Armenia - General Information

State form:Republic of Armenia
National Anthem:Mer Hayrenik ("Our Fatherland")
Official Language: Armenian
Capital: Yerevan (about 1.3 million inhabitants)
Religion:Armenian Apostolic Christian
National currency: Dram (AMD)
Economy:Mining, food processing, agriculture
Area: 29 743 km²
Population: about 3 million inhabitants
Highest point:Aragats, 4 095 m above sea level
National holiday:September 21st
Timezone: UTC+4 
Calling code: +374 

Neighboring countries:
North: Georgia
In the west: Turkey
South: Iran
In the east: Azerbaijan

The monuments listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List:
• Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin
• Cathedral and churches of Etchmiadzin and the archaeological site of Zvartnots
• Geghard Monastery and the Upper Azat Valley


Passport and visa:
Since 10 January 2013, citizens of the European Union as well as Schengen member states no longer require an entry visa to Armenia. They are allowed to stay in Armenia without a visa for a period of 180 days a year with a passport valid for at least 6 months.
For those wishing to stay in Armenia for more than 180 days, a visa is required. It can be obtained at the competent Embassy or Consulate in Armenia or upon arrival at the airport. To visit Nagorno-Karabakh, a visa must be issued at the headquarters of its representation in Yerevan.

It is forbidden to export from Armenia valuable objects of historical importance, such as manuscripts, archaeological objects, paintings, carpets or gold.

Yerevan Airport - Zvartnots International is 12 km (25 min) from the center of Yerevan.
Official website of Zvartnots Airport:

The Armenian currency is called Dram (AMD).
1CHF ≈ 480AMD
1€ ≈ 550 AMD
1$ ≈ 480 AMD
Swiss Francs, Euros and Dollars are accepted in all exchange offices, hotels or banks. Credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Banks are open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday (some are open on Saturday morning). Most exchange offices open from 09:00 to 18:00 (some until 22:00).
Current exchange rate:

Tipping: Being optional but advisable, the tip must be awarded based on your level of satisfaction with the work of the local team.

Communication and Internet:
In Armenia, roaming works for all 3 Swiss mobile telecommunication companies as well as for most European operators.
When it comes to Internet access, you can enjoy the benefits of Wi-Fi and high-speed Internet access in most hotels, cafes and restaurants.
Yerevan internet cafes are located almost on every street corner. Some are open 24h / 7d.
It is also easy to use the service providers that offer cheap 3G and 4G Internet almost in all regions. However, in remote areas, the access is not always guaranteed.

The climate in Armenia is continental, with cold winters and hot summers.
The great advantage of Armenia is that, everywhere, the country enjoys beautiful sunshine throughout the year.
As Armenia is a mountainous country, the difference in altitude has an impact on the variation of temperatures in the country. For this reason, it is advisable to take with you a pullover even during the hot period.

Most shops and boutiques open in the morning (around 9am) and close between 8pm and 10pm. Some supermarkets are open 24/7. The museums open around 10:00 and close around 16:00. Most museums are closed on Mondays.

Armenia, and especially its capital with its shops of good qualities, offers travelers a wide choice for shopping. The "Vernissage", an open-air art and craft market, is a popular place for visitors. Here, one can admire the artistic and historical values of the Armenian people, such as handicrafts, contemporary paintings, ceramics and goldsmiths, jewelery, precious materials, musical instruments and much more.
In order to learn about the mystery of the creation of handmade Armenian rugs, do not miss the opportunity to visit the factory "Tapis Megeryan".
Various souvenir shops that are located on the outskirts of the capital, offer a wide selection of handicrafts made of wood, fabrics and other materials inspired by Armenian folk traditions. The traveler always finds something to bring in his luggage.
It is advisable to buy Armenian cognac from the factory or in specialized stores: guaranteed quality and reasonable prices. As for the wine, it can be found in many stores in the country. If you forget, you can also pick up at the airport before arriving at the boarding lounge.

Public transport:
Yerevan has a dense network of buses and minibuses "marshrutka". In the capital, there is also a metro with only one line. It runs from 6.30 am to 11 pm In general, to buy a ticket for public transport in Yerevan will cost 100AMD ≈ 0.18 €.
We drive on the right in Armenia.
It is easier, however, to use taxis, which are numerous in Yerevan. Taxis in Yerevan are very accessible, both in terms of availability and price (count ≈ 100 AMD per kilometer).

