Electricity

Electrical current in Armenia is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round, two-pin attachment plugs and Schuko plugs are in use.

Language

Armenian is the official language, and it has its own alphabet. Russian is widely spoken and English is becoming more prominent.

Money

The official currency of Armenia is the Dram (AMD), which is divided into 100 luma. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks as well as many hotels, with US dollars being the most widely recognised and easily changed currency, though notes should be in good condition. Credit cards are accepted at stores and restaurants in the capital. ATMs are now widely available in cities as well as small towns. It is advisable to carry plenty of small change in local currency as shops and markets will often not have change.

Tipping

Many restaurants in the capital will add a service charge onto the bill, but this generally does not go to the staff, so tips are welcome in Armenia. A tip of about 10 percent is fair.

Health

There are no immunisations required for travellers to Armenia but vaccinations for hepatitis A and hepatitis B should be considered. Tap water should not be drunk, unless filtered or boiled. Medical care is limited, particularly outside of Yerevan, and treatment is not recommended for anything major. Comprehensive medical insurance should include emergency medical evacuation. All required prescription medication should be taken along, in the original packaging and accompanied by a signed doctor's note.

Safety

Crime is relatively low in Armenia, but travellers should still be careful with their personal possessions and avoid any unnecessary displays of wealth. They should also be aware that pickpockets often operate in crowded market areas. Visitors should avoid travel near the border with Azerbaijan due to continuing tension between the two countries.

Local customs

Armenia is an orthodox Christian country and the locals tend to be conservative, especially outside of the capital. Women should avoid wearing shorts and short skirts, particularly outside of Yerevan. Military bases and installations should not be photographed. Homosexuality is no longer illegal in Armenia, but homophobia is still a problem.

Doing business

Business is conducted fairly formally in Armenia; dress tends to be conservative and good etiquette is important. Business hours are Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm, though there is some variation between businesses.

Duty free

There is free import on 200 cigarettes, 2 litres of alcohol, 6 items perfume with a maximum of 5 litres and personal goods of up to US$10 000 in value. Narcotics, pornographic materials, fruits and vegetables without proper documents are prohibited.

Communications

The international dialling code for Armenia is +374. Almost all accommodation provides WiFi for guests but internet speeds are slower than in Europe or the US. Travellers can purchase local SIM cards for unlocked phones.

Passport & Visa

All passports must be valid for the period of intended stay. It is highly recommended that passports always be valid for six months after departure when travelling. It is recommended that all visitors requiring a visa should obtain it prior to arrival from the Armenian Embassy in their home country; however, visas are obtainable for some nationalities for a tourist stay of up to four months at Yerevan Airport, if holding sufficient funds and proof of onward travel. This is payable in local currency only.

Entry requirements

US nationals require a valid passport but a visa is not required for stays of up to 180 days.

UK citizens require a valid passport but do not require a visa for stays of up to 180 days.

Canadians require a passport valid for duration of stay and a visa for entry to Armenia. It may be possible for tourist visas to be issued on arrival at Yerevan (EVN) for stays of up to 120 days, but this should be confirmed in advance.

Australians require a passport valid for duration of stay in Armenia. Nationals of Australia are visa exempt for a stay of up to 180 days.

South Africans require a passport valid for duration of stay and a visa for entry to Armenia. It may be possible for tourist visas to be issued on arrival at Yerevan (EVN) for stays of up to 120 days, but this should be confirmed in advance.

Irish nationals require a valid passport, but no visa is required for stays of up to 180 days.

Nationals of New Zealand require a passport valid for duration of stay in Armenia. New Zealanders are visa exempt for stays of up to 180 days.

Useful contacts

Tourism Committee of Armenia: www.armenia.travel/en

101 (Fire), 102 (Police), 103 (Medical Emergency).

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Armenia Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 319 1976.

Armenia Embassy, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Ireland): +44 (0)20 7938 5435.

Armenia Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 234 3710.

Embassies / consulates in Armenia

United States Embassy, Yerevan: +374 (0)10 464 700.

British Embassy, Yerevan: +374 (0)10 264 301.

Canadian Embassy, Moscow, Russia (also responsible for Armenia): +7 495 105 6000.

Australian Embassy, Moscow, Russia (also responsible for Armenia): +7 495 956 6070.

South African Embassy, Kyiv, Ukraine (also responsible for Armenia): +380 (44) 289 8870.

Irish Embassy, Sofia, Bulgaria (also responsible for Armenia): +359 2 985 3425.

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