Armenia

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Flag of Armenia Armenia
Information
Language: Armenian (Eastern Dialect)
Capital: Yerevan
Population: 3,231,900
Currency: Dram (AMD)
Hitchability: <rating country='am' />
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<map lat='40.212440718286466' lng='45.2197265625' zoom='7' view='0' country='Armenia'/>


Armenia is a country in Western Asia, as the whole of the Caucasus sometimes also called a part of Europe or the unofficial cultural border between the Western world and the Orient.

Hitchhiking here is very easy, and safer in comparison to Turkey. Hitchhiking here is done by waving your hand to the ground to an oncoming car, but sticking out your thumb works just fine as well. Some drivers might want to charge some money and sometimes you might get picked up by unmarked taxis without knowing - however, if before you get into the car you make clear you are not going to pay you can avoid misunderstandings at the end of the ride.

File:Beautyofarmenia.jpg
The beautiful landscape of Armenia makes hitchin' here quite enjoyable

Hitchhiking in Armenia is also for locals one of the best ways to get around. Public transport is not very good and only goes to bigger cities, and the mini-vans are usually overcrowded. That is why people hitchhike a lot. The fun thing about this is that you can find yourself hitchhiking with, for example, an elderly couple of around 80 years old. The other side of this is that people usually give a small amount of money to thank the driver. When you're not planning on paying, tell the driver beforehand. Prices are usually around 500 dram (<1 euro) per 50 km.

The main point of consideration is the poor road conditions, altitude changing and cars that brake down quite often. This means despite the fact that the country is small (so no extreme huge distances) and the people will pick you up fast, you should not calculate with traveling very fast by hitching.


Sleeping

In most of Armenia one can put up a tent and sleep comfortably. Do be cautious however about pitching a tent near the Azeri border especially in the North East, where a section of the road is technically the border! It is sometimes possible to stay with Armenians, but they are often unwilling hosts. The nation's Kurdish population, on the other hand, is extremely hospitable.

Sleeping outside is possible without any big problems. But in october it starts to be cold.

Cheap but adequate hotels cost 5,000 to 6,000 dram, and it is possible to bargain at hotels.

Nothing extraordinary

Monasteries are more often than not mere cultural monuments, and not permanently inhabited by monks. At night, guards makes sure everyone leaves.

Border Crossings

There are three border crossings with Georgia, through the towns of Ninotsminda (Georgia), Dmanisi (Georgia) and Bagratashen (Armenia). There is frequent traffic between these countries, especially between Yerevan and Tbilisi. The Bagratashen-crossing won't give you much trouble - border guards are OK and it will most probably take you less than 10 minutes to cross it.

It is not possible to cross the border to Turkey or Azerbaijan. Near the border to Azerbaijan there can be unsecured fields of land mines and sometimes the conflict at this border escalates.

Armenia has one border crossing with Iran, Meghri. You have to be a bit careful on this border, if you are hitchhiking from Iran, as there is 5 kilometers of forbidden zone, which means that it's only possible to move there by transport. Border guards might force you to take a taxi if you try to walk across.

Nagorno-Karabakh- If you go to Nagorno-Karabach there is only one pasport control (Karabach one). On borders police will give you adress of ministry of foreign affairs in Stepanakert where you have to go and make your Karabach visa. These borders are ok and there shouldn´t be any problem to go to Karabach or back to Armenia.

Getting in

Citizens of EU states and USA do not need a visa to enter Armenia and can stay in the country for up to 180 days per year. Armenian visa is cheap and can be easily obtained on the border. You do not have to have one in advance but you can get it at the border. The border guards will give you a form to fill out. The visa itself will cost 3000 AMD (EUR 6) for 21 days. 5 minutes after you gave the form and the money you will get a nice visa.

Check the VISA section of the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia to see visa requirements for Armenia.

