Cost to Retire in Yerevan Armenia

In this report, I will share an itemized estimated cost to Retire in Yerevan Armenia including rent, utilities, groceries, restaurants, transportation, and other expenses for low to middle-range living costs.

After completing our retire early overseas research for Tbilisi Georgia, I headed south into Armenia. Americans are allowed visa-free entry to Armenia for up to 180 days. Qiang had to apply for an eVisa online and then wait 4 working days before her Visa was issued and then she joined me here.

Google Map


Yerevan is the capital of Armenia. Yerevan was founded in 782 BC by King Argishti I when he built the Erebuni fortress now in ruins on a hill over the city.

Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official state religion when Gregory the Illuminator convinced the king of Armenia, to convert to Christianity in 301 AD. Gregory was called the Illuminator because he is said to have brought the light of Christ into Armenia.

Christianity has shaped the Armenian people for over 17 centuries.

Armenia does not have a peaceful history. Invading nations have occupied Armenia over and over again including The Roman Empire, The Mongols, Alexander the Great, The Persian Empire, The Ottoman Empire, and The Soviet Union, among others.

During World War I, over a million Armenians, including women and children, were executed by the Ottoman Empire.

After World War I, Yerevan became the capital of Armenia as thousands of survivors of the Ottoman genocide returned here. The city expanded rapidly during the 20th century while Armenia was a part of the Soviet Union.

In a few decades, Yerevan was transformed from a provincial town within the Russian Empire to Armenia’s principal cultural, artistic, and industrial center, as well as becoming the seat of the national government.

In 1991, Armenia gained independence upon the fall of the Soviet Union. Much construction has been done throughout the city since the early 2000s, and retail outlets such as restaurants, shops, and street cafés, which were rare during Soviet times, have multiplied.

By 2011, the population of Yerevan had grown to over one million people, over 35% of Armenia’s total population.

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We felt very comfortable in Yerevan, and we could live here. As I show you more videos of Yerevan, Armenia, I will share my retirement desirability factors such as Visa, Medical, Walkability, Internet, Food, Weather, Things to Do, Social considerations, Expat Community, Real Estate, and My Overall Retirement Desirability Score.

But first, I want to share my estimated costs of living here if the two of us moved to Yerevan year-round on a tight budget. We will also include middle-range costs of living estimates so you have another data point.

Estimated Cost Retire Early in Yerevan Armenia

Rents: I found this furnished 1 bedroom apartment for rent $386 USD per month in Yerevan. If you rent for a shorter period on Airbnb it would be much more expensive.

If you rent a larger flat with more space it could easily be two or three times as much per month. So for the middle-range expenses, I would estimate $750 per month on up depending upon area and size.

Here is the process we use to find great apartments. So, we will show you a table of all expenses in a moment. We will use $386 per month for our lower rent estimate and $750 per month for the middle cost of living estimate for expats who want more space.

Utilities: We estimate that the year-round average for our utilities would be about $75 USD per month. The utilities would cost more for the larger space, starting at around $110 USD per month.

Groceries: When possible, we would purchase fruits and vegetables from small shops and street vendors to save money. But we would also shop in grocery stores for nonperishable foods and other things like shampoo and detergents. We estimate about $300 per month for groceries. Other expats are likely to shop more often in expensive grocery stores often spending more than $400 per month on groceries.

Restaurants: We would eat out twice per week mostly in more local-style restaurants averaging about $7 to $10 USD per meal per person and one or two splurges per month of $12 per meal per person. If you add all that up, we would spend around $220 per month for the two of us. We may have a beer here and there, but that is covered below in alcohol.

Other expats are likely to eat more Western-style foods in expensive expat-style restaurants and less in local-style restaurants, so they would likely spend more like $330 per month for 2 people in restaurants. It is lifestyle-dependent.

Cell Phone Data: The cost to get a prepaid sim card for your unlocked smartphone is about $7 USD per month with about 10GB per month of data. My Android phone will act as a hotspot so we can both be on the internet at the same time when we are out of the house together.

Other expat couples are likely to buy two prepaid SIM cards so they would send $14 per month.

Laundry: The apartments all seemed to have clothes washing machines. The above grocery estimate includes laundry detergent.

Drinking Water: We didn’t see reverse osmosis delivery in 20-liter jugs here so we would probably get a Brita water filter for the refrigerator. The filter refills would be about $5 USD per month.

