This resort town, surrounded with forests and mountains, is an excellent place to spend leisure time. Fresh air and places to taste healthy food are among the advantages of the spa town.
So, from cultural attractions to historical spots, natural monuments to religious sites, discover the list of things to do in Dilijan and nearby areas.
Plan your exciting trip to Dilijan. And here we go! See what you can do here and where you can go.
Briefly About Dilijan
With Alpine climate, Dilijan is a popular destination in Armenia. Even at the times of Armenian Kingdom under Arsacid kings Hovk, Dilijan was a favorite summer resort.
Today Dilijan is a financial and educational center as well. Some of Central Bank’s operations and the branch of United World Collages were moved here.
Actually, there are a lot of things to do and see in Dilijan when you are in Armenia. The gallery and museum are for those who like art. Hiking, picnicking, mountain biking are quite popular activities as well. Choose your favorite one and “just Dilijan it”!
Things to Do in Dilijan #1: Feed Your Spiritual Soul
Armenia has preserved features of Christianity since the very beginning. Armenians built monasteries with amazing architecture throughout the whole territory of the country. They are sort of Armenian visiting cards in the world.
Haghartsin Monastery and Goshavank are the two major churches in Dilijan. Resting in the deep forest, Haghartsin is one of the most popular places in Armenia. It is some half hour drive from the town of Dilijan.
The monastery was built in the 13th century. Fortunately, it is well preserved and one can admire it. There ia a huge dining hall and many khachkars (cross-stones) around the church.
By the way, the monastery has its secrets. As the local legend states, one of the columns inside the church can be spun. Natives believe that it leads to a way below the ground. However, nobody has managed to rotate that column yet!
Goshavank monastery is about forty minutes’ drive to the north of Dilijan. It is located in the Gosh village. Usually the entrances of all churches in Armenia are free. However, one chamber in Goshavank is not.
There is a groundskeeper who deals with it and may organize a tour for visitors. According to historical sources, the Mongolian khan (emperor) burned the huge library of the church. The walls are still covered with smut.
Things to Do in Dilijan #2: What about Some Monuments?
Though Diliajn is a museum under the open sky due to its natural beauty, there are some manmade monuments worth seeing. Amphitheatre in the very center of the town is really a scenic place.
Built in ancient Greek style, it is one of the modern spots in Dilijan. Different cultural events use to take place there. Thus, most people like to visit it before the sunset. In the different hues of the light of sitting sun it looks more enigmatic.
If you are aware of Soviet cinematography then you should see the statues of the “Mimino” characters. This movie was an Armenian-Georgian-Russian cooperation. It was a great success. In honor of artists the statues were set both in Dilijan and Tbilisi.
Things to Do in Dilijan #3: Visit Museums
Geological Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan
Opened in 1950 The Geological Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan is all about local history and culture.
In other words, the museum provides overall view of historical development of Dilijan and residents, their lifestyle and traditions. The building is not so far from the city center.
The ones who are especially crazy about Armenia and Armenian artists will better like the museum. The gallery is home to original works of Gevorg Bashinjaghyan, Hovhannes Ayvazovski and Panos Terlemzyan. Dutch, Italian and French painters are no exception here.
“Esayan” museum in Tufenkian “Old Dilijan” complex is another amazing museum to visit in Dilijan. The lifestyle and preferences of locals had gradually changed by the end of the 19th century. Rough furniture was replaced by delicately hand crafted oak commodes and wardrobes.
Soon many modern devices appeared and became part of the rich lifestyle of residents. The basic goal of this museum is to present the history of Dilijan, its lifestyle, and the interest of the people who live there at the beginning of the 20th century.
Things to Do in Dilijan #4: Go Hiking in Dilijan Reserve
If nature matters in your life and you like spending hours in the nature then Dilijan National Park is all you need. It is a unique place that stands out by original biodiversity.
The reserve is divided into three zones, one of which is a recreational area. In other words, this reserve that surrounds the town has marked hiking paths.
While exploring the reserve you can come across some unknown monasteries, forests, springs and a lake.
Things to Do in Dilijan #5: Explore TUMO Center
In terms of education Dilijan is one of the fastest growing towns in Armenia. Branch of United World Collage and TUMO center for Creative Technologies come to prove it. So, when thinking about things to do in Dilijan, visit TUMO center. Its HQ is in Yerevan. Many students go there after school to learn animation, film making, etc.
Below the center there is a library. Books in different languages (the list includes fiction, scientific literature, dictionaries) various games and activities can be found there. Grab your cup of coffee and head to the library.
There are computers as well and internet connection is quite fast. As for staff, they are very friendly and most importantly, THEY SPEAK PERFECT ENGLISH!
Things to Do in Dilijan #6: Feel the Drive in Parz Lich (Lake)
Parz Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Armenia. Located 9 km north-east from Dilijan it is a marvelous vision you can ever imagine.
There is a recreation area all around the lake. But when pondering over the things to do there, besides having a rest and admiring the nature, what catches most attention is the “Zipline” that passes over the lake.
It’s kind of a ropeway that starts from one side of the lake and ends on the other. So, if you are an adventurous person and want to overcome the fear of height just try it.
Things to Do in Dilijan #7: Go Shopping
Those who travel a lot take it as a rule to bring souvenirs from the countries they visit. So, if you are in Dilijan you would better head to Sharamberyan street.
It is the address where the “old Dilijan” complex is located. Besides the museums mentioned above, there is also a souvenir store.
There you can buy local crafts such as wooden stuff. Some clothes related to Armenia can also be found in that store, leave alone symbols of our country.
Things to Do in Dilijan #8: “Restart” & Relax Your Body in Resorts of Dilijan
During the Soviet times Dilijan was a wellness center for both citizens and tourists. Today the little town carries on with the same traditions. It hosts many resorts and hotels with the best offers to take care of your health.
Built in the heart of the forest, surrounded with wonderful views, “Dilijan” resort offers high quality services. Fitness center, pool, tennis area, sauna and SPA combined with fresh air are all you need to keep healthy.
Best Western Paradise hotel is another alternative for healthy body and peaceful mind.
Things to Do in Dilijan #9: Taste Armenian Cuisine & Have a Cup of Coffee at Café #2
As a tourist destination in Armenia, Dilijan has a lot of cafes and restaurants. Some of them are pricy, others are quite pocket-friendly. But, all of them offer quite tasty food.
So, if you want to taste Armenian cuisine get back to Sharamberyan street once again (the same “Old Dilijan” complex). The restaurant “Haykanoush” will welcome you warmly. It offers Armenian food such as soup with mushrooms and apricot.
After it just have a cup of coffee at café #2. It’s some 300 meters away from the restaurant. It is newly opened and is located around a small artificial lake.
Things to Do in Dilijan #10: Rent a Bike
If you happened to stay at Tufenkian hotels in Dilijan then you have got an amazing chance to rent a bike there.
Unfortunately, there are no biking routs in Dilijan, but after renting it, you can make a small journey around the town. Renting is a little bit pricey, but is worth it, indeed.
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