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Yerevan is the capital of the Republic of Armenia and one of the three hubs of the South Caucasus. Central Yerevan is a true jewel of early Soviet architecture. In Soviet days Yerevan had already become known as the Pink City as much due to the colour of the stone used for building as for the flamboyant spirit of her young population.
With a continental climate, Yerevan experiences long hot summers, and cold winters, both with little or no humidity. 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.
Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) is the main gate to Armenia. Between the airport and the city is only 14km from Yerevan city centre by road. A public bus is available during the day-time will take you to the Opera House in central Yerevan.
You may want to use taxis that are the official transport of Zvartnots Airport - AeroTaxi so that in case of losing your baggage, you always know where to find it.
An overnight (sleeper)train runs every second day from Tbilisi in Georgia. The wagons are the standard Soviet era hold-overs but they are fairly comfortable.
Options include arriving into Armenia via Georgia or Iran. A drive to Yerevan from Armenia-Iran border will take approximately 6 hours, and is a great way to explore Southern Armenia, cities like Meghri, Kapan, Goris, Sisian, etc.
Arriving from Georgia will allow you to drive trough Northern Armenia and driving to Yerevan will take 4-5 hours.
The center of Yerevan is very compact and easy to get around by foot. 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. A nice walk if you like nature and not cars, is through the Hrazdan gorge on the margins of the city center.
By Subway (Metro)
The Subway 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 100 dram, the cheapest aside from walking.
What to see
Erebuni Fortress – the excavations, recreations and museum of the nearly 3,000 year old fortress that established Yerevan.
Republic Square - Make sure to see the main square.
Northern Avenue is a Post-Modern response to post-WWII Soviet Yerevan architecture.
Abovian street - It's home to very few remaining Belle Époque period structures of Republican Armenia.
The Opera – It's the 'soft' center of the city. It is topped by the magnificent building of the Opera House.
Cascades, Sculpture Park and Cafesjian Museum – The Sculpture Park is a small green zone in the immediate North of The Opera.
Mashtots avenue - It's the eight-lane highway in the center of the city which somehow also accommodates a pedestrian zones on the sides.
Matenadaran – Houses the worlds largest collection of Armenian illuminated manuscripts, and one of the largest such collections of any kind in the world.
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 is a Neo-classical building, small scale version of Soviet skyscrapers such as Moscow State University or Warsaw Culture Palace, with a red-star-topped high spire serving as a symmetry axis.
What to do
Join one of the free walking tours organized by the Travelers' Club of Armenia. It's a 2.5 hour tour in the center of the city covering architecture, history, art, cuisine, etc.
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 and the Czerny Fountain Park.
Climb the Cascades 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 rickety ferris wheel.
A walk through the weekend Vernissage a block east of Republic Square metro through the park is a must. From rugs, souvenirs, instruments and paintings, to pets and chemistry supplies, this outdoor market seemingly has everything.
Catch a concert on the Cascades or the Lover's Park, and an art exhibition at Swan Lake park or Lover's Park.
Medical Procedures - Yerevan offers some world class medical treatments for fraction of the price in the west. The most common are heart surgeries, fertility treatments, nose jobs, hair removal and laser eye surgery.