Useful Information for Visitors
A visa is required for entering Armenia. The Republic of Armenia has agreements on mutual non-visa entry with Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Armenia also has agreements with Bulgaria, Hungry, Romania and Cuba (visitors from these countries need an official invitation from the inviting institution or, if the visitor is invited by an individual, an invitation letter provided by the ministry of inner affairs). In all cases it is necessary to have a valid international passport when entering the country. Visas are provided:
a) In Armenian embassies
b) At Armenian airports and border points upon arrival
c) On-line through www.ArmeniaForeignMinistry.com.
The following types of visas are available:
a) Transit visa – up to 3 days
b) Tourist visa – up to 21 days
c) Long Term visa – up to 3 months
d) Diplomatic visa – for the mission period
The official currency of Armenia is the Armenian Dram (AMD). 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 dram bills are in circulation. 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram coins are also used. Tourists can easily exchange USD, Euro and Russian Ruble into AMD. Other currencies also can be exchanged into AMD, however not in all currency exchange offices and therefore it is recommended to have USD, Euro or Russian Ruble during a trip to Armenia.
Emergency phone numbers
Fire 1 01
Police 1 02
Ambulance 1 03
Rescue team 1 18
Useful Telephone Numbers
Local and international call orders 1 05 or 1 07
Telephone directory 1 09
How to phone
Cable phone connection
The coin-box telephones provide local, in-country and international connection. Often a special card is needed for calls. Cards with 50, 100, 300 and 500 units are sold in post offices and in newsletter stands.
To phone from Armenia dial 00- country code- city code- telephone number
To phone to Armenia dial 00-374- city code – telephone number.
To phone from one city to another in Armenia 0 is dialed prior to the city code.
Two networks of cellular connection function in the territory of Armenia: Armentel,Vivacell and Orange . To phone to a cell number 091,099,096 -phone number for Armentel , 093 , 094,098 and o77 -phone number for Vivacell needs to be dialed.055 and 095 -phone namber for Orange. To phone to a cell number in Armenia dial 00 374 91,099,096 – phone number for Armentel and 00 374 93 , 00 374 94,098,077 – phone number for Vivacell, and 00 374 55.95 -phone namber for Orange.
The traffic in Armenia is right sided. The following limitations about speed are active: 90 km/h in highways and 60 km/h inhabited areas for usual passenger cars. There are plenty of parking areas. The permitted amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood is 0.5 ppm (one 0.33 l bottle of bear).
The net of the public transportation is formed by buses, minibuses, taxis and metro.
Metro: The metro line has a single stretch with 11 stations. The fare is 100 AMD.
Buses: Buses run in different destinations in Yerevan with a fare of 100 AMD. The buses running from Yerevan to other cities differ in price starting from 250 AMD..
Minibuses: There are numerous minibuses running in Yerevan at a fee of 100 AMD and out of Yerevan at a price depending on the destination.
Taxis can be called on phone from local taxi services, which offer a fee of about 100 AMD per km, while the ones caught in the street are not working on a fixed rate and negotiate the price.
Any goods (besides coffe, tea – not more than 1 kg, caviar – not more than 0.5 kg, cigars – not more than 10 units, cigarellas or cigarets – not more than 400 units) with the total cost of not more than AMD150,000 and maximum 50kg in total weight are allowed in and out of the country without paying customs duties. Personal items they wear or have in their luggage (that do nat have manufactural packing, labeling and are placed in the laggage, are worn by the person at the time of transportation) may be transported duty free. Alcoholic drinks, maximum 2 liters (or one bottle of any cuantity), and tobacco products, maximum 20 packs are allowed to export/import duty free. Unlimited amount of foreign currency is allowed to import into Armenia, if it is announced upon arrival. Amounts greater than AMD 5,000, 000 or equivalent are not allowed out in cash, but can be transferred through a bank, without any limitation. Import or export of any antiques, including precious stones, coins, manuscripts or any other peaces of art, or drug substances, weapons and ammunition are allowed ONLY with permit of corresponding state authorities. Animals can be imported only if a veterinary certificate is presented.
In Armenia the voltage is 220, and the frequency is 50 Hz.
