice markets (food and souvenirs), dance performances, etc. Very tasteful. Military Road is fine—it’s not too windy. Just as long as your driver is experienced and doesn’t go too fast. I get motion sickness but I was fine on that particular journey!

  81. Hi Emily,
    Many thanks for your reply. I have changed my plans to try to overcome the problem. We have a very tight schedule to attempt to visit briefly all three countries. So we are going to engage a taxi from Tbilisi to Yerevan and overnight and then back to Tbilisi. Some travellers may be interested to know that Advantour book train tickets on behalf of clients. They cost of tickets work out at approx. double.the initial cost. A final question – we will be in Tbilisi on May 26. This is Independence Day. We had planned a day tour, but some streets will be blocked. Does anyone know if coaches/buses will be allowed out of the city? Perhaps it may be better to stay and enjoy the celebrations! Thanks again. Joe

    1. Hi Joe,

      Many thanks for the agent info. I was in Tbilisi on Independence Day—part of Rustaveli Ave was blocked off for a market which affected city buses, but inter-city buses from the stations weren’t impacted. Maybe someone else can weigh in as well. The celebrations are indeed worth joining in.

      Enjoy!

  82. I have tried to purchase tickets – it seems impossible. Every time that I tried to register something was rejected. It’s ridiculously complicated. I am trying to buy tickets on the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan. I notice that that the pages turn to Armenian after the introduction. Can anyone advise?

  83. Hi. I am UAE resident & I have visa on arrival for Georgia. I want to travel to Armenia from Georgia, by train. Can you plz explain, If it’s possible for UAE residents to travel while on visit visa ? If so, whats the procedure for visa from Georgia – Armenia.

    1. Hi Wahab,

      I recommend contacting the visa office (your nearest embassy or consulate) for specific visa advice. If you’re exiting and re-entering Georgia, you may need a double entry visa.

      Good luck and safe travels!

  84. Hi, thanks for all these informations about train in Caucasus.
    We just bought tickets from Tbilisi to Erevan and the price rose up to 73,84GEL per person for the second class (kupe) at the train station of Tbilisi.
    Guillaume

  85. This is very useful info, thanks.
    I Am looking into going Tblisi to Yerevan (or possibly the other way) in the summer.
    I wondered how much luggage space there is in the compartments, and what the toilet situation is (we’ve reached a certain age…). We are happy to pay first class.

    Thanks

    1. Hi John,

      Great questions. There is overhead luggage storage for smaller bags, plus the sleeper seats flip open to reveal bins where you can store larger cases. As for the bathrooms—fairly standard as far as trains go. That is, not fantastic but not terrible either. I’d be curious to know if there’s a difference between first and second class regarding the bathrooms. I’ll be taking this trip again in a few months’ time, so I’ll find out.

      If you have any updates, please feel free to drop back and let us know.

      Enjoy your trip!
      Emily

    2. Hi! I will be traveling with the train from tbilisi to yerevan with a friend tonight. We have second class tickets. We don’t have a ticket for the same bench. Since we’re both quite young and girls we’re getting a bit anxious. Do you have to stick to the bench or is it easy to switch benches on the train?

      1. Hi Feline,

        Do you mean berths? A second class ticket gets you a bed, not a seat. Normally if you buy 2 places in the same transaction, they will both be either 2 top or 2 bottom bunks inside the same cabin. I don’t know if it’s possible to switch berths, since some passengers board later in the night.

        Have a nice trip!

  86. Brilliant info here. I’ve bookmarked the page as well. I plan to get the train from Tbilisi to Yerevan on January 31st, 2019 so hope it runs as it’s on an odd numbered day. Thanks for excellent info

  87. Thanks for the great info! Still being read by many over a year later!
    My question is, are there other train stops between Tbilisi and Yerevan where we can get off (and get on again 2 days later)?

    We are traveling that route in April 2019 and would like to visit Alaverdi Armenia in between Tbilisi and Yerevan. I see many cities listed on the website where you purchase tickets, but cannot figure out if this train makes stops at other places besides the Georgian and Armenian border control stations. Thanks!

