Hi, everyone! For those who are wondering and planning to visit the amazing Republic of Armenia, this is my version of a travel guide, I hope this somehow will be helpful. There are a lot of things to do and enjoy in that beautiful country. Like skiing and lying on the snow (haha), but seriously, a glimpse of what and how middle age probably or certainly looks like. From the aesthetic of the city, medieval churches and monasteries, up to the massive mountains stretched into the surface your naked eyes will ever reach, with my absolute best judgment – I am saying you’ll not regret it. I thought we simplify things so we can get to the point quick. From Abu Dhabi, UAE to Yerevan, Armenia, this was my 4-day itinerary.
Book your ticket with your airline of choice. I have chosen airarabia because they have the lowest airfare but departs from Sharjah International Airport. They’re having a deal of a return ticket for 1 week at 650aed and flight schedules are only Tuesdays and Fridays. If you happen to be traveling for less than a week, the fare will have a little difference (mine was 940aed), but I believe it’s still much cheaper than the other airlines. You can try checking out Fly Dubai as well. AirArabia offers a shuttle bus which I wasn’t aware of, you can check with your agent if you’ll book via travel agency and google it if you do it online. I took the bus from Abu Dhabi Bus Station going to City Centre Sharjah at 24:00 being the last trip because the first trip is 04:30 and my flight was 08:10 then it would have been bad if I came late; I then took a taxi to the airport for 32aed.
Booking can be done online with multiple choices of booking sites; I did mine at Hotel. Com. Either way, I highly recommend Kantar Hotel situated just few minutes walk from the Republic Square. You can choose your preferred room whether you want to stay alone in a room or in a shared room, of course, the prices will varry. My friend and I chose the shared room for 31aed/night since we just need some place to rest, take a shower and to store our luggage. It is a dormitory room with 4 double-decker beds and no worries you’ll have a locker to store your valuables. The hotel is affordable, clean and pleasant, you’ll get the best value for your money. They offer a broad range of delicious breakfast, coffee, and tea that is already included in your stay. The staff is friendly and very welcoming. Please bring your own toiletries (except paper tissues) indoor slippers, and plug in socket adapter.
Visa is upon arrival for 3000 Armenian drams (1 aed=129 drams) for up to 21 days of stay if you wish to stay longer you can extend and an additional fee will be charged accordingly. You need to secure beforehand the amount in Armenian drams because they might not accept any other currency, like dollars or dirhams, etc.
Airport pick up/drop off and Tours
You can contact Tours in Armenia if you haven’t had chosen anyone yet. Pick up from airport to your hotel is 2000 drams as well as drop off from your hotel to the airport. You can find the contact number on their page and you can communicate via whatsapp. They’re approachable and will reply to your query quickly. And also, their car has wifi which is quite nice or better. For the tours, I had 2 days from 09:00-18:00 top. Day 1: Geghard Church – Garni Temple – Sevan Lake – Cable Car – Kecharis Monastery. Day 2: Khor Virap – Hin Areni – Noravank. I would recommend joining the tour on the 2nd day from the day you landed, so you are well-rested and have the entire day.
Day 1 – 5,500 drams
Garni Temple – 1,200 drams (entrance ticket)
Cable Car (Tsaghkadzor) – 2,000 drams
Day 2 – 6,500 drams
Hin Areni Wine Tasting and Tour – 1,000 drams
Places to Eat
Kalian Khalill Maamoon
Food and present budgets are all up to you depending on how much would you wanna spend. Shops and restaurants accept visa and mastercard.
I would also like to share some experiences and thoughts about a couple of things that honestly surprise me. First thing, please please please don’t be rude to anyone, especially to the locals. I have seen kabayans acted kinda off even in public, like WHY? Why would you do that? Aren’t you supposed to prepare everything before you even step on the plane? You are coming to a foreign country, of course, you’ll gonna need the money in their own currency(!) We are all foreigners, and their country belongs to them, whatever their traditions and rules are – we are expected to obey and follow without questions. This is ridiculous and funny, but it bugs me- for instance in restaurants, please ask nicely for your RICE and SPOON. Second thing, we don’t need to give our comments to everything we see. If they are negative, we resist it and keep it to ourselves unless it is appreciative then we go share it. Notwithstanding our differences, we are well-mannered HUMAN beings (I believe..).
Good luck and have fun!
Don’t forget your cameras, extra batteries, and cozy outfits! xx
Explorer of the unknown.