Travel Guide Nagorno-Karabakh Stepanakert



Stepanakert is the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.



Getting There

By Plane

Despite Stepanakert having a newly renovated airport (the only one in the region) and an airline, Artsakh Air, political wrangling has prevented any planes from taking off. The Azeris announced to shoot down any flights that they don't control. There was some progress in 2012 towards the establishment of flights the Armenian capital but up to March 2015 there are still no flights.

Helicopter trips, however, are available.

By Car

Driving is also possible, and cars rented in Armenia can be driven to Karabakh and back without issues. The M-12 highway connects with Armenia via Goris and is the most common way to reach Stepanakert. A more adventurous traveler can opt to drive through the Karvajar pass via Vardenis which has been newly paved (2016). To reach the pass, follow road M-11 on the Armenian side. Both roads offers amazing views of wild life, deep forests, dramatic cliffs and several ancient monuments on the way. Few people speak anything other than Armenian and some Russian so prepare yourself with a dictionary.

Hitchhiking is safe and common enough in the countryside. Offering a small sum for your ride is polite, though in most cases it won't be accepted.

By Bus

The overall best budget option to get to Stepanakert are 'marshrutki' (single: 'marshrutka') i.e. micro-buses which every morning go from the Kilikia bus station in Yerevan, Armenia to Stepanakert. Marshrutki are not especially comfortable but they are cheap (less than 20 USD, which you should pay in Armenian currency). Normally, marshutki depart at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00am, sometimes at 9:00am but it is the approximate departure time. You should arrive some time (at least 20 minutes) before the departure to find a free chair. It might be that your luggage will be nested on the roof of the bus.

There is at least one daily bus from Yerevan. The journey is slow and can take up to eight hours. Tickets cost currently 4,500 AMD.

There is a bus connection with other Armenian cities of Vanadzor, Sisian, Goris (one marshrutka per day at 10:30am for 2,000 AMD, takes about 2 hours) and all major Nagorno-Karabakh cities incl. Askeran (23 kilometres), Berdzor (58 kilometres), Hadrut (71 kilometres), Karvachar (120 kilometres), Martakert (69 km), Martuni (41 kilometres), Shushi (13 kilometres).



Getting Around

There are several city bus lines. There are lots of taxis ranging from a very old cars to a brand new Mercedeses. Taxi prices are a bit higher than in Yerevan and increase if you leave the city for the countryside. Drivers tend to be honest, but using a meter is always a good idea.




Budget accommodation (about 5 USD) is easily available as there are many guest houses. Try to speak with locals about that or ask marshrutka driver which drove you to Stepanakert.




There are five schools of higher education in Stepanakert: Artsakh State University and four private universities. Artsakh State was originally established in 1969 as a branch of the Baku Pedagogical Institute. In 1973, it was renamed Stepanakert Pedagogical Institute and following the end of the war, in 1995, it received its current name. The university offers courses spread across seven departments and has an attendance level of 4,500.



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This is version 2. Last edited at 11:26 on Sep 1, 17 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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