Armenia: Getting Here

All these dispatches under my belt, I suppose I should mention that getting to Armenia these days is pretty easy. With all the stuff I’ve been writing about it, I’d hate for people to think it was one of those awful destinations that take three days to reach. It’s not that bad (it takes two days coming from the states due to the time change), and in fact it used to be a whole lot worse. In the Soviet years, I was told, it could be nightmarish to get here. But now things are different. Several airlines fly into Yerevan on a regular basis, including British Airways and Lufthansa.

In fact, Lufthansa just started a new Munich to Yerevan Route in June that flies three times a week (Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays). For a while, they even offered a sweet deal to Armenian Disaporans…which I think is still going on. The Munich flight is the one I took, and it was fine. You know the Germans…everything was very efficient and like clockwork. Keep in mind the flight arrives late in the evening, but you can then whisk to your hotel without dealing with traffic, AND you get to awake to see Yerevan for the first time with new light and fresh eyes. And as I said, the airport needs some work, so maybe it’s better if you get there when it’s dark, anyway.

Oh, and while I’m at it, if you’re an American citizen (and even if you’re not) you’re going to need a visa in Armenia. The Armenian Embassy site allows you to buy this online as an eVisa ($60), which means you pay online and they email you a link to a page that you print out. While there are still some serious kinks in the system (I never got the link, but managed at customs to use my confirmation number to get my passport stamped), it’s a fine idea. They just need to fix the probs. You can also buy your visa when you arrive…and it’s cheaper to do so ($30). But if you’re like me, you like to have this stuff done before you arrive.