If you have 10 dollars and you are in Yerevan
Yerevan is not only the capital of Armenia and the largest city. This is the center of all Armenian economics because there is almost a half of all 3-million population of the country living there. The end of the XX century hurt the local level of life. In the end of 1980s the country lived out the terrible earthquake that destroyed more than 60% of all the industrial potential. Then, it was the painful breakup of USSR as well as war in Karabachos and unstable 1990s when socialist republic went to capitalist rails. All these disasters left traces. Even today, in dozen years, their aftermath is reflected in small salaries, unemployment, and social problems. In the meantime, Armenians do not lose enthusiasm and wonderful personal traits, such as kindness, sincerity, and sense of humor. As they say, ‘we are poor country, but our people have warm and open hearts’.
The current Yerevan attracts Armenians from all the corners of country because of salaries relatively high for Armenia. The average salary here comprises nearly 200 dollars per a month what is one of the lowest indicators in all the Europe. That’s why our 10 dollars mean quite big amount. For instance, take into consideration the taxi fees. In Yerevan airport Zvarnots one could take a taxi and go till the center of the city for 2-2.5 dollars. In the meantime, it is important to add that airport is situated not in the city, and all our way will take nearly 20 minutes. If there are traffic jams in the afternoon, it is going to be 35-40 minutes. That’s why if one starts exactly from 10 dollars, these money are enough to go along the capital all the day because one trip is rarely more than one dollar. Those who love metropolis, especially ‘classic deep Soviet’ are able to be happy because one token costs nearly 20 cents (trolleybuses, and city buses cost approximately the same) that’s why if you travel in a company, you are likely to move only by taxi. For 10 dollars one is able to take a car with the driver or bus tour visiting the suburbs of one of the most ancient cities to go sightseeing, watch the oldest churches, fortresses and breath-taking nature along with lake Sevan. Perhaps, there is no such an excursion in the neighborhood which could last one day and cost more expensive than we might afford.
The city landmarks are also pride and joy because of their cheapness. At first, the entrance in the most interesting churches, oldest building and Cascade are free-of-charge (thanks to sponsors), at second, the tickets to museums are no more than one dollar. Maybe, only the entrance fee to museum of Serhii Parajanov costs more. It fascinates with the abundance. There one could find pictures, sketches of scripts, family photos, clothes items and facilities of the great ‘Armenian-Georgian director who was behind the bars for Ukrainian nationalism’. Our dozen dollars mean possibility to visit the museum in a big company and make some contribution. Generally, in Armenia many things are based on the voluntary contributions. Especially it is done by the rich Armenians living abroad. The expat community is numerous, and it counts nearly 15 million people all over the world. Many of them are aware of the hard economic condition of their motherland make contributions in different cultural, social, and humanistic initiatives. It allows not only Armenians but also tourists visit many objects free-of-charge or for symbolic fee.
After the spiritual food it is a good idea to go along the local restaurants and café so as to taste the famous Armenian cuisine (we dedicated the exact article to it though it is worth writing a book or even encyclopedia about that). Our ten dollars or 4800 Armenian drams mean amount which allows to carry out a small feast for the company for two people not in the cheapest place in the center of the city. Apart from the normal lunch consisting of several dishes (it is important not to gather speed and not to go tight to bursting), good portion of wine or cognac, you will get extra money for a coffee or an ice-cream in another café. The prices are really cool, that’s why many tourists, especially from the West, tend to try all the amenities of Caucasian chefs and order as much as possible. Don’t forget that overeating is harmful.
Those who love to cook at home are able to spend 10 dollars carrying the full packs of products in the shopping mall or at the markets. By the way, it is very important to visit them because it is Caucasus where the trade is like an art. If one talks about the prices and the most popular positions, our ten dollars mean 2-3 kilos of meat or cheese or 6-7 bottles of wine. Maybe, 130-150 eggs. The prices on fruits and vegetables in this sunny country are also normal. 10 dollars may transfer into 20 kilos of apples or 30 kilos of potato. Even 7-8 kilos of oranges are possible. Totally, for a good local hostess 10 dollars mean possibility to buy and prepare so much tasty food which even big family will eat several days.
As for the entertainments, 10 dollars are enough to spend all the day actively going at least three times to the cinema. The nightclubs, theaters, legendary Yerevan opera, stadium where the local football grand ‘Punick’ plays are quite affordable, and on our budget we are able to buy 3-4 tickets everywhere. Returning home through the well-known airport Zvarnots, one cannot help going to duty free because our 10 dollars mean almost a bottle in the volume of 0.5 liters of the famous 6-year-old cognac ‘Ararat’. As the citizens of Yerevan consider it as the best souvenir which could be taken from their capital. Moreover, for 35 dollars one is able to buy the present set from two bottles of 0.7 liters, one will have money for two extra bottles for 50 grams to look the views on the mountains and this incredibly wonderful city from the illuminator.
Several tips on the city prices:
- The places in hostel in the center of the city cost 5-8 dollars per a night. Rooms in the hotels start from 12 dollars.
- The rent of one-room flat in the good district or not far away from Old city will take 200-300 dollars per a month. The sleeping district may cost 100 dollars.
- The average price of the monthly home internet on the high speed is 10-12 dollars per a month.
- The cost of communal payments per one month for 1-2-room flat is 30-50 dollars.
- The ticket to but to Tbilisi which Yerevan citizens use as the hub for different flights is 15-20 dollars depending on the carrier.
Main photо eros-tour.ru