Time Zones and Daylight Saving
Local time in Armenia is four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 4), eight hours ahead of Eastern Time (EST +8) and eleven hours ahead of Pacific Time (PST +11). There is no daylight saving time in Armenia.
Embassies and Consulates
1. Embassies - http://www.mfa.am/en/by-countries/
2. Consulates - http://www.mfa.am/en/consulates/
3. International Organizations - http://www.mfa.am/en/in-organizations/
Many worldwide postal and shipping companies are active in Armenia, and you can send and receive anything from postcards to large packages from and to anywhere in the world. The following are the most widely used providers:
1. EMS Armenia Express Mail Service - https://www.haypost.am/
2. UPS express - https://www.ups.com/
3. DHL World Wide Express - http://www.dhl.com/en.html
4. FedEx Express - http://www.fedex.com/am/
5. TNT Express Worldwide - https://www.tnt.com/express/en_au/site/home.html
6. Garant tour - http://www.garanttour.am/en/page/post
Armenia’s national currency is the Armenian Dram (AMD). Coins are available in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 dram and notes are available in denominations of 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 dram. Exchange rates vary, but in general float around 470 AMD to 1 USD, or 520 AMD to 1 EUR. You can exchange most common currencies in banks, supermarkets and exchange shops throughout the city any day of the week and at any time. Many establishments accept credit cards and US dollars, but this is not the preferred payment method.
You can choose from many cellular network carriers while in Armenia, including Vivacell, Beeline, U!com, and Rostelecom. To get a prepaid SIM card, just go to one of their shops with your passport and sign up; it should only take about five minutes and 500 AMD. Most major international carriers also provide roaming services, which you should activate prior to arrival. Internet and Wi-Fi is widely available throughout Yerevan, especially in cafes and hotels. Many parks even offer free Wi-Fi! The availability of Wi-Fi is limited the further you get from the capital, although most major hotels have it.
Customs at Zvartnots airport is a quick and easy process, where if you have goods to declare you go to the designated “red section” and to the “green section” if you have no declarations. For more detailed information follow the links to Zvartnots International Airport and Customs.
Armenia has an extensive, reliable and inexpensive public transportation system. Plenty of buses, licensed mini-buses (locally referred to as Marshrutkas) and trolleybuses, as well as taxi services, are all very affordable and are easy to catch rides with around Yerevan and Armenia. Yerevan also has a small underground Metro system, with ten stations.
Medication and Vaccinations
There are no obligatory immunizations required for travelers visiting Armenia. Armenia's climate is generally pleasant and does not pose unusual health risks. Medical facilities vary in quality and breadth, with many qualified doctors and dentists running a variety of practices. There are registered pharmacies on virtually every corner in the center of Yerevan, carrying all of the basic toiletries and many over-the-counter drugs, some of which can also be purchased in hotels and supermarkets. If you have special health needs, speak to your physician before traveling. If you travel during the summer, it is a good idea to pack sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses, as the Armenian sun is strong!
Even though Armenia is one of the safest countries to travel to, boasting one of the lowest crime rates worldwide, and ranking eighth on this year’s Gallup Poll on how safe people feel, taking out a travel insurance policy that covers theft, loss, accidents and medical problems is highly recommended. If you plan to do any adventure or extreme sports such as scuba diving, bungee jumping, motorcycling, skiing and even hiking, check that your policy fully covers you.
More information on local insurance packages is available at:
1. Ingo Armenia - http://www.ingoarmenia.am/index/index/lang/en
2. Nairi Insurance - http://www.nairi-insurance.am/
3. Sil Insurance - http://www.silinsurance.am/
4. Rosgosstrakh Armenia - http://www.rgs.am/arm/index.html
5. Armenia Insurance - http://armeniainsurance.am/
6. Reso Insurance - http://www.reso.am/
Electrical Supply Voltage
The standard voltage in Armenia is 220V. Sockets follow the two-prong CEE 7 Standards (common to the EU).
1. Fire Department – 101
2. Police – 102
3. Ambulance – 103
4. Gas Emergency Service – 104
5. Emergency Situations Crisis Management Center - 911, 101
6. Municipality of Yerevan Hotline – 108
7. Ombudsman (Human Rights Defender) of Armenia Hotline – 118
Armenia packs an astounding array of landscapes within its borders, including seven geographic zones, from deserts and semi-deserts to alpine and subalpine meadows. The largely volcanic mountains and the tectonic activity they once promoted has pushed Armenia up above the clouds, stimulating the true range of the four seasons; hot and sunny summers, cold and icy winters, and the beautiful flora of spring and fall. Average summer temperatures exceed 25ºC; while in the winter, the average temperature is -5ºC, although in places it is known to go as low as -36ºC! The best time to visit the country is from April to October when it is not too cold, the snow has melted and the fields are ripe with fruits and flowers.
Shopping, Tipping and Bargaining
There are all kinds of shops and markets in Armenia, from high-end clothing stores on Northern Avenue, to bustling local crafts markets like Vernissage, to aromatic food markets lining the streets. Generally held on the weekends of the warmer months, food markets are ideal places to get locally grown, organic vegetables and fruits, and are where most locals buy their veggies. There are a few in Yerevan, such as the one held just above Baregamutyun Metro and the year-round Gumi Shuka, and every major city has one as well. Tourists can also enjoy the duty-free status on almost all goods bought in Armenia; just show your receipts at the Converse Bank at the airport before you leave to be reimbursed for all your purchases!
In recent years, lots of shops, department stores and markets have been built in Armenia, where anyone can find clothes, souvenirs and other gifts and everyday items.
In Armenia, particularly in Yerevan, restaurants usually add up to a 10% service charge to the bill. However, tipping is always up to the consumer’s discretion. Bargaining is also possible in many markets throughout Armenia, and can be a truly enjoyable experience in and of itself!