BY DAY TOUR:
One of the best options for getting to the major tourist sites – some of which have infrequent public transport – are the many day tours advertised throughout Yerevan. Starting at US$6, you can choose from a variety of half to full day trips which include a good number of the country’s major attractions. Some of the more remote and exotic destinations, such as the Petroglyphs of Ughtasar and many of the caves, for example, require special planning.
BY MINI-BUS OR BUS:
Public transportation is very good and inexpensive in Armenia, with timetables here. Use google translator if you don’t read armenian. It can also be tough to get to more remote sites outside of populated areas. The system could be described as a hub and spoke system, with each city offering local transportation to its surrounding villages and each city offering connections to Yerevan. Most inter-city travel is by 14-seat minibuses or buses. Yerevan has several bus interchange stations that serve the whole country, so depending on where you want to go, you should find out which bus interchange station services the area of your destination. Unlike many countries in Eastern Europe, Armenian mini-buses do not sell tickets beforehand, and do not issue tickets at all. You pay the driver, at any point in the trip (though some will collect at the beginning). Exact change is never required, but a 20,000 dram note for a 1,000 dram ride might present a problem. Tips are unheard of on public transportation.
BY TAXI OR CAR:
For the average western tourist, you can hire a taxi to go most anywhere in the country on very short notice. If you have decided to travel heavy by bringing big bags, then going by taxi will be the best option. Prices are about 100 dram a kilometer. Most taxis do not have meters though, so you should negotiate a price before you leave. Anyway, taxi is a good option in longer trips, especially if you don’t like waiting a minibus for hours.
You can rent cars in Yerevan. Driving in Armenia for the average tourist will be different than at home, though roads are getting better and better and driving style is quite good in general. If you decide to rent a car, there are a growing number of car rental companies, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo, National and others throughout the central Yerevan.
Most main roads around Yerevan are in decent to fair shape with some being in unusually good condition. When you travel north (Dilidjan) or south (Jermuk), roads are less maintained and rather bumpy and you can feel it especially when using public transport! (Minibuses are often in bad condition too) Pot holes are very much a part of the experience and can test your driving skills. Be careful and when renting an automobile, consider an all wheeled vehicle or sport utility if available.
All trains in Armenia remember Soviet times. There is only one fast train: the international Yerevan-Tbilisi (+Batumi in the summer). All other trains are slow but cheap. There are several daily trains towards Gyumri and one to Yerakhs at the closed border with Nakhichevan. On summer weekends, one daily train operates from the northern Almast station to Lake Sevan, all the way to Shorzha on the far side. Click here http://www.ukzhd.am/en.html for the timetable (passenger traffic on the left for details).
The only station north of Gyumri that is officially accessible to passengers is Vanadzor, where the Georgia-bound train stops. North of Vanadzor there are only technical stops to which tickets can’t be bought (Pambak, Shahali, Sanahin, Ayrum). One can still try to enter/leave the train though and ticket inspectors may allow this.