State holidays and memorial days
Following holidays and memorial days are observed in Armenia:
December 31st to January 6th- Christmas holidays. Non-working days are December 31st, January 1st and 2nd (New Year Days) and January 6th (Holy Christmas)
January 28th- Armenian Army Day
March 8th- International Women’s Day (non-working day)
April 7th- Mothers’ and Beauty Day
April 24th- Armenian Genocide Victims’ Memorial Day (non-working day)
May 1st- Day of International Solidarity of Workers (non-working day)
May 9th- Victory and Peace Day (non-working day)
May 28th- First Republic Day (non-working day)
July 5th- Constitution Day (non-working day)
September 21st- Independence Day (non-working day)
December 7th- 1988 Earthquake Victims’ Memorial Day
Main Religious Holidays
January 6th- Holy Christmas
February 14th- Trndez. It is celebrated 40 days after the Holy Christmas. The name means “Go towards the God”. The main ceremony is burning a bonfire, which symbolizes the early advent of spring.
Tsakhkazard (Palm Sunday). It is celebrated a week before the Holy Easter. The holyday symbolizes the solemn arrival of Christ in Jerusalem as a Messiah. On this day, following the tradition boys and girls wear their best clothes, exchange palm branches and wear hallows made from flowers and small branches.
Holy Easter. This is the day of Christ’s resurrection. On this day people great each other with the words: “Christ resurrected” “He truly resurrected”. 10 days prior to the Holy Easter Armenian women sow wheat and lentil seeds in a little plate. On the Holy Easter, they place the colored Easter eggs in these 10 day greens. This becomes the main decoration of Easter table.
Vardavar (Christ’s transfiguration day). It is celebrated on the 14th Sunday after the Easer. The holiday is very popular. According to an ancient legend the pagan goddess of love, Astghik spread love on the Armenian land by spilling water out of roses and by granting roses. After adoption of Christianity the holiday changed slightly. On Vardavar day, everyone, including children and the elderly, start throwing water on each other from early morning to evening.
Assumption of Holy Virgin. The holiday is celebrated in August. The traditional ceremony of the holiday is the annual blessing of grapes in church. The event coincides with the beginning of harvesting season.
Khachverats (Exhaltation of the Cross). It is celebrated on the Sunday which is the closest to the 14th of September.
Targhmanchants Ton. This is a religious holyday dedicated to Mesrop Mashtots, to his disciples, who did the first translations into Armenian after the creation of the Armenian alphabet (the word “targmanich” means translator). The holiday is also dedicated to other outstanding figures of culture who have not only translated the Bible or other works of world culture, but have remarkable commitment in education, enlightenment and science. Since 1979 with the suggestion of the Writers’ Union of Armenia the holiday is celebrated as all Armenian holiday in October every second year
The Armenian cuisine has preserved its centuries old traditions and is very diverse and is regarded as one of the oldest in the world. One of the characteristics of Armenian food is that it is poignant and spicy. Greens, fish, meat and milk, bread, salt, spring water and the art of cooks pass to the Armenian cuisine a refined and exceptional taste. Cheese, greens and lavash are the irreplaceable companions of all meals. There is not Armenian cuisine without traditional Armenian bread, lavash. This thin bread is baked according to old technologies in a tonir, which is built in the same way as in ancient times. Tonir is a circular clay fireplace. In its lover part
from the side there is an ash-pit.
As a first dish dairy soups or different clear soups of beef and mutton is prepared in Armenia. One of the most popular Armenian dishes is dolma: minced meat with rice wrapped in vine leaves. Dishes such as kololak and cufta made from chopped meat, harisa a porridge made of chicken meat and wheat are also popular. The menus of all nations in Caucasus confer a special place to barbeque, made by chosen pieces of pork or mutton and prepared on ambers. Rivers and lakes in Armenia are rich of fish but the trout from Lake Sevan, which is delicious and very pricey, is an honor for any table
The priority amongst the diary products is given to matsun, to Armenian yogurt.
Local sweets and confectionary are superior, they include candid and dried apricots, home made halvah, peaches staffed with various nuts, sweet sudjukh, vast variety of cookies with nuts and fruit comfitures, pastry and various jams.
Alcohol and juices
The national drinks are Armenian brandy and wine. Today around 40 types of table, fortified and aromatized wines are produced in Armenia. The history of cognac production in Armenia is more then hundred years long. Cognac is the most popular Armenian alcoholic drink and Armenians are particularly proud of it. When Churchill was asked at an old age what the secret of his long life was, he answered without giving too much thought: “Never be late for lunch, smoke Hawaiian cigars and drink Armenian brandy.” This blessed drink has won dozens of golden and silver medals. Ordinary, vintage and collection cognacs are produced in Yerevan brandy factory.
According to people the mulberry vodka, has a wonderful taste in addition to its healing effects. Mulberry vodka is popular in Armenia. The excellent mineral waters “Jermuk”, “Arzni” and “Dilijan Frolova” and fruit juices are also very popular.