Every traveler wants to take something unique and special from the country they visit. Usually, it’s done in the form of souvenirs and when you’re in Armenia it’s hard to find something from the multiple options available. So, I came up with unique gift ideas I believe you can bring back from Armenia as a memory for yourself or your loved ones!
What to bring back from Armenia?
- Armenian wine and brandy souvenirs
- Dried fruits and fruit leather
- Nairian beauty cosmetics
- Armenian carpets
- Pair of socks or scarf featuring Armenian art
- Local musical instrument duduk
- Handmade chess or backgammon
- Ceramics and glass
As I share with you some insights on the best things you can bring back from Armenia, I want you to share your opinions on my top picks. So, I will look forward to your messages on Instagram or Twitter or you can simply use the #ArmeniaTravelTips hashtag. I will find you either way! Now, keep reading to discover my list of the best Armenian souvenirs.
Armenian wine and brandy souvenirs
If you are looking for a rather unusual souvenir, you should definitely consider taking home a bottle of authentic Armenian wine or brandy. Both are a statement of the national pride of Armenians and come with interesting flavors and approaches. Make sure you go for a bottle of Ararat (brandy) or Areni (wine), as those are the most wanted souvenirs in the country!
You can buy those in any store and supermarket in the country, as well as in the manufacturing plants themselves. Prices range from $3-$4 per bottle to infinity. 🙂 I highly recommend visiting the premises of the Yerevan Brandy Company (read more about it here) and also the Areni Wine Factory, where you can buy these souvenir items. Besides, of course, here you can also get acquainted with the centuries-old history and secrets of making these divine beverages.
Dried fruits, sweet Armenian sujuk and fruit leather
Armenians love drying fruits and storing them for the colder season to eat when there are no fresh fruits available. These usually serve as quick snack options for an energy boost. With regards to the taste of dried fruits, sweet Armenian sujuk and fruit leather you can’t really go wrong as everyone would like at least something from the selection. And, that makes a perfect gift idea to take with you from Armenia.
You can get those at pretty much any supermarket and also at the Gum market where you can even taste test them before you buy. Isn’t that nice of Armenians? By the way, you can read more about finding and choosing good dried fruits at this link. Hope you’ll find it useful!
Have you ever heard about Jazzve? If not, let me tell you what this is! Jazzve is an Armenian coffee pot that comes with interesting embellishments carved on its surface. And, sometimes those engravings are very specific to Armenian culture. Mostly, it features a unique flair due to the attention to detail when handcrafting it. This item is available in almost all stores throughout Armenia, as this is a must-have item in any home.
Nairian beauty cosmetics
If you are looking for a useful souvenir, the best choice for you is this organic Armenian skincare brand. “Nairian” has gained a lot of popularity amongst both locals and travelers due to its product’s natural formula that treats your skin gently. And the best part about these cosmetic products is that they are created only from herbs harvested in Armenia!
Still, this is not one of the most affordable Armenian brands, as a CC cream can end up being $50. This is why locals who indulge in such products perceive them as premium skincare products. But surely, buying Nairian products as a present for someone you care about would be highly valued. Anyway, you can find and try their natural products in the center of Yerevan, at 34 Tumanyan street, and maybe even take some back home with you.
Well, in case you didn’t hear already, almost all travelers who visit Armenia go back home with a carpet. Yeah, you’re right, Armenians are famous for their craftsmanship of traditional carpets! At the Megerian Carpet Factory, you will get the chance of taking home a unique Armenian gift in the form of mini-carpets. These handmade objects are particular to Armenia, and the motifs used for their design are unique to our culture. Let’s also not ignore the fact that those rugs are worldwide famous for their quality.
And if you aspire to get the best of your Armenian trip, you can always join one of the classes organized here about how handmade Armenian rugs are created. The master class is around $11 or 5000 AMD. Moreover, you can even opt for buying a full-scale Armenian handmade carpet, which increases in value early. The average cost of such an item is around $500. You can also check out Vernissage for national-inspired but more affordable options to select from.
My personal choice for Armenian souvenirs remains gold and silver jewelry. There are plenty of local markets in Yerevan that will get you in touch with the local craftsmen of such accessories. Check out the big Khorenatsi Gold Market or the Malatia Gold Market, which is a bit farther from the city center. And try to not be shocked by the affordable prices! Being designed locally, there are no hidden fees.
A top recommendation for a place to purchase silver from in Armenia is definitely Vernissage. This place gets you access to a variety of models, along with distinct prices to match all budgets. It is the best souvenir you can bring from this country.
Also, if you want something more on the pricey edge I would suggest you check out the famous Pregomesh jewelry. You’ll find many unique designs that will even take you to the history pages of Armenia. For their ethnic jewelry collection visit their website at the link. And, just for your information, this brand was founded by Sirusho who is one of the Armenian female celebrities (read about her singing career at the link).
Pair of socks or scarf featuring Armenian art
You will be impressed by the quality and texture of the Armenian scarves featuring local artwork and manuscripts. The collections that Ardean and Artuyt offer are gorgeous to me. I think these could be a perfect present for yourself and your loved ones as it’s very special and very Armenian. They will surely get lots of compliments and remind you of Armenia every time you wear them.
And if you’re looking for something fun and artistic I would suggest getting socks from Siroon Goolpa, Zeal socks, Art socks or Dobby socks. They can really make cool and cheap souvenirs to bring back from Armenia. You can even get one for each of your family members and don’t even worry about spending much. Not speaking about the even cooler packaging some of these brands have! 😉
Local musical instrument duduk
If you’ve explored Armenia’s musical past you probably know that Duduk is one of our national instruments. And, I actually believe that even if you don’t know how to play the instrument after listening to the sound of it you will still want to buy it. You can get a huge selection of our local Duduk at Vernissage and just get this as a gift for yourself. You might even learn a couple of notes to play and impress your friends with your skills when you go back home.
Handmade chess or backgammon
Armenians love playing board games in the courtyard with their good old neighbors. It is so typical to old grandpas that it somehow even became a part of our culture. That’s the reason why you’ll find lots of handmade chess or backgammon in the Vernissage flea market.
So, when you visit there don’t forget to look at these products even if you don’t plan to buy them. Who knows you might like these so much that you end up making that purchase from an Armenian craftsman who’s in fact really good at convincing you! 😉
Ceramics and glass
If your luggage allows you and you are sure nothing will break during your travel, it might be a good idea for a ceramic or glass item souvenir. All markets in Yerevan come with an impressive collection of classic and painted glazed accessories, which can become the best reminder of your Armenian trip.
Of course, you don’t have to purchase a bulky ceramic item. There are several smaller items, including a small pomegranate plate or set for spices that can entice your memories of Yerevan. And the best part about ceramics and glass in Armenia is that mythological Armenian stories inspire most of them.
Your top choice for glass accessories might be a small set of cups with Armenia’s map. All dishes or neat figurines can turn out to be valuable gifts upon your return home. You can find such objects at Petak, Vernissage, Dalan art gallery and more places in the city.
Final thoughts on what to bring back from Armenia
No matter what you select to bring back as your Armenian souvenir, I do hope this blog post will help you make the best choice. Our lovely country has plenty to offer, especially when it comes to authentic and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. I suggest you check out my separate posts on the best souvenir shops and the best places to buy souvenirs in Yerevan (beyond the typical environment of shops) if you need more options.
Featured image credit: Tatev Arsh on Unsplash