The city of Gyumri in Armenia: what to see in Gyumri, what is it famous for and how to get there

Gyumri: what to see in the second capital of Armenia

Gyumri: what to see in the second capital of Armenia

Armenian Gyumri is often compared to Russian St. Petersburg. This is also the second largest city in the country, which has the unofficial status of a cultural capital, which in Soviet times bore the name of Vladimir Ilyich - although not Leningrad, but Leninakan. Another difference is that getting to Gyumri from the capital of Armenia is much easier than from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Instead of 700 km - only 120.

But it is not only the proximity to Yerevan that attracts thousands of tourists here. Hundreds of talented artists, craftsmen and poets live here, who gladly exhibit their works for public contemplation. The city resembles a giant vernissage with an incalculable number of works of art performed by local artists. Thanks to their efforts, Gyumri looks like a bundle of colorful faces, moods, colors and tastes, to which we will go today.


  1. How to get to Gyumri
    1. Airplane
    2. Electric train
    3. Bus
    4. Minibus
    5. Taxi
  2. What to see in Gyumri
    1. Abovyan Street
    2. Vardanants Square
    3. Iron fountain "Friendship"
    4. Black Fortress
    5. Soviet hairdressing salon No. 1
    6. Other places of interest
  3.  Snack
  4. Where to stay

How to get to Gyumri


You can get to Gyumri by sky. Planes from Moscow fly almost daily. The travel time will be about four hours, and the ticket price is usually between 5-10 thousand rubles. (20,000 – 40,000 drams). But still more often travelers from Russia arrive in Gyumri through Yerevan. From there, in addition to the plane, you can get to the city of artists by taxi, bus or train.

Rules for entry into Armenia for Russians in 2023 year

Electric train

Yerevan and Gyumri are connected by the South Caucasus Railway. From three to five trains run between cities on a daily basis, depending on the season. Trains depart from the station on David of Sassoun Square. It is located on the outskirts of Yerevan, but can be easily reached by metro. The station building is visible from afar: it is decorated with a high spire. Opposite there is a monument to the hero of the Armenian folk epic David of Sasun.

Regular trains to Gyumri leave at 07:55, 14:25 and 18:25. Travel time is a little over three hours. The ticket will cost 1400 drams per person. From Friday to Sunday, an additional express train runs from Yerevan to Gyumri. It takes less time - 2 hours 10 minutes, but also costs more - 2500 drams. More information can be found at SCR website. We will only add that the landscapes along the way are very colorful: Passengers drive past undulating plains, mountain horizons and the Akhuryan reservoir.

Photo: Yulia Dyagileva


The bus from Yerevan to Gyumri starts from the David of Sasun bus station. There is no clear timetable - the bus leaves when it is full. The trip will cost 1500 drams. Tickets are sold by the driver, you won’t be able to pay with a bank card, so have cash ready.


You can also get to Gyumri by private eight-seater minibus. The trip also costs 1,500 drams, but the schedule is fixed. The most convenient way to get acquainted with it is in the Yev Yev application for the App Store and Google Play. The interface is intuitive: after selecting the number of passengers and the desired date, you are taken to a page with available flights. Travel time to Gyumri is about three hours. Get ready for a thrill. Although the views will be fascinating, the road itself is dangerous in places. Along the way there are many serpentines and less-than-improved places.


You can get to Gyumri directly from your hotel or apartment. There are two services in Armenia – Yandex.Go and GG, but you can negotiate with taxi drivers directly. The price of a trip to Gyumri depends on the demand and class of the car and is in the region of 16–25,000 drams. It may be cheaper to rent a car in Move2Car.

What to see in Gyumri

Despite the fact that Gyumri is the second most populous city in Armenia, it is home to just over 120,000 people. There is a very calm atmosphere here, which encourages leisurely walks through its ancient two-story quarters: Catholic, peasant, Greek, Turkish, Russian - In each you will find interesting buildings. The city managed to preserve its gray hair, and with it, about a thousand 19th-century houses with striking sights. It is especially interesting to look at Abovyan Street.


Abovyan Street

Abovyan Street in the city of Gyumri bears the name of the great writer, founder of new Armenian literature Khachatur Abovyan. This is one of the most interesting streets of the “historic quarter”. It is notable for the abundance of architectural monuments dating back two centuries and immerses the tourist in the history of the city.