    1. Hi Peter, I would advice on getting a day train instead of the night train—that way you can definitely stop off and arrive at places at a reasonable hour. The night train does make a few stops, but mainly to pick up new passengers.

      I have a Georgia/Armenia/Azerbaijan itinerary post with details about getting to Alaverdi that you might find helpful.

      I hope this helps!

  88. Read your email. I already been to Armenia before for 11 days so I basically been to some of the best common tourist spots. But I intend to go back as 3 country trip. Armenia-Georgia-Azerbaijan for at least 15 days or maybe more. Would it be wise to start in Armenia or Azerbaijan? I don’t have an itinerary yet for this trip but I am trying to do something different than the usual trip. So I intend to do some hiking though I am not sure if November is great month for it. And I will be traveling alone too hopefully I will meet travelers through out the journey.

    I am from the Philippines who is based in the UAE and therefore qualified for visa on arrival as long as I have a valid residence permit in my passport which makes it easier.

    Would love to know or get some recommendations for where to go and what to do specially in Georgia & Azerbaijan but on a budget. I love scenic places too. 🙂

    And lastly, have you been to Nagorno Karabakh?

    Awesome blog! 🙂

    1. Hi John! Thanks for your comment.

      Sounds great! I would probably start in Azerbaijan, only because it’s easier to fly into Baku then to a counter-clockwise route through the 3 countries without losing too much time travelling. I’m not sure about November for hiking to be honest—I think Tusheti will be closed, but Ushguli (Svaneti) might still be open, in which case you could trek up there. There is great hiking in Kazbegi, too, and it’s open year-round.

      Have you been to Sheki in Azerbaijan? It’s a bit touristy but still relatively quiet and well worth a visit. In Georgia, I loved Imereti around Kutaisi, especially Chiatura. Also Bakuriani and the southern part of Georgia is beautiful. I haven’t been to Artsakh, no, but there are a few bloggers out there who have so you should be able to get info from them. Let me know if you need any specific links.

      I recently published a Georgia Armenia Azerbaijan itinerary, so you might find some more inspiration in there.

      Let me know how your plans come along and if there’s anything else I can help with!

  89. Thank you so much for your swift response! Truly appreciate it! 😇 we plan to travel on september.. i guess i might be waiting for your itinerary.. thanks for the heads up about the immigration thing.. actually the route you suggested was my original plan.. im just a little nervous about these immigration peeps..

  90. Hi,

    Thank you for you sharing your Caucasus experience. So far your blog is the most helpful of all the other sources I’ve read 🙂 🙂 My boyfriend and I wanted to travel to these 3 countries for 10 days, do you think that would be okay? another thing, Im still undecided if we would go on Armenia-Georgia-Azerbaijan or Azerbaijan-Georgia-Armenia route. I’m not sure which immigration is less of a hassle. Any thoughts?

    Badly need your opinion 🙂

    1. Hi Mary,

      Thanks so much for the feedback! I’m going to send you an email with more info—but to answer your questions: 10 days will be a push! I recommend just doing the three capital cities + day trips, which will give you a nice taste of each country. I’m putting together an itinerary post now, but it might be too late for your trip.

      As for the route, it really doesn’t matter. I’ve heard reports of strange immigration experiences travelling either way—and other reports of travellers who had absolutely no issue. Based on flights alone, it’s a lot easier to fly into Azerbaijan and do the route counterclockwise.

      I hope this helps!

  91. Thank you very much for sharing your travel experience with us. I’m a solo traveler this August and your blog helps me a lot, however i just want to ask is there a visa again to pay for re-entering Georgia from Yerevan. Because at the airport of Georgia i will take the single entry visa, and going to yerevan via train it will be exit right? Then upon returning to Georgia will i need to pay again for entry visa? Hoping for your kind response

    1. Hi Karol,

      Yes, that’s right. If you require a visa to travel to Georgia then you will need one at the border. If you need specific visa advice, I recommend contacting your embassy or consulate.

      Best of luck and enjoy your trip!

