TOP attractions and things to do in Yerevan

Yerevan is considered one of the oldest cities in the world. The center is quite compact, and almost every area has historical and unusual places. And on the 1 day trips you can find the first Christian churches, ancient monasteries, see the heritage of antiquity and stunning mountain views.

Where to go in one or three days in the city, go on an excursion, go shopping, as well as useful tips – in this post.

TOP places to visit

Republic Square

Republic Square is the main city square, designed in 1924 by architect A. Tamanyan. He drew up a master development plan that radically changed the appearance of Yerevan. The new plan, implemented in several stages over different years, included wide avenues and buildings made of pink tuff, which became a big part of the Yerevan image.

There are Singing Fountains in front of the National Gallery; the light show usually starts in the evening.

National Gallery

The best examples of Tamanyan’s new architectural style are presented in this square. The buildings are made of tuff mined in Armenia; elements characteristic of ancient Armenian temples are used as decoration, and graceful arches refer to antiquity.

Cascade complex

Cascade is the most recognizable Yerevan attraction. Despite the fact that its project was made back in 1924, it was opened only in 1980. The architectural and memorial complex, 302 meters high, consists of five terraces, each of which offers views of the city and Ararat.

You can go up the stairs or use the escalator to the left of the entrance. By the way, before the construction of the complex there was a hill with trees, in general, a quiet and peaceful place.


Along the way you will see the famous Soviet sculpture “Divers”.

The last terrace remained unfinished, so on the way to the monument you will have to go around it. Inside the Cascade is the Cafesjian Center for the Arts.

Memorial to the 50th Anniversary of October Revolution

The “Revived Armenia” monument was originally dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Soviet Armenia, but was renamed. It offers one of the best views of the mountains, so be sure to go up on foot, by escalator, or by taxi (to Saralanja Avenue).

Botero sculptures

Modern sculptures have recently appeared in front of the Cascade, the most famous of which is “Smoking woman” by the Colombian sculptor Botero.

Mother Armenia Monument

From here you can see Mother Armenia Monument. The monument was erected in honor of the victory in the World War II. The pedestal seems disproportionately large, but only because there is a military museum inside. Now the museum’s exhibition tells about the years 1941-1945 and also the Karabakh war. For the first 12 years, a sculpture of Stalin stood on the pedestal, which was replaced in 1962 by “Mother Armenia,” symbolizing the greatness of the Motherland. Her prototype was a 17-year-old girl whom the sculptor met in a store.

Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre

The Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theater was built in 1933 according to Tamanyan’s design as part of the formation of a new look for the central streets and squares. The architecture refers to antiquity, and the shape of the building resembles a Colosseum. The theater perfectly complements Freedom Square, is the dominant feature of the main avenues and the center of the cultural life of the capital.


Tsitsernakaberd – one of the most important places of Armenia, a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915. The memorial opened on Tsitsernakaberd hill (translated as “swallow fortress”) in 1967. The stele symbolizes the will to live, its split is the need to leave the historical homeland, and the cone of stone slabs with an eternal flame is a figurative tombstone of all the innocent victims.

In 1995, the Genocide Museum opened on the hill, the exhibition of which tells the history of the tragedy and the biography of the victims with photographs and personal belongings. The visit can be emotionnaly difficult, but it helps to better understand the Armenian people.

From the hill you can clearly see Ararat and the whole of Yerevan. It’s quite easy to climb the hill on foot.

Sport/Concert Complex after Karen Demirtchian

There is also a sports and concert complex on the hill. The impressive building was built in 1983 in the style of socialist modernism. After going around the complex, you will come out to the Hrazdan River and Kievyan Street.

Choose the best accomodation on Tripadvisor. I recommend to book a hotel in the center as it’s not much more expensive and the most comfortable option for Yerevan.

Saint Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral

The cathedral is dedicated to Gregory the Illuminator, the main saint of Armenia, who brought Christianity to Armenia. Hieromartyr Gregory lived during the confrontation with Persia and was imprisoned for his Christian views. Because he was able to save the king from an incurable disease, he was released, and Christianity was approved as the official religion. The cathedral was built to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia and is the largest church in Yerevan.

Sasuntsi Davit Statue

The railway station is an excellent example of Soviet architecture, built in 1956 from tuff stone. The spire still bears the coat of arms of the Armenian SSR. Many interesting details have been preserved in the interior and courtyard. There is also a bus station and metro station here.

In front of the station you can see a monument to David of Sassounsky. David is the hero of the ancient Armenian epic who fought against the Arab invaders. For Armenians, he is the personification of courage, strength and determination. The monument was erected in 1956 and since then has been one of the symbols of Armenia.

