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Coordinates: 40°11′00″N 44°31′00″E / 40.183333°N 44.516667°E / 40.183333; 44.516667

Sights and skyline of Yerevan


Yerevan is located in Armenia
Location of Yerevan in Armenia
Coordinates: 40°11′N 44°31′E / 40.183°N 44.517°E / 40.183; 44.517
Country  Armenia
Established 782 BC
 - Mayor Gagik Beglaryan
 - City 227 km2 (87.6 sq mi)
Elevation 989.4 m (3,246 ft)
Population (2007)[1]
 - City 1,107,800
 Density 5,196.4/km2 (13,458.6/sq mi)
 Metro 1,245,700
Time zone GMT+4 (UTC+4)
 - Summer (DST) GMT+5 (UTC+5)

Yerevan (Armenian: Երևան or Երեւան, Armenian pronunciation: [jɛɾɛˈvɑn]) is the capital and largest city of Armenia and one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. It is situated on the Hrazdan River, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country. It has been the capital of Armenia since 1918 and is the twelfth in the history of Armenia.

The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by king Argishti I at the western extremity of the Ararat plain.[2] After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of the Democratic Republic of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide settled in the area. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century when Armenia became one of the fifteen republics in the Soviet Union. In fifty years, Yerevan was transformed from a town of a few thousand residents during the first republic to the principal cultural, artistic and industrial center as well as becoming the seat of the political institutions of the country.

With the growth of the economy of the country, Yerevan has been undergoing a major transformation as construction sites have appeared all over the city since the early 2000s. Today, the appearance of new buildings, roads, restaurants, boutiques, quarters etc. have started to erase the traces of 70 years of Soviet dominance.

In 2007, the population of Yerevan was estimated to be 1,107,800 people with the agglomeration around the city regrouping 1,245,700 people (official estimation[3]), more than 33% of the population of Armenia.


Etymology and symbols

Early Christian Armenian chroniclers attributed Yerevan's origin to having been derived from an expression exclaimed by Noah, in Armenian, while looking in the direction of Yerevan, after the ark had landed on Mount Ararat and the flood waters had receded: "Yerevats!" ("it appeared!").[4] Another theory on the origin of the name is that the city was named after the Armenian king, Yervand IV (the Last), the last leader of the Orontid Dynasty and founder of the city of Yervandashat.[4] However, it is likely that the city's name is derived from an Urartian military fortress called Erebuni (Էրեբունի), which was founded on the territory of modern-day Yerevan in 782 B.C. by Argishti I.[4] As elements of the Urartian language blended with that of the Armenian one, it eventually evolved into Yerevan; scholar Margarit Israelyan notes these changes when comparing inscriptions found on two cuneiform tablets at Erebuni:

The transcription of the second cuneiform bu [original emphasis] of the word was very essential in our interpretation as it is the Urartaean b that has been shifted to the Armenian v (b > v). The original writing of the inscription read «er-bu-ni»; therefore the prominent Armenianologist-orientalist Prof. G. A. Ghapantsian justly objected, remarking that the Urartu b changed to v at the beginning of the word (Biani > Van) or between two vowels (ebani > avan, Zabaha > Javakhk)....In other words b was placed between two vowels. The true pronunciation of the fortress-city was apparently Erebuny.[5]

The name is also sometimes written as Erevan, Erewan, Ayrivan, and Erivan; former names include Erebuni, Ereun.

The principal symbol of Yerevan is Mount Ararat of Turkey which is visible from any area in the capital. The seal of the city is symbolized by a crowned lion on a pedestal with the inscription "Yerevan" with the head turned back and holding a scepter with the right front leg, which is the attribute of power and royalty. The symbol of eternity is on the breast of the lion with a picture of the Ararat in its upper part. The emblem has a form of a rectangular shield with the blue border line.[6]

On 27 September 2004, Yerevan adopted a hymn, "Erebuni-Yerevan", written by Paruyr Sevak and composed by Edgar Hovhanissian. It was selected in a competition for a new hymn and flag that would best represent the city. The chosen flag has a white background with the seal in the middle surrounded by twelve small red triangles that symbolize the twelve historic capitals of Armenia. The flag shows the three colours of the Armenian National flag on itself. The lion is on the orange background with blue edging.[7]


The remains of the Erebuni Fortress, which was built by king Argišti in 782 BC
The historical Orontid site of Karmir Blur (Red Hill), Teishebaini, Yerevan
An illustration of Yerevan by the French traveler Jean Chardin in 1673

Early history

The origin of the name Yerevan is unknown although it is generally accepted to have evolved from the Urartian name Erebuni. The territory of Yerevan was settled in the fourth millennium BC, fortified settlements from the Bronze Age include Shengavit, Tsitsernakaberd, Teishebaini, Arin Berd, Karmir Berd and Berdadzor. Archaeological evidence, such as a cuneiform inscription[8], indicates that the Urartian military fortress of Erebuni (Էրեբունի) was founded in 782 BC by the orders of King Argishti I at the site of current-day Yerevan, to serve as a fort and citadel guarding against attacks from the north Caucasus.[4] Yerevan is thus one of the most ancient cities in the world.

The cuneiform inscription found at Erebuni Fortress reads:

By the greatness of the God Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, built this mighty stronghold and proclaimed it Erebuni for the glory of Biainili [Urartu] and to instill fear among the king's enemies. Argishti says: The land was a desert, before the great works I accomplished upon it. By the greatness of Khaldi, Argishti, son of Menua, is a mighty king, king of Biainili, and ruler of Tushpa [Van].[9]

Between the sixth and fourth centuries BC, Yerevan was one of the main centers of the Armenian satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. During the height of Urartian power, irrigation canals and an artificial reservoir were built on Yerevan's territory. In 585 BC, the fortress of Teishebaini (Karmir Blur), thirty miles to the north of Yerevan, was destroyed by an alliance of Medes and the Scythians.

Due to the absence of historical data, the timespan between fourth century BC and third century AD is known as the "Yerevan Dark Ages." The first church in Yerevan, the church of St. Peter and Paul, was built in the fifth century and was demolished in 1931 to build the Moscow Cinema.

Arab, Persian and Ottoman rule

In 658 AD, Yerevan was conquered, during the height of Arab invasions. Since then and as a result of the Arab trade activities, the site has been strategically important as a crossroads for the Arab caravan routes passing between Europe and India through lands controlled by the Arabs. It has been known as "Yerevan" since at least the seventh century AD. Between the ninth and eleventh centuries, Yerevan was a secure part of the Armenian Bagratuni Kingdom, before being overrun by Seljuks. The city was seized and pillaged by Tamerlane in 1387 and subsequently became an administrative center of the Ilkhanate. Due to its strategic significance, Yerevan was constantly fought over and passed back and forth between the dominion of Persia and the Ottomans.

At the height of the Turkish-Persian wars, the city changed hands fourteen times between 1513 and 1737. In 1604, under the order of Shah Abbas I, tens of thousands of Armenians (including citizens of Yerevan) were deported to Persia. As a consequence, population became 80 percent Muslim (Persians, Turco, Kurds) and 20 percent Armenian. Muslims were either sedentary, semi-sedentary, or nomadic. Armenians lived in Erevan or the villages. The Armenians dominated the various professions and trade in the area and were of great economic significance to the Persian administration.[10] The Ottomans, Safavids and Ilkhanids all maintained a mint in Yerevan. During the 1670s, the Frenchman Jean Chardin visited Yerevan and gave a description of the city in his Travels of Cavalier Chardin in Transcaucasia in 1672-1673. On 7 June 1679, a devastating earthquake razed the city to the ground. During the Safavid Dynasty rule, Yerevan and adjacent territories were part of the Čoḵūr Saʿd administrative territory. This lasted until 1828 when the region was incorporated into Russian Empire.

The coat of arms of the Erivan Governorate

Russian rule

During the second Russian-Persian war, Yerevan was captured [4][11][12] by Russian troops under general Ivan Paskevich on 1 October 1827. It was formally ceded by the Persians in 1828, following the Treaty of Turkmenchay. Tsarist Russia sponsored Armenian resettlement from Persia and Turkey; by the turn of the twentieth century, Yerevan's population was over 29,000, of which 49% were Caucasian Tatars (then referred to as Azerbaijanis), 48% Armenians and 2% Russians.[13] It served as the seat of the newly-formed Armenian Oblast and subsequently the Erivan Governorate.

The city began to grow economically and politically, with old buildings torn down and new buildings in European style erected in their place. In 1829, Armenian repatriates from Persia were resettled in the city and a new quarter was built. By the time of Nicholas I's visit in 1837, Yerevan had become a uyezd.

The first general plan of the city was made in 1854, during which time the women's colleges of St. Hripsime and St. Gayane were opened and the English Garden built. In 1874, Zacharia Gevorkian opened Yerevan's first printing house and in 1879 the first theatre, sited near the church of St. Peter and Paul, was established. Two years into the twentieth century, a railway line linked Yerevan with Alexandropol, Tiflis and Julfa, the same year Yerevan's first public library opened. In 1913, a telephone line with eighty subscribers became operational. The early twentieth century saw the governorship of Erivan province by Louis Joseph Jérôme Napoléon (1864–1932), the grandnephew of Napoleon I.[14]

Brief independence (1917–1920)

The Government building of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1920)

At the start of the 20th century, Yerevan was a small town with a population of 30,000.[15] In 1917, the Russian Empire ended with the October Revolution. In the aftermath, Armenian, Georgian and Muslim leaders of Transcaucasia united to form the Transcaucasian Federation and proclaimed Transcaucasia's secession.

The Federation, however, was short-lived and on 28 May 1918, the Dashnak leader Aram Manougian declared the indepndence of Armenia. Subsequently, Yerevan became the capital and the centre of the newly-independent Democratic Republic of Armenia, although the members of the Armenian National Council were yet to stay in Tiflis until their arrival in Yerevan to form the government in the summer of the same year.

On 26 May 1919, the government passed a low to open the Yerevan State University, which was situated on the main street of Yerevan, the Astafyan (now Abovyan) street.

However, after a short period of independence, On 29 November 1920, the Bolshevik 11th Red Army occupied Yerevan during the Russian Civil War, on 29 November 1920, and Armenia became under the Soviet rule on 2 Decmber 1920. Although nationalist forces managed to retake the city in February 1921, and successfully released all the political leaders who were imprisoned by the Bolshevik rulers, the city once again fell to Soviet forces on 2 April 1921.

Soviet Yerevan

Alexander Tamanian's architecture of Soviet era on Tamanyan street

Yerevan became the capital of the newly formed Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, one of the fifteen republics of the Soviet Union. The Soviet era transformed the city into a modern industrial metropolis of over a million people, developed according to the prominent Armenian architect Alexander Tamanian's designs. Yerevan also became a significant scientific and cultural center.

Tamanian incorporated national traditions with contemporary urban construction. His design presented a radial-circular arrangement that overlaid the existing city. As a result, many historic buildings were demolished, including churches, mosques, the Persian fortress, baths, bazaars and caravanserais. Many of the surrounding districts around Yerevan were named after former Armenian communities that were decimated by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. The districts of Arabkir, Malatya-Sebastia and Nork Marash, for example, were named after the towns Arabkir, Malatya, Sebastia, and Marash, respectively. Following the end of the Second World War, German POWs were used to help in the construction of new buildings and structures, such as the Kievyan Bridge.

In 1965, during the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Yerevan was the center of a 24-hour mass anti-Soviet protest, the first such demonstration in the Soviet Union, to demand recognition of the Genocide by the Soviet authorities.[16] In 1968, the city's 2,750th anniversary was commemorated.

