Where: Haghpat, Akhtala, Yerevan, Sevan, Dilijan, Garni, Geghard, Khor Virap, Norovank, Areni, Goris, Artsakh, Tatev
Transport: Airline, Taxi, Bus
When: June 2019
Who: One backpacker
Currency: Armenian Dram (AMD)
This itinerary takes you through some of the best places around Armenia for eight days, but if you have a few days more then include some of the other wonders of the country as well.
Citizens of about 118 countries can visit Armenia either visa-free or visa on arrival, ranging from 21-90 days. And a lot of them can obtain an e-visa if required, that costs $6. Click here to check your passport’s eligibility and for more details on visa.
| REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH
If you plan to visit the Republic of Artsakh, which is the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, claimed by Azerbaijan as its own territory, then you will need a visa, irrespective of what citizenship you hold.
The visa can be obtained at the Artsakh border post, or at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office located in the de-facto capital city of Stepanakert. You do not need to go to the embassy of Artsakh in Yerevan to apply for a visa.
The tourist-visa is free for first 21-days. The visa is given to you as a separate sticker, and not stuck in your passport. The border posts will not stamp your passport at all. This means that your passport will have no evidence of you having visited this disputed territory. Note that Azerbaijan will permanently block you from visiting them if they see any evidence of you having visited Artsakh. And in some cases may even arrest you for illegally visiting their territory.
Here are some tips that I experienced on my trip to Armenia:
- Cash or cards – Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the country. Hostels will usually ask for cash. ATMs and currency exchange centers ate located almost everywhere in the big cities. Small town and villages expect cash, than credit cards.
- Transportation – Taxis are cheap. Shared buses are cheaper. Download the Yandex.taxi app for the most reliable and cheap ride-share taxi.
- Utilities & others
- Tap water around Armenia is safe to drink. In fact, you will have water fountains everywhere around the country dispensing tasty, free and good water. One liter bottle of water from a local market will cost AMD 300 (approx $0.80).
- Wi-fi – Available almost everywhere!
- Mobile services – For around AMD 3000 (approx $6.25), you can purchase a SIM card from any UCom or Beeline store that gives 5 or 7GB of data for 30 days. Note for Artsakh – No Armenian cellphone company has coverage in Artsakh.
I booked hotels before traveling to Armenia. These were booked after reviewing them on Google, TripAdvisor, booking.com and WikiTravel. With ample hostels and hotels in Yerevan, and not many tourists, you don’t need to book in advance.
|Yerevan||Hostel Bivouac||$57.30||AMD 5500 per night. For five nights. Bunk bed with ensuite bathroom & free breakfast.|
|Goris||Lvoya & Sons B&B||$12.50||AMD 6000 per night. Bunk bed with shared bathroom & free breakfast.|
|Stepanakert||R&K Hostel||$12.50||AMD 6000 per night. Double bed room with shared bathroom & free breakfast. Although the advertised price for this room is AMD 13000, the owner gave it to me for less than half the price. Single beds in a dorm is available for AMD 3000 per night.|
* Since I traveled to Azerbaijan first and then to Armenia, the onward flight is to Baku and return flight is from Yerevan to Los Angeles. All prices are per person.
|Los Angeles (LAX) to Doha (DOH) to Baku (GYD)*
Yerevan (EVN) to Doha (DOH) to Los Angeles (LAX)
|Qatar Airways||$1,667.00||Return flight. Economy.|
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult. The exchange rate at the time of publishing is assumed to be USD 1 = AMD 480.
|All flights||$1,667.00||See details above|
|Accommodation for all days||$82.30||Per person. See the list and costs above.|
|Total Costs||$1,749.30||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,749.30||Per person|
Planning & Information
List of all the expenses in this trip.
Day 1 – NEXT »
Arriving in Armenia and visiting Haghpat & Akhtala along the way.