“This is Yerevan, you are at home here” is a well-known phrase from a song by an Armenian famous singer and songwriter Ruben Hakhverdyan. If you want to make sure, visit Armenia and spend a few days in the capital city of Yerevan. At the airport you will be welcomed by the warm attitude of taxi drivers, they will take you wherever you want, during the trip they will tell you everything about themselves and about the city and at the end of the trip they will certainly say: “If you need me, call this number”. The hotel will welcome you with exceptional care, up to the point of asking you whether you are tired, hungry or cold. And the next day while walking in the streets you will meet locals whom you are not familiar with, who will try to give you advice, help you and show you directions. And if you find yourself in the city market, before getting out, you might be so full that you will want to skip the dinner. That is why they say “This is Yerevan, you are at home here”.
We already mentioned that Yerevan is older than Rome. In 2018, the city will celebrate its 2800th anniversary and it is a good opportunity to visit Armenia and participate in the city celebrations. The main celebrations, like in every October, will be held in the area of Erebuni Reserve-Museum. This is the place considered to be the terrain of Erebuni, i.e. historical Yerevan. All the artifacts prove that Yerevan was founded by the Urartian King Argishti I in 782 BC. So if Yerevan, then Erebuni Museum. We are sure your impressions will be unforgettable.
You can enrich your knowledge about Yerevan in the Yerevan History Museum, located in the city municipality building. Not far from here you can visit Yerevan Brandy Factory, which has a special hall for tourists. Here you will not only get acquainted with the history of Armenian wine and cognac (brandy) but also participate in an unforgettable cognac tasting ceremony.
Not far from the brandy factory is the Republic Square. If you like walking, you can have a nice stroll to there. The Government House, the National Art Gallery, and History Museum of Armenia are located on the Republic Square. After the tour, don’t forget about shopping. The Vernissage is nearby; you can buy everything related to Armenia and Armenian there: souvenirs, jewelry, musical instruments, dishes, carpets, and books. In other words – everything. By the way, do not forget to bargain. Armenians love to chat, make jokes, negotiate, compromise, and sometimes persist.
From the Republic Square, you can walk to Abovyan street, the symbol of Yerevan. If you feel tired and hungry, wherever you stop, you may find a restaurant and a café, both European and Armenian. After having a rest and a dinner, continue walking – Moscow Cinema Theater is ahead. It has over 80-year history. Adjacent to the cinema theater there is the Artists’ Union Exhibition Hall, where regular exhibitions take place. And a bit up the street there is the oldest Kathoghike Church, which was built at the beginning of the 13th century.
Another 5 minutes’ walk and you are in the Liberty Square (Freedom Square) where you will find the Opera and Ballet National Academic Theater. Its architect is Alexander Tamanyan. By the way, in the early 20th century, Tamanyan’s project won a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris. Yerevan’s chief architect Alexander Tamanyan’s statue is at Cascade, not far from there. Before reaching to Cascade do not miss the chance to have a rest and walk around the Swan Lake (Karapi Lich) next to the Opera House. Right there, in 2015, Kanye West gave a free concert, jumping into the lake at the end of the concert and becoming the hero of the year’s photographs.
Of course, this is not all about Yerevan. You still need to see other churches, theaters, museums, concert halls and parks in the city, and most importantly Matenadaran, where the history of Armenian people is presented in the form of manuscripts dating back to the 5th century.
Now let’s walk to Cascade. You can reach there in three minutes from Matenadaran. The complex was built in 1970 to connect the southern and northern parts of the city. It was brought to its final shape in 2002 by the sponsorship of Gerard Cafesjian, a famous Armenian-American benefactor.
By the way, he was a great fan of art, and you can see his collections in the Cascade. And if you’re a music fan, do not miss out the regular concerts there. On the last Friday of each month, the dance-lovers gather in Cascade. The instructors and members of “Karin” folk song and dance ensemble teach dancing everyone who wishes to learn. Under the sounds of music, you can also overcome the Cascade stairs and admire the spectacular view of the city. Not only Yerevan but also Biblical Mount Ararat is seen from there.
Welcome to Yerevan.