The train leaves Yerevan at 7:15 p.m. on even days and leaves Tbilisi on odd days of the month (every other day both ways). It cost around 29 us $ for a sleeper cabin. it reached the Boarder around 4:00 a.m. and we finnished our coustomes on Georgian sides of the boarder @ around 6 a.m. Needles to say that the train is slow but hay you have one night less to worry about accomedation. I traveled in Late May so only 4 sleeper cabins in the train were occupied. I had one of them for my self. There was no air condtion so it was VERY hot for the first 2 hours but after that it was very nice. I think there is a heating system for winter. There was no food or drinking water on the train so make sure you bring all your needs with you. Toilets are closed when train stop @ station. Both the Tbilis and Yerevan train station are will conected with the city Metro station.
I used the train from Yerevan to Tbilisi.
The boarder Scurity in Georgia insisted that I have to get a visa. I told him few times I don't need one, as I was told by the Georgian Embassy "I was exceimt" but he did not buy it. I finnaly told him to go ahead with issuing a visa but I will complain next day @ the Georgian Forign Minestry about his action. This certainly got his attention and @ 5a.m, he was able to get hold of somebody and confirm that I did not need a visa. If you are coming from a small country like mine. The boarder gard might not know that you are excempt from Visa, so insisit on it and hopefully they might see the light
To go to Echmiadzin or Zvartnots from Yerevan you can take a bus or minibus from the corner of Mesrop Mashtots Poghota and Sarian Poghots (near the Modern Art Museum). Along the road look for a pillar with an eagle on top, because that’s where you are getting of f if you are going to Zvartnots. The bus to Zvarnots was 400 drams and the marshrutka back to Yerevan was 250 drams (August 2006). Going back to Yerevan you just stop a bus passing by. When I went to Echmiadzin in June 2003 the bus and marshrutka was 250 drams.
I found it easy to navigate the city and farely inexpensive to use local taxis. Even when they think there geting one over on you its still just a few dollars to anywhere in the city. I wasnt brave enough to travel by minibus. They seemed always full and overcrowded. I even hired a taxi to take me out of the city, we drove for 3 days all over Armenia and the driver knew exactly where to go and what to see. And also by doing this I was shown some parts of the country that were not on any of the tours. VIP Voyage is one taxi service that I will mention as being very hospitable. Also I will say that cabbies here are reallly no different than in any other country. Treat them right and they will open the city to you.
One of the best ways to see Armenia if you have some extra cash and have limited time is to use country tours. There are several based in Yerevan but I found that the best was Sati tours who do daily tours around Armenia and Karabagh. They offer free hotel pick up and they are very professional. I used them several times and their tour guides are fantastic.
Monday they go to Echmiadzin and Zvartnots and Dilijan and Haghartsin/Goshavank from 6500 AMD to 11 000. Tuesday they go to Vanadzor/Haghpat/Sanahin for 13 000 AMD (I highly recommend this one due to public transport is a hassle). Wednesday they go to Dilijan/Haghartsin/Goshavank for 11 000 AMD and Garni Temple and Geghhard Monastery for 6000 AMD. Thursday they go to Tsaghkadzor/Lake Sevan 9000 AMD and Karaback for a 3 day trip costing a pricy 90 000 AMD. Friday they go Echmiadzin/Sardarapat/Zvartnots for 8000 AMD while Khor Virap/Noravank costs 10 000 AMD. Saturday they go to Oshakan/Saghmosavank/Amberd for 8000 AMD and Lake Sevan/Noradous/Sevanavank for 9000 AMD. Sunday goes to Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery for 6000 AMD. Again I highly recommend them (I usually dont promote tour companies due to price and not a way to do independant travel) but I had fantastic experiences.
... At 20.30 we arrived to the border, where it took two hours on the Armenian side. I was the last one to be ready as the Russian controller took long time to check my passport. Not until everyone was seated in the bus and we crossed a bridge all women took their scarves on. As we arrived on the Iranian side all our passports were collected and we waited. While I waited I changed money at an exchange office and bought some crisps at a shop. Everyone changed the time on their watches back 1,5 hours. At the Iranian side of the border it took 1,5 hours before we were finished and could continue.
Before arriving in Tabriz we stopped for another food break. Back in the bus I wished I was going to Tehran because I wanted to sleep, but suddenly we where in Tabriz and there only I and another passenger left the bus. The driver of the bus asked the other passenger to take me to my hotel in the same taxi as he was taking (even if I don’t speak Farsi and they didn’t speak English) and I was glad for not being left alone in the outskirts of Tabriz in the middle of the night, even if there were other taxis around.
I had been told the bus ride between Yerevan and Tabriz should take 14 hours but it took more than 18 hours. It didn’t feel so long, but it was inconvenient to arrive in the middle of the night.
I went to Tabriz in Iran by bus from Yerevan. A few weeks before leaving home I booked a ticket via email through Tatev Travel, but not until I picked it up I had to pay for it, 17 000 drams (about 40 dollars). I was going to Tabriz, but the price was the same for Tehran, to where the bus was continuing. There is supposed to be a bus every day, but when I arrived to Yerevan I was told the Monday bus was cancelled and I had to leave one day earlier.
At 10.15, 15 minutes late, the bus left Kilikya Avtokayan in Yerevan. It was a big comfortable and air-conditioned bus with Iranian plates. It is a long journey. A man on the bus was sick and we stopped several times for him to go out (once we stopped by some cherry trees with yummy cherries). After 5,5 hours we passed Goris and a litter further south it was time for food break and we stopped by a restaurant.
The journey through southern Armenia was very long, it doesn’t look so long on the map, but there are many high mountains (with beautiful views) and no tunnels.
The tip is too long, but continues below...
When I went to reconfirm my ticket I was told that the flight day had been changed and I had to leave Yerevan one day later than planed. I wanted to spend that day seeing a place outside Yerevan that I still hadn’t visited. I went to Tatev Travel Agency and they had a tour that suited me well. It was to Ani viewpoint, Gyumri and Marmashen. Normally they visit Gyumri and Marmashen together with another place than Ani viewpoint, but people going on the tour had asked for Ani. The price was 11 000 drams plus 20 dollars extra for the permit to visit Ani viewpoint.
We travelled in a comfortable air-conditioned bus and entrance fee to museums in Gyumri were included and some refreshments.
I was told that the tour was going to take eight hours (9 - 17), but realised during the way it would take much longer (I think it was because of Ani) The first stop was Ani viewpoint and then we went to Gyumri and then on to Marmashen. At 22.55 the bus dropped me outside the opera house in Yerevan, about six hours later than I had been told. Unfortunately I had to cancel a VT-meeting with R-men because I was late.
There are several travel agencies in Yerevan organising daytrips to places around Armenia. I went to Tatev because they had a different program the day I wanted to go and I had been there earlier to buy a bus ticket to Iran.
There is no public transport from Sevan Peninsula and it is very hard to find a taxi (in the morning they are none existing). Marshrutkas (minibuses) to Yerevan are leaving from Sevan town, about 5 – 6 km away from the beach area on the peninsula. I asked for a taxi, but was told to go up to the main road and stop a bus (for example marshrutkas from Dilijan are passing). Well, it was eight in the morning and very little traffic. After walking for a while along the road towards Sevan a small lorry stopped and gave me lift. The two young men next to the driver had to get up on the platform where it was very cold. That was very kind of them to let me and my luggage take their place. I was dropped by the marshrutka to Yerevan. It left Sevan when it was full, at 8.50, and arrived in Yerevan 40 minutes later. It was 600 drams (August 2006).
The marshrutka from Sevan stops at the corner of Teryan Poghots, near the drama Theatre and that’s about 2 km from Kino Rossiya, from where marshrutkas to Goris leave. I took a taxi between the two and paid with a 1000 drams bill, expecting to get change back, but I didn’t (the driver very quickly left the car to carry my luggage to the marshrutka).
The marshrutka to Goris was just about to leave. I quickly bought a cola and sandwich and paid the ticket, 2500 drams. The bus drive to Goris took four hours, and that included a food break halfway along the way. In Goris the bus stopped down in town, opposite the post office.
Several planes arrive to Yerevan very early in the morning, before public transportation starts to run. The first time visiting Armenia I flew with Austrian Airlines arriving early and got a lift in to Yerevan with some people from the plane. The other time I flew with Czech Airlines, which is supposed to arrive 4.15am, but it was half an hour late. This time I took a taxi. The driver asked for 20 dollars, but immediately changed to 10 dollars when I said no (it is cheaper to phone for a taxi). It took about 25 minutes to go from the airport to Sayat-Nova Poghota, opposite the Opera House.
When I left Yerevan (August 2006) Gayane had called a taxi for me the evening before and at 2 in the night it was waiting for me. This time I paid 2000 drams (5 dollars).
VISAS AND PASSPORTS - Armenian visas are issued in the Armenian consulates abroad or, at Armenian points of entry (Yerevan Zvartnots Airport). However, for travelling via other ex-USSR countries, transit visas may be required . With Armenian visa one can stay on other Transcaucasus States within 3 days.
There are many ways to get to Armenia .
Many Airlines have flights to Armenia.
- Armenian Airlines
- British Airways
By Train , By Car.
TRANSPORT - Armenia uses the right side movement principle. When crossing the road it's necessary to look right at first. Transport connection between cities is carried out by buses and mini-vans. Principle transportation in Yerevan - bus, trolley bus, tram and taxi. Yerevan Subway works from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
It's quite an experience, having a ride in a Taxi. They're easily accessible and relatively cheap. A 10/15 min ride cost us around 600 Dram ( appx $2).
Beware! For cars the following rules hold:
Green = Green
Red = Green
Orange = Green
Horn = 'beware, i'm coming and i have priority...'
You'll be warned...