Falls Church, VA, USA
Train Ride from Yerevan to Gyumri
Start your trip on Armenia’s old Soviet train. Catching the 6:25 pm ride is a perfect way to watch the sunset over the beautiful landscape. Because the ride takes about three hours, it’s best to go with a group of friends to pass the time away.
Gyumri is filled with fun carnival rides and cotton candy vendors, making you feel like a child again. Central Park has a wide range of rides from something we call the “Washing Machine” ride to bumper cars. My favorite ride and overall favorite spot in Gyumri is the ferris wheel. Although squeeky and maybe slightly scary, you get the best view of all of Gyumri from the top. A ticket is merely 200 deram, totally worth the amazing view.
Famous Karaoke Night
If you’re looking for a fun night out with friends over music and drinks Famous Karaoke Bar is a good place to start. You can rent a room for hours which includes comfy seats, a TV screen and speakers you can jam out music to and sing along with your friends. If you’re feeling especially confident you can pick out a song from their song book, they’ll hand you a mic and you can sing to your heart’s content.
Mayr Hayastan and Sev Berd
Mother Armenia stands tall and proud, looking over Gyumri. She protects the Armenia she faces while her back is turned to Turkey. Another beautiful spot to see not only all of Gyumri but also the Turkish border. The Black Fortress stands adjacent to Mother Armenia. This castle of ancient Alexandrapol is made from black tuff, typical for buildings in Gyumri. The fortress has been renovated so visitors can come and see historical pictures and artifacts inside.
Tickets to the Tadron
Gyumri’s theatre offers a wide range of shows from comedy to muscial to drama. If you’re interested in seeing a show, you can get front row seats from the box office for around 3,000 deram. Gyumri has local performers as well as groups who visit from different locations, giving you a wide range of artists to support.
Museum of National Architecture and Urban Life
This museum is great to learn about Gyumri before the 1988 earthquake that had a huge impact on not only the people of Gyumri but the city itself. The museum includes artifacts, old style of dress, and a layout of the old city. It’s fascinating to see how the middle and upper classes lived and what were popular professions at the time.
Hangout at Loft
Loft is a cool place to hang with a group of friends. They have ping-pong, foosball, as well as Playstation games. Movie nights and events are open for anyone to attend. Loft offers kitchen space for you and your friends to have a dinner night. Because our group had people from all around the world we decided to have an International Cuisine Night where everyone made a dish from their country (a delicious yet educational experience).
A Day at the Shouka
The Shouka is near Gyumri’s herabarak located behind the All Savior's church. Shops sell clothes, shoes, and jewelry while vendors sell a wide range of produce and assorted meats. Shopping at the Shouka is the perfect time to use your Armenian and practice your bartering skills, an authentic Armenian experience you can’t miss.
A Walk Through Kumayri Historic District
Walking through the historic district is a beautiful way to see the old architectural style of Gyumri. The majority of the historic buildings date back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. You can see large cracks on certain structures as it marks their survival of two major earthquakes, one in 1926 and the other in 1988. Walking on the cobblestone roads gives you a sense of what Gyumri used to be.