As Yerevan is a relatively new destination on the global travel map, our touristic infrastructure is nothing like in the major European cities. We don’t have countless souvenir shops on the main streets of Yerevan. In fact, a lot of shopping is done in open air markets. But if you are looking for some decent, clean shops that offer a range of authentic Armenian souvenirs, you won’t be disappointed anyway. In this post I’m going to take you through some of the best souvenir shops in Yerevan. Let’s keep you away from the dust of the markets and uncomfortable price bargaining.
Don’t forget to let me know on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips if you find these tips for souvenir shops useful. I love hearing from travelers visiting my country! Ok, let’s look at this.
Vernissage – a hidden gem among souvenir shops in Yerevan
My top recommendation for a souvenir shop in Yerevan is called Vernissage. Not to be confused with the Vernissage open air market, that I wrote about in my post about the best places to buy souvenirs from. Vernissage souvenir shop is a real hidden gem among souvenir shops in Yerevan. The thing is, it is located in an underground shopping mall that is often being missed by visitors.
The address of the Vernissage souvenir shop, or rather that of the shopping mall where the shop is located, is 6/2, North Avenue. Check it on Google maps following the link to get a rough idea of where it is. Once you come to the North Avenue, find an elevator in the middle of it. That is one of the entrances to the “Tashir Street” Shopping Gallery – the underground mall the souvenir shop is located in. Take the elevator down to the mall and then look for the sign that says Vernissage.
Don’t miss handmade leather souvenirs
At the Vernissage souvenir shop you can find an amazing variety of different handmade items. Think anything from jewelry to apparel, little statues and home décor items. Using this opportunity, I’d like to particularly recommend you paying attention to the display of MARUT handmade leather wallets and accessories.
MARUT is all about superb quality, beautiful colours, and patterns ranging from very traditional to abstract modern. All items produced under this brand are of local production. In fact, I had a chance to work with the artist behind the brand – he’s a very diligent guy who revives centuries-old techniques in his craft.
Vernissage also represents other local brands. That way the offer at display is really wide, which makes it absolutely worth visiting. The prices also vary – when shopping for souvenirs here you can spend anywhere between 5 and 500 EUR. It depends on what you want to buy and what kind of materials were used to make your chosen souvenir.
IrinExArt souvenir shop with good ceramics and rings
While you are still on the North Avenue, find the building with a weird address – 10, 3/1. I’m not making this up! 🙂 Check it on Google maps following that link. The souvenir shop you will find here is called IrinExArt and the entrance is on the main street. You will notice that they have a café on the second floor, but that’s not why I recommend you this shop.
At IrinExArt they have some of the most distinct ceramic statues and small jewelry I’ve seen in Armenia. Very local, very artisanal, very authentic! If you are a fan of ceramic items or metal rings with intriguing designs – this is the place for you. I think those can make a great souvenir from Armenia. And if you don’t like anything from these categories, there is plenty of other types of souvenirs that they offer as well.
Sonsation – perfect wooden souvenirs from Armenia
Sonsation shop is, in fact, a gift shop. Nevertheless, I think their offer is full of items that can make an amazing souvenir from Yerevan. Especially if you are not too much into old-fashion jewelry and random statues or magnets. If, instead, you prefer something more modern and functional, then definitely check out the Sonsation shop.
They focus on items predominantly made of wood or fabric, mostly handmade and produced locally. They work with several young Armenian brands. So, as a result, they offer a bunch of funny, quirky items like pins, gift sets, eye masks, Christmas tree decorations and so on and so forth.
The place has a very green and sustainable vibe, but it’s also very hip and modern. I think that explains why they choose 4, Pushkin street as their location – it’s one of the most hip streets in Yerevan.
Dalan – a souvenir shop inside an art gallery
If you are taking a stroll on one of the oldest streets in Yerevan – Abovyan street, find the building number 12. Here you will see a small art gallery called Dalan, and inside they run one of the most sensory overwhelming souvenir shops I’ve ever seen in Yerevan. In a good way!
The word ‘dalan’ in Armenian describes a path to the inner yard of the building. And, that’s exactly what the construction of this souvenir shop represents. This tiny, very cozy shop is filled with an abundance of handmade crafts and jewelry made by local craftsmen. The atmosphere is simply magical thanks to the variety of colours and symbolism displayed all around.
The offer of souvenirs in this shop ranges from items of more traditional Armenian craftsmanship to small pieces of art executed in rather modern fashion by contemporary artists. Whether you’re looking to buy a piece of traditional jewelry as a souvenir or something more mainstream like a magnet with Yerevan’s skyline – check out Dalan.
Souvenir shop at Cafesjian Center for the Arts
My next best souvenir shop in Yerevan is still going to keep you within the art space. If you are an art aficionado, you will love visiting the Cafesjian Center for the Arts and its little souvenir shop.
It is at the Cascade, and there is no way you can visit Yerevan without checking out the Cascade monument. So, since you’re going to pass by this art center anyway, pay it a visit. And of course, don’t forget to check out the souvenir shop on their premises. You can find it in 10, Tamanyan street.
Since the center itself is focused on contemporary art, their souvenir shop is very much in the same realm. Here you can find a wide variety of decorative souvenirs like ceramic statues, dolls and tiny paintings. Nevertheless, many useful items designed by Armenian artisans are also at display – scarves, jewelry, eyeglass cases and many others.
You won’t find cheap and tacky kind of plastic nonsense here. Overall, the prices are slightly higher than in other souvenir shops on this list. However, here you know for sure you are buying something of high artistic value and quality. Another cool thing about this souvenir shop is that they provide international delivery. So, if you decide to purchase a larger item (like a painting, for example), they can deliver it to your home country.
Urartu souvenir shop – tiny but worth a visit
Slightly less fancy, but equally strategically located just next to the Cascade monument is a souvenir shop called Urartu. You can find it in 6/1 Tamanyan street. It’s a small shop that offers quite interesting local souvenirs with traditional Armenian symbols on them, like Ararat mountain, monasteries, fruits etc. However, they also have a sizable selection of more random stuff, like key chains, mugs etc.
If you are looking for “generic” souvenirs like pencils, magnets, thimbles etc., you may want to visit it. Not my cup of tea to be honest, but some of my friends insist that a magnet from every visited destination is a must. 🙂 And who am I to judge people’s tastes, rights? Despite being somewhat tacky, most of the items are indeed sourced locally and can be a good budget option. You can also use a 10% discount here if you have a Yerevan Card, which I write more about in this post. (coming soon).
And yes, don’t miss carpet shops and read my blog post on Armenian carpet history!
Final thoughts on the best souvenir shops in Yerevan
These are my top picks for the best souvenir shops in Yerevan. I hope this post will help you avoid all the imported “plastic nonsense” you don’t want to spend your money on. I’m a strong believer in supporting the local artists and creators when I buy something while traveling. I think it’s the right thing to do.
If I managed to help you at least a bit, let me know! You can tweet or instagram your souvenir pictures to me with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I love hearing from you! And if you feel like you need something more affordable than what you could read about in this post, check out this other piece I wrote about cheap shopping in Yerevan. It might come handy!
Featured image credit: Photo by Vazgen Harutyunyan on Unsplash (CC)
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