Saturday, September 18, 2021

Money & Shopping in Armenia

EuropeArmeniaMoney & Shopping in Armenia

Armenian carpets, cognac, fruits, handicrafts, and Soviet artifacts are among the most popular items brought back from the country. The majority of them may be found in Vernissage, a seemingly never-ending weekend flea market adjacent to Republic Square, with the more touristic items in the rear part, farther away from Republic Square.

Currency

The Armenian currency is known as the “dram,” and it is abbreviated as AMD (Armenian Dram). The dram is accepted everywhere, although in certain rare instances, US dollars are accepted for bigger transactions – despite the fact that the dram is the sole legal currency for trade. Almost everywhere in the nation, US dollars, Euros, and Rubles may be converted, and other major currencies are also easily swapped. Exchange booths and commercial banks don’t charge commissions, and rates are nearly always competitive.

ATMs (Bankomats) are commonly accessible in bigger cities; however, outside of Yerevan, you must have a major system on your card, such as Visa or MasterCard, for it to function.

Outside of Yerevan, credit cards are not commonly accepted.

Trading hours

The majority of stores and restaurants are open every day, while businesses and schools are open Monday through Saturday. Mornings are often sluggish, and businesses do not open early or even on schedule.

Purchasing customs

Bargaining is rare in Armenian shops, but it may be acceptable when buying costly goods or in quantity. However, bargaining is essential at marketplaces!

Tipping is becoming more prevalent in Armenia, particularly in cafés and restaurants. Many Armenians just round up their checks or leave 10%. Some café employees are solely paid in tips, but you can’t necessarily tell by the service they give. Many restaurants have started to levy a ten percent “service fee,” which is typically not shared with the waiters and is unclear for what purpose it is utilized. This charge is not often clearly mentioned on the menu, so if you want to know, you should inquire. Tipping is not often required in cabs, although rounding up is not unusual.

Markets

Vernisage Crafts & Flea Market – Every Saturday and Sunday in Republic Square, there is a large outdoor market with excellent shopping for visitors and residents alike. There are huge areas for ancient carpets, complex wood carvings and backgammon boards, paintings, souvenirs, antique china and old kitchenware, and smaller parts for needlework and embroidery, stone work, books, military excess, and many other odd items.

The GUM Shuka farmers market is a huge covered market near the Tashir Mall, at the junction of Tigran Mets Ave and Movses Khorenatsi Street. Inside, you’ll find fresh fruits and veggies, as well as excellent dried fruits, a butcher area, and a dry herb section. Outside, there are additional butchers on one side and fresh fruit and vegetable sellers on the other, along with a row of handcrafted metal wood-burning stove booths.

A visit to the secondhand book market may be quite fascinating for Armenian and Russian-speaking tourists. Thousands of books are sold at a park near the intersection of Abovyan and Moskovyan Streets, close to the Yeritasardakan Metro Station. You may attempt to negotiate.