Marshrutka, Getting Around Yerevan Is An Experience!
Marshrutka meaning a shared taxi in Russian but also a common word used by Armenians, is a very cheap and easy way to travel in or out the city just as the locals do. In fact, you can go almost anywhere in or around the center for 100 drams which is less then 25 cents. Keep in mind this is not the only simple way to travel in Yerevan as there are many taxis, underground subways, and buses just as convenient and inexpensive. You can even take a Marshrutka to Tbilisi, Georgia one way for about 8,000 to 10,000 drams which is the equivalent of $20 to $25 dollars! But if you really want to see Yerevan in its natural beauty, travelling by Marshrutka is the best way to get in touch with the city and the amazing people of Armenia.
Need to get to the center of the city for a fun filled night? Or how about a relaxing day trip to Lake Sevan for some fresh caught, delicious, one of a kind crayfish? Whatever the case might be, its a great form of transportation throughout Armenia; like the buses in the west but with a twist. You'll find Marshrutka stops scattered conveniently throughout the city and each with their own set route. Once inside you will see all there is to see through the eyes of the locals.
As you wait for your bus you might notice that indeed this type of public transportation is quite different. First off, as they are pulling up you will realize how important these buses are as they are usually filled to capacity with men, women and children going about their daily lives. Sometimes there won't even be a place to sit, in which case you just stand until there’s an available seat for you to take. Also if there aren't any available seats and a woman with her child comes aboard or an elder a seat is given to them (usually by a young male) as this is a form of respect and part of the Armenian culture. As I said, each bus has its own set route but if you ask the driver "Can you please stop here" he will most likely find a suitable spot to pull over for you to get out. If you haven’t yet visited Armenia, do so, because you will soon find yourself falling in love while looking through the dusty yet charming windows of the Marshrutka.