Solo Travel in Armenia
Types of Girl about the Globes – History GatG, Culture GatG, Spiritual GatG, Hiking GatG, Skiing GatG
We give Armenia three stars out of 5 for solo travel. If you love nature, history and culture then Armenia is a fascinating country to visit. But it is for the intrepid traveller as it doesn’t have the tourist infrastructure of countries such as Georgia. Some of the buses don’t have fixed schedules so it can be a bit challenging to navigate your way around the country and reach some of the sites that are in isolated areas.
Armenia is a destination for the history, cultural, or spiritual Girl about the Globe (GatG). It’s also the ideal place for the outdoors and if you love hiking then Armenia is a fantastic destination to travel to. HIKEArmenia is a great offline app that shows several hiking routes.
Armenia has an ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. It isn’t recommended to visit this area and if you do you may find yourself with problems as embassies can’t provide assistance to those entering the region.
It is safe to solo travel in Armenia but you may encounter difficulties with the language barrier outside of the cities. For ease consider taking a tour around the country with a private driver and English-speaking tour guide.
Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Armenia as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airport and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
- Places To Visit in Armenia
- Hotels in Armenia
- Armenia Tours
- Travel in Armenia
- Armenia Itinerary
- Best Time To Visit Armenia
- Armenia Airports
- Travelling Onwards
- Facts About Armenia
- Map of Armenia
- Plan Travel to Armenia
- Related Posts
Places To Visit in Armenia
Armenia is one of the most historical countries you could ever visit. It is rich in culture and interesting to travel to. Located in Asia, it borders Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan, and is straightforward to combine with a trip to Georgia.
But the country does have a sombre history: a genocide in 1915-1917 where 1.5 million people were murdered, an earthquake in 1988 which killed 25,000 people, and a war with Azerbaijan which is still ongoing today. It also formed part of the former Soviet Union.
Today it is a country that is taking strides to redefine itself from its Soviet Union past. Disused Soviet Factories still dominate some of the country’s landscapes but it makes this Asian country a fascinating destination to visit.
Armenia’s claim to fame (in addition to the Kardashian family originating from here), is that it was the first Christian nation in the world – if a country knows how to build churches and monasteries it’s this one. It also has one of the oldest alphabets, and you can see the giant stone letters for the Alphabet Monument which sits on a hillside in Artashavan.
Why visit Armenia? To see Medieval monasteries, gorges, mountains and learn more about its cultural roots.
Yerevan is Armenia’s capital. This city is more developed than the rest of the country and is looked over by the Mother Armenia statue (a statue from the socialist era) which sits in Victory Park and can be seen from the top of the Cascade. The city is walkable although expect it to take a few hours to get around. The Cascade is one of the most beautiful structures here. Climb the tiered landscaped staircase to see the views.
If you’re an arty and museum GatG head to Republic Square where you can spend time at the National Gallery, or History Museum. This is also where you can
The city also has an Opera House, and a Blue Mosque to add to your list of must-sees.
The Genocide Museum and Memorial Complex are a tribute to the victims of the 1915-1917 genocide. Inside displays the events of one of the worst massacres in history which took place during the Ottoman Empire. Outside you can silently walk around the eternal flame and be moved by the music. The museum doesn’t open full-time so check the times before you go there.
The second largest city in Armenia is Gyumri, the cultural capital with art centres and museums. When the earthquake happened in 1988 Gyumri was severely damaged. Today you can see the memorial statue of a girl raising a cross for the victims. The Museum of National Architecture is the city’s largest and major cultural institution.
For cultural GatGs, Dilijan is another cultural destination (just don’t expect too much). It’s known for its craft workshops but is also a destination that draws writers and musicians during the summer who come for the spa resorts. It’s mainly for spas and hiking and you’ll find a complex of stone churches to its north, and the Goshavank Monastery to the east. You can also stay here if you're en-route to or from Georgia. It is the source of the mineral water with the same name.
From one water source to another. Lake Sevan is Armenia’s largest lake, making up 5% of the country. On top of the peninsula in the northwest of the lake sits Sevanavank Monastery. This 9th century complex of two churches is one of the few active monasteries in the country. During the Soviet times it was used as warehouses. Here the locals sell the moonstone that come from the lake. Because of its altitude (1900 metres) Lake Sevan is generally cooler than the rest of Armenia.
