Where is Armenia?
Armenia is a country located in the crossroads of Asia and Europe. From the west Armenia is bordered by Turkey, Georgia from the north, Azerbaijan and Artsakh from the east and Iran from the south. Even though the borders of Turkey and Azerbaijan are closed, Armenia is easily accessible from Iran and Georgia. The border procedures are not heavy in Armenia making the process of entering the country, easy and quick.
Zvartnots International Airport acts as the main international airport of Armenia. It’s the busiest airport of the country. After Armenia declared independence from the Soviet Union, the airport was renovated in a futuristic style. The building of the airport isn’t only modern and secure, but also architecturally stunning. The renovated Zvartnots was later named the best airport in the CIS, further proving the quality of the service and the flights.
Shirak International Airport is the second largest airport in Armenia. It’s located not too far away from the center of Gyumri. The equipment and the system used by the airport are newly developed putting it ahead of other airports located in mountainous areas.
Climate and Seasons
Armenia packs the true range of the four seasons; hot and sunny summers, cold and icy winters, and the beautiful flora of spring and fall. Armenia has an astounding array of landscapes within its borders, including seven geographic zones, from deserts and semi-deserts to alpine and subalpine meadows. The largely volcanic mountains and the tectonic activity they once promoted has pushed Armenia up above the clouds, stimulating the true range of the four seasons; hot and sunny summers, cold and icy winters, and the beautiful flora of spring and fall. Average summer temperatures exceed 25ºC; while in the winter, the average temperature is -5ºC, although in places it is known to go as low as -36ºC! The best time to visit the country is from April to October when it is not too cold, the snow has melted, and the fields are ripe with fruits and flowers.
Time Zones and Daylight Saving
Local time in Armenia is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 4), eight hours ahead of Eastern Time (EST +8) and eleven hours ahead of Pacific Time (PST +11). There is no daylight saving time in Armenia.
Armenia’s national currency is the Armenian Dram (AMD). Coins are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram and notes are available in denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 dram. Exchange rates vary, but in general float around 480 AMD to 1 USD, or 520 AMD to 1 EUR. You can exchange most common currencies in banks, supermarkets and exchange shops throughout the city any day of the week and at any time. Many establishments accept credit cards.
Cellular network carriers in Armenia include: Vivacell, Beeline, U!com, and Rostelecom. To get a prepaid SIM card, visit one of the above carriers with your passport, and sign up; it should take about five minutes and cost 500 AMD. Most major international carriers also provide roaming services, which you should activate prior to arrival. Internet and Wi-Fi is widely available throughout Yerevan, especially in cafes and hotels. Many parks also offer free Wi-Fi! Availability of Wi-Fi outside Yerevan is limited, but available at most major hotels.
Medication and Vaccinations
There are no obligatory immunizations required for travelers visiting Armenia. Armenia's climate is generally pleasant and does not pose unusual health risks. Medical facilities vary in quality and breadth, with many qualified doctors and dentists running a variety of practices. There are registered pharmacies on virtually every corner in the center of Yerevan, carrying all of the basic toiletries and many over-the-counter drugs, some of which can also be purchased in hotels and supermarkets. If you have special health needs, speak to your physician before traveling. If you travel during the summer, it is a good idea to pack sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, as the Armenian sun is strong!
Personal belongings can be imported into the country and exported from it without any customs declarations. For import and export of foreign currency there are no restrictions, only the customs declaration is filled out. Import and export of local currency is prohibited. Allowed duty-free importation of alcoholic beverages up to 2 liters, and tobacco products up to 50 packs. Import and export of firearms, ammunition, explosives, poisonous and narcotic substances is prohibited, except for hunting weapons, which requires permission from the Armenian Ministry of Internal Affairs. The import and export of any antiques without the permission of the relevant authorities is prohibited.
1. Fire Department – 101
2. Police – 102
3. Ambulance – 103
4. Gas Emergency Service – 104
5. Emergency Situations Crisis Management Center - 911, 101
6. Municipality of Yerevan Hotline – 108
7. Ombudsman (Human Rights Defender) of Armenia Hotline – 118