Religion in Armenia
About 94% of Armenians are Christians belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church (the oldest state church in the world). Catholics, Protestants, adherents of the Russian Orthodox Church and Muslims also live in the country.
Transport in Armenia
The best way to get to Armenia is by plane. Flights to Yerevan are operated from Moscow, St. Petersburg and some other Russian cities. It is too problematic to enter Armenia by land transport: firstly, Armenia does not border Russia and therefore it is necessary to issue visas to the countries through which your route will pass, and secondly, the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed, so you can enter the country only through Georgia and Iran, however, due to the Georgian-Ossetian conflict of 2008, only certain categories of Russian citizens can pass through Georgia, which causes additional difficulties. Buses are the best way to travel around the country, as there are no domestic flights in Armenia, and trains are much slower than buses, they are in poor condition and are often crowded. Buses and fixed-route taxis are also the main means of transportation in Armenian settlements, only in the capital of the country there are also metro, trolleybus and cable car. Inside the cities, you can use taxi services, however, it is worth negotiating the price with the driver in advance.
In order to rent a car, you must be over 18 years old and have an international driving license. It is worth noting that the roads in Armenia are in a worn out condition, and there are no roads at all in the mountainous regions, so it is not recommended to travel long distances in a rented car.
Plant and Animal World in Armenia
Most of the territory of Armenia is occupied by steppes and semi-deserts, and wormwood semi-deserts predominate on the plains, in the middle mountain zone – cereal and herb-cereal steppes, and high in the mountains – meadow steppes and alpine meadows. Forests are distributed only in the northeast (broad-leaved forests with a predominance of oak, beech, hornbeam, linden, maple and ash) and southeast of the country (xerophilic oak forests).
Bears live in mountain forests, including rare silvery Iranian bears, lynxes, wild boars, roe deer, forest cats, martens and squirrels, wolves, foxes, hares, bandages, badgers, bezoar goats and mouflons, steppe cats live in the steppes and semi-deserts, as well as numerous rodents and reptiles. More than 300 species of birds are found in Armenia, among which are cranes (the national symbol of the country), storks, ducks, gulls, partridges, quails, black grouse, eagles, vultures and snowcocks. Lake Sevan is rich in fish, trout (ishkhan), whitefish, khramuli, barbels and other fish species are found here.
Minerals in Armenia
Iron ore, copper, molybdenum, aluminum, lead, zinc, manganese, barite, gold, silver, platinum, antimony, mercury, arsenic, bismuth, gallium, indium, selenium, thallium, tellurium, rhenium, tuff, marble, travertines, limestone, precious and semi-precious stones.
Banks in Armenia
Banks are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:00, on Saturday – from 10:00 to 14:00.
Money in Armenia
The monetary unit of Armenia is the dram. 1 dram is equal to 100 lumas. In circulation there are banknotes of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 drams, as well as coins of 1, 3, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 drams and 10, 20 and 50 lumes.
You can exchange foreign currency in banks, exchange offices and large hotels. In large hotels, restaurants, private shops and markets, US dollars and euros are sometimes accepted for payment, and in some shops and markets – Russian rubles. It is always recommended to have small money with you, because often there is simply no change from large bills.
Non-cash payment for services is developed only in large hotels and shops in large cities and tourist centers. To avoid additional exchange costs, traveler’s checks are best purchased in US dollars.
Rate: 100 Armenian Dram (AMD) = 0.22 USD (28.05.2022)
POLITICAL STATUS in Armenia
According to politicsezine, Armenia is a democratic presidential republic. The head of state is the president, who is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Executive power is vested in the government, headed by the prime minister. Legislative power is exercised by a unicameral parliament – the National Assembly.
Administratively, the country is divided into 10 regions (marzes) and 1 city district Yerevan.
Population in Armenia
About 96% of the country’s population are Armenians. Also, Russians, Yezidis, Kurds, Assyrians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Greeks and Jews live in Armenia.
The state language is Armenian, it belongs to the family of Indo-European languages. Armenians also understand and speak Russian.
Cuisine in Armenia
A distinctive feature of Armenian cuisine is the extensive use of various types of greens, a variety of vegetables and dairy products. An integral part of any meal is unleavened bread – “lavash” and oval or round bread “matnakash”.
From the first courses, you can try beef tail stew “poch”, matsun soup “spas”, beef soup with dried apricots “yayni”, chicken soup “tarkhana”, rice soup with onion “chulumbur apur”, mushroom soup with rice “sunki” apur”, dried apricot soup “anushapur”, cereal soups “vospnapur” and “khrchik”.
The most popular national meat dishes are shish kebab from large pieces of meat “khorovats”, shish kebab from beef and tail fat “iki-bir”, meat balls from specially beaten and boiled meat “kufta”, round meatballs in “kokolik” broth, cabbage rolls from grape leaves with “tolma” meat and its lean version – “pasuts tolma”, strips of boiled beef “baskyrtat”, porridge-like mass of chicken meat and wheat “arisa”, boiled lamb with peas and greens “bozbash”, “putuk”, ” basturma”, fried chicken with eggplant and matsun “borani”, meat “sujukh”, assorted liver and vegetables “tisvzhik”, “kchuch” lamb, “pastynery”, “amich”, plov with pomegranate “nrov plav”, plov with smoked fish “plav aphtats dzkov” and plov with dried fruits “chrov plav”.
Of the national fish dishes, it is worth trying the Sevan trout “ishkhan” cooked in various ways.
There are always dairy products on the table: sour-milk “matsun” and “tan”, twisted cheese “chseechil” and soft cheese “zhazhik” with herbs and green garlic, as well as a variety of vegetable salads.
For dessert, they usually serve a flatbread made of puff pastry stuffed with gata (kata), nazuk, yugatert, nshablit, bagarj, shpot and sharots cookies, candied apricots shalakh, dried apricots and figs, homemade halva, peaches stuffed with nuts and various jams.
Of the Armenian non-alcoholic drinks, “tarragon” and local mineral waters are the most famous. Armenians also drink coffee, tea and fruit juices in large quantities. The most popular national alcoholic drink is cognac, which is made from selected grape varieties grown in the Ararat Valley. Also, local alcoholic drinks are represented by Armenian mulberry vodka and Armenian wine.