Yerevan played a key role in the Armenian national democratic movement that emerged during the Gorbachev era of the 1980s. The reforms of Glasnost and Perestroika opened questions on issues such as the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the environment, Russification, corruption, democracy, and eventually independence. At the beginning of 1988, nearly one million Yerevantsis engaged in demonstrations concerning these subjects, centered on Theater Square.[17]

Post-USSR independence

The Swan lake near Yerevan Opera house

Following the downfall of the USSR or Soviet Union, Yerevan became the capital of the Republic of Armenia on 21 September 1991. Maintaining supplies of gas and electricity proved difficult; constant electricity was not restored until 1996. Also in the last five years, central Yerevan has been transformed into a vast construction site, with cranes seemingly outnumbering trees. Officially, the scores of multi-storied buildings are part of large-scale urban planning projects. Roughly $1.8 billion was spent on such construction in 2006, according to the national statistical service. Prices for downtown apartments have increased by about ten times over the last decade, realtors say. However, some experts have voiced their opinions, and have asserted that many of the new edifices violate urban planning and earthquake safety requirements.

Political demonstrations still occur in Yerevan, usually as a result of disputed election results. In 2008, unrest in the capital between the authorities and opposition demonstrators led by ex-President Levon Ter-Petrossian occurred after the 2008 Armenian presidential election. The events resulted in ten deaths[18] and a subsequent 20-day state of emergency declared by President Robert Kocharian.[19]


Yerevan from space.

Topography and location

  • Altitude: average 990 m (3,248.03 ft) - minimum 865 m (2,837.93 ft) - maximum 1,390 m (4,560.37 ft).[20]
  • Location: to the edge of the Hrazdan river, north-east of the Ararat plain.

Yerevan is located in Eastern Armenia to the center-west of the country in the north-eastern extremity of the Ararat Valley. The upper part of the city is surrounded by mountains on three sides while to the south it descends to the banks of the river Hrazdan, a tributary of the river Arax. The Hrazdan divides Yerevan in two within a picturesque canyon. The city's elevation ranges between 900 to 1,300 m (2,952.76 to 4,265.09 ft) above sea level.

As the capital of Armenia, Yerevan is not part of any marz ("province"). Instead, it borders the following marzer: Kotayk (north), Ararat (south), Armavir (southwest) and Aragatsotn (northwest).


Climate data for Yerevan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12
Average high °C (°F) -2
Average low °C (°F) -9
Record low °C (°F) -27
Precipitation mm (inches) 23
Source: BBC Weather [21] 2010-01-10

The climate of Yerevan is a harsh and dry continental climate, with dry, hot summers and cold and short winters. This is attributed to the fact that Yerevan is located on a plain surrounded by mountains and to its distance to the sea and its effects. The summers are usually very hot with the temperature in August reaching up to 40 °C (104 °F), while winters generally carry snowfall and freezing temperates with January being often as cold as −15 °C (5 °F). The amount of precipitation is small, amounting annually to about 318 mm (12.5 in). The city has an annual period of sunshine of approximately 2,700 hours.[20]

Government and politics

Abovyan street (formerly Astafian), the oldest street of Yerevan
Armenian Opera Theater in Yerevan was built between 1926 to 1953, as part of architect Alexander Tamanian's plans to redesign the city


Yerevan has been the capital of Armenia since the independence of the First Republic in 1918. Situated in the Ararat plain, the historic lands of Armenia, it served as the best logical choice for capital of the young republic at the time.

When Armenia became a republic of the Soviet Union, Yerevan remained as capital and accommodated all the political institution of the republic. In 1991 with the independence of the Third Armenian republic, Yerevan remained the political center of the country and became the location of all the national institution: the Azgayin Zhoghov, ministries, the presidential palace, public organisms and judicial institutions.


The Armenian Constitution, adopted on 5 July 1995, granted Yerevan the status of a marz (region).[22] Therefore, Yerevan functions similarly to the other regions of the country with a few specificities.[23] The administrative authority of Yerevan is thus represented by:

  • the mayor, appointed by the President (who can remove him at any moment) upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister,[22] alongside a group of four deputy mayors heading eleven ministries (of which financial, transport, urban development etc.),[24]
  • the Yerevan Council, regrouping the Chiefs of neighborhood communities under the authority of the mayor,[25]
  • twelve "neighborhood communities" (or districts), with each having its own chief and their elected councils.[26] Yerevan has a principal city hall and twelve deputy mayors of districts.

The last modification to the Constitution on 27 November 2005 turned the city into a "community" (hamaynk); since, the Constitution declares that this community has to be led by a mayor, elected directly or indirectly, and that the city needs to be governed by a specific law.[27] This law is currently in preparation in the Armenian parliament that adopted its first draft in December 2007 and should do the same in the second draft in spring of 2008.[28] The project on the law envisions an indirect election of the mayor.[29]

Artashes Geghamyan was the last mayor of the Armenian SSR and Hambartsoum Galstyan, the first mayor of the Third Republic. Since 1991, there have been eight mayors of Yerevan. The current mayor is Gagik Beglaryan.[30] In addition to the national police and road police, Yerevan has its own municipal police. All three bodies maintain law in the city by cooperating.


The twelve districts of Yerevan
Yerevan City Hall

Yerevan is divided into twelve "neighborhood communities" (թաղային համայնքներ), commonly translated as "districts"[31], each with an elected community leader. Each district is divided into neighborhoods (թաղամաս). A district can have up to seven neighborhoods.

Districts and neighborhoods of Yerevan
Population Area Neighborhood (Թաղամաս)
125 800
25 km²
Ajapnyak, Norashen (16 taghamas), Nazarbekian (17 taghamas), Silikian (2-rd gyugh), Lukashin, Vahakni, Anastasavan, Cheryomushki
150 200
12,35 km²
Nor Arabkir (Komitas St.), Aygedzor, Mergelyan, Raykom, Kanaker-GES
50 400
8,37 km²
Avan (Varujan St., Duryan St., Charents St., Isahakyan St., Hovhannisyan St., Sayat-Nova St., Bryusov St., Tumanyan St.), Avan-Arinj, Aghi Hanq
50 500
6,71 km²
Davtashen (gyugh, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th block), Huysi Avan
126 200
48,41 km²
Erebuni, Nor Aresh, Saritagh, Vardashen, Mushavan, Verin Jrashen, Kayaran (Vstrech), Butania
102 700
8,10 km²
Kanaker, Nor Zeytun, Mounument
179 100
14,20 km²
Pokr Kentron, Noragyugh, Nor Kilikia, Aygestan, Kond
158 700
25,80 km²
Nor Malatia, Nor Sebastia, HAT (B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, A-1, A-2, A-3 blocks), Shahumian, Araratian, Haghtanak
14 600
4,60 km²
Nork, Nor Marash
Nor Nork
Նոր Նորք
132 100
14,47 km²
Nor Nork (1-9th block), Jrvezh, Bagrevand
9 300
18,11 km²
146 100
40,50 km²
Nerkin Shengavit, Verin Shengavit, Nerkin Charbakh, Verin Charbakh, Noragavit, Aeracia, 1st block, 3rd block (Hayrenik, Cereteli, Yonjlakh, Khrer)


Originally a small town, Yerevan became the capital of Armenia and a large city with over one million inhabitants.

Until the fall of the Soviet Union, the majority of the population of Yerevan were Armenians with minorities of Russians, Kurds, Azeris and Iranians present as well. However with the breakout of the Nagorno-Karabakh War from 1988 to 1994, the Azeri minority diminished in the country in what was part of population exchanges between Armenia and Azerbaijan. A big part of the Russian minority also fled the country during the 1990s economic crisis in the country. Today, the population of Yerevan is mainly Armenian.

Like the rest of the country and all other ex-Soviet republics, a lot of people fled their countries (mostly to Europe and North America) due to economic crises. The population of Yerevan fell from 1,250,000 in 1989[20] to 1,103,488 in 2001[32] and to 1,091,235 in 2003.[33] However, the population of Yerevan has been increasing since. In 2007, the capital had 1,107,800 inhabitants.[1]

Change in population
1827 1890 1917 1926 1939 1970 1975 1979 1989 1998 2003 2006
10 000 12 500 34 000 65 000 204 000 767 000 899 000 1 019 000 1 201 539 1 249 202 1 091 235 1 104 900

Sources : Municipality of Yerevan, ArmStat

  • Growth rate of the population : 0,29 % (in 2006).[34]
  • Birth rate : 1,12 % (in 2006).[34]
  • Death rate : 0,83 % (in 2006).[34]
  • Rate of infantile mortality : 1,05 % (in 2006).[35]


Museums and Libraries

View from a garden terrace of the Cafesjian Museum of Art
Erebuni Museum
The Armenian Genocide Museum in Tsitsernakaberd Complex

Yerevan is home to dozens of museums, art galleries, and libraries. The most prominent of these are the National Gallery of Armenia, the History Museum of Armenia, the Cafesjian Museum of Art, the Matenadaran library of ancient manuscripts, and the Armenian Genocide museum. Others include the Modern Art Museum, the Children’s Picture Gallery, and the Martiros Saryan Museum. Moreover, many private galleries are in operation, with many more opening every year, featuring rotating exhibitions and sales.

Constructed in 1921, the National Gallery of Armenia is Yerevan principal museum. It is integrated with the Armenia's History Museum of Armenia. In addition to having a permanent exposition of works of painters such as Aivazovsky, Kandinsky, Chagall, Theodore Rousseau, Monticelli or Eugene Boudin,[36] it usually hosts temporary expositions such as Yann Arthus-Bertrand in 2005 or the one organized on the occasion of the Year of Armenia in France in October 2006.[37] The Armenian Genocide museum is found at the foot of Tsitsernakaberd memorial and features numerous eyewitness accounts, texts and photographs from the time. It comprises a Memorial stone made of three parts, the latter of which is dedicated to the intellectual and political figures who, as the museum's site says, "raised their protest against the Genocide committed against the Armenians by the Turks. Among them there are Armin T. Wegner, Hedvig Bull, Henry Morgenthau, Franz Werfel, Johannes Lepsius, James Bryce, Anatole France, Giacomo Gorrini, Benedict XV, Fritjof Nansen, Fayez el Husseini". This place of remembrance was created by Laurenti Barseghian, the Museum's director, and Pietro Kuciukian, the founder of the "Memory is the Future" Committee for the Righteous for the Armenians. This Memorial hosts the ashes or fistfuls of earth from the tombs of the Righteous and of those non-Armenians who witnessed the genocide and tried to help the Armenians. Here, people also celebrates living characters who stand out for their pro-memory engagement.

The Matenadaran is a library-museum regrouping 17,000 ancient manuscripts and several bibles from the Middle Ages. Its archives hold a rich collection of valuable ancient Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Hebrew, Roman and Persian manuscripts. It is located in the center of the city on Mesrop Mashdots avenue.

