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Driving Guide

Armenia Driving Guide

Explore Armenia by driving with International Driving Permit

2021-04-09 · 9min read

Tourists can easily overlook Armenia, but you can find rich cultural heritages, dramatic landscapes with spectacular sights in the country. This country bordered by Georgia, Iran, Turkey, and Azerbaijan is not always in the spotlight. But a journey through Armenia is a series of unexpected encounters with modern and ancient architectures and cultures. So what are you waiting for this time? Take this great Armenia road trip.

One way to make the most out of your stay is by driving in Armenia. It is a destination full of the oldest cathedrals and relics in the world marked by Soviet architecture. At least 50 different ethnic groups make their homes in the valleys, so you’ll meet very diverse and beautiful people along your trip. Many adventures await you here. Just don’t forget to bring a driving license in Armenia.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Before going to Armenia, be sure to know the latest and relevant information that will help you enrich your travel experience. Knowing an important bit of knowledge about the country can help you prepare yourself mentally, financially, and physically. This guide includes how to get an International Driver’s License to rent a car and go to beautiful places in the country. This guide will also help you travel as it contains current border updates, road and traffic rules, and top destinations in the country. When driving in Armenia, know the zip code of the location you want to visit.

General Information

You’ll be intrigued by Armenia’s history and culture, charmed by the landscapes and natural beauty, and very welcoming locals. At the crossroad between Asia and Europe, you can find Armenia. It is in a historical and religious intersection of different countries. Traveling here is a rewarding and tremendously enjoyable experience, so make sure you know the necessary information about this country so that you’ll have a glimpse of what awaits you here.

Geographic Location

Armenia, a Transcaucasia country, is a landlocked country in Southwestern Asia and bordered by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Iran. It is lying south of the great mountain range of the Caucasus, and its relief consists of numerous high mountain ridges, extinct volcanic mountains, and plains. Armenia extends from the Mediterranean Sea to Lake Urmia and from the Black Sea coast to the Caspian Sea. The country’s capital is Yerevan (Erevan).

The country is in subtropics, but the climate is dry continental with cold winters and hot summers due to mountain ranges. Armenia’s highest point is the Aragats mountain, located 4,090 meters above sea level, while the lowest point is in the gorge of Debed River that is 380 meters below sea level. The country’s longest river is Arak, while the largest water lake is Lake Sevan, the largest high-altitude freshwater lake in Eurasia.

Languages Spoken

Armenia is an ethnically homogeneous country; that’s why you’ll find Armenia as the country’s official language. Russian is widely known in Armenia, followed by French, Spanish, and other oriental languages. The English language is increasingly gaining prominence, but you may find communicating difficult, especially if you don’t speak or you can’t understand the Armenian or Russian language.

Land Area

The country spans 29,743 square kilometers, which is about Belgium’s size or slightly smaller than the US State of Maryland. The greatest extent from the west to east is 200 kilometers, while from the northwest to the southeast, it is 360 kilometers. Armenia has a total population of 2.9 million as of 2020. The largest and capital city is Yerevan, with a land area of 223 square kilometers.

History

Persian and Ottoman conquerors had a centuries-long rule in ancient Armenia. The Ottoman government perpetrated massacres and forced deportations of Armenians. It briefly became independent after the Ottoman Empire fell in 1918. After two years, forces from Turkey and Soviet Russia invaded Armenia. Armenia then became part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922. It was only on August 23, 1990 when Armenia declared sovereignty and gained independence on September 23, 1991.

Armenia adopted Christianity, the first kingdom to do so after the Arsacid king Tiridates III was converted by St. Gregory the Illuminator. Therefore, it maintained its rich Christian literary tradition. Today, the main religion is the Armenian Apostolic Church or the Armenian Catholic Church, in communion with Rome, which constituted 92.6% of the population. The rest of the faith is Evangelical.

Government

The official title of the country is the Republic of Armenia or Hayastani Hanrapetutyun. Armenia’s constitution, adopted in 1995, established the country as a democratic, sovereign, social, and constitutional state. Armenia’s government system is a republic, where the president is the head of the government and the chief of state who appoints the Prime Minister.

Armenia has a mixed economic system. More than 40% of employment is accounted for in the agriculture sector as Armenia’s cultivated lands occupy approximately two-fifths of the total land area. Armenia’s top three trade partners are Russia, China, and Switzerland, while the top three industries are diamond-processing, forging pressing machines, and electric motors. Yerevan, Vanadzor, and Gyumri are machine-building cities.

Tourism?

