Vanadzor is capital of Lori Marz, in North Central part of Armenia. Vanadzor is Armenia's third largest city, with a population of about 75,000 people. There are a couple of pre-Soviet churches, but most of the city has been built during the time of the Soviet Union with a grand central square, a humongous old Soviet chemical factory which has been idle for decades, and a river running through the somewhat narrow valley, surrounded by hills.

Vanadzor has a few modern and comfortable hotel options, though these are not cheap. 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, finding a place closer to them is preferable.