kami

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Why Yerevan is my new favourite city

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Yerevan is not a beautiful city. It is called „a Pink City” but don’t expect it to take your breath away or fall in love with it from the very first sight. But if you decide to give Yerevan a chance and spend there more than only few hours there’s a big possibility you’ll discover a true face of the Armenian capital and will want to return there as often as possible. That was the story with me. When I visited Yerevan for the first time in summer 2012 I liked it but didn’t go crazy for it. Ever since leaving it I felt that I should go back there as soon as possible to dig in deeper and see how it really is (similar story happened to me with Sarajevo, Belgrade and Amman) and so when I finally saw some very cheap tickets to Armenia I didn’t think twice. This time I spent almost two weeks in Yerevan and every day I was falling more and more for it, making it so hard to eventually leave. So what makes Yerevan so special and why you should consider it as one of your next destinations?

yerevan-republic-square

The cafe culture in Yerevan

First and most important is the amazing cafe culture! It was one of the first things I’ve noticed in Yerevan during my first visit and now it struck me even more. The city is literally full of cafes! Every park, every square, most of the streets have them and no matter what time of the day they were always packed with people. Since Armenians like their coffee to be good (and everywhere you can buy fresh coffee grains that are milled right at the spot) you can be sure that the quality of the drinks you order will be exceptional yet it won’t ruin you budget.

yerevan-cafe

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Another big advantage of most of the cafes in Yerevan was an excellent free wifi (it is also available in some shops and in every metro station). I spent two full days sitting in the cafe (Achajour – highly recommended!) and did so much work it would normally take me weeks to finish. If someone is looking for a base for freelance writing jobs then Yerevan is a top destination for this! I could already picture myself living there and spending my days writing in the cafes!

cafe-yerevan

Interesting urban planning

Yerevan is also a great example of the Soviet city, with the center planned as circular to resemble the sun. It was designed by Alexander Tamanyan whose monument is standing proudly in the center of the city, next to the famous Cascade. The main avenues and streets are wide, there are lots of green spaces with numerous benches to sit and relax, the pedestrian avenue – home to fancy shops and expensive apartments – connects two main squares (it was planned by Tamanyan already in 1924 but was built only in 2007). When the center of Yerevan was planed the city was just a provincial town yet aimed to be a perfect Soviet metropolis with at least 200.000 inhabitants (these days it’s 5 times more). To achieve the greatness a lot of old, historical buildings were sadly destroyed. Only one district of the old Yerevan – Kond – can be found almost in the center. Narrow streets, laundry hanging between old houses, public wells, everything kind of rusty – that’s how Kond is!

yerevan-street

yerevan-park

kond-yerevan

Yerevan is alive!

I could spent hours just randomly walking around in Yerevan or sitting on the bench and looking at the world around me going by. The city is very lively and seems to be always full with people of all ages (well, ok, not at 9 in the morning). I had a feeling that the main activity for most of the residents is to hang out in the center. Seeing all these people spending time outside brought back nice memories of the childhood and reminded me of the good old times without shopping centers dominating our life. Actually that’s how I found Yerevan, a lovely city that could be as well based in the 1990s. Sadly things are slowly changing, two shopping centers were opened, but still parks are full of old merry-go-rounds (that are always full of kids), parks are full of the smell of freshly made popcorn, there’s a lights and sound show in the Republic Square (with music from the 1990s!;)) people simply enjoy spending time together, outside in the cafe, park or on a walk.

park-yerevan

fountains-yerevan

Visit Yerevan to enjoy delicious Armenian food!

And the food in Armenia? So delicious! As a vegetarian I could pick up from many options and each of them was better than the previous! I mostly dined in either a restaurant serving food from Caucasus (named – surprise, surprise – „Caucasus”) or the Syrian falafel place (Oolig on Tumanyan Street, close to the Opera). In the first one the service was terrible but the food was amazing and fairly cheap! I always went just for the mix of starters (vegetarian dolma must have been one of them each time, it was love at first bite!) and after 2-3 hours in the restaurant (speaking of bad service…) I was so full I hardly could walk. And the bill never was bigger than 5.500AMD (13,50$ / 10€ / 40zł) for two people, lots of food and some drink included! And for Oolig – I always had falafel and tan (a local drink similar to ayran in Turkey) and such meal costed me around 1.000 AMD (2,50$ / less than 2€ / 7,50zł). It literally was a food paradise for me!

armenian-food

yerevan-bakery

Visit Yerevan to enjoy some art!

Yerevan is also a city of art. Not only the main attrcation is a Cascade complex that serves as the Cafesjian Museum of Art – a place full of really interesting contemporary art from the collection of the founder. But there’s no need to visit the Museum itself as lots of the pieces of exhibition are located either in the park leading to the Cascade, in the stairs of the complex or inside, where the escalator is (entrance on the left side). The city is also full of various monuments of famous Armenians or other random art installations. But my favourite thing was how neatly painted most of the gates in the city are. It was a project made by the student of Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts (or at least that’s what I heard) and it really added up to the city’s look and charm! All the paintings were so good I literally couldn’t decide which was my favourite one!

yerevan-art

yerevan-gate

yerevan-monument

Day trips from Yerevan

Due to its central location Yerevan also makes a perfect base for numerous daytrips in Armenia. There’re so many incredible places to see in the country and the most faraway one – Tatev Monastery – is located 4 hours from the capital. I’ve seen most of the important sights in the country yet I never stayed overnight outside of Yerevan. You can use public transport to the main cities (like Gyumri) or go for organized tours (which are really cheap and just your best option in Armenia) – either way you’ll love what you will see outside of the capital too!