Next to the Hrazdan river, the Sergey Parajanov Museum that was completely renovated in 2002, has 250 works, documents and photos[38] of the Armenian filmmaker and painter. Yerevan has several other museums like the museum of the Middle-East and the Museum of Yerevan.[39]

Here is a list of Yerevan's most important museums:

Erebuni Fortress and Museum The museum was founded in 1968 nearby the Erebuni fortress which is commonly known as Arin Berd.
History Museum of Armenia Opened in 1921, contains more than 400,000 items and pieces of Armenian heritage.
National Gallery of Armenia Exhibits more than 25,000 painting samples of Armenian, Russian and European artists.
Matenadaran Library, Museum and Institute of ancinet manuscripts named after Mesrop Mashtots.
Gerard L. Cafesjian Museum of Art Museum of modern arts, opened on 7 November 2009, part of the cascade complex.
Museum of Folk Art of Armenia Founded in 1978 and located on Abovyan Street.
Armenian Genocide Museum Part of Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex.
Museum of Armenian Patriotic Movement (Fedayees) named after Andranik Ozanian Opened in 1995 near Komitas Pantheon. Renovated and reopened in 2006 on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of independent.
House-Museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan Opened in 1953. Contains a large number of objects belonged to poet Hovhannes Tumanyan along with his personal library.
House-Museum of Yeghishe Charents Opened in 1964 and located on the Mashtots Avnue.
House-Museum of Avetik Isahakyan Opened in 1963 and located on Baghramyan street.
House-Museum of Alexander Spendiaryan Opened in 1967 and located on Nalbandian street.
House-Museum of Aram Khachaturian Opened in 1984 and contains more than 18,000 valuable items.
House-Museum of Yervant Kochar Opened in 1984 and dedicated to the famous Armenian artist Yervant Kochar.
House-Museum of Martiros Saryan Contains the works of the famous painter Martiros Saryan.
House-Museum of Khachatur Abovian The home of writer Khachatur Abovian in Kanaker was turned into museum in 1939.
House-Museum of Painter Minas Avetisyan Located on Nalbandian street.
House-Museum of Writer Derenik Demirchyan Located on Abovian street.
Sergei Parajanov Museum Opened in 1991 and exhibits the works of Sergei Parajanov and other film directors.
State Museum of Nature of Armenia Contains samples of animal and botanic life in Armenia.
"Mayr Hayastan" Military Museum Located in the Victory Park and dedicated to the World war II and Karabakh Liberation war.
Museum of Russian Art Founded in 1984 and located on Isahakyan street. It contains a number of paintings of Russian artists.
Museum of Children's creative work Gallery located on Abovyan street and exhibits some talents of Armenian children.
Geological Museum of Armenia Located on Abovian street.
Museum-Institute of Zoology Institute and research centre located on Sevak street.
Charents Museum of Literature and Arts Located on Arami street.
ARF History Museum Displays the history of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and of its notable members.
Museum of Middle East Dedicated to the Middle Eastern civilisations and cultures. Located on Arami street.
Museum of Sculptor Ara Sargsian and Painter Hakop Kodjoian Located on Mashtots street.
Museum of History of Yerevan Founded in 1931. In 2005 the museum settled in the Yerevan City Hall complex.
Museum of Wood Craft Opened in 1977 and located on Paronyan street.
National Museum of Architecture named after Alexander Tamanyan Contains a research centre and samples of Tamanyan's works. Located on Hanrapetutyan street.

Cinemas, Theatres, Opera and Concert Halls

Arno Babajanian Concert hall on Abovian street

The city of Yerevan possesses a number of operating cinema halls; among them the famous Moskva cinema. Most of the world's hit movies are available to watch at the same time of their release elsewhere. Most of the movies that are shown in the cinemas are Russian.

Since 2004, Moskva hosts each year the Golden Apricot international film festival. The last edition of the festival presided by Atom Egoyan was held from 9 July to 14 July 2007 with the Golden Apricot going to the film Import/Export from Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Seidl.[40]

The Opera Theatre of Yerevan hosts two concert halls: the Aram Khatchaturian concert hall and the national theatre of opera and the Alexander Spendiarian ballet hall. The numerous theatres have permitted attendance to a multitude of various pieces and the some spectacle rooms, of which the big one Hamalir named after Karen Demirchyan, sometimes offer some concerts even if the temperate Armenian summers allow the organization of the bulk of the concerts to be held outside. The Sundukyan State Academic Theatre of Yerevan is the oldest modern theatre in Armenia.

Amusement Parks and Zoo


The Yerevan Zoo was founded in 1940. After a period of difficulty during the 1990s, the zoo is in better economic shape today. It hosts elephants, eagles, bears, camels and 260 other animal species[41].

The Waterworld is a water park in Yerevan.[42] It has several pools, toboggans, bars and restaurants. The park used to close from October to May but the construction of an indoor section called Aquatek has permitted the water park to be open all year. The indoor section has jacuzzis, pools, hammams, fitness rooms, restaurants and a hotel.[43]

On the road to Lake Sevan, there is an amusement park called Play City that has a bowling arena, a cinema, paint-ball, karting and video-game rooms.[44]

The green areas in Yerevan are increasing day by day, the municipality is making efforts towards creating more parks in different districts. The most popular park nowadays is the Lovers' park on Baghramyan street, while the Victory park is one of the largest parks in the city along with the Youth (Circular) park. Many other beautiful parks enhance the city of Yerevan, such as the English and Shahumyan parks in Kentron District, Tumanyan park in Ajapnyak, Komitas park in Shengavit, Vahan Zatikian park in Malatia-Sebastia, David Anhaght park in Kanaker-Zeytun, the Family park in Avan, Fridtjof Nansen park in Nor Nork, etc.


Best Western Congress Hotel

Tourism in Armenia is developing year by year and the capital city of Yerevan is one of the major tourist destinations. The city has a majority of luxury hotels, modern restaurants, bars, pubs and nightclubs. Zvartnots airport has also conducted renovation projects with the growing number of tourists visiting the country. Numerous places in Yerevan are attractive for tourists, such as the dancing fountains of the Republic Square, the State Opera House, the Cascade complex, the ruins of the Urartian city of Erebuni (Arin Berd), the historical site of Karmir Blur (Teishebaini), etc. The Armenia Marriott Hotel is situated in the heart of the city at Republic Square, while other major chains are also present in downtown Yerevan, such as the Golden Tulip Yerevan Hotel and the Best Western Congress Hotel. Recently, new luxury hotels have been inaugurated in the Silikian neighborhood of Ajapnyak district.

The location of Yerevan itself, inspires foreigners to visit the city in order to enjoy the view of the biblical mount of Ararat, as the city lies on the feet of the mountain forming the shape of a Roman amphitheatre.

There are plenty of historical sites, churches and citadels in areas and regions that surrounding the city of Yerevan (Garni temple, Zvartnots site, Khor Virap, etc.).

On the other hand, visitors and tourists can enjoy the charming nights of Yerevan with a variety of several types of restaurants, street cafes, tea houses, casinos, pubs, disco and night clubs, bars and karaoke clubs.



Zvartnots International Airport's new terminal
Yerevan ropeway links Kentron with Nork Marash district

Yerevan is served by the Zvartnots International Airport, located 12 km west of the city center. It is the primary airport of the country and the hub of Armavia, national air carrier company. Inaugurated in 1961 during the Soviet era, Zvartnots airport was renovated for the first time in 1985 and a second time in 2002 in order to adapt to international norms. It went through a facelift starting in 2004 with the construction of a new terminal. The first phase of the construction ended in September 2006 with the opening of the arrivals zone. A second section designated for departures was inaugurated in May 2007.[45] The entire project costs more than $100 million USD.

The airport serves direct flights to dozens of countries which include France, Russia (most regions), Germany, Greece, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Belaruss, Latvia, Iran, Italy, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Switzerland, Georgia etc.[46]

A second airport, Erebuni Airport, is located just south of the city. Since independence of the country in 1991, the airport is mainly used by the military or for private flights. The Armenian Air Force has equally installed its base there and there are several MiG-29s stationed on Erebuni's tarmac.

Bus and Tramway

Yerevan has 46 bus lines[47] and 24 trolleybus lines.[48] The trolleybuses have been operating in the streets of Yerevan since 1949. Old Soviet-era buses are slowly being replaced by new buses. Outside the bus lines that cover the city, some buses at the start of the central road train station located in the Nor Kilikia neighborhood serve practically all the cities of Armenia as well as of others abroad, notably Tbilisi in Georgia or Tabriz in Iran.

The tramway network that operated in Yerevan since 1906 was decommissioned in January 2004. Its use had a cost 2.4 times higher than the generated profits which pushed the municipality to shutdown the network[49], despite a last ditch effort to save it towards the end of 2003. Since the closure, the rails have been dismantled and sold.


Yeritasardakan metro station

The Yerevan Metro (Երեւանի մետրոպոլիտեն) is a rapid transit system that serves the capital city. It has one 13.4 km (8.37 miles) line and currently services 10 active stations. Its interior resembles that of western former Soviet nations with chandeliers hanging from the corridors. The metro stations had most of their names changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Independence of the Republic of Armenia.

A northeastern extension of the line with two new stations is currently being planned. The construction of the first station (Ajapnyak) and of the one kilometer tunnel linking it to the rest of the network will cost 18 million USD.[50] The time of the end of the project has not yet been defined. Another long term project is the construction of two new lines but these have been suspended due to a deficit in the budget balance.


Sasusntsi Davit metro and train station

Yerevan has a single central train station (several train stations of suburbs have not been used since 1990) that is connected to the metro via the Sasuntsi Davit station. The train station is made in Soviet-style architecture with its long point on the building roof, representing the symbols of communism: red star, hammer and sickle. Due to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades of Armenia, there is only one international train that passes by once every two days, with neighboring Georgia being its destination. For example, for a sum of 9 000 to 18 000 dram, it is possible to take the night train to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.[51] This train then continues to its destination of Batumi, on the shores of the Black sea.

The only railway that goes to Iran to the south passes by the closed border of Nakhichevan. For this reason, there are no trains that go south from Yerevan. A construction project on a new railway line connecting Armenia and Iran directly is currently being studied.

Recently, the South Caucasus Railway CJSC -which is the current operator of the railway system in Armenia- announced its readyness to put the Yerevan-Gyumri-Kars railway line in service in case the Armenian-Turkish protocols are ratified and the opening of the borders between the two countries is achieved .


New business centres on Tumanyan Street
Modern house in Silikian neighborhood
New towers in Yerevan


In 2001, Yerevan's share of national industrial production was approximately 50%.[52]. Yerevan's manufactures include chemicals, primary metals, machinery, rubber products, plastics, textiles, alcoholic beverages and processed food. Even though the economic crisis of the 90s ravaged the industry of the country, several factories remain always in service, notably in the petrochemical and the aluminium sectors. Not only is Yerevan the headquarters of major Armenian companies, but of international ones as well, as it's seen as an attractive outsourcing location for Western European, Russian and American multinationals. Yerevan is also the country's financial hub, home to the Central Bank of Armenia, the Armenian Stock Exchange (NASDAQ OMX Armenia), as well as some of the country's largest commercial banks.

Armenian beverages, especially the Armenian cognac and beer have a worldwide fame. Hence, Yerevan is home to many leading enterprises of Armenia and the Caucasus for the production of alcoholic beverages, such as Yerevan Brandy Company, Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory, Yerevan Kilikia Beer Company and Yerevan Champagne Wines Factory.

Yerevan is also home to other giant industrial and international plants: Nairit chemical and rubber plant, ArmRosGazProm a subsidiary of Russian ginats Gazprom, RUSAL ARMENAL aluminium foil mill and Cigaronne company for tobacco products.

The carpet industry in Armenia has an ancinet tradition and a very deep history, therefore, the carpet production is rather developed in Yerevan with three major factories that also produce hand-made carpets.

Yerevan's location on the shores of Hrazdan river has enabled the production of hydroelectricity. Two plants are established on the territory of the municipality.[53] There is also a thermal central station, situated to the south of the city, that furnishes equally a little electricity.


The construction sector has experienced strong growth since 2000.[54]. Recently, Yerevan has been undergoing massive construction boom, funded mostly by Armenian millionaires from Russia, with an extensive and controversial redevelopment process in which Czarist and Soviet-period buildings have been demolished and replaced with new buildings. This urban renewal plan has been met with opposition[55] and criticism from some residents. Coupled with the construction sector's growth has been the increase in real estate prices.[56] Downtown houses deemed too small are more and more demolished and replaced by high-rise buildings. Jermaine Jackson has planned to build an entertainment complex in a new 5-star hotel which is being built in the city[57].

Two major construction projects are scheduled in Yerevan: the Northern Avenue and the Main Avenue projects. The Northern Avenue is almost completed and was put in service in 2007, while the Main Avenue is still under development. In the past few years, the city centre has also witnessed major road reconstruction, and the renovation of the Republic square, funded by the American-Armenian billionaire, Kirk Kerkorian. Another diasporan Armenian from Argentina; Eduardo Eurnekian took over the airport, while the cascade development project was funded by the US based Armenian millionaire Gerard L. Cafesjian.

