Armenia has a continental climate with dry, sunny summers and cold, snowy winters. The country has a well-developed road and transportation network, alongside telephone, internet and postal services. In terms of security, the country’s crime rate is quite low. There are public and private schools, while the populace has an official literacy rate of 99.6%. Russian is the most popular foreign language at present, with English flanking at its heels. The capital city of Yerevan is home to over 1.1 million of the country’s population, with a wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and shopping.
Armenia has two international airports: Zvartnots in Yerevan and Shirak in Gyumri. Zvartnots is located 12km away from the center of Yerevan and handles the vast majority of commercial flights into/out of Armenia. It is a recently-built facility with modern infrastructure, while Shirak airport has also seen renovations in 2017.
The following emergency contact numbers are applicable across Armenia:
Fire Emergency: 101
Police Emergency: 102
Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance): 103
Armenia is a beautiful country in Eastern Europe, within the Caucasus region. It is considered one of the safest places in the world, with a very low level of crime. It is extremely safe to walk the streets of Yerevan especially, during the day or night. Numbeo has a fairly accurate depiction about the safety index of Yerevan. Armenia is also a very tolerant country, despite its homogeneity, with crimes based on sex, religion, color or otherwise nearly nonexistent.
Tap water in Yerevan is very safe, as is the water from irrigation pipes throughout the country, though if you are used to only filtered aqua, you might want to stick to water bottles outside of the main cities.
Cost of Living:
In Armenia, the currency used is the Dram, also known as AMD. The current conversion rate is at 485 AMD per 1 USD. Coins are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram. Paper currency is available in notes of 1000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 dram. Throughout the cities, ATM machines can be found everywhere, as well as in most towns. There are ATM machines in nearly every village as well. Moneygram, Ria and a few other systems are the most commonly used for monetary transfer, though there is a local online wallet as well in the form of iDram.
Most services cost next to nothing, and local produce is particularly affordable. A general look at costs could be broken down as:
- Single bedroom apartment rent in the center for 150,000+ AMD/month
- Single bedroom outside the city center rents for 70,000+ AMD/month
- Bus fare for 100 AMD or 0.21 USD
- Haircut for 1000 AMD or 2.01 USD
- Simple meal at restaurant for 2000 AMD or 4.02 USD
- Expensive meal at top restaurant for 25,000 AMD or 51.55 USD
- Basic utilities in the winter for 65,000 AMD or 134 USD
- Basic utilities in spring/fall for 20,000 AMD or 41.24 USD
- Taxi ride within 4 km is base 600 AMD or 1.24 USD; additional 1 km in city is 100 AMD, outside city is 150 AMD
- Best mobile tariff is 5000 AMD/month, prepaid (3000 AMD for unlimited internet)
- Bottle of beer for 420 AMD or 0.86 USD; Bottle of wine for 1200 AMD or 2.47 USD
Tips are expected in Armenia, and are generally around the 10% mark.
If you plan on a short term visit to Armenia, there is much that can be discovered here. If you plan to visit in the early spring, however, know that while Armenia is generally dry throughout the country, you would be visiting during rainy season and will barely see a dry day up around Tavush and Lori, as well as the southern Syunik province.Later in the spring you have the utmost beauty and great amounts of sunshine, while the summers can get stifling hot. Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Armenia, where the warmer days are just beginning to cool off and the temperature is steady throughout until November arrives.
- For those considering a religious journey, Armenia offers hundreds of churches to be found across the land, being the first Christian nation in the world.
- For those preferring a more historically-based visit, Armenia is home to some of the oldest pieces of civilization left today, including having the oldest winery discovered in the Areni region. You can find many old fortresses throughout the mountainous regions of Armenia. It is recommended to take a trip to the old caves of Khndzoresk for a wholesome experience.
- For those who prefer to relax in the summer or winter months, Lake Sevan, the city of Dilijan, the spa city of Jermuk, and the touristic town of Tsakhkadzor are the best places to head off to. Gems can be found in more secluded regions as well, including Hangavan, Gyumri, Goris, etc.
- Those on the trail of fine alcohol will find that the best in mulberry and cornelian cherry vodkas can be found around the Syunik province and into the enclave of Artsakh (formerly known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic). The best wines are from the Areni region, and the best beers from Shirak province.
If you plan on moving along after visiting Armenia, it is very easy to get to Georgia, Iran and Russia, the the latter having multiple flights each and every day from both of Armenia’s airports. Georgia one can get to with ease on a minibus, tour bus, taxi, or the train, as well as a plane if you wish, while there are daily buses headed to Tehran if your current citizenship allows you to cross the border.
Study: Armenia is home to multiple universities that are both public and private. The best known internationally accredited universities are the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, the American University of Armenia, the Fondation Université Française en Arménie, and the Eurasia International University. Students from all over, particularly from India, also study at the Yerevan State Medical University, among others. There are a total of 15 universities in Armenia, most of which are based in the capital city of Yerevan.
Whether you move to Armenia as an expat working in an international company or open up your own business, working in Armenia has multiple benefits.
For those who are looking to retire and spend their Golden Years in Armenia, multiple options are available for you. You may prefer the city life, meaning that the hustle and bustle in its more relaxed manner within the capital city is just the thing for you. Of course, you might want a city that is more on the quiet side, which makes Gyumri especially perfect if you do not mind the colder weather (it is at a higher elevation), or Goris that falls further south and gets the best in fruits from the Meghri region. You might want extreme hot weather, settling into the Ararat province that is known for its superb agricultural yields, or you might decide to enjoy the lush vegetation of Dilijan. For many, retiring in Armenia can also mean picking a village that speaks to you, building yourself a home, and living among the labourers of the land. If you decide you prefer a more Westernized neighbourhood, the Vahakni residence, with its own golf course, restaurant and swimming pool, among other amenities, is the place to buy into.
No, Armenia is not a member of EU or the Schengen area. At present Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
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