Have you ever heard of a country called Armenia? Perhaps few of you did! But many of you didn’t, either I didn’t hear it too. If you were reading my previous blog, you should be aware that I’ve been there recently.
Armenia is a small country located in the Caucasus region, it’s landlocked by Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Iran. Today, I would like to share with you my recommended itinerary if in case you’re planning to visit Armenia. I have personally visited these places while I was there:
Yerevan City – A visit to any country is always incomplete without visiting the capital city itself. Yerevan is the capital city of Armenia where most likely you’re going to stay during your visit. Yerevan is an old, but very fascinating city to explore, you don’t really need to ride a taxi while in Yerevan.
You can explore it on foot especially if you’re staying right at the center which we’ll talk later on. As an old city, you’ll expect to see well preserved old buildings dated almost centuries ago. Busy pedestrians, beautiful people passing by and lots of small water fountains where you can sip for a drink safely.
Vernissage Market – Still in Yerevan City, the vernissage Market, is an opened air market where you can buy lots of cheap souvenirs. So instead of buying souvenirs from the malls, consider dropping by at this place where you can purchase wide arrays of souvenir items such as pieces of jewelry, handicrafts, carpets, paintings, woodworks, clothing, religious relics and a lot more, name it! They have it all, you can even bargain for the price.
Republic Square – If you’re visiting Armenia, I would highly recommend staying nearby the Republic Square, the RS is the center of the city. Where you can see government offices, museums, high-end shops, hotels and the famed Yerevan fountain. During the night, the Republic Square turns lively as there are hundreds of people gathering around the square to witness the dancing fountain of Yerevan.
North Avenue Street – This is one of my favorite places in Yerevan, the North Avenue Street, from the word itself – it’s a basically a street where lots of hotels, high-end brands, restaurants, coffee shops and underground mall are located here. Expect to see locals and tourists hanging around this place. Both day and night you will see this place very active and you’ll never get bored visiting this place.
Cascade – Another place you should never miss to visit is the Cascade, this is also one of my favorites there. A Cascade is a giant stairway made out of limestones, it’s really huge! You can either ascend it through by its steps or you can use its escalators inside. Once you’ve reached the top of the Cascade you’ll be able to see the panoramic view of Yerevan and the majestic Mount Ararat. Before reaching the Cascade you’ll be greeted with a beautiful garden with fountain and great sculptures made out of hard material. There are benches to sit down and lots of cafes nearby.
Victory Park and Mother of Armenia Monument – Just above the Cascade is the Victory Park and the Mother of Armenia Monument. The Victory Park is a heavily forested park where you can relax and enjoy the green, green vegetation and trees around. A few meters or within the Victory Park is another very popular landmark – the Mother of Armenia Statue. It’s a giant female statue that symbolizes the bravery of the Armenian women who helped fought during the wars and its struggles to earn independence from its colonizers.
Matenadaran – Don’t be confused by its name, it just actually like a huge library or a repository of ancient manuscripts, research institute, and museum in Yerevan, Armenia. If you’re interested to go down deeper to the history of Armenia, you should perhaps consider visiting this place. Otherwise, you can just visit and take snapshots like what I did.
Blue Mosque – Only very few tourists knew about this mosque, first of all, Armenia is completely a Christian country and the first country in the world that adopted Christianity as its official religion. But hey! There is a mosque in Yerevan called the “Blue Mosque”, from the name itself tells that this mosque is colored blue. Although not totally blue, most of the colors of its tiles are blue. Trivia, Armenia used to be a province of Iran hundreds of years ago, currently, this mosque is serving few Iranians living in Armenia.
Khor Virap Monastery – As I have mentioned earlier, Armenia is the first state that adopted Christianity as its official religion, for that, there are lots of ancient monasteries scattered all around Armenia. And Khor Virap is one of them, the monastery is not too far from the city, you can go there by either commuting by yourself if you’re an adventurous type of person or you can take the easy way through going by a travel agency. Either way, you’ll never regret visiting this place as it’s among the most recommended places to see in Armenia, plus you’ll get a closer view of the sacred Mt Ararat.
Lake Sevan – Lake Sevan, is in Sevan, Armenia. It’s the largest freshwater lake in the Caucasus region. Lake Sevan is about two hours drive more or less from Yerevan City; aside from the lake itself, you can see the medieval monastery called – Sevanavank Monastery. On the top of the peninsula, you’ll be able to have a picture perfect view of Lake Sevan and its surroundings. During my visit there, the entire peninsula was covered with blooming flowers as if like in a fairy tale.
So when are you planning to visit Armenia? Bonus, if you’re a Filipino, you can visit Armenia by visa-on-arrival. Just like me, you’ll surely never regret visiting this hospitable country of beautiful and lovely people. The cost of living in Armenia is super cheap and that you don’t need to worry about breaking your wallet.
Have you ever been there? Which places have you visited there? How was it? Share your thoughts in the comment below! If you need more information, you can contact me or drop your question below!
The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.