Children’s Railway

One of the accessible, but very unusual places that is worth visiting is the children’s railway in the Hrazdan Gorge. She worked from 1937 until the 1990s. The narrow-gauge railway ran along the picturesque Hrazdan Gorge; along the way there was a fake tunnel and two more stations. Unfortunately, they are all abandoned now. Several years ago, the station and railway began to be restored and even resumed work on weekends. But now everything has fallen into disrepair again.

This is a great place for a walk and can be easily accessed. Through the park with fountains you need to go down to the Hayrenik station with beautiful stained glass windows, look at the once functioning trains and walk along the narrow-gauge railway.

Many people come here to relax on the banks of the Hrazdan River, so there are usually a lot of people. At the final station you can turn onto the bridge or climb the stairs and walk to the Sergei Paradjanov Museum and Saint Sargis Vicarial Church.

To get to the railway you need to go through a rather scary tunnel. It is located behind Diana Abgar Park not far from Mashtots Avenue. You will have to walk 450 meters, the tunnel is covered with graffiti, and the lighting does not work everywhere. But usually there are also a lot of people here. On the opposite side of the entrance there is a sculpture of a panther carved in stone.


Kond is considered the oldest district of the capital. Several streets with stone buildings intertwine on the hill. It has practically not changed its appearance since the 19th century. Kond gives an idea of what most of the city looked like before redevelopment and construction during the Soviet era. And although the area was preserved specifically as an example of old architecture, now it is often called a slum and even wants to be demolished.

It is believed that on one of the streets you can find a 17th century mosque, now rebuilt into a residential building.

Erebuni Fortress

Erebuni Fortress is the oldest building in Yerevan, dating back to 782 – the construction date of which is considered to be the founding date of the city. Unfortunately, not much remains of it: the bases of the walls and foundations, from which it is difficult to imagine the appearance of the ancient fortress city. There is also a museum here that will tell you more about the history and show archaeological finds. The hill offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Flickr / ogannes

Nice areas to walk around

Where is the nicest place to take a walk? The main avenues (Mashtots, Amiryan, Sayat-Nova, Khanjyan) are usually full of people and cars. Quieter streets with cafes and restaurants are usually located in parallel (Tumanyan, Abovyan, Vardanants, Pushkin).

Northern Avenue

Northern Avenue was built in 2007 and has become one of the favorite walking areas of residents and tourists. The pedestrian street contains many mass-market and premium-segment stores, coffee shops and restaurants.

Old Yerevan

From time to time in the center there are historical buildings that survived the redevelopment and development of the Soviet period. Unfortunately, the desire to turn Yerevan into a metropolis has practically erased most of its architectural heritage. Most of the historical buildings are in a sad state, abandoned or already dilapidated. You can imagine what the city looked like before on the streets of Pavstos Buzand and Aram.

Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque on Mashtots Avenue actually is a complex of buildings. The mosque itself is practically invisible from the street, so it is better to go into the territory. The complex was built in 1766, making it one of the oldest Islamic buildings in Armenia and the only functioning mosque in Yerevan. During Soviet times it was closed and a museum was located inside. Since the 1990s, the restoration and then opening of the cultural center of the Iranian community began.

Yerevan City Market

Opposite the luxurious building once housed the central indoor market “Tashir”. In 1952 it replaced retail with an open square, also housing a post office, library and warehouses and becoming a meeting and socializing place for local residents. Previously, the building had an elegant arched span, which disappeared after reconstruction. Now the premises are occupied by a regular Yerevan City grocery store.

English Park

The park was founded in the 1860s, inspired by the English style, which spread throughout Europe. At that time this area
was considered the most prestigious with luxurious mansions, shops and hotels, so it is not surprising that the park appeared here. Now the mansions have been occupied by embassies, and the park remains an excellent place for walks.

A few years ago, another park dedicated to the 2800th anniversary of Yerevan was opened. The result is a very pleasant and landscaped area with fountains and modern sculptures.

Myasnikyan Square

On Myasnikyan Square and Russia Square there is the City Hall, the Museum of History and other administrative buildings. The Historical Museum tells about the history of Yereven from ancient times to the present day through archaeological finds, objects of art and everyday life.

On the opposite side there is a monument to Alexander Myasnikyan, a revolutionary of the early 20th century.

Former movie theatre “Rossiya”

One of the most unusual buildings in Yerevan is the former movie theater “Rossiya” near the Zoravar Andranik metro station. The building is designed in a social modernist architectural style and resembles Noah’s Ark. The project caused great controversy in the 1970s and now is a unique example of the style. The complex included not only the largest cinema, but also exhibition halls, dance floors and cafes. Unfortunately, after reconstruction, several buildings were destroyed, and the modernist decorative elements of the interior were lost. Now part of the former cinema is occupied by retail space, and part is not used and is gradually deteriorating.