Over the years, Armenia has recorded impressive gains in its tourism industry. The country is attracting a number of tourists who travel for holiday and leisure purposes, not just those visitors who want to see their family and friends. In 2019, international arrivals reached 1.9 million. There has been a shut down in Armenia since March 2020 due to the global pandemic. There is a poor record of foreign arrivals. But now, the country has reopened for tourism.

Armenia may be easily overlooked in tourist destinations, as many tourist destinations can be challenging to reach, and communicating may be challenging due to language barriers. However, there are significant local and foreign investments to improve the tourism industry. But Armenia definitely should be on your travel list.

Renting a Car in Armenia

Renting a car and driving in Armenia is one of the best ways to explore the country freely. It's a good idea to rent a car and explore Armenia on your own. There are many beautiful places to go to since the country is rich with cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes. Instead of being tied to the scheduled group tour, renting a car gives you the flexibility to drive to nearby cities and places within the country at your own time. The following guide will help you with renting a car in Armenia.

Car Rental Companies

There are many locations where you can find a rental car in Armenia. The convenient and comfortable place for you is at the Yerevan airport. You can pick up your vehicle at the airport or in any pick-up locations set by the car company. Online booking is also a good idea if you don’t want to go to the designated pick-up location. Be sure you all have the driving requirements in Armenia. Once you settle everything, you can visit any place you want to.

There are dozens of choices to choose from, so make sure you compare deals and discounts in all major car rental brands. You can find the best deal for you whether you are looking for a car rental on a budget or you want to rent a luxury car for an extraordinary event. You can include some upgrades in your deal to ensure your best driving experience. Here are the major companies that provide car rentals in Armenia:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Firefly
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Travelcar

Documents Required

Before you rent a car in Armenia, make sure you have the complete documents needed. You need to have your local driving license valid for at least a year, an International Driving License in Armenia, a valid credit card, and additional proof of identity such as a passport. You always need to deposit a certain amount required by the car rental company before you can rent a car. You need to fill out several forms for the rental contract.

Vehicle Types

There are many types of cars you can rent that are suitable for your trip. You'll have plenty of options to choose from, depending on your travel needs. There are economical standard cars fit for your budget, comfortable SUVs, family vans, even the sporty convertibles, and luxury cars. If you don’t want to drive manual cars, it's a good option to drive an automatic car in Armenia.

  • Economic Car - If you are on a budget and are looking for a car with an affordable rate, this is the best for you. An economy can accommodate at least five passengers, and you can still have a comfortable travel journey.
  • SUV - This is the best fit for you if you are looking for an ultimate outdoor adventure since it has a spacious interior and smooth driving ability. The SUV can accommodate 7 to 8 passengers.
  • Van - If you're traveling with your family and a seven-passenger space is not enough for you and your luggage, then consider renting a van. It has a twelve to fifteen-passenger capacity, and you can travel without feeling too packed for the day.
  • Luxury car - If you are traveling to Armenia for an exceptional occasion and celebration, you can choose a luxury car. As long as you can afford the rental rate, then you can pick one as it will give you high-quality travel and superb comfort.

Car Rental Cost

The average cost to rent a car in Armenia is about $40 - $70 per day. The most booked rental car type is the economy type and the SUV. You can choose from a wide array of car choices across Armenia with short-term and long-term car hire options. You can have a car that will suit you well with your solo trip, small group tour, and family vacations. Here’s the car rental cost per day depending on the car type:

  • Economy car - $13 per day
  • Compact car - $14 per day
  • Full-size SUV car - $37 per day
  • Passenger Van - $41 per day
  • Luxury SUV - $70 per day

Age Requirements

The minimum driving age in Armenia is 18 years old. Although that is the minimum driving age, most car rental companies only lend their cars to people above 21 years old to ensure safety and security. In this way, car companies can avoid the risks associated with having younger and less experienced drivers as there are reports of accidents caused by young drivers.

Car Insurance Cost

A handful of car insurance companies in Armenia provide different car insurance depending on what you need. The car insurance fee depends on the type of car, driver’s age and experience, insurance history, the purpose of its use, coverage, and anything else the insurer deems necessary. You need to consider everything before you can choose your insurance. You can always ask the car insurance representative to give you a quotation.

Car liability and insurance are mandatory when driving in Armenia. Armenian law requires insurance that covers both personal and material damages. Car insurance will cover you if you are involved in an accident. It is essential to prioritize your safety when driving around Armenia, as many things can happen on the road. Even though you drive safely and efficiently, you can still get into accidents if other drivers are reckless.

Car Insurance Policy

Different car insurance policies are depending on your need. You can check the comprehensive insurance, liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and even loss damage waiver. You can always add optional insurance to your car rental if you think the included insurance does not have adequate coverage. Remember, you need to get insurance before driving on Armenian roads, so make sure you get everything covered.