The construction boom accompanied with the creation of new luxurious residential areas in Yerevan suburbs, like Vahakni and Silikian districts.

On 29 January 2010, another major project "Yerevan City" was announced by the municipality of Yerevan, to build a new cultural businesslike centre near the hill of Paskevich, where the Noragyugh neighborhood is located.[58] The project will link Admiral Isakov Avenue with Arshakunyats Avenue and will be fulfilled through a cooperation with Moscow city government.

There has also been recent construction of new shopping centers, such as Tashir Shopping Center, which is located near Kentron.

Monuments, movie theaters and other buildings

The Cascade from Tamanyan street
St. Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral
Yerablur Pantheon, where the Karabakh war fighters are buried
Argavand Funerary Monument Islamic funerary tower built in the year 1413, located in the village of Argavand now absorbed by Yerevan.
Blue Mosque (Gök Jami) A Persian mosque built between 1764–1768, is the only one working in Armenia and the only surviving mosque of eight that were once in Yerevan at the time of the Russian conquest.
Cafesjian Center of Arts Opened on 7 November 2009 and showcases a massive collection glass artwork, more specifically that of the Czech artists Libenský / Brychtová.
The Cascade Massive white steps with fountains that ascend through Tamanyan street towards Haghtanak Park (Victory Park). The front gardens showcase sculptures from the Gerard L. Cafesjian Collection.
Cossack Monument A monument to the Cossacks killed during the Russian-Persian wars in 1826-1827.
Erebuni Fortress and Museum Where the city of Yerevan was first founded in 782 BC by King Argishti I.
Karen Demirchyan Complex or Hamalir, Concert hall and sports complex.
Komitas Pantheon Cemetery where many famous Armenians are buried.
Lover's Park (Boghossian gardens) Opened in October 2008 on Baghramyan street and has a very unique design.
Matenadaran Institute of Ancient Manuscripts. One of the richest depositories of manuscripts and books in the world.
Moskva Cinema (Kino Moskva)     A well known movie theater, built on what was once the site of Saint Poghos-Petros Church built in the 5th to 6th c. The church was tragically destroyed in 1931 to build the cinema.
Mother Armenia A statue located in Haghtanak Park (Victory Park).
Nairi Cinema (Kino Nairi) Movie theater.
Saint Gregory Cathedral The largest Armenian church in the world, completed in 2001.
Sasuntsi Davit A statue dedicated to a famous Armenian hero.
Statue of Hayk Statue of a legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation.
Surb Zoravor Church A 17th century church, one of the oldest churches in Yerevan.
Swan Lake A nice place for the residents of Yerevan, located in the opera park. It turns to ice skating arena in winters.
Tsitsernakaberd Monument commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Yerablur Cemetery where Armenians that fought in the Nagorno-Karabakh War are buried.
Yerevan Opera House The Armenian National Academic Opera & Ballet Theatre.
Yerevan Waterworld A modern complex of entertainment and water adventures.
Yerevan Zoo Yerevan zoo.

International relations

Sister & Partner cities

From Carrara to Yerevan monument

Currently, Yerevan has twenty-nine sister and partner cities.[59][60]

City Country Year
Carrara Italy Italy From 1965
Podgorica Montenegro Montenegro From 1974
Antananarivo Madagascar Madagascar From 1981
Cambridge, MA United States United States From 1987[61][62]
Marseille France France From 1992
Athens Greece Greece From 1993
Lyon France France From 1993[63]
Stavropol Russia Russia From 1994
Isfahan Iran Iran From 1995
Kiev Ukraine Ukraine From 1995
Moscow Russia Russia From 1995
Odessa Ukraine Ukraine From 1995
Florence Italy Italy From 1996
Tbilisi Georgia (country) Georgia From 1996
Beirut Lebanon Lebanon From 1997
Damascus Syria Syria From 1997
Saint-Petersburg Russia Russia From 1997
Montreal Canada Canada From 1998
Volgograd Russia Russia From 1998
Bratislava Slovakia Slovakia From 2001[64]
Minsk Belarus Belarus From 2002
São Paulo Brazil Brazil From 2002[65][66]
Chişinău Moldova Moldova From 2005
Rostov-on-Don Russia Russia From 2005
Rio de Janeiro Brazil Brazil From 2007
Los Angeles United States United States From 2007
Nice France France From 2007[67]
Delhi India India From 2008
Sofia Bulgaria Bulgaria From 2008


Yerevan is a major educational centre in the region. It has 166 nursery schools, 259 public education schools, 12 state musical & art schools and several state owned schools for special needs.

At present, 90 institutes of higher education are functioning in the Republic of Armenia. As a capital city, Yerevan has the majority with 71 higher educational institutions, 19 out of which are state universities and the rest 52 are private ones[68]. In 2008-2009 academic year, according to data released by the National Statistical Service of Armenia, there were 114,399 students from which 91,806 students were studying at the institutes of higher education in the capital. 16,304 students in Yerevan institutes got their higher education for free while 75,502 students paid for their studies.

Currently, 38 state technical colleges (elementary and intermediate post-school educational institutions) are operating in the city, under the supervision of Yerevan Municipality, government ministries and state organizations.


Here is a list of Yerevan's most important Universities:

Institute Official website Date
Yerevan State University YSU 16 May 1919 10,450
Yerevan State Musical Conservatory named after Komitas YSC 1921
Yerevan State Pedagogical University named after Khachatur Abovian YSPU 1922
Yerevan State Medical University named after Mkhitar Heratsi YSMU 1930
State Engineering University of Armenia SEUA 1933 10,000
Yerevan State Linguistic University named after Valery Brusov YSLU 4 February 1935 full time 4,700
Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts YAFA 1945
Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture ASIPC 1945
Yerevan State Institute of Economy YSINE 1975
Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography YSITC
Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction YSUAC 11 January 1989
American University of Armenia AUA 1991 268
Crisis Management State Academy CMSA 1992
State Agrarian University of Armenia SAUA 1994
Fondation Université Française en Arménie UFAR 1995 700
Eurasia International University EIU 1996
Russian-Armenian State University RAU 29 August 1997 1,600
European Regional Institute of Information and Communication Technologies in Armenia ERIICTA 4 October 2002
Yerevan State Armenian-Greek College AGC 2006
Cavendish University CUA 2008 550


The renovated Hrazdan Stadium

The most played and popular sport in Yerevan is football. Yerevan has many clubs with six in the 2008 season of the top league.

Club Stadium
FC Ararat Yerevan Abovyan City Stadium
FC Banants Banants Stadium
Kilikia FC Hrazdan Stadium
Ulisses FC Republican Stadium
Mika FC Mika Stadium
Pyunik FC Republican Stadium

Yerevan has four major stadiums which are Banants Stadium, Mika Stadium, Republican Stadium and Hrazdan Stadium, along with two small ones; Nairi Stadium and Erebuni Stadium. Hrazdan is the main and biggest stadium which also houses a sports complex that is composed of boxing and karate training facilities, swimming pool, basket-ball arena and tennis courts.

The biggest indoor arena of the city and the whole country is the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, which is mostly used for Figure Skating shows and concerts.

Armenia has always excelled in chess with its players being very often among the highest ranked and decorated. The headquarters of the Armenian Chess Federation is located in the Kentron (central district) in Yerevan and there exists plenty of chess clubs in the city. In 1996, despite a severe economic crisis, Yerevan hosted the 32nd Chess Olympiad.[69] In 2006, the four members from Yerevan of the Armenian chess team won the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin and repeated the feat at the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden. The Yerevan-born leader of this team, Levon Aronian, is currently one of the world's top chess players and is number six on the April 2008 FIDE rankings.

Notable people

Notable people who are from or have resided in Yerevan:

List of notable persons born in Yerevan: People from Yerevan


Panorama of Yerevan (summer)
Panorama of Yerevan (winter)

See also



  • The capitals of Armenia, Sergey Vardanyan, Apolo 1995 , ISBN 5-8079-0778-7
  • My Yerevan, G. Zakoyan, M. Sivaslian, V. Navasardian, Acnalis 2001, ISBN 99930-902-0-4
  • Yerevan at GEOnet Names Server


  1. ^ a b "Armenia's Population 3,229,900 On Jan 1, 2008". Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  2. ^ Katsenelinboĭgen, Aron (1990). The Soviet Union: Empire, Nation and Systems. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. pp. 143. ISBN 0887383327. 
  3. ^ Population of each district in Yerevan according to the city's official website.
  4. ^ a b c d e (Armenian) Baghdasaryan A., Simonyan A, et al. «Երևան» (Yerevan). Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. vol. iii. Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Armenian Academy of Sciences, 1977, pp. 548-564.
  5. ^ (Armenian) Israelyan, Margarit A. Էրեբունի: Բերդ-Քաղաքի Պատմություն (Erebuni: The History of a Fortress-City). Yerevan, Armenian SSR: Hayastan Publishing Press, 1971, p. 137.
  6. ^ - Symbols and emblems of the city.
  7. ^ CRW Flags - Yerevan (Municipality, Armenia)
  8. ^ Brady Kiesling, "Rediscovering Armenia". 2000. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  9. ^ Israelyan. Erebuni, p. 9.
  10. ^ Encyclopaedia Iranica (George A. Bournoutian and Robert H. Hewsen, Erevan)
  11. ^ Ferro, Mark (2003). The Use and Abuse of History: How the Past Is Taught to Children. London: Routledge. pp. 233. ISBN 0415285925. 
  12. ^ Kirakossian, Arman J. (2003). British Diplomacy and the Armenian Question: From the 1830s to 1914. New York: Gomidas Institute Books. pp. 142. ISBN 1884630073. 
  13. ^ (Russian) Erivan in the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890-1907.
  14. ^ (French) "La Famille impériale". Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  15. ^ (French) Encyclopædia Universalis France S.A., « Erevan », 1995.
  16. ^ Suny, Ronald Grigor (1993). The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Stanford: Stanford University Press. pp. 122. ISBN 0804722471. 
  17. ^ Malkasian, Mark (1996). Gha-ra-bagh!: The Emergence of the National Democratic Movement in Armenia. Wayne State University Press. pp. 41. ISBN 0814326056. 
  18. ^ Death Toll in Armenia’s Post-election Melee Rises to Ten", Armenia Liberty ([RFE/RL]), 14 April 2008
  19. ^ Armenia declares emergency rule", BBC News, 1 March 2008.
  20. ^ a b c (Armenian) (Russian) V. Azatian et T. Hakopian, Երևան Ереван Yerevan, ИПО Parberakan, Erevan, 1989, p. 284.
  21. ^ "Average Conditions Yerevan, Armenia". BBC Weather. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
  22. ^ a b "Article 108 of the Armenian Constitution". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  23. ^ "Article 117 of the Armenian Constitution". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  24. ^ "Yerevan municipality structure". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  25. ^ "Article 82 of the 7 May 2002 Law relative to local autonomy". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  26. ^ "Article 77 on the 7 May 2002 Law relative to local autonomy". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  27. ^ "Articles 88.1 and 108 of the Armenian Constitution". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  28. ^ (French) "Declaration of a member of the Assembly of the Council of Europe.". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  29. ^ ", Executive prefers to have indirect elections for mayor". 18 October 2007. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  30. ^ "Municipality website". Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  31. ^ (Armenian) "The 12 district of Yerevan". Retrieved 2008-10-05. .
  32. ^ 2001 Census : ArmStat.
  33. ^ "ArmStat, 2003 Census". Retrieved 2008-03-21. .
  34. ^ a b c "ArmStat". Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  35. ^ "ArmStat". Retrieved 2008-03-21. 
  36. ^ The National Gallery of Armenia has equally a collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures issued from German, American, Austrian, Belgian, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, traDutch, Russian and Swiss."Website of the National Gallery of Armenia". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  37. ^ "Website of the Armenian National Gallery". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  38. ^ "ArmeniaTour". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  39. ^ Brady Kiesling, Rediscovering Armenia, 2000, Read online
  40. ^ "List of winning films per category". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  41. ^ "The Yerevan Zoo on Armeniapedia". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  42. ^ "Official website of Waterworld". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  43. ^ Julia Hakobyan, « Winter Water World: Popular park expands for cold-weather indulgence » on ArmeniaNow, 2 November 2007 Read online
  44. ^ "Official website of Play City". Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  45. ^ "Website of Zvartnots International Airport". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  46. ^ "List of destinations of Zvartnots international airport". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  47. ^ (Armenian) "List of bus lines on the website of Yerevan". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  48. ^ (Armenian) "List of trolleybus lines on the website of Yerevan". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  49. ^ "Arminfo, "Last Tram Put Out Of Operation in Yerevan"". 2004-01-22. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  50. ^ Announcement by Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan during a visit to the network in January 2008.
  51. ^ "ArmenPress, "Yerevan - Batumi railway communication to resume in Summer",". 2007-02-15. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  52. ^ "International Monetary Fund, "Republic of Armenia : Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper", in IMF Country Report, n° 03/62 (november 2003)". Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  53. ^ G. Beglaryan, Atlas of Armenia and adjacent countries, Noyan Tapan, 2007, p. 8.
  54. ^ (French) "Haroutiun Khatchatrian, « Un ambitieux agenda économique pour l’Arménie: Le nouveau gouvernement pourra-t-il relever le défi ? » sur, le 18 juillet 2007". Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  55. ^
  56. ^ (French) "Stéphane/armenews, « Les prix de l’immobilier à Erevan en hausse en 2007 » sur Armenews, le 1er janvier 2008". Retrieved 2008-05-26. .
  57. ^ wayango Jermain Jackson bio
  58. ^ "Yerevan city official web: News". 
  59. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Sister Cities". © 2005-2009 Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  60. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Partner Cities". © 2005-2009 Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  61. ^ "A Message from the Peace Commission: Information on Cambridge's Sister Cities," 15 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  62. ^ Richard Thompson. "Looking to strengthen family ties with 'sister cities'," Boston Globe, 12 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
  63. ^ "Partner Cities of Lyon and Greater Lyon". © 2008 Mairie de Lyon. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  64. ^ "Bratislava City - Twin Towns". © 2003-2008 Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  65. ^ Prefeitura.Sp - Descentralized Cooperation
  66. ^ International Relations - São Paulo City Hall - Official Sister Cities
  67. ^ "Yerevan official web: Sister cities: Nice". 
  68. ^ "Website of Yerevan Municipality". Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  69. ^ "32nd Chess Olympiad: Yerevan 1996". Retrieved 2008-05-01. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Caucasus : Armenia : Yerevan