Armenia is abundant in Christianity with monasteries dotted throughout the country. The most important church here is Khor Virap, an important place of pilgrimage. It is here where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for his faith and you can take the steps down into the cave where he was held captive for fourteen years.
Legend has it that it was Gregory who convinced the king to believe in God and adopt Christianity as the country’s religion. The views of Mount Ararat in the background (which is actually situated in Turkey) make this a stunning monastery to photograph and one of the iconic images of the country.
Gerghard Monastery is another highlight. Gerghard is easy to reach from Yerevan. This cave-curved monastery is a UNESCO Site. It is said that the spear of Christ was brought here. In a former life this 13th century church complex with a 4th century church inside was a religious academy, today it is kept as a working church. Make sure to cross the small bridge to see the prayer cloths within the wish trees.
The Garni Temple is a stunning classical Greek-style temple which is the only remaining pagan temple in the country. It is the only Roman monument in the former Soviet countries and was originally built in the 3rd century but destroyed by an earthquake in 1679. It has since been rebuilt using the original stones. You can walk down to the “Symphony of Stones” from here to see impressive basalt cliff formations within the gorge.
If you only have time to see one Medieval monastery, then make it the Tatev Monastery. Not only was this one of the most important monasteries in the country for education and spirituality but you can now take a cable car ride to see it. Tatev Wings is the world’s longest reversible cable car which takes 12 minutes and ‘flies’ over the Vorotan Gorge at more than 400 metres high.
The monastery was built in the 19th century and within its grounds is an 18th century oil mill where you can see giant stone grinders. The ride gives English commentary about the area and the ruins that you pass over but if you don’t like heights you can walk down to Halidzor across the Devil’s Bridge instead.
The town of Goris is a good base from which to visit Tatev. You can also hike to the cave dwellings from here.
The rugged landscape, mountains and gorges makes this country ideal for active GatGs. You can hike, rock climb or even ski here. Tsaghkadzor is the country’s main ski resort. Visit here during the summer and zip line your way through the alpine meadows.
You’ll find the oldest 6500 year old winery in Armenia. Wine GatGs should head to Areni Wine House for wine tasting. Or you may prefer to visit the Yerevan Noy Wine Brandy to taste the country’s version of brandy instead.
Other places to visit in Armenia are: Shushi for history GatGs to see the cathedral and learn more at the History Museum: Noravank, a 13th century monastery in a narrow gorge: and Etchmiadzin Monastery, a World Heritage Site nearly 2,000 years old.
Hotels in Armenia
Armenia has different types of accommodation for all kinds of solos. As well as hotels in Armenia there are hostels and apartments within the capital city. Tzaghkadzor, and Lake Sevan also offer cottages as well as comfortable hotels.
Venture into the towns and villages and you’ll encounter more of a local experience with small welcoming guesthouses. You can even camp in Gerghard. Soviet hotels still operate in the country and give you that USSR experience.
Plus there’s Airbnb which connects you to staying with locals whether you choose to just book a room or a whole apartment. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They offer stays in accommodation such as a stay in a traditional Armenian guesthouse in Teghenik, or a cosy apartment in the city centre. You can video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here.
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
Grand Hostel Yerevan isn’t just a hostel, this grand looking building is spacious and elegant and it really feels as though you have arrived in Armenia.
The owner’s son speaks English and there is a 24 hour front desk so you can check in if you arrive late at night. Free tea and coffee is provided and the staff can help with tours and any shuttles that you may need. Depending on which room you choose, an Armenian breakfast is either included or just £2 extra. It is located in a quiet neighbourhood so you do have a 20 minute walk to places. The entrance can be a bit difficult to find so give the taxi driver the hostel’s phone number just in case.
Choose from a bed in a 4 or 8 bed dormitory room or your own private double room. If you’re feeling really flush, there is even a suite with a jacuzzi bath for just £22, or you can just pay to use the onsite sauna instead.
- Prices from £3 per night for a bed in an 8 mixed dormitory room
- To book, check prices or availability for Grand Hostel Yerevan
This hostel is perfect if you are arriving and leaving Yerevan by train. It is easy to find and is walking distance to the train station and just 800 metres from Republic Square.
It is a great place to meet others with friendly staff and a large common room to hang out in. A large Armenian breakfast is included which you eat in the common room, and you can cook your own meals in the afternoon and evenings.
