Armenia is located in the South Caucasus, bordered by Georgia from the north, Iran from the south, Azerbaijan from the north-east and the south-west and Turkey from the west. The Republic of Armenia occupies a territory of 29 800 square km, lying at an average altitude of 1800 meters above sea level. The highest point is Mount Aragats (4090m), while the lowest point is the valley of the Debed River (400m). The capital is Yerevan. According to the general census of 2003 the population of Armenia is 3,2 million, 1,1 million of which lives in Yerevan.
Armenia has a dry tropical climate. Clear sunny days are mostly dominant in a year. The summers are hot here, the temperature fluctuates between +22C to +36C. The winters are mainly cold, the average temperature is between -15C to -1C. The mountain peaks are covered with eternal snow, while their slopes are lined by alpine meadows. The best time to visit Armenia is spring or autumn.
The national currency of Armenia is called “Dram” (the code is AMD). It was put into circulation in 1993. There are banknotes of 1000, 5000, 20000, 50000, 100000 Dram denomination. There are also coins of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 Dram denomination. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and currency exchange offices throughout the city. The approximate exchange rate is:
Armenia has two major airports. The main airport is Zvartnots International Airport, which is located at a distance of about 12 km from the centre of Yerevan, while the second one is situated in Gyumri. There are flights to and from Yerevan from more than 50 cities of the world
The official language is Armenian, a separate branch of the Indo-European language family. The Armenian letters are radically different from the letters of other languages. Generally the state buildings and public places are also marked with Latin-letter signboards. Besides Armenian, Russian is also widely used, and many can communicate in English, too.
The traditional Armenian cuisine has a large variety of richly flavoured dishes. Fresh vegetables and meat are among the most favourite food products. No Armenian celebratory table can be imagined without the most favourite barbecue, kyufta, dolma or ghapama. The dinner party foresees a great ritual, starting from its preparatory process until the last moment at the table. The numerous restaurants in Yerevan offer a unique selection of local dishes. There are also many restaurants serving the dishes of different internationally recognized cuisines.
The following means of public transportation are available in Armenia:
Metro. Yerevan subway system has one line stretching from the north to the south of the city with 10 stations. The fare is 100 AMD.
Buses. There are buses running in major directions. The fare is 100 AMD.
Minibuses. 12-15 seater minibuses run in almost every direction. The fare is 100 AMD.
Taxi Services. There are many taxi service offices, which accept orders by phone and they offer comfortable cars. The fare is 100 AMD per km (the minimum fare is 600 AMD). It is possible to take a taxi also at the crossroads and the crowded places.
The state religion in Armenia is Christianity which was adopted in 301 AD. The religion is deeply and strongly rooted here.
The majority of the Armenians living in Armenia belong to the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox church. The head of the church is the Catholicos of All Armenians, who resides in Holy Echmiadzin.
The country code is 374, Yerevan city code is 10.
Outgoing international calls can be made by dialing 00 followed by the country code, the city code and the number.
There are 3 mobile operators – “Beeline”, “VivaCell”, “Orange”, functioning over almost the entire territory of Armenia, and their cards can be purchased at Zvartnots International Airport, at the offices of these operators or at the big stores, having the passport copy. The cards provide 3G connection and high speed Internet. For making calls by the cell phone to the fixed-line number in Yerevan it is necessary to dial 010 followed by the number.
Visa to Armenia is provided by the Representation of the Republic of Armenia, located in the given country (or near it). The citizens of the CIS member-states, the EU member-states and the Schengen Acquis states do not need visa to travel to Armenia. For the visitors under 18 years old visa is free of charge.
The citizens of several countries can get a visa upon arrival in Armenia, at the border checkpoints. In general the procedure lasts 20-25 minutes.
By the expiration of the visa dates it should be prolonged at the Passport and Visa Department (Yerevan, 13a, Mashtots Ave). In case of an expired visa the citizen will be subject to a fine.
Visa can be also obtained prior to the arrival (online) by applying to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia:
Both public and religious holidays are celebrated in Armenia. The shops and restaurants are generally open also on holidays. The following holidays are non-working:
April 24 is also a non-working day – the commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide victims.