Yerevan (Երեւան) is the capital of Armenia, and one of the three major cities of the South Caucasus. It is home to over a million people and to the largest Armenian community in the world. In Soviet years Yerevan underwent massive reconstruction, following Alexander Tamanyan's (the architect) new plans to make a perfect city.

Downtown Yerevan
Downtown Yerevan

The center is a true jewel of early Soviet architecture. Yerevan is also a home of some large scale Modern and Post-Modern marvels which are mostly result of Soviet-Armenian architectural megalomania. In Soviet days already Yerevan got to be known as the Pink City as much due to the color of the stone used for building as for the flamboyant spirit of her young population.


Most of touristic Yerevan is concentrated in the Center. The center is very compact and easily walkable, with endless dining and entertainment options. The rest of the city is mostly sleeping or business quarters, so a standard tourist will not have much incentive to leave the center.

  • Kentron, Center City or Downtown - is the central Yerevan, locally called kentron or just kaghak (meaning 'the city'). This is the heart of Yerevan and, indeed, Armenia. Though Kentron's architecture is diverse, ranging from Belle Epoque to Soviet Panel blocks, the great majority of the center is in Beaux Arts tradition. Downtown Yerevan follows Tamanyan's plan of circular city with two hubs - grand Republic Square, and more elegant and soft The Opera district (Opera house, Freedom Square and the Swan Lake Park). The two are linked with newly-constructed pedestrian-only Northern Avenue. The Main Avenue (standard South European Corso) is still under construction (for last 60 years, with new scale during the last couple of years) and will eventually reach the hill that the old Kond neighborhood rests. Kentron is also home to the University City, where the campuses of State University, Medical University, Engineering University, Agricultural University, Economics University, Pedagogical and some other universities combince in one big group. Virtually all of the museums, hotels and popular places to eat and drink are in the Kentron, so most visitors will probably not venture much past it.
  • Barekamutyun - Meaning friendship, Barekamutyin is the area around the metro stop of the same name. This hub is home to Hayastan Hanrakhanut (dept store) which is more of an indoor bazaar than an actual department store. The hub branches off to Kievyan and nearby Komitas streets.
  • Monument - At the top of the Cascade steps rests the towering monument to Soviet victory in WWII. Directly adjacent is the large construction site of the Cafesjian Museum, which houses a large collection of contemporary art, including perhaps the best glass art collection in the world. Beyond the monument is Victory Park, and the neighborhood around it is known as Monument as well.
  • Bangladesh - Not much to offer a tourist, the name however is worth an explanation. At the time this was one of the furthest new districts built in Yerevan, and because of the distance, locals quickly began calling it Bangladesh, (not to be mixed with Bangladesh country) which has stuck to this day.
A statue of a woman in a traditional attire in Downtown Yerevan.
A statue of a woman in a traditional attire in Downtown Yerevan.

Even though the history of Yerevan dates back to the Erebuni fortress, making it at least 2800 years old, little remains of what was small settlement saving the excavations at Hrazdan river gorge, Erebuni, Karmir Berd and Avan. These sites have been excavated, and the artifacts found are in museums today. Being on a strategically important place Yerevan was a constant war stage for rival Ottoman, Persian and Russian Empires. It has been repeatedly ruined by those wars or natural disasters (e.g. an earthquake in 17th century almost entirely destroyed the town). Few buildings of the old Erivan survived to the present-day Yerevan.

At the time of Armenia's independence in 1918, when Yerevan was made the capital of an independent Armenia, Yerevan was a town of just 20,000. Large scale construction began, which took a more holistic approach under the new city plan laid out by Alexander Tamanyan. The plan involved the demolition of much of what existed, in favor of concentric circles, parks, and taller structures. He planned for Yerevan to become a metropolis of 200,000 people.


Yerevan is a very homogenous city, though tiny Yezidi and Molokan (Russian) minorities exist. Because the population of the city was only 20,000 a century ago, the vast majority of the Armenians are immigrants themselves, from all over the world. From the villages and towns of Armenia, from Tbilisi which was the center of Eastern Armenian culture before 1918, from Western Armenia as genocide survivors poured in, and even from the middle east and Europe in a large, post-WWII wave of immigration. Since independence, the city has become the heart of the entire Armenian world, as the divisive communist governments demise has allowed the Diaspora – larger in number than the population of Armenia itself, to embrace the city as its own.


Many visitors will be surprised to know that Armenia is not just an outcrop of Christianity in the Caucasus, but it is the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. The king declared Christianity the state religion in 301 AD. One can find thousands of churches and monasteries in Armenia. Armenians are Apostolic Christians and have their own Catholicos (religious leader, like the Pope for Catholics). Armenia has paid a heavy price though for its Christianity in this rough neighborhood. Invasions by Zoroastrians, Muslims, and even Greek Orthodox armies were undertaken to convert Armenia to their faiths. Today, the vast majority of Armenians do not attend church each Sunday, with visits revolving around weddings and baptisms, or occasionally dropping in to light a candle.


With a continental climate, Yerevan experiences long hot summers, and cold winters, both with little or no humidity. The winter is not a good time to visit Yerevan, due to icy sidewalks and smoky restaurants, any other time of year is worth a visit. Spring offers mild but sometimes wet weather, and lots of green hills and wildflowers. Summer is very hot, but the long, late nights at the cafes, and the fruits and vegetables are amazing. Fall is the most popular, with perfect weather, and great farm fresh foods.


Smoking may appear to be the national pastime, and indeed, Armenia has the highest rate of smoking in all of Europe. To avoid the smoke, stick to restaurants with outdoor seating, let your taxi driver know it is not okay to smoke, and sit near the door when in a smokier café, and ask to have it left open when possible. Some restaurants have non smoking sections, but rarely is there separate ventilation. Yum-Yum Donuts is strictly non-smoking, and Melody café has a walled off section for non-smoking all year round. Artbridge and Twinings have separate rooms for non-smokers.

Opera house of Yerevan.
Opera house of Yerevan.


Most visitors to Armenia need to obtain a visa, though most can get one upon arrival. For more detailed information contact your nearest Armenian embassy or consulate. More details at [1]

Standard 21-day visas can be obtained at the airport in Yerevan upon arrival at a cost of AMD 3000 or just over $8. 120-day single entry visas are 15,000 dram ($42 US). Note that Nagorno-Karabakh Republic needs a separate visa issued in the Yerevan 'consulate' of the country (ask your hotel for details).

A slightly more expensive (and slightly more secure) alternative is e-visa. It is very useful if you are not eligible for visa-free entry as you do not need to loose your time for obtaining it upon arrival. Also it is useful if you plan to visit Azerbaijan as no paper is inserted in your passport (Note that it is no problem to visit Armenia after visiting Azerbaijan, but it may cause some problems to visit Azerbaijan after visiting Armenia and especially if you have visited Nagorno-Karabakh). Applications for e-Visas can be submitted online, verified on line, and in most cases, e-visas will be approved and issued on-line within two business days. This e-visa is good for travelers arriving by air at Yerevan's Zvartnots International Airport only and it costs $60 being valid for 21 days.

By plane

Zvartnots International Airport (IATA: EVN) is the main gate to Armenia. In 2006, a new terminal was opened, where most arrivals and departures are now based. It remains a smaller airport however, so navigating your way around is easy and fast. Free WiFi access is availabe in the depature terminal.

Numerous carriers fly to Yerevan aside from Armavia: AirFrance, Lufthansa, Czech Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot and the like. Yerevan is connected to all major European and Middle Eastern cities: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Moscow, Vienna, Berlin, Prague, St Petersburg, Zurich, Minsk, Riga, Kiev, Istanbul, Dubai, Aleppo, Beirut and so on. Air Arabia connects Yerevan to the Gulf states, Egypt and India via Sharjah.

Between the airport and the city

Zvartnots is only 14 km from Yerevan city center by road.

  • Taking a taxi to the city is the best option. A taxi ride from the airport to the city will cost from AMD 3000 ($10) to the center, and up to 5000 ($16) for the most distant parts of the city. Some drivers may try to convince you to pay more, but don’t ever believe them, and telling them you will call the police (who will help you) should straighten out any opportunists. Almost 100% taxis are using a taxi meter (“sheochik”), so, the best if you have local currency with you to pay for the trip.
  • A public bus N107 is available during the day-time for about $0,7, which will take you to the Opera House in central Yerevan.

By train

An overnight train runs from Tbilisi, Georgia. It is roughly $20 and actually fairly comfortable though dirty, but slow enough that it is a good idea to bring food, snacks, and water. The wagons are the standard Soviet hold-overs that can be found throughout the former USSR. Tickets can be purchased for a seat in a four-person coupe (pronounced koo-peh) or a more expensive two-person SV (ehs-veh) class.

By car

Options include arriving into Armenia via Georgia or Iran.