You can note some helpful tips to get the best deals in renting a car are reserving early to get the best-priced rental vehicle. You can also look for car rental locations outside the airport so that it will cost less. You can also join a loyalty rewards program with a car rental company so that they can offer you discounts, and you can enjoy different perks and rewards. If you value adventure, comfort, and flexibility, you should rent a car.

The Road Rules in Armenia

When visiting any country, you should take the time to know the driving laws and rules of the road to avoid confusion and penalties. There may be differences between your home country’s driving laws to the driving rules in Armenia. Here are the essential rules you need to remember when driving in Armenia.

Important Regulations

Before you drive in Armenia, you need to know the general driving laws and rules regulations implemented in the country. Here are some of the essential things you need to remember:

  • * Drunk driving is prohibited. Armenia does not tolerate drunk driving.
  • * The legal blood alcohol level is 0.0%.
  • * Keep your phone away unless it is hands-free.
  • * Wearing seatbelts are mandatory for drivers and passengers in front.
  • * Children under 12 years old should not be in the front seat.
  • * In Armenia, the driving side is always on the right side.
  • * Turn on your passing beams at night and conditions where there is poor visibility due to bad weather.
  • * Car insurance is a must.
  • * A first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and a warning triangle are required when driving through Armenia.

Drunk-driving

Armenia has a stringent law when it comes to the consumption of alcoholic beverages and driving. You should entirely refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages when driving in Armenia because the allowable alcohol blood content is 0.0%. If you violate this law, you can have severe punishments that can result in the cancellation of your Armenian driving license or even imprisonment. Drinking and driving are not allowed in the country.

Driving while using a mobile phone

Mobile phones can be a source of distraction to drivers, and they can result in damage, loss, and accidents. It is prohibited to use mobile phones when driving in Armenia. You cannot use your mobile phone even if there’s traffic. The use of a mobile phone is only allowed if you have a hands-free device. If you violate this rule, you need to pay a fine of 3,000 drams.

Parking

A red line indicates the paid parking in Armenia. You’ll see the instructions on paying for the parking and how much it costs around the parking lots. The parking rates differ, but usually, it will cost around 100 drams for an hour. You can pay via TellCell terminals or even bank accounts. But parking is free in Yerevan from midnight to 9 am. If you improperly parked your vehicle, you have to pay 20,000 drams.

Seat Belt Laws

A seatbelt is one of the most important things you need to do to prevent injuries and reduce fatalities in road accidents. It is your best defense against aggressive drivers, so always buckle up. When driving in Armenia, you need to fasten your seatbelt if you are the driver or the front-seat passenger. The passengers in the back seat are not required to wear their seatbelts. If you do not follow this law, you need to pay about 5,000 drams.

Speed Limits

The speed limits in Armenia vary in every location. In residential areas, the highest you can go is 20 km/h, while if you’re within the city, the maximum speed limit is 60 km/h. If you are outside the city limits and out of town, you can drive up to 90 km/h. Along the highway, you can go at a maximum speed limit of 110 km/h. Know that there are speed cameras that will capture you if you exceed the speed limits.

Local authorities strictly monitor the speed of vehicles in Armenia. There are always cameras disclosed by the signs, but you must always pay attention to your speed when entering a new town. The speeding fines can range from 10,000 to 32,000 drams.

Driving Directions

You’ll find roundabouts in Armenia’s significant cities, and it’s essential to know the driving rules when entering a roundabout. In the country, the traffic is to your left. Usually, you need to yield before entering, but you can yield when you are already in Armenia’s roundabout. Drive at a slow speed and yield to the cars already circulating the roundabout. Pay attention to the car turnings in particular lanes.

Traffic Road Signs

The traffic road signs in Armenia are translated into English and often are self-explanatory. You should have proper knowledge of the traffic signs as these will guide you in navigating the road. There are five traffic road sign categories in Armenian: warning signs, priority signs, prohibitory signs, mandatory signs, and informative signs. The following are some examples:

Warning signs alert road users to road conditions that might call for slow and safe driving. Some examples of these signs are:

  • Roundabout sign
  • Tramway crossing sign
  • Curve to the left sign
  • Slippery road sign
  • Pedestrian crossing sign

Priority signs are the ones given importance. These signs include:

  • Junction with the main road sign
  • Priority to oncoming vehicles sign
  • Stop sign
  • Yield sign
  • End of priority road sign

Prohibitory signs are safety signs that prohibit activities that will likely cause risk to road users’ safety. Examples of these are:

  • No entry sign
  • No pedestrians sign
  • Stop control sign
  • Maximum speed limit sign
  • No parking sign
  • No overtaking sign

