Most of the attractions in Lori are along the Debed River canyon to the north, or around Stepanavan, and although Vanadzor can be used as a base to explore these due to its perfect transport connection, finding a place closer to them might be preferable.
By trainThe city lies on the railway connecting Tbilisi and Yerevan.
Railway stationProvides sitting area, cachier desks, toilets, some simple snacks. Taxis are abundant.
By busThe bus station is adjacent to the train station. Vanadzor is well connected by bus from all cities in northern Armenia. Lots of options, to name a few:
- Tbilisi 4000 dram (updated August 2018) (14 Georgian lari), daily at 08:30, arrives in Tbilisi at 12:30-13:00
- Ijevan 1000 dram, Gyumri 500 dram
- Stepanavan 400 dram
- Alaverdi Adigaz 500 dram
- Dilijan 500 dram
- also from Byrd, Akhtala, Odzun, Spitak, Tashir, Noyemberian
Marshrutkas (minibuses) from Yerevan are inexpensive (1200 dram) and will take you to Vanadzor in a couple of hours. They depart from Kino Rosia, above the Zoravor Andranik metro station, across from the national cathedral in Yerevan.
By taxiShared taxis in Yerevan leave from the same spot as marshrutkas, and are a bit more comfortable, fast and a little more expensive. Virtually any taxi in Yerevan will take you there for 100 dram/km, which adds up to about 12,500 dram, unless you're a good negotiator.
Center of the city where lies almost all main attractions is quite miniature and walkable. You'll need to get a transportation if heading to some outer monasteries or perhaps to Botanical Garden (which is about 1.5 km from the center).
- Taxis are available, and practical for visiting sites in the nearby area. Majority of the taxis are equipped with meter, but you might want to agree on the price beforehand to avoid being scammed, but it's close to impossible here. Taxis running on gas are less expensive than those on petrol. Expect to pay about 100 dram per km plus a starting fee of 500 dram (2015).
- Marshrutkas (minibuses) are as always available.
Church of the Holy Mother of GodVery old black and orange stone Armenian church. It is one of the nicest examples of historic architecture in Vanadzor. It was built in 1831 and then renovated in 1999.
Russian church of the Nativity of Virgin MaryA very nice old church with a golden dome built in 1895.
Saint Gregory of Narek CathedralThe groundbreaking service for the new cathedral of the diocese of Gugark took place in May 2002. In 2003, His Holiness Karekin II; the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, conducted the blessing service for the foundation of the cathedral. The construction of the cathedral was completed in 2005 and named after Saint Gregory of Narek, to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of his Book of Lamentations.
The Prelacy of the Diocese of Gougark
Train StationIf you want to get a taste of the Soviet Union, head to the train station right by the Russian Church. Classic Soviet architecture of its time, which has remained virtually untouched since the collapse of the USSR. The train which used to connect Vanadzor with all of Eastern Europe and the world, now only gets you as far as Tbilisi, so the crowds are gone, but the shell is still there.
Mashtots Hill Archaeological SiteArchaeological site dating back to the 4th-3rd millennia BC.
Lori-Pambak archaeological museumaddress: 1 Tigran Mets st.Museum shows items found in Lori region and as itself is divided into 3 departments: archaeology (covering the earliest periods of human civilization in this area, displaying items such as swords, furniture, ornaments), ethnography (agricultural equipment, rugs, carpets) and new history department which focuses on the 19th-20th centuries and prominent people of that time.
House-museum of Stepan Zoryanphone: +374 51 43093address: 24 Stepan Zoryan st.Stepan Zoryan was a Soviet Armenian writer. The museum in his honor was opened at the writer's own house in 1972. It shows how author lived and wrote his works.
phone: +374 322 43938address: 52 Tigran Mets1,700 paintings and sculptures are exposed to public in this 3-floor Soviet building. They are mainly works of local artists of wide range of genres.
Vanadzor Botanical GardenIt was established in 1935, occupying southern hilltops of a town where more than 600 species of plants are found.
Vanadzor Central park
ParkIt has a pond where lots of locals swim in its murky waters. Peddle boats are available for rent. There is also a small cafe serving coffee, drinks and desserts.
Sayat Nova park
Vanadzor MarketOpen air market where is mainly food is sold.
Lav Tehphone: +374 94 44 59 90address: Tumanyan street 11aFriendly, nice and quick restaurant.
Pizza "Tashir"address: 65a Tigran MetsPopular Armenian restaurant chain serving mostly pizzas, salads, soups, desserts.
Restaurant "Oasis"address: Tigran Mets AveBig portions, tasty dishes, one of the best options to eat in town. European and Armenian cuisine. Open air terrace.
Jazz CafeQuite decent food, desserts and alcohol cocktails. Pianist plays in the evenings and jazz band on Saturdays nights.
Restaurant "Elkani"phone: +374 322 41919Claimed to be a 5-star restaurant.
phone: +374 322 40015, +374 322 20932, +374 91 310070, +374 91 428611address: 8d Banak StrA 5-minute walk from the centre of Vanadzor, Green house hotel is a first-rate building surrounded by the green park with beautiful trees and flowers. Stylish furniture and modern design in the 15 nicely furnished rooms.
"Argishti" Hotelphone: +374 322 42556, +374 322 42557, +374 322 42558address: 1 Batumi StrThe hotel "Argishti" is a three-storey building, located in the center of Vanadzor Town. The interior part of the hotel has been designed with the elements of the national style and coloring. The hotel rooms have bathrooms, with all necessary components, refrigerators, color TVs, satellite, telephones and hair-driers. It has an International telephone communication.
"Gugark" Hotelphone: +374 322 41510address: central squareGood no-frills budget option.
phone: +37491380305A back deck with mountain views, large living room, aside deck overlooking
the lush perennial garden. Homemade breakfast. Will make restaurant and tour reservations.
Vanadzor Spa and Hotel Complexaddress: 31 Zakaryan St.
"Gross" Hotelphone: +374 322 4 15 53
phone: +374 322 47010, +374 98 417010address: 1 Mashtotsa St.Rooms have cable TV, free WiFi, private bathroom. Splendid views of the mountains. 24-hour front desk. Table tennis.
phone: +374 322 5-00-09address: 68 Yerevan HighwayOffers an outdoor pool, sauna, free WiFi. Very high ratings on a booking sites.
There is only one laundry in Vanadzor.
Bakmar Laundryaddress: Tigran Metz Avenue
While the cheapest option could be if you stay in "Gugark" Hotel, where you can ask for laundry service. Cost depends on negotiation, but could be as little as around 500 dram for one washing machine.