In the mid-19th century, Gyumri was renamed Alexandropol (in honor of the wife of Emperor Nicholas I, Alexandra Fedorovna). During this period, the city became a major trading center and the third largest city in the Caucasus after Tbilisi and Baku. The distinctive architecture of Gyumri (called Alexandropol's Belle Epoche) is still the most visible legacy of Imperial Russia.

Abovyan Street was created for people to walk along. It is pedestrian, which allows you to stop and look at each house. The details attract attention: masonry made of black and red tuff, wooden doors with signs “for letters”, openwork gutters, intricate patterns on the facades, carved balconies.

There is no typical development here, from the word “at all”. Ancient buildings were erected not according to the designs of certified architects, but by local talented craftsmen. Therefore, Gyumri is called a city of architectural vernacular, that is, spontaneous popular development. In particular, one of these buildings houses a local history museum, where you can learn more about the history of the development of the non-standard city.

Photo:; Dyagileva Yulia

Vardanants Square

A walk along Abovyan Street will lead you to another attraction of Gyumri – Vardanants Square. This is the historical and spiritual center of the city. Many of the city's most impressive structures are located here, including the city hall and two churches: the Church of the Holy Virgin (also known as the Seven Wounds) and the Church of the All Savior, which is being restored.

Photo:; Dyagileva Yulia

There are also several monuments significant for Armenians. The first is to Vahan Cheraz, an extremely interesting person. He is depicted wearing a pith hat and holding a cane. In his life, he managed to combine many roles - he was an archaeologist excavating the Egyptian pyramids, one of the founders of Armenian football, a politician of the First Armenian Republic and the creator of the scout movement in the early 1920s. for orphans who survived the genocide.

Top 25 clubs and sports sections for children in Armenia and Artsakh


Also on the square, in front of the Leninakan Hotel, there is a monument to the hero of the Avarayr Battle of 451 AD Vardan Mamikonyan. He led Christian rebels and valiantly opposed the troops of the Iranian Shah, who was imposing Zoroastrianism on the Armenians.

What do Armenians really believe?

The sixty thousand rebel army clashed with the two hundred thousand Persian army, in whose ranks there were even war elephants. The Armenians had no chance of winning with such a balance of power; they lost, but the Persian troops also suffered such losses that they were forced to retreat and leave Armenia alone. And Vardan Mamikonyan, who fell in an unequal battle, forever remained the savior of the country and the Orthodox faith.

Armenians annually celebrate Vardanank (Վարդանանց տոն) in memory of the Battle of Avaray in February-March - the holiday of Vardan.


Another significant monument on the square is the monument to the victims of the 1988 Spitak earthquake. The 30-second, magnitude 10 natural disaster claimed the lives of 25,000 residents of the Armenian SSR, made more than half a million people homeless and destroyed more than 300 settlements, and leveled 80% buildings in what was then Leninakan.

The seven-meter bronze monument is a pyramidal sculpture. At its top is the image of a mother hugging two rescued children. They are held on four sides by almost twenty figures: a Soviet soldier saving a child from the rubble, a French rescuer with a service dog, volunteers, doctors and blood donors. At the foot is the inscription “To innocent victims, merciful hearts.”

Photo:; Dyagileva Yulia

Iron fountain "Friendship"

Another reminder of the terrible tragedy of 1988, no longer in the center, but on the outskirts of the city, is the Soviet “Friendship” fountain. It attracts a large number of tourists due to its gloomy grandeur, modernist, monumental forms.

Top 9 Modernist Architecture Sites in Armenia

The iconic object appeared in Gyumri in 1982, six years before the tragic events that turned the northern region of the city into ruins. The fountain was supposed to become a symbol of hope for a bright communist future. It was located on a square surrounded by flower beds and a small park. It was a prosperous area with dense buildings, where, in addition to residential buildings, there were many institutions and educational institutions, including the Polytechnic Institute.

The design, designed by architect Arthur Tarkhanyan, consists of metal sheets formed in the shape of thousands of butterflies, opening their wings at the moment of takeoff. People from all over the republic came to see the modernist fountain. Even now, in a non-working state, it evokes strong sensations.

