Many popular souvenir shops in Yerevan are located on Abovyan St. / Photo: Viktorya Mirzoyan
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Here you are in Armenia and you’ve seen Garni and Geghard, probably took a trip to Sevan and Tatev and explored Armenian , music scene, even checked out some of the best museums and galleries in the capital. As you are approaching your last days, you might want to go for the traditional souvenir shopping, and thus we want to give you a little inside look at what you might find at the best souvenir shops and markets in the city.
Most of the popular souvenir shops are located on the central and beloved by locals and visitors street — Abovyan, former Astafian. The street has been a favorite promenade for centuries and has some of the oldest and best shops, restaurants and cafes and the largest traffic of people. The prices vary anywhere around USD 1 to infinity, so there is plenty to choose from.
If you start from the very top of the street, you will find yourself near Yeritasardakan (Youth) Metro Station, which features an underground shopping center and the first souvenir shop you should check out.
1. SIROV.AM (translated “with love”)
Sivor.am features exclusive handmade works by young artists. / Photo: Viktorya Mirzoyan
This handmade shop features about a dozen authors, who present their handmade works for sale, led by Sirov.am brand, the owners of which opened the shop. All items are exclusively handmade by young Armenian artists and include anything from woodworks to handcrafted bags with Armenian themes and patterns, jewelry, soaps and many others. This shop has a more modern approach to souvenirs, but keep reading for some traditional Armenian options. Find them at either Yeritasardakan underground shopping center or Tashir shopping center on Northern Avenue.
2. DALAN ART DECOR
Dalan offers ceramics, jewelry, dolls, statuettes and many more. / Photo: Viktorya Mirzoyan
Having opened in 2010, Dalan souvenir shop and art gallery cooperates with over 200 artists from the capital and the regions to present contemporary handmade art in the city as well as boost sales of arts and crafts. All artists represented are local and all works are handmade. According to the shop management, best sold items are ones representing Armenian symbols of Mount Ararat, pomegranate, apricot and grapes, however the shop has much more than that to offer, including ceramics works, jewelry, dolls, statuettes, scarves, etc. Check them out at 12 Abovyan Street or visit their website.
3. SALT SACK
Salt Sack cooperates with over 900 local artists. / Photo: Viktorya Mirzoyan
Salt Sack launched operation in 1998 to collect and sell handmade Armenian arts and crafts. The name implies the importance of salt as a spice in the Armenian kitchen, without which Armenians usually call the dish tasteless. It also represents fertility, which you can see in the salt pottery, usually made in the form of a pregnant woman, mainly Anahit Goddess, whose belly is filled with salt. The store cooperates with over 900 local artists to offer works such as ceramics, miniature paintings, copies of famous painters, such as Toros Roslin and others. Here you can also see huge ancient salt jars of over 100 years of age. You can check them out at 3/1 Abovyan Street or call (+37410) 568-931.
Vernissage Market is the most famous and popular souvenir market in Yerevan / Photo: Viktorya Mirzoyan
And finally, Vernissage. This is a big open-air souvenir market, which launched operation in mid 80s in the territory of Martiros Saryan park. It is divided into two main sections — areas for paintings and arts and crafts, where local artists present their works. The market features anything from handmade chessboards to taraz (traditional Armenian dress) for purchase, national musical instruments like duduk, dolls, jewelry, ceramics and paintings. As opposed to souvenir shops, you can bargain here to lower the price. Again, most pieces are handmade and represent local artists. Since the area is quite wide, allocate at least an hour to stroll and explore. The open-air market starts at the intersection of Byuzand and Khanjyan streets.
We hope you will find in one of the above-mentioned shops something you can place on your fireplace to represent your trip to Armenia. If you are more into exploring alternative options, such as Armenian fashion brands and accessories, check them out .