Tip # 9 – Shopping
Good thing: There are lots of options to buy souvenirs, handcrafts, and pieces of art – Vernissage market and Vernissage Art market, Dalan, Salt Sack, Sharan, and numerous small shops near landmarks in the countryside. Food markets, «shukas», are definitely a must-see in Armenia. Not only they offer a big variety of tastiest fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, spices, delicatessens, and teas but also display all this in a most creative way. For those who are interested in shopping malls, there are a number of options.
Not so good: Although the assortment of souvenir shops and arts and crafts places are wide-ranging and numerous, they are also a little repetitive from one shop to another. Shopping malls are not cheap, so if you are looking for bargains these are not the best options for you. Or you have to wait for big seasonal discounts which might go up to 70%.
Tip #10 – Public transportation in Yerevan
Good things: If you just want to feel the flavor of public transportation in Yerevan try the metro. The metropolitan system in Yerevan comes from the Soviet time. The stations are well maintained and clean. They are also very nice and creative and are built using to best soviet time architecture standards combined with Armenian architecture elements so you can just take a ride to see the stations. Also, use buses and so-called «marshrutkas» – minivans on regular routes. Marshrutkas are really quite an experience! Our recommendation, however? Taxis! They are everywhere and very cheap.
Bad things: There is only one metro line, so no matter how long, it does not cover a huge portion of the city. Busses and marshrutkas go everywhere but you have to know which number to take and where to get on and off – there is no signage on the bus stops to inform you, and the information on the buses are in Armenian only. Most of the taxi drivers do not speak any foreign language, and once they detect a foreigner they might charge you more than they would charge a local if you do not watch out. Get someone’s expert opinion if you move around Yerevan by yourself.
In separate series, we will cover a number of broader topics, such as Festivals, Customs, and Traditions, What to See and What to Do in Armenia. Therefore, stay tuned, regularly visit our blog and our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube! See you there.