Tbilisi

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Tbilisi At Night

Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისი) [1] is the capital city of the country of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari river. The city covers an area of 726 km² (280.3 square miles) and has a population of approximately 1,345,000.

Understand[edit]

Location of Tbilisi within Georgia

Tbilisi lies in the centre of eastern Georgia, in the foothills of the Trialeti mountain range. According to Georgian legends, it was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali who, while hunting, shot a pheasant which fell into a warm spring and was either boiled or healed. Either way, the king was inspired to found a city on the site, and the name of the city derives from the Georgian word tbili meaning "warm". Although the city has been destroyed and rebuilt some 29 times, the layout of the Old Town is largely intact with narrow alleys and big crooked houses built around courtyards.

Climate[edit]

Tbilisi experiences relatively cold winters and hot summers. Because the city is bounded on most sides by mountain ranges, the close proximity to large bodies of water (Black and Caspian Seas) and the fact that the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range (further to the north) blocks the intrusion of cold air masses from Russia, Tbilisi has a relatively mild micro-climate compared to other cities that possess a similar continental climate along the same latitudes. - The average annual temperature in Tbilisi is 12.7 °C (54.9 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 0.9 °C (33.6 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24.4 °C (75.9 °F). The absolute minimum recorded temperature is −24 °C (−11 °F) and the absolute maximum is 40 °C (104 °F). Average annual precipitation is 568 mm (22.4 in). May and June are the wettest months (averaging 84 mm (3.3 in) of precipitation each) while January is the driest (averaging 20 mm (0.8 in) of precipitation). Snow falls on average 15–25 days per year. The surrounding mountains often trap the clouds within and around the city, mainly during the Spring and Autumn months, resulting in prolonged rainy and/or cloudy weather. Northwesterly winds dominate in most parts of Tbilisi throughout the year. Southeasterly winds are common as well.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tbilisi International Airport entrance/exit
  •    Tbilisi International Airport (IATA: TBS, Georgian: თბილისის საერთაშორისო აეროპორტი, Tbilisis saertasoriso aeroporti formerly Novo Alexeyevka International Airport), Airport St (17 km southeast of the city centre.),  +995 32 310 265fax: +995 32 310 322, e-mail: . A new, modern terminal was inaugurated on February 7, 2007. George W. Bush Avenue leads from the airport to downtown Tbilisi. - The first airport terminal building was constructed in 1952. Designed by the architect V. Beridze in the style of Stalinist architecture the building featured a floor plan with symmetric axes and a monumental risalit in the form of a portico. The two side wings featured blind arcades in giant order. A new terminal building was finished in 1990, designed in the International style. - There is now a concrete runway with 3 km lenght, and also a helipad. The airport has a contemporary and functional design. It is designed to provide the optimum flow of both passengers and luggage from the parking lot to the planes, with a 25,000 square meter total usable area. - Services: The food and beverage operations are carried out at 7 points, while Duty Free services at four stores. There is also an ATM and a branch of the Liberty Bank (+995 322 555500).

The following airlines operate service to/from Tbilisi:

Air Astana (Almaty) airBaltic (Riga), Alitalia (Rome), Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv), Austrian Airlines (Vienna), Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku), Belavia (Minsk), bmi (London-Heathrow), Czech Airlines (Prague), Donbassaero (Donetsk), Dniproavia (Dnipropetrovsk), Estonian Air (Tallinn), Euroline (Almaty, Donetsk, Dubai, Kharkiv, Odessa, Vilnius) flyDubai (Dubai), Georgian Airways (Amsterdam, Athens, Dubai, Kiev-Boryspil, Minsk, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv, Vienna), LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw), Lufthansa (Munich), Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen), Qatar Airways (Doha,Baku), SCAT (Aktau), Sky Georgia (Batumi, Antalya), TAM Air (Donetsk, Kharkiv), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk), and Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil)

Bus 37 leaves from the right corner of the arrival area every 15–30 minutes, between 8:00 and 20:00 and then every hour until 23:00 to the city center. It travels via Avlabari, Freedom Square, Rustaveli, Republic Square and Tamar Bridge, to the main train station (Vagzal). The trip can take over 50 minutes. The fare is 0.50 GEL.

Taxis between the airport and the city cost 20-30 Lari. Standard rates are listed on a board by the taxi rank as you exit the airport, on the right hand side.

Trains from the airport to the main train station cost 2 GEL and are fast. As of Oct. 2013 there are only two trains daily: at 8.45 and 18.05.

If you are travelling to/from Mestia, there are flights available 5 days per week for 75 lari. You can reserve tickets in the Courtyard Mariott on Freedom Square from 9am-1pm in the Pegasus airlines office. Note that flights to and from Mestia are cancelled at least 50% of the time due to weather in the mountains; as a result, it's not recommended to fly to Mestia soon before an international departure.

By train[edit]

The main train station has been transferred into a shopping mall, with the odd train leaving from the upper levels (All Georgia English timetable). Domestic trains run between Tbilisi and Batumi, Gori, Kutaisi I + II, Marneuli, Poti, and Zugdidi. An international train (no. 37) runs daily between Tbilisi (dep. 16.30) and Baku. - Trains between Yerevan and Tbilisi operate up on odd days of the calender (dep. 20.20). Coming back on even days, fares starting at 5600AMD ~$15 (Dec 2011). Tickets can be bought at the Yerevan train station, cash only. - The train from Baku to Tbilisi is not very nice and is pretty hot. The train will have to wait for a pretty long time at the border crossing, and you will have to pay fee for everything that you bring, mostly if it is for sale or in big quantities.

By bus[edit]

Luks Karadeniz operates a daily bus from Turkey, costing 70 YTL. Bus services from Russia have been suspended. - Regular buses or marshrutkas run between Tbilisi and Batumi or Kazbegi as well as Azerbaijan and locations in Armenia. - Neo-Turs' bus company offers bus transfers Tbilsi - Thessaloniki - Athens and back, starting from Didube bus station (price: 100 US-$).

By minibus[edit]

Mini buses are generally privately owned vans. They operate at different frequencies depending on destination. They usually have leave-by time, but leave earlier if filled up.

Bus stations[edit]

There are three main stations in Tbilisi.

  •    Didube bus station (დიდუბე), Akaki Tsereteli Ave (Metro Tbilisi.jpgDidube metro stop. Once at the metro platforms, take the train on the right (going forwards). This direction takes you to the main station and center. There are no signs in English.- Alternatively buses 21 and 46 go there from the city center.). Northern and Western Georgia destinations (including private taxis to Russia, through Kazbegi) are served. It's rather disorganised and sprawling, but you'll find minibuses to almost anywhere.
  •    Samgori bus station (სამგორის), Ketevan Tsamebuli Ave (300 m from Metro Tbilisi.jpgSamgori metro station). For minibuses to Eastern Georgia (e.g., Sighnaghi, every odd hour from 7am. Price: 7 lari. Duration: 1h30)
  •    Ortachala bus station (Central bus station, ორთაჭალის ავტოსადგური), Dimitri Gulia St 1/Vakhtang Gorgasali St (marshrutka 70 and 81. Minibuses from Yerevan (30 GEL, six hours), will also drop you off here. - Metro Tbilisi.jpgIsani metro station go down the street heading to South, you come across the bridge, cross it and there is on left side.),  +995 32 753433 ?. - serves Southern Georgia (e.g., Marneuli) as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and even Greece. Lines to Vanadzor and Sevan (hourly, 7.00-12.00).- It is serviced from the city by ATM inside the station. Staff speaks very limited English. No English sign, but some Cyrillic signs that might help you. Toilets (0,20 Lari, horrible). -

Get around[edit]

Main transport inside and outside the Tbilisi city is bus and minibus - marshrutka. Taxis are also cheap, but two wheeled transport is rarely seen and pedestrians have to contend with significant neglect of the pavements. As far as motorists are concerned pedestrians are allowed to use zebra crossings, but when doing so they don't have priority over vehicular traffic. However pedestrians do have the advantage of being able to cross the pedestrian only peace bridge and travel on the cable car and funiculars.

