Lining the banks of the Pambak River, Vanadzor (formerly Kirovakan) is a post-industrial Soviet city and administrative centre for the Lori region. The main street, Tigran Mets Poghota, bustles with shops, cafes and the swishest clothes outside Yerevan. The young folk attending the teachers’ college add a bit of nightlife to the city. The huge chemical works at the eastern end of town are mostly moribund, but some factories are reopening. The city is a useful base for visiting the classic churches of Debed Canyon, with good transport links to other cities.