Many people don’t realize that Armenia is one of the oldest places in the world. The main city, Yerevan, is older than the Eternal City of Rome by a few decades. Any city that has been around for thousands and thousands of years should be on every travelers list. You will always be sure to find great architecture, ruins, museums, and culture in historic cities. There are the perfect places to visit for a combination of new and old, leaving visitors with a sense of astonishment because of what they just experienced. Here are five things you should be sure to do when you make your way to Yerevan.
Check Out Republic Square
This is where it all goes down. The hustle and bustle of Yerevan can be found in Republic square. This is the area which draws most of the visitors in during the day and during the night. For starters, the National Gallery and the History Museum are both located in the square. Just outside of the square you can find the St. Gregory Cathedral, the North Complex, the Moscow Cinema, and the English Garden. These are all sites in themselves so give some time to check them all out. During the night, Republic Square becomes a place filled with music and colors and excitement. The fountains are set to entertain as the water will shoot up at different times creating a wonderful aquatic dance for visitors to see.
Go to the History Museum of Armenia
This museum was briefly mentioned above but is special enough to warrant further information. It is easily the largest museum in the city and hosts several different departments from Archeology, Numismatics, and Ethnography to Modern History and Restoration. This place has it all. The Museum of History is home to a collection of over 400, 000 items, some dating back to the 8th millennium BC.
Visit the Cascade Complex
It can be argued that the Cascade Complex is the most happening spot in Yerevan. It is a white stairwell that has been built into the side of a hill with different levels featuring different attractions. Some levels feature contemporary art while others are adorned with fountains, decorative displays, statues, and monuments. There are often concerts held here and the stairs offer a magnificent view of Mt. Ararat as well as the rest of the city center.
Stroll the Vernisage Market
Open markets are one of the best parts about traveling the world. These markets offer an insight into the culture of a place like nothing else. On the weekend, this market is full of life. It is located between Republic Square and the St. Gregory Cathedral. Vernisage is the best place to find Armenian souvenirs. Vendors come to showcase their trinkets, jewelry, art work, and carpets. Even if you plan on buying nothing the market is filled with colors and great photograph opportunites to make sure you never forget your experience.
The Monastery of Geghard
There is a reason that this monastery was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is absolutely breath taking. This monastery dates back to the 4th century and the country has done a good job of exposing parts of different buildings from the mountainside. This is just a short trip from Yerevan and is a good way to spend a day. If you can make it on Sunday you will be able to listen to the divine liturgy as well as a lovely choir.