Dilijan Travel Guide + Best Things to do in Dilijan, Armenia
Dilijan Travel Guide + Best Things to do in Dilijan, Armenia was originally published in May 2023
Arriving in Dilijan after a few days in Yerevan was a welcomed change (even though I love Yerevan), landing in a beautiful little mountain town in the heart of Dilijan National Park, surrounded by snow-capped peaks and a hint of green with spring leaves starting to pop.
I couldn’t find much info on visiting Dilijan before my visit, I had mostly been recommended to visit by local Armenians I’ve met traveling around the country, so now that I’ve had the chance to visit I’ve created this guide to Dilijan, including the best things to do in Dilijan Town and the surrounding Dilijan National Park.
- How to get to Dilijan
- The Best Time of Year to Visit Dilijan
- Day Tours to Dilijan
- Things to do in Dilijan
- Hiking in Dilijan National Park
- Monasteries in and around Dilijan
- Things to do in Dilijan Town
- Museums in Dilijan
- Monument to the 50th Anniversary of Soviet Armenia
- Dilijan City Park and Dilijan Lake
- Dilijan Tourist Information Center
- Lake Parz
How to get to Dilijan
Getting to Dilijan is quite easy from Yerevan. You can take a marshrutka or taxi to Yerevan, or opt to self-drive.
Read up on all the details on how to get to Dilijan in my Yerevan to Dilijan Transport Guide.
The Best Time of Year to Visit Dilijan
Dilijan is really a year-round destination. That said, depending on where your interests lie, some seasons are better than others.
For those wanting to explore the great outdoors and take on some of the hiking in Dilijan and around, the best time to visit is in the summer and autumn months from May through September.
If a little cold and the occasional snowstorm (or rain) doesn’t bother you the shoulder season of late March and April, as well as October and November can still be a nice time to visit.
Winter, lasting from December until March is possible to visit and a great time for snow sports.
Day Tours to Dilijan
Don’t want to go at it alone or you’re just short on time? Check out these day tours on offer to Dilijan from Yerevan
- Lake Sevan and Dilijan National Park day trip
- Day trip to Dilijan, Parz Lake, and Makaravank Monastery
- Echmiadzin, Zvartnots, Lake Sevan, and Dilijan Day Tour
Things to do in Dilijan
There’s no shortage of things to do in Dilijan and Dilijan National Park.
The main attraction in Dilijan is the great outdoors as it’s the jumping-off point for adventures into the national park being located in the mountains of the Tavush Province.
That said, there are even things to do in Dilijan for those less outdoorsy but still want to get some crisp mountain air and take in the beautiful Armenian mountain scenery.
Hiking in Dilijan National Park
Dilijan National Park offers an array of hikes that will fit nearly any skill level.
Make sure and download the HikeArmenia app ( Apple | Google Play ) to have access to trail info and routes in Dilijan National Park and throughout Armenia.
Another great resource is the Dilijan Tourist Information Center located opposite Cafe #2 across the small lake in the Dilijan center. Here you can purchase a detailed hiking map of Dilijan National Park for 5000 AMD.
The new TCT (TranscaucasianTrail) that spans both Armenia and Georgia even passes through Dilijan National Park. It’s possible to do smaller portions of the TCT that sit within Dilijan National Park.
Several hikes even start from the town of Dilijan or others that can be easily accessed by taxi from town. Many of the trails are well-marked.
Myself, I did the Tripeak Trail and the Medieval Monasteries Trail on my visit to Dilijan. I found both to be quite easy hikes (for me at least) but still gave a stunning glimpse of what hiking opportunities Dilijan National Park offers.
I had plans to do some longer treks but rearranged my plans as I did have a shorter visit and had quite rainy and snowy weather at the end of March.
To see some more of the great hiking around Dilijan go to the HikeArmenia trails page and select Tavush under ‘regions’.
Monasteries in and around Dilijan
Like pretty much anywhere you’ll visit in Armenia, there are a scattering of monasteries around Dilijan National Park.
Jukhtavank & Matosavank Monasteries
Jukhtavank Monastery and Matosavank Monastery (12th and 13th century, respectively) which are part of the Medieval Monasteries Trail and located about 7 kilometers from Dilijan’s Center are popular options.
You can either walk from Dilijan to the trailhead as part of the Town to Twin Churches Hike or grab a taxi to do the Medieval Monasteries Trail for about 500 AMD.
The 12th or 13th century Goshavank Monastery is another commonly visited monastery in Dilijan National Park. It’s located in the village of Gosh. From there you can also visit Gosh Lake.
