Armenia’s isolation due to the cold war with Azerbaijan and Turkey means there is only 1 meaningful year-round train connection: the night train to Tbilisi. It runs to Tbilisi on even days of the month and to Yerevan on odd days. It takes 10 hours; just enough time to catch a good sleep, but with an early-morning wake-up call from the border guards if going to Georgia.
In summer (roughly from mid-June until the end of September), the train runs daily and continues all the way to Batumi.
If you want to see the scenery and get there quicker, take a marshrutka – it only takes 6 hours, and it is a bit cheaper. If you would rather save money on accommodation, meet locals and make the most of your daylight hours, take the train.
Beyond the train to Georgia, there are daily local trains connecting Yerevan with Gyumri (3 hrs), Ararat (1 hr), Araks (1 hr 15), Hrazdan (1 hr 30) and Yeraskh (1 hr 30). As slower, cheaper alternatives to the ubiquitous marshrutka, these are mostly of interest to train lovers, sniffers of couleur locale and slow travel enthusiasts.
Summer train to Lake Sevan
Finally, there is also a summer service from Yerevan to Lake Sevan. The line to Hrazdan (1 hr 30) gets extended to Sevan (2 hr 20) and Shorzha (3 hr 30) from approximately mid-June until the end of September. For the exact timetable, inform at the train station. To get an idea of the schedule, here is what happened in previous years.
2016: Started operations on June 16th. On working days the train ran as far as Sevan, while on weekends it went all the way to Shorzha station.
2013: Started July 7, every day except Wednesday. Went to Shorzha every day.
Timetables and prices
You can find timetables at the Armenian Railways website, where you will also find a price list. The train to Tbilisi is no longer as dirt-cheap anymore as it was up until 2010, but to call it expensive is a stretch. Local trains cost less than 1$.
Trains are not immune to being delayed. Do not plan tight connection times.
The daily commuter trains have first (plush seats) and second class (wooden seats) seating wagons. The Tbilisi night train has the standard Soviet classes:
- platzkart (reserved – bunks in open wagon) – around 20 euro
- kupe (compartment – 4-berth wagon) – around 30 euro
- SV/Lyux (first-class – 2-berth wagon) – around 40 euro
For more on how to choose between these options, read the overview page on the Silk Road by train for seat buying, train enjoying and route planning advice.
There is always space on the train, so booking in advance is not necessary. There is no online booking, you need to go buy a ticket at the train station. If you do need advance booking, you need to ask a travel agency in Armenia to do it for you.
The train experience
There are 2 train stations of note in Yerevan. All trains but one arrive and depart from Yerevan central on Tigran Metz, but the Hradzan-Sevan-Shorzha line departs elsewhere.
Until 2005, this train departed from the Arabkir station, located at the top of the Cascade monument, but now it starts from the tiny Almast platform before stopping at the bigger, staffed station of Kanaker, both north of the city center. Get a ticket at Kanaker before getting on the train.
Yerevan central train station
The central Yerevan train station is located on Tigran Metz Avenue. During the daytime the parking area is filled with buses, taxis and cars for hire to regions and Tbilisi/Batumi.
The ticket office works until the last train has left. The left luggage office is located on the train side of the building, left as you exit the main rotunda. They have both lockers and a left luggage room. 24 hours a day service.
Yerevan – Tbilisi sleeper train
Like elsewhere in the former Soviet Union, this train is enjoyable and rewarding for those who know how to appreciate the caged rattle of the slow train. More extensive coverage on how to ride these beasts can be found on the Silk Road by train overview page.
It is a standard FSU train experience, with basic and more luxurious compartments, a samovar for hot water, curious fellow passengers, … A restaurant car is attached, but it offers only basic food and drinks. You are better off bringing your own food.
You will get sheets, a pillow and a blanket. Luggage storage is under the bottom bunk. Toilets can be nasty or clean, it depends. Do not forget to bring your own toilet paper!Comments have closed. If you have questions or remarks, head to our forum’s transport section.