By metro[edit]

Tsereteli metro station
Freedom Square metro station

Tbilisi has a two-line metro system, which operates from 6:00 AM until midnight.

All signs inside the Metro Tbilisi.jpgmetro are in Georgian and English. Station names are also announced in two languages. There are rarely system maps on the train cars themselves. You will be lucky to find English speakers riding the Metro; you will however have better luck with Russian which is widely spoken. Take a bilingual map with you if you are not proficient with the local alphabet/pronunciation.

A trip with the metro in Tbilisi costs 0.50 GEL. But you will have to buy a Metromoney card (2 GEL) at the counter. You can top up the card with any amount you like, and use it for travel both on the metro and on buses. In Fall 2012, Tbilisi introduced free transfer system between metro and buses, allowing for an hour and a half of free transfer. It applies across metro-to-metro, and bus-to-bus, as well as across systems. You can use one card for multiple people, however, the second person will cost 0.50 GEL each time.

Kura river, Tbilisi

By bus[edit]

City buses are yellow, and come in various sizes. The bus number and a description of the route are usually listed on signs in the bus windows, but only in Georgian. The city recently installed electronic arrival boards, with reasonably accurate estimated arrival times, at bus stops on major roads. The signs are alternating between English and Georgian, and display the bus number, minutes to arrival, and destination.

Board through any door you like, usually the double doors in the middle are easiest. A journey costs 0.50-0.80 GEL, and exact change is required if you don't have a touch card (which can be purchased at metro stations). Metromoney cards allow free transfers, and can be topped up at many pay boxes around the city, in addition to metro stations. Hold onto the ticket you receive on the bus; you will need to present it to the yellow-shirted ticket checkers.

Marshrutkas are vans which service the side streets of the city; they are independently owned. Like buses, the route is posted in the front window (often only in Georgian), but marshrutkas use a different route numbering system, and the route descriptions may be more general than the buses (e.g. "Vake" rather than a specific street in the Vake area). Fare is (on average) 0.80 GEL. If paid with a touch card, every trip after the first one during the day is reduced to 0.65 GEL; shout "gaacheret" when you want to get off, and hand the driver your fare on the way out. In the new yellow Ford Transit vans you can pay also with the electronic card you need for the metro.

By cab[edit]

Taxis in Tbilisi are typically privately owned vehicles, and are not metered. If you're going anywhere other than the nearest metro station, major hotels, or tourist destinations, or if you don't speak Georgian or Russian, it's likely that your driver will stop multiple times and ask pedestrians for directions. Even then, he may not know how to get to your destination. If the driver has difficulty finding your destination, he will charge you for his trouble. Always negotiate a price beforehand, unless it is a metered taxi. Prices start at 2 GEL for very short trips. A trip in the center of town should rarely cost more than 3-5 GEL, and anywhere in the city should never cost more than 15 GEL, unless you're going to the airport.

By car[edit]

End on parking is widespread, but the ubiquitous informal parking attendants will help you reverse out into the traffic, its all part of the service they offer in return for the usual tip.

See[edit]

Dolmens in the Ethnographical Open-Air Museum
Freedom Square

Museums[edit]

There is a common English website for most museums.

  •    G. Chitaia Ethnographical Open-Air Museum (ეროვნული მუზეუმი ღია ცის ქვეშ), Kus Tba 1 (#1Turtle Lake Road, Tortoise’s pond lane, კუსტბის გზა #1) (Bus 59 from Metro Tbilisi.jpgRustaveli),  +995 32 2729045fax: +995 32 2982133. Tu-Su 10.00-17.00; last admittance 16.00. 70 houses and thrift buildings characteristic for the various parts of all Georgia. 8000 household devices and samples of craft are shown in the museum. - The Museum is the miniature models and reflects its diverse etnokulturas. The museum covers the area of ​​50 ha and is divided into 11 zones. Adults: 3? or 1.5 GEL; Students: 1.5 or 0.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
  •    Numismatic Museum (Money Museum, ფულის მუზეუმი), 10 Rustaveli Ave./#10, Kvareli (Metro Tbilisi.jpgRustaveli. - Building of the National Bank of Georgia?),  +995 32 2296604. Th-Mo 09:30-16:30 (excluding a break 13:00-14:00).. Coins dating back to the IV century BC, Kolkhian Tetries, antique coins, Arabian Dirham, coins of then Georgian kings Lasha-Girgi, Rusudan, Demetre I, Giorgi III, also the Turkish coins , Persian Abaz, Austrian and Polish Thalers.
  •    Museum of Fine Art (საქართველოს ხელოვნების მუზეუმი), L. Gudiashvili street (ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ.), 1 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Liberty Sq.),  +995 32 999909fax: +995 32 2982133. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Photos of the museum building and permanent exhibitions for personal purposes are allowed Adults: 3 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 25 GEL per ten person.
  •    Tbilisi History Museum (თბილისის ისტორიის მუზეუმი), #8 Sioni St.(სიონის ქ) +995 32 2982281fax: +995 32 2982133, e-mail: . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. Adults: 3GEL, School Children: 0.5GEL.
  •    Janashia Museum (საქართველოს ისტორიის ჯანაშიას სახ. მუზეუმი, National Museum of Georgia), Shota Rustaveli avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) 3, (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square 200m‎),  +995 32 2998022fax: +995 32 2982133, e-mail: . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. This museum houses Georgian and Caucasian artifacts of archeology and ethnography. A permanent exposition chronologically follows the development of Georgia’s material culture from the Bronze Age to the early 20th century. The most valuable exhibits include Homo Ergaster fossils discovered at Dmanisi; the Akhalgori hoard of the 5th century BC which contains unique examples of jewelry, blending Achaemenid and local inspirations; a collection of approximately 80,000 coins, chiefly of Georgian minting; medieval icons and goldsmith pieces brought here from various archeological sites in Georgia; a lapidary which includes one of the world’s richest collection of Urartian inscriptions, etc. - Subsection: the Museum of Soviet Occupation, this is located at the 4th floor. Adults: 5 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
  •    Puppet Museum (Doll Museum), Shavteli N 17a (Ioane Shavteli St,17) (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square),  +995 32 995337. Tu-Su 11:00-18:00; Winter: to 17:00. Adults: 3 GEL; Children: 1 GEL.
  •    Galaktion Tabidze MuseumMarjanishvili N 4 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Marjanishvili). Tu-Su 11:00-17:00. The museum of the eminent Georgian poet, Galaktion Tabidze.
  •    National Gallery (ეროვნული გალერეა), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #11 (Metro Station Freedom Square‎),  +995 32 2157300fax: +995 32 2982133, e-mail: . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00. 5 GEL, tours 25GEL up to 10 persons.
  • Art Academy (სამხატვრო აკადემია), Gudiashvili Street.(ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ) #3.
  • The Jewish History Museum (ებრაელთა ისტორიის მუზეუმი), St. Anton Catholicos( ანტონ კათალიკოსის ქ.) #3.
  • Children's Art Gallery of the Chardin University (ბავშვთა სურათების გალერეა). The museum houses exhibits about 20 thousand (drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, woven, embroidered, metal and wood products).
  •    U. Japaridze House-MuseumShio Mghvimeli St, #2 (North - Bus 6, 9, 14, 21, 31, 34, 37, 42, 46, 51, 59, 61, 66, 78, 87 to 'Janashia Street' - off Iakob Nikoladze St).
  •    I. Nikoladze House-MuseumRodin St. #6, (North - Bus to 'Janashia Street' - off Petre Melikishvili St).
  •    E. Akhvlediani House-MuseumLeo Kiacheli St. #12 (M Rustaveli‎ 200m).
  •    M. Toidze House-MuseumRevaz Lagidze St. #1, (Metro Station Freedom Square‎).

