BRIEF INFORMATIONS ABOUT ARMENIA
The Republic of Armenia (Hayastani Hanrapetutyun) is located in the Caucasus Region of Eurasia, bordering Turkey to the west, Iran and Naxchivan to the south, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh to the East and Georgia to the North.
North: Lori and Tavush, Shirak, Aragatsotn, Armavir
Center: Kotayk, Gegharkunik, Ararat
South: Vayots Dzor, Syunik
Yerevan, the nation's capital and the most populated city
The Armenian Dram (AMD) is the currency of Armenia.
There are coins consisting of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram.
There are banknotes consisting of 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000 and 100000 dram.
The major foreign currencies (euro, dollar) may be changed without difficulty. The use of debit and credit cards is quite easy in big cities but it is limited in the rest of the country and in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Food is one of Armenia staples, and it's generally safe, even from the roadside khorovats stands. There is little worry about food safety in Armenia so we will always encourage you to try and enjoy it. Our programmes include meals in restaurants which have been tested and approved by our organization, of course in the most remote regions of the country we cannot guarantee western standards but our guides are trained and know the diverse and most remote areas so you'll always eat in the best places available.
Some examples of tasty armenian dishes are:
Khoravats, barbecue pork, lamb, chicken or beef, usually flavored with onions and spices served with barbecued tomatoes, eggplants or potatoes.
Borsch is a vegetable soup of russian origin. It is traditionally made with beetroot which gives it its typical red colour.
Dolma are grape leaves stuffed with rice and meat, there also exist varieties with stuffed cabbage leaves, bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.
Khash is a traditional dish, a nutritious winter food of boiled cows feet for the rural poor, it is now considered a delicacy, and is usually enjoyed early in the morning as a festive winter meal.
Armenian fruits and vegetables are special. We strongly suggest to try them, you'll never forget the taste of Armenian apricots, peaches, pomegranates, grapes, etc.
Armenian bread is very tasty as well. Lavash (a soft, thin flatbread) is served almost anywhere.
Alcoholics: Vodka, Tut oghee (mulberry vodka), Tsiran oghee (apricot vodka), Beer (the most famous are Gyumri, Kilikia, Kotayk), Wine and Brandy (the most famous are Ararat, Noy).
Other types: Tan (Matsun yogurt mixed with water and salt), Jazzve coffee, tea and herbal teas.
Water: Tap water is generally safe, as it comes directly from mountains, but you may also purchase bottled mineral water both with plain and sparkling on almost every street corner. Bottled water is available everywhere.
Taxis are cheap and generally safe. The cost of riding around the center of Yerevan should generally not go beyond 1500-2000 Dram. Taxi drivers use taximeter to move around.
Vernissage, an open market with great opportunities for shopping (from handicrafts to soviet-era memorabilia) is a must see: it takes place every Saturday and Sunday near Republic Square.
You'll find fresh fruit and vegetables markets in the major cities too, we strongly suggest to mix with the locals and buy what you like!
Many supermarkets in the major cities are open 24/7.
Armenia is an overall safe country and its capital, Yerevan, isn't a dangerous city. Use common sense when walking on the streets at night, female visitors should be aware that lonely women are an unusual sight after dark.
The border between Armenia and Turkey is closed as well as the border with Azerbaijan after the war for Nagorno Karabakh. There have been several violations of the 1994 ceasefire between these two countries from military emplacements along the border.
The dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh remains unresolved. Although a ceasefire has been in place since May 1994, the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenian forces are closed. There are no peacekeeping forces separating the two sides. Any foreigners venturing within 5km of these borders are liable to be stopped by the police or the military.
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