As many tend to travel to new destinations on a budget, it’s always good to know what the free things to do are. This might come as a surprise, but Armenia’s capital offers a full load of activities free of charge for its visitors. Here are just a few to get you started.
Take a free walking tour of Yerevan
Free walking tours are some of the best ways to explore the city and learn more about its history and culture from locals. Within two-and-a-half hours, you’ll see the main highlights of the city, explore its backstreets, and admire the modern architecture. Please note that free tours are not always 100 percent free, as you will need to tip the guide whichever amount you thought the tour was worth. Contact Yerevan Free Walking Tour for reservations.
Absorb artwork at the Cafesjian Center of the Arts
Dedicated to bringing the best contemporary art to Armenia and showcasing the local culture to the world, the Cafesjian Center for the Arts is an excellent place for art lovers and enthusiasts. After wandering through the first two floors for free and admiring the art, you can walk around the Cascade nearby and appreciate the many statues and sculptures that have been erected there as well.
The Vernissage market is one of the most famous flea markets in Yerevan. Situated next to the Republic Square, the market is open on weekends showcasing local crafts, second-hand items and art pieces, to name a few. Thus, the market is the best place to go for souvenir shopping in the city. However, the prices might be high, so prepare to bargain a good deal.
Operating from spring until autumn, the Dancing and Singing Fountains Show attracts many locals and tourists from 9pm every evening. Enjoy a colourful light show, and listen to classical, jazz, pop and rock music.
Located in the centre of Yerevan, the Blue Mosque is the only mosque in the city. With its beautiful architecture and design, the venue attracts many tourists visiting Yerevan. The mosque is open every day from 10am to 1pm and then again from 3pm to 6pm.
Each year, from May to September, the KARIN folk dance troupe organises a mass dancing series in front of the Cascade. Come here every last Friday or Saturday of the month around 7pm to learn the moves of local folk dances. To make sure your itinerary corresponds to the event, check out the troupe’s Facebook page.
Initiated by the Awesome Foundation’s group in Yerevan, the Tea with Strangers project encourages visitors to enjoy a cup of Chinese tea in public places like squares, parks, and streets with strangers and to simply have an interesting conversation. The location, date, and time of these sessions are announced on the Facebook page.
The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute is a moving and emotional place to visit. Opened in 1995, the museum is dedicated to remembering the tragic deaths of hundreds of Armenians in 1915. The admission is free of charge, but donations are welcomed.
Aeon Anti-Café is one-of-a-kind in Yerevan. Here you pay for your time spent, while benefiting from its many services. However, members of BeWelcome, Couchsurfing, TrustRoots, and WarmShowers can get the first 30 minutes for free. All you need to do is show your profile (at least one year old) to the manager at the entrance, and then you’re free to enjoy drinks, play board games, use a computer to check your email, hang out with friends, meet new people, or learn new skills in their workshops.
Cyclists will love the opportunity to cycle around Yerevan and Armenia with local adventure lovers. Velo Club organises such tours every week for free. Their Facebook page has all the details of upcoming tours. If you are not travelling with your bicycle, don’t worry, they will help you rent one or even teach you how to ride.
Take a free yoga class at Rainbow Inside You
Yoga enthusiasts can benefit from a free yoga class at the yoga school, Rainbow Inside You. Open twice a week on Mondays and Fridays, its classes start at 7pm. However, note that only the first class is free of charge. If you’d like to continue, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee.
If you dare trust your haircut to a newbie, the students of the Zverev Hairdressing Academy are willing to give you a new look for free. Don’t worry, the professional masters observe the process, so you are not leaving your haircut completely up to chance. If something goes wrong, professionals will fix it.
Based on the concept of sharing experiences, the Hartak Festival is a great event to learn new skills for free. The festival is a marathon-type event, where you exchange skill for skill and knowledge for knowledge through various master classes and workshops in different fields.
Exercise in the streets of Yerevan with strangers
The non-profit organisation Street Workout Armenia promotes mass sports, healthy lifestyle, and outdoor workouts in the country. Every Saturday and Sunday, in the Buenos Aires park, people of all ages are welcome to join these mass workouts and training sessions for free.