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The Armenian capital occupies a dramatic location on a plain below holy Mt Ararat, upon which Noah grounded after the flood. The presence of the mountain looms large not just as a backdrop to the city but in the mindset of Yerevanites, inspiring music, poetry and art. Some of these creative works can be found in the city's abundant museums and galleries, as well as the Vernissage market, a spirited open-air crafts fair. Although Ararat remains an unchanging symbol on the horizon, the city itself is undergoing a major overhaul. Investment from the Armenian Diaspora is re-shaping whole neighborhoods, with luxury apartment blocks and shopping ...

The Armenian capital occupies a dramatic location on a plain below holy Mt Ararat, upon which Noah grounded after the flood. The presence of the mountain looms large not just as a backdrop to the city but in the mindset of Yerevanites, inspiring music, poetry and art. Some of these creative works can be found in the city's abundant museums and galleries, as well as the Vernissage market, a spirited open-air crafts fair. Although Ararat remains an unchanging symbol on the horizon, the city itself is undergoing a major overhaul. Investment from the Armenian Diaspora is re-shaping whole neighborhoods, with luxury apartment blocks and shopping districts springing up on every available patch of dirt. New money has also brought a range of fine dining options, luxury hotels and a modern airport. But while changes arrive at breakneck speed, daily life remains casual and relaxed. Yerevanites spend most of their leisure time patronizing the local cafés, of which there are hundreds dotting the city. All manner of business and socializing seems to take place in these places, which in summer blanket every park and sidewalk in the city. Pull up a chair, order a drink and watch the world go by.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    March-May and September-October