Things to do in Gyumri will appeal to everyone who visits Armenia. It’s the city where one can feel the spirit of the centuries. The city that has been through glory and tragedy and learnt to rise from the ashes.
If want to feel the real spirit of Armenia don’t confine to Yerevan only when visiting Armenia. This little country has a lot to share.
So, pack your things and head to northwest. It is there that you will find Gyumri. The city is one of the oldest settlements in Armenia.
Besides, Gyumri is the only Armenian city where you can feel the breath of the 19th century. So, find your seat and all eyes on the screen!
There are quite a lot of things to do in Gyumri. Let’s explore and take glimpse at top amazing things to do there.
Things to Do in Gyumri #1 | Wander Around the Black Fortress
Besides churches and monasteries, one may find many fortresses scattered all over Armenia. They date back to different periods and are parts of national cultural heritage.
So, you can find them in Gyumri as well. Feel the spirit of Russian Empire times by visiting Sev Berd or so called Black Fortress.
It’s worth mentioning that the city of Gyumri was a Russian-ruled Armenian city. And the Russian impact can be seen in the city’s architecture.
Roam around Gyumri and the black stone buildings will catch your attention at once. They actually were built in 1800s Russian style.
Black Fortress is one of them. It is a Russian Imperial fortress right in the western part of the city. It was built after the Russo-Turkish war. Today this monument is abandoned. But the fortress was purchased in 2012. There are rumors that owner intends to turn the place into an event complex.
Things to Do in Gyumri #2 | Discover “Hybrid” Mother Armenia Monument
Still thinking that statue of Mother Armenia stands only in Yerevan? Walk in the south-western part of Gyumri and you will find another amazing monument of Mother Armenia.
It was built in 1975. The architect was renowned Rafik Yeghoyan. The statue symbolizes Armenian victories and the Soviet victory during WWII, holding wheat spikes in her hand.
But there is something amazing about the monument for you to know. Can you imagine that a statue is a woman and a dragon at the same time? This is the case with Mother Armenia.
Did you know?
When you look at it from the Armenian side, a victorious woman will stand in front of you. But when you look at it from the Turkish side, an attacking dragon will show up! Genius, isn’t it?
Things to Do in Gyumri #3 | Visit Antique Art Salon
Crazy about antique stuff? Then prior to all things to do in Gyumri you just have to visit Antique Art salon.
Antique Art Salon is an antique museum and a shop. There are collections from various corners of the world. They also belong to different historic periods.
The items include icons, coins, clocks, paintings, etc. In this beautiful place, everyone will definitely find something really interesting to see and to learn. Besides you don’t have to surf the internet to find info about this or that item. The friendly staff literally know EVERYTHING about the fascinating collections they have.
Entering this extremely cool place is like traveling through time and cultures.
Things to Do in Gyumri #4 | What about World Heritage Sites?
You are probably aware of UNESCO World Heritage program. If you are, then you should get your chance to see one of that heritage pieces right in Gyumri. And if history is your obsession then you are the luckiest one.
The Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Even though they are not located inside Gyumri, they are located in northeast of the city. It will take you some two hours to get there.
These wonderful churches were built in the 10th century. Armenian queen Khosrovanuysh founded Haghpat Monastery. It sits halfway up a hill near the village of Haghpat.
The monasteries are one of the most beautiful Armenian religious buildings. They mix traditional architecture of Armenia with Byzantine one thus, creating an amazing scene.
From the very first moment of seeing these churches you will be left speechless.
Things to Do in Gyumri #5 | Hang out in Gyumri’s Central Park
This park, located in the very center of Gyumri, is all about picnicking, walking around and relaxing. You can spend wonderful time both with your friends and family, or just with your sweetheart.
Concerned about kids? Never mind! There are playgrounds for kids as well.
The park is really popular among locals. So, if they are asked about things to do in Gyumri, they will definitely advise to visit this park.
Besides, you do not have to take food or drinks with you. You can thrill your taste buds right in the park. There is a restaurant nearby with kind and helpful staff.
Things to Do in Gyumri #6 | Museums in Gyumri Can Never be Left Out
You are in the city of arts and crafts and haven’t visited any museum yet? This gap should be filled up folks!
Hovhannes Shiraz House-Museum
Generally, locals of Gyumri joke; If you haven’t been to Shiraz’s museum then you have not been to Gyumri. And they are quite right. To visit the house-museum of this great Armenian poet is a MUST.
The museum was founded in 1983. By visiting it you will get the chance to know the poet from up close. You will also discover some interesting facts about his career.
The museum has six rooms. All of them represent different periods of the writer’s life. You can also see some of his belongings. Probably it will be awesome to learn things about a poet who enjoyed recognition both in homeland and abroad.
Another fabulous museum to see is The Dzitoghtsyan House-Museum of Social Life and National Architecture. It was built in the 19th century.
If you want to know how people lived in Gyumri, you’d better visit it. The museum displays items referring to the local urban life.
So, don’t leave Gyumri without visiting these amazing museums.
Things to Do in Gyumri #7 | Explore Shops and Markets
Besides historical sites and museums, local shops and traditional markets are also worth explore. So, if you are in Gyumri passing through its shops and markets is one of the main things to do.
In “Gyumri open-air market” you can find local shops. People sell fresh food, spices and typical Armenian dried fruit. It is an interesting place to go. And it’s a great demonstration of Armenian hospitality.
But if looking for souvenirs, get your wallet ready and head to Ryzhkov street. It’s not only a cool place to walk, but is also a great place to buy souvenirs. Here the talented artists of Gyumri sell wood and tufa stone carvings, paintings and other souvenirs.
And after all you can visit the gold market located on Aragats Street. Believe it or not, you will be amazed there. Armenian masters will show truly unique art and jewelry to buy.
By the way, Gyumri is very well known for its exceptional jewelers.
Things to Do in Gyumri #8 | Enjoy the Spectacular View of Ani
Surprised? Probably because you know that Ani is on the other side of the Armenian border? Of course, you are right. This medieval Armenian city is in the territory of Turkey today.
But if you go closer to the state border in Gyumri, you can see the beautiful city. Even in ruins, Ani’s architecture is still breathtaking and unique.
Under the rule of Armenian kingdom, Ani was the capital of Bagradit Armenia, its economic and cultural center.
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