Religious architecture[edit]

  •    Mamadaviti (მამადავითის ეკლესია), Mtatsminda Pantheon (on Mtatsminda hill). Constructed in 1859-1871, domed in 1879.
  •    Sioni Church (სიონის ეკლესია), Sioni street (სიონის ქ.) #6 (upper Kala, From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square 0.8km South-East or from Metro Tbilisi.jpg Avlabari 0.7km West).
  •    Sameba Cathedral (Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, Georgian: თბილისის წმინდა სამების საკათედრო ტაძარი Thbilisis cminda samebis sakathedro tadzari), Samreklo Street (on Elia Hill. - From Metro Station Avlabari 1.0km North). Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it is the third-tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world. Sameba is a synthesis of traditional styles dominating the Georgian church architecture at various stages in history and has some Byzantine undertones. - The Sameba Cathedral is erected on the Elia Hill, which rises above the left bank of the Kura River (Mtkvari) in the historic neighborhood of Avlabari in Old Tbilisi. - Designed in a traditional Georgian style but with an exaggerated vertical emphasis, and regarded as an eyesore by many and venerated by as many others, the Sameba Cathedral has a cruciform plan with a dome over a crossing which rests on eight columns. At the same time, the parameters of the dome is independent from the apses, imparting a more monumental look to the dome and the church in general. The dome is surmounted by a 7.5m tall cross covered with gold. - The cathedral consists of nine chapels (chapels of the Archangels, John the Baptist, Saint Nino, Saint George, Saint Nicholas, the Twelve Apostles, and All Saints); five of them are situated in a large, underground compartment. The overall area of the cathedral, including its large narthex, is 0.5ha and the volume it occupies is 137m³ cubic meters. The interior of the church measures 56m by 44m, with an interior area of 2,380m². The height of the cathedral from the ground to the top of the cross is 105,5m. The underground chapel occupies 35,550m³. The height is 13m. - Natural materials are used for construction. The floor is made of marble tiles and the altar will also be decorated with mosaic. The painting of the murals is being executed by a group of artists guided by Amiran Goglidze. - The Sameba complex consists of the main cathedral church, a free-standing bell-tower, the residence of the Patriarch, a monastery, a clerical seminary and theological academy, several workshops, places for rest, etc.
  •    Metekhi Church ("Church of Assumption") (მეტეხის), Metekhis Rise (მეტეხის აღმართი) (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Avlabari). Goes back to the reign of St. Demeritus II. late 13th cent. Rebuilt 17th cent. Unusual in design.
  •    Ascension Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary? (Tbilisi Virgin Mary Church, მარიამ ღვთისმშობლის ამაღლების კათოლიკური ეკლესია), Gia Abesadze St (აბესაძის ქ.) #6 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Metro Station Freedom Square‎). The church was built, which starts from the XIII century. The church is an example of eclectic architecture and has been built with pseudo-gothic and Baroco elements. The interior is decorated with thematic vitrages. Height: 23 m.
  •    Anchiskhati ("Basilica of St. Mary") (Georgian: ანჩისხატი), Ioane Shavteli St, 18 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square). Constructed began at the time of king Dachi Ujarmeli in VI cent. Oldest church in town. - Anchiskhati Basilica is a three-span basilica, divided by two abutments forming horseshoe shaped conches, which indicates the antiquity of its construction. Originally constructed of blocks of yellow tuff stone, the 1958-1964 restoration made extensive use of brick. The structure has entrances on three sides, but today only the western entrance is in use. Aside from the altarpiece, which was painted in 1683 by order of Catholicos Nikoloz Amilakhvari, all of the remaining paintings in the church date from the 19th century.
  •    Narikala Church (ნარიყალა), Orbiri St (Narikala Castle).
  •    Kashveti Church of St. George (Qashveti, Georgian: ქაშვეთის წმინდა გიორგის სახელობის ტაძარი), Shota Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #9 (Metro Tbilisi.jpgFreedom Square). A copy of 11th century Samtavisi church. - The Kashveti church was constructed between 1904 and 1910 by the architect L. Bilfeldt, who based his design on the medieval Samtavisi Cathedral. The construction was sponsored by the Georgian nobility and bourgeoisie. Kashveti was built on the site of a damaged church built of brick at the request of the Amilakhvari family in 1753. Significant contributions to the current church’s ornate design were made by N. Agladze. Kashveti’s frescoes were painted by the influential Georgian painter, Lado Gudiashvili, in 1947. - The name "kashveti" is derived from Georgian words kva for a "stone" and shva "to give birth." Legend has it the prominent 6th century monk David of Gareja of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers was accused by a woman of making her a pregnant in Tbilisi. David prophesied his denial would be proved when she gave birth to a stone. She did, and the place received the name of "kashveti."
  •    Synagogue (სინაგოგა), K. Leselidze street, 4? or Abkhazians Street.(კ. აფხაზის ქ.) #41 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square). Functioning synagogue constructed in 1910. Women and men are seated separately.
  •    Jumah Mosque (მეჩეთი), Botanikuri (Abanotubani, ბოტანიკურის ქ.) #32. Turkish Sunni mosque, along the road from the Botanical Gardens to the Sulphur Baths. The usual dress code and entry restrictions for non-Muslims apply.
  •    Holy Trinity Church (Old Trinity Church, ძველი სამების ეკლესია), Erosi Manjgaladze Turn, Abashidze Street (აბაშიძის ქ.) # 4 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg: Freedom Square).
  •    Alex. Nevskiy Orthodox ChurchMarjanishvili Street, ~53.
  • Surp-Gevork Church? (სურფ-გევორქის ეკლესია), - Maidan Park? ( მეიდანი).
  • Norasheni Church (ნორაშენის ეკლესია), Abkhazians Street.
  • Church of Fathers' Cross? (ჯვრის მამის ეკლესია), Abkhazians Street.(კ. აფხაზის ქ.) # 42.
  • Upper and Lower Bethlehem churches (ზემო და ქვემო ბეთლემის ეკლესიები კლდისუბანი).
  • George Church (კლდისუბნის წმ. გიორგის ეკლესია), Bethlehem Street (ბეთლემის ქ.) #7.
  • Michael Tvereli church (მიხეილ ტვერელის ეკლესია), Zaldastanishvili Street (ს. ზალდასტანიშვილის ქ.) #38.

