Brandy and Wine
There are literary dozens of brandy types produced in Armenia. The most popular one is “Ararat” – a legendary brand of the Yerevan Brandy Factory, which was the beloved drink of Winston Churchill. In recent years, the country has been going through a real wine boom. You can taste and buy excellent local wines either in supermarkets or popular cafes. Besides, a variety of sweet pomegranate (dessert) wine is also a local specialty. Different regions of Armenia are famous for their fruit vodka types, for instance apricot or dogwood vodkas. While in Artsakh, you are simply obliged to taste their highly acclaimed mulberry vodka.
Carpets and Souvenirs
Antique carpets can be obtained in a number of shops right in the center of Yerevan. The same shops offer modern carpets made by means of old technologies. You can find all kinds of souvenirs – from works of applied art to crockery and various accessories – in an open-air art market Vernissage, as well as in souvenir shops mainly positioned in Abovyan Street; for instance, Dalan Art Gallery, which is not only a shop but also a restaurant and a picture gallery.
Sweets and Chocolate
Armenians produce traditional dark and milk chocolate, as well as chocolate and candies with different fillings. Most popular are candies with dried fruit. Local markets are filled with varieties of just dried fruit, as well as sorts of “sharan” (also known aschurchkhela) – a popular in the region candle-shaped dessert made of walnuts threaded onto a string and dipped in thickened grape juice – or “alani”, which is also a local dessert made of dried peaches stuffed with a mixture of sugar of nuts.
In 2010, the oldest shoe ever known to the world was found in the Areni-1 Cave located in 100 km from Yerevan. It is now displayed in the History Museum of Armenia. Apparently, Armenians started mastering this craft from that time on. Today there are several excellent shoemaking enterprises operating in the country, therefore, one can get a great opportunity to obtain reasonably priced hand-made shoes of high quality.
In Armenia you can find clothing of different segments. It can be either inexpensive mass-market clothes or designer outfit. Local brand shops and boutiques, which present works of several Armenian designers at once, are worth a visit.
Whether you are a musician or a simply committed music lover, you should buy a duduk! Duduk is an ancient double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood. Armenian duduk and music are inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In fact, you could have heard it in Ridley Scott's “Gladiator” movie, in which the music is played by the world-famous duduk master Jivan Gasparyan. You can get one in souvenir shops or Vernissage market.
Armenian jewellery has been famous all over the world since ancient times. And this tradition has survived to this day. The works of local jewellery designers can be purchased either in specialized markets or in designer boutiques.