Komitas Park

The park was opened several years ago; on its territory there is a pantheon, which arose on the site of an ancient cemetery. The composer Komitas is buried here, and the museum is dedicated to him.

Shops, malls, etc

Shopping malls and small shops

The largest shopping center in the capital is “Dalma Garden Mall” (Tsitsernakaberd highway, 3), not far from the Tsitsernakaberd memorial. It has all the major mass-market stores, sports and children’s goods, and equipment. On the ground floor there is a large Yerevan City grocery store with a large selection. There is a small food court.

Another large shopping center, also not in the center, but close to the station, is “Yerevan Mall” (Arshakunyats Ave., 34/3). There are all the most famous mass market stores, as well as several premium brands. The food court here is quite small, but there is a large Carrefour grocery store.

In the north there is the shopping center “Rio” (8 Vahram Papazyan St.), where the choice is a little less. Large food court.

In the center, clothing stores can be found on the Northern Avenue.

The closest shopping center to the center is “Rossiya Mall” (16 Tigran Mets Ave.), although the selection of stores there is quite specific and there are almost no familiar brands.


In Yerevan there is a clear division between tourist markets and places where locals go. But if you are looking for souvenirs and gifts and do not want to go far from the center, they are perfect for you.

In the center is “Vernisage” on Arama Street. The fair is fully operational on weekends, but some will be open on weekdays as well. Originally, real masters sold their works here, but now it is more of a tourist attraction. But you can still find interesting jewelry, costume jewelry, souvenirs, vintage, and hand-made goods made of wood, clay, and ceramics here. Prices are a little high for tourists, but you can try to bargain.

The food tourist market is “GUM” (Movses Khorenatsi St., 35). This noisy and large market sells fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, spices and other products that tourists usually bring from Armenia. Sellers don’t put price tags, so you’ll have to ask, bargain and, judging by the reviews, be wary of being scammed.

“World of Gold” or the Gold Market not far from the Rossiya shopping center – these are dozens of jewelry stores under one roof. Tourists leave unflattering reviews, but among such abundance there is a chance to find decent jewelry at an attractive price.

Places for locals

As it turns out, locals shop more often at regular supermarkets. In large grocery stores you can find a lot of real Armenian products at no extra charge: lavash, churchkhela, sujuk, homemade cheeses, hummus, spices, teas. But real markets will most likely only be outside the capital.

Lavash, flatbreads, and pies are easiest to find in kiosks outside the city center. However, at 26 Mashtots Avenue they sell excellent pies (pirozhki).

There is a real flea market near the Hrazdan stadium, where sellers lay out their goods right on the ground. You may find a real vintage or even antique find here.

Day trips

Most of the oldest temples, monasteries and natural attractions are located in the surrounding area. Getting to them by public transport and taxi is not always possible, so the best option would be to book a tour in advance.

Check the best options for current day trips on Tripadvisor.

Khor Virap Monastery

Khor Virap is one of the oldest Armenian monasteries, 40 kilometers from Yerevan. According to legend, it was here that Gregory the Illuminator, who spread Christianity in Armenia, was kept in captivity. However, people come here not only to touch history, but also for the breathtaking view of Ararat. In clear weather, one of the best panoramas of the mountains opens from here.

It will be convenient to get there on your own only by car. There is a bus along the highway (from the bus station to the city of Ararat), but you will have to ask the driver to stop at the turn and then walk.

Flickr / Anthony Surace

Garni Gorge and Geghard

Garni is a temple built in the 1st century BC, one of the oldest in Armenia. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1679, but was later rebuilt. From the temple you can walk on foot to the Symphony of Stones – a unique natural object created by volcanic flows. Nearby is the ancient monastery complex of Geghard with historical relics and breathtaking views.

All three points can be visited by car or within. You can get to Garni on your own from the bus station, and then call a taxi to the Geghard Monastery.

Flickr / Following Hadrian


The Zvartnots Temple was built in the 600s and was restored thanks to archaeological excavations. It was possible to recreate the first tier, which helps to mentally complement the appearance of the ancient temple. There is also a museum that tells in detail the history of these places. It is convenient to get here by taxi, minibus No. 203, or along with an excursion. Zvartnots is located near the airport, so many come here before their flight.

Flickr / saxophonia

Ejmiatsin (Vagharshapat)

Nearby in the city of Vagharshapat is the Etchmiadzin Cathedral – an important place for all believers and those interested in history. The cathedral is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, according to legend, founded by Gregory the Illuminator. Unfortunately, it has been under reconstruction for the last few years, but there are other interesting buildings in the temple complex.

Tatev monastery

Tatev is one of the distant destinations, a visit to which will take the whole day. But the views and history of the monastery are definitely worth it. You can also get here via the longest cable car in the world, “Wings of Tatev”.

Flickr / leo.tisseau