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Hard Rock Experience in Armenia - HRC Yerevan

Hard Rock Experience in Armenia

At the beginning of March my next Hard Rock tour was on schedule. This time I went via Vilnius to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Armenia is a new country point for me and therefore an adventure I was looking forward to. Since 2022 there is a Hard Rock Cafe in Yerevan, which officially opened on 29th July 2022.
I flew to Armenia with my buddy John from my hometown Ennepetal. John is also a passionate Hard Rock Cafe collector and could celebrate his 122nd visit in Yerevan.

We landed in Yerevan in the evening ahead of shedule at 7:30 pm. After the quick immigration and a bus ride of about 25 minutes we reached our hotel in the city center at about 9 pm. We stayed at the Ibis center, which is about a 3 minute walk from the cafe.
By the way the bus stop for transfer to the city is right in front of the terminal. One ride costs 300 AMD. Until 10 pm the bus departs every half hour, after that it departs only every hour until 7 am.

Our Hard Rock Visit 231 & 122

Around 9:30 pm we were finally at the HRC Yerevan and had a table with a perfect view of the stage where a live band was playing rock classics. After the long tour we were very hungry, but we got our burgers fast. By chance we met another collector who spent a few days in Armenia with his wife. Didier Caudron traveled from Belgium and celebrated his 155th visit on site. After taking a photo together we said goodbye to each other. Didier and his wife flew back to Belgium the next day via Vienna.

Sightseeing in Armenia

The next morning we strengthened ourselves at breakfast for a long Sightseeing tour. A little unprepared, we thought over breakfast how we would best get to the sights, which are located somewhat outside. There are many tour providers, even spontaneously you can book tours. It is worthwhile in any case also to act, because the prices vary greatly. Many private providers can be found at the Republic Square about 5 minutes from the cafe. However, we decided to book a rental car to be more independent. In retrospect, this was a good decision, because we could return it at the airport and thus no longer had to organize the transfer from the center to the airport.

After we got our brand new Nissan Qashqai, we decided to head for the most distant destination first. So we went first to the Monastery Chor Virap not far from the Iranian and directly on the Turkish border. This monastery was visited in 2016 by Pope Francis during his Armenia trip. Unfortunately, we were a little unlucky and so we could not see the mountain behind it because of fog. When visibility is good, you are rewarded with a picturesque view of the monastery and the mountain Ararat.
Opposite the monastery there is a small hill with a statue of George C? From here you also have a great view of the ancient Armenian monastery. Travel time from Yerevan to the monastery was just under 40 minutes (33 km).

We continued to the next monastery northeast of Yerevan in Geghard. This monastery has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The special thing about this monastery is that many rooms were cut into the rocks behind it. Also one made use of the many caves and built many small memorials. Since we had a few more meters of altitude on the clock this time, there was still here and there. Some snow and it was much colder than in Yerevan, which is only 20 km away.

Monastery Chor Virap in Armenia (2023)
Monastery Chor Virap
Monastery Geghard in Armenia (2023)
Monastery Geghard

After this stop we went on to the Symphony of Stones. A collection of rocks in the village of Garni. The special thing about these stones hanging against the gravity resemble an organ, which explains why the stones also referred to as Basalt Organ Pipes.

The entrance fee was 200 AMD for adults.
If you are in Armenia, take a look at the formations. You must see them with your own eyes, no photo in this world can correctly reflect the impression.
And if you look at the wall behind the illuminated logo in the HRC. What do you notice? Here they wanted to create an allusion to the rock formations. By the way, the Hard Rock Cafe is distinguished by the excellent acoustics in the cafe. HRC placed great emphasis on sound protection. And it’s true, the acoustics are sensationally good!

Garni George - Symphony of Stones in Armenia - thisIsHardRock
Symphony of Stones

The last sight for Saturday was the famous Garni Temple. This temple is located about 2 km from the Symphony of Stones on the precipice of a large and deep gorge. Foreign visitors pay 1500 AMD for the entrance. The park around the temple is very well maintained and allows a great motif especially when the view is good and you can see the mountain range in the background of the temple.

Dinner at HRC again

For dinner we went to HRC again on Saturday evening. This time we met Operation Manager Polina Alekseeva, who has been working for HRC for 9 years now and was in the Opening Team of HRC St. Petersburg.
After a delicious refreshment and some alcoholic drinks, we took some group photos with Polina and her team with thisIsHardRock flag.
Thanks a lot to the whole team in HRC Yerevan and a special thanks goes to Polina for the two pins and collectibles that probably hardly anyone collects 🤣 We were very happy and hope to meet you and your team again.

But I would also have been very happy about a reunion with my old friend “Bob” (Ehab Bergala, former General Manager from HRC Yerevan). But we’ll see each other again sometime, I promise! Take care of you in South Africa!

Hard Rock Cafe Yerevan with Jan-Philipp Scherwat, Didier Caudron and John Schäfer
HRC Yerevan with JP Scherwat, Didier Caudron & John Schäfer
HRC Yerevan Team with Operation Manager Polina Alekseeva, Jan-Philipp Scherwat & John Schäfer
HRC Yerevan Team with Polina Alekseeva

The next morning, our departure day, the alarm clock rang already at 6 am. We flew back only at 12:30, but since we could only visit sights outside Yerevan on the previous day, we still had to have some time in the city center.
So we went to the Great Cascades at 08:00 and then to the Mother Armenia Monument. This was a long morning walk which we had underestimated a bit. There were 742 steps to the very top. Yes, John actually counted. After a few photos from the bottom and the top with a great view of the city, the last item on our list was the Genocide Monument Z. From there it was still about 20 minutes to the airport, where we were able to drop off our rental car quickly and without any problems.

Armenia is a great country with many nice people and beautiful sights. During our stay we always felt safe. Also the driving with the rental car into the Armenian hinterland was absolutely unproblematic. We can absolutely recommend a visit to Armenia. If you have any questions about our trip, feel free to send me an email at

There have been rumors in the past about a new Rock Shop opening in Garni. Why Garni of all places? That’s a good question, but Garni is actually a popular tourist hotspot. Garni is home to the Garni Temple, dating back to 77 AD, which is a go-to place for many people.
However, on site at the cafe we learned that the Rock Shop in Garni will not be coming. However, there are considerations to open a store at the airport. Whether the Rock Shop will really come is not certain, but if it does, then you will of course find out here on my page.