Where is it: Armenia is located in southwestern Asia, east of Turkey.
Why do people go here: Those that can get past the ugly reminants of 70 years of Soviet domination, and the current international tensions, enjoy a country that is known for its ruins, supurb brandy (Winston Churchill’s favorite!) and cultural celebrations. Not yet a tourist destination, travelers can still consider Armenia to be “off the beaten path.” Even the capital only has a dozen or so hotels.
What are the main entry points: Because of the tension with neighboring Turkey and Azerbaijan (and closed boarders) and unsafe road coming from Georgia, flying into the capital Yerevan is recommended.
Currency used: Dram
Country Code for Phones: 374
Area codes for Major Cities: Ashtarak 43, Yerevan 2
Religion: Armenian Apostolic 94%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (Zoroastrian/animist) 2%
Population: 3.3 million
Ethnic Breakdown: 97.9% Armenian, 1.3% Yazidi, 0.5% Russian, 0.3% Other
Government: Presidential republic
Languages: Armenian 96%, Russian 2%, other 2%
Major Cities: Yerevan
Attractions: Yerevan, Khor Virap Monastery, Lake Sevan
Accommodation: Armenia Hostels
Tourism Office locations and links: Armenia Tourism Office
Off-the-Beaten-Path: Arteni Village, Rya Taza Village, Komitas Square & Statue, Three Arch Bridge
Health Issues: No vaccines are required to enter Armenia. There is a slight risk of malaria from June to October in Eastern border areas, away from tourist centers.
Tips for Visiting
When to go: Armenia is not a top tourist destination, so you won’t have to deal with massive crowds any time of year. Early autumn is considered the best time as the weather is still warm. Ski-fans should plan on a January or February trip.
Common Phrases: Yes = Ayo, No = Che, Please = Kh’ntrem, Thank you = Sh’norhakal em, Do you speak English? = Khosum es …?
Specific Events/Holidays: Independence Day, 21 September (1991), Armenian Christmas, January 6
Getting Around: Buses are the best way to get around as roads are in poor condition and fuel supplies are limited.
Good to know: The water is considered unsafe to drink. Boarders with Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed.
Cheapest airport to fly into: The cheapest airport to fly into Armenia is the Zvartnots International Airport.
Need more information?: Check out the Armenia travel guide for more on what to see, where to stay, and how to get there.