Yerevan is a laid-back capital that sometimes feels like it is on a permanent holiday. Locals saunter down the main boulevards in the latest fashions and schmooze over drinks in park-side cafes, fast cars speed down the roads lined with 19th-century Russian edifices, and handsome brick squares are filled with people both day and night. While the monuments and museums are certainly worth a visit, the real draw in the Armenian capital is its friendly people and chic street culture.
Start your visit in Republic Square, the very heart of the capital. Built over 3,000-year old ruins, the square is marked by glittering fountains and a magnificent mosaic rock carpet. Locals play chess, share gossip and relax in the sun there during the day, and frequent outdoor concerts and fireworks keep it just as lively at night.
Visitors can mingle with more locals at Freedom Square, where millions of Armenians gathered in 1988 to claim their independence. Today, the square is a great place to skate, savor an ice cream cone and people-watch.
At the National History Museum, visitors can explore millenniums of Armenian history. The extensive collection includes silver and golden coins dating back 2,000 years, a model of the ancient city of Ani, carved doors from the area’s holiest churches, vivid carpets, ancient Greek and Armenian pottery and authentic weapons. Each object gives visitors a glimpse into the country’s history, culture and spirit.
In the early 20th century, Turkish forces killed over 1.5 million Armenians. The horrific period is remembered at the Armenian Genocide Museum and Memorial. The haunting museum includes a wall inscribed with the names of the villages and towns wiped out by the Turks, a granite stele that symbolizes unity and the future and a touching Memorial Sanctuary. There, an eternal flame burns in tribute to the millions of innocent victims murdered between 1915 and 1923.
The nearby National Art Gallery contains more than 25,000 paintings from Armenian and international masters. Six floors of exhibits display works by Saryan, Russou, Carzou, Donatello, Ayvazovski and others.
One of the most delightful places in Yerevan is the Children’s Art Gallery. The truly one-of-a-kind museum showcases children’s art from over 130 countries. There are more than 100,000 pieces on display, including sculptures, wood carvings, ceramics, paintings, needlework, collages and more, all made by creative children from age three to sixteen.
Armenia has a rich tradition of folk art, and traditional decorative arts are the focus of the Folk Art Museum. Founded in 1978, the large collection includes stone carvings, embroidery, paintings, micro miniatures, woodworking, metal pieces and pottery that exemplify the skills, imagination and passion of Armenian craftsmen throughout the ages.
Contemporary art takes center stage at the Cafesjian Center, which includes one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of glass art. The museum also includes a sculpture garden at the base of the Cascades, a flower-covered staircase that connects Victory Park and central Yerevan. During the summer, outdoor concerts and fireworks displays make the Cascades one of the liveliest places in the capital, and visitors can catch a beautiful view of the city from the top.
Yerevan Geographical Location
Yerevan is located on the Hrazdan River in western-central Armenia. It is Armenia’s largest city with a population of approximately 1,119,000.
Armenian is the official language of Armenia and is spoken by the vast majority of the population.
Yerevan Predominant Religion
- 95% Armenian Apostolic
- 4% Other Christian
- 1% Yezidi
Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion.
The Dram is the official currency of Armenia.
It rains very little in Yerevan and experiences hot summers with cold winters. Snowfall is common during the winter months.
Yerevan Main Attractions
- Monastery of Geghard
- Khor Virap
Other Attraction in Yerevan
- Republic Square
- The Cascade
- The Museum of Ancient Manuscripts