Our DIY walking tour in Yerevan, Armenia
Hours: 15:00 – 19:00 (4 hours)
For our first day, we just opted to go for a DIY walking tour of Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. No time limit, no extra expense, and we got to decide what to see and where to go, at the time we wanted to! Most of the famous landmarks are within walking distance of each other, so it was certainly no hassle on our part to move from one site to another.
TIP: Buy a local SIM card that includes a mobile data package so you can use Google Maps as you explore the city. Again, not everyone is fluent in English. In this case, relying on Google Maps served us better than asking people for directions.
BUT if you’re going to ask for directions, try and find university students or younger people in general – they’re likely to speak good English and can give you clear instructions. Most adults and older people understand but barely speak English so communicating with them was a bit of a challenge for us.
Highlights of our DIY Yerevan Walking Tour:
I came up with our itinerary by searching for “what to see in Yerevan,” “places to visit in Yerevan,” and “where to go in Yerevan” and then I just listed down the results, haha!
- The Plaza – It was such a lovely and lively scene! And you can see the Armenian’s love for art and strong European architectural influence at every turn. We saw a lot of students out and about, celebrating their “moving up” day, as well as talented street musicians and performers who were always ready to greet you with a smile and would gladly play or perform for you.
Republic Square – The Republic Square is a central iconic landmark that’s very hard to miss. It really is the center of activities in Yerevan. We loved the lively atmosphere. People walking about. Vendors with their colorful goods. And there seemed to be music everywhere!
- Opera House – The Opera House was not as conspicuous as I expected it to be, but it was classically beautiful nonetheless. Perhaps I was so used to the distinctively spectacular look of the Dubai Opera that I expected the same flamboyant look and atmosphere with Yerevan’s Opera House. We loved it nonetheless and wished we had more time to actually watch a play there.
- The Cascade – Let’s just say that The Cascade is a massive art complex featuring interesting sculptures and works of art, from the plaza on the ground level and as you go up the steps. What made our time at The Cascade in Yerevan was a group of people dancing at the foot of enormous staircase – they were dancing and performing a traditional Armenian dance, and more and more people gathered and joined the dance! It was a beautiful showcase of their culture, history and camaraderie as a people.
We wanted to explore further but it rained so we decided to get back to our Airbnb.
- Vernissage Market – We visited Vernissage Market on the day of our flight back to Dubai. I only bought a souvenir T-shirt for a friend, but if I had the cash I would’ve definitely splurged! I was once again amazed by how intrinsic artistry is in their everyday lives. Almost all of the souvenirs they were selling were crafted by hands: porcelains, carved chess pieces, metal crafts, woodworks, and many more! You could see in each piece that a lot of hard work, time and passion was poured into it, which made me want to take it home with me. Unfortunately, we only had a few Armenian drams with us that day and we didn’t want to convert our remaining USD to dram because we won’t be able to use it anywhere else.