The dorm rooms are small but each bed has its own locker, light and curtain for privacy. There is a female-only dorm room too. Bathrooms are shared and have hot water and good showers. After 3 nights of staying here I felt sad to leave.
Choose from a bed in an 8 bed female-only dorm room, a 6 or 8 bed mixed dorm, or a double or twin room.
- Prices from £4 per night for a bed in a female-only dormitory room
- To book, check prices or availability for Hostel Vagary
If you are heading to Dilijan, this guest house is one of the nicest places to stay. Located on a hill, the Art Guest House has a lovely wooden terrace with impressive views of the surrounding nature. The staff make you feel just at home, and the fireplace is a lovely touch for those fresh evenings.
There’s the option of a buffet breakfast each morning for an additional cost (which includes an English breakfast). There’s a restaurant and bar if you don’t walk down to the town. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy some nature. Rooms are either double with a shared or private room, triple or quadruple.
- Prices from £29 per night for a double room with shared bathroom
- To book, check prices or availability for Art Guest House
If you prefer the personal touch and want to stay in a privately-run b&b, MagHay b&b is in a quiet location in the centre of Vanadzor and a good base to visit Dilijan, and the Debed Canyon. It’s a good spot for hiking being close to Sadat Nova Park and the 3 Lakes.
If you love your food then this b&b serves up a great breakfast and dinner. The dinner is optional but definitely recommended especially as it’s a good social activity for the evenings. It’s a really homely space with a garden and a hammock and is the perfect place to relax your weary self for a few days.
Choose from a standard single room with shared bathroom, or an economy or standard double room with private bathroom.
- Prices from £18 per night for a standard single room with shared bathroom
- To book, check prices or availability for MagHay B&B
Known as a ski location, this 4-star boutique hotel is popular with skiers, and you can rent ski equipment here.
Rooms have soundproofing and come with a flat-screen TV, hairdryer and free toiletries. A buffet breakfast is also included in the price to set you up for a day on the slopes. The location is a bit remote so you may need a car if you are looking to travel here. Choose from a standard, superior or deluxe double room.
- Prices from £29 per night for a standard double room
- To book, check prices or availability for Faria Boutique Hotel
Juva Tours is an ethical Armenian travel company who arrange tours which are respectful of the environment of the country and the Armenian people. They offer personalised tours depending on your interests. Travel the Silk Road, take an agricultural or UNESCO tour or discover the sights of Yerevan on a 2 hour city walking tour. They also offer tours to the Nagorno Karabakh region. I have personally used Juva Tours and throughly recommend them.
If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
G Adventures offers an 8 day Best of Georgia & Armenia tour which starts in Yerevan and finished in Tbilisi. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company.
Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people using their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear more costly than G Adventures.
They combine Armenia with Georgia for a 10 day food adventure from Yerevan to Tbilisi. With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.
Travel in Armenia
Armenia has some stunning scenery to drive through however the infrastructure of the roads make it difficult to drive through especially if you are travelling from Georgia to Armenia. If you are a confident driver and can handle potholed roads then hire a car.
If you take a taxi make sure that you negotiate a price beforehand. You can flag taxis on the roadside or ask your accommodation or restaurant to order one for you. A good app to use is Yandex – which works similar to Uber. You pay in cash and it’s easier than using a taxi if you are worried about the language.
There is a train network which goes to Vanadzor, Gyumri, and Sevan but it can be slow. Mini-vans operate inter-city but you may find yourself having to go back to Yerevan (the hub) to travel to a different part of the country. Some wait until they have enough people before departing whilst other routes have proper schedules. You will need to allow enough time to travel around the country by bus.
Hitchhiking is common here but use your intuition if you do hitchhike. Using a tour company which offers a private driver is a good way to get around the country.
You’ll need a least a week to see Armenia’s main highlights. If you don’t mind travelling a few hours, here are our recommended itineraries:
A week's itinerary
Yerevan (3 nights), Areni (2 nights), Tatev (1 night), Dilijan (1 night).
Ten day itinerary
- Yerevan (3 nights)
- Lake Sevan (1 night)
- Dilijan (1 night),
- Garni (2 nights)
- Goris (2 nights) to see Tatev Monastery
- Khor Virap (1 night)
Best Time To Visit Armenia
Armenia may surprise you as it can get up to 40 degrees in the summer. The summers are dry and the winters are cold with plenty of snow. Areas which are elevated such as Lake Sevan are cooler.
