Yerevan Walking Tour

The best way to get acquainted with Yerevan is to do as the locals do and walk. This both saves time (parking is impossible and traffic jams are now par for the course, adding 20-30 minutes to what were once 5 minute jaunts) while allowing you to savor the sights and sounds of the city.


Map B

On your right you will pass a Bowling alley (still a hot ticket in Yerevan for family fun), and a little north, the entrance to the Blue Mosque (10), opposite the Shuka.

The Blue Mosque (Persian: مسجد کبود) or the “Gioi or Gök-Jami”, was one of Yerevan’s 8 mosques, and its largest and most beautiful.  Originally built by Turkish Emirs, the mosque was rebuilt in the 18th c by Persians (1766) during the reign of Hussein Ali, the khan of Erivan (it was often referred to as "Ali Hussein’s mosque"), adding the current arched courtyard and a madrasah (school for students of the Koran).  The large building has 28 rooms, a library, a main prayer hall and the courtyard.  The site is open to guests on weekdays, and has an exhibition of photos of Old Yerevan.  Closed for prayer, and guards are instructed to restrict certain areas from non-Moslem visitors.

Across the avenue (there is a pedestrian underground in front of the mosque) is the site of “Pak Shuka” or covered market, now Yerevan City (11) (1951, architect G.  Aghababian), one of Armenia’s personal treasures and the largest market for fresh produce and meats in central Yerevan.  The shuka (sometimes called “pak” or “enclosed” shuka by old timers who remember when markets were all open-air), was once a destination in itself for tourists, due as much to the unique design of the huge gilded wrought iron frontal piece as for the tasty morsels inside.  Sadly, it has been commercialized into a common super market, with none of the tantalizing produce that nourished a Soviet era. 

At the next corner (Sarian/Khorenatsi) on the left is a rounded gallery (12), which occasionally hosts art exhibitions.  Opposite north is the Museum of Contemporary Art (13), hidden from view in the ground floor of the apartment building behind the strip of shops facing Mashtots.  The museum displays the more recognized Armenian artists (many still living) of the modern era, in a large space.  

If you turn right down Khorenatsi/Marx St., you pass the Tax Ministry (14) on the left (that will be the building with people coming out looking at their empty pockets), and, in the same building, the best, cheapest café in town.  Continue down the street to Shirak Hotel, Children’s park and Shahumian Square on Abovyan (15) (See Old Abovyan Walking Tour).

Return to Mashtots and continue north. The next street is Amirian, a right turn of which takes you in two blocks to Hanrapetutian H’raparak (Republic Square) (16). 

A left turn from Mashotots onto Amirian takes you to the Theatre Institute and the Hamazgaiyin Theatre (17) (26 Amirian St., tel. 53-94-1). 

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