If you’re wondering what the best places to buy souvenirs in Yerevan are, I hear you. When it comes to traveling, most people get excited about finding that perfect keepsake to take home, or to bring for their loved ones. Besides great food, heartwarming hospitality, and fascinating culture, Yerevan’s shopping scene is among the greatest in the Caucasus. And shopping for souvenirs goes along with that story. So, in this post I’m going to bring you my best tips for where to buy souvenirs in Yerevan. And, if reading this you decide to shop in places I recommend, let me know on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I love hearing from you! Ok, here we go…
So, if you’re looking to buy interesting souvenirs in Yerevan I recommend you check out…
- The Vernissage and its flea market
- Dalan souvenir shop
- Various small shops in Saryan street
- ArmAs wine shop
- Pnduk nuts and dry fruit shop
The Vernissage and its flea market
Vernissage in the Armenian capital, along with its flea market, are the biggest and culturally the richest places to shop for souvenirs in Yerevan. The Vernissage offers the most eclectic collection of handmade items, musical instruments, games, accessories and vintage stuff, like old cameras, audio-players etc.
Really, here you can find everything you want. Even if you are not going to buy anything, just go there to soak in the atmosphere. I’d easily go as far as to say it’s an open air museum paying tribute to the Armenian culture.
The Vernissage market is located along Buzand and Aram streets and is officially 350 meters long, stretching from Hanrapetutyun street to Khanjyan street. It was formed during the 1980s by Armenian artists who started to “present” their artwork in the square next to the Artists’ Union of Armenia (nowadays Charles Aznavour Square). Then, the exhibition was gradually enlarged.
In reality, the whole experience it brings you starts at the nearest metro station called Republic square and ends only at the footsteps of Vardan Mamikonyam statue. Street vendors who don’t make it into the Vernissage market itself, offer souvenirs to passers by, starting from the stairs of the metro entrance. That’s why I recommend you to start your souvenir shopping right from that metro entrance.
I recommend checking out this video on David’s Been Here channel, where he goes to the Vernissage market. Jump to the second half of the video to see what the Vernissage in Yerevan is like.
Prices for souvenirs at the Vernissage market
Prices obviously vary depending on what you go there for, but generally speaking it’s not too expensive. You can easily leave the Vernissage with a bunch of different authentic souvenirs after spending less than 40 EUR. But, I strongly advise you to be bold and engage in negotiations, it’s a solid part of the whole experience.
Bargaining is easy – just be nice, smile, and show the vendor you know your game. I also put some bargaining tips and vocabulary for you in my post about cheap shopping in Yerevan. Make sure to check it out, to save some money. Alternatively, ask a local friend or your guide to accompany you, to avoid paying “tourist prices” for everything. It doesn’t happen that often, but better be prepared.
Dalan souvenir shop in Yerevan
My next favorite place to shop for souvenirs and presents in Yerevan is the Dalan souvenir shop on 12, Abovyan street. Here you can find thousands of handmade items that would cater any taste. Wooden dolls or statues, ceramic or clay items, handmade accessories and amulets, metal and stone items, leather and textile, even paintings – basically any kind of outcome of Armenian creativity. It’s also a very eclectic place, filled with a unique atmosphere, so don’t miss it out.
Souvenir prices at Dalan shop
With such a wide variety of items at display, the prices vary quite a lot as well, but here are a couple of examples of how much things cost here:
|Type of souvenir||Price|
|Small ceramic plate||6000 AMD (12 EUR)|
|Traditional Armenian coffee pot (jazzve)||7000 AMD (14 EUR)|
|Mid-size traditional textile doll||10000 AMD (20 EUR)|
|Handmade wooden jewelry box||14000 AMD (27 EUR)|
Martiros Saryan street (hipster area)
If you are looking for something more modern, but still authentically Armenian and handmade, then you’ll probably love having a long walk down Martiros Saryan street. Because it is increasingly becoming one of the hippest areas in Yerevan, a lot of small shops and cafes are popping up in this street every day. A lot of young creators offer their own designer clothes and accessories here. So, just have a stroll and check different shops out.
