Planning to travel to Armenia from Georgia?
It’s a great (if challenging) idea!
If you’re already visiting Georgia, Armenia is so close that it makes a lot of sense to tack it on to your Georgia trip.
And although travel to Armenia from Georgia isn’t as easy as it should be, it’s a small country – so you can fairly get a taste of it in just three or four days.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick 3 day Armenia itinerary to plan your trip to Armenia.
Also, if you’re headed to Georgia, be sure to bookmark the following super-helpful guides we’ve put together to help you discover the best of my favorite country:
- 11 Top Things to do In Georgia (Country)
- 11 Best Places to Visit in Georgia
- Georgia Itinerary and Country Guide
Ok, let’s dive into planning your Armenia travel!
Should You Add Armenia to Your Georgia Itinerary?
If you’re already headed to Georgia, tacking on a quick visit to Armenia makes a lot of sense.
You’ll get to see a new country (which, even if you’re not a country-counter, is pretty cool!).
Plus, Armenia is very different than Georgia despite their proximity and some shared cultural history. I always think that visiting two neighboring places can really help illuminate what each has to offer.
In the case of Armenia, you can expect to find hospitable and welcoming people, beautiful arid landscapes, and a vibrant and unique culture.
Armenia is also the first Christian country on the planet, which means it’s loaded with history and tons of stunning ancient monasteries. Even if you’re not Christian yourself, you can’t help but be fascinated by all the ancient history here.
All told, despite the annoyingly limited options for traveling to Armenia from Georgia (more on that later), Armenia makes a great add-on to your Georgia trip as long as you’re willing to bear through the trouble of getting there.
[disclosure: links in this post may provide an affiliate commission to help me travel (thank you!)]
Travel to Armenia from Georgia – A 3 Day Itinerary
While it’s always nice to have longer to spend in a country, I visited Armenia for 3 days and 3 nights in the summer of 2019, and I felt that was a good amount of time to get a taste for Armenia.
To help you plan your travel to Armenia, here’s a sample 3 Day / 3 Night Itinerary:
Day 1: Tbilisi to Yerevan
Much of your first day is going to be spent on the 5-6 hour journey from Tbilisi to Yerevan (details on how to do that below).
Get an early start on the journey so that you can arrive in Yerevan in time to climb the famous Yerevan Cascades (basically, a huge giant staircase that runs up the side of a hill overlooking the city center).
Do like a local and find a spot on the steps to simply sit and enjoy a sunset view of the city’s skyline.
Then, after sunset, meander on over to Republic Square to enjoy the Dancing Fountains – a spectacular light and water show put on every night from 9 PM to 11 PM.
Suggested Accommodation in Yerevan:
- Best Luxury Hotel: Tufenkian Historic Yerevan Hotel
- Best Mid-Range Hotel: Mia Casa Hotel Yerevan
- Best Budget Hotel: Homey Guesthouse
- Best Hostel: Envoy Hostel
Day 2: Touring Armenia’s Countryside
While Yerevan is a wonderful city, in my opinion the most fascinating parts of Armenia lie in its arid countryside.
The good news?
From Yerevan, it’s possible to visit many of the best sites as part of a day tour.
Suggested stops to consider include:
- Khor Virap – Probably the most iconic site in Armenia, this monastery has an important place in Christian history. And it’s set against the backdrop of the imposing Mount Ararat (a mountain which is just over the border in Turkey and also the supposed resting place of Noah’s Ark).
- The Temple of Garni – a Greco-Roman era pagan temple located just an hour outside of the city, and one of the most famous tourist sites in Armenia.
- Geghard Monastery – a medieval monastery carved out of the side of a mountain, and surrounded by dramatic cliffs. It’s just a short distance past Garni, making it easy to combine the two.
Back in Yerevan for the evening, enjoy traditional Armenian cuisine at Tavern Yerevan (5 Amiryan St, reservations suggested).
Day 3: Around Yerevan (Or a Second Day Trip)
On the third day of your travel in Armenia, you have a choice of what to do:
First, you could elect to do another day tour, checking off any of the attractions you didn’t hit on the previous day of this Armenia itinerary.
Or you can elect to explore the city of Yerevan itself.
No matter which choice you make for your third day, you should find time to visit one of the most somber but important sites in Armenia: the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum.
Learning about this horrifying event is a difficult but important part of understanding Armenia’s tragic history, and the memorial and museum are very well-presented and easy to visit for an hour or two.
If you stick around Yerevan, you can also visit the picturesque Blue Mosque, or taking the Yerevan Free Walking Tour that leaves every day at 5 PM from in front of the History Museum on Republic Square (the tour usually ends with an optional group dinner if you’re interested in meeting other travelers).
