ARMENIA TRAVEL TIPS & USEFUL INFO

Traveller by the Temple of Garni, Armenia

Whether you’re planning a city break in the capital of Yerevan or hiking in the beautiful Dilijan National Park, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you go. From health advice to details on the currency, we have all your questions answered.

What vaccinations do I need for Armenia?

Before travelling to Armenia, you should seek medical advice from your local health practitioner to ensure you’ve received all the appropriate vaccinations. You should be up to date with routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), Diphtheria, Polio and Tetanus. Other recommended vaccines include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Rabies. Visit the NHS Fit to Travel page or the CDC Traveler’s Health page for more information.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Armenia?

The tap water in Armenia is generally considered safe to drink, with public water fountains known as pulpulak a common sight in the capital Yerevan. Take a reusable water bottle to save money and to reduce plastic waste by not buying bottled water.

Stuffed grape leaves with rice and herbs known as Dolma

What's the food like in Armenia?

Meat is a major part of Armenia’s cuisine, although the food is rich in greens, vegetables and spices. Typically, a meal would start with a spread of appetizers called a mezze. This selection of small dishes would usually include vegetables, cheese and cured meats such as Basturma, which is highly seasoned cured beef.

When it comes to the main event, there are plenty of local dishes to try. Dolma, for example, is a dish traditionally consisting of minced meat, rice, herbs and spices wrapped in a grape leaf. Khorovats is the Armenian version of a barbeque and is made using the freshest meat, which is specially marinated and grilled over a wood fire. Not to be confused with the North African chili paste, Armenian harissa is a thick, porridge-like dish consisting of wheat and meat such as chicken or lamb.

Salads are also a major part of Armenian cuisine, commonly featuring roasted vegetables such as eggplant. And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, Armenian gata is a sweet, egg-rich bread that is best enjoyed alongside a cup of dark Armenian coffee known as surj.

Safe eating while travelling in Armenia

Food and water-borne illnesses can occur in any destination, so be sure to follow basic food safety precautions whilst travelling in Armenia. Avoid anything that looks undercooked or unclean and ensure that fruits and vegetables are washed before eating.

Is it standard to tip in Armenia?

Tipping in Yerevan is pretty common, with more and more travellers choosing to venture to this part of Central Asia. Outside of the capital, tipping isn’t as expected - however it will always be appreciated for good service. Generally, tipping in hotels isn’t the custom in Armenia and most taxi drivers will expect fares to be rounded up to the nearest whole amount. In cafes and restaurants, the usual tipping rule is 10%. You may see a 10% service charge on your bill, though be wary as this may not go directly to the staff that served you.

A selections of colourful Armenian carpets

What souvenirs are good to shop for in Armenia?

If you’re looking for unique souvenirs in Armenia, you’ll find that many of the options are fruit related. Armenia is famous for its apricots, plums and peaches and, as drying fruits is an age-old tradition, you’ll find plenty of dried fruits to take home. Fruit leather is another specialty in Armenia, consisting of dried fruits beaten into sheets. These can be wrapped around other foods or eaten alone as a tasty snack. Fruit wine is also popular choice, with flavours including pomegranate, raspberry, blackberry and cherry.

Non-edible souvenirs include carved steles known as Kachkars. These stone carvings are examples of medieval Christian Armenian art and feature the cross with additional motifs. Richly coloured carpets also form a major part of the Armenian culture, having been used to adorn church walls and floors since the fifth century. The best place to buy these is the Vernissage Market in Yerevan.

In Armenian mythology, pomegranates are a symbol of fertility and good fortune. So you’ll spot many pomegranate themed gifts such as ornaments, fridge magnets and necklaces. The same goes for the beautiful Mount Arat, the volcanic peak overlooking Yerevan, which was believed to be the final point of arrival of Noah’s ark.

What is the duty-free allowance for Armenia?

The following goods may be imported into Armenia by travellers aged 18 and above without incurring customs duty. It is advisable to declare valuables on arrival.

  • Goods up to AMD150,000 (around US$315) in value and not weighing more than 50kg, for personal use only.

Banned imports include live animals and plants, pornography and objects of historical, cultural and archaeological value.

What is the currency in Armenia?

Armenia’s official currency is the dram (AMD). All cities and most towns in the country have ATMs and cash can be exchanged at banks and in exchange bureaux. Credit and debit cards displaying the Maestro/Cirrus or Visa sign are accepted at restaurants and major stores in Yerevan, but less so outside the capital.

Although some ATM’s may dispense US dollars and prices for goods or services may be quoted in US dollars, payments must be made in Armenian dram by law.

What do things cost in Armenia?

Travelling in Armenia costs considerably less than in Europe. When it comes to accommodation, you’ll be able to find hostels for as low as $10 a night. However, there are a arrange of options in Yerevan, with luxury hotels starting from $100 a night.

The average meal in a restaurant will only set you back $5, with a full meal including desert costing under $10. The most convenient modes of transport in the capital are bus and minibus. Fares are incredibly low, at only $0.2 per journey, and you’ll be able to travel almost anywhere within the city.

What sort of plugs do I need for Armenia and what is the voltage?

In Armenia the standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. European-style two pin plugs are used, however we recommend taking a universal travel adaptor.

Is WiFi widely available in Armenia?

WiFi is available across Yerevan in most large cafes and restaurants, parks, squares and shopping centers. It’s also available on many buses and at bus stops, as well as many subway stations. Many places to stay will also be equipped with WiFi, however, be aware that internet access will vary outside of the capital.

What time zone is Armenia on?

Armenia is 4 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime (GMT). This is observed throughout the year, with no Daylight Savings changes.

See Also

Check out these handy travel guide resources for more information about visiting Armenia.

Best Time to Visit – the climate and seasons in Armenia
Best Places to Visit – our pick of Armenia’s top destinations
Tourist Visas - what you need to know to enter Armenia