Yerevan metro, named after Karen Demirchyan, is the most efficient mode of transport in the Armenian capital. That is because our roads can get really congested during rush-hours. Nobody likes to get stuck in the traffic. That is why our subway system is increasingly gaining popularity among locals, and visitors alike. In this post I put together everything you need to know about Yerevan metro – from operating hours and ticket cost to some useful tips on how to use our subway. If you find this info useful, let me know on Instagram or Twitter with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
What is Yerevan metro?
Yerevan metro is a 13 km long rapid transit system in the Armenian capital. After starting its operation in 1981 it grew to connect 10 stations, as of 2022. Two more stations are currently in planning stage. Yerevan metro system offers quick transit to 50000+ passengers daily for the basic fare of 100 AMD (0.2 EUR) per ride.
Yerevan metro operating hours
The operating hours of the Yerevan metro are 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM daily. Individual trains arrive with 4-10 minutes frequency. Time intervals between trains vary throughout the day adjusting to the flow of passengers. Typically, the shortest intervals of 4 minutes are during rush hours. In calmer hours trains arrive every 10 minutes to optimize utilization. Here is a rough guide on frequency of trains on a typical weekday.
|7 AM – 8 AM
|8 AM – 10 AM
|10 AM – 1 PM
|1 PM – 3 PM
|3 PM – 6 PM
|6 PM – 8 PM
|8 PM – 11 PM
Rush-hours in Yerevan metro reflect our lifestyle
In Armenia we typically start and finish our day later than most Europeans. So, the rush-hours of metro usage are also slightly shifted in comparison to the West. The typical 7-8 AM morning rush-hour, familiar to you from most European cities, actually starts at 8 AM here. That is the time when most students rush to their classes. Between 9 AM and 10 AM you typically see working people transiting for work, mostly towards the city center.
The traffic decreases after 10 AM and picks up again around 1 PM. This coincides with office lunch breaks and the time when most classes at Universities end. So, between 1 PM and 3 PM the Yerevan metro is full of students and people using their lunch break to run some errands.
Since most fun activities and municipal offices are located in the city center, this is the area where you can see the most traffic during the mid-day rush-hour. Particularly, the Yeritasardakan metro station gets pretty busy during this time of the day.
And in the evening, around 6 – 8 PM, when many people go home from work, or others want to get to downtown for the evening life, the metro is mostly packed. Again, this is particularly well illustrated in the three central stations – Yeritasardakan, Hanrapetutian Hraparak and Zoravar Andranik.
How to use Yerevan metro?
Using Yerevan metro is very easy. Just follow these 5 steps:
- Buy a plastic token at the entrance to any metro station,
- Insert the token on the front side of the turnstile,
- Pass through the turnstile as soon as it opens,
- Arrive to your destination,
- Just pass through the turnstile – on your way out they open automatically.
The cost of Yerevan metro tickets
Instead of paper tickets, orange plastic tokens are used in Yerevan metro to pay for transit. One token, costs 100 AMD (0.2 EUR). You can buy the tokens at the entrance to any metro station. Look for a simple little kiosk or a desk with an employee of the metro system. These are usually located on the side of the are with turnstiles.
Yerevan metro card
The metro card issued by the Yerevan metro system is a form of a prepaid e-card. It is used for paying for your metro rides. Instead of inserting a token on the front side of a turnstile you can hover the card over an electronic reader. It deducts 100 AMD from your prepaid balance each time you use your metro e-card.
To be entirely honest, I’ve never seen anyone use these cards in Yerevan metro. And every time I tried to get one for myself, I’ve been told they ran out of cards. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with these cards, but it seems like the employees don’t really want to sell them. 🙂 Maybe because they feel like by making these metro cards more popular, they could lose their jobs as vendors of tokens. No idea! But these cards exist – I even found a photo of one on Wikimedia.
Use Yerevan card as a metro pass
If you don’t want to deal with the plastic tokens, there is a much more real and working solution than the metro card – Yerevan Card. Apart from offering a bunch of perks and discounts to visitors of our capital city, Yerevan Card doubles as a Yerevan metro pass. In order to pass through the turnstiles using this card you simply need to hover it over a special sticker on the side of the kiosk next to turnstiles.
I wrote a separate post about Yerevan card (coming soon) and its benefits, so check it out if you want to use a cashless mode of payment for your transit in Yerevan metro.