You will see mandatory signs as you approach roads that only require you to do something and only allow certain types of vehicles. These are the compulsory traffic signs you need to follow to ensure a smooth and safe drive, such as:

  • Straight only sign
  • End of the minimum speed limit sign
  • Keep right or left sign
  • Cycles only sign
  • Pedestrians only sign

Informative signs are traffic signs that provide relevant information to the driver to understand more about the place. You need to note these signs such as:

  • Motor road sign
  • Highway sign
  • Hospital sign
  • End of an additional lane sign
  • One-way street sign
  • Parking sign

Right of Way

When you drive in Armenia, you better know when your right to go and your right to stop. Of course, you need to keep all the road users safe because lives are essential. If you are in a crossing intersection, the vehicle on your right-hand side has the right of way. In pedestrian crossing, you must always yield the way to the pedestrian as long as they are within the crosswalk.

The minimum driving age in Armenia is 18 years old. You can already drive in Armenia if you meet the legal driving age, and you already secured your local driving license, International Driving License in Armenia, and your passport. Make sure you have all these requirements before you drive in Armenia places to avoid penalties and fines.

Laws on Overtaking

There are some instances where you need to overtake another car, probably due to an emergency or other situations. In Armenia, you drive on the right-hand side, so you can only overtake on the left. When you are overtaking, you need to beep the other car to warn the driver that you will overtake. When you are on the road, you cannot overtake any trucks even though the truck drivers drive slowly.

Driving Side

The driving side is on the right side of the roads of Armenia, unlike most of the European countries. You shall be wary of Armenia’s driving lanes because it may be different from your home country. The driving directions of all road users should always be on the right side. Neglecting driving rules can result in accidents and other unforeseen events, so always be a responsible driver.

It is essential to be cautious and mindful of Armenian driving laws to keep you safe from any accidents and to maintain peace and order in the orders. Always bring your local driving license in Armenia, an international driving permit, and your passport so that local authorities can verify your identity. Neglecting driving rules can result in accidents and other unforeseen events, so always be a responsible driver.

Driving Etiquette in Armenia

Driving in Armenia can be challenging, especially if this is your first time driving in the country. Many things can happen to you on the road, so be prepared and ready, especially if you encounter unfamiliar situations. Always be calm and polite when talking to others and always remember to drive safely and responsibly. Here are some of the cases that can happen to you and the things you can do about the situation.

Car Breakdown

If you’re having car trouble, try to get to the right-hand shoulder of the road, far from moving traffic. Warn the other drivers by turning on your hazard lights. Put triangles with reflectors so that others know the location where you’ve stopped. Avoid getting out of your vehicle to look at the damage, as it’s dangerous to cross a high-speed freeway. Call emergency numbers and ask for help. Your insurance company can also assist you in this situation.

On interstate highways and main roads, police officers regularly patrol the area, so you can watch out for that to ask for help. You can also roll down the window on the driver’s side and hang a white cloth or a piece of paper to alert drivers that your car is in trouble. If it's daytime, quickly place your emergency blinkers. If it's nighttime, put on your warning lights or reflective markers six feet behind another car to alert traffic. Keep the following safety precautions in mind.

Police Stops

Being stopped by a police officer can be a stressful experience for you, especially if new to the place, and you don't know the driving rules in Armenia. But you should know that the best thing to do is to stop your car in a safe place, remain calm, and do not exhibit hostility toward the police officer. There is nothing to worry about, especially if you don’t violate any law or driving rules in Armenia. Upon request, show your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance.

You must know that police officers check the situation on Armenia driving roads and do community policing. In this way, they can secure peace and maintain order in the community. If you neglect the police officer’s order to stop, you may face a fine of up to 200,000 drams. Also, know your right to remain silent. You need to say it out loud if you want to exercise your right. You also have the right to refuse a search of your car.

Asking Directions

There are real-time maps that make it easier to navigate roads. You can resort to it when you want to go to a particular place in Armenia. It will show you a map of the cities, towns, highways, and streets and give you the driving directions. You just need to type the location and find the results. You will see a large road map of the country with its administrative divisions and 11 provinces.

But there is so much thrill and excitement if you get to ask locals for the driving directions. The country’s official language is Armenian, so you need to know the language when asking for driving directions. Here are some of the keyword phrases and expressions you can request to find your way around when you are lost.

  • How do I get to _____?

Inčpe?s karoġ em hasnel_____։ (inch-PESE kah-ROGH ehm hus-NELE)

  • ...the airport?

...òdakayan։ (o-tuck-eye-UHN?)

  • ...downtown?

...kentron։ (ken-TRONE?)