Internet: 60 MBPS up and down is about $23 USD for in-home wifi.

Transportation: A monthly pass for buses and trains is $11 USD per person, so $22 for the two of us. Other expats might spend more riding taxis or the GG Taxi App, and less on public transportation, so I estimate $70 per month for them.

Alcohol (Optional): Domestic beer in grocery stores in Yerevan is about 400 D ($1.00 USD) for 0.45 liters. In bars and restaurants half-liter draft domestic draft beer ranges from about $2 to $3.00 USD. We estimate about $120 per month on alcohol for the two of us.

Many other expats would spend a higher amount for imported foreign or craft beers in expat bars, so about $220 USD per month for 2 people assuming they are not into imported whiskey or wine.

Entertainment (Optional): We would budget about $200 per month for entertainment for the two of us. We enjoy doing more do-it-yourself kinds of entertainment so expats would spend a little more, maybe $300 per month, for 2 of them?

Estimated Costs to Retire in Yerevan Armenia


















Cell Data






Drinking Water


















Optional Total









Optional Total



The above lower estimated cost of living would be if the two of us lived in Tbilisi on a tight budget. The middle estimate is just an example of what other expats might spend if they moved here.

To understand what it would cost you to live here, you must put your feet on the ground, see what you would choose to rent, eat, and entertain yourself, and add it all up. It doesn’t matter what anyone else spends because we are all different.

Yerevan Armenia Retirement Livability Factors

Before you move anywhere outside your home country, make sure to create a list of things that you must have for your happy retirement. Here are my retirement livability factors and I will rank each as high, medium, or low before assigning an overall retirement desirability score to Yerevan.

Walkability: High. We walked everywhere in Yerevan. We only booked a taxi to get from the bus station to our apartment and from our apartment to the airport when we flew to Bulgaria. If it was raining, we would just hop on public transportation. To find out how to use public transportation. Google maps will tell you where to go to catch the bus or train and when to get off once you type in where you want to go. The bus and subway prices are reasonable. If you decide to take a taxi somewhere, we recommend the GG Taxi App.

Internet: High. The wifi in our Airbnb was 32 MBPS down and 24 MBPS up. Good enough for us to do Zoom calls, upload YouTube videos, and watch Netflix. We were also able to use our cell phones as a hotspot when out of the house without paying anything extra.

Food: High. There is a reasonable assortment of foreign foods from around the world, but obviously not as extensive a selection as places like London or Rome. Of course, the prices are cheaper and most everything is only a 20-minute walk from central Yerevan.

Weather: Medium. I was surprised to learn Yerevan averages 990 m (3,248.03 ft) above sea level. From mid-December until the end of February, it snows often and snow is often on the ground. That means you can ski and snowboard even longer in the surrounding mountains. Daily highs average from 36 F (2 C) in January up to 94 F (34 C) in July. Nightly lows average from 22 F (-6 C) in January to 68 F (20 C) in July. It rains 5 or fewer days every month except in April and May when it rains 6 and 8 days respectively.

Things to Do: High. Yerevan is the capital of Armenia so there is much to do here. The city is well designed with many public parks, full of restaurants and cafes, and there are many sidewalk cafes along the streets. There are museums, live music, people watching, cultural tours, coffee shops, jazz clubs, live theatre, ballet, DJs, house music venues, shopping malls, art galleries, pool halls, and beautiful places to walk all over the city. There are also extensive 3D art displays throughout the city parks and on random street corners. Artwork is sold in parks all over the city when the weather warms up. If you are a cultural explorer you are likely to really enjoy your time here.

Social Considerations: According to Wikipedia, 40% of Armenians have basic knowledge of English, 16% intermediate, 20% beginner level, and only 4% have advanced proficiency in English. It seems like people in the service industries such as restaurants, smartphone stores, retail stores, etc. could speak English enough to help us. When we had more complicated questions, they would usually send over the “English-speaking” employee. Many Russians escaped to Armenia when Russia attacked Ukraine. Many of them speak some English also, and none of them told me they are in favor of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. A few Russians said they were here before the war and that prices were higher now because more Russians came. But the prices I am sharing here are today’s prices. As a foreigner here, I don’t believe you will face any additional challenges because you are a foreigner. Armenians and Russians both seem to be curious about and have an affinity for Americans and Europeans.