Other Sights[edit]

  • Georgian Academy of Sciences (მეცნიერების აკადემია), Rustaveli Square (Central Tbilisi. -).
  • City Hall (საკრებულოს შენობა), Freedom square (Tavisupleba square, თავისუფლების მოედანი), 2. Before City Hall stay the Monument of St. George
  • National Bank of Georgia (საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი), Leonidze Street.( ლეონიძის ქ.) № 3/5.
  • Children's Palace (მოსწავლე ახალგაზრდობის სასახლე), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #6.
  •    Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures (Mtatsminda Mountain, in the churchyard around St. David’s Church - Mamadaviti). Many famous writers, as well as the mother of Joseph Stalin, are buried here.
  • Old Tbilisi (Area between Liberty Sq, slopes of the hill of Narikala Fortress and the river.). Perhaps one of the most distinctive pleasures of walking through the Old City, with its old-style balconies, ancient churches, winding streets, and charming shops. Be prepared to see a number of eclectic sights, from the abandoned streetcar near Erekle Street to the art galleries of Chardini Street to the stunning modern art lining Sioni Street. Sub-neighborhoods include Sololaki, with its elegant restaurants and art nouveau architecture, Old Tbilisi proper - with sites ranging from churches to mosques to sulfur baths, Betelmi - housing two of the city's oldest churches and the stunning vistas of the Narikala Fortress - and Mtsasminda, just up the mountain from Rustaveli Avenues, a more sedate, "livable" district filled with charming old houses and a number of families. A large section has been refurbished in recent years turning parts into a sterile, tourist-trade and therefore purely overly consumption attuned quarter. Bars and restaurants largely overpriced. Even Sedgway rental is available —- given the state of Tbilisi pavements an utterly ridiculous proposition. usually outrageous.
  •    Vake Park Areaaround Chavchavadze and Abashidze avenues (From Metro Tbilisi.jpgDelisi to South 1.5km). - this is one of Tbilisi's posher districts, home to many expats and nouveaux riches. While not quite as atmospheric as Old Tbilisi, Vake is home to some lovely parks, pleasant nineteenth-century architecture, and some of the city's most high-end shopping, including luxe furniture store Missioni. There are also plenty of elegant, if understated, bars and restaurants in this area. In Vake there are two buildings of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university. The university is founded by Ivane Javakhishvili in 1918 and is one of the historical buildings in Tbilisi.
  • Parliament (პარლამენტი), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #8.
  •    Presidental PalaceM. Abdushevelli 1 (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Avlabari). Inaugurated in summer 2009, an architectural monstrosity above the river, designed by Italian architect Michele De Luki. Guided tours may be booked seven work days in advance.
  • Melik Kazariantsis House (მელიქ კაზარიანცის სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #37.
  • Shota Rustaveli monument (შოთა რუსთაველის ძეგლი), - Shota Rustaveli Square (შოთა რუსთაველის მოედანი).
  • Academy of Sciences (საქართველოს მეცნიერებათა აკადემია), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ), #48.
  • House of the Officers (ოფიცერთა სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #16.
  • Theatre and Film University (თეატრისა და კინოს სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #19.
  • Gudiashvili monument (ლადო გუდიაშვილის ძეგლი), - April 9 Garden (9 აპრილის ბაღი).
  • Library of the Parliament (საქართველოს პარლამენტის ბიბლიოთეკა), I. Gudiashvili Street. (ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ.) #3.
  • Caucasian House (კავკასიის სახლი),  Galaktioni Street.( გალაკტიონის ქ.) #20.
  • Government Chancellery (საქართველოს მთავრობის კანცელარია), P. Ingorokva Street.(პ. ინგოროყვას ქ.) #7.
  • House of Writers (მწერალთა კავშირი), - I . According Street.( ი. მაჩაბლის ქ.) #11.
  • Ietim Gurji monument (იეთიმ გურჯის ძეგლი), Right bank (მტკვრის მარჯვენა სანაპირო).
  • Former Caravanserai (ქარვასლა), Sion (Zion) Street. #8.
  • Mother Georgia Monument? (ქართლის დედა), Sololakis Alley (სოლოლაკის ხეივანი).

Do[edit]

  •    Alexander's Garden (ალექსანდროვის ბაღი), Dry Bridge Area (მშრალი ხიდი) (Metro Tbilisi.jpg: Freedom Square). A part of Park April.
Narikala fortress at night
  •    Sulfur BathsBath Street (აბანოს ქუჩა) (From Metro Tbilisi.jpgAvlabari 1.0km SW). The bath district is called Abanotubani and is on the south side of the Metekhi bridge. It is easy to spot with its small domes on ground level. There are several small baths offering different levels of comfort. The baths are relatively small, and you may have to wait for a pool to become available. English service is not guaranteed. Massages are available; however, they are more like a washing, but well worth it for the experience. You should bring your own towel and beach sandals (available for a small fee). Some travelers have suggested the Royal Baths is a much better alternative to Sulfur Baths (they are next to each other). Sulfur baths tends to double the price at the end of the massage and bath in spite of your original agreed price. Also in other districts you can find sulphur baths. For example in the Kiev-ulica, A bit south east of metro station Marjanishvili, around the corner of hostel Green Stairs, there is an old, characteristic bath. In the evening you can get a private bath for 10 lari and an additional towel is 2 GEL. Public Pool: 2 GEL; Private Pool: 10-80 GEL per hour; Massage 5-20 GEL.
  •    Turtle Lake (Kus Tba) (Take a taxi or walk up from Saburtalo.). This lake is located in the hilly outskirts of Tbilisi. A popular weekend getaway for families, the lake offers pedal-boat rentals as well as swimming (deckchairs optional) for reasonable prices (swimming entry, without deckchair, is about 3 Lari). Alright for a hot summer day, and offering views of both the mountains and the city below. Snackbars, restaurants and fruit cocktail shakers are available overlooking the lake. It's about an hour's pleasant walk from the Saburtalo district along country roads, passing the Ethnographical Museum, or a ten-to-fifteen minute (5-10 lari) cab ride from the center. While the lake itself isn't particularly nice, the views from the hike up to the lake makes it a worthwhile excursion.
  •    Lake Lisi (Lisis Tba)Reservoir Road (5.1km SW-W). Much further out than Turtle Lake (a cab will set you back about 10-15 lari each way), Lake Lisi is much larger and more remote, with long, winding mountain walks surrounding the lake. Unlike Turtle Lake, the entire Lake Lisi is opened up for swimmers. Be warned - there aren't always taxis waiting to take you back.
  •    Climb up to the Narikala Fortress (Nearest Metro Metro Tbilisi.jpgAvalabari.). The crumbling ruins of this once-great fortress, standing alongside the Upper Betelmi Churches and the stunning Botanical gardens, offer panoramic views of the city below. But be warned - it's quite a steep climb though you could take the cable car instead. Also while the lack of bureaucracy and guard-rails can be liberating for some, you may want to pay extra care to watch your step.
  •    Botanical gardenSololaki St (Access via Botanikuri St., or from above thorough the fortress. Nearest Metro Metro Tbilisi.jpgAvalabari.). varying with the seasons. National botanic garden of Georgia, founded 1845. Lying in the Tsavkisis-Tskali Gorge near Narikala Fortres, is actually more of a large badly maintained park with scenic waterfall than a "botanical garden" as there is no scientific signposting available. Very little maintenance is apparent. 1 GEL.
The Funicular reopened in December 2012
  •    TV antenna park (Tbilisi Tower) (high on the hill. - Bus 124 or the funicular railway up from Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustavelli). bus until 23h. to have fun with your kids, see the views of Tbilisi or to take a ride on the ferris wheel. The ride is 1,60 lari, and you need to buy an access card at a cashiers desk for 1 lari.
  • Locomotive Stadium.
  •    Vake Swimming PoolChavchavadze Avenue (ჭავჭავაძის გამზირი).

Theatres[edit]

  •    Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre (თბილისის ოპერისა და ბალეტის თეატრი), Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.), 25.
  •    Rustaveli National Theater (Shota Rustaveli Theater, შოთა რუსთაველის თეატრი), Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.), 17.
  • Cinema Rustaveli (კინოთეატრი რუსთაველი), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #5.
  • Tbilisi State Conservatory (თბილისის სახელმწიფო კონსერვატორია),  Al.Griboyedov Street. ( ალ. გრიბოედოვის ქ.) #8-10.

