Zvartnots Airport | 2
Departures (Level Three)
Food and drinks
There are a number of cafes which serve food both on the inner wall, and on the balcony (weather permitting). In colder months, look for them in the main waiting area, or on the upper floor. There are a few café's, bars and food joints on the inner wall. The ones on the balconies give you a good view of planes and the runways. All Cafes in the terminal work 24 hours a day. They agree on one price: coffee and tea is 100 AMD. Beer varies between 250 AMD per bottle to 1500 AMD for a one liter glass at the Heineken Bar. Food offerings at the airport include simple sandwiches (200-500 AMD), pizzas (600 AMD and 1400 AMD) hot dogs (250 AMD) cold chicken and salad (250-1000 AMD), even Kebab and Khorovatz (1500-2,500 per kilo: bring your empty stomach). Our favorites are the café between Business Class and Economy check-in (Entrance III: balcony in summer, upper floor in winter) for no other reason than the woman running the place is a hard-working, hard-talking, soft-hearted person who reminded us of a truck-stop waitress; and the balcony café next to Sector Seven, because they serve a complete course of poached eggs with Armenian spices for 500 AMD.
A beautiful store to buy cognac is the Armenian Cognac, between Entrance III and IV. You can get everything from a small bottle of cognac for 1200-3000 AMD to a collectors flask for $500. Walking into the shop is a treat in itself, made from green, white and black marble. For shampoo, soap and cosmetics, try the shop next to the video store (between III and IV). On the upper floor are small stands selling newspapers and journals (all Russian and Armenian), and a few maps.
On the upper floor amongst the ticket booths is an international telephone office. Charges $3 a minute to the States and Europe; $4 a minute to Asia and Australia. Local telephones are located on the far end of the terminal, and in Business and Economy Class, International Sector. You need a token (zheton ÄºîàÜ "zhe-TON") which you can buy in the post and telegraph office on level two.
Just about the worst rates in Armenia are located opposite Business Class (Entrance III), and on the upper floor of level three in Sector 6. They are open from 6 a.m. until midnight. True to Armenian form, if you walk down to level two you get a much better rate. Does nobody watch the competition here?
Located by Entrance III. The folks here can give information on flight arrivals and departures. They are supposed to open at 6 a.m., and close depending on when the last flight leaves. When we asked the two staff at the office if someone spoke English, they each pointed to the other one, then glared at each other, ignoring our requests. Not much help here. Second floor office is much friendlier (but still no English).
A veterinary (Armenian anasnabuzh ²Ü²êÜ²´àôÄ "ah-nas-na-BUZH"; Russian veterinar ÂÅÒÅÐÈÍÀÐ"veet-ee-ree-NAHR") is on your left as you pass Entrance III. Police are located by the ticket office for Locals only, sector 5-6.
Take any steps and walkway to Level two, and you enter a much quieter, less trodden area with a number of services, and some of the friendliest people we have met in Armenia. They aren't fighting for the business on Level three, and the prices reflect this.
Toilets are on level two. No charge, but bring your own paper.
A buffet is in the center of the floor, with chicken at 2500 AMD per kilo, and salads at 50-100 AMD. Hard-boiled eggs are 80 AMD. Take the steps in the central column of the level, and you can find a waiting area and a Grill/Bar. By far the cheapest prices for food and drink in the airport complex: grilled chicken 400 AMD for 100 grams, mixed salad for 50 AMD; delicious soups for 100 AMD; meat cutlet for 300 AMD. The tables were clean, but avoid the toilet at all costs.
Post, Telephone and Telegraph
Marked in Russian (pochta, telefon, telegraf: ÏÎ×ÒÀ, ÒÅËÅÔÎÍ, ÒÅËÅÃÐÀÔ: POCH-ta", "te-le-FON", "te-le-GRAHF") and Armenian (post, herakhos, heragir: öàêî, Ðºè²Êàê, Ðºè²¶Æð: "post", "hehr-a-KHOS", "hehr-a-GEER"), the office is open 6:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. They can only mail, telegraph and telephone the CIS and Armenia. Telephone zheton's are 50 AMD each for 5-10 minutes in Yerevan and Armenia, 100 AMD for each 30 seconds in the CIS. Telegram costs 20 AMD per word to anywhere in Armenia (60 AMD p/w for express service); 45 AMD per word to the European CIS (135 AMD p/w for express service); 53 AMD per word to the Asiatic CIS (153 AMD p/w for express service).
The real jewel in the whole airport complex is the marvelous Baby Station (Mor yev mankan senyak Øàð ¨ Ø²ÜÎ²Ü êºÜÚ²Î: "mor yev mahn-KAHN sen-YAHK"). Open 24 hours, this is a complex of four rooms with numerous beds and clean linen for sleeping children, a diaper changing station, a kitchenette for heating food and formula, a room with sofas for weary moms and dads, and separate toilets. There is also a small play area with a few toys for the romper-room kids. The service is available for families with kids up to six years old. You can't drop the kids off, but you will thank your lucky stars to have something so thoughtful in an otherwise impersonal environment. And the service is free. It would be a nice, though, to offer them a 1000 AMD for their time and effort, and to help upgrade the services. Makes me want to have kids.
Police: The main police office is next to the walkway to Sectors 3-4. They work 24 hours a day.
The Information Desk is in the center of the room, opposite the buffet. Very nice staff who will remind you of your grandmother can assist you in making transfers or with departure and arrival times. Unfortunately they only speak Armenian and Russian.
Exchange: A much better rate of exchange can be had here than upstairs, comparable to that in town. Open from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Shops: Newspapers and journals are next to Sector 3-4 walkway. The Barber Shop (men only) has the best rates in Yerevan: 500 AMD for cut, wash and blow-dry. The First Aid Station is next to the walkway to sectors 6-7, open 24 hours.
Level One (Arrivals)
Luggage carousels are on level one, as well as a few services. From the central area there are police, duty officer and airport offices up the stairs on the upper floor. Ignore the advertisement for buses and trains to Armenian regional cities, but you can catch the bus to Yerevan Opera Square (#107) outside in the first parking ring. Follow the signs (in English).
There is one shop selling candy, sodas and beer on level one, another selling ice cream and coca-colas, but it looked temporary.
Left Luggage: The Pahasenyak ( ä²Ð²êºÜÚ²Î: "pah-hah-sen-YAK", Russian ÊÀÌÅÐÀ ÕÐÀÍÅÍÈß: Kamera Khranenia: "KAHM-ehr-a khra-NEHN-ee-a") is located underneath level one, between the two local flight baggage claim areas. It is down a flight of stairs, just below the toilets (Zukaran: ¼àô¶²ð²Ü: "zoo-ka-RAHN" or Russian ÒÓÀËÅÒ free, but 50 AMD tips appreciated). Left Luggage charges 400 AMD per piece per day, and you can leave your bags there for up to 30 days before they are tagged by customs and locked in a separate room. After one year and no claim, they are disposed of. They issue you a claim ticket, and you pay when you collect your bags. Tell them how many days you expect to leave them there first.
Outside Level One are several food kiosks, plus a Heineken Bar that serves food. Same prices as the Heineken on Level three. Open 24 hours. The kiosk is also open 24 hours, and is much cheaper.