Café Culture is Alive in Yerevan

I have a confession to make:  I am an absolute nut for a good café.  Whether it be here at home in Oslo or somewhere else in the world I’m traveling to, I will spend more days hanging out at cafés than seeing sights.  For me, relaxing on a café’s patio in the sun with a beer in a strange city beats the hell out of visiting its museums.  And I’ll choose to do that every time.

Yerevan has been hands-down the best place I’ve ever visited when it comes to café culture.  I was there in early April.  Seasons were changing and most cafés were not even open yet, but I still could feel the vibe.  And while Oslo was still producing snow, I was sitting outside in Yerevan’s Lover’s Park, with a friend and a beer in hand, soaking up some much needed Vitamin D and enjoying Armenia’s capital to the fullest.

64426_10100435681837296_837227159_n

When I was in Belarus, places were not too well-connected for people like me.  Wi-Fi was just not in the abundance I had hoped (I was traveling for nearly two weeks and needed to have my computer with me).  To my surprise, Yerevan, and Armenia as a whole were completely different.  Every restaurant had like five power outlets…per table.  If my phone was dying, which it often is, I could gaze around a room and find a plethora of solutions.  I had purchased a SIM card at Beeline for $1 and put unlimited data on it for each day that I was in Armenia.  This costs me a mere $.70/day.  So even in the rare event that a place didn’t have Wi-Fi, I was fully equipped to use my iPhone as a hotspot.

Altogether, I definitely visited at least ten different cafés while in Yerevan (I was there for a week).  I had a tendency to be drawn back to the same ones over and over.  My favorite café was the one in Lover’s Park, which I don’t think has an actual name other than ‘the café in Lover’s Park’ (update: I’ve discovered it is called Achajour Café).  This place has exceptional Wi-Fi, inside and outside seating (both with power outlets), and the bathroom inside the park is nearby and is FREE and cleaner than any other restroom I experienced in the entire country.  It’s funny how a free and clean bathroom can become such a big deal to a person.  This café also serves you salted chickpeas as a snack for free.  Not a bad arrangement if you ask me.

While this particular café won my heart in Yerevan, there was certainly no shortage of cafés sprawled throughout the city.  And if the residents weren’t hanging at the cafés (as I said before, most were not open that time of year), they were congregating on benches, in parks, and in any public place imaginable.  Here are a few photos of Yerevan’s thriving café culture:

IMG_0854

IMG_0744

IMG_0715

IMG_0706

IMG_0566

IMG_0480

IMG_0483

IMG_0445

Most the photos above were taken in the same area, but the entire city was a café heaven.

As mentioned before, I was there in April and most were not even open yet.  And of course, during the days while everyone was at work and kids were in school, I felt like I had each and every place to myself.

When I left Yerevan, I wasn’t sure if I’d miss it.  Within a day of being in Tbilisi, I missed Armenia more than I could have imagined as I looked for that perfect café and just couldn’t find it.  It’s strange how a country of genuine people and a lively café culture can make such a profound impact on a person…but Yerevan had that effect on me.  Click here to see some of the best cafes in Yerevan.

**I know some of my readers are location independent and are always looking for a well-connected, cheap, and intriguing place to visit, but can still work from.  I highly, highly suggest Yerevan for this.  Cheapest place I’ve ever visited and definitely one of the most well-connected.

Related Posts

Comments (21)

Interesting observations, Megan. I’m in Tbilisi now and have been here for a couple weeks (I’ll be here for another 1.5 months+). I have to say that there are cafes literally everywhere. I haven’t been to Yerevan yet, but there are dozens of cafes in both the old town of Tbilisi and everywhere between the old town and Vake Park (and undoubtedly more in other parts that I haven’t been to yet).

i def agree that tbilisi had its fair share but nothing like the scene in yerevan i must say. on the contrary, i found tbilisi’s bar scene to be more thriving than yerevan’s… many of the ‘cafes’ i went to in tbilisi were actually bars. :)

Dear Megan,

May I say a big thank you for this post. Being born and raised in Yerevan, you can imagine how nut I am for a good cafe. And I am missing this part of Yerevan so much when I travel elsewhere.

From the pictures you made I can tell you covered some great cafes, but you and I know there are so much more of them hidden in the shades of grape leaves and warm nights of Yerevan. Hope you will manage to visit them next time you are here :)

Best,

You’re very lucky to be from such a great city! And when people say other cities have a great cafe culture, I don’t think they have any idea what Yerevan has in store for them :)

I hope to get back there and explore a bit more of the city. I stayed out of the city center in a very residential area so I was fortunate to see a lot, but there is SO MUCH MORE!

Love a good cafe. The best ones don’t have English menus and you are the only American as far as the eye can see.

Great cafe culture from the looks of it. Good weather always helps.

I can’t believe how cheap your sim card daily allowance was, that is a great deal. Wish it was that cheap here in the UK.

cafe culture in Yerevan was the thing that surprised me the most and I enjoyed it big time! I was there in mid July so the city was full of outdoor cafes and no matter what time of the day they were full of people slowly sipping their drinks and enjoying life. I don’t think I have seen something like that before in any other place I’ve visited!

Leave a comment

shares