Armenia has a lot of unique locations to offer to its visitors. You will surely need more than a week to explore every hidden gem of Yerevan but I suppose you’re only here for a short period of time. So, here you can find the list of all the places that are truly off the beaten track, and worth seeing. Have fun enjoying those gems!
Below are 9 hidden gems in Yerevan you just can’t miss.
- Books 1512 – the most beautiful bookstore in Yerevan
- Art Kvartal – where art and creativity meet
- Kond District – the oldest neighborhood in town
- Kond pedestrian tunnel to Hrazdan gorge and the children’s railroad
- Mirzoyan library
- Gum market – where food is free
- Blue Mosque – the only operating mosque in Armenia
- Dine in nature at El Garden
- Voch luys voch mut – No light no darkness
So, let’s look at the list one by one and see what makes each of these locations a hidden gem in Yerevan. When you visit those locations don’t forget to share with me your experiences on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. Looking forward to them!
Books 1512 – the most beautiful bookstore in Yerevan
If you’re a book lover then Books 1512 bookstore (see the location) is a must-visit place for you. Besides the literature, paintings and souvenirs, the interior of this gem of a bookstore will definitely amaze you. It has a unique and ancient look to it that attracts people to look around the bookstore and take something with them. You’ll see very old bookshelves and instantly get in the mood to take a book to read. And, not many people know about this so it truly deserves to be called a hidden gem located in the center of Yerevan.
Another cool fact about Books 1512, one of the oldest bookstores in Yerevan, is that most of the books are donated. So, when people no longer use their books, they simply donate them to the store instead of throwing them away. Isn’t it amazing? Due to this act, now we have a truly amazing gem in Yerevan. As at this point, you’re probably fascinated by the bookstore, I suggest you check out this post for more pictures, inspiration and customer experience.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 6 PM
Art Kvartal – where art and creativity meet
This hidden gem will surely amaze you, as it did me! Art Kvartal (see the location) is an art complex with a gallery, handmade shops, an art school, and even a winery located in the center of Yerevan. The purpose of this place is to connect modern artists and show their work. Interestingly enough, you can even meet those artists there as they also live in that area. There are about 30 artists residing there and creating art for us and then showing it through exhibitions taking place at Art Kvartal.
The building itself has a history of 150 years so it’s very old and vintage styled. Surely, you will appreciate this hidden gem for its history and artsy mood. You definitely cannot miss this place especially when the entrance is free and everyone is welcome there. They even organize some events, tours and also have a stage for musical bands to perform, so it is definitely interesting. Trust me, this is a very unique location for you to check out! 😉
Opening hours: Every day from 10 AM to 11 PM
Kond District – the oldest neighborhood in town
Even though Yerevan does not officially have an old town like many European cities, Kond (see the location) is the oldest quarter of our town. When walking in the Kond district you will see lots of architectural remnants that will take you back to history. It is still a livable area for people to this day despite the ancient look it has. You will find the Saint Hovhannes church in the district which is still operating until now. However, in the small and narrow streets of Kond, you will sense a feeling of abundance because of the poor road conditions and infrastructure.
If by any chance you like taking street photos and appreciate ancient buildings, you will surely find this place a fascinating gem. There are also many street arts and murals on the walls. So, for a couple of hours strolling it’s a great place to visit. Also, check out my separate post about Kond to learn even more about what makes it such a hidden gem.
Kond pedestrian tunnel to Hrazdan gorge and the children’s railroad
This place is another hidden gem next to the Kond district that connects the city center to the Hrazdan gorge. Walking through the pedestrian tunnel (see the location) you will see some street art and take cool pictures. The area is really calm and perfect for couples or families to go for walks and breathe some fresh air in Yerevan. Bonus: it takes you directly to another hidden gem so you kill two birds with one stone.
Right when you get out of the tunnel you will see the children’s railway (see the location). This is a true gem to me personally because I have so many good memories of my childhood from this place. I used to spend lots of quality time with my family at the children’s railroad and the amusement park located nearby. Lucky for us the railroad is still functioning to this day although not many people visit here anymore. So, you’ll probably have the whole area to yourself and fully enjoy it.