Safety Considerations: Armenia and Yerevan in particular seem to have a lower crime rate and fear than the USA. People feel safer in Armenia. But be careful of petty crime in crowded areas such as pickpocketing. I checked the US State Department webpage and they have published a level 2 risk for Armenia–“Exercise increased caution.” But it seems to be focused on the areas closer to the border with Azerbaijan. We often travel to locations with level 2 warnings from the US State Department, such as Mexico, so we have very little concern about being in the capital city of Yerevan which is not near the border with Azerbaijan.

Expat Community: Here are a few Facebook pages that cater to English-speaking expats living in Armenia: 1, 2, 3. These online expat communities are great for learning all about things that expats want to learn when they first move overseas. But do check each before asking any specific questions. You will often find that someone has answered your questions recently so don’t waste their time by asking it again before reading. That way they will be willing to answer any new questions you have that have not yet been answered.

Medical: This healthcare international comparison index ranks Armenia 68th in the world one spot better than the United States at 69th. There are different ways healthcare is rated, but this one seems to be considering quality of care in relation to what patients are charged.


You may decide to seek treatment in one of the countries in the world on this list such as Thailand 31st or Malaysia 42nd. It is also true that there are very good doctors in Yerevan. So, make sure to ask around for referrals and establish relationships with doctors based on the feedback you have gotten from others who have used their services. In a general sense, you are looking for younger doctors trained in more western standards, during the post soviet era of medicine. The above Expats Facebook pages may be a good source for that information.

Tourist Visa: Citizens of many countries (EU, UK, Aussie, New Zealand, USA, others) are given 180 days visa-free entry when they arrive in Armenia. The only thing immigration asked me upon entry was, what is the plate number of the minivan you arrived in? I gave him the last 3 numbers and he stamped me with 180 days. It was the same story for Qiang but she needed an online eVisa. I am American and she is Malaysian. Learn more on this Armenia government webpage 1, 2. For longer periods, you must apply for a residency permit through the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Armenian Residency Permits: Armenia does not have a retirement visa. But foreigners may be able to obtain a residency permit by starting a business in Armenia, investing in an Armenian Business, and/or acquiring Income Producing Real Estate. But these rules are not written in stone online and change from time to time. You should contact a qualified immigration lawyer to sort out the law in this area so you can form a proper strategy. Facebook expat forums would likely be a good source for an immigration lawyer on this topic.

Real Estate: Presently, foreigners can take title to real property in Armenia and have full ownership rights. However, I do not recommend buying real estate in a foreign country until you have lived there for an extended period of time making sure you love it. If you decide to buy, you should also get your own lawyer who has no conflict of interest with you. For example, do not use a lawyer recommended by your real estate broker or local lover.

Yerevan Armenia Retirement Desirability Score: Medium. I really loved the dynamic nature of life in Yerevan Armenia, but I would not be willing to put up with snow on the ground anymore because I have not skied or snowboarded in years. But if you love seasons and snow is not a bother for you, and you are a cultural explorer, you would probably rate Yerevan as High desirability.

Yerevan Armenia Walking Tour

Google Map


Editable Walking Tour Stops


Kathoghike Church: After the 1679 Yerevan earthquake, that demolished Yerevan, this large basilica was built in 1693. Soviet-era city planners decided to demolish this church to build apartments. But during demolition, the 13th-century church of Katoghike was discovered encased within the structure. Archaeologists protested and the church was preserved.

Vernissage: The market mainly features a collection of different types of traditional Armenian artworks. Market with local crafts and souvenirs

Republic Square: Cultural and Political Center of Yerevan: Grand City Square with fountains, once known as Lenin Square, used for public events, celebrations, and protests.

National Gallery of Armenia: The largest Museum in Armenia including the largest collection of Armenian Artists in the world and includes Russian and European Artists. Ask what floors are open before you pay. They are organized by time period.

Armenian National Opera and Ballet Theatre: The Opera House built in 1930 has a Concert Hall with 1,400 seats and the Opera and Ballet National Theatre with 1,200 seats. Check the playbill while you are in town. It is active and you may want to attend a performance.

Cascade Complex: Yerevan’s Cascade Complex connects the city center with the Victory Park, which commemorates the Soviet Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. The Complex is also an Art complex featuring interesting sculptures and works of art.

