5 Unmissable Fun Activities to do in Yerevan (Armenia)
The capital of the Balkan nation of Armenia, Yerevan is a small city sprawling with huddled buildings and cozy cafes. It abounds of parks, fountains, bars, cafes, markets, and creative spaces. The city exudes music and laughter that will tangibly lift your spirits and lighten your heart.
Small as it may be, there are a host of activities and landmarks in Armenia that you must visit at least once in your lifetime! Check out the top 5 things to do in Yerevan:
Frolic at Shaki and Jermuk Waterfalls
At an altitude of over 2000 m, Jermuk falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the whole country. Like some of the other natural landscapes in Armenia, the folktale behind the formation of the Jermuk waterfalls is an interesting one. The legend has it that the waterfall is the hair of a beautiful princess whose father forbade her from meeting her herdsman lover. And as a result, the princess unfurls her hair in great sorrow into the gorge, making it the waterfall we see today.
The Shaki waterfall holds a similar fable. Refusing to surrender to her conquerors, a beautiful girl called Shaki falls off a precipice and turns into the Shaki waterfall. It is located in the Syunik province and would take roughly one hour to explore it completely.
Stroll along the Republic Square
At the heart of the city lies “Hraparak”, or simply called the Republic Square. The construction of the square spans over a whopping 5 decades. During spring, the stone buildings at this town square are festooned with tulips and roses, making it a perfect spot to spend the evenings. And during the mornings, you can visit the National Gallery and the History Museum.
Lake Sevan, Parz, and Haghartsin Monastery
A short drive from the city center, lake Sevan is a beautiful shimmering water body surrounded with many points of interest. While you’re there, you must check out the Sevan island. You’ll find a host of restaurants and cafes that will beckon you with wafting scents of delicacies including “Gata,” an irresistible Armenian pastry.
When you’re done indulging in the delicacies, you can make your way to the end of the Transcaucasian trail, at Lake Parz. The lake fosters hazy, shaded spots filled with copses of trees that give off an Amazonian feeling. The lake is at its full glory in Autumn, with the surrounding deciduous trees shedding the leaves and creating a picturesque effect.
Just 18 km from the town of Dilijan lies a 10 th century dwelling — the Haghartsin Monastery. You’ll be amazed at the number of inscriptions on the walls of the churches in the monastery. What’s interesting is that there exists a hidden room and secret tunnel that once led to the river. The monastery is an epitome of Medieval Armenian architecture.
Hot Air Balloon in Garni
If you want a panoramic view of Armenia, what better a way to get a bird-eye view of Yerevan than from a hot-air balloon? Be prepared to take in the view of the gorgeous Armenian mountain ranges. If you consider parachuting and skydiving too extreme a sport, then hot air balloons are a great alternative while still being able to take in the Armenian beauty.
Noravank, Birds Cave, and Cable Car Rides
One of the best viewpoints to Mount Ararat, Khor Virap is a 30-minute ride from Yerevan and lies on the Turkish border. The tour won’t take longer than an hour, so when you’re done, you can head to Noravank.
Although Noravank means “New Monastery” in Armenia, the monastery itself was constructed in the 13 th century. The inscriptions on the walls preserve Armenian history and highlight a very important part of history. In 2002, the monastery was indicted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
“Wings of Tatev” is a 5.7km cableway that currently holds the record for the longest non-stop double track cable car. Once you embark on the cable car, you will have 11—15 minutes of pure bliss as you gaze over the Armenian landscape. If you’ve never been in a cable car before, how does riding the world’s longest cable car ride sound?
Festivals & Events
Armenia has a host of exciting festivals that you can be a part of. Some of these festivals are:
Water Festival: Celebrated 14 days after Easter, this fun festival is all about pouring water from buckets on passer-by’s heads from rooftops and windows. Those who get watered on are believed to accomplish their goals.
Yell Extreme Festival: If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then you mustn’t miss this festival. During this festival, you will be joining others in more than 10 adrenaline-pumping extreme sports like horseback riding, paragliding, ziplining, etc.
Yerevan Music Night Fest: Music lovers in Armenia make their way to the Charles Aznavour Square in Yerevan for live performances by well-known singers and bands.
As of May 1 st 2022, you are not required to produce a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test certificate or even a certificate of complete vaccination against COVID-19 for entry into Armenia. However, it is strongly recommended that you check with your country’s embassy before departing to Armenia.
Visa: Visa requirements for Armenia depends on the nationality of the visitor. If you are a citizen of one of the countries in this list, you will not be required to procure a visa to visit Armenia. However, if your country isn’t on the list, then you can go ahead and apply for an e-visa. A 21-day tourist visa to Armenia will cost you only USD 6. However, it is best to confirm the updated price from the official Ministry of Armenia website.