Visit Armenia: The Ultimate Armenia Travel Guide

I think that Yerevan, which is built from volcanic tuff and is harmonic like a rose, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Pablo Neruda

The Land of Apricots

From the Pink City, Yerevan, to the charcoal-and-gold Gyumri; the emerald Debed Canyon to the sapphire Lake Sevan – Armenia is a country of vivid colours. The smallest of the three Trans-Caucasus nations, it holds its own in terms of history, hiking, food and wine.

Forged in the fires of a tumultuous past, Armenian culture is one of the most fascinating on earth. Every day in Armenia is a brush with history, from the Khachkar cross stones that sit proudly in Yerevan’s city park and mark the way to monasteries across the country, to Armenian cuisine, costume, music, and the alphabet itself.

Travelling around Armenia with snow-capped Mount Ararat as your North Star is truly one of life’s great privileges. This is one country I’ll keep coming back to for the rest of my days.

The Ultimate Armenia Travel Guide: The city of Yerevan with Mount Ararat in the backdrop.

Armenia travel essentials

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When to go

April/May (spring) or September/October. Summer for trekking.

How long in Armenia?

2 full days for Yerevan; 10 days for the highlights; 2-3 weeks to see everything.

Daily budget

35-50 USD per person per day (mid-range hotel; local meals; day tours; museum tickets).

Getting there

Fly into Yerevan or Gyumri; marshrutka/train from Georgia or Iran.

Where to go in Armenia

The perfect Armenia itinerary starts with a few days in Yerevan, a lively city of outdoor cafes, sculpture gardens and buzzing squares. Watch the lavash ladies at work at the GUM Market, and rifle through carpets and antiques at the Vernissage as you hunt for the perfect Armenian souvenir.

There’s a good chance this will be your first real encounter with the Armenian Genocide – an unspeakable atrocity that much of the world seems to have forgotten. Tsitsernakaberd, the national Genocide Memorial and museum, is a must-visit.

Contrast Yerevan with the nation’s second-largest city, Gyumri, known for its lofty architecture and house museums. Visit Vanadzor in the north and Goris in the south, both gateways to incredible nature. Spend a day on sparkling Lake Sevan, Armenia’s jewel, spend a night at the Soviet-era Sevan Writers’ House, find solitude in Dilijan National Park, home to the country’s best hiking trails.

The world’s first Christian nation, Armenia boasts dozens of monasteries and churches, each one more impressive than the last. Khor Virap, Noravank, Geghard and the mighty Tatev, accessed by soaring cable car, can all be visited on day trips from Yerevan. UNESCO-listed Haghpat and Sanahin are my personal favourites.

Along with neighbouring Georgia, Armenia is the cradle of viniculture, so a wine tasting in the Areni Region should also be on your agenda. The Armenian table is one that has been laid over the course of many centuries. Every city, town and small village offers its own incredible cuisine, making this country a real treat for foodies.

Explore Armenia

My Armenia favourites

Best Hike

The Transcaucasian Trail in Dilijan National Park.

Must-eat meal

Dolma, lavash and a Ponchik (filled donut) to finish.

local experience

Shopping for apricots at the GUM Market in Yerevan.

best souvenir

An Armenian carpet from the Vernissage market.