Yerevan, Armenia
by Vard Mov
The ‘Beyond the Beaten Path’ blog series is my attempt to share the not-so-obvious spots that I’ve been shown that make places truly worth visiting.

Yerevan’s a little different.
Yerevan–the capital city of Armenia, with the Soviet-era city center and the breathtaking view of Mount Ararat in the distance–is one of the must-see cities in the world. It’s also my home.
As a native, I’ve always found tourism in Armenia to be interesting. From German religious groups flocking to see the first Christian nation, to Russians visiting the spa town of Dilijan where everyone speaks their language, to neighboring Middle Easterners who come to drink, Yerevan is a city alive with a rich culture, unique architecture, an amazing food scene–and much more.

Here are some of my favorite spots.

If you’re looking for a fun atmosphere and chic, tasty bites ranging from Japanese to American BBQ, you need to check out KONG. As a foodie, I would say it’s also the best cocktail bar in Yerevan. As a Style Coach, I would say that everything–down to the LED-lit bathrooms and branded king cubes–was thoughtfully designed.
A play on the words tapas–Spanish-style small platesand Hayastan–the Armenian word for Armenia, Tapastan is truly a spot worth checking out. Merging classic Spanish tapas with Armenian food makes these plates unique and intriguing, with tons of vegetarian and vegan options (both cultures love their veggies!). The excellent wine bar paired with the rustic atmosphere gives Tapastan a classic, old-timey feel and ties together the whole culinary experience.

Speaking of wine, I’m sure many of you don’t know that my little country of Armenia is considered by some to be where wine was first invented. Some legend, some fact (I think that the oldest wine barrels were actually discovered by an archaeologist in neighboring Georgia, but who’s really to say!)The Bible states that Noah first invented wine at the base of Mount Ararat. This is all to say that Yerevan and the nearby rural regions have some amazing vineyards. Toushpa and Momik’s Heritage Vineyards are some of my favorites, with amazing views and great tastings.
If you’re into something a little harder and a little higher, check our Sky by Verev. Verev meaning ‘up’, the obvious draw here is the spectacular rooftop views that overlook the rest of Yerevan’s nightlife. But Sky is so much more. With a refined menu and whimsical, deeply creative cocktails, this spot feels like it should be featured on Chef’s Table or the likes. It also turns into a dance party some nights, if that’s your speed.

Jellyfish doesn’t fit neatly into any category–and I believe that’s what they’re going for. Part pool, part retreat and part bar/restaurant, this ‘tropical island’ feels like a calming oasis in sunny, mountainous Yerevan. I love that architecture makes you feel like the pool is actually the ocean–the entrance is a seamless slope from the sandy beach and that same sand, which should be imported from the Mediterranean, lines the floor of the pool, to suspend the illusion. Try to find a night that they are having a special event to go–that’s where it gets real.
If it’s family fun you seek, check out Yerevan Park–the ferris wheel is an awesome way to get those city views during the day.

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the shopping! Vernissage is an amazing flea market where you can find just about anything from traditional Armenian goods to vintage jewelry. If you’re looking to get your fashionista on, check out Yerevan Mall, Metronome Shopping Center and Tashir Street Shopping Gallery. Beyond the global fashion brands everyone knows, we are lucky to have some of the most chic, cutting-edge designers in the region–check out Platform, Faina Fashion and Elegant Armenia, to name a few.

Not but certainly not least, end any warm evening with a stroll at the Cascade Complex–it’s a gorgeous waterfall-esque sight with world-renown sculptures and more. Grab a glass of wine, or a hookah and enjoy.

You know I couldn’t pack in all my Yerevan favorites in just one post, so stay tuned for part 2. Do you know some lesser-known spots that I didn’t mention? Share them in the comments so we can make sure to write about them very soon ;)
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