By bus

You can reach Yerevan by bus from Tbilisi, fare costs 15 lari ($10US) and takes about 12 hours. More expensive is to take a 30 lari ($20 US) marshutka/minibus but it’s much faster at about 5 hours. Sometimes you can take a shared car from Tbilisi as well. Again, a bit more expensive than minibus, but faster and more comfortable. Bus service to Yerevan also is available in Istanbul, or many of the cities on the Black Sea coast of Turkey en route to Yerevan, with a detour through Georgia. In Yerevan some of the bus lines from Turkey are: Karbut Tour: +374-10-54-26-97 and Oz Aybaki +374-10-56-50-03.

Get around

On foot

The center of Yerevan is very compact and easy to get around by foot. Watch your step, however, as construction sites, potholes and aggressive drivers abound. Make sure to be careful especially while crossing the street. In Yerevan, Armenia (and many other places I am sure) the drivers may tend to be very distracted when driving and don't pay attention to the road, especially to jaywalkers. Be aware, that there are recently introduced penalties for jaywalking and crossing the streets in non-designated areas, and once spotted by police, you will have to pay a fine of AMD 3000 ($9).

By metro

The metro system in Yerevan is quite reliable and relatively modern, having been built in the early 1980s. It is the quickest way around town, and at 50 dram (US$0.10), the cheapest aside from walking.

Yerevan Municipality Building
Yerevan Municipality Building

Today the metro operates as a single line, with a shuttle branch and covers 12km (7.5 miles), with trains running every five minutes from 6:30 a.m. till 11 p.m. Due to Yerevan's uneven landscape, the metro in some cases goes above ground. Continuing the tradition of all ex-Soviet underground systems, most of the stations are exquisitely decorated, often blending Armenian national motifs with late-Soviet architecture.

By minibus

More than a hundred minibus (marshrutka, pronounced mahrsh-root-kah) routes exist that criss-cross the city and travel to the suburbs and beyond (such as to Georgia or Karabagh). At 100 dram (US$0.33) a ride in Yerevan, they are a bargain. The minibuses are often overcrowded, and you may find yourself standing, crouched without a seat during rush hour. The route number is displayed prominently in the window, along with Armenian text listing the major landmarks and streets of the route. The Opera (ՕՊԵՐԱ) is an easy Armenian word to recognize on these signs, and is the main crossing point of many of the lines. When you want to get off, you should say “kanknek” for the driver to hear, or else, just say “stop” in English. The numbers of the minibuses are written on the bus stations though and the webpage of the tourist information has the whole list with destinations.

By bus or trolleybus

Yerevan has a few trolley lines and buses, operated by "Yergortrans." The fare is very inexpensive (50 dram) and the vehicles are not too crowded. Pay when leaving a bus or trolley.

By taxi

Abundant throughout the city, a taxi ride anywhere downtown should not cost more than 1000 dram (US$3). Most taxis with company names on the sides have meters, and prices tend to be competitive among taxi companies. To flag an empty one down on the street, just hold your arm out and pat your hand in the air, if they’re free they’ll stop. Taxis without a logo on the side tend to charge more, and may to try to get more out of foreigners. To avoid being ripped off, either call a taxi from a big company or head for the most modern looking ones which usually have a meter. Make sure that the driver switches it on when you start and politely remind him to do so if he has "forgotten" it. Carry some coins to prevent the drivers from telling you that they have no change on them. Standard price is a minimum of 500-600 Dram for the first 5 km and than 100 Dram for every further km. A car and driver can easily be rented for day trip outside of Yerevan, for as little as $20 plus gas. Beware of moonlighting "taxi" drivers at the airport who will try to charge you ridiculous amounts (20,000 dram or more) to get to the city. Finally never ever believe any taxidriver who wants to convince you that there is no bus or minivan to the destination you are heading to.

  • Erebuni Fortress – the excavations, recreations and museum of the nearly 3,000 year old fortress that established Yerevan. Fairly well (and maybe the best) preserved fortress in Armenia of Urartian Period.
Republic Square, the western (older) part
Republic Square, the western (older) part
  • Republic Square - Make sure to see the main square. Though it never took the planed shape of the Grand Square of a perfect city of Tamanyan, it still can be considered the finest example of Soviet era architecture as far as squares go. The early buildings (the Houses of Government, the Ministry of Communications, and the Marriott Hotel) are fine example of Neo-Classical architecture with Armenian hints. The buildings from later period (the Foreign Ministry, and Art Gallery) are Modernist imitations of previous ones.
  • Northern Avenue - impossible to miss, this pedestrian avenue was just opened in 2008 connecting Opera with Republic Square, the two hubs of central Yerevan. It's a Post-Modern response to post-WWII Soviet Yerevan architecture. It is emerging as the shopping district, together with Sayat-Nova ave., Terian st., Tumanian st., and Abovian st.
The Opera House
The Opera House
  • Abovian street - It's home to very few remaining Belle Époque period structures of Republican Armenia. Some gems of Art Nouveau, early Modern (constructivist and the like), and Moorish Revival style can be found in the backyards of Abovian, Nalbandian, and Hanrapetutian streets. Most often they are in a very poor condition due to neglect. Hanrapetutian st. might get a special attention if you are not time constrained.
  • The Opera – It's the 'soft' center of the city. It is topped by the magnificent building of the Opera House. Again (unfortunately) the building is not finished: The ornaments are undone and the statues are not placed. The building is perhaps modeled after SemperOper of Dresden, however it is supposed to be double as beautiful as the Yerevan building is two sided: One side (entrance from the Theatrical/Freedom square) is home to Opera and Ballet Theatre, while the street side houses the Khachaturian Concert Hall.
  • Freedom (or Theatrical) Square is part of The Opera. North side of the square is the Opera House, followed by a park full of open air cafés on the West, from South it borders the Northern Avenue, and on the East the square slowly transforms into park with Swan Lake. The Swan Lake park ends with the controversial statue of the composer Arno Babajanyan, which already was majorly reshaped twice during the first year of its placement. The Swan Lake park usually hosts various open air art exhibitions.
  • Cascades, Sculpture Park and Cafesjian Museum [2] – The Sculpture Park is a small green zone in the immediate North of The Opera. Sculptures from Botero and other artists of international fame decorate the Park. The park itself is part of Cafesjian Museum - the Armenian version of Guggenheim. The main part of the museum is in the Cascades - an Art Deco version of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon stretching nearly the height of the Empire State Building. It's a massive white stairway up a hillside of central Yerevan, decorated with green stretches, fountains and waterfalls. Higher level of the Cascades give a spectacular view of Mount Ararat and panorama of central Yerevan with it's hilariously multi-colour roofs. The first floor and the bookstore of the museum as well as the indoor escalators to the top of the Cascades are free of charge.
The Cascades (fragment)
The Cascades (fragment)
  • Mashtots avenue - It's the six-lane highway in the center of the city which somehow also accommodates a pedestrian zones on the sides (result of standard Soviet planning of main 'Prospekts'). It is overly noisy because of the heavy traffic (mostly unorganised public transportation) but the parts close to The Opera is a favourite hangout place for the locals. There are 3 buildings on the avenue which are well worth attention - Matenadaran, Blue Mosque, and the Covered Market.
  • Matenadaran [3]– Houses the worlds largest collection of Armenian illuminated manuscripts, and one of the largest such collections of any kind in the world. A display room has a sampling of some of the finest works, and the additional cost of the guided tour is worthwhile. The building is dug into the hill and can withstand a nuclear attack.
  • Blue Mosque - is an 18th century Shia Islamic Mosque, one of the extreme few surviving structures of once (before Soviet secularisation) prospering Muslim Community of Yerevan.
  • Covered Market - It's an original building, a combination of Jungenstil and Beaux-Arts. It still houses a market of fresh, sun-dried and conserved produce.
  • Main Railway Station
  • Victory Park/Monument - Amusement park. Features a huge monument of Mother Armenia as well as some Soviet military equipment on display. Very nice view of the city center.
  • Lover's Park [4] - the oldest park of Yerevan. Recently renovated in tradition of Japanese landscaping with Armenian spirit. It often hosts open air art exhibitions and concerts. It is best reachable by metro, station 'Marshal Baghramian' - perhaps the most underused building and allegedly the best in Modernist style.
  • Children's Park - This is yet another beautiful remnant of Soviet urban planning in Yerevan. The park, opened in 1937, is situated in a gorgeous canyon of Hrazdan river and features a Children's railway. Though the park and the railway still function, most of the infrastructure is horribly deteriorated. On the other hand the deterioration gives the feeling of a 'ghost park from a fairy tale' even though it is always populated. In order to find it you will need a direction from a local.
The Singing Fountains
The Singing Fountains
  • The Singing Fountains - From early Spring to late Autumn each evening there is a fountain and light show in front of the Art Gallery at the Republic square. The program includes some classical favorites, as well as contemporary Jazz, Rock and Pop (US or Russian). Usually it spans from 10pm to 11pm. It is free of charge.
  • Parajanov Museum [5] - The House-Museum of Sergei Parajanov, a famous Soviet film director. The museum is best known for special Parajanov collages and art that everybody loves and enjoys. It is equally highly appreciated by children, teenage and most demanding art critic. Many highest level official informal meetings are conducted here. The entrance is about 2 euros and the guided tours are offered for about 8 euro. It is a must to see!
  • Saryan Museum [6] If you are a lover of bright colours and enjoy Expressionist Art then House Museum of Martiros Saryan is a place for you. It's a 3 floor structure, built during the lifetime of the artist, as his house and house for his heritage after his life. So most of the Museum is designed by the artist himself. Address: Saryan 3, EVN002.
  • Cafesjian Museum of Modern Art [7] is a museum of modern art, house to the collection of Gerard Cafesjian. It has Arshile Gorky, Andy Warhol, Marc Chagall and other big names on display. The collection is very rich in Glass Art, has many pieces of Libenský-Brychtová couple, including special-made "For Armenia" series. A separate floor is devoted to Swarovski Chandelier collection.
  • The National Art Gallery [8] - Located at Republic Square in the same building as the National History Museum. Features several floors full of mostly paintings, organized by their country of origin. The Armenian collection is the best and of very high quality, the Russian is quite good (Kandinsky, Serov, Chagall), and art lovers will enjoy the European collection as well.
  • The Armenian Genocide Memorial (Genocide Museum & Tsitsernakaberd Monument) [9] - Located on a hill above the city center. A very austere monument dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Worth seeing. Tsitsernakaberd (meaning "Fortress of swallows") is probably best reached by taxi. Genocide Museum is home to French artist Jean Jansem's startling collection of paintings named Génocide.
  • The City Museum of Yerevan [10] - presents all periods of the life in Yerevan starting from paleolithic settlements (50000 years) to modern days. Ancient maps and the pictures of the lost city, pre-Soviet Erivan, are of special interest.


Churches in Yerevan are open from early morning till very late evening. There is no entrance fee ever charged.

