Safety is your biggest concern when you visit any foreign country. If you have been in Armenia before, then you already know the welcoming feeling of being here. The locals are quick to help you if you seem to be confused or lost. You will experience their helpful nature by opening a map while standing on a street corner. Within seconds, someone will ask you if you need help. It is also comforting to know that there are uniformed police officers almost everywhere. Although they might not speak English, they will try their best to assist you. The more familiar you are with a place, the more comfortable you will feel staying there. Let's set your mind at ease by letting you know what to expect when in Armenia.
There are many indications that you are in a very safe place. When traveling through Armenia, you will discover that it is not uncommon to see tourists and locals hitch-hiking. Within a very short time, a passing driver will give them a lift. When you talk to these hitch-hikers, they will have glowing reports of the warm hospitality they experienced.
Although the older locals speak Armenian and Russian, don't be surprised if a young child or teen says "hello" or "what is your name?" as you approach them. Sometimes this leaves you wondering how they knew that your primary language is English. Those that are learning English will take this opportunity to have a chat with you. You will find the staff at many hotels, cafes and restaurants have someone that will be able to assist you in English.
In the cities, it is not unusual to see children and adults walking the streets until midnight, especially in the summer. They are out enjoying the cool night air in their parks, plazas, and boulevards. Locals are relaxing at their favorite cafes. Parents are taking their children to the amusement rides in the park.
The cities and towns are easy to navigate on foot. Even in downtown Yerevan, everything is within walking distance. Yerevan also has the added advantage of the metro. You can ride the metro for a mere 100 drams (0.20 USD). The metro is very clean and safe. If you want to take a taxi instead, they are very cheap. Before you get in a taxi, be sure that you are taking an official taxi with a meter. The official taxis usually they have a taxi sign, meter and the company advertisement with a phone number. A minimum taxi fare should be about 600 drams (1.20 USD) for the first 6 kilometers.
Each additional kilometer should cost 100 drams (0.20 USD). This is pretty much the same for taxis throughout Armenia. When you arrive at Yerevan's Zvartnots International Airport avoid using a cab because they are expensive. Instead, take the express airport to city bus which only costs 300 drams (0.60 USD).
While on the subject of costs, and money, there is no need to carry a large amount of money with you. You can easily obtain money from the numerous ATM machines using your Visa or Mastercard. As an added bonus, everything will seem incredibly inexpensive compared to other European countries.
You should feel very confident and safe in Armenia, but you should also take the same precautions that you would take in any other country. Don't flash your money around in public. Don't walk down dark unlit alleyways at night. Dress appropriately—in other words dress like the locals—dress modestly. Most of all enjoy your stay in Armenia and mix with the locals.
If you decide to travel to Armenia, this mini guide of useful information will help you.
Published July 09, 2018
Article by George Casparian