Stepanakert is the capital city of Narogno Karabakh, comprising approximately 53,000 ethnic Armenians. It is also the largest city in the de facto independent state. The city is surrounded by mountains, which means that the place is somehow in a very good balance between the nature and artificial buildings. Not only because of the harmony of the nature and artificial objects but also the central location will let you access many other places in the state within a very reasonable distance so that it can function as a base for your trip within Karabakh, for example, going to Shushi and Gandzasar.

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Apart from the surrounding mountains which are located in the outskirts of the city, the most famous and worthy site to visit is probably “Mamik and Babik” which represent an old Armenian woman and man of mountainous Karabakh. It is also well known as wife and husband statue of Karabakh.

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In the center of Stepanakert, there is a square called Shahumyan Square where the residents of Karabakh gather to meet their friends, to relax and have fun around a fountain. So, this can be one of the places for you to get acquainted with some local people of Karabakh in order to know them more. Karabakh people are veryhospital actually!

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In Karabakh, you can actually use Armenian Drams and even find ATM machines which are connected with major international credit cards so that you do not have to worry it too much.

Probably, the most troublesome part is a way to get to Stepanakert. At the moment, there is no airlines flying to the city from other countries and even from Yerevan. The road which are rugged in some parts is the only route to reach the city from Yerevan. Actually, on the way, there are a lot of beautiful places to pass but the road is not so perfectly organized so that you would feel too much to drive a car to there. If you do not want to drive a car, it is recommended to catch a bus which is operated on daily basis and takes approximately 8 hours from Yerevan to Stepanakert. This option would cost around 4500 drams. Or, if you want to experience the real Armenian way of journey, there are some mini-buses (marshutka), costing very limited price but it would be so tiring for you especially if you are not used to sitting in space squeezed for 8 hours.

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As another important note, if you have a stamp of Nagorno Karabakh on your passport, you would not be able to enter Azerbaijan especially if you plan to go there after Nagorno Karabakh. So, please ask them to stamp on another piece of paper rather than passport.

Anyway, Stepanakert is a recommended place for you to visit for the beautiful nature and unique culture.