The official language is Armenian, a separate branch of the Indo-European language family. The Armenian letters are radically different from the letters of other languages. Generally the state buildings and public places are also marked with Latin-letter signboards. Besides Armenian, Russian is also widely used, and many can communicate in English, too.
The state religion in Armenia is Christianity which was adopted in 301 AD. The religion is deeply and strongly rooted here.
The majority of the Armenians living in Armenia belong to the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox church. The head of the church is the Catholicos of All Armenians, who resides in Holy Echmiadzin.
Armenia Standard Time is 4 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+4). Starting from 2012 Armenia has abolished daylight saving time.
The national currency of Armenia is called "Dram" (the code is AMD). It was put into circulation in 1993. There are banknotes of 1000, 5000, 20000, 50000, 100000 Dram denomination. There are also coins of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 Dram denomination. Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and currency exchange offices throughout the city.
The Armenian banking system consists of 21 commercial banks, the activity of which is controlled by the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia. The banks in Yerevan are open from 10 am to 4 pm on week-days and from 10 am to 3 pm on Saturdays, without lunch breaks. The ATMs can be found on all the main streets of Yerevan.
Holidays and Non-working Days
Both public and religious holidays are celebrated in Armenia. The shops and restaurants are generally open also on holidays. The following holidays are non-working:
Christmas and New Year (from December 31 to January 6),
Army Day - January 28,
The International Women's Day - March 8,
Labour Day - May 1,
Victory and Peace Day - May 9,
Republic Day - May 28,
Constitution Day - July 5,
Independence Day - September 21.
April 24 is also a non-working day - the commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide victims.
Armenia has two major airports. The main airport is Zvartnots International Airport, which is located at a distance of about 12 km from the centre of Yerevan, while the second one is situated in Gyumri. There are flights to and from Yerevan from more than 50 cities of the world, including
Moscow, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Rome, London, Beirut, Saint Petersburg, Tehran, Milan, Warsaw, Istanbul etc.
The following means of public transportation are available in Armenia:
Metro. Yerevan subway system has one line stretching from the north to the south of the city with 10 stations. The fare is 100 AMD.
Buses. There are buses running in major directions. The fare is 100 AMD.
Minibuses. 12-15 seater minibuses run in almost every direction. The fare is 100 AMD.
Taxi Services. There are many taxi service offices, which accept orders by phone and they offer comfortable cars. The fare is 100 AMD per km (the minimum fare is 600 AMD).
The post offices in Armenia work every day from 9 am to 6 pm. Sunday is a day-off. One of the central post offices is located at the Republic Square, opposite the Government building.
The country code is 374, Yerevan city code is 10.
Outgoing international calls can be made by dialing 00 followed by the country code, the city code and the number.
There are 3 mobile operators - "Beeline", "VivaCell", "Orange", functioning over almost the entire territory of Armenia, and their cards can be purchased at Zvartnots International Airport, at the offices of these operators or at the big stores, having the passport copy. The cards provide 3G connection and high speed Internet. For making calls by the cell phone to the fixed-line number in Yerevan it is necessary to dial 010 followed by the number.
The electricity in Armenia is 220 volt, 50 Hz , as in almost all of Europe.
The Armenian socket standard is CEE. The outlet adaptors for the standards of different countries can be purchased in almost all home appliances and electronics stores in Yerevan.
The traditional Armenian cuisine has a large variety of richly flavoured dishes. Fresh vegetables and meat are among the most favourite food products. No Armenian celebratory table can be imagined without the most favourite barbecue, kyufta, dolma or ghapama. The dinner party foresees a great ritual, starting from its preparatory process until the last moment at the table. The numerous restaurants in Yerevan offer a unique selection of local dishes. There are also many restaurants serving the dishes of different internationally recognized cuisines.
Tipping is customary for the services rendered by drivers, guides, porters and waiters. It constitutes 5 to 10% of the total price of the services provided.