Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
Head of state:
President Serzh Azati Sargsyan since 2008.
Head of government:
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan since 2008.
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.
Because of an unresolved dispute over Nagorno Karabakh, all but essential travel near the border with Azerbaijan is advised against. Particular care should be taken in the Tavush and Gegharkunic regions, as there is sporadic gunfire. Vehicles travelling on the road from Ljevan to Noyemberyan are particularly vulnerable. Political demonstrations sometimes turn violent. Internal travel, especially by air, may be disrupted by fuel shortages and other problems.
In addition, you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organisations for the latest travel advice: