Tread the lesser treaded paths of Yerevan
Yerevan, the capital city, is not a conventional choice of travel destination. But a closer look at this traditional city will change your perceptions about it. It is intriguing, vibrant, and yet nostalgically attractive. It has the architectural brilliance of Vienna and the old world charm of Prague.
While Yerevan offers plenty of things to see and do, here is an itinerary that will suit for your ideal weekend getaway.
How to spend 48 hours in Yerevan?
Day 1 in Yerevan:
Start your day with a heavy breakfast at one of the many breakfast places Yerevan offers; you need it for a lively day ahead.
The first attraction on today’s itinerary is the iconic Republic square of Yerevan. The architectural wonders in this square built with pink and yellow tuffs (rocks made of volcanic ash) have earned a moniker of ‘Pink City’ for Yerevan. The square was a brainchild of famed Russian-born Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan. The construction began in the 1920s and went on till 1950s, and the final building was completed only in 1977.
The square consists of two main sections, the oval section is has a stone pattern in the center, a symbolic representation of the renowned Armenian rug. The second section is trapezoidal and holds the musical fountain. A pink sweep of structures in the square consists of 5 notable buildings including a building that is the office of Government of Armenia.
After a leisure stroll in the square, head to the History Museum of Armenia. The museum houses many artifacts including the statue of Vladimir Lenin, which was the centerpiece of the square during the Soviet period. The museum presents the world’s oldest shoe, which is 5500 years old, Goliath vases, a bronze-age model of the solar system and many more things.
Grab a quick lunch after the museum and then head to the nearby Yerevan Opera Theatre. This Tamanyan-designed theatre has seen illustrious performances from 1933. It consists of two halls, Aram Khatchaturian concert hall with 1,400 seats and the Alexander Spendiaryan Opera and Ballet National Theatre with 1,200 seats.
Next stop on the itinerary is a giant staircase made of limestone and underneath it is Cafesjian Museum of Art. The staircase itself features fountains and modernist sculptures from the Cafesjian collection. The cascade offers stunning views of central Yerevan and Mount Ararat. During the warm months, several concerts take place here, and on almost every weekend, a local Karin dance performance is scheduled here.
Day 2 in Yerevan:
Start your morning by paying tribute to the origin of Armenian alphabets. In 2005, they turned 1600 years old. Hence, giant carved alphabets have been placed near the final resting place of their inventor. This interesting museum should find a place on your itinerary.
Next, visit the Blue Mosque, Armenia’s only active Mosque. The Mosque, tucked amongst neighboring structures has beautiful tiled exterior and white-washed interior.
After spending time at tranquil Mosque and its gardens, brace yourself for some tumultuous experience at the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. A somber memorial built-in memory of the mass killing of a million Armenians during World War I strikes an emotional chord.
After an overwhelming experience at the Memorial head to revive your spirits at the Vernissage Flea Market for that much needed retail therapy. This open-air market is a perfect place to see and buy Armenian Art. Apart from paintings, you will find carved wood artworks, traditional carpets, old collection of coins and medallions, books, jewelry, musical instruments, and electronics.
End your day and a perfect weekend getaway with a lovely Armenian dinner. Don’t forget to try Dolma ad Khash.