Yerevan is now in a very advantageous position: it remains one of the few destinations accessible to Russians where you can go on an exciting sightseeing trip for a relatively small budget. The potential of the capital of Armenia in this sense is huge – there are enough interesting places, architectural beauties and national restaurants. In addition, it is convenient to make one-day trips from Yerevan within a radius of 100 km to see the famous sights of the country. Unfortunately, the city also has enough problems. Even the most loyal tourists can't ignore its obvious flaws – and the open-minded “Subtleties” won't either.
1. Garbage on the streets
The real trouble of Yerevan. In the center they clean up somehow, but as soon as you move a couple of blocks or go down into the passage, the picture changes. Bottles and packages are lying everywhere, overflowing bins and containers are everywhere – next to them, people simply leave garbage in bags. Locals also like to dump waste into the construction pit, located on top of the famous Yerevan cascade. Elite houses stand around there, their inhabitants turn a piece of undeveloped territory into a real dump.
2. No sidewalks
In some places, of course, they are, but they are narrow and rather uncomfortable. In many places, the sidewalks are stuck together on the principle of a patchwork quilt – some are asphalted, some are tiled, wooden decks are thrown over holes and cracks, potholes are covered with fine gravel or filled with concrete. It doesn’t look very good, and it’s inconvenient to walk, given the elevation differences on some streets.
3. Wild squatter
This is probably the biggest problem in Yerevan. Except for the Republic Square, a couple of adjacent streets and individual buildings, the development in the city can be described as “who is in what much.” There are a lot of unpresentable and dilapidated houses everywhere. Residents of typical high-rise buildings constantly add additional rooms and balconies to their apartments, they even manage to hang barbecues with pipes on the external facade. And these monstrous constructions flaunt in all parts of the city. Either local laws do not prohibit this, or no one pays attention to these laws. It is problematic to find a normal location for a beautiful photo on the observation decks of Yerevan – ridiculous buildings, unfinished high-rise buildings, wastelands and quarters with a half-demolished old fund will stick out almost everywhere.
4. Solid market
Shops, shops, stalls, street vendors – they are everywhere. Showcases of self-made “boutiques” often go straight to the sidewalks of the central avenues, preventing you from enjoying the walk in peace. And okay, if they were selling something interesting… But most often on the shelves and mannequins there are fake brands for 5 kopecks. Why and why all this is offered in such incredible quantities is not clear, but they spoil the urban landscape pretty much.
5. Advertising of vodka and gambling all over the place
There is no ban on advertising of alcohol, tobacco, bets and other delights in Armenia. Therefore, huge banners advertising vodka and other strong drinks hang on the facades of buildings, in the metro and shopping centers. On the streets, streamers are thrown across the roads, promising winnings in sports betting.
Russian tourists have long lost the habit of this: there is a feeling that you are transported by a time machine a couple of decades ago.
6. Annoying Taxi Drivers
This remark applies more to the older generation of drivers. Young taxi drivers usually limit themselves to minimal communication with the passenger. But if a tourist got into the car of an Armenian in years, you should get ready for a rather intrusive promotion of services. He will again and again offer to take you to places of interest for cheap, arrange a city tour, ask you to write down your phone number. A taxi driver will not be stopped by polite hints that you have not yet decided which places you would like to visit. He will immediately begin to recommend the best, in his opinion, attractions and try to take you there.
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7. Dangerous driving
Many drivers in Armenia do not wear seat belts, do not let people through at unregulated pedestrian crossings, run through red lights and violate traffic rules in every possible way. For them, this is the norm, but any law-abiding tourist is perplexed by this.
Sometimes it's just scary to cross the road or get into a taxi.
8. Few normal public spaces
Of course, there are parks and squares in Yerevan. But, according to the guests of the Armenian capital, most of them are not very well thought out. Even new ones. For example, the park of the 2800th anniversary of Yerevan is squeezed from all sides by busy highways. There is nothing but benches, sculptures and a fountain. And the Victory Park gives the impression of being neglected and outdated: the rides of the early 2000s and asphalt from the times of the USSR – vacationers have to walk there in such surroundings. However, lovers of nostalgia even like it.