Yerevan metro map
You can download the latest PDF version of the Yerevan metro map here. It shows all metro stations and nearby attractions worth visiting. Unfortunately, not all stations’ names are written in Latin letters on the grounds of Yerevan’s metro system. So, I intentionally duplicated the names in both Armenian and English transcription. Hopefully this will help you visually match the stations while transiting. You will probably need to keep count of passing metro stations while transiting.
Yerevan metro stations
Currently, Yerevan metro offers transit through 10 operating stations:
- Garegin Nzhdeh
- Sasuntsi David
- Zoravar Andranik
- Hanrapetutian Hraparak (Republic Square)
- Marshal Baghramyan
Nine of the stations are located on a single metro line – see the first nine in the list above. Charbakh, the tenth station, connects with the main line in Shengavit station. But since there is nothing particularly interesting in this area, I don’t think you will ever visit it. So, for most travelers the relevant part of the Yerevan metro is just the main line. Here are some of the stations that you may find something interesting about and therefore want to visit them.
Garegin Nzhdeh station (click to see it on Google Maps) is located on the square that shares the same name – Garegin Nzhdehi Hraparak. The station is named after a prominent Armenian statesman and a military strategist Garegin Nzhdeh. This is one of the main transport hubs in the city and a place where many working-class Armenians come for shopping.
The square around this metro station is full of shops with affordable clothing of higher quality than what you can find in markets. A shopping experience in this area is an authentic showcase of contemporary urban Armenian lifestyle. I wrote about this spot in my other post dedicated to cheap shopping areas in Yerevan, if you want to learn more.
Sasuntsi David metro station is named after a prominent hero of traditional Armenian epos – David of Sasun. His statue is the central dominant of the square above the station. The beautiful building behind the statue is the building of the main train station in Yerevan. It’s a very nice spot for taking epic pictures, so I really recommend checking it out.
Also, in the same post about cheap shopping I mentioned above, you can learn about Tonavachar, a sort of cheap mall-like trade center that is just next to Sasuntsi David metro station. I recommend checking it our if you’re looking for traditional souvenirs for more affordable prices than in the city center.
Zoravar Andranik metro station connects you with the GUM market, which offers the most authentic Armenian street shopping experience in Yerevan. Follow the link to learn more about all the delicious food you can taste and buy here, and a lot more.
Also, Zoravar Andranik station is located in only a 5 min walk from the Saint Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral – the biggest cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic church. A long promenade leads to the elevated building of the cathedral, which makes this spot very popular among those who are hunting the perfect Instagram shot. The cathedral itself doesn’t have a significant historical value, since it has only been constructed in 2001. However, it is a beautiful building totally worth seeing.
Hanrapetutian Hraparak station, also known as The Republic Square, is obviously the one that takes you to the Republic Square – the very heart of the Armenian capital city. The station itself represents an example of prominent Soviet-era architecture with an interesting fountain at the entrance. That alone is a good reason enough to check this metro station out.
While you are here, check out the statue of Aram Manoukian next to the metro entrance. He was a significant community leader and organizer who led the self-defense efforts of the Armenians of Van (a city in modern-day Turkey) during WWI. The statue is colored in three different colours, representing the Armenian national flag.
Also, you can use this metro station to reach the most important attractions in the city center. Think places like the North Avenue, dozens of different museums and galleries and, of course, some of the best restaurants in Yerevan.
Yeritasardakan metro station is located at the North-East of Yerevan city center. Its name can be translated as ‘For youth’ as it serves to a lot of students who travel to this area every day. Several prominent Armenian Universities are located in this neighborhood, which makes the whole area very vibrant and energized.
The building of this metro station has a very interesting architectural design, showcasing a prime example of Soviet-era futuristic vision. Inside the station you can also find a huge bronze statue on the wall, which I find somewhat confusing. Apparently, it represents youth, but to be honest I could never make sense of it. So, a very curious piece worth checking out. Se a section of it in the photo below.
And, of course, being one of the three main central metro stations, Yeritasardakan connects you to a lot of important spots in the city center. From here you can easily walk to the famous Cascade stairs and Cafesjan center for the Arts, visit the Opera and have a walk around its park etc.