Buy[edit]

  •    The Saturday flea market (Dry Bridge Market), Dzveli Tbilisi, ~3 Zviad Gamsakhurdia Named Right Bank (by the river on the "Dry Overpass" and surrounding areas. - From Metro Station Freedom Square 0.6km NW). This is one of the best places to get jewelry, antiques, and even antique swords, as well as musical instruments and electronics. Haggling is encouraged, although if you speak little Georgian or Russian you may experience the odd juxtaposition of bargaining for antiques using the type-pad of your vendor's mobile phone.
  • Main marketplace? (across the river, near Didube). daily. - for fruits and vegetables as well as electronics and DIY/hardware-store type supplies. A further sprawling bazaar area is south-east from the main train station.
  • Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, and Other Jewelry - Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewelry, because of its cheap cost and superior quality.
  • Art & Paintings – Georgian artists, such as Pirosmani, Gigo Gabashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Korneli Sanadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sergo Kobuladze, Simon Virsaladze, Ekaterine Baghdavadze, Maka Kiknadze-Kipiani and others, are famous for their work. In Georgia you will find many various art shops, paintings and painters who sell their works on the streets, including during the Saturday antique market. Their work is amazing and prices are very reasonable as well.
  •    Tiflis Avenue Art center and Gallery (ტიფლის ავენიუ), 8/10 Erekle II St (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square),  +995 577 50 64 50, e-mail: . Tu-Su 16.00-21.00. This is represents a variety of Georgian artists working in different media. The gallery is located in an old town, on King Erekle II Street, where exhibitions of art are held regularly. Tiflis Avenue also runs an online art store with the largest selection of contemporary Georgian art. Entrance free.
  • Antiques & Other Misc. Gifts – in Georgia you will able to find many antiques not only from Georgia, but Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian and European as well.
  • Georgian Wine - Georgia is the cradle of wine making, and with 521 original varieties of grape you will be sure to find excellent wines.
  • Cognac - Georgian cognac is unique as it's made from Georgian wine.
  • Mineral Waters: Borjomi, Sairme, Nabeghlavi mineral waters from Georgian resorts.
  • Chacha - Grape vodka, a Georgian version of Grappa.
  •    Goodwill groceryChavchavadze Avenue? (From M Rustaveli 3.2km W). Second only to Prospero's Bookstore as an expat paradise, Goodwill offers an enormous range of products - mostly groceries, although the larger out-of-town branch stocks a wider supply - imported from the rest of Europe. From German tuna fish to Italian pasta, Goodwill will satisfy all your brand cravings, albeit for significantly more than you'd pay at home.
  •    Pixel 34Ilia Chavchavadze ave., 34 (Bus 9, 21, 34, 51, 59, 61, 85, 88, 140 to 'Children's City Mziuri' 50m). Shopping Centre

Eat[edit]

Georgian Cuisine[edit]

Stree side stalls selling Georgian "fast food" are located all over the city. Some kind of hot snack will cost between 0.70-2.50 L.

  •    Dzveli Sakhli Restaurant(Old House)3 Mtkvris Marjvena Sanapiro (Right on the Mtkvari River),  +995 322 36 53 65. 12:00-24:00. Live traditional Georgian music and singing starts at around 6 PM every day, although it's also the perfect place for a quiet post-flea market weekend lunch. Stunning river-views and faux-rural atmosphere - enormous portions at relatively reasonable prices. Credit cards accepted.
  •    Shemoikhede Genatsvale25 Leselidze St. (Metro Station Freedom Square),  +995 32 2439646. Delicious food cheaper than in the restaurants surrounding it. Khinkali are around .50 GEL each. Try the ones filled with potato and beef with greens (seasonings). $7-10.
  •    Cafe GabriadzeShavtelis Qucha (Right off Baratashvili street, next to the puppet theatre). Formerly the trendy "Sans Souci," this artsy eatery (owned by master puppeteer Gabriadze himself) has reopened after a lengthy renovation period. With a quirkily bohemian decor and inventive takeoffs of classic Georgian dishes (just try their lobio!), the fare here is a cut above the standard khachapuri-and-khinkhali dinner options.
  •    Kala8/10 Erekle II St. +995 899 799737. 10:00-02:00. Hip cafe/restaurant with live Jazz most evenings. Seemingly twinned with its far cheaper neighbor KGBs. Wi-Fi; Credit card payment accepted. Food seems to have gone downhill in recent months, however, and is increasingly overpriced for the quality. 20-25 GEL.
KGB Still watching you
  •    KGBs8/10 Erekle II St. (right next to Kala). With the tagline "we're still watching you," this painfully hip piece of Soviet Kitsch wouldn't be out of place in Williamsburg. Menu offerings include "Proletariat pizza" and meals advertised as "Lenin's favorite dish." The cheque comes in vintage Soviet working papers. Much cheaper than Kala. 15 GEL.
  •    Khinklis Sakhli (Khinkali House)37 Rustaveli Ave. (M Rustaveli 50m),  +995 893 756671. 09:30-23:30. All Khinkali, all the time. 12 GEL.
  •    MachakhelaN106 Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue, (M Marjanishvili‎),  +995 322 911959. 10:00 till midnight. Biggest restaurant chain specialising in Georgian pastries, with 10 locations in Tbilisi. 'Khachapuri'-traditional Georgian cheese pie, baked in wood-fired oven. Credit cards accepted. More units: 16 K. Marjanishvili, (M Marjanishvili‎); 23 Tumaniani Str. (Metro Station Avlabari‎)
  •    Tamada37 Orbeliani St (Metro Technical University‎),  +995322923280. 09:00 - 02:00. Ethnographic restaurant. Evenings Georgian music and dances. WiFi available. 25 GEL.
  •    TaglauraMtkvari right coast, Vakhushti Bagrationi Bridge +995 555 207700. Good Georgian food, locally brewed beer, traditional barbeque, live music and outdoor seating. Four locations in Tblisi. Beliashvili St. -
  •    Tsisqvili (Windmill)9 Dzotsenidze St.?. Amazing menu & food, superb customer service and great design.
  •    CaravanPurseladze Street. ? (Metro Tbilisi.jpgRustaveli - off Rustaveli Avenue by the cinema). A travel-themed "literary cafe" with East-meets-West decor, a menu that fuses Georgian classics with Middle Eastern treats, and a whole host of travel books on the shelves. Free wifi. 15 GEL.
  •    Cafe FlowersAvlabari Ascent (in the pink house overlooking Europa Square. - Metro Station Avlabari‎). Sporting the most stunning views in Tbilisi, the terrace at Cafe Flowers (so named for the gorgeous flora that adorn the terrace and adjacent garden) overlooks the Old Town from across the river. Food is generally good, although be wary of dairy-based dishes lest you come down with an upset stomach. 30 GEL.
  •    Lunch ladiesCorner of Dzmebi Zubalashvilebi St and Laghidze (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli, turn uphill at the big Magti store (number 22). Head uphill past the Music Conservatory and look for a tiny hut on the street corner at the T-junction.). Run by three friendly women, this tiny take-out place serves a wide variety of delicious home-style salads, in addition to a good selection of khatchapuri, at great prices. Make sure to ask for a "guruli" khatchapuri, a style served with boiled egg inside that is most commonly made during the holidays. If you're looking for a cheap, quick lunch but want to try something besides khatchapuri and lobiani, this is the place to visit. No English, but you can see and point to everything. 5 GEL.