Where we stayed in Yerevan

We stayed at this Airbnb ($30 USD/night not including Airbnb fees) because we wanted to be within walking distance of everything. It was a great location. Everything we needed was within walking distance and I have listed all of that below under restaurants, shopping, and services.

How we got to Armenia from Georgia

We took a minivan from here in Tbilisi to this bus station in Yerevan. It costs 59 Gel ($21 USD) per person and departs at 7.30 am, 9 am, 11 am, 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm when we were there. You can call ahead and make a reservation: +995.593.229554. It took about 7 hours including a 30-minute bathroom break in the middle and clearing immigration at the border. I couldn’t find any money exchangers in Tbilisi that had Armenian Dram. But it wasn’t a problem because there is an ATM inside the border immigration office on the Armenia side.

Restaurants, Bars, Nightlife, Services

Restaurants (prices in Armenian Dram (D) (divide by 388 to get USD))

Elie’s Lahmajun: Falafel sandwich 1000, bean soup 1200, lentil soup 1000

Tavern Yerevan (Teryan): Aveluk soup 1000, bean soup 1000, Chicken kebab with salad 2400

La Cucina: Chicken Cacciatora 2900, Pasta Arabiata 2800, Ice Tea 650

Sherep Restaurant: Greek salad 3200, pumpkin soup 2000, beef kebab with salad 3400, crazy tart dessert 2200, water 400

Mr. Gyros: Chicken wrap 990, greek salad 1100, hummus 490, pita bread 100

Tun Lahmajo: Bean soup 1200, beer 1000

Tex Mex Mexican Grill : vegetarian bean salad 1550, BBQ chicken wing 2000, house salad 1000

Martiros Saryan Park – cafe: Beer 800, Ice-cream 500

Jijil Tavern: Coffee 800, Omelet with green 1700, Omelet with tomatoes 1500, orange juice 1700

Bars, Lounges

Esthetic Joys Embassy / ПЭУ: 0.5-liter beer 1200

Ruzanna Craft Bar: 0.5-liter beer 1800 with pool table

The Green Bean Cascade: Wine 11000, service charge 10%

Nightlife Walking Tour

On the minivan from Tbilisi to Yerevan I had a nice chat with a Russian and he gave me a list of his favorite nightlife places. These are mostly laid-back places. The last one also had a dance floor with a DJ playing international house music.

Google Map



GG Taxi App: Taxi App we used in Yerevan. (Android and Apple)

Viva MTS: Sim card we used: 10GB 2500 D ($6.50) or Unlimited data 4500 D ($11.50) 30 days

Central bus station: to/from Georgia, Turkey, etc.

SAS (Expensive Grocery Store):

Street Vendors near us: Fruits and vegetables

Another grocery store near us:

What would it cost you to live in Yerevan Armenia?

To get a better understanding of things you should add to our estimated cost of living watch this video: 9 Reasons You Can’t Retire on $1000 Month Overseas.

Most people will likely be unable to retire for the lower range estimate above. I give example reasons why in this report. Plus, this other report explains how to avoid coming home early with your tail between your legs.

Also, if you are going to try to retire cheap offshore, make sure to read my report, the Two Biggest Risks of Retiring Early for Cheap Offshore, which explains why you should have emergency funds available for unexpectedly large expenses.

You should also add anything to the above table that you spend money on in your home country that is not listed in the above table. Presumably, you find those things necessary in life. To do that, visit the Numbeo Yerevan and add anything not mentioned in the above table.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on your lifestyle and the time since this post.

Many of the expats we meet living overseas are self-insured for medical care. That means that not everyone buys health insurance when they move overseas. That probably sounds crazy to many of you.

I didn’t carry medical insurance for most of my first 17 years living overseas. But last year I bought medical insurance. If you are wondering what it costs and what it covers, watch my medical insurance video at this link. This is not an affiliate link.

More typical expat living costs in Yerevan range from about $1500 to $3000 per month. But people spending that much often have higher savings, incomes, or pensions. They often report spending more on accommodations, entertainment, eating out more, traveling, and alcohol. Many also have more expensive cars, houses, or apartments.

Make sure to grab a free copy of my eBook, How I Fired My Boss and Traveled the World for 17 Years, and How I Pay for Travel.