Yerevan, Armenia - Stein Travel
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Yerevan

With the majestic snow-capped Caucasus Mountain range as a backdrop, Yerevan is one of the world's oldest continuously-inhabited cities. During its Soviet days, Yerevan was known as the 'pink city' due to the colour of the stone used in its buildings.

Most tourists tend to stick to the centre of the city which is easily explored on foot, where they can expect to see some fantastic architecture, wide avenues and an atmosphere reminiscent of Vienna or Paris. Don't miss the Republic Square Singing Fountains, which are illuminated and accompanied by music every night from 10 - 11pm.

Travellers will also note that smoking is a national pastime and many restaurants and public places can be polluted with cigarette smoke, especially during the winter months when it is too cold to smoke outside. For this reason, Yerevan is best visited during the summer months when fresh air and warm days outdoors are the order of the day.

Visit the fortified city from the ancient kingdom of Urartu, Erebuni Fortress, which dates from the 8th century BC and from which Yerevan's name is derived, while history buffs will be captivated by the Genocide Museum and Memorial, located in Tsitsernakaberd, which pays tribute to the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide that was carried out by Turkey.

Religious sites include Echmiadzin where one of the oldest churches of Christianity is located, while nearby Garni boasts the 2,000-year-old Greco-Roman Garni Temple, made out of basalt and adorned with Ionic columns. The nearby Roman Baths are also a popular tourist attraction.

Information & Facts

Language

Armenian is the official language, and it has its own alphabet. Russian is widely spoken and English is becoming more prominent.

Money

The official currency of Armenia is the Dram (AMD), which is divided into 100 lumas. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks as well as many hotels, with US dollars the most widely recognised and easily changed, although notes should be in good condition. Credit cards are not widely accepted other than in some large hotels and restaurants. Travellers cheques should be in US dollars to avoid additional charges and there are few ATMs in Yerevan, including HSBC. It is advisable to carry plenty of small change in local currency as shops and markets will often not have change.

Time

Local time in Armenia is GMT +4.

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