A popular (usually overnight) hike is to start from Goshavank Monastery to Dilijan via Gosh Lake and Parz Lake.
A taxi to Gosh should cost around 2500 AMD one way.
Finally, Haghartsin Monastery is another important monastery in Dilijan National Park that dates back to the 13th century.
A taxi to Haghartsin should cost around 1800 AMD one way.
Another option for visiting Haghartsin is to take on the Holy Cliff Trail from Hovk to Haghartsin Monastery.
Things to do in Dilijan Town
If you don’t want to venture out too far there are a few things to do in Dilijan Town.
Museums in Dilijan
Regional Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan
The Regional Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan present the history of the Dilijan area as well as showcase artwork from around Dilijan.
The Regional Museum of Dilijan features archeological finds and cultural exhibits, whereas the Art Gallery of Dilijan features well-preserved paintings created by Hovhannes Aivazovsky, Gorg Bashinjaghyan, Vardges Surenyants, and Panos Terlemezyan just to name a few artists of the region.
The museum and gallery have separate entrance admissions. Each area costs 1000 AMD.
Dilijan Museum of Folk Art
The Dilijan Museum of Folk Art is housed inside a building constructed in 1896 that once belonged to Princess Mariam Tumanyan and features a folk art collection donated by Hovhannes Sharambeyan.
The Dilijan Folk Art Museum features artwork that was collected from all over Armenia.
Unfortunately, I didn’t visit it as it appeared to be under renovation when I passed by.
Admission to the Dilijan Museum of Folk Art is 500 AMD.
Monument to the 50th Anniversary of Soviet Armenia
The funky brutalist Monument to the 50th Anniversary of Soviet Armenia is impossible to miss, located just off the roundabout and up a small hill.
The monument was constructed in 1970 by three architects, S. Avetisyan, A. Tarkhanyan, and K. Vatinyan to commemorate 50 years of Soviet Armenia.
Dilijan City Park and Dilijan Lake
In the center of Dilijan, just off the main roundabout sits Dilijan Lake and Dilijan City Park. If not wanting to venture too far into nature this is a great place for a peaceful stroll.
If the weather is a bit dreary, grab a coffee or a snack at Cafe #2 which is perched right on the lakeshore.
Dilijan Tourist Information Center
The Dilijan Tourist Information Center can provide invaluable info on the Dilijan area. As mentioned before, they do sell a nice map of the Dilijan National Park area with hiking trails.
Located on the eastern end of Dilijan is Lake Parz. It’s pretty commercialized but still a nice place to go for a stroll.
Those wanting to make a nice day trip out of Lake Parz can take on the Twist and Shout Trail that takes hikers from Dilijan Town to Lake Parz but can be done in reverse as well. You will need to take a taxi unless you want to take on the hike as an out-and-back.
If you want to grab a taxi from Dilijan to Lake Parz plan to pay 4000-5000 AMD for the one-way ride.
Where to Eat in Dilijan
There is no shortage of dining options in Dilijan thankfully. Those that are backpacking on a budget or planning to go on a multi-day hike from Dilijan will find a scattering of supermarkets to pick up food from if they didn’t already do so in Yerevan.
These two restaurants sit side-by-side and serve up an array of Armenian dishes. Kchuch also does some delicious pizzas in addition to their Armenian offerings.
Tava was closed when I visited in March, but you could order some of Tava’s offerings on the Kchuch Menu.
Situated on the shore of Dilijan Lake, Cafe #2 offers some of the best views in town.
They serve up a menu of international dishes as well as have nice coffee to choose from.
Cafe #2 is actually community-run and gives local hospitality students a chance to get on-the-job training.
Old Dilijan Winery Restaurant
If it’s wine you’re after, the Old Dilijan Winery Restaurant is the perfect place to go. They offer an extensive wine menu in addition to their food menu featuring Armenian and international cuisine.
Ker u Sus
Ker u Sus is a cozy folksy-themed that features a smattering of delicious Armenian and Georgian dishes.
Maestro offers up Armenian, Russian, and other international cuisine. Maestro is conveniently located across the street from the Tufenkian Hotel.
Where to Stay in Dilijan
If you’re on a smaller budget, I recommend Rossi Rest House by the River, centrally located right behind the bus station in a quiet corner and run by the welcoming and helpful Vlad.
Another great budget option is the Guesthouse Dilijan Orran.
If you’re looking to feel a bit more out in nature, the Ecokayan Dilijan Resort Hotel is a great option. It looked quite nice as I passed by it on a hike going back to Dilijan Town.
Have any questions about visiting Dilijan & Dilijan National Park?
Ask in the comments section below.
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