Yerevan – Some Basics

Say “Cheese”

I arrived on a minibus – marshrutka – from Tbilisi, which I had pre-booked on the internet through Hayreniq. It cost US$ 22 single (£17 or €20). As far as I can see, Hayreniq has nothing to do with the bus service, which is just the normal hourly service between the cities.

They are charging you a good chunk of money to “book” a seat on a public service you can get anyway for half the cost, just by turning up and paying the driver.

It was still cheap, but it is a long (5.5 hours), uncomfortable journey, made worse by our driver stopping twice on “private business” to buy oranges and a car door. Yes, a car door. Then he realised we had no room for it in the van.

We were fortunate to get through the border quickly – I reckon 20-30 minutes in total. We got to the Armenian immigration check just before a coach arrived, disgorging 45 tourists to swell the queues.

Marshrutkas to Yerevan leave Tbilisi from Avlabari metro station. We arrived at Kilikia bus station in Yerevan.

I was booked to return to Tbilisi the same way, but opted to fly instead. I got a one way ticket with Aircompany Armenia (operating as a franchise of Georgian Airways as far as I could tell) for $162 (€147 or £131). That fare included the cost of a checked in bag. The flight takes 30 minutes.

Balcony View

Zvarnots International is one of the most pleasant airports I have ever used. The difference in price between flying and taking the minibus is matched by the savings in time and comfort.

I had an excellent Airbnb apartment in Yerevan for 4 nights at £27 per night (€30). It was modern, quiet and very comfortable. A minimarket was located almost next door, which was ideal for buying the basics of domestic life during a brief stay.

Breakfast

I only ate out once, at a street food type place, so I am not able to offer much information on the city’s restaurant scene.

I took one “excursion” while I was in Yerevan, to hike up Mt Aragats. It cost US$120 (€109/£97), which might seem like a lot but it included the services of a local guide and door to door transport. As it happened I was the only one booked for that day, but the price comes down according to how many people have signed up.

Mountains Calling

I took a taxi from the apartment to the airport just picking it up on the street. On the meter it cost 2,200 dram (less than £5, so let’s say €5) for a fairly long journey across the city centre and right out the other side.

ⓒ iain taylor, 2019

🇦🇲🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇪🇺

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