Crossing the Georgia-Armenia Border by Marshrutka
Updated October 2023, Crossing the Georgia-Armenia Border by Marshrutka was originally published in April 2023
The drive from Tbilisi and Yerevan is one of the more spectacular drives I’ve been on. In this guide, I’ll share with you how to cross the Georgia-Armenia border by marshrutka after having done it myself now more than once.
It’s a scenic route that takes about 5-6 hours on average and taking the marshrutka from Tbilisi to Yerevan or vice-versa will give you the chance to relax and watch the scenery go by.
I’ve just made the Georgia-Armenia border crossing yet again and have finally dusted off this half-finished post from the archives of things I’ve been meaning to post…
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Going from Georgia to Armenia
Get a Marshrutka from Tbilisi to Yerevan
You can get marshrutkas from either Avlabari Bus Station (ავლაბარი), Station Square (სადგურის მოედანი), or Ortachala Bus Station (ორთაჭალა). To be completely honest, Avlabari is the easiest so I’ll focus on it mostly here.
The marshrutkas from Tbilisi to Yerevan leave about a block northwest of Avlabari Metro Station on the corner of Dusheti Street and Armazi Street.
On my latest Georgia-Armenia border crossing in March 2023, 6 out of the 8 seats were reserved in advance for the 9 am (first marshrutka of the day) on a Monday, so especially if traveling in the peak months, you may want to book the morning marshrutkas a day ahead of time.
Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that learning some basic Armenian can really enhance your travel experiences. While English is usually understood in cities, choosing to learn Armenian phrases can help you connect with locals, navigate rural areas, and appreciate the vibrant culture and rich history of the nation.
You can have your accommodation or host call to reserve a seat for you. Most of the hostels and hotels around Tbilisi will do this for you.
Cost of the Tbilisi-Yerevan Marshrutka
The marshrutka from Tbilisi to Yerevan costs 50 GEL per person as of March 2023. The fare is payable in cash directly to the driver before departing.
Georgia-Armenia Marshrutka Schedule for Avlabari
The marshrutkas that leave Avlabari Station in Tbilisi for Yerevan operate loosely on a schedule. Times are as follows every day:
Do note that the marshrutkas typically leave when full, so they could depart a little earlier or a little later depending on demand.
Outside of the peak season, it’s not unusual for the afternoon marshrutkas from Tbilisi to Yerevan to get axed. So if you need to get to Yerevan that day, it’s best to grab a morning marshrutka.
Georgia-Armenia Marshrutka Schedule for Station Square and Ortachala
I’ve always been recommended to take the marshrutka from Avlabari since it does somewhat have a schedule, whereas Station Square and Ortachala usually have a van leaving about 9 am at the earliest but are prone to taking longer to fill up, meaning you could be waiting a while for it to happen.
Exiting Georgia at the Sadakhlo Border Post
After about two hours of driving once you leave Tbilisi, you will arrive at the Sadakhlo border post on the Georgian side of the Georgia-Armenia border.
Exiting Georgia is simple, just walk inside the building to your right and you’ll see the passport control desk straight ahead.
When I crossed in March there was no one in line and it took about 30 seconds in total.
You’ll continue to walk past some duty-free shops before reaching the exit. Outside the door, you will wait for the marshrutka to come through and pick you up.
Crossing the Border Bridge Between Georgia and Armenia
Once everyone in the marshrutka is finished at the border, get back on board and you’ll cross the bridge to the Armenian side.
Entering Armenia at the Bagratashen Border Post
You’ll again exit the marshrutka once you reach the Bagratashen border facilities. The building will be on your left.
The driver will pop the trunk and you will need to carry all your luggage inside the immigration building with you.
Once inside, you’ll see the Armenian passport control dead ahead.
I only had to wait a couple of minutes here as the others on the marshrutka were ahead of me (I was the last one to pass).
They will take your picture and they may ask what you think about Armenia (I’ve been in the past and loved it), or they may just welcome you in and tell you to continue on your way.
Once through, you will put your bags through an X-ray scan and you’ll go through a detector. After that is complete, collect your luggage and head back outside where your marshrutka will likely be waiting for you already.
Stopping for Lunch (or a Break)
You’ll usually stop for about 30 minutes an hour and a half or so beyond the border. On my latest crossing between Georgia and Armenia, we stopped at a cafe in Darpas where the M3 and M6 meet.
Whatever cafe they stop at, they usually will take Georgian Lari and give change in Armenian Dram. If you don’t have cash they’ll take a card as well (at least where we stopped).
Getting to Kilikia Bus Station in Yerevan
Once you’ve arrived at Kilikia Bus Station the easiest way to reach Central Yerevan is to order a GG Taxi, UTaxi, or a Yandex to your accommodation.
The nearest metro station to Kilikia is General Andranik Station which is about a 30 minute walk away and at that point, you’d be on the edge of Central Yerevan anyways.
Where to Stay in Yerevan
In Yerevan, there is the Envoy Hostel that is always recommended. Recently, I’ve stayed at the Bonvenon Capsule Hostel and loved how centrally located it is to everything and the owner is super helpful and welcoming.
Armenia to Georgia
Go to Kilikia Bus Station (Central Station) and Catch the Marshrutka from Yerevan to Tbilisi
Head to Kilikia Bus Station and go to the southeast side of the station and look for the company called Comfort Armenia. This is the company that runs the vans and that you’ll purchase the fare with.
The easiest way to reach Kilikia Station is by taxi (use GG Taxi, Yandex, or UTaxi). The fare should be around 1000 AMD from the center of Yerevan.
Cost of the Yerevan-Tbilisi Marshrutka
Currently, the marshrutka from Armenia to Georgia costs 8000 AMD per person.
Marshrutka Schedule at Kilikia Station for Going from Armenia to Georgia
Exiting Armenia at the Bagratashen Border Post
The procedure for crossing the border from Armenia to Georgia is pretty much the same as mentioned previously for the Georgia to Armenia instructions.
Once you arrive at the Armenian border post at Bagratashen you’ll enter the building to your right and clear exit immigration. Once through exit through the door and wait for your marshrutka to meet you there.
Once your whole group has gotten their exit stamp from Armenia you will load back on and head across the bridge and to the Georgian post.
Entering Georgia at the Sadakhlo Border Post
When you arrive on the Georgian side, enter the building to your left and head to the passport control counter. There typically isn’t too much of a wait and once through continue out the door and back onto your marshrutka.
Getting to Avlabari Bus Station
Once to Avlabari, you can easily hop on the Tbilisi Metro at the Avlabari Metro Station entrance if you’re trying to save money and are staying more toward Liberty Square or other parts of Tbilisi.
If you’re staying in Tbilisi’s old city or Betlemi neighborhood and don’t have too much luggage, you can walk from Avlabari Station and across the Metekhi Bridge.
If you’re staying further out or have heavy bags, order a Bolt to your destination.
Where to Stay in Tbilisi
As I am assuming most of you reading this post are likely traveling on a budget, I’ll keep it simple and say the only hostel I’ve stayed at in Tbilisi is the Envoy Hostel. On my other visits, we rented apartments.
Do you need a Visa for Georgia or Armenia?
Have any questions about taking the marshrutka between Georgia and Armenia?
Ask in the comments section below.