Sisian sits on a high plateau where it snows as late as March or April. The autumn ends early here too. It has a core of early-20th-century buildings and is divided into two districts by the wide Vorotan River. The town's buildings are poorly maintained, unemployment is high and the river is often full of rubbish – a sad fate for a place that was prosperous and proud in the Soviet era.
The region was inhabited long before the town was built, evidenced by nearby Neolithic observatories and animal petroglyphs. These days, the only compelling reason to visit is to see the petroglyphs at Zorats Karer (aka Karahunj) and Ughtasar (Pilgrimage Mountain).
The centre of town is on the northern side of the Vorotan. Marshrutky leave from the junction on the northern end of the bridge. The main street, Sisakan St, runs parallel to the river, one block inland.