Usually when we think about Armenia we imagine amazing mountain landscapes with a lot of monasteries scattered around. The capital city is the best starting point in planning a trip around the whole country. This one of the oldest cities in the world will also amaze you with its history and interesting architecture. Now you can get cheap airline tickets to Yerevan with LOT Polish Airlines.
A little bit of history
Yerevan is almost 3000 years old, which makes it one of the oldest cities in the world. Cities name comes from the Erebuni, a fortress founded in 782 BC, which you can admire till today in a district with the same name. In 1918 the city became a capital of Democratic Republic of Armenia and since that time it started to change. The plan of rebuilding city was approved. An architect Alexander Tamanian used his experience to mix modernity and national tradition. Social realism can be seen here in every corner, which is a real treat for all fans of the social- realist style. You will see here a lot of marble floors, refreshing fountains and monumental buildings. For sure you will notice that many of those buildings are made of a pink tuff, which makes them really unique in a global scale.
What to see in Yerevan
Most of the attractions are in the city center, which is rather small. That is why Yerevan sightseeing is good to start in this old part of town.
You can walk pretty much everywhere since this area is not that big. Cascades are a good starting point. This is a monumental building composed mainly of stairs. They lead to the viewing platform and a huge concrete spire, which was built for the 50th - anniversary of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. It is worth to climb on the top to admire beautiful view of the city. Cascade together with a small park are part of the Museum of Modern Art and belong to their founder Geraldna Cafesijana.
The most busy spot in Yerevan, where all the capital’s resident meet is near the Opera House. It is surrounded by parks, exclusive shops, night clubs, pubs and restaurants. Square around it is full of life even at 3 or 4 in the morning. Near the opera there is an amazing manuscripts museum Matenadaran. This one of the biggest libraries of manuscripts in the world, contains around 17 thousand of them. One of the most important places in Yerevan is Republic Square.It is surrounded by government buildings, which are a good example of Soviet architecture.
And like most buildings in Yerevan, they have characteristic pink color, derived from volcanic rocks. Every day in this square from 21 to midnight shows with light, sound and water are taking place. Hundreds of different colors illuminate fountains and dance to popular hits of classical music.
The city is really easy to visit and closer than ever with direct flights to Yerevan. You can be amaze how modern its is now. There are plenty of western shops, luxury apartments and modern office buildings of international corporations. This big development is due to former emigrants (Armenians from the USA and France), who bring to Yerevan foreign investments. Also, thanks to support from Moscow, the city is developing rapidly. Interestingly, residents of the capital, often prefer to use the Russian language than their mother tongue.
Yerevan airport is the main airport in Armenia. It is located in Zvartnots, which is around 12 kilometers west of the capital. LOT Airlines offer direct flights to Yerevan from Warsaw to Zvartnots International Airport.
History of the airport
It was built in 1961 and operates since then. Back then the main purpose of this airport was operating flights only within the territory of the former USSR. After 1990 when Armenia declared its independence against the Soviet Union it increased transport of cargo. This resulted in building a new cargo terminal in 1998. After couple of years it was decided to bring international standards to Yerevan airport. New arrivals hall was opened in 2006 and departures hall was launched in 2007. The runway has been fully modernized, new security and check in systems has been installed. VIP lounges has been also modernized.
In 2006 the new arrivals hall and a year after that international terminal were opened. In 2011 the new terminal with an area of 52,000 m2 has been opened. It doubled the number of passengers allowing to handle 3.2 million passengers a year. Additionally a car park for over 800 cars has been built.
How to get to the airport
Zvartnots International Airport is placed really close to the city center. That is why taxis are the most popular way of transportation. Airport taxi service is available 24 hours a day. A taxi rank is located right at the exit of the arrivals hall. Price depends on where do you want to get.
An official taxi service in the airport is AeroTaxi .This company has fixed prices and can take you only to the airport or from the airport.
The airport can be also reached by bus No. 201 and minibus lines N107 and N 108 of Yerevan. Bus 201 goes to the crossroads of Sayat-Nova and Mashtots streets in Yerevan. Bus 108 also connects airport with the city center. In future it is planned to connect Yerevan metro line with the airport or build a new metro line.
The new terminal opened a few years ago has departures on the upper level and arrivals on the lower level. Modern design and architecture are really impressive. There is quite a lot of space to sit, several restaurants and bank branches. Internet connection is available only after paying a fee in a Business Center, which is located in new terminal. You can also find here a post office. There are number of shops at the airport. Some of them you will find in Terminal 1, but most of the shops are in a duty- free zone. At all levels of the airport you can have a quick meal in one the fast- food chains or if you have more time, you can spend it in one of many restaurant. You can also enjoy your stay in the airport in a business lounge or VIP lounge. For an extra fee you can get there 24 hours services, snacks coffee & tea, magazines, complimentary Internet access and computers, showers facilities, relaxing area, satellite TV, meeting room.
Not many of us are thinking about Armenia as a choice of holiday trips…but maybe it’s worth it. Have you ever considered it? You should think beyond the standard way about the directions of holiday trips and look for places where which will surprise you- such as capital city of Armenia. Enjoy the cheap flights to Yerevan with LOT Polish Airlines and discover this beautiful city!
How to choose your accommodation?
Standard tourists looking for hotels should always consider the availability and plan ahead. Keep in mind that different seasons may have different price ranges, so if you don’t want to be surprised, book as soon as possible. Even though hotels usually offer a large number of services, it’s recommended to check if they have everything you need, after all you don’t want to be forced to use your underwear inside out. The less expensive option would be hotels built during Soviet era or new- built mid-range hotels. There are not many hostels to choose from in Yerevan, great alternative for backpackers would be to find accommodation in private houses, so called ‘bed and breakfast’. If you decide to stay longer that just few days renting an apartment would be good option.
With the growth and improvement of Yerevan, it’s easy to find suitable accommodation, especially in the touristic places. You can choose from new buildings or renovated Soviet time hotels. If you decide for a hotel from the Soviet time you should pay attention if the building has been renovated or not. Old buildings are not recommended. Some hotels are offering cottages, separate facilities which could be a great alternative for the family. Cottages are suitable for groups from four to eight persons. During Soviet time many spa hotels were built. Many of them were renovated and today they are very popular among tourists. These places are offering various therapeutic treatments and the prices are very reasonable for the medical and hotel function they provide.
If you are seeking for a cheap, quiet and pleasant accommodation, guesthouses would be a great choice. Sometimes owners of these houses call their places the ‘hotel resorts’. They offer accommodation as well as various activities (horse riding, other sports etc.). Almost always those places are well managed and provide pleasant surroundings. With different standards, those places vary from very simple with basic accommodation and services to high standard, almost luxury.
There are a very limited number of hostels in Yerevan, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a cheap hostels. For that check the Spitak area. Backpackers, after booking their flight tickets to Yerevan, should consider ‘bed and breakfast’ accommodation. The homestays are a great idea for people who like to learn more about culture and the real life of an Armenian family. Another great advantage of this accommodation is that you can have the opportunity to try some original meals, home made by the family. You can check details about homestays at the regional information center or at the Yerevan travel agency. Flights to Yerevan offered by LOT Polish Airlines are giving you a chance to discover this beautiful city. With wide range of accommodation, historical places and secrets to be found, it’s you opportunity to visit a new place.
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