These places are perfect for photographers as they can take really good pictures in every season just by strolling around the area. There is an amusement park, fairytale castle, architecture, old trains, trees, a river, a beautiful tunnel, and street art. What else would you need huh? 😀
Many cool people visit this hidden gem in central Yerevan which makes it not hidden anymore 🙂 But I absolutely love this place so I had to share it with you. Mirzoyan library (see the location) is a great place for people who like books, vintage style, photography galleries, and drinking wine. This place is an amazing combination of a library and a cafe. The old-fashioned atmosphere creates a really cozy environment for reading and, if you wish, spending a good time with friends.
Opening hours: Every day from 12 PM to 12 AM
Gum market – where food is free
If you ever stay hungry when admiring the beautiful touristic attractions in Yerevan the Gum market (see the location) is where you can go next. Here, you will encounter many generous Armenians that will let you food-taste everything before you buy anything. Gum is also the best local market in Yerevan and always has the freshest produce. Those travelers who happen to know about Gum allocate at least a couple of hours for the visit. Here you can try some national food like dried or candied fruit, sujukh (Armenian snickers), ttu lavash, etc.
You will probably leave the market with a full belly and spend no penny if you want. But, I think it would be hard to resist the temptation and leave without buying anything. Besides, don’t be an a**hole, don’t just come here for free food. 🙂 I am sure you’ll love some of the national produce after you try them and will end up coming back to this hidden gem in Yerevan. See the video below showing travelers experiencing the market during their visit.
Opening hours: Every day from 11 AM to 5 PM
Blue Mosque – the only operating mosque in Armenia
While being the first Christian country in the world, we still have an Islamic place of worship located in a central area of Yerevan. The Blue Mosque (see the location) is mainly used by the Iranian community residing in our capital city, but it is also visited by lots of Iranians visiting Yerevan for city breaks. By the way, if you’re one of them, check out my post about Persian Tours in Yerevan, which I think might be quite interesting for you.
Ok, back to the topic. This building comes from the 18th century and looks amazing both outside and inside. The mosque is also a symbol representing the friendly relationship Armenians and Iranians have.
I want to mention that regardless of your religious beliefs you can be a guest at this hidden gem. And, by the way, you can check out more about the significance of this mosque in my 6 unique places in Yerevan post. I am sure learning more about the place will create a desire to just go and see it.
Opening hours: Every day from 10 AM to 1 PM and from 3 PM to 6 PM
Cost: Free of charge
Tips: If you want to enter the mosque you should have the appropriate dress meaning you cannot wear shorts, open shoulders, or a tank top for men. Women should also wear a head covering.
Dine in nature at El Garden
El Garden (see the location) is one of my favorite spots in Yerevan and I am sure it will become yours too. It is a very nice place for people to relax, be in nature, work or just hang out with friends. I can’t help myself but mention that you probably can’t find a better place to organize a romantic date for your partner. This place gives you the feeling of being in nature because you basically dine under the trees. This is a true gem in Yerevan and is a simply beautiful place that steals everyone’s heart. You can also visit other romantic places in Armenia and add more love to your trip regardless of your relationship status 😁.
Opening hours: Every day from 10 AM to 1 AM
Voch luys voch mut – No light no darkness
Ok, people, I know, this is just a coffee shop. But bear with me! This coffee shop is unique because it used to be a car garage (well, it still looks like one) and now it’s a coffee shop. Just appreciate the genius of the use of the space! Gosh, my mind was blown when I saw this. The location isn’t an obvious one so you’ll have to find it. Well, this list is about hidden gems… Duh! 🙂
Opening hours: Every day from 9 AM to 8 PM
Final thoughts on hidden gems in Yerevan
I hope you enjoyed reading about all the hidden gems I mentioned in this post. Of course, Armenia has a lot more to offer. There are many beautiful and unique places you can visit during your stay. Some are even UNESCO heritage sites so, definitely don’t miss them if you have time.