  • ...hotels?

...hyowranoc̕ner։ (hyoo-ruh-notz-NERE)

  • ...restaurants?

...ṙestoranner։ (res-toh-run-NERE)

  • …street

…p̕oġoc̕ (po-GHOTSE)

  • ...sites to see?

...tesaržan vayrer։ (tess-are-ZHUHN wire-ERE)

  • How long does it take to get there?

Ork̕a?n žamanak ē petk̕ aynteġ hasnelow hamar (vorqan zhamanak e petkayntegh hasneloo hamar?)

  • Can you help me?

Karoġ e?k̕ inj ògnel (karogh ek' indz ok'nel)

  • How can I get to the museum?

Inčpe?s karoġ em hasnel t̕angaran (inchpes karogh em hasnel tangaran?)

  • Can you show me on the map?

Karo?ġ ek̕ c̕owyc̕ tal k̕artezi vra։ (kuh-ROGH ehq tsooyts tuhl car-teh-ZEE vrah?)

  • Left

Jax (dzakh)

  • Right

aǰ (uch)

  • Straight ahead

owġiġ (ou-GHEEGH)

  • Towards the _____

Depi _____ (deh-PEE)

  • Intersection

khachmehruk (khach-meh-ROOKE)

Checkpoints

There are intensive checking procedures in Armenian border checkpoints to ensure the security and safety of the people. Border patrol may stop vehicles at certain checkpoints to ask a few questions, check legal documents, and verify your identity. They can also visually inspect the exterior of the car or check the passenger belongings. Remain calm, and do not flee a checkpoint.

There are checkpoints to prevent undocumented travelers. If you are at a checkpoint, just present your legal documents, and the authorities will give clearance for your entry or exit. It is essential to have your Armenian driver’s license and passport so that police officers can verify your identity. Some border checkpoints are the Ayrum railway station, Zvartnots International Airport, land borders with the Republic of Georgia, and the Meghri land border with Iran.

What Will You Do if You’re Involved in an Accident?

Nobody wants to be involved in any accidents, but there are unforeseen situations on the road. In case of an accident, whether you are at fault or not, there are critical decisions you need to make and specific steps you need to take to ensure everyone is safe. You must never drive away from the scene of the accident.

Turn off your engine and turn on your hazard lights. Check yourself for injuries. If you are seriously injured, do not move and just wait for emergency personnel. If not, check other passengers in your car and call the police or ambulance. Here are numbers you can call in case of emergency:

  • Fire Service - 101
  • Police - 102
  • Ambulance - 103

The responding officers are the ones who will document the scene and make the accident report. Once they arrive, get the name and badge number. Tell them exactly what happened to the best of your ability, and avoid discussing fault when you are going over the facts. Take pictures of the vehicles from different angles for documentation. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.

It is essential to be ready and prepared for anything when you are driving in Armenia. Make sure that you follow the driving law and rules. It is helpful to know that certain situations may arise along the way, but it is essential to know what to do just in case. Be careful if you drive a manual car or drive an automatic in Armenia. Always be calm when confronted with unexpected events. Do not forget to enjoy your trip.

Driving Conditions in Armenia

Although local authorities strictly monitor traffic regulations and driving rules in Armenia, many accidents remain high. Local and tourist drivers do not always respect and follow traffic rules and prefer their free driving style. So drive safe and be aware of the road hazards when driving in Armenia. It is best to know the country’s driving situation and conditions before you plan your road trip.

Accident Statistics

The Armenian police data showed 341 road sources and traffic fatalities in the country in 2019, compared to 348 deaths in 2018. On the other hand, the police recorded a total of 4,715 accidents in 2018. Non-governmental organizations blamed these statistics on more lenient policing, easing of traffic fines, and increased cars. Now, the government opted in for a toughening of the traffic rules. Drivers will not only face fines, but local authorities can also suspend their driving license

Common Vehicles

In Armenia’s urban areas, the standard vehicles are sedans and SUVs. Many people in the capital Yerevan or other cities like Gyumri, Jermuk, or Echmiadzin usually have economy cars, but you can see trucks outside the main cities and highways. In the country, 30% of vehicles run on clean compressed gas. There are also taxi services in the country.

Toll Roads

In Armenia, the roads are the leading transport network, but the country has an underdeveloped railway network due to its terrain. Most of the road systems in Armenia are highways, and there is not yet any toll road. In 2017, the government planned to introduce the first-ever toll road to complete the project to upgrade road infrastructure. However, the plan has not materialized yet.

Road Situation

The leading transport network in Armenia is the roads. Due to its rugged terrain, there are still underdeveloped railway networks in the country. It is extremely hazardous to drive at night due to poor road conditions and higher mountains’ elevations. On the other hand, there are well-maintained roads on highways. Although in certain areas, there are still unpaved, washed, and narrow streets. The signages are also lacking in most places. You may also get stuck in truck traffic when driving from Georgia to Armenia. Armenia's road network is generally well-maintained.

You may ask yourself: “Is it safe to drive in Armenia?” on your driving trip. The road conditions are rough, especially in the northern part of the country. There are potholes and bumps in certain areas, so avoid driving at night. It is hard to see the potholes unless you’re directly in front of them. On the other hand, there are much smoother and well-maintained roads in the southern part of Armenia. On weekends, there is an increase in the number of intoxicated drivers, so be extra careful when driving on Yerevan’s main highway.

Driving Culture

Local drivers frequently ignore driving rules in Armenia and also the traffic laws. Always take extra caution, especially if you are driving in towns at night. One of the serious problems is the “road rage” and the aggression of local drivers. Remain calm and polite and yield to hostile drivers. There is strict implementation of driving rules in the country, and crime along roadways is rare.

What Is the State of Roads in Armenia?

In Armenia, the driving roads are sealed and covered with asphalt. The main roads between cities are well-maintained, but there are places in which road infrastructures are underdeveloped. You also need to note that Armenia is a mountainous country, so it’s not always a smooth and straight road to drive through. But you’ll enjoy the driving experience of going to different places. It is also quite challenging to move during winter from November up to March.

Are They Using Kph or Mph in Armenia?

Countries all over the world use a particular unit of measurement to set speed limits. Armenia uses Kph as a unit of measure for the speed of a car. Before driving around Armenia, know that there are speed limits implemented in the country and worldwide to ensure that the roads are safe. Speed limits are set depending on the road type and the type of vehicle using the road.

Is It Safe to Drive in Armenia?

Overall, there are always challenges and difficulties that you may encounter while driving in Armenia. It is safe to drive in the country as long as you follow and respect the traffic regulations and the driving rules to ensure your safety and other’s safety. You are responsible for complying with the driving requirements in Armenia and the legal documents you need to have before driving in the country. It’s best if you go slower to respond to things happening on the road quickly.

Is Driving in Georgia and Armenia Allowed?

Turkey, Iran, Georgia, and Azerbaijan borders Armenia. But due to the conflict with neighboring countries, you can only cross the borders of Georgia. Driving in Georgia and Armenia is allowed as long as your rental company provides a border crossing. In some cases, you can only drive rented cars only to Armenia’s territory. Driving to both countries can be nerve-wracking, but the roads are generally quiet outside Tbilisi and Yerevan’s capital cities.

Things to Do in Armenia

There are many things you can do in Armenia. Driving in Armenia is the best way to explore the country. You are not confined to the travel tours as you can have a self-drive tour in Armenia. There are also a lot of jobs and opportunities waiting for you here, so enjoy and open new doors that await you in the country. The cost of living here is way lower than in other European countries.

Drive as a Tourist

You may ask yourself: Is my Indian Driving License valid in Armenia? Or Is my UAE Driving License valid in Armenia? Well, you can drive as a tourist in Armenia as long as you have your local driver’s license and your International Driver’s Permit. If you don’t know how to get a driving license in Armenia, you may check out the International Driver’s Association page. It’s illegal to drive in Armenia without having your driver’s license. Make sure you have all legal requirements before driving in Armenia.

Work as a Driver

You can apply as a driver in Armenia as long as you have a work permit from the Armenian company and your temporary residence permit. You can obtain a work permit after 13 days. Then you have to file a temporary residence permit at the Passport and Visa Department of the Police in Yerevan. You need to provide supporting documents and medical test results. They issue a temporary residence card within a month or two months of application.

If you do not have the work permit and residence permit, you need to pay a monetary fine of AMD 100,000 to 150,000. Overstaying a visa is also punishable by a fine of AMD 50,000 to 100,000. The Code of Administrative Offenses is the one in charge of the penalties for a work permit and immigration violations.

Work as a Travel Guide

If you think you already have in-depth historical, cultural, political, and economic knowledge about Armenia, you can apply as a travel guide in the country. It is also best if you are proficient and fluent in speaking the Armenian language. Travel guide licenses are given out by local authorities. Roaming around different places is truly thrilling as you can interact with other groups with diverse people.

Apply for Residency

As a foreign individual holding an Armenia visa, you need to have a work permit before working in the country. The employer must obtain a work permit by applying to the Ministry of Labor. It involves a test that ensures that there are no available Armenian qualified for the position. You need to apply for a temporary residence permit so that the local authorities can grant permission to work and live in Armenia.

