• Gayane Tonoyan
A big fan of traveling and a champion of getting lost, I love exploring off-the-beaten-track places in Armenia and around the world, and sharing stories about those adventures, too!
10 Must Visit Museums in Yerevan

The National Gallery and History Museum of Armenia / Photo: Arty Om

10 Must Visit Museums in Yerevan

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Yerevan offers a wide range of cultural activities and experiences all year round. Different festivals and expos, a vibrant café culture and an increasingly popularized wine culture, all sorts of performances and live music concerts, restaurants and pubs: as a traveler, you can find anything you please in the welcoming and hospitable capital of Armenia.

Museums, too, are an important part of the city’s cultural landscape. Here is a selection of must visit museums in Yerevan: as diverse as the city itself, Yerevan’s museums can offer you a vast field of exploration from ancient history to modern art. Make sure to find the museum that’s right for your interests!

HISTORY MUSEUM OF ARMENIA

See millennia unfold in front of your eyes to tell you the story of the Armenian nation

National Gallery of Armenia and History Museum of Armenia in Yerevan

History Museum and National Gallery of Armenia / Photo: Arty Om

“With this museum and its service, history ceases to be memory, it becomes a source of inspiration, an injection of might, and a transfiguration of vision into the future.” This quote from one of the Patriarchs of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Catholicos Garegin I, perfectly describes the inspiration you will get from learning about Armenia’s history from ancient times to modern days. The museum has a rich collection of archeological, ethnographic, numismatic and documentary exhibits conveniently displayed to show the chronology of Armenia’s turbulent history, its cultural heritage as well as millennia-old interconnections with the other civilizations of different historical periods. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the Museum often hosts special expos and events.

Location: 1 Aram Street, Republic Square.

Working hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 to 18:00, Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00. Closed on Mondays and on national holidays.

Tickets: AMD 2,000.

Plan at least 2-3 hours to explore the museum in full. Guided tours are available in Armenian, Russian, English languages at extra cost.

The above information is presented as of December 2017, please visit the Museum’s website for up-to-date information.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ARMENIA

Immerse yourself in the world of fine arts in the very heart of Yerevan

The Gallery’s permanent collection includes a number of exhibits of Armenian fine arts as well as a range of works of world art from ancient times to modern days. Make sure to get acquainted with the works of prominent Armenian painters Hovhannes Aivazovsky, Martiros Saryan, Vardges Surenyants, Hakob Hakobyan, Minas (to name a few). Here you can also enjoy European, Oriental and Russian art collections. The Gallery also frequently hosts music events, lectures and workshops with art historians.

Location: 1 Aram Street, Republic Square.

Working hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 to 17:30, Sunday from 11:00 to 16:30. Closed on Mondays and on national holidays.

Tickets: AMD 1,500. Additional price for tickets for temporary exhibitions may apply.

Plan at least 2 hours to explore the gallery in full. Guided tours are available in Armenian, Russian, English languages at extra cost.

The above information is presented as of December 2017, please visit the Gallery’s website for up-to-date information.

MATENADARAN

Hear the ancient manuscripts whisper about Armenia’s spiritual, scientific and cultural heritage

Matenadaran museum of ancient manuscripts in Yerevan, Armenia

The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, known as the Matenadaran / Photo: Arty Om

The Scientific Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts shortly referred to as Matenadaran (meaning ‘collection of manuscripts’ in Armenian) is named after Mesrop Mashtots who invented the Armenian alphabet in 405AD. The alphabet has been used by Armenians ever since. Matenadaran houses an incredible collection of ancient religious, scientific and literature manuscripts, maps, printed books and other documents that encompass millennia of cultural heritage both from Armenia and other ancient civilizations of the world. The manuscripts, intricately designed with hand-painted miniatures, are an essential part of Armenian cultural heritage as they are the surviving testimony of the ancient nation’s rich history.

Location: 53 Mashtots Avenue.

Working hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 to 17:00. Closed on Sundays, Mondays and on national holidays.

Tickets: AMD 1,000. Guided tours are available in 8 languages (including Armenian, English, Russian) at extra cost.

Plan at least 2 hours to explore Matenadaran in full.

The above information is presented as of December 2017, please visit Matenadaran's website for up-to-date information.

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MUSEUM

Learn about the most dreadful event in Armenia’s history

Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, Armenia

Armenian Genocide Memorial / Photo: Arty Om

Located at the premises of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex, the Armenian Genocide Museum covers the most tragic page of Armenia’s millennia long history – the Armenian Genocide. The Museum hosts a large collection of documents, photographs, survival stories, maps and other artifacts depicting the first Genocide of the XX century. The Genocide resulted in extermination of Armenians from the Armenian territories under the Ottoman Empire through massacres and forced deportation. Commemoration of the Genocide is an important part of national identity for Armenians in Armenia and in the Diaspora alike.

Location: Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex, Tsitsernakaberd Highway.

Working hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00. Closed on Mondays as well as on national holidays.

Tickets: FREE. Guided tours are available in Armenian, English, Russian, German and French.

For more information, please visit the website of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.

EREBUNI MUSEUM

Where the history of Yerevan begins

Erebuni fortress and museum in Yerevan, Armenia

Erebuni Fortress, Yerevan / Photo: Arty Om

The Erebuni Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve is located at the foot of the 65 meters tall hill of Arin Berd atop of which the King Argishti I of Urartu built the Erebuni Fortress in 782 BCE. The museum is home to over 12,000 exhibits, including ceramics, items of everyday use, wheels, artifacts, jars, jewelry and many other exhibits that shed light on what the life was like in the citadel. And above the museum, on top of the hill are the ruins of Erebuni Fortress where you can explore the halls and areas to have an idea of what the fortress looked like in the past.

Location: 38 Erebuni Street

Working hours: Tuesday - Sunday from 10:30 to 16:30. Closed on Mondays and on public/national holidays.

Tickets: AMD 1,000 for museum and fortress site), AMD 500 for fortress site only.

For more information, please visit the museum's website.

KOMITAS MUSEUM

Explore the roots of Armenian music

Komitas museum in Yerevan, Armenia

Komitas Museum in Yerevan / Photo: Arman1975/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A prominent Armenian priest, composer, musicologist, singer, Komitas is considered the founder of Armenian national school of music. He dedicated his life to collecting and developing the musical traditions of Armenia. Over 3000 pieces of Armenian folk music, of which only about 1200 pieces survived to this day. The museum is a dedication to the life of Komitas and his legacy. Apart from its permanent exhibition that spans over 8 thematic halls, the Komitas Museum also hosts many temporary exhibitions and as well as live performances, many of which are free of charge.

Location: 28 Arshakunyats Ave, Yerevan

Working hours: Monday-Sunday from 10:00 to 16:30. Closed on Wednesdays. Guide service available for extra charge.

Tickets: AMD 1,000. Armenian and foreign language guide services available at extra cost.

For more information about Komitas Museum, please visit their website.

SERGEI PARAJANOV MUSEUM

Dive into the fantasy world of Parajanov’s imagination

Parajanov museum, Yerevan, Armenia

The Parajanov Museum in Yerevan / Photo: Arty Om

Sergei Parajanov was probably the most controversial and eccentric figure of the Armenian Soviet-era cinematography and modern art. His films such as The Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Sayat-Nova and The Legend of the Suram Fortress that were produced despite strict Soviet censorship earned him international acclaim but also led to lifelong persecution by the Soviet regime. The Museum is a gateway into the world of his wild imagination and fantasies where you can see over 1,400 installations, collages, paintings by Parajanov, as well as learn about his life full of artistic quests, struggles and persecution.

Location: 1st Dzoragyugh Street, Buildings 15 & 16

Working hours: Every day from 10:30 to 17:00.

