As Armenia is opening up to tourism more and more, people with different ethnic backgrounds visit our country. Somewhat logically some may ask themselves if Armenia is a safe country for them. Indian travelers make up an ever-larger portion of foreign travelers here year on year. So, I thought you might wonder if Armenia is safe for Indian tourists. You will see that Armenia has quite an appealing and favorable travel safety rank if you search on the web. But let’s look at travel safety from the perspective of a visitor from India.
Armenia is a safe place with low rates of ethnic discrimination and violent acts against them. The overall crime rates are pretty low with relatively few cases of pick-pocketing, burglary, and theft. Also, the presence of the Indian community in Armenia states that they can surely feel safe here during their visit.
Now, let’s have a quick look at the other important stuff that can be useful for Indian visitors to know before they arrive in Armenia.
Now, moving forward with the blog post you will get to know more about Armenia as a safe travel destination. You will find out some statistics regarding the crime rates, especially the hate crime based on religion. Also, learn more about the Indian community in Armenia and what travelers think about their experiences here. In the end, I have some handy travel safety tips that will make your visit more secure. If you’re a traveler from India please don’t forget to share your experiences with me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
Is Armenia a safe country overall?
As I mentioned earlier, Armenia is considered to be a very safe country. It is quite unlikely for a traveler to face crimes during their visit to Armenia. To make this claim more credible, I have some brief statistics for you. This chart compares Armenia’s crime and safety indices to other very safe countries.
Crime and Safety Indices by City 2022 (source: Numbeo)
After looking at the general overview of the numbers above, I hope you have one more reason to feel safe in Armenia. Some of these countries have the highest safety rankings in the world. As we see Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, is even ranked below Vienna in terms of crime rate. Note that Vienna consistently ranks among the top 5 of the most livable cities by The Economist. So, it’s a pretty high benchmark for us, Armenians.
Officially, the police have reported 19 recorded and 164 prosecuted hate crime cases in 2020. This statistic is stated in OSCE hate crime report. But for some reason, there is no detailed specification on the motives of those crimes. Besides, there are a total of 33 incidents reported by other sources. Out of these cases, only one was triggered by racist and xenophobic beliefs. So, most of the crimes in Armenia are not caused because of religion, skin color, or gender. So, I am confident when I say ethnic Indians can feel safe in Armenia.
In addition, governmental bodies work on a new Criminal Code. This will improve hate crime provisions which will enter into force in July 2022. Moreover, the Ministry of Justice is currently collaborating with the Council of Europe on a project. It intends to help national institutions in enhancing the process of data collection on discrimination, hate crime, and hate speech.
Although Armenia is already a quite safe destination, you can see the country is still working on attracting more and ethnically diverse tourists such as Indians. I’m very optimistic about the country’s efforts to welcome more people from all over the world.
Armenians love Indians / Indians feel safe in Armenia
Over the past years, the number of Indian expatriates has grown which helped create a community here. As education in Armenia can be cheap for Indians some students consider moving and residing here to continue their studies (usually they get into medical schools). Also, this is going to sound funny, but I have to mention this… Armenians really enjoy watching Indian TV series, and various dramatic soap operas! 🙂 That’s also why you might notice some extra love towards Indian nationals here.
Even though Indians enroll in programs where the language of instruction is English, many of them learn the local language. Dr. Shafi Al Caprio is a great example of that. He came to Armenia as a medical student from India. During his stay, he learned Armenian and started doing stand-up comedy as a side gig. He’s so successful in Armenia that he’s even featured as one of the official actors on our public television. Here is a quote from him.
“Indians come to Armenia because Armenia is a good place and India has many similarities with Armenia. And our brothers and sisters say that it is peaceful here and everything is cheap.”– Shafi Al Caprio, cardiac surgeon, actor, stand-up comedian
It is also important to note that some Indians who live here already own their businesses. And in fact, they run them quite successfully. Most of them are in the restaurant industry. Here are some of the popular places where you can enjoy authentic Indian cuisines; Indian Mehak Restaurant & Bar, Karma Restaurant, India Palace, Mihul Indian Restaurant, etc. If you want to try this food and enjoy it at home, you can use delivery apps available in Armenia.
What do Indian travelers say about safety in Armenia?
As it is always nice to hear feedback about a country from real people who traveled there. I decided to look at some reviews and present them to you. Please take a look at the ones I chose where Indian travelers share their honest thoughts and authentic experiences they had in Armenia.
“Hi, Armenia is one of the safest countries I visited and I am sure that you would have a wonderful time there. Never fret, adventure always comes from spontaneity!”
Based on my research, lots of Indians were happy with their stay in Armenia. They had positive impressions and even plan on having more visits in the near future. That’s mostly because of the delicious food, hospitality, and warmth of Armenians.
“Hi, Armenia is a country of families. It’s one of the safest countries, so you really do not have to worry. Only keep an eye on your bags, personal things…because in every country there are bad and good people.”
General Travel Safety Tips
To help you with your travel, here I have some general travel tips for you to keep your visit as safe as possible. Hope you find it useful!
- Write down emergency info: In case you are in an emergency situation, you better have some contact information to know whom to reach out to for help. The emergency contact number of the Indian Embassy in Armenia is +374 55 009 118.
- Get travel insurance: Everyone should have some kind of health insurance while traveling but you can also ensure your belongings especially when you have expensive stuff with you.
- Lock up your valuables/cash: Don’t have all your cash and valuables in one place as anything can happen and you do not want to end up losing your important documents or expensive stuff. Your job is to minimize the likelihood of theft happening to you, even in countries like Armenia where theft is extremely rare.
- Ask locals for advice: As locals are usually friendly, you might want to ask them about the sketchy neighborhoods to avoid, the best places to eat, or taxi fares. Hotel front desk employees can be a good source as well. By the way, I’m sure many Indian travelers will appreciate learning a bit more about vegetarian restaurants in Yerevan. Also, if you’re a Muslim Indian you might like my post about halal food in Armenia, and the one where I look into the topic of safety in Armenia for Muslim visitors in particular.
Regardless of how much research you do about a country when you actually visit it is usually different than you expected. When you’re at the destination you always find something unique or strange for you. I hope I was able to present a detailed and grounded base for you to know that there is no need to worry about safety in Armenia, especially if you’re from India. My female readers might want to also read this post about the safety of solo female travelers in Armenia.
I am sure you will experience Armenia’s hospitality the moment you arrive in Armenia and get the feeling of safety when you’re walking in the streets of Yerevan. Most likely you will find something fascinating about Armenia and plan on having a second visit as we have a lot to offer. Don’t forget to share your first-hand experience and thoughts on what you liked and didn’t like with me on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I am looking forward to it!
Featured image credits: Angshu Purkait on Unsplash