Lada, Երևան

If you visit Երևան, Armenia, you will see all types of cars from different vendors and countries. You might even have a taxi ride in a car that was built for driving on the left side of the road – feels a bit strange as in Armenia you have to drive on the right side. What you will see very often are Russian Lada cars know to be nearly undestroyable and which can be easily repaired. This reflects the strong bonds Armenia and Russia had in the past during the times of the Soviet Union – but also still today.

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Mother Armenia

Mother Armenia, Victory Park, Երևան

On a hill above the city centre of Երևան, Armenia, you can find the Haghthanak park (victory park) – accessible on foot by climbing up the cascade complex. Here you will find green areas, an artificial lake, an amusement park with interesting old attractions. It also contains a 56 meters high monument visible from many parts of the city: the Mother Armenia commemorating the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

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Taxi driver

gg app, Հայաստան

If you want to order a taxi ride in Armenia, Georgia and Russia than the smartphone app gg is your perfect choice. It is the Uber of this region and all you need to do is to get yourself a local SIM card for your phone (if you don’t have roaming; I got mine with the YerevanCard package) and download the app. After starting it you will see your position on a map and correct it. Then you can choose your destination (obviously from Google Maps data) and order a taxi. That is great as you choose a touristic point of interest or a central square easily.

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Matenadaran, Երևան

Ever heard of Mesrop Mashtots? Probably not. He was living between 360 and 440 CE in Armenia and invented the beautiful Armenian alphabet. You will get to know him when visiting Matenadaran (meaning ‘library’ in old Armenian language), the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Scriptures – a statue of him is standing in front of it. The wonderful building is just a portal; behind it, you will find a museum and its storage carved deep into the mountain to protect the content even in case of an attack with an atomic bomb.

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Blue mosque

Blue mosque, Երևան

The Gaj Dschami is the only mosque that survived Soviet times at Երևան, Armenia. It is a rather plain mosque dating back to the 18th century. Today it is a museum and it has a nice garden at its centre. It was restored during the last two decades with the help of Iran and is today owned by the Iranian embassy in Armenia. You can easily enter the grounds of the mosque and also access the mosque itself – just remember to take your shoes off.

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Genocide museum, Երևան

East of the city centre of Երևան, Armenia, you can find a mountain formerly covered with forest – the Zizernakaberd (swallows’ fortress). On its top, you can nowadays see two things: a giant sports and culture centre for up to 6,000 spectators and more important, the central remembrance place for the genocide against the Armenians in 1915. It is a catastrophic end of a long-lasting history of conflicts based on religion – between the Christian Armenians and the Muslim Turks.

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Modern art

Museum of Modern Art, Երևան

The Museum of Modern Art in Երևան, Armenia, is a little bit hard to find and placed in a rather unusual location. It can be found at the Mesrop Mashtots Avenue near the city centre and the Blue Mosque – but it is located in the basement of a building standing in the second row and above the museum there are flats. It therefore looks a bit improvised from the outside but it is really worth a visit.

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National gallery

National Gallery of Armenia, Երևան

You can find the national gallery of Armenia at the Republic square of Երևան. It is within the building that also hosts the historic museum and you have to get up to the first floor to enter it. Looking through the very high staircase you can see that there seven floors full of art to discover – and an ancient elevator obviously from Soviet times. Already the building is like travelling in time. In 56 halls you can see Armenian, but also Russian and European art.

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YerevanCard, Երևան

In some cities across the globe, you can buy tourist packages that often include public transport, entrance fees to museums and other sights and discounts at shops and restaurants. I didn’t expect to find such an offer at Երևան, Armenia, but I dramatically underestimated the tourism industry in Armenia (focussed mostly on Russian tourists). The YerevanCard is a comprehensive package giving you everything you need for a stay in the city. You can order it only and then collect it at tourist offices in the city.

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Dram, Հայաստան

The Armenian word ‘dram‘ (դրամ) just means ‘money‘ – and it is the name of the local currency. A dram is divided into 100 luma, but there aren’t any luma coins circulating anymore. Currency symbol is Դ, but most often the abbreviation ‘dr.‘ seems to be used. The dram was introduced in 1993 and replaced the Russian ruble as the formerly official currency.

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