  • Katoghike is The oldest surviving church of Yerevan. It is a tiny structure constructed in typical Armenian style. Currently, the area of Katoghike (also named St Holy Mother of God) church is under construction: It is planed that a white stone based St Anne Monastery will be built, of which Katoghike church will be only a minor part. On the crossroads of Sayat-Nova ave. and Abovian st.
St Gregory Cathedral
St Gregory Cathedral
  • St Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral was completed in 2001 to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of Armenia as a Christian nation. The holy relics of St Gregory the Armenian were given back to the Armenian Church by the Vatican in 2001 and placed in this cathedral. The building is a megalomaniac exaggeration of traditional Armenian Church Architecture. As opposed to all other churches in Yerevan (and Armenia) the Cathedral is full of light and does not carry any stand for candles. The candle-house is a separate structure next door. However, the complex is vastly and visibly unfinished. Not far from the Republic Square (visible from there).
  • St Sargis Vicarial Church is at the border of the city centre, on a picturesque gorge of Hrazdan River. From the Victory Bridge (or alternatively the Brandy Factory building) there is a beautiful view on the church and surroundings (structures of different shades constructed in immediate proximity to the church during the Soviet years of forced secularisation). The church is always crowded. Usually there are also many young people as St Sargis (or St Sergius in Western churches) is the patron saint of young people and of lovers.
  • St Astvatsatsin of Nork is the replica of a beautiful 18th century St Holy Mother of God (Sb Astvatsatsin in Armenian) church destroyed during the Soviet years of forced secularisation. Because of the sudden death of the benefactor the church complex was never finished. The most convenient way for reaching the church is using Yerevan funicular. The funicular itself is a special experience. However the church is not immediately next to the funicular stop so you may need some help of the locals at the end. The entrance to funicular is at the crossroad of Nalbandian and Charents streets. The church is in the Nork district of Yerevan - the sleeping quarter of rich.
  • The Ararat Cognac Factory – The oldest factory in Armenia. Offers tours and tasting.
  • AquaWorld – a water park which is popular with the locals in the summers.
  • Levon's Amazing Underground World – see what happened when Levon set out to dig a potato storage cellar for his wife, you won’t be disappointed.
Old carpets at the market
Old carpets at the market
  • For music fans, attend cheap and excellent performances at the Opera and/or the Chamber Music Orchestra. If a national dance group is performing, don’t miss it.
  • Spend a late night at a café in the Opera park. Station yourself by the sidewalk at Melody Café for some of the best people watching in Yerevan.
  • Chill out in Yerevan Green Belt. The most popular among the locals are the Paplavok Park (Mashtots ave.) and the Czerny Fountain Park (Sayat-Nova ave.)
  • Visit one of the themed restaurants in the Hrazdan Gorge to see the locals partying. The food does not tend to venture far from barbeque and crayfish, but it is usually good barbeque, and the prices range from very reasonable to the unreasonable. Check the prices on the hard liquor and wines before ordering a bottle if you’re price sensitive.
  • Climb the Cascades (or take the escalator) one evening for the great views of the city and Mt. Ararat, then head across the street to the amusement park inside Victory Park for some cotton candy and a ride on the ferris wheel.
  • A walk through the weekend Vernissage by Republic Square metro is a must. From car (and perhaps rocket) parts to rugs, souvenirs, instruments and paintings, this outdoor market seemingly has everything.
  • Catch a concert on the Cascades or the Lover's Park [11], and an art exhibition at Swan Lake park or Lover's Park.
  • Do not miss an evening with the Republic square Singing Fountains, 10-11p.m.
  • Ice-skate with many locals at the Swan Lake (next to the Opera House) during winter months.
  • Cool down in the WaterWorld [12]
  • Medical Procedures - Yerevan offers some world class medical treatments for fraction of the usual price. The most common are heart surgeries, nose jobs, hair removal and laser eye surgery.
  • Vardavar is the pagan holiday of water (currently a church holiday). It is a summertime movable feast that is mostly enjoyed by virtually everyone, grown and child alike: Litres of water is poured on everyone by everyone. Some parks have administered events.
  • Trndez is the pagan holiday of fire (currently a church holiday). It is observed on the February 13. Huge bonfire can be observed in each courtyard with people merrily singing around, youngsters jumping over and the like.
  • Yerevan Birthday is celebrated on the second Saturday of each October. That's usually a huge event, with central Yerevan being pedestrian only: Many stages all over the city for theatrical or music (usually thematic - ethnic minorities, folk, jazz, rock, pop, classics and the like) performances with a culmination on Republic square.
  • Golden Apricot [13] is a fairly well established international film festival, usually held in July. Armenians take pride in it.
  • ReAnimania [14] is an emerging international animated film festival. It is held in Autumn.


Diaspora Armenians may obtain a residency permit to live and work in Armenia without a problem. The 10 year visa/permit for $350 is the best deal. Non-Armenians should have an invitation, or establish a business to get a work/business visa.

Volunteering in Armenia may be a suitable for those wanting the experience. Armenian Volunteer Corps [15] can organize a volunteer placement and visa for you.

For those of Ethnic Armenian Descent, there are programs such as Birthright Armenia [16], which will pay for your trip if you participate in their program.

Tutoring in English is always an option for native English speakers. Demand to learn English, and practice English conversation is high.

  • Armenian brandy (locally called Cognac as well) is considered one of the world's finest brandies and is accordingly a popular gift to take home for tourists. It was actually Winston Churchill's brandy of choice. There are many stores within central Yerevan center devoted solely to brandy from the Ararat Cognac Factory; the airport is also a good place to stock up at duty free. As a rule, the more aged the brandy, the more refined the taste and the more expensive. But regardless the series of brandy, in Yerevan it will be an excellent value.
  • Armenian rugs, new and old are a favorite choice. New carpets can be purchased at the Mergeryan Rug Factory for a good price. More upscale is the international brand “Tufenkian Carpets”, with a shop on Tumanyan near Abovyan. Both will add your name or inscription request into an existing rug, or do a custom rug for you. There is no problem with exporting these. Old rugs are found in stores all over town, or in Vernissage. Be sure the seller obtains an export certificate from the ministry of culture for you – or you’re taking a chance that it may be confiscated. Negotiate to have the certificate delivered to you as part of the purchase price, and buy your rug a week before you go to give them time to obtain this certificate. New rugs do not require certification, but keep your factory certificate as proof that it is new.
  • More fragile, but maybe worth the effort are some of the more exotic jams and preserves made in Armenia. From walnut preserves, to “Sea Buckthorne” (Chichkhan), virtually everything that grows in Armenia is canned!


Dram (AMD) is a national currency of Armenia. As of January 2010:

  • 1 USD = approx. 378 AMD
  • 1 EUR = approx. 542 AMD

The rates can vary. Check [17] for the most recent rates.

When arriving in Zvartnots International Airport exchange only 20-30 USD for taxi or airport service as the exchange rate at the airport is always poor. Exchanges can be found all over the city, and do not charge a commission – count your money on the spot, though they tend to be patently honest. Banks tend to be the least convenient place to exchange, and tend to have the worst rates – exchange on the streets. Exchange rates on the streets are almost all quite competitive, so shopping around is only worthwhile for very large amounts. Stores and restaurants will frequently accept dollars in a pinch, though they prefer dram.

Cash (in dram only) can be withdrawn from numerous ATM's located in the city, but you may have to try several machines before getting money. Try local banks (like Ararat). HSBC ATM's usually refuse to recognise non-Armenian cards. Though VISA and Master Card are accepted in many restaurants, supermarkets and shops in Yerevan, carry some cash. To withdraw dollars from your credit card, you can go into a bank.

  • Lagonid is a Middle Eastern restaurant with sandwiches starting from $3. On Nalbandyan St. north of Sayat Nova.
  • Mer Tagh is a small lahmejun joint on Tumanyan, and their lahmejuns have a big following. Stands selling Armenian-style "pizzas" called "lamehjun" or "lahmajoun" are prevalent throughout Yerevan. This cheap snack consists of a thin layer of dough topped with an herb and meat paste. Tumanyan St. west of Abovyan.
  • Khingali, on Tumanyan next to Mer Tagh (above) has excellent khingali (dumplings) with meat or cheese filling. Either can be served boiled or fried. Tumanyan St. west of Abovyan.
  • Dona Bakery The underground Dona bakery located on Mesrop Mashtots avenue close to the Matenadaran offers delicious pastries, both European and Armenian. A good place to catch an inexpensive snack.
""Jazve Cafe" is also a wonderful pace to meet up with someone over a cup of coffee or just to have lunch, desert... anything for that matter! Its lunch and appetizer menu is absolutely outstanding. Watch out for its misspelling on the menu. Jazve's wonderful costumers can correct it, but, sadly, they don't get paid. There are plenty of these cafe's across Yerevan.
  • Café Central a solid place for a meal, reminiscent of a Viennese café. Abovyan St., south of Moscovyan.
  • Old Erivan (Hin Yerevan) has traditional foods, song, dance, and the décor will make you think Disney has come to town. Almost a must for any visitor. 2 Northern Ave.
  • Artbridge is a staple of the Yerevan eating scene. The food strong on breakfasts and lighter fare. Artbridge also has a nice selection of foreign language books and Western periodicals if you are desperate for some new reading material. Abovyan St. north of Tumanyan St.
  • Artashi Mot is considered by many to be the finest khorovats (BBQ) joint in Armenia. Judge for yourself, but not before trying the horti (beef) and sunki (mushroom) barbeques. They are both mouthwateringly delicious, when they have them. Other nice alternatives include the fish barbeque and the piti soup. Whichever barbeque you get, get some of the tomato sauce mix that Artash makes to put on your meat, or just to dip your bread into. On Manoogian St, right across from the National Cathedral's candle prayer room.
  • L’Orange [18] has great service and a good menu. 21 Tumanyan St.
  • There is a local company named " CheeZLer [19]" that makes great cheesecakes. Cheesecakes are sold in most of the big supermarkets in the centre of Yerevan city. You can even order cheesecakes online only for 7.5 $ (per 1 kg cake).
  • Mer Gyugh An excellent restaurant in Yerevan to sample traditional Armenian cuisine is this restaurant, located on Sayat Nova Street not far from the Opera. The creatively decorated interior mimics an Armenian village in Lebanon. The chicken "Ararat" comes with a dried fruit pilav that is quite a treat! The restaurant often features traditional folk music in the evenings. Sayat Nova Ave., west of Terian.
  • Cactus Yerevan's Mexican restaurant, located near the Opera off Mesrop Mashtots Avenue. The food is decent imitation Mexican with all the usual dishes--burritos, tacos, etc. The prices are a bit steep by Yerevan standards, but not that expensive for Western travelers. The décor gets an "A" for effort. 42 Mastots Ave.
  • Caucasus (Кавка́з), Sayat Nova. Extensive menu of caucasian dishes in 5 languages plus photos. Starter ~1000 AMD, main dish ~2500 AMD. You can order fish straight from the aquarium.
  • Latelier, Mashtoc 37 (Near Opera), 50-02-03. 11-12.  edit
  • Dolmama – fusion Armenian-World cuisine. Excellent food, service and ambiance. The outdoor seating out back is a way to experience the old courtyards that filled central Yerevan in the past. 10 Pushkin Str.
  • The Club has some excellent Western Armenian dishes, including manti, su borek and the amazing midia dolma. The underground space is very hip, and the tea room, when not too smoky is a great place to sit on a bean back and chat. For a budget option, you can order one of their very filling thin crust pizzas, possibly the best in Yerevan, starting at $5. 40 Tumanyan St.
  • Mozarteum – opened in Spring 2008, this is an excellent addition to the Yerevan food scene with excellent Armenian and international cuisine, and great ambiance. Intersection of Sayat Nova and Byron St.
  • Al Leoni (on Tumanyan just west of Parpetsi) and Hotel Yerevan (on Abovyan) for some fine Italian dining.


Armenia itself is a place to drink, with no prohibition against drinking in public. Cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs and the countryside on a picnic are all popular places for vodka, the usual drink of choice, with wine, beer, champagne and brandy all popular as well. You can even drink in a car – as long as you’re not driving. Drivers cannot have a drop of alcohol in them, with Zero being the legal threshold – and the penalties for violating this are stiff.

  • The most popular places to drink in the summer tend to be outdoor cafes and café/restaurants. The cafes by the Opera and Republic Square are always packed.
  • Bars such as Cheers, the Irish Bar (Saryan St.), the Rock Bar Yerevan (16 Parpetsi St. ) and Melines are popular spots with visitors.
  • Popular nightclubs are mainly in the center, with longtime standby’s such as Atlantic, Relax, Astral and Club One usually full on the weekends.

Like mentioned before, "Jazve Cafe" is also a wonderful place to meet up with someone For a drink make sure to try is wonderful strawberry coffee as that is a drink like no other!

