Armenia Tourist FAQ
Here are some questions visitors to Armenia might have. If the answer you are seeking is not here, also check the Country Facts, Visitor Facts, Transport Facts and Armenia's Top Attractions (and GPS coordinates). If you have additional questions/advice, please add them to the talk page so they can be incorporated here.
Best transport option
I’ve found a rental agency renting out a Lada for $700 a month (315,000 drams) I don’t think we can afford to pay that much per month. For 6 weeks that equals $1050 (472,500 drams). Are there any cars for sale for $500 (about 225,000 drams?) Do you think we can find someone who is willing to take money to lend us there car for 6 weeks? We can also tour by motorcycle, do you think we should buy/rent a motorcycle? Is it safe on the village roads to drive a motorcycle?
Driving in Armenia can be quite an experience for westerners, especially in Yerevan, though the potholes and dirt roads in the rural areas can be quite a challenge too. If you are up to it though, driving for a few day trips, or longer trips can be cool. Just rent a car and go. Or, alternatively you can often get a taxi to take you for much less than renting a car. If you are here for a while, a combination of taxis and public transport make for the cheapest way to get around, not to mention interesting. If you really want to drive and are here a while, buying a used car for one or two thousand dollars and then selling it for nearly the same price is a good option as well.
Motorcycles are harder to find, and probably not so safe - but if you are really good with them in the countryside/dirt roads, they could be quite handy.
How do we do petrol? Is there a petrol station in the deep villages? How much does petrol cost per liter in Armenia? Some people talk about using natural gas, do most cars have that functionality? How much does it cost for the natural gas?
Petrol (Gasoline) is just about universally available. Petrol costs about the same in Armenia as it does in the west. Natural gas is not as easily found, nor is it easy to rent a natural gas car despite the widespread use in private and public vehicles.
Also, do you think we should rent a cell phone? They want about $6 or $7 a day to rent a phone, (about 2700 drams a day). Do you think it’s worth it to rent a cell phone, in case the car breaks down in a village? Is there even cell phone service in the deep villages?
Depending on the length of your stay and your needs, a mobile phone can come in handy. Yerevan based travellers will find it most helpful in calling taxis, friends, etc. In the countryside, help is the nearest person, not a mobile phone. If you have a GSM phone, you can bring it along to Armenia and get a SIM card for cheap - though the outgoing phone calls will not be so cheap. Or you can buy a cheap phone (brand new Nokia's are easily available for under $100 - used and cheaper models also are around), then put in a new SIM card, and you'll have a phone for as long as you need for a total cost of $100, if you aren't making many calls. You can easily sell the phone for a steep discount before leaving, or keep it. In other words, if you decide you want a phone for more than one or two weeks, renting a phone for $6 or $7 is not the way to go.
Finally, food & water. How many drams per day do you think it would cost to have food & water with us? We will probably bring a portable gas stove and cook our own food from cans or something, so please give an estimate based on the fact that we won’t be going to fancy restaurants or drinking vodka or anything like that.
Outside of Yerevan, food and water will cost nothing - especially if you plan to cook your own food. Eating at restaurants, buffets, jasharans, or anywhere else is very cheap though (1 to 4 USD/person/meal), so don't stress too much on this issue, just ask prices first, don't order too much "zakuski" (appetizers), and vodka, and you'll be ok. In Yerevan, there is the whole gamut of prices and choices - see the Yerevan Restaurant Guide for details.
What goodies can we bring that would be appreciated by locals we meet, or who show us some unexpected hospitality?
In the countryside especially, you will often be asked in for coffee, food, or offered a place to stay the night. Anywhere you go, you are likely to be offered coffee, tea, vodka, directions, etc. If you want to have some nice goodies to give away when this happens - since people are usually loath to take cash, here are some ideas....
- decks of plastic playing cards
- flower seeds (in the villages)
- frisbees for kids
- soccer ball with pump
- one of the nicest things you can do is take photos of people (with and without yourself in them) and mail these to the people. these are often highly appreciated.