19 Free Things to Do in Yerevan

Are you planning a visit to the city of Yerevan? Then here’s a list of what you can do in the capital of Armenia – FREE of charge. I’m sure there are more activities that can be added to this list, and I’ll update it from time to time upon finding new information. As for now, here’s the list of 19 free things to in Yerevan.

1. VISIT THE CAFESJIAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Fernando Botero's The Smoking Woman, Cafesjian center for the arts, Yerevan, Armenia

The Smoking Woman, Fernando Botero, Cafesjian Center, Yerevan

The Cafesjian Center for the Arts is dedicated to bringing the best of contemporary art to Armenia and presenting the best of Armenian culture to the world. You can visit its open air exposition of sculptures in front of and on the stairs of the Cascade, as well as visit the galleries inside. The galleries on the first two floors are free.

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Photographs. Matosavank Monastery

The monastery of Matosavank was built in 13th century and its structure actually consists of adjoining small churches, gavit (narthex) and book repositories with vaulted ceilings. A medieval cemetery is located southeast of the complex. The church of Saint Astvatsatsin (it’s sometimes also called the church of St. Astvatsatsin of Pghndzahank) was built in 1247 AD by Avag Zakaryan, the son of Ivane Zakarian of the Orbelyan dynasty.
Matosavank monastery, Dilijan, Tavush Province, Armenia

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Photographs. Jukhtak Vank Monastery

The Jukhtak monastery derives its name from the word ‘jukht’ which means ‘twin’. The complex consists of two churches, khachkars and a cemetery. The exact date of the foundation of the Jukhtak monastery is unknown. The inscriptions preserved on the walls of the church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, the larger of its two churches, suggest that it was built much earlier than its ‘twin’, probably in 11th or 12th century. The smaller church of Saint Astvatsatsin (Mother Mary) was built in 1201 AD by the abbot Hayrapet of St. Petros Monastery.
Jukhtak Vank monastery, Tavush province of Armenia

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In Search of Jukhtak and Matosavank Monasteries

The ancient monasteries and churches are one of the top tourist destinations in Armenia, which is understandable given the history of the country and the role of Christianity in it. Monasteries and churches are spread all over the mountains, and Jukhtak Vank, Matosavank and Makaravank (‘vank’ is the Armenian word for monasteries) are just the few of them. While we have heard of the latter, the first two were mystery to us, and these monasteries made the itinerary for our next trip to Tavush province of Armenia. It took us about 2 hours to get to the city of Dilijan from Yerevan, with a short stop by the lake Sevan. And sometimes we didn’t even need to stretch our hands out with thumbs up – the drivers would stop upon noticing us walking along the road with our backpacks.
On the road between Yerevan and Dilijan, Armenia

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Nagorno-Karabakh Visa Information

Nagorno-Karabakh, or Artsakh, is a de-facto independent republic located in the South Caucasus, bordering Azerbaijan to the east, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south. Populated predominantly by Armenians, then Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan SSR held a referendum and declared its independence in 1991, which resulted in a large-scale war. The ceasefire signed in 1994 defined the current borders of the state. Artsakh is known for its ancient cultural heritage, and its wild nature and hospitality attract more and more travelers every year. Currently, the only way to enter Nagorno-Karabakh is via Armenia. Foreign travelers are required to obtain entry visa.
Map of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, visa infomration

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