Asian Cuisine[edit]

  • Chinese Restaurant (Off Perovskaya St).
  • Vong Restaurant (I. Abadshize Qucha?). Pricey but delicious fusion-Asian cuisine served in a decadently authentic atmosphere
  •    New Asia RestaurantGriboedov Str, 29? (Up the hill from Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli at the corner of Lagidze and Griboedovi streets. Opposite of Tbilisi State Conservatoire.).
  •    Qalaquri Sushi Bar13 Ioane Shavteli St (Near to 'Anchiskhati Church' -),  +995 32 2000 260. Club: Th-Su from 20:00 /karaoke bar Daily from 19:00 / Restaurant - Daily from 11:00. Sushi + night club + Middle Eastern atmosphere, 4 floors. Cocktail Bar, and BBQ.
  • Sushi Sake BarBesiki Street 4? (Perovskaya Street?), e-mail: . A bit pricey but dependable sushi. Service is usually nice. Same menu and management as Tokyo Restaurant.
  • Tokyo (in Vake, on Abashidze Street). Japanese Restaurant
  •    Baan Thai4 Tabukashvili St. (Follow the road leading to the Radisson and continue past the Radisson as the road curves right. The restaurant is on the left side of the road, if you see the back side of the Opera house, you've gone too far.). This is the most authentic Thai restaurant in the city, and a favorite of local expats. Operated by a friendly Thai woman, it has good food and quick service, but it's easy to miss because it's on an unremarkable street between the Opera house and Radisson hotel. 10-15 GEL.

European/American[edit]

  • Cafe de ParisSaakadze square (in the city center). Famous for its tasty salads and crepes. Nice place to spend time with friends. Outdoor garden seating.
  • Cafe CanapeAbashidze Street (Vake). Reasonably priced, charming bistro with fusion French-Georgian cuisine and a neighborhood-y atmosphere. Definitely a brunch place for Vake's "smart set." The khachapuri is out-of-this-world.
  • Hadson and HookerBeliashvili Street (next to Cruise),  (822)-53-10-18. American bar/restaurant. Live music every night from 20:30. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Restaurant Mediterranean5 Irakli Abashidze 22-10-15. Lunch, dinner. The lively atmosphere, authentic décor and creative cuisine all reflect the region that inspired the restaurant. The extensive menu has Italian, French, Greek and Spanish influences. Unique dishes, fresh salads and seafood, pasta & risotto, grilled specialties and exclusive desserts have earned “Med” an impeccable reputation. The menu is complemented by an impressive wine list with a large “by-the-glass” selection and a full bar.
  • Zandukeli 40Zandukeli Street (Straight up the hill from the Philharmony). European bistro with an emphasis on German food. Food and service are among the best in town, prices are very reasonable. Run by one of the longest-lasting expats in Tbilisi, Rainer Kaufmann
  • Ronny's Pizza3 Vaja Pshavelas (next to the archive building in Saburtalo),  2-472-472, e-mail: . 11am-10pm 11am-11pm Fridays and Sat.. Lunch, dinner, delivery, take out and catering. Ronny's pizza comes in personal size, regular (12 inch) or extra large (18inch) Delivery charge based on kilometers all over Tbilisi. Classic American style pizza with mozzarella. $$.

Italian cuisine[edit]

  • Segafredo Zanetti Espresso26 Chavchavadze Ave. Expensive quality coffee and Italian + European food. WiFi.
  • coffee.geThree locations (24 Abashidze Str., 41 Chavchavadze Ave., 154 Aghmashenebeli Ave.). Pizza and other italian food. Delivers food to your home. WiFi.
  • Fiorino77 Kostava St. - Saakadze square. Fiorino offers best pizzas in Tbilisi, one of the best carpaccios and veal. Relaxing environment and outdoor seating.
  • Il GarageMozashvili street 26 (50m from Vake park). Decent versions of risotto, linguini, lasagna, and an excellent, huge antipasti misto. Pleasant outdoor seating in the summer and affordable prices year round. Run by Alberto - a real Italian.
  • PregoThree locations (Saburtalo, intersection of Vazha-Pshavela and Pekini St.; Vake, on Paliashvili, just below the round (UN) garden and the third in the old town, Erekle II st.). Prices are said to be reasonable and service is usually good. Look out for the daily specials - usually a bit pricier, but worth it.
  • PianoTabidze Street (right next to People's). This new Italian eatery feels more like a swank New York restaurant than a Georgian-style trattoria, with black-and-white Botticelli-inspired wallpaper and uber-trendy minimalist light fixtures. The food is reasonably priced for the - admittedly expensive - area, but it's good (especially the super-fresh tomato-based sauces) and air-conditioned to boot. Beware of the bread; it's so delicious, you'll be full before your appetizers arrive.
  • Solemio Italian Restaurant Lounge Bar27b Mitskevich Str. - Saburtalo. Pizza and other italian food. Delivers food to your home. WiFi.

Other[edit]

Some outlets of sterile international hamburger "restaurants" exist, also some "freed chicken" imitators in the city, offering the same kind of material Americans consider "food" at prices which are high by local standards.

  • Prospero's Bookstore and Caliban's Coffehouse34 Rustaveli Avenue (located in a courtyard by the entrance to the overpass near the opera, past the Sony store in the direction of the Rustaveli metro stop). With wireless internet, a bucolic courtyard, and spotless furnishings, this expat bookstore-cum-coffeehouse could be located in London's Notting Hill. The English books are reasonably priced, but the real gem is the atmosphere - a perfect escape for when Tbilisi's more chaotic pleasures start to become overwhelming. Enjoy an iced coffee or a scrumptious sandwich, effectively bilingual waitstaff, and try to strike up conversations with other foreigners.

Drink[edit]

One is never far from a corner store opening late selling the bare essitals of life late into the night, which always include booze and bread. Georgia is known as the cradle of wine. Georgian wine was and still is the best in post-Soviet culture. Georgia produces wine, and Georgians respect wine culture. Try one of the famous wines. The region which is popular for its wine production is Kakheti. This place has a great history of wine.

  • Dublin8 Akhvlediani Street (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli),  +995 32 98 44 67. until 3:00. Irish pub with live music from 8pm-midnight. Try the meat wrapped in bacon. 30 GEL.
  • Fahrenheit5 Vashlovani Street +995 855 975117. Live music everyday.
  • Hadson & Hooker67 Beliashvili Street (Next to Cruise),  +995 55 32 83 60. American bar. Exotic wine tasting every Thursday. Live music every evening/Can-can dancers/Billiards/darts
  • Marco Polo44 Rustaveli Ave +995 32 93 53 83.
  • Old London6 Akhvlediani street +995 57 27 91 94. Live music every evening.
  • Pub KolkhetiThe left bank of the River Mtkvari +995 8 99 760654?.
  • SalveShalva Dadiani St 15 (located in the basement of an apartment building on a street off Freedom Square),  +995 32 920131. Features a Nintendo game system. Very popular place.
  • Scarlet Sails25 Leselidze Street +995 32 931028. On Fridays live music (light rock).
  • Toucan8 Kiacheli Street +995 32 922554. Live music performances. +phone=+995 32 996553 30-35 GEL.
  •    Hangar BarIrakli II Street (ერეკლე II ქუჩა) (Metro Station Freedom Square),  +995 551 61 15 88. Irish pub run by an American couple. Very popular among expats.

Cafés[edit]

Tblissi is the one city in Georgia where coffee vending machines 0.50-0.80 Lari may be found.

