Every traveller while planning a vacation, often wonders in what currency it is most advantageous to take cash when travelling, and whether it is necessary to take the money in cash or use a credit card? In this article, we’ll help you sort out this issue and tell you about the national currency of Armenia, about the main currency exchange points in Yerevan and regions and the major banks and overall monetary circulation in the country.
Currency Exchange in Armenia: Armenian National Currency
For nearly two decades, to be more exact, since 1993, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the independence as “Armenian Dram” has become the national currency having replaced the Soviet ruble. National currency and all “financial issues” of Armenia are regulated by the Central Bank of Armenia. It is worth noting that AMD is the national currency not only of the Republic of Armenia but also of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which has been inhabited by native Armenians for millennia. So if you are planning to visit the ancient Artsakh, the problems with the currency will not arise.
The Dram in the Armenian language means money, but the word has Greek roots. In international format, the Armenian dram is denoted as AMD. Currently in circulation are banknotes with the nominal value of 1000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000 and 100 000 AMD, as well as coins in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 drams. In 2001, the banknote with the nominal value of 50 000 AMD was first released in honour of the 1,700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia.
On the AMD banknotes are represented prominent figures of culture, which had a great contribution to the history and spiritual development of the country; historically valuable monuments and beautiful fragments of the paintings of the great Armenian painter Martiros Sarian.
Currency Exchange in Armenia
In Armenia, using the foreign currency in cash turnover is prohibited by the law, so we advise you to take some cash in rubles, if you are from Russia, either in dollars or euros. In Armenia, there are many banks and currency exchange offices, which are located in major cities and towns. If you are planning a long trip, for example, to mountains or remote villages, it is best to take care of currency exchange in advance. We also recommend exchanging bills of the local currency into smaller denominations, as in remote areas people live rather poorly, and maybe you will not even be able to exchange a 5000 AMD bill. The best option is always to have some coins and some amount of cash in denominations of 1000 AMD, and then you will definitely avoid trouble with the change at the shops or wherever.
When travelling to Armenia you can safely take cash in rubles, euros, and dollars. This is the most common currency in the country. Armenian Dram in the global foreign exchange market has a very low cost and is highly dependent on the dollar and euro fluctuations. In the 21st century to track the current rate of dram against foreign currencies will not make any problems. There are many websites that daily update information concerning exchange rates.
Below we present one of the most trustworthy websites – www.rate.am, where you can not only keep track of the daily exchange rates in Armenia but also make use of online converters. The website provides currency rates not only for global and common currencies but also for quite rare ones as for example the British pound, Swiss franc, Chinese yen, the Georgian lari, etc.
Here you will find information on exchange rates in various banks and currency exchange offices, located inside supermarkets and large retail stores. The site contains information on the addresses and contact information of banks and exchange offices throughout Armenia.
There is а possibility of online conversion with the selected filters (bank, specific currency), and a quick search for the nearest to you banks or exchange offices.
In Armenia, currency exchange will not become a problem. Already on arrival at Zvartnots International airport, you will be greeted by numerous branches of local banks. However, we do not recommend exchanging the entire amount at the airport, only the minimum necessary, in order to avoid the unfavorable exchange rate. Also, do not exchange at the individual or street money changers not to be cheated.
Today, the number of banks and ATMs in Yerevan is steadily growing, and to find the right bank next to you is no trouble. Almost all the banks have international money transfer systems, such as the UNI Stream and MoneyGram, or sending and receiving currency through the SWIFT network. Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit cards are also becoming popular from year to year: most high-scale shops, restaurants, and hotels accept credit card payments. However, before making a payment always pre-verify. Please note that outside of Yerevan making payments by credit card is almost impossible, so always carry local currency cash in small banknotes.
In capital and regions exchange offices are mostly located in major supermarkets and shopping malls, markets, shops, hotels. If the private exchange offices may work from morning till night, the majority of banks serve customers from 09:00 to 16:00 or 17:00. On Saturdays, many banks operate until 14:00 pm, at the same time not all branches are open. The only centrally located bank in Yerevan, working full-day on Saturdays and Sundays is the central branch of ARMECONOMBANK located on the Aram Street, 3, a few steps from the Republic Square and Northern Avenue. Many banks also have branches in shopping centres and malls. They are usually located near the entrance. Currency exchange offices can be found at SAS and Yerevan City supermarket chains.
Below we present a list of central banks in Yerevan, where you can exchange money:
Address: Arami Street 3 (at the “Sil Plaza” shopping center)
Mon – Fri: (09: 00-20: 00)
Saturday: (10: 00-20: 00)
Sunday: (12: 00-19: 00)
Tel: 8686, +374-10-510910, +374-8000-8686
“ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK”
Address: Mashtots Ave 42, № 17/1
Work time: Mon – Fri (09: 30-16: 30)
Address: Deghatan Street 6
Work time: Mon – Fri (09: 30-17: 00)
Address: Arshakunyats Ave 34/3, “Yerevan Mall”
Work time: Mon – Sun (10:30 – 21:15)
Tel: +374 10 56 1111
“VTB BANK (ARMENIA)”
Address: Nalbandyan Str. 46 (near the metro station “Republic Square”)
Work time: Mon – Sat (09: 00-18: 00)
Tel: 8787, + 374-8000-8787
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