Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Head of state:
President Serzh Sargsyan since 2008.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan since 2014.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two round pins are used.
Armenia is a trove of history, littered with crumbling churches perched in spectacular settings. Landscapes transition rapidly from lush forests to shimmering lakes and stark deserts. But the best thing about Armenia is the Armenians themselves - ever welcoming and eager to show off their country to visitors.
Christianity arrived in 301AD and Armenia proudly calls itself the world's oldest Christian nation. Since the break up of the Soviet Union Armenia has seen a revival of nationalism and traditional culture. The capital Yerevan is the nation's hub of cultural activity and progressive thought, sporting impressive museums and a lively modern arts scene.
Cafe culture has been perfected and it's de rigueur to spend inordinate amounts of time lingering over bottles of Armenian cognac. Armenian food is another treat - always served hot and fresh you can expect mounds of grilled meats and vegetables straight from the nearest garden.
Last updated: 23 September 2014
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
The border between Armenia and Azerbaijan is closed. There are frequent violations of the 1994 ceasefire between these countries from military emplacements along the border. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to parts of the regions of Tavush and Gegharkunik that border Azerbaijan.
Due to increased tension in the security situation along the border in the Tavush region in July and August 2014, we continue to advise against all travel on the M16/H26 road between the towns of Ijevan and Noyemberyan, which in places passes close to the border and military emplacements. Villages and connecting roads between the main M16/H26 artery and the border to its east should also be avoided.
In the region of Geghargunik, the FCO advise against all travel to villages to the east of the main M14 artery which are located close the border.
The British Embassy can’t provide consular assistance or advice to visitors to the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
There is a low threat from terrorism.
Avoid all demonstrations and large public gatherings.
In May 2012 a gay-friendly bar in downtown Yerevan was attacked and a diversity march in central Yerevan was disrupted by nationalist groups.
From 10 January 2013, British and EU passport holders no longer require a tourist visa to visit Armenia.