You must also know that there are exemptions from work permit requirements such as business owners and highly skilled foreign specialists. Remember, what you need to have are two things: a temporary residence permit and the Armenian employer’s work permit to hire a foreigner for up to one year. Working without complete and valid documents may result in visa revocation for the employee and the employer’s penalties.

The Top Road Trip Destinations in Armenia

Check out the best driving roads in Armenia that will lead you to the beautiful sites and landscapes. Although it is quite challenging to drive in Armenia due to rugged terrain and underdeveloped road sections, the country has a rich history and culture, stunning landmarks, and delicious cuisines. Take the Armenia grand tour that will bring you to the idyllic towns with a long history. When driving in Armenia, know the zip code of the location you want to visit.

Yerevan

Driving to the capital is a great place to start for anyone wishing to explore the country. Yerevan, the country’s capital, is the center of business, culture, art, and industry. You can find a cuneiform inscription of Urartian King Argishti built in 782 BC, which shows that Yerevan is much older than Rome. It is also full of luxury hotels, fashionable shops, and boutiques. One of the important cultural places here is the Opera Ballet Theater.

Driving Directions:

  • From Zvartnots International Airport, continue to Parakar.
  • At the roundabout, take the 1st exit.
  • Turn right onto M5 and turn right onto Victory Bridge.
  • Continue straight onto Argishti Street and onto Italy Street.
  • Continue onto Vazgen Sargsyan Street and enter the roundabout to Republic Square.

Yerevan is a developed city with cultural centers, modern architectures, museums, and even monuments. Visit some of the places to go here in the capital city are the following:

1. Learn why Yerevan is the “pink city” when you go to Republic Square.

Yerevan is often called the “pink city” due to its tuff, volcanic stone with a pink shade. When you drive to the city’s main square, Republic Square, the place has a pinkish look since they used the tuff to build the city. You will find that all buildings, such as the post office, banks, hotels, have a pinkish tone relevant to the capital architecture.

2. Climb the Cascade for the best view of the capital city.

One of the Soviet architecture you can find in Yerevan is the Cascade designed by Aslan Mhhitartan, Jim Torosyan, and Sargis Gurzadyan from 1971 to the 2000s. This massive and spectacular stairway is rich in Armenian cultural details, with lots of green spaces. Climb to the top to see the city’s best view, and if you had your luck, you could also see Mount Ararat. If you're too lazy to climb, you can use the escalator.

3. Get a ticket to the show in the Opera House.

The National Opera Theater opened in 1933. It is a massive building where you can find two halls that can accommodate over a thousand people. If you want to see a show about Yerevan’s culture and tradition, you can purchase affordable tickets to the show at the ticket office on the Opera House’s left side. There are surrounding restaurants, cafes, and a small pond called Swan Lake you can visit.

4. Go to the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral.

One of the world’s first countries to adopt Christianity is Armenia. Interestingly, you won’t find many churches in the country, but one of the impressive cathedrals is Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral. It is a real masterpiece, with very sharp geometric lines and modern touch.

5. Ride the Yerevan Metro.

Soviet metro systems are prevalent. You can try to ride on the Yerevan Metro to get around the city, such as Sasuntsi David, Republic Square, Zoravar Andranik, and Marshal Baghramyan for the Lover’s Park. The ticket to the metro is cheap, efficient, and safe. In addition to that, you can connect to the free Wi-Fi of the metro.

Aragatsotn Province

The Mount Aragats mountain range dominated most of the northern part of the province, and you’ll find Aragatsotn Province, which covers an area of 2,756 square kilometers. The altitude in the area ranges between 950 and 4,090 meters above sea level, so the climate is very diverse. The primary water resources in the province are the Akhurian river, Kasagh, Gegharot, and Amberd.

Driving Directions:

Here’s your driving guide if you are from Tsaghkadzor going to Amberd Fortress

  • From Tsaghkadzor, head north on Olimpiakan St toward Khachatur Kecharetsi St
  • Olimpiakan St turns slightly right and becomes Khachatur Kecharetsi St.
  • Khachatur Kecharetsi St turns left and becomes Pahlavunyats St.
  • Continue onto M. Mkrtchyan str.
  • Continue to Hrazdan
  • At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto H28.
  • Take AH83/M4, H6, Ashtarak Highway/M1, and H20 to Amberd Road in Aragatsotn Province
  • Turn left onto Amberd Road.

You have many places to go to in Aragatsotn Province- ranging from fortresses, monasteries, and even the mountain ranges. Read below to know the places you can visit here.

