Hello everyone my name is Eric Kashian and I am a volunteer worker with Birthright Armenia in Vanadzor from the United States. I arrived here a few days ago and was welcomed with open arms by my host family and the community. I couldn’t be more pleased with my experience so far. The last few days I have explored around the city and have discovered many interesting places. In Vanadzor, there are beautiful parks, churches, museums, art galleries and much more. If you have children there is a lot of entertainment such as amusement rides and carnival games at Sanatorium Lake and Town Park. There is also a public workout area at Sayat Nova park which has equipment for adults and children. After your workout you can enjoy some food or drinks at the outdoor cafe located right next to the workout equipment. My favorite church I visited out of the three was the Church of the Holy Mother of God. As far as museums I have only gone to the Lori-Pambak Geological Museum of Vanadzor which contains many historical artifacts of the Lori region dating all the way back to the Bronze Age! Walking around the city you can find a variety of shops, markets, cafes and restaurants. In the markets you can find all the fresh produce, bread and all the meat you can imagine. At the restaurants and cafes, all of the food and drinks I have tried have been great and there is also a big variety of options. Some of my favorite places I’ve tried so far are Maran Restaurant and Oasis Cafe and Restaurant, but feel free to try other options.

Another thing you can’t miss is the beautiful landscape. Vanadzor is surrounded by the Bazum and Pambak mountains which are over 2500 meters tall. There also is the Vanadzor and Tandzut river which join the Pambak river in the city. There are hiking options if you want to get a look at these majestic mountains and rivers and you can get amazing photos of the city while you are on your nature walks. Some of the trails are not marked but you can get directions from the locals. A lot of the trails aren’t maintained and can be dangerous, so travel at your own risk. The weather is also very pleasant, it is usually around 20 degrees Celsius which is nice because you won’t have to worry about extreme heat. Also, don’t forget to bring a rain jacket or an umbrella because it rains frequently, but the rain usually passes by quick! At night time you can’t miss the colorful singing fountain in the center square, there will be many people around enjoying the show! There is also a pub and outdoor stands nearby with drinks and snacks you can bring to the show.

One thing I will say is there is not much night-life in the city such as bars and clubs like there would be in Yerevan, so expect to have a more relaxed evening with friends and family. I feel no matter what your interests are you will find something to enjoy here. I would highly recommend you visit this beautiful city while visiting Armenia. I believe you will fall in love with Vanadzor, just like I have.

Photo credits to Eric Kashian