One can be subject to more attention and interrogation with an Azerbaijani visa in the passport. Turkish stamps are in general no problem.
File:Nr1spot.jpg
Typical spot to hh at the end of a village

Language

As in majority of Caucasus, but even more, vehicular language is Russian. You really hardly will find people speak English, but if you speak Russian you won't have any problem to make yourself understood by people, of any age. Armenian language is quite hard, both in pronunciation and vocabulary. As Fedecicco didn't speak Russian, he had to learn it a bit, as for Georgian. Here some useful words:

  • Barev - Hello (informal)
  • Barev dzez - Hello (formal)
  • Our ek gnum? (oor aik gainoom?) - Where do you go?
  • Pokh - money
  • Anvchar? (anvaichar?) - For free?
  • Anooned incheh? (anoonait eenchaih?) - What's your name? (informal)
  • Inch e dzer anuny? (eenchaih dzer anoonaih?) - What's your name? (formal; or when asking someone older than you)
  • Vortegh e ... ? (vortaigh ai..?) - Where is ..?
  • ...ka/chka? - Is/isn't there ....?
  • joor - water
  • hats - bread
  • meerk - fruit
  • hesht - easy
  • dehjvar - difficult
  • yerp? - when?
  • inchpes? - How?
  • inchoo? - Why?
  • araj - before
  • heema - now
  • heto - later
  • kareek - need
  • Aysor - today
  • yerek - yesterday
  • vagheh - tomorrow
  • or - day
  • geeshair - night

Placing "che" before the verb works as negation. For example, gheedaim - I know -> che gheedaim - I don't know.

  • oozoom em ... - I want ...
  • asel - to tell
  • knel - to sleep
  • khmel - to drink
  • ootel - to eat
  • oknel - to help
  • tsoort - cold
  • shok - hot
  • haskanal - to understand
  • haskanoomem - I understand
  • chem haskanoom - I don't understand
  • dandagh (dundugh) - slow
  • arag - fast

trash:Armenia visa:Armenia nomad:Armenia

Personal Experiences

"Turkey gets a lot of attention as being a hitchhiker's paradise, but Armenia is even better. Although Turkey is delightful, you will get even faster rides, be forced to eat even greater amounts of free food, and meet even more people than in Turkey. I have hitchhiked in dozens of countries, and Armenia was the best." - vmpfc1
" I hitchhiked around whole country and I have to say that Armenia is hitchhiking paradise. No one asked me for money. I also hitchhiked few taxis and they took me for free. I´ve never wait long time, usually few minutes. Country is very beautiful and people are very hospitable. They invited me few times for a dinner or for a night to their house. But for sure it´s much better if you speak Russian(or any other slavonic language, it´s similar). In this moment I hitchhiked in 26 countries and Armenia was the best. " (September 2016)


"Hitchiking in Armenia is easy, even if my first experience wasn't that good. I left from Tbilisi to Yerevan in an armenian car and, being on "georgian mood" I forgot to ask about paying so the situation was a bit tricky and paid 1000 Drams (2$). But after that I was hitchiking without any problem, even taxi cars for free (35km) with an old man in Lada. People were happy to meet and talk. Russian helps a lot, or at least google translate. Get a SIM card, is 1000 Drams for 1GB. Big Advice: DON'T hitchhike from Yerevan to Batumi via Gyumri. It takes much time, the roads aren't good (on both sides) or some roads are closed. It took 17h without big waiting times. Going via Tbilisi is easier and much faster (5h to Tbilisi + 5h to Batumi, and lets say one hour in Tbilisi to cross the city)." - May 2017 Lex404

"I never had to wait long and only once the driver said he would take me for money. I had some problems with men in southern Armenia, in the more isolated areas (I'm a solo, female hitch hiker). I travelled from Borjomi to Yerevan, via Gyumri, without any problems, just that the road isn't very smooth. Returning to Georgia from Armenia, I had difficulties getting a ride to Tbilisi from the border town on the Georgian side." May 2017