While visiting the capital of Armenia I did the following day trips:

gyumri

tatev

The location and Mount Ararat

With all the greatness that Yerevan has the main reason why it stole my heart is Mount Ararat and the spectacular views of it. On some days you can see it very clearly, on others you just feel it’s there. I could spend hours siting on the stairs of Cascade and just staring at it, thinking about the tragic history of Armenia and the importance of this very place. Oh wait, I actually did that, many times…

ararat-from-yerevan

If you’re still wondering if it’s worth visiting Armenia don’t hesitate too long and just go! It’s one of the most fascinating countries you’ll ever visit and the memories from it will stay with you forever! If you give Yerevan a chance and spend there more time, taking things easy and just trying to live the local life I guarantee you – it will become one of your favourite cities too! And when you plan to visit Yerevan be sure to contact my good friend and fellow blogger Zof! Thanks to her hospitality I could really feel like a local there and I didn’t want to leave! I’m sure she will help you to enjoy the city to the fullest, as she helped me!

Would you like to visit Yerevan?


Are you looking for a place to stay in Yerevan? Look no further! Book your accommodation in Yerevan here!


Are you planning a trip to Caucasus? Do you like that region as much as I do? I’ve created a Facebook group where you can look for advise or inspiration and share your travel stories and pictures from Caucasus and beyond. Join now!


If you think of visiting Armenia or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it:

If you’re looking for articles about any place in particular this map with posts might be useful for you. Or just take a look at the „destinations” page.


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25 Cze '14

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There are 22 Comments.

  1. „If someone is looking for a base for freelance writing jobs then Yerevan is a top destination for this!”
    Ach. Perfect news :D
    Ibazela latest post…Pics take you places: IcelandMy Profile

    • kami
      11:54 29/04/2015

      are you planning to move to Yerevan :D ? you know I’d visit frequently then :D ?

  2. Lee Hamilton
    15:20 21/06/2015

    Wow amazing pictures of Yerevan.Yet another place I have not thought about. i need to think about Armenia and Mount Ararat is truly an awesome sight.

    • kami
      15:36 14/09/2015

      Armenia is really amazing and Yerevan might be not beautiful in the classical way but it surely has a soul! And Mount Ararat is just epic!

  3. Kami, I’ve already told you before that Yerevan is not my city at all BUT I have to admit, the view on Mount Ararat is even more than spectacular. First (and only) time in Armenia I felt my heart is beating faster :)
    Natalia | nataliawatras.com latest post…emiratczycy o seksie niedozwolonymMy Profile

    • kami
      15:40 14/09/2015

      you just need to give Yerevan a chance, I think it’s totally your kind of the city ;) After my first visit there I didn’t like it at all, and then I fell in love so much with it! Next time you just need to go with me ;)
      And I can look for hours at Ararat and it never gets boring!

  4. Come back;))

  5. Na mnie zrobila dobre wrazenie energia Erywania, ale mnie nie porwal. Niektore miejsca bardzo mi sie w nim podobaly, inne wcale. Musze tam dotrzec jeszcze do matenadaran muzeum. Miasto pelne kontrastow, troche surreal… Do Kondu dotarlismy wieczorem i powiem szczerze, w ciemnosciach troche byl dla mnie przerazajacy :)
    Generalnie pokochalam Gruzje bardziej niz Armenie rowniez, z wylaczeniem moze Nagorno-Karabakh. Do Armenii musze wrocic do Aragats bo nie dotarlismy tam. A Batumi jak unikalam tak bede unikac :D

    • no własnie, miasto nie musi być piękne, żebym je uwielbiała, i tak tez jest z Erywaniem. ba, to chyba jedna z brzydszych stolic w jakich byłam, ale dla mnie i tak najwspanialsza, własnie przez ta energie i atmosferę. Gruzja dla mnie zbyt turystyczna się zrobiła, tym bardziej jak mam porównanie do 2011r, a Armenia dalej daje radę! Do Karabachu jeszcze nie dotarłam, chociaz plany za każdym razem były, ale Erywań mnie zbytnio wciągał

    • Nie omijaj Karabachu, jedz, dam ci namiary na Saro, jest absolutnie wspanialym hostem w Shushi! Ja do Karabachu musze wrocic obejrzec wiecej regionu :) Ludzie na miejscu wspominali, ze od kilku lat na granicy bardziej niespokojnie sie zrobilo, wiec moze byc warto pojechac tam wczesniej niz pozniej..
      A Georgia- Zugdidi/Samegrelo – zero turystow, jeden z najpiekniejszych rejonow :)

  6. Armenia has been one of my favorite countries, but I don’t remember Yerevan standing out when I visited 8 yrs ago.

    • the first time I went there was in 2012 and didn’t like it all that much but I just needed to give it time, now I’m kind of crazy about it ;) you should go back to see how it’s now!

  7. I will be visiting Armenia on the 3rd week of September! Excited to experience what you’ve experienced!

    • kami
      15:41 14/09/2015

      Ah, lucky you!! I hope you will like it half as much as I did! :)

  8. Anna
    11:31 23/10/2015

    My favorite place in Yerevan is the staircase in Cascade. I can sit there for hours and watch people and the city. The view is so perfect from above. You can read a book or just paint what you imagine.

    • kami
      18:30 15/11/2015

      I totally agree! It’s my fave place in Yerevan too and I can easily spend hours there, just looking at the view!!

  9. Lauren
    08:39 01/08/2016

    The whole warm of Yerevan is in Cascade. Here is the youth of the city.

    • kami
      14:58 04/08/2016

      Agree! It’s probably my favorite place in the whole city!

  10. Magda
    21:38 20/08/2016

    I was in Yerevan last weekend and I fell in love with this city. When I went to the dancing fountain show, and saw the Republic Square, and heard monumental classical music there – I was thrilled! And how alive the city was! I hope I will come back there.

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