  92. Hi!
    Thanks for your informations.
    I would like to know if it is possible to travel easily on train with several bikes? We are a family with 3 children and we will take with us 4 bicycles.
    Regards,
    Sébastien

    1. Hi Sébastien!

      I’ve asked around, and it seems that while bikes are definitely allowed on Georgian trains, the situation with the inter-country trains is less clear. I’m sorry I can’t provide you with a definitive answer.

      I recommend you ask when purchasing tickets—or try to call them ahead of time. The station staff in Tbilisi speak good English.

      Good luck and happy travels! If you find the answer, please feel free to drop back and leave some info for other travellers.

      Emily

  93. Hi,

    I’m traveling from Manila to Georgia from Nov. 23- Dec 3, 2018.
    I will first land to Georgia then train to Armenia like you did. I will apply for armenian e visa beforehand. Would there be any problem if I leave Armenia by plane back to Manila? or do I have to return to Georgia?

    Thanks so much! ;D I saved this article for later use. x

    1. Hi Paul,

      There is no problem with that in terms of logistics. But I can’t provide any visa advice, sorry. I suggest checking with your local embassy or consulate.

      Have a wonderful trip!
      Emily

  94. Hi Emily,

    Thanks for the useful information provided in your article.

    I am planning to visit Azarbaijan then Georgia and then Armenia. Did you travel from Baku to Tbilisi by train? If yes, what was the procedure to get visa. Can Indian passport holders with United Arab Emirates residence visa enter Georgia by train without visa. Are we issued Georgia visa on the train?

    Hope its not a problem to travel to Armenia via Georgia after touring Azarbaijan and Georgia.

    Thanks in adavnce

    Regards,

    1. Hi Dinesh,

      We travelled to Tbilisi from Baku by marshrutka van. I am Australian, so I didn’t require a visa for Georgia. Unfortunately I can’t provide any specific visa advice—you should be able to find the answers you’re looking for on the relevant immigration website. There is no problem with entering Armenia after AZ, but you may be questioned at immigration so it’s a good idea to have your dates, hotel details etc. handy.

      Thanks! Have a wonderful trip!

  95. Hi Emily! I’ll be traveling solo in Georgia this summer, and hope to ride this train to Yerevan! I’m wondering, what route does the train take? Also, does it make any stops aside from the checkpoint?
    I’m also wondering have you tried riding first class? Does the first class bunk offer any additional comfort or convenience aside from 2 less beds? Thank you for sharing your experience! Can’t wait to experience it for myself!

    1. Hi Ben,

      Great to hear! The train crosses the border at Sadakhlo / Bagratashen. The train makes a few stops throughout the night, but since it’s an overnight service, this was mainly to pick up new passengers (although I’m sure it’s possible to get off early if you want—maybe ask at the counter when you purchase your ticket). To be honest, I didn’t even get a look at first class! There are a few trip reports on Seat 61, so you could have a look there for more info.

      Cheers! Have a great trip!

      1. Hi Emily! Thank you so much for the info. I saw your page on the train to Baku as well. Hope to do either (or both) of these trips during my time here in Georgia!
        Best,
        Ben

        1. My pleasure, Ben! I hope it helps. If you have any updates after the journey, feel free to drop a note in the comments so I can update other readers!

          Happy travels!

    1. My pleasure! If you have any other updates or advice for future travellers, I would really appreciate it if you popped back and left a quick comment!

      Enjoy your trip!

  96. Was on the night train from Tbilisi to Yerevan on March 29th 2018.

    Seems they changed the whole procedure at the Armenian border. The Armenian officers come into the train in each compartment and check the passports of the passengers. No one has to leave the train anymore. Also, there is no more visa fee. All goes very quickly. In 30 minutes the train continues.

    Regards

    1. Thanks so much for the update, Sven! Great to hear that the immigration and visa procedures are becoming more streamlined. What nationality are you, though? It seems that the visa-exemption list is now a lot longer, but some nationalities still require a visa. It was always the case that anyone who didn’t require a visa could stay on the train. I suspect that those requiring a visa probably still have to disembark. Did you notice if other travellers left the train? I have updated the article based on your experience. Thanks again!

