Armenian rugs, new and old are a favorite choice. New carpets can be purchased at the Mergeryan Rug Factory for a good price. More upscale is the international brand âTufenkian Carpetsâ, with a shop on Tumanyan near Abovyan. Both will add your name or inscription request into an existing rug, or do a custom rug for you. There is no problem with exporting these. Old rugs are found in stores all over town, or in Vernissage. Be sure the seller obtains an export certificate from the ministry of culture for you â or youâre taking a chance that it may be confiscated. Negotiate to have the certificate delivered to you as part of the purchase price, and buy your rug a week before you go to give them time to obtain this certificate. New rugs do not require certification, but keep your factory certificate as proof that it is new.
More fragile, but maybe worth the effort are some of the more exotic jams and preserves made in Armenia. From walnut preserves, to âSea Buckthorneâ Chichkhan, virtually everything that grows in Armenia is canned!
Dram AMD is a national currency of Armenia.As of April 2012:
1 USD = approx. 391 AMD
1 EUR = approx. 514 AMD
The rates can vary. Check (http://cba.am) for the most recent rates.
When arriving in Zvartnots International Airport exchange only 20-30 USD for taxi or airport service as the exchange rate at the airport is always poor. Exchanges can be found all over the city, and do not charge a commission â count your money on the spot, though they tend to be patently honest. Banks tend to be the least convenient place to exchange, and tend to have the worst rates â exchange on the streets. Exchange rates on the streets are almost all quite competitive, so shopping around is only worthwhile for very large amounts. Stores and restaurants will frequently accept dollars in a pinch, though they prefer dram.
Cash in dram only can be withdrawn from numerous ATM's located in the city, but you may have to try several machines before getting money. Try local banks like Ararat. HSBC ATM's usually refuse to recognise non-Armenian cards. Though VISA and Master Card are accepted in many restaurants, supermarkets and shops in Yerevan, carry some cash. To withdraw dollars from your credit card, you can go into a bank.