Tickets: AMD 700. Guided tours are available in Armenian, English, Russian, French and German at an extra cost of AMD 2,000 (for Armenian) and AMD2,500 (for foreign languages).

For more information, visit the museum's website.

MARTIROS SARYAN MUSEUM

Feel the warmth of Armenia’s colors

Martiros Saryan, In Old Yerevan, 1930.

Martiros Saryan. In Old Yerevan (1930) / Image: WikiArt

Martiros Saryan is considered the founder of the modern Armenian school of painting. Located at 3 Saryan street, the museum is hosted in the very house where Saryan lived and worked between 1932 and 1972. The permanent exhibition includes over 300 works of the great Armenian painter encompassing all genres in which he worked – most notably portraits of his contemporary prominent figures, landscapes depicting the colors of Armenia, still life paintings, as well as photographs and documents telling about the artists’ life.

Location: 3 Saryan Street

Working hours: Every day except Thursdays and national holidays, from 11:00 to 18:00.

Tickets: AMD 1,000. Free on the last Saturday of every month. Guided tours are available in Armenian, English, Russian, French at an extra cost of AMD2,000 (for Armenian) and AMD2,500 (for foreign languages).

For more information, please visit the website of Martiros Saryan museum.

YERVAND KOCHAR MUSEUM

Discover the world of one of the most prominent Armenian painters and sculptors

Yervand Kochar. David of Sassoun (1956-1959) / Image: WikiArt

Walking around Yerevan, you sure will find some of the city’s landmark sculptures including those of David of Sassoun and Vardan Mamikonyan, both authored by Yervand Kochar, one of the most prominent Armenian sculptors of the XX century. Kochar has an incredibly rich heritage of sculptures, paintings and other works of art, many of which are displayed in the museum. He is considered the founder of “Painting in Space” art movement, which incorporates motion and 3D geometric forms into the paintings. In the museum, you can admire the great artist’s paintings and sculptures as well as learn about his life. The museum also organizes periodical lectures and film screenings.

Location: 39/12 Mashtots Avenue

Working hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 to 17:00, Sunday from 11:00 to 16:00. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

Tickets: AMD 800. Guided tours are available in Armenian, English, Russian, French at an extra cost of AMD 2,000 (for Armenian) and AMD 3,000 (for foreign languages).

The above information is presented as of December 2017, please visit the museum's website for up-to-date information.

CAFESJIAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Feel the beat of the modern art in Yerevan’s most favorite location

Yerevan Cascade and Cafesjian center for the arts, Yerevan, Armenia

Cafesjian Sculpture Garden at Yerevan's Cascade / Photo: Arty Om

Yerevan's Cascade is probably the most favorite spot of locals and tourists alike – it is the top place where you’d go for a leisurely stroll, drinks with friends and of course, the landmark view of Yerevan with Mt. Ararat on the background. A visit to the Cascade will not be complete without going to the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Founded by and named after a prominent Diaspora Armenian Gerard Cafesjian, the Center for the Arts houses a wide variety of exhibits of contemporary art, including many items from Cafesjian’s personal collection. In addition to the permanent collection (which notably includes the monumental mural by Grigor Khanjyan, David of Sassoun Relief, Cafesjian’s personal collection, etc), the Museum also periodically hosts other international exhibitions and events. Modern art sculptures are available all over the Cascade area. The Center for the Arts also has a music hall located at the top of the Cascade where different concerts and performances are held.

Working hours: Exhibition galleries, Museum store and visitor center are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 20:00.

Tickets: Cafesjian Sculpture Garden, Gallery One, Museum Store, Khanjyan Gallery, Sasuntsi Davit Gallery and Swarovski Crystal Palace exhibition are always free of charge. Rest of galleries: AMD 1,000 (adults), AMD 800 (seniors), AMD 750 (youth of age 13-17).

For more information, please visit the website of Cafesjian Center for the Arts.