  • Bamba Rooms LoungeBambis Rigi st. 12 (Chardin area), e-mail: . The thing that catches your eye first is the crystal beads. You can’t miss it; it cascades down over the bar, white and glorious. It’s just one of the highlight in an incredibly striking space, designed by young Georgian architects. The results form one of Tbilisi's most achingly fashionable lounge cafe-bars with both inside and outside.Decent drinks are served alongside a selection of standard European dishes. Dining here becomes more glamorous when it gets to Japanese fusion. By day it’s quite casual, a popular lunch spot; by night it’s altogether different, the crowd is glam and the door policy can be tough.
  • Cafe Rustaveli30 Rustaveli Ave +995 32 9858800?fax: 032 935880, e-mail: . Currently closed due to bankruptcy, but hopes to reopen following a lawsuit. More a café for food rather than drinks, offers a wide selection of Georgian and "western"-style food in addition to a good selection of coffee, tea, & alcoholic beverages. 2-4 USD.
  • Entree20 Rustaveli Ave 891 193968. 8.00-22.00. A great cafe with tasty pastries, good coffee, and free wi-fi. 5-10 GEL.
  • Four Seasons4 Mickevich Street (Steps from Gamsakhurdia ave),  99532-144440. 11AM-1AM. Cozy place with lounge-sitting rooms and unique interior. European cuisine. Prices are affordable and nice music is played. 15 GEL.
  • Cafe CasablancaBambis Riga (Chardini St. Area) (Towards the end of Bambis Riga). With Humphrey Bogart quotes on the menu and enormous "Casablanca" posters on the wall, not to mention the tantalizing white piano indoors, Cafe Casablanca is an homage to one of cinema's most romantic movies. With a menu that blends retro Americana and Moroccan cuisine, and Hollywood-price cocktails, this is one of the most atmospheric bars in the city. Live light jazz and chansons on Saturday.
  • Elvis Cafe just opened in about July 2010 in the Philharmonic Center (hint: take the underground walkway to get over - traffic is busy and unpredictable). Elvis Cafe offers American, Italian, Thai/Asian fusion cuisine and sushi. They also have a bar (alcohol) and a nice selection of deserts. Food is fast and tasty, very clean and bright. Staff speaks English.
  •    Old City Wall Restaurant/Wine Centre1 Baratashvili str. +995 322 99 58 57. Daily 12:00-00:00/wine shop: 11:00-23:00.
  • People's Cafe and Restaurant10 Tabidze street (steps from Freedom Square),  995 32 45 0505; 984851, e-mail: . 11AM-2AM. A favorite place for locals and foreigners as well. Great place with terrace and lounge sitting. Winner of the best public place interior award in 2007. Delicious food and friendly staff – place where you can feel at home. 10-15 USD.

Clubs[edit]

  • Bamba Rooms LoungeBambis Rigi st. 7 (Chardin area), e-mail: . A unique and vibrant premier Restaurant & DJ Bar, having one of the chic locations at Tbilisi Chardin area, is one of the liveliest and trendiest spots attracting a younger, faster-living crowd and enthusiastic clubbers. A good combination of a restaurant and a bar for around 300 people is perfect for a quiet, romantic meal in early evenings while towards midnight at weekends the place erupts into a wild party zone. *bamba rooms at bambis rigi street is probably the best and newest club in tbilisi. you will feel like in London-NY with a great interior and nice lounge music and techno. Also beautiful gogo girls.
  • Buddha BarRikhe, +995 322 255222, e-mail: . 7pm - Late. Opened in March 2012. Latest arm of Buddha Bar asian inspired restaurant/lounge chain. Reservations are highly encouraged and sometimes a must. Reservations can be called in after 12pm daily. An excellent place for sushi and good lounge and electronic music. Expensive.
  • Cubic45 Kostava Str. One of the best places for good house music, real minimal minmal techno and sometimes some breakbeats and dnb. Entrance: 30 GEL.
  • GURU Club12 Rustaveli Ave +995 322 983803, e-mail: . ay, Sat, Sun 22:00-07:00. Foreign DJs and singers & G.U.R.U. show girls
  • KalaKuri Restaurant/Club13 Shavteli St. (Mtatsminda District),  +995 322 996683. Club: Fri and Sat from 23:00;Restaurant: 12:00-01:00pm; Lounge Bar: 17:00-03:00. Good night club, pop, 90s and modern music.
  • Night FlightBaratashvili Street (Under Baratashvili bridge). Open on Fridays and Saturdays.. Best House, Trance, Dance, Club music, finest Georgian and foreign DJs in Tbilisi. Drinks are a bit expensive, but worth it. Entrance: 30 GEL.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  •    В Тбилиси! (In Tbilisi!), Intersection Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street ~53 and Giorgi Mazniashvili street (Around the corner of Green Stairs-hostel, on the groundfloor behind the grey courtyard-door. - Metro Tbilisi.jpg Marjanishvili),  +995 591 207186, e-mail: . Homestay/hostel run by Gia, a friendly elderly man who, besides this hostel, helps tourists to explore the wide surroundings of Tbilisi, also with his ancient blue Moskvitch taxi. The rooms are large, the beds comfy and the sheets and shower clean. Gia speaks way better Russian then English though. 25 lari.
  •    Boombully Rooms & HostelRustaveli Ave. 24 (across from Opera House. - Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli),  +995 322 931638, e-mail: . Located in historical downtown, near many city attractions and the Old town District, block away from Prospero’s Books. The property is located in a historical building with many green, eco-friendly and sustainable elements, like vintage and re-purposed furniture. The sign on the front of building for Boombully isn't the most noticeable, so watch the building addresses as you pass them. +phone=+995 551 100172
  •    City Hostel Waltzing Matilda11, Alexander Chavchavadze str. (from Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli near the Opera turn up the hill and go two blocks. -),  +995 55 554 590, e-mail: . Friendly people, amazing view of the city, free wi-fi, possible airport transport for $20. dorm 17 GEL.
  •    Envoy Hostel45 Betlemi Street (Off Gorgasali Meidan, in the Old Town area. - From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square 0.8km SE),  +995 322 920111, e-mail: . Boasting a large terrace with a view of the city. Their staff speak excellent English and are very knowledgeable and helpful. Newly renovated and clean, it has a high ratio of bathrooms per beds. Free breakfast is offered daily as well as Tea/ Coffee available all day. Free Wi-Fi, laundry service, airport pick up and air conditioning/ central heating are just some of the conveniences offered. They also offer tours around Georgia as well as Armenia (including a weekly tour that takes you from Tbilisi to Yerevan with sightseeing and a bbq lunch!). They also have a hostel in Yerevan (ranked as Best Hostel in Armenia by HW 2010&11).
  •    Fox Hostel30 Griboedov St. (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli, walk south, just 50 m up the hill, opp. Radisson Blue Hotel),  +995 322 102726, e-mail: . Renovated 2nd floor apartment in old building (sign on balcony). Cheerful interior design by a woman with taste. Community kitchen and lounge. Spotlessly clean, and -- quite unusual for Georgia -- solid bathroom fixtures. dorm 20 GEL.
  •    Green Stairs HostelTsinamdzgvrishvili Street, 53 (walk east from Metro Tbilisi.jpg Marjanishvili one block, turn right and it'll be a 5min walk on the left). Free wi-fi and a communal fridge. The hostel is very simple, but run by a nice couple who speak English. It's a little cold in the winter, but each room does have a space heater. The owner will drive you to the airport for 25 GEL. 25 GEL/room.
  •    Maria Tours and HostelFreedom Square/Liberty Sq. 4, 2nd floor (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Liberty Sq. Next door to Marriott Courtyared.),  599 208989, e-mail: . Check-in: 14.00, check-out: noon. Carters mainly to Arab families with small childen, due to location additional traffic noise. Security camera installed inside the dorm watching your sleep. Laundry 5 L. Dorm 25 L..
  •    Old Town HostelKhodasheni/Iveria Street 7 (Walk down from Freedom Sq. to Leselidze St and in 2 min you turn on your right (in front of TBC Bank Leselidze branch) - Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square),  +995 32 986188, e-mail: . Check-in: 13.00, check-out: 11.00. Comfortable beds, clean, cozy, and friendly hostel. Airport transfer is possible. +phone=+995 71004002 €10-14.
  •    REST Hostel Tbilisi68 Dimitri Uznadze St (Near Metro Tbilisi.jpgMarjanishvili metro station),  +995 598 111469, e-mail: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Has 6 beds and one extra bed. Luggage storage, 24 hour reception (you may need to call though), Internet, computers, free Wi-Fi in room, cable TV/DVD, free towels, linen included, air conditioning, guest kitchen, shared bathroom/shower, laundry. Car service 4WD, and can organize tours to the North-West. However, avoid their second, much more noisy hostel "Honey Hostel Tbilisi". +phone=+995 599 164249 €11.
  •    Rover Hostel14 Anton Purtseladze St (From Rustaveli Avenue turn down at the crossroads with Purtseladze St (next to the Rustaveli Cinema, in front of the building of parliament) and in one and a half blocks you are there. - Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square),  +995 32 936520. Check-out: 11AM. Clean and well arranged hostel with comfortable, quiet, and safe rooms. There is a common room for guest use with free internet access, WiFi, coffee and tea. There is one bathroom/shower with hot water all day long. Clean sheets, luggage storage, spacious lockers, personal reading lights and plugs, fully equipped laundry and kitchen facilities. 25 GEL.
  •    Star Hostel45 Vertskhli St (From Freedom Square walk north down Pushkini street, take first right at Vertskhli and you will see the sign.),  +995 32 995099, e-mail: . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. 2 Bed Apartment Ensuite available. Recently renovated and has all the modern amenities, including cable flat screen TV/DVD, free Internet & WiFi and a well supplied kitchen. Run by a friendly speaking couple. Not the coziest place, but owner can provide good information. Dorm: €12 per person per night.
  •    Tamuna's Guesthouse32. Arnold Chikobava St near sabchos moedani (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Marjanishvili Metro NE 0.3km),  +995 99 183555, +955 90 527818, e-mail: . Two bedrooms available, laundry facilities, free internet, living room, kitchen open for use, many TV channels, well heated in the winter. English is spoken here. 20-25 GEL per person/night.
  •    Tbilisi Friends HostelBetlemi Str. #28-30, entrance up from ascent Tumaniani street 9 (Old Tbilisi,),  +995 577 737771, e-mail: . Check-out: 12 pm. Near the Narikhala Fortress, surrounded by the traditional balconied Georgian houses and architecture. The building itself is a historic one, with old-styled interior. 10 beds in dorm and 2 privates.Nice balcony and common area, Old Town view, bar, BBQ area, guest kitchen. two showers. Dorm:€8, Privates: €12.
  •    Tbilisi HostelAvlabari, Makhati turn 22 (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Avlabari metro station 0.4km NE, from the exit turn right and pass the market and bear right). Run by ex-backpackers. Popular among young backpackers, particularly those who are very price-conscious. Can be crowded and noisy. Free Internet & WiFi; guest kitchen; cheap laundry service. Advertises itself as a 'party hotel'. dorm: €10.55.
  •    Veziko apartments10 Chonkadze Street, (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square 0.3km West),  +995 93 16 39 36, e-mail: . Warm and cosy apartments to stay at, a lovely and hospitable family run this place in Old Tbilisi, so backpackers who are into local lifestyle would be able to feel it by staying in a real georgian house, about 25$ per night/double bed. internet, stove and bath is available.
  •    Walker Hostel19 Gomi Street (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom sq. to Leselidze st. in the end of Zdanevich upturn (behind Bethlemi st. 27).),  +995 322 14 65 75, +995 555 55 66 65, e-mail: . Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 13.00. Cozy rooms, big living room, kitchen and balcony with incredible view. 24h reception, fan, airport transfers (11€), BBQ area, bicycle parking, cable TV, free parking, free WiFi, laundry, linen and towels included, lockers, luggage storage, tours/travel desk. €10.
  •    Why Not Tbilisi Legend HostelTabukashvili 15/4 (in centre. - Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square),  +995 99 007030, e-mail: . €10-15.

