Yerevan is the capital of the Republic of Armenia and one of the three hubs of the South Caucasus. It’s home to over a million people.
In Soviet years, Yerevan underwent massive reconstruction; following architect Alexander Tamanyan’s new plans to make a perfect city. His vision was a neo-Classical town with wide avenues to resemble Paris, Vienna and Saint Petersburg.
Central Yerevan is a true jewel of early Soviet architecture. She is also home to some large-scale Modern and Post-Modern marvels, which are mostly the result of Soviet-Armenian architectural megalomania. In Soviet days Yerevan had already become known as the Pink City as much due to the color of the stone used for building as for the flamboyant spirit of her young population.
Tourists in Yerevan are concentrated in the center. The center is very compact and easily walkable, with endless dining and entertainment options. The rest of the city is mostly sleeping or business quarters, so a typical tourist will not have much incentive to leave the center.
Kentron, City Center or Downtown is central Yerevan, locally called as “Kentron” which is the heart of Yerevan and indeed Armenia.
Hang out at Republic Square
Republic Square sits in the center of the city in the Kentron neighborhood. It is a beautiful square that took nearly 50 years to complete, though most of it was built in the 1950s. You can easily spend an entire day and evening at Republic Square, as it is home to numerous landmarks, like the History Museum, the National Gallery and the Government House, as well as the iconic Armenia Marriott Hotel. It is beautiful in the day and in the night when it is all lit up. A truly magnificent thing about the square is its musical fountains. From early spring to late fall there is a fantastic fountain and light show that is accompanied by some great music of various genres.
Watch the city from the top of the Cascade This giant stairwell sits right in the city center and is one of its key landmarks. It was built during the Soviet period in 1971 and was completely renovated in 2009. The Cascade is a giant stairwell that connects the Kentron area with the Monument neighborhood. It has eight levels, all of which are accessible by climbing up the stairwell, though those that would rather not walk can take an elevator. The views over the city while climbing the stairs are absolutely breathtaking, especially at night when the city lights up. It is certainly not to be missed.
In addition to walking around the old cellar, visitors get to taste two or three types of the fine brandy. A visit to Ararat is a must for any brandy connoisseur.
Explore Matenadaran Matenadaran, the leading protégé of the world’s most earliest texts, well-preserved books, and manuscripts of the ancient and modern world featuring a wide range of resources, including history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history and cosmography in various native languages. An institute that is capable of leaving professionals, travelers & lifelong learners alike with a tremendous impression.
Experience Megerian Carpet Museum Beautiful Rugs and an Ancient Tradition Continues Today! The Megerian Carpet Museum is tucked away and easy to miss, but don’t make the mistake of leaving Yerevan without stopping by. You have a great time and learn so much about the history of Armenian rug-making! You see the weavers in process (the amount of patience and dedication it takes to work in that profession is astounding!) and you make a few knots yourself with their guidance. The tour concludes at the showroom where you could buy rugs. Overall, it is fun and informative tour that is highly recommended!
Shop at Vernissage The weekend Yerevan Vernissage is a large open-air market that sits along Aram and Buzand streets, near the Republic Square metro. The market opened in the 1980s by a group of local artists to display and sell their work. This is a great place to snatch up a variety of traditional Armenian art work, such as rugs, woodcarvings, paintings, musical instruments and jewelry.
Pandok Yerevan The Pandok Yerevan restaurant and tavern is a comfortable and relaxing place, all decorated in Armenian style. The cushions and tablecloths are covered in Armenian ornaments and pictures of Armenia’s most notable sights can be seen all around. ‘Calm’ best describes the atmosphere of this place, where guests can enjoy the best of Armenian cuisine. A must try is the homemade apricot and peach vodka.
Dolmama Located in the heart of Yerevan since 1998, the restaurant Dolmama has worked hard to revive traditional Armenian cuisine and give it a special touch. The specialty of this restaurant is, as the name suggests, the famous dolma (or sarma in western Armenian dialect): ground meat mixed with rice, herbs and a variety of spices, wrapped in grape leaves. But Dolmama has decided to spice it up by changing the recipe. They’ve replaced the ground meat with a slice of sirloin, and added some chili and rosemary. The dolma is best enjoyed with sprinkled lemon and yogurt.
Malkhas Jazz Club By far the best place in Yerevan to enjoy jazz music while having dinner or drinks, the Malkhas Jazz Club are a popular and laid-back place that often requires advanced booking. The service, food and atmosphere are excellent and so is the music. Their food menu includes steaks, pasta and pork chops, and they also have an excellent cocktail and cigar menu. The restaurant has been named after the owner and best jazz pianist in the country, Levon Malkhasyan, who regularly performs here a little after midnight.
Old Erivan (Hin Yerevan) Situated in a very tall building (by Armenian standards) the Old Erivan restaurant is a must try for those wishing to experience Armenian hospitality, food, and music. The restaurant offers a variety of authentic Armenian dishes, including the famous dolma kebab andishkhan (Armenian trout). Guests will dine in beautiful rooms that reflect ancient Armenian culture while listening to live Armenian bands playing traditional musical instruments, including the duduk. Each floor has its own style and music. Old Erivan has an ideal location, offering views over the ballet and opera houses.
Kovkas Tavern The Kovkas Tavern, or Caucasus Tavern, is where guests can come to enjoy Caucasian hospitality and cuisine, together with the best cognacs and wines of the region. Even forgotten dishes of the region are revisited as the restaurant’s Armenian and Georgian chefs have made an extra effort to dig into the ethnographic literature and other archival materials to seek inspiration. The team at Kovkas also applied the same hunger for tradition to their decor, trying to make the interior of the tavern look like the Yerevan or Tblisi of the 19th century. Moreover, every evening, musicians bring their traditional instruments to play Sayat Nova, Sherami and Jivani songs in the Maran East room.
8-rd Hrashaliq (8th Miracle) In the gorge of Yerevan, where nature and gastronomy meet, lies the beautiful 8-rd Hrashaliq restaurant. Guests can sit indoors or outdoors, where they can appreciate the soothing sound of the nearby river and the calmness of nature. This restaurant caters well to big groups, serving an abundance of food in the middle of the table for everyone to share in traditional Armenian fashion. The restaurant is also child-friendly, and really comes alive at night, especially on the dance floor.
The Alexander A Luxury Collection Hotel in Yerevan! The Alexander is the first luxury international hotel in the center of Yerevan introducing an exclusive new address to the city’s developing social landscape. The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel offers unique experience and individual approach to its guests through delivering unbeatable service and exceptional accommodations.
Hyatt Place YerevanThis hotel is a great, clean-cut option located in the center of Yerevan. A favorite for businesspeople and a site for many conferences, the Hyatt Place is sleek, modern, and incredibly comfortable. Guests have access to their fitness center, various dining options, bars, and can take advantage of the hotel’s proximity to all of Yerevan’s restaurants and shops.
Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel If you prefer your lodging accommodations to have strong ties to the culture of the city, then this hotel is the place for you to stay whilst in Yerevan. The Tufenkian hotel chain in Armenia focuses on maintaining the genuine heritage of the country, and the spectacular attention to detail in the hotel makes that clear. Everything, from room decorations to bedding, is related to traditional Armenian culture. In addition, local Armenian artisans make every piece of furniture at the hotel from local Armenian materials. The Tufenkian is also in a great location to the city’s center, and especially to the Vernissage Flea Market.
Paris Hotel Yerevan This boutique hotel located in downtown Yerevan has the perfect touch of French-inspired chic. The lobby’s décor consists of creamy whites and soothing neutrals, similar to the outfitting of a chic Parisian home. The guest rooms are equally as inviting, both in comfort and design. Guests can enjoy the French-themed cuisine at breakfast, and in the evening can head up to the rooftop restaurant and bar to watch the sun as it sets over Yerevan and invites the bright city lights of the night.
North Avenue Hotel Northern Avenue, which is less than a decade old, is rapidly becoming the Rodeo Drive or Fifth Street of Yerevan, featuring luxury designer stores, restaurants, and the works. This hotel is situated right on this avenue, and makes for a perfect stay in the middle of a new and developing portion of an old city. The North Avenue Hotel is designed with a sleek, modern touch, and features an eclectic winding staircase. Be sure to dine at La Perla, the hotel’s Spanish restaurant, which has received praise for its Mediterranean cuisine as well as for its impressive wine inventory.
Grand Hotel Yerevan Indulge in some rest and relaxation in the middle of a busy city at this hotel. The Grand Hotel Yerevan offers guests a luxurious stay with spacious, elegantly designed guest rooms, exquisite dining at its restaurants, a spa, and a rooftop pool overlooking all of Yerevan. Get dolled up at the on-site beauty salon and meet your companions for drinks at the Dolce Vita Lounge Bar afterwards as well as experience the tranquility of a tropical resort in the center of a vibrant metropolis.