The best time to visit Armenia is before and after summer. This avoids the heat of the summer and is when the evenings are a bit fresher. Autumn is a great season to experience the autumn colours. If you are planning to hike then you may not want to visit between April and May when it usually rains.
If you plan to ski then winter is obviously the best time to go. It’s also a cheap time to visit if you don’t mind the cold. I visited Armenia in March. It was still cold and some of the landscapes were covered in snow. This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Yerevan (from January to December)
Armenia has two international airports: Shirak International Airport in Gyumri, and Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan. There are also domestic airports.
Yerevan Airport – Taxis are really cheap in Armenia so a 15 minute ride from Zvartnots International Airport (EVN) into the city will only cost £5. Bus line 108 takes 30 minutes from the airport to Yerevan station and costs £1. It leaves every hour.
Gyumri Airport – It is only an 8 minute taxi ride from Shirak International Airport into Gyumri. Buses don't seem to operate from the airport so take a taxi for £4.
To Georgia – Minibuses leave the main railway station in Yerevan and travel across the border to Tbilisi. They cost approx £22 and take 7 hours depending on the time spent at the border crossing. An overnight train departs Yerevan at 9.30pm and arrives into Tbilisi at 07.30am. A bed in a second class carriage costs £22.
To Turkey – The land border is closed. Look at flights from Yerevan to Istanbul instead.
To Azerbaijan – This is a conflict zone so you cannot cross the land border. You can take an overnight train from Georgia or consider flying. If you are planning on travelling to both Armenia to Azerbaijan, it is easier to enter Azerbaijan first due to less interrogation at the border.
To Iran – There is a border crossing at the Norduz crossing point.
Where can I go from here?
Georgia – 30 minutes
Turkey (Istanbul) – 2.5 hours
Ukraine – 3 hours
Facts About Armenia
- Can I drink the water? Yes
- Is tipping expected? If you like the service in the cities at least 10% is expected
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price
- Any ATMs? Yes, in both large and small cities
- Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side
- Good for vegetarians? In Yerevan you can find vegetarian food
- Any seven wonders of the world? No
Map of Armenia
Plan Travel To Armenia
If you are ready to plan a trip to Armenia here are some useful links to help you plan your trip including airlines which fly there, social impact projects, and where you can volunteer.
Budget – £15 a day (for independent travel)
Capital – Yerevan
Population – 2.92 million
Language spoken – Armenian, Russian, (a little English and French in Yerevan)
Did you know? Armenia was the first Christian nation in 301 A.D.
HyeLandz Eco Village Resort – Founded to promote ecotourism in Armenia, the HyeLandz Eco Village Resort is perfect for nature and animal lovers. Situated in the small village of Geghadir near the Havuts Tar Monastery, and the Garni Temple it is in the perfect place for exploring.
If you want to get away from it all, the Eco Lodge in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge is literally miles from nowhere. Use the lodge as a base to hike or cycle within the Ararat Mountains.
Volunteer as a Global Builder and help one of the 65,000 families in Armenia who are in need of housing. Work side-by-side with homeowners and local to provide safe housing and create a life-changing experience for those living in Armenia.
Armenian Volunteer Corps have year-round volunteering placements in a variety of sectors such as: education, arts and culture, environmental sciences, health, and non-governmental agencies. You can volunteer from one month up to a year.
Art Tour Armenia – Take part in a workshop of one of the renowned cross stone sculptors in Armenia. Find out more about his work whilst producing your very own sculpture that you get to take home. I’ve personally taken this tour and found it so entertaining that you will continuously have a smile on your face throughout this workshop.
One Armenia – One Armenia is an impact hub in Yerevan that works with organisations to create positive. Their projects include empowering women, clearing landmines from the conflict areas, and helping farmers to become sustainable.
Cafe #2 – A social enterprise thats trains youth from Dilijan. Enjoy a coffee in this funky cafe in Dilijan knowing that you're helping the community.
Mind Body & Soul
Attend a yoga class during your visit at Yoga Ashram. They organise classes for beginners and advanced, and you can just pay for a daily class. Have a cup of tea in the cozy green surroundings afterwards.
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