If you arrive late into Yerevan,
✓Buy a Sim card at Viva Cell MTS (Open 24/7)
✓Exchange currency at SAS Supermarket (Open 24/7)
✓Skip the hotels and stay at Rooms Hostel; best experience ever
Remember the nightmare that I was talking about in my previous post? (You can read about how we entered into Armenia from Georgia here)
We got into Yerevan, Armenia at 8.30pm and got dropped off at the bus station. My friend’s friend who is in the tourism industry sent a driver for us who picked us up from the station and took us to the hostel that was booked by her.
We entered the hostel and explored the many options of rooms and dormitories they had. And we didn’t like any of it. It was 25 USD for a room and it wasn’t worth it at all.
With no sim card, or Armenian currency, I borrowed the hostel’s wifi and began looking for other options. Hotels were expensive with good ones starting at 30 USD going up to 65 USD per night. Airbnbs were priced between 23 – 40+ USD and most of them were either booked for the night or were far away from the city centre.
I finally ended up booking one mediocre Airbnb apartment for the night near to Republic Square and messaged my host to provide me with details to reach her. She was sweet enough to fetch us at the hostel and take us to the apartment. The apartment looked great but there was no Air-conditioning in addition to the fact that it was booked for the next 3 days.
We dropped off our luggage at 10 pm at the last minute booked apartment and after being on the road for 16 hours already, tired and worn off, we went out walking trying to search for a place to stay for the next few days in Armenia.
We managed to exchange currency first at SAS supermarket. (It works 24/7!) And then, we went around hotel hopping asking for prices and looking at the rooms for real and not relying on the pictures online. None of them fit our budget or were worthy enough to splurge the cash.
It was almost midnight. The clock struck 12 and the mice in our stomach ran all over, grumbling to be served. Restaurants, unlike SAS supermarket, close down by midnight. So, my friend suggested that we eat first. Priorities, I tell you. 😉
Next, came the issue of halal food. Almost, every restaurant served pork and the few halal restaurants that Google showed were already closed. We at least had portable WiFi from our Airbnb host to check out options on the internet.
After trying our best, we arrived at KFC as it only served chicken and Armenia being a Christian country, I knew their eating their chicken would be halal (hopefully). Any other controversy surrounding KFC and their halalness, I chose to ignore. Said Bismillah and ate it.
We passed by Viva Cell MTS office on Tashir street and from what I had read, they are open 24/7. I quickly went in and got myself a sim card for 2500 AMD with 2 GBs of mobile data and unlimited calling to all local networks.
Now, the only thing that remained was the accommodation. I was a bit hesitant to try hostels again because of the previous bad experience. We tried a few more hotels. No luck.
I couldn’t walk anymore. I was dead tired and had rashes all over. So, I gave in and decided to check out another hostel.
The name was Rooms Hostel and had hardly 60 reviews on Trip advisor. But, their reviews were good. We switched on the GPS and began walking towards it. When the map said that we had reached, we couldn’t find the place anywhere. We kept looking and roaming round and round the area but to no avail.
I opened booking.com and checked their pictures and we were certainly at the right place. I gave them a call, thanks to the sim card we got earlier, and they asked me to enter a building by pressing an intercom to allow the main door to open. Then, we were to take an elevator to the 9th floor and open the door leading to the hostel.
Wow! Pretty complicated. We followed her instructions and found her. When she showed us the dorms and the rooms, it felt like we just found love. Their hostel was like a hotel! It was amazing! Super clean, super trendy and beautiful.
She gave us a good discount- a price lower than booking.com’s discounted price and we just booked them at 17000 AMD per night for the next 4 days!
Yeyyy! The happiness of finding a place was unimaginable. At 1am, we walked back to our Airbnb hoping to catch a few hours of sleep and quickly check out in the morning to come back to our new love, Rooms Hostel.
Price range: 25 to 35 USD (dorms, private budget rooms, family rooms)
Fun fact: They are brand new. Just 6 months since they have opened their doors. They have no sign board yet due to municipality approvals. You can book with them directly or via booking.com
Visited Armenia? Comment below to share your experience!