How to Travel to Armenia from Georgia
The most difficult part of traveling from Georgia to Armenia?
Well, unfortunately it’s getting there.
Despite the proximity of the two countries, the transportation links between Georgia and Armenia frankly just aren’t ideal.
You basically have the choice of shelling out for a private driver (or even more for a flight), or else getting stuck in an uncomfortable and weirdly-long minibus or train.
Here’s a drone photo I took that shows why the journey is so long and uncomfortable (you have to cross over several mountain passes):
Assuming you’re traveling from Tbilisi to Yerevan as most travelers do, here’s a quick breakdown of your options:
Option 1: Fly from Tbilisi to Yerevan (1 Hour)
Yep, there are flights from Tbilisi to Yerevan.
But, even if you used my tricks for finding cheap international flights, it’s likely to cost $250+ round-trip.
Option 2: The Overnight Train (10.5 Hours)
Another option is to take the overnight train leaving Tbilisi and arriving in Yerevan the next morning.
It takes a whopping 10 and a half hours. And it’s not like you can sleep through the night, as you have to wake up for the border crossing in the middle of it!
For more details on how to travel to Armenia by train check out this article.
Option 3: Take a Minibus or Marshrutka (6 Hours)
One option is to travel like a local and take a “marshrutka,” shared rides that depart from Ortachala Bus Station in Tbilisi.
But marshrutka rides are often crowded and you may have to wait for them to fill up, so I suggest instead shelling out the 40 Lari it costs to take one of the shared minibuses from Avlabari.
I did this on my way from Tbilisi to Yerevan with my friend Patrick and, while it was tolerable, if you’re used to traveling in comfort you may not like this option (a German couple who was supposed to be on our minibus literally took one look at it, said “nein,” and walked away!).
Note that both forms of transportation will stop at the border and wait for the riders to cross from Georgia to Armenia.
Check out my friend Megan Starr’s article on the subject for much more detailed info on how to make the journey this way.
Option 4: Private Transfer from Georgia to Armenia (5-6 Hours)
If none of the above options sound enticing, you might consider hiring a private driver to help you travel to Armenia from Georgia.
Though more expensive, the cost can make sense if you’re splitting it with friends. Plus, you can ask the driver to make some scenic stops along the way to break up the long journey.
I did the journey back from Yerevan to Tbilisi in a super comfortable private minivan provided courtesy of Kiwi Taxi.
Or use the below widget to make your booking (FYI: they provide a generous cancellation policy, so you can lock in a car now and change your mind later):
I personally really enjoyed the private transfer, and especially loved the fact that they let us take a stop at Armenia’s gorgeous Lake Sevan, where I snagged the awesome drone photo above.
Tips for Travel to Armenia
Despite the difficulty of the journey in, and the lack of established tourist infrastructure, Armenia is still a reasonably easy country for travelers.
Still, here’s a few tips to make your trip go more smoothly:
1. Get Travel Insurance for Armenia
Though Armenia is a relatively safe country for travel, I still chose to buy travel insurance for my trip to Armenia.
The roads in the country in particular are a real risk (in fact, we even ended up stranded on the side of the road on my day trip to Garni from Yerevan because our tour company forgot to put gas in the car!).
Anyway, here is a really great search engine for quickly comparing different travel insurance options.
2. Use Y Taxi to Get Around in Yerevan
Yerevan is a small city and much of it is walkable, but if you need wheels to get around, you can easily order them through the Y Taxi app.
It’s essentially the Russian version of Uber, and it’s widely available within Yerevan.
3. Build in Extra Time for Everything
Things just seems to run on their own pace in Armenia.
So it’s a wise idea to build your Armenia travel itinerary in a way that allows for extra time for the unexpected (especially when it comes to transport).
4. Entry to Armenia is Pretty Easy
Though you should always check the specific regulations that apply to your home country, many nationalities are permitted to enter Armenia without a visa (Canada and India being among the major exceptions).
5. You Can’t Travel Onward to Turkey or Azerbaijan from Armenia
If you were just looking at a map, you might think that it makes sense to extend your travel to Armenia on to either Turkey or Azerbaijan, both of which are very close.
But beware that the borders with both countries are closed as Armenia doesn’t have great relations with them.
All of which means that most travelers will need to return to Georgia from Armenia the same way they came.
That’s it for this quick 3 day itinerary and guide to travel to Armenia from Georgia.
Before you go, be sure to check out our other articles to help you plan your visit to the Caucasus:
- Svaneti, Georgia: My Favorite Destination in Georgia
- Do You Need Travel Insurance for Georgia?
- The Ultimate Georgia Travel Itinerary
And, of course, if you have any questions about travel to Armenia, scroll down and leave a comment!