It is not necessary to make specific vaccines before your depart to Armenia, it will be enough for you to be up to date with your usual vaccinations. If you have certain health problems, contact your doctor before departure. In Yerevan and in different parts of the country, one can easily find a pharmacy to get medicines.

Armenia is a safe country overall. The police are available to visitors for any assistance. Yerevan is probably one of the safest cities in the world. Here there is no risk of being robbed, beaten or raped. Here, we can walk very late at night without any worries.

Armenian cuisine is rich and varied. Local dishes are often made with fish and meat. One of the national specialties is "khache": a stock of feet, head, hock and oxtail or veal. Skewers of lamb or beef are also a local specialty. Another national dish is "bozbash". It is made in various ways, often with meat, fruits, nuts and many herbs. "The harissa" is a kind of fondue made from crushed durum wheat beaten with chicken meat.
Armenian dishes are accompanied by lavash, the traditional Armenian bread, a thin, fluffy bread made with flour, water and salt.
The desserts are often based on dried fruits (chir). You will also have the choice between cream of rice pudding (katnapour), oriental cakes or excellent ice cream.

National holidays and commemorations:

December 31-January 2:New Year
January 6:Christmas
January 28th:Army Day
March 8:International Women's Day
April 7:Mother's Day and Beauty Day
April 24:Commemoration of the victims of the Genocide
May 9:Victory and Peace Day
May 28:Independence Day of the first Republic of Armenia in 1918
June 1st:Child Protection Day
July 5:Constitution Day
September 21st:Independence Day
1st Saturday in October:Teachers' Day
December 7:Commemoration of the victims of the 1988 earthquake

Useful phone numbers:
• Firefighters: 101
• Police: 102
• Emergency Medical Service: 103
• Airport information: 187
• Spyur Information Agency: 113
• Weather forecasting service: 186

Interesting facts about Armenia

1. First country to adopt Christianity
Armenia is the first country to adopt Christianity as an official religion at the beginning of the IVth century (in 301).

2. The first church in the world is in Armenia
Echmiadzin Cathedral was the first official church built in the 4th century. The first Catholicos Gregory the Illuminator (Lousavoritch) saw in his dream that Christ came down from heaven with a golden hammer in his hand and indicated the place where the church should be built. In the year 303, where at the time was an ancient pagan temple, the church was founded and named Echmiadzin. Since 2000, the cathedral is in the list of world heritage of UNESCO.

3. Yerevan: one of the oldest cities in the world
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is considered as one of the oldest cities on the planet / 782 BC. J.-C./. It is even older than Rome. Yerevan is known as the "Pink City" because of the color of the volcanic tuff covering the facades of the buildings.

4. Sevan: the largest lake in the Caucasus
Lake Sevan is the largest lake in the Caucasus and one of the largest freshwater lakes in Eurasia. It is located about 2000 meters above sea level.

5. Areni wine cellars - the oldest in the world
In the south of Armenia, the village of Areni is known as one of the oldest winemaking sites in the world. Archaeological excavations conducted in 2010 revealed the oldest winemaking system in the world, dating back to 4.100 BC.

6. The longest cable car in the world
According to Guinness World Records, the world's longest non-stop dual-track cable car is in Tatev, in Armenia. It measures 5,752 m (18,871 ft) in length. This spectacular cable car connects the village of Halizor with the Tatev Monastery, offering magnificent views of the Vorotan River Gorge.

7. Drinking water flows in the streets
In Armenia running water is drinkable everywhere: you can open the tap anywhere and drink, it's absolutely harmless and even delicious. Moreover, in Yerevan one can find a kind of water source, in the yards of houses and in the streets that the Armenians call "pulpulak": a small original construction with a meter of height, from which comes the water.

8. The fatherland of apricots
Few people know that for a long time in Europe, apricots have been known by another name. They were called "Armenian apples" because of their place of origin.

9. The Lavash is listed in UNESCO
The traditional Armenian bread "lavash" was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2014. This type of bread with an exceptional flavor can be preserved for several months.

10. The "Armenian cognac"
Known as "Brandy" for export, the famous "Armenian cognac" is well deserving of its name. Good cognac is almost synonymous with Armenia.
Yet Armenian cognac has been around for just over a century. The first distillery of Yerevan was born in 1877.
We also know that cognac was Winston Churchill's favorite beverage. He drank Armenian Cognac "Dvin".

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