I personally find particularly interesting the Bow-X store, which specializes in handmade bow-ties and socks. The patterns are unique and beautiful, and you can often also find traditional Armenian ones among them. You can find their store on 2, Martiros Saryan street in Yerevan.
ArmAs wine shop
Armenia is famous for its amazing wine culture. So, it won’t come as a surprise if I tell you that a bottle of good Armenian wine would make a very nice souvenir. Also, it can go for an original present. Especially, once you see the variety of bottle shapes these wines come in. Truly, some of them resemble an artwork more so than a wine bottle.
I recommend you Armenian dry wines of one of my favorite brands – ArmAs, because they have a wide selection of different wines produced locally, and with the best Armenian traditions in mind. They also offer different wine-related handmade souvenirs. You can find their branded store in 2/5, Abovyan street, just where the Northern avenue meets Abovyan street.
Prices for an average bottle vary between 4000 and 13500 AMD (8-26 EUR). But my favorit is ArmAs Karmrahyut Reserve, which comes at around 12000 AMD (23 EUR).
Other wine options as souvenirs from Yerevan
If you are looking for a bit more affordable option or a wider selection from different producers, just check out any major supermarket in Yerevan. Also, I recommend you considering Koor, Karas and Takar wines.
If you like sweeter options, go for Areni semi-sweet wines. Undoubtedly, pomegranate wine is a pretty unique Armenian specialty, so, definitely don’t miss out on that one. Imagine the faces of your friends back at home when you present them wine made of pomegranates.
Mulberry vodka can be a great souvenir too!
If you are more inclined towards hard liquor, then consider special Armenian spirit made of mulberry – it’s called ‘Tuti oghi’. It’s typically sold on the isle with other spirits and it looks like vodka (‘oghi’ in Armenian). You’ll also quickly discover that there is a wide variety of ‘oghi’ made of different fruits, including figs, cornelian cherry, pears and others.
Whichever option you decide to go with, keep in mind that the amount of alcohol you can transport on airplane is limited. Depending on your destination, you can typically transport no more than 2 litres, or slightly over 0.5 gallon, all together per passenger.
Pnduk: nuts are probably the best souvenir you can bring from Yerevan
Nuts and dried fruit make a great souvenir from Armenia, especially when you see how beautifully they can be arranged on special wooden plates. These arranged plates look so pretty you even feel pity to open them and eat the content.
Now, it’s true that if you want to buy nuts, I’d primarily recommend you check out the post with my top spots for street shopping in Yerevan. However, the shop I’m going to tell you about here is absolutely worth visiting too! One of the best places to buy nuts, dried fruit and above-mentioned arranged plates is the Pnduk store, located in 24, Mesrop Mashtots Ave.
As soon as you enter you immediately feel like you’re in some surreal space, a kingdom of nuts if you wish! Delicious smell is everywhere, baskets with all kinds of nuts cover the whole area of the store and on the top shelves you can see those arranged plates mounted as a symbol of pride of the shop-keeper.
Final thoughts on buying souvenirs in Yerevan
If you want to save memories connected with Yerevan, buying authentic souvenirs is a great way to do that. I listed out the best places to shop for souvenirs in Yerevan, but this is simply my own opinion, limited by how much time I had to explore those places. I’m sure you’ll find a ton of other interesting little venues and street sellers in Yerevan whose handicraft you’ll love. If you’d prefer shopping for souvenirs specifically in brick and mortar souvenir shops around Yerevan, then follow that link where I put together a list of the best ones I found.
Well, that’s it! This was my selection of best places to buy souvenirs in Yerevan. I hope this post helped you plan your shopping better. If it did, please don’t forget to let me know! You can tweet or instagram your pictures from these shops to me with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I love hearing from my readers! I wish you the best souvenir shopping experience in Yerevan!
Featured image credit: Photo by Armineaghayan on Wikimedia (CC)