Dilijan Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more with our comprehensive travel guide to Dilijan, Armenia.

Introduction to Dilijan

Dilijan is a small town nestled in the lush forests of Northern Armenia. Known for its rich natural beauty, Dilijan is the perfect destination for those seeking a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Dilijan is often referred to as the “Little Switzerland” due to its picture-perfect settings, cool climate, and alpine forests.

List of Places to Visit in Dilijan

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Dilijan is steeped in culture and history. Some of the top historically significant attractions in Dilijan include:

  • Dilijan History Museum: A must-visit museum that showcases the town’s rich history and culture through various exhibits, including traditional furniture, clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts.
  • Sharambeyan Centre of Traditional Culture: This cultural center is a hub of traditional Armenian music, art, and crafts. Visitors can witness local artisans at work, learn traditional dance moves, and enjoy Armenian folk music.
  • Haghartsin Monastery: This 13th-century Armenian monastery is a magnificent example of ancient Armenian architecture. The complex houses three churches, numerous khachkars (traditional Armenian carved stones), and a stunning courtyard.

Natural Attractions of Dilijan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Nature is Dilijan’s main attraction, as the town is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and pristine wilderness. Some of the top natural attractions in Dilijan include:

  • Lake Parz: One of the most beautiful spots in Dilijan, Lake Parz is surrounded by dense forests and offers great opportunities for fishing, boating, and picnics.
  • Dilijan National Park: A vast wilderness area that boasts stunning views of alpine forests, rolling hills, and crystal-clear rivers. The park is home to numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, and campsites.
  • Gosh Lake: Located just 10 km southeast of Dilijan, Gosh Lake is a serene and scenic lake that is popular for fishing and camping.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Dilijan

Dilijan is a haven for hiking and biking enthusiasts, with numerous trails and routes that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Some of the top hiking and biking routes in Dilijan include:

  • Dilijan to Parz Lake Trail: A scenic hiking trail that takes you from Dilijan to Parz Lake, passing through lush forests, historic villages, and scenic viewpoints.
  • Dilijan National Park Trail: A challenging hiking trail that takes you deep into the heart of Dilijan National Park, passing through rugged terrain, pristine rivers, and stunning canyons.
  • Biking the Dilijan-Lake Sevan Route: A picturesque biking route that takes you from Dilijan to Lake Sevan, passing through scenic landscapes, traditional Armenian villages, and ancient historical sites.

Best Things to Do in Dilijan: Activities and Tours

Apart from hiking and biking, Dilijan offers plenty of other exciting activities and tours that cater to all types of travelers. Some of the top things to do in Dilijan include:

  • Cultural Tours: Visit Dilijan’s traditional villages, historical monuments, and museums to learn about the town’s rich culture and history.
  • Food Tasting Tours: Savour the unique flavours of Armenian cuisine by embarking on a food-tasting tour of Dilijan’s local food joints.
  • Adventure Activities: Try your hand at zip-lining, river-rafting, and off-road adventures in Dilijan’s rugged wilderness.

Week-Long Itinerary for Dilijan

Day 1: Arrival in Dilijan, check into your hotel, explore the town center, and visit Dilijan History Museum.

Day 2: Go on a hiking tour of Dilijan National Park and visit the Haghartsin Monastery.

Day 3: Take a food-tasting tour of Dilijan’s local eateries and visit Sharambeyan Centre of Traditional Culture.

Day 4: Go on a mountain biking tour of Dilijan-Lake Sevan route.

Day 5: Visit the Gosh Lake and experience the serenity and pristine wilderness of Dilijan.

Day 6-7: Embark on adventure and outdoor activities like zip-lining, river-rafting, and off-road adventures.

Food and Drink Scene of Dilijan

Must-Try Dishes

  • Khorovats: A barbecued meat dish made with pork, beef, or lamb.
  • Dolma: Stuffed grape leaves filled with seasoned rice, meat, and herbs.
  • Lahmajun: A thin, crispy pizza-like dough topped with minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and spices.

Local Beverages

  • Armenian Brandy: Dilijan is well-known for its high-quality Armenian brandy, an excellent drink to accompany the local cuisine.
  • Wine: Armenia possesses a 6000-year-old tradition of winemaking, which produces unique wine tastes with a distinct aroma.

Where to Stay in Dilijan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Dilijan offers a wide range of accommodation options that cater to all budgets and preferences.

  • Tufenkian Old Dilijan Hotel: A luxury hotel housed in a historic 19th-century building that boasts stunning views of Dilijan’s forests and mountains.
  • Dghyak Guest House: A cozy guest house located in Dilijan’s town center that offers comfortable rooms and great hospitality.
  • Dilijan Youth Hostel: A budget-friendly hostel that provides affordable dorm-room accommodation for backpackers.

What to Buy in Dilijan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Armenian Jewelry: Dilijan’s traditional handicraft shops offer beautiful handmade jewelry made from silver and bronze wire.
  • Armenian Carpets: Dilijan is famous for its hand-woven Armenian carpets that come in various intricate patterns and styles.
  • Apricot Brandy: Dilijan produces some of the finest apricot brandy in the world, a drink well worth bringing home.

Local Culture and Customs of Dilijan

Armenians value strong family ties and maintain traditional values of respect and hospitality. Visitors should dress modestly and behave courteously when interacting with locals. It is customary to remove shoes before entering someone’s home or a church.

Best Time to Visit Dilijan

The best time to visit Dilijan is during the summer months from June to September when the weather is mild and ideal for outdoor activities. Winter months from December to February are colder, with snow and perfect for winter sports and indoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Dilijan


  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Use public transportation, as it is affordable and convenient.
  • Try the local food, as Armenian cuisine offers a unique blend of flavors and spices.


  • Leave valuables unattended when in public places.
  • Take pictures of people without their permission.
  • Wear shoes inside someone’s home or a religious site.

Safety and Health

Safety in Dilijan

Dilijan is generally a safe place to visit, with a low crime rate. However, visitors should exercise reasonable precautions, such as not leaving valuables unwatched and using the hotel safes to store passports and cash.

Health in Dilijan

Dilijan has good medical facilities that offer quality healthcare. Visitors are advised to bring along travel insurance to cover any medical expenses. Drinking water from the tap is not recommended. It is best to use bottled water, which is readily available.

Getting to Dilijan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Dilijan

Dilijan is located 90 km away from Zvartnots International Airport in the capital city of Yerevan. Visitors can take a cab or book a shuttle bus to reach Dilijan.

Bus Stations Near Dilijan

Dilijan has no bus station, but visitors can take local buses or taxis from Yerevan’s bus station to reach Dilijan.

Other Options

Visitors can also hire a private car, take a shared taxi or arrange a pick-up with their hotel to reach Dilijan.

How to Get Around in Dilijan

Dilijan is a compact town that can be easily explored on foot. Visitors can also use public transportation, such as buses and taxis, to get around.

Where to Go Next from Dilijan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Lake Sevan: Armenia’s largest lake, located just 20 km away from Dilijan, Sevan is surrounded by lush green forests and is renowned for its scenic beauty and water sports.
  • Yerevan: Armenia’s capital city and cultural hub, located 90 km away from Dilijan. An excellent destination for shopping, dining, and sightseeing.


Dilijan is a hidden gem in Armenia that offers unique natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and unparalleled outdoor adventures. Whether you are a nature lover, history buff, or adventure seeker, Dilijan has something to offer everyone. Plan your trip today and experience the magic of Dilijan for yourself.