1. Visit the Amberd Fortress.

On the southern slope of Mount Aragats, you’ll find this medieval Amberd fortress. It is about 2,300 meters above sea level, and there are deep gorges on its two sides. The construction of the fort dated back to the 7th century during the reign of Armenian Princess Kamsarakan. The walls of the fortress are made from massive basalt tiles with exquisite detail in the southern door. You can’t go to the fort during winter as there is snow all over the place.

2. Climb and see the fantastic view of Mount Aragats.

Many rock art and human-like figures dating back hundreds of years are at the base of this dormant volcano. Among the four peaks of Mount Aragats, the northern height is very challenging to climb as it is around 4,000 meters, while the easiest to climb is the southern part of the volcano. From July to September, there is less snow covering the area to hike in the mountains.

3. Go to Saghmosavank Monastery.

The Saghmosavank Monastery is a 13th-century Armenian monastic complex with fundamental religious and cultural significance going back to medieval times. The monastic complex consists of four buildings: the main church, a jamatoun, a single-navel chapel, and the library.

4. Enjoy the tour in the vineyards in the Van Ardi Winery and Voskevaz Winery.

Do not forget to go to the boutique and premiere award-winning wineries in the wine region of Ashtarak. Van Ardi Winery and Voskevaz Winery carry their finest wines. The wine, wine tasting, and dinner are perfect. Enjoy a tour in the vineyards, learn more about Armenian wine, and the locals made the wines.

5. Learn about modern astronomy at Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory.

This astrophysical observatory was founded in 1946 by Victor Ambartsumian, an academician. There are five observational instruments as the 1 meter Schmidt telescope and 2.6 meters Cassegrain telescope. There are observatories related to the Universe, and sometimes there are organized lectures and excursions.

Syunik Province

The southernmost province of Armenia is Syunik. It is a mountainous region covered with thick green forests, and its major water basins are the Vorotan, Sisian, Meghri, and Vachagan Rivers. The Vayots Dzor forms its northern borders while the Aras River separates Syunik Province from Iran.

Syunik’s natural beauty and cultural heritage attract both foreign and local tourists. You can find the Wings of Tatev, many monasteries, and protected areas. So, what are you doing for now? Explore these different tourist attractions in Syunik Province.

Driving Directions:

Tatev monastery is located at the height of 1,600 m in the Tatev Monastery mountains and is on a large basalt plateau near the Tatev village in Syunik Province. Here is your driving guide if you’re from Jermuk:

  • From Jermuk, head South.
  • Turn left toward H42.
  • Turn right onto H42
  • Turn left onto E117
  • Turn right onto H45
  • Turn left to stay on H45.

Syunik Province is indeed full of spectacular sights and picture-perfect views. Go to the stunning and breath-taking places in the region.

1. Visit the Tatev Monastery.

A visit to Tatev should be one of the things you need to do in Armenia. This medieval monastery dated back to the 9th century AD and is on the edge of the Vorotan River’s deep gorge. Tatev collected taxes from hundreds of villages in the old days, making it an educational institute and rich monastery. You can get there by taking a cable-car, and you’ll enjoy 20 minutes of mountainous landscapes and fantastic scenery.

2. Discover the Stonehenge.

People continue to visit the Armenian Stonehenge called Zorats Karer or Karahunj as it is among the world’s oldest astronomical observatories. People bring their telescopes to observe the sun, moon, stars, and planets. More than 200 stones with holes 5 cm in diameter serve as an observatory for star-watching. The 40 stones are standing in a circular motion, built in honor of Aru, Armenia's main God named after the Sun.

3. Try the swinging bridge in the Medieval Gore Cave Dwellings.

Hike and go to the several trails that will lead you to the cave shelters of Old Goris. The locals say that ancient people built the cave dwellings in the 5th century. Explore the cave rooms linked together and check the epic and stunning views over Goris and the volcanic pinnacle.

4. Check out the breathtaking view in Shaki Waterfall.

One of the considered most picturesque waterfalls in the country. The cascades of water plunge 60 feet down like basalt lava flows. There’s a small hydroelectric nearby which diverts the water to generate electricity. Tourists can go there from 11 am to 5 pm every day.

5. Go to the Goris Rock Forest.

Add a little bit of imagination when you see the ancient fantastic rock formation in the province. Goris Rock Forest is your perfect retreat as the place has a green basin surrounded by rocky cliffs. Enjoy the breath-taking view and have quality time with your family or loved one.

There are many beautiful monasteries in Armenia. If you love exploring historical structures and architectural beauty that reflects the country’s religious art, then this is the right place for you. You have many best locations, and you have the best driving roads in Armenia. As long as you have a driving license in the country, you can go anywhere you wish. So what are you waiting at this time? Plan your trip and make a self-drive tour in Armenia.

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