Mid-range[edit]

  •    Beaumonde11 Chavchavadze St (Next to Rustaveli Avenue),  986-003. A beautiful bed/breakfast with dinner. There are balconies and a roof deck. The breakfast and dinner are very filling. There is free internet. The family that runs the hotel is very warm and welcoming. Staff speaks Georgian, Russian, and some English. Sgl €70; Dbl €88, breakfast included.
  •    Betsy's Hotel32-34 Kote Makashvili St (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli),  +995 931404, 923996, 982615, e-mail: . 57 rooms. No pricing information on website.
  •    SkadaVeli27 Vertskhli str (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square), e-mail: . Light, quiet and comfortable apartment located in Kala neighborhood. 70-80 L. per room for 3rd p. +30 L..
  •    Hotel Ata17, Leselidze Street (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square),  +995 32 987715fax: +995 32 986026, e-mail: . Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Dbl 100 Lari.
  • Hotel British House32 Belinski Street +995 32 988783, e-mail: . A friendly personalised bed & breakfast. €70-100.
  •    Hotel Vere Inn53 Barnov Street, (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli 0.7km West),  +995 32 291252, e-mail: . 5 rooms. Very comfortable hotel in Vere, safe location with very friendly multilingual staff. Free WiFi. US$50-US$100, breakfast included.
  •    Hotel Charm11 Chakhrukhadze street (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square 0.7km East),  +995 32 985333, e-mail: . 7 rooms. Very nice hotel with very friendly staff. US$40-US$100, breakfast included.
  •    Hotel Georgian House38 Vakhtang VI street (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Avlabari 0.7km NE),  +995 32 2791919fax: +995 32 2791920, e-mail: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Sgl: €35; Dbl: €45 including breakfast and VAT.
  •    Prestige Hotel51 Marjanishvili Street (in north, central Tbilisi on a quiet street),  +995 91 141500. Quiet, comfortable, newly renovated.+ phones=+995 32 940505, +995 32 942974, +995 32 952974 US$50 including breakfast.
  •    Hotel River SideBrosse Street Turn | Right side of Mtkvari (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Freedom Square). Really nice, comfortable. friendly staff. Free WiFi. US$110-US$140.
  •    Hotel VIP VictoriaD. Arakishvili I Lane, 3 (From Metro Tbilisi.jpg Rustaveli 1.0km West),  (+99532) 291877, 251247, e-mail: . Over 100$.
  •    TBILOTEL8, Daraselia str (Metro Tbilisi.jpg Medical University),  +995 32 387804, e-mail: . 24/7. a High Class Business and Leisure Hotel. offers 18 very comfortable room, standard and semi-suites, with balconies, Free Wi-Fi Internet, satellite TV and international phone. Double: 170-190 Lari.
  •    VIP Hotel31, Leselidze Street. This is a lovely hotel in a quiet coutyard with views over the river. The owners are really charming people and the breakfast is excellent. +995 99532923336. €50-60 per night.

Splurge[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Tbilisi is very safe after the Rose Revolution. The police system was reformed completely and the recent polls show that public's trust in police shifted from nearly 10% to 88%. The police are usually quick to respond, though usually only Georgian and Russian are spoken.

While walking is generally fine, even for solo women, it makes sense to take a bus or taxi home at night. Use common sense and big-city awareness. Night time at the clubs and bars are safe, and taxi service is safe as long as it's a company taxi like "009" or others. The public bus is