Written by Sirvard Amatuni
Compact and hospitable, Yerevan is an excellent choice for a perfect weekend – whether you’re a history geek, art and music lover, or sophisticated gourmand.
Yerevan’s velvet autumn is the best season to traverse the city on foot and behold its charming red-and-gold outfit.
Stroll in the Small Centre on a warm day and you’ll relish the city’s wonderful vistas and incredible mix of early-20th-century and modern buildings. The National Opera Theater and Swan Lake, Abovyan Street (the oldest in the city), Republic Square with its ‘singing fountains’, and Cascade Park are the top landmarks in Yerevan, and all within a gentle walk of each other.
Rich in history and culture, the city is home to the world’s largest depositories of ancient manuscripts. The Matenadaran boasts over 17,000 medieval manuscripts and 30,000 other documents, and is a must-see, especially for history lovers.
The National Gallery of Armenia, gracefully seated in Republic Square, features an impressive collection of visual and applied arts masterpieces by outstanding Armenian, Oriental, and European artists. For modern art gems, head to Cafesjian Center for the Arts.
Spend Saturday evening at Mezzo Classic House Club. Genteel and elegantly designed, it’s a melting pot of various music genres, from live jazz to Armenian folk and rock concerts.
Vernissage is an unrivalled choice for shopping on Sunday. The open-air market abounds in wood and stone carvings, embroideries, carpets, khachkars (cross-stones), silver jewellery, and many more crafts which you’ll be enticed to take home.
Finally, get a foodie experience at Ararat Hall, savouring authentic Armenian dishes made by the country’s leading chef, who will readily share the story behind each traditional delicacy.
Lavash – Armenian ‘tasty’ miracle
Legend has it that Armenian flatbread lavash, presently included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, saved the country from Alexander the Great’s conquest. After his three-day siege of a fortress, Armenians started hanging lavash on the walls. The great conqueror interpreted it as Armenians’ message to eat and live on the earth rather than fight, and left the country untouched. Aside from its reconciliatory qualities, this delicious flatbread is also known for its durability: it can be stored for almost a year!
Distance: 1,791 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 55 minutes
Frequency: 4 times a week