Marshal Baghramyan metro station is often missed by travelers, and it is such a pity! In the very close proximity from this station you can find an amazing park called Lovers park. It’s a beautiful Japanese style garden that dates back to the 18th century. It’s a peaceful and serene shelter for those who want to enjoy a calming moment, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can read more about it in my post about most romantic places in Armenia.
Also, just next to the Lovers park you can find the building of the National Assembly, which is a very prominent piece of architecture. You cannot enter the building, unfortunately, but you can have a walk in its park, which is also very nice. I really recommend coming here with your own cup of coffee or tea and just having a stroll. If you want to take my advice, here are some great Starbucks alternatives in Armenia.
Walk down south along the Derenik Demirtchyan Street for about 10 minutes and you will reach Saryan street – the most hip area in Yerevan. This street is full of very cool cafes, pubs and wineries, as well as little shops where young local designers sell their work.
Use metro to reach Kond – Yerevan’s old town
If you are not scared of longer walks, take the Paronyan street and walk South-West from the Marshal Baghramyan metro station. In approximately 20 minutes you will reach the St. Hovhannes church, on the edge of the Kond neighborhood. This is one of the last parts of Yerevan that hasn’t been touched by the big city lifestyle much. I wrote about this ancient neighborhood in my post on the Yerevan’s old town. So, check it out to learn more about the history of Kond and the cool arts scene it has to offer you today.
Even though there is nothing particularly interesting in the neighborhood surrounding the Barekamutyun metro station in Yerevan, it can serve as a good connecting point for the nearby Tumanyan park. If you walk straight down the Kievyan street for about 25 minutes you will reach the park under the bridge. It’s worth visiting, not only because it hosts TUMO, the Centre for Creative Technologies, but also because it offers one of the best views in Yerevan. Follow the link to learn more.
Also, you can find the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert center across the road, which is a very unique building in its structure. And a little farther away, sort of behind this center you can easily find Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide memorial. It’s a must visit for everyone who happens to be in Yerevan.
If you want to see what some of the stations look like before you use Yerevan metro, check out this video from lifepeterburg channel on YouTube.
Yerevan metro expansion plans
As part of Yerevan metro expansion plan, a construction of 3 additional stations is being discussed. In 2019, Artur Meschyan, the chief architect of the Armenian capital, confirmed the plans for the two of them. These new stations will expand the Yerevan metro coverage area further in the North-West direction.
Moreover, over the past years there have been some talks about building an additional metro line to ensure better connectivity of the city center with the North-East neighborhoods of Yerevan. However, these discussions have never resulted in any serious conclusions or plans.
What to keep in mind using Yerevan metro?
We don’t distinguish between S and U lines as most European cities do when it comes to the subway system. Some metro stations of Yerevan metro are above the ground, some are shallow and only a few of them are really deep under the ground. Yet, we refer to all these stations in the same way – metro. You can easily recognize them by the sign of the blue logo – Armenian letter M in a circle. This is what it looks like.
Taking photos inside the metro area is strictly prohibited. I know this is going to sound funny, considering the number of photos I included in this post. But this rule exists, even though it’s not enforced very well. The reason for such a random rule is safety. Since metro is considered a strategic infrastructure object, and Armenia has troubling relationships with some of its neighbors, the government is somewhat protective about this.
You will probably be tempted to take pictures of the colorfully designed carriages with traditional patterns painted on the walls. But I recommend you stay away from trouble.
Don’t hesitate to book accommodation in the areas close to the end station of the main Yerevan metro line. These are in no way unsafe neighborhoods. If you are on a low budget, you can save a lot of money staying in one of these areas. The transit to the city center takes 15 minutes by metro, which contrasts quite a bit with our congested roads. You can read more about different neighborhoods on Yerevan in the other post I wrote. (coming soon)
Yerevan metro – final thoughts
I really hope you will get to experience Yerevan metro – our clean, fast and efficient subway system. It will keep you away from the heat of the daytime in summer and will get you beyond the Yerevan city center in only 15 minutes. Besides having some metro stations that on their own are intriguing examples of architectural genius, most stations serve as a good connecting point to landmarks and points of interest for travelers. Enjoy exploring Yerevan by metro and let me know if you find this post useful – use #ArmeniaTravelTips and hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.
Featured image credit: Photo by Me 🙂 (CC)