  • Cognac – see the buy section above.
  • Homemade fruit vodkas – these are not flavored from fruit like most of the western vodkas, they are actually made from pure fruit. The most popular is the Tutti Oghi (Mulberry Vodka), but just as impressive if you can find them are the Cornelian Cherry (Hon), Pear, Apricot and Peach.
  • Wine – Areni grapes are only grown in Armenia, which is in the oldest grape and wine producing part of the world. Old Yerevan is the best brand.
  • Compote – if you can get it, this usually home made fruit juice is fantastic.
  • Tan – blended plain yogurt with water and a dash of salt, this drink is often an acquired taste, and very refreshing. It’s a healthy alternative to soda, so give it a try. You can sometimes find bottled fizzy tan, which is an even more acquired taste!

Night Clubs

In Yerevan there are plenty of Night Clubs, Pubs, Karaoke and Strip Clubs especially in downtown. Locals' and tourists' favourite night clubs are:

  • Bunker Club Sayat-Nova street
  • Opera Club the basement of the Opera building.
  • Kami Club Abovyan near Moscow cinema
  • Champs-Élysées Club on Northern Avenue
  • Ego Club on Kuryun street, Citadel Business Center Area
  • The Club on Tumanyan street
  • Tochka Club Opera Area
  • Stop Clup Moscovyan street
  • Tornado Club Brand-new huge club in Bangladesh area

Popular Pubs

  • Pub Red Bull Moscovyan street
  • Western Pub Tumanyan street
  • Wild West Pub Tumanyan street

Yerevan Night Life is famous for its Strip Clubs

  • Omega Club Teryan street
  • Pyramida Club Sayat-Nova street
  • Charlotte Club Baghramyan street
  • Dinoul Club Baghramyan strret
  • Cherry Club Leningradyan street
  • Safari Club Set of Clubs, Republic Square area and a brand-new club on Arshakunyats street

In All Clubs the dancers are from Ukraine and Russia so erotic dance show and hot atmosphere are guaranteed.

Favourite Karaoke Clubs are:

  • Mama-Mia Large set of Karaoke clubs
  • 7Notes Sayat-Nova street
  • Iceberg Northern avenue
  • 69 Club Sayat-Nova street

This is a brief list of famous clubs in Yerevan.


Yerevan has a wide variety of accommodations but for the most part they are overpriced. If you're staying for an extended period of time, rent an apartment. Check the AUA (American University of Armenia), locat travel agents (Menua tours, Hyur Service) or real estate brokers for rental listings.


It is almost impossible to sleep cheap in a hotel in Yerevan. Try home stays with Armenian families that rent out rooms. There are many of these places and they cost from $8 - $12 per night per person. Many are located in the center of Yerevan and if you can handle not having your own “space” they are a wonderful way to truly see Armenian hospitality up close. You can get a list of these home stays by contacting the Armenian Information Center [20].

  • There is a dormitory/hostel at 52 Mashtots Poghota. They are very kind and it is very clean.
  • Envoy Hostel [21] (corner of Pushkin and Parpetsi) The only hostel in town. It is large, immaculate and costs normally 8,500 AMD with breakfast, but it’s on special for 6400 in 2008 (excluding September)
  • several homestays, on Sayat Nova 5. About 15 USD per person (summer 2009), conditions from bad to average..  edit
  • Areg Hotel [22] (near Sasuntsi David Square, south and not too far from downtown) Nice, small and clean, it's the cheapest (real) hotel. Single: 50 USD - Double: 73 USD - Triple: 86 USD (Tax and breakfast included)


The main western standard hotels are the Marriott Hotel Armenia, located in Republic Square, Hotel Yerevan (Golden Tulip) on Abovyan, and the Congress Hotel, a short walk from Republic Square. The Congress is one step down in price but offers the same western feel as the Marriott, and has a large outdoor pool. The Golden Palace, which claims 5 stars, has recently opened (July 2005). It is at the top of the Cascade. Hotel Latar, far on the outskirts of the city is like another world – as are the prices. The massive circular pool is a sight to behold.

The Hotel Ani and Bass Hotel are nice and offer more realistic prices for western style accommodations. The specialty niche has the Tufenkian Hotel which tries to give you western standards but be true to the Armenian culture. It is high up in the Nork district of Yerevan, and you will be lucky if your taxi can find it easily. Olympia Hotel is situated in one of the most prestigious parts of Yerevan. The outstanding view from your balcony (you’ll see Mountain Ararat, Mountain Aragats, Hrazdan valley and hear the sound of the waterfall just in front of you). Renovated and recently opened Erebuni Hotel is also a good choice in terms of price, location (next to Republic Square) and accommodations.

  • Armenia Marriott Hotel [28]
  • Golden Palace Hotel [29]
  • Golden Tulip Hotel Yerevan [30]
  • Olympia Hotel [31]
  • Tufenkian Avan Villa Yerevan [32]
  • Michael Arlen, ‘’Passage to Ararat’’, an autobiographical account of an American-Armenian’s first visit to Soviet Armenia.

Mobile phone providers

There are three GSM service providers operating in Armenia: Orange, VivaCell and ArmenTel. It is strongly advised to purchase a temporary prepaid SIM card. The option is cheap and comfortable. It allows both local and international calls, no charge for incoming calls and no monthly fee.

Majority of foreign visitors find their mobile phones compatible with Armenian SIM cards (GSM 900).

The following info might be outdated (Jan. 2010): VivaCell is the leading GSM services provider in Armenia and offers a quality service at reasonable rates. VivaCell temporary SIM card (it is called ALO card) will cost you from AMD 1100 - 7000 (USD 3-20) depending on how many credits you wish to have on your account already. ArmenTel Easy card can be an alternative. Note: this option may no longer be available to those without Armenian residency.

Stay safe

Yerevan is generally safer than many western-European cities. Crime and street violence is almost non-existent here. Nevertheless, as in the most cities of its size, in crowded places and transport beware of pickpockets.

The traffic can be quite rough, so pay close attention when crossing the street.

  • Armenian Tourism Development Agency, 3 Nalbandyan Street, [33].
  • United Kingdom, [34].  edit
  • United States, 1 American Avenue Yerevan 0082, Republic of Armenia, (+37410) 464-700 (, fax: (+37410) 464-742), [35].  edit

Botschaft der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Eriwan, [36].   edit

Get out

Day tours

There are many convenient day trips based from Yerevan, including a bunch better saved as overnight trips. Companies like Levon Travel, Menua, Sati and Hyur (among others) have signs around town advertising their pre-arranged tours.

  • Garni and Geghard are an absolute must, or people will not believe you’ve been to Armenia.
  • Zvartnots Cathedral ruins and Echmiadzin.
  • Saghmosavank and Hovhannavank monasteries overlooking the Kasagh River Canyon and the churches of Ashtarak.
  • Khor Virab Monastery, Noravank Monastery, Noravank Canyon and Areni Wine Country.
  • Lake Sevan, Sevanavank and Hayravank Monasteries, and Noratus Khachkar Cemetary.
  • Dilijan old town, Haghartsin and Goshavank Monasteries.
  • The Debed Canyon and the monasteries of Lori (UNESCO World Heritage sites of Haghpat and Sanahin, plus Odzun, Kobayr, Horomayri and Surp Grigori).

Public transportation

Buses and Minivans are the major means of transportation within the country. From Yerevan you can get to literally every place in Armenia within a day. To make things confusing for foreigners, there exists a confusing amount of different regional bus-stations in Yervan and especially the minivans tend to leave from hard to find places just somewhere at the side of the road. When heading into Yerevan, they are not unknown to drop you at random spots somewhere in the city, so ask the driver beforehand to drop you at a convenient place. The following is a incomplete list of the major bus- "stations".

Central/Kilikia Bus Station

This is the biggest bus station in Yerevan. It is located to the south-west of the city center on Admiral Isakov Avenue, around one kilometer form the shuka at the end of Mashtots Avenue. To get there, take Minibuses 13 (from Barekamutsun Metro), 23 (from the Train Station) or 15, 68 and 75 (from Repuplic Square). The buses from here serve for example Sisian, Goris, Kapan, Gyumri and Vanadzor.

Northern Bus Station

This bus station lies around 5km north of the city center on the Yervan-Sevan Highway. It is worth visiting just for its soviet architecture and the desperate feeling the huge and empty building gives. To get there take bus 113 or Minibus 101 (both from somewhere on Komitas). Buses and Minivans from here go to for example Dillijan and Sevan.

By train

Trains are cheap and inconvenient/uncomfortable options, but for the adventurous they can be taken Yerevan-Lake Sevan, Yerevan-Gyumri, Vanadzor-Alaverdi-Tbilisi and Yerevan-Yevlakh.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:




Yerevan skyline with Mount Ararat in the background.

Alternative spellings


From Armenian Երևան (Erevan).


  • (US), (UK) IPA: /ˌjerəˈvɑːn/
  • (Armenian) IPA: [jɛɾɛˈvɑn]

Proper noun




  1. The capital of Armenia. Population: 1,107,800. Founded in 782 BC as an Urartian fortress of Erebuni.


Simple English

File:Yerewan with
Yerevan with the mount Ararat in the background

Yerevan [1] is the capital and largest city of Armenia. In 2004 about 1,088,300 people lived in Yerevan. Some people write Yerevan as Erevan. In past, Yerevan was called Erebuni or Erivan.

It is situated on the Hrazdan River, and is the administrative, cultural, and industrial center of the country.

The history of Yerevan dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the Urartian fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC.[2] Eventually, the letter "b" in the name Erebuni changed in the 5th or 4th century BC, becoming "v".[3]



The climate of Yerevan is relatively continental, with dry, hot summers and cold and short winters. The temperature in August can reach 40°C (104°F), while January may be as cold as -15 °C (5 °F). The amount of precipitation is small, amounting annually to about 350 mm (14 in).


As a centre of Armenian culture, Yerevan is the site of Yerevan State University (1919), the Armenian Academy of Sciences, a historical museum, an opera house, a music conservatory and several technical institutes. The Matenadaran archives hold a rich collection of valuable ancient Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Hebrew, Roman and Persian manuscripts. Yerevan has several large public libraries, a number of museums and theaters, botanical gardens and zoos. It is also at the heart of an extensive rail network and is a major trading centre for agricultural products. In addition, industries in the city produce metals, machine tools, electrical equipment, chemicals, textiles and food products.

Two major tourist attractions are the Opera House, the ruins of an Urartu fortress and a Roman fortress. The Armenia Marriott Hotel is situated in the heart of the city at Republic Square (also known as Hraparak).


The Yerevan Metro is a rapid transit system that serves the capital city. Its interior resembles that of western former Soviet nations with chandeliers hanging from the corridors. The metro stations had most of their names changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Independence of the Republic of Armenia.


Yerevan is Armenia's industrial, transportation, and cultural center. Manufactures include chemicals, primary metals, machinery, rubber products, plastics, textiles, and processed food. Not only is Yerevan the headquarters of major Armenian companies, but of international ones as well, as it's seen as an attractive outsourcing location for Western European, Russian and American multinationals.


Recently, Yerevan has been undergoing an ambitious redevelopment process in which old Soviet-style apartments and buildings are being demolished and replaced with modern buildings. However, this urban renewal plan has been met with opposition and ([1]) criticism from some residents. Jermaine Jackson has planned to build an entertainment complex in a new 5-star hotel which is being built in the city.


  1. Armenian: Երեւան or Երևան
  2. Katsenelinboĭgen, Aron (1990). The Soviet Union: empire, nation and systems. New Brunswick: Transaction. pp. 143. ISBN 0-88738-332-7. 
  3. Baghdasaryan A., Simonyan A. et al. 1977. Երևան (Yerevan). The Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia. Yerevan, Armenian SSR, vol. III, 548-564

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