Photo:; Dyagileva Yulia

Black Fortress

The Black Fortress in Gyumri is an impressive fort near the city center, built during the Russian Empire after the Russo-Turkish War. The purpose of the building then was to protect the borders in the event of a new confrontation with Turkey. Afterwards the fort was turned into an artillery depot, then into a military prison. Today it is a public space with free entry.

The Black Fortress functions as a cultural center. During the excursion here you can see the holy altar, which was erected in 2016 in honor of the arrival of the Pope. Visitors are also shown a large round stage intended for concerts, fortress walls, ancient lamps and other surroundings.

Of particular interest to tourists is the well, which is 30 m deep. In the old days, it served as the main source of drinking water for soldiers. By the way, many of them left a memory of themselves: inscriptions with the names and names of their hometowns are scratched on the walls of the fortification. From the top of the Black Fortress there is a stunning panorama of the Akhuryan River and the city.


Soviet hairdressing salon No. 1

If you are a little overgrown, or just need to trim the ends, then you should visit the oldest hairdresser in Armenia No. 1. It was built in 1941 and has only been renovated twice since then. The Soviet barbershop has preserved the flavor of old Gyumri, where the humor of hairdressers, the warm welcome of clients and “horata” (conversations) are inseparable from each other. The working tools of the hairdressing salon and the salon itself are almost the same age. Here, not only scissors, accessories, mirrors, cabinets and chairs, but also the old work order and traditions have been preserved in their original form.

Photo: Katerina

Other places of interest

In addition to major attractions popular with group tourists, Gyumri offers a lot of smaller interesting locations.

Studio Varem marem

This workshop, where guests are invited to work with clay and make a souvenir with their own hands. Here you can also forever preserve yourself in the city’s history by making your name from Armenian letters on a colorful wall. The main thing is not to be too distracted by the handsome fluffy Aslan. Although many come solely for the sake of him.

Photo: Yulia Dyagileva

Cobweb Art Gallery

In this gallery the master creates his works not with paints, not with body parts, but with spider webs. Artist Andranik Avetisyan works under the pseudonym Ado. In fishing stores he buys worms and flies and arranges a feast for the arthropods. Then he collects their nets and weaves them. In the collection you can find copies of “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci, “Starry Night” by Van Gogh, “Breath of Space” by Oleg Vysotsky.

Museum "Kinodom"

This place has the unofficial status of “Armenian Hollywood”. A cozy courtyard in Gyumri was once the setting for the film “Tango of Our Childhood” directed by Albert Mkrtchyan, and now the Museum of Cinema History operates here. The creators have been collecting a collection of filming props and posters for many years. The public is introduced to the most iconic films of Armenian cinema.

Photo: Yulia Dyagileva

Much has been written about the best Armenian museums and galleries. here.

Gyumri is full of interesting locations, and it is not possible to put them in one article. But local guides are capable of this; they are ready to introduce guests to the most unexpected places and lead them along secret paths:


Sooner or later, exploring the sights of Gyumri will make you hungry. To solve this problem, we recommend two proven places:

  1. Family cafe Ponchik-Monchik open all day, has a cute modern design, and offers a ton of delicious options, not just donuts.
  2. In the cafe-bakery Nazuk They will be waiting for you from 09:00 to 22:00 to feed you delicious salads, pastries and confectionery delights.

Features of the national cuisine of Armenia

Where to stay

Many tourists come to Gyumri for an overnight stay. Two days is just enough to see all the main attractions of the city. You can stay overnight in:

  • tavern ZERO. This is at the same time a guest house, a restaurant, a cafe, and a fast food restaurant. Guests are received very warmly here and the food is extremely tasty;
  • mini-hotel KONJELAZIA. It can be said to have become another attraction of Gyumri. The creator is Italian. Design is a plague. We won't describe it. It's better to see this beauty with your own eyes.

Photo: Yulia Dyagileva

You can have a great time in Gyumri, and on the way back to Yerevan you can stop at Ashtarak and Etchmiadzin. Of course, having first read our articles about these cities.

Have a nice trip! And if you have already been to Gyumri, share your impressions in the comments and leave your recommendations.

It was interesting? Subscribe to newsletter:
What are you interested in?
Thanks for subscribing!
Beauty and care
Moving / Flight
Law and law
Restaurants, bars, cafes
Finance and banks
Please select at least 1 item
Article author
Article author
  • articles: 17
  • views : 1
Gyumri: what to see in the second capital of Armenia
  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment
    It is interesting