  97. Hello, Emily!

    I have been going back to your blog since last year, when we’ve decided to go to Armenia & Georgia this May.

    We’re also trying to do the trip by ourselves, but to save on time & effort (and not get lost!), we’re thinking of using taxis or a private driver to go around Armenia.

    Would you be able to give us an idea how much is an honest taxi fare and how much is too much? If you have details of a private driver, we’d love to hear about it too. Also considering the buses.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Honey! That’s so great to hear 🙂

      I didn’t go much travel around Armenia—only day trips from Yerevan with a company called Hyur Service. Normally I would never book a group tour—but they came recommended, so I decided to give it a go. They were fantastic and very affordable.

      There’s good information about bus routes in the latest Lonely Planet. For taxi fares and private drivers, there’s an excellent group on Facebook for travellers—if you ask there, I’m sure someone will be able to provide you with recommendations. I will email you the link to the group.

      I sincerely hope you love Georgia and Armenia as much as I did. Thank you so much for following my blog!

  98. Hi there
    Thank you for loads of useful tips! Your article is very good!

    You can now buy the train tickets from Yerevan to Tbilisi or Tbilisi to Yerevan online! You can only buy them on Armenian railway, not Georgian one! Here is the link http://www.ukzhd.am/en.html

    Click on tickets online. You will need to set up an online account and it is all in English.

    Here are few rules:
    – you can only buy a ticket up to 40 days prior to departure and up to 2 hours before departure
    – you can only pay using Mastercard credit or debit card (no Visa, Maestro, American Express etc.)
    – you can buy up to 4 tickets
    – you will need to enter passport details of the passengers

    Some of the translation to English may be confusing but it is workable.

    I just got my tickets and looking forward to my trip

    Good luck everyone!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! If you come across any information about the border crossing/visa that you think might be helpful to other travellers, please feel free to drop back and share it here!

      Happy travels 🙂

  99. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for your great post. As a fellow Aussie, I’m stressing about the visa – all the Americans I will be travelling with dont need one!
    I’m planning on getting the train on Friday biggrr from Tbilisi to Yerevan and am looking into the e-visa, but that seems a hassle, especially as it seems you had no trouble getting one at the border. Would you recommend trying for an e-visa in advance or just deal with it there? Also, I won’t have proof of onward journey cos ill just get a minibus or taxi back on Sunday. Will one nights accom be enough proof do you think? Never been to Azerbaijan so that part should be ok. Would appreciate your thoughts, I know you can’t give legal advice!! Thanks

    1. Hi Karlya! Thanks for your comment.

      I wouldn’t bother with the e-visa. Just make sure you have the right cash before you get on the train.

      From personal experience… We didn’t have proof of onward journey, either. We said we would stay in Armenia for a week and were asked for a rough outline of our itinerary. We named a few popular places (we actually hadn’t booked anything yet). We weren’t asked for any proof, and only gave the address of our first accommodation, which was actually an Airbnb. In the end, we ended up staying longer than planned (but still within the visa limit) and purchased return train tickets in Yerevan.

      We were singled out because of the Azerbaijan stamps in our passports. Our fellow train passengers with no stamps were processed pretty quickly. Based on my experience, you need not worry! Just make sure you have the cash, are confident you meet the visa requirements, and you should be good to go.

      Good luck and enjoy the journey! The train is a lot of fun and Armenia is a wonderful place.

  100. Wow! Such a very detailed blog! Thanks for sharing! We will be going straight to Georgia from Yerevan on our day of arrival and this post saved me from doing more research. And I will surely be bringing an extra ID picture for the Armenian Visa.

    Just in case one of your followers would read this comment and would be traveling to Armenia and Georgia on the week of April 8-15, my friend and I will also be there. If you would like to join us (for cheaper cost on tours), feel free to contact me @ anne_jhoe@yahoo.com.

    1. Hey thanks a lot for this..I’m travelling to Georgia on april 11_15 I’ll send her an email..thanks a lot

  101. Hi. Our plan is to travel on March 3 going to Armenia then we will go back on March 4 in Georgia. Do we still need to book out accomodation? We will only stay in Armenia for few hours just to visit the main tourist sights. Do you think tje Immigration will ask us for any booking for accommodation?

    1. Hi! Sorry for any confusion—we were asked to provide the details of our Baku accommodation, not our Yerevan accommodation. If you’re only staying in Armenia for the day and you have proof of onward travel, that shouldn’t be a problem. I recommend double checking with the consulate first though.

    1. Yes, we did purchase at the train station. I’m not 100% sure of the opening hours, but the ticket desks should be open from early until late to accommodate for arriving trains. There is a 24-hour customer service number listed on the Georgian Railways website. You could give them a call to check.

  102. Hi,

    Thank you for this information, it is very handy! I am currently planning a trip to Georgia, Azerbijan and Armenia for March, 2018 for my boyfriend and I.

    I would like to know whether you planned things in advance? I am finding it difficult to book online for train tickets, so I am hoping we can turn up and purchase these at the station. How did you do your trip? Did you book trains and hotels in advance? Do you think there is an issue if we turn up that morning to purchase train tickets for our journey from Tbisili to Yerevan?

    1. Hi Laura!

      That’s right—there doesn’t seem to be any way to reserve tickets online. We showed up for tickets a day in advance and got the final two berths—but that was in April when things were noticeably busier. I can’t say for sure, but you should be ok.

      We didn’t do much planning in advance at all… We booked Airbnbs and guesthouses as we went, maybe a week in advance at the most. My itinerary post has some helpful info about how long to stay in each place and accommodation options.

      I hope this helps! Feel free to email me if you have any other questions 🙂

      1. Hello can you please send in my email the agent for ticket in Georgia?coz I’m planning to go this april. And visa upon arrival right?just wanted to confirm again coz I don’t wanna get trouble as I’m travelling solo☺☺ thanks a lot

  103. I want to ask a question. I have an Azerbajani visa on my passport and I didn’t recall any information where I stay when I was there. I was thinking to get a visa on arrival but I guess that would not be a wise choise. Do you think that apply and get an e-visa before I get there can solve the problem? Or you think I will be face that questions any how? Maybe I should look for where I stayed in Baku. 🙂

    1. Hi Mesut,

      How are you planning to travel to Armenia? I think you may be questioned at immigration, even if you do get the e-visa in advance. I can’t say for sure. I think it would be a good idea to dig up the hotel name and address though, just to be safe!

      Happy travels.

  104. Thank you. This is very informative. I’m traveling to Georgia on Monday- Thursday vice versa. Kinda nervous cause i’m traveling alone. Thank you for this. I’m a backpacker so i don’t want to spend more $ using taxi hehe

    1. Hi Glenn! Glad you found the post helpful. Don’t be nervous! It’s a pleasant journey by train and both cities are wonderful. We met some lovely locals on the Tbilisi to Baku train, which made us feel a lot more comfortable.

      Enjoy!

  105. Hello. Thanks for these informations. What accomodation class options are available? Economy, First, Business and what are the differences? Is there any shower available? Is it possible to book reliably online in advance?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Sven! You have three options on the Tbilisi to Yerevan train—1st class (2-berth sleepers), 2nd class (4-berth sleepers) or 3rd class (open-plan sleepers). Apart from the sleeping arrangements, the only real difference it price—and 1st class is probably furnished a little nicer than 3rd. We went 2nd class and it was adequate. I don’t think there are any showers on board.

      As far as I know, there is no online booking service. If you need to arrange a ticket ahead of time, I would try contacting a travel agent in Tbilisi.

      I hope this helps! Enjoy your journey.

  106. Hello,

    This is very helpful, thank you so much. I planning to travel this coming December.
    Do you know how much is the fare from Yerevan to Tbilisi and vice versa?
    Is there any way to book the train ticket online?

    1. Hi Lilay! Thanks for your comment. I can’t remember exactly what we paid, but Seat 61 puts a second-class sleeper ticket at 32 USD, and I think that’s still about right (maybe a little less). Georgian Railways has an online booking system, but many say the website doesn’t accept foreign credit cards. We didn’t have any luck booking online – we picked up tickets at the station the day before.

      Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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