Yerevan is known for being a safe city. Apart from the occasional older person asking for a handout, you are not likely to be approached by any shady characters. Most crime is relegated to auto theft and break-ins, and tourists are rarely targeted. It is also one of the few cities where women can confidently walk alone in the main areas at night.
That said, it makes sense to take some precautions. Women should avoid the deserted streets at night, and choose the backseat of the taxicab if traveling alone. Although the city runs on cash, be careful to keep your money secure, especially when carrying large denominations. Doors to hotel rooms and apartments should be locked upon leaving the building.
If you do find yourself the victim of a crime, you may go to the police, but most local police are more interested in activating their sirens and chasing traffic violators than tracking down thieves. You may find your attempt to file a report somewhat frustrating.
Armenia is earthquake country and appears to be relatively unprepared for "the big one." Few families keep earthquake supplies on hand. Cement buildings and crumbling stairwells abound, as well as parapets and other potentially lethal structures on the street. Another concern is the Soviet-era Armenia Nuclear Power Plant southwest of Yerevan. The plant was closed temporarily in 1988 following the devastating earthquake, but reopened in 1995. Armenia is currently under international pressure to close the plant permanently because of safety concerns.
Also be careful of wild dogs. These may appear friendly, and sometimes look cute enough for foreigners to want to adopt them, but these are feral animals and can be unpredictable. Additionally, many travel in packs. Stories of travelers being chased by packs of dogs are fairly common. It is best to respond to an approaching dog or dogs with the universal command, "Shoo!"
There is some risk of being caught up in Armenia's current political situation. As we have seen, in March 2008 a political demonstration turned extremely violent. At least ten people were killed as the government turned on the opposition. Foreigners should be mindful that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful could turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. You can tell when a demonstration is about to happen because police and soldiers will line up around the area. It's best to avoid it if possible, since tensions can run high.
If you have any questions about travel to Armenia (visa, hotels, guide services, transportation), please feel free to contact us at any time and we will gladly answer your questions.