TRAVELLING TO ARMENIA
Armenia has two major airports. The main airport is Zvartnots International Airport, which is located about 12 kilometres from the centre of Yerevan, while the second one is situated in Gyumri, the country’s second largest city in the northwest of the country.
There are flights to and from Yerevan from more than 50 cities of the world, including Moscow, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Rome, London, Beirut, Saint Petersburg, Tehran, Milan, Warsaw, Istanbul and Tel Aviv.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Armenia.
Visas to Armenia are provided through consulates of the Republic of Armenia, located in a given country (or nearby it). Citizens of the CIS member-states, EU member-states, Schengen Acquis states, and the United States do not need visas to travel to Armenia.
For the visitors under 18 years old, a visa is free of charge.
Visitors traveling as tourists from most other countries can can obtain a visa on arrival at Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan, for a maximum stay of 120 days. In general the procedure lasts 20-25 minutes. They may also apply for an e-visa in advance: https://evisa.mfa.am/
Nationals of the following countries cannot obtain a visa on arrival, and can only apply for a visa at Armenian diplomatic or consular posts, and only with an invitation: All African countries excepting South Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria and Vietnam.
Nationals of the following countries also cannot obtain a visa on arrival, and can only apply for a visa at Armenian diplomatic or consular posts, but do not require an invitation: China, India and Iraq.
Visas can be renewed or extended at the Passport and Visa Department (Yerevan, 13a, Mashtots Ave). In the case of an expired visa, the individual will be subject to a fine.
More detailed information regarding visa provision can be found on the web page of the Republic of Amernia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.mfa.am/en/visa/
Armenia has a dry tropical climate. Clear sunny days dominate. The summers are hot, with temperatures fluctuating between +22 °C and +36 °C. The winters are mainly cold, with the average temperature between -15 °C to -1 °C. The average temperature in Yerevan in October is +14 °C, with an average low of +7 °C and average high of +20 °C. Roughly half the days are sunny during the month.
The official language is Armenian, a branch of the Indo-European language family. The Armenian letters are radically different from the letters of other languages, but the state buildings and public places are also marked with Latin-letter signboards. Besides Armenian, Russian is also widely used, and many people can communicate in English.
The Armenian banking system consists of 21 commercial banks, the activity of which is controlled by the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia. The banks in Yerevan are open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on week-days and from 10 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays, without lunch breaks. ATMs can be found on all the main streets of Yerevan. Credit cards are widely accepted in the capital city and some other major cities, but not in the rural areas. Almost all hotels, supermarkets and restaurants accept credit cards (Visa, Arca, MasterCard and Amex), with few exceptions.
The national currency of Armenia is called “Dram” (the code is AMD), and it has been in circulation since 1993. There are banknotes of 1,000, 5,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, and coins of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and currency exchange offices throughout the city. Current exchange rates can be found at the official web-site of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia: http://www.cba.am/.
The following means of public transportation are available in Armenia:
Metro: The Yerevan subway system has one line, running from the north to the south of the city with 10 stations. The fare is 100 AMD.
Buses: There are buses running on all major routes. The fare is 100 AMD.
Minibuses: 12-15 seater minibuses run on major routes in almost every direction. The fare is 100 AMD.
Taxi Services: There are many taxi service offices, which accept orders by phone and they offer comfortable cars. The fare is 100 AMD per km (the minimum fare is 600 AMD). It is possible to take a taxi also at crossroads and at crowded places.
The post offices in Armenia work every day from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Sunday is a day off. One of the central post offices is located in Republic Square, opposite the Government building and close by the congress hotel, the Yerevan Marriot.
The country code is +374, Yerevan city code is 10.
Outgoing international calls can be made by dialing 00 followed by the country code, the city code and the number.
There are 3 mobile operators – Beeline, VivaCell and Orange – and their network coverage blankets the entire territory of Armenia. Their cards can be purchased at Zvartnots International Airport, at the offices of these operators or at large stores. To obtain a card you will need to identify yourself with your passport, having a copy of the passport’s picture page. The cards provide 3G connection and high speed Internet.
When making calls by cell phone to a fixed-line number in Yerevan, it is necessary to dial 010 followed by the number.
The electricity in Armenia is 220 volts, 50 Hz, as in almost all of Europe.
The Armenian socket standard is CEE, mostly without grounding. Outlet adaptors for the standards of different countries can be purchased in almost all home appliance and electronics stores in Yerevan.
The traditional Armenian cuisine has a large variety of richly flavoured dishes. Fresh vegetables and meat are among the most favourite food products. No Armenian celebratory table can be imagined without Aa traditional barbecue, kyufta, dolma or ghapama. Dinner parties involve a great deal of ritual, starting from the preparatory process until the last moment at the table.
The numerous restaurants in Yerevan offer a unique selection of local dishes. There are also many restaurants serving the dishes of different internationally recognized cuisines.
Tipping: If a service charge is not already included in your restaurant bill, you might wish to leave the small change that is returned to you. Tips are not obligatory, but they are welcomed. From 10 percent to 20 percent of the total is normal.
Souvenir and craft shops are available in shopping plazas and hotels.
The Vernissage flea weekend market in Yerevan is popular with tourists. Here you can find unique clay pottery paintings, embroidery, wood and stone carvings, carpets and traditional khachkars (cross-stones), silver jewelry, magnets, musical instruments, national souvenirs, rarities and many other unique things.
Well-known luxury goods and fashion brands are clustered in central Yerevan.
Fax: Services are available in numerous business centers and hotels.
Shopping hours: 9:00 AM-5:00.PM, Monday to Friday. Department stores operate 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
Restaurants hours: Restaurants are usually open seven days a week and business hours are 10:00 AM to 00:00 AM. Some restaurants and places of entertainment remain open until 6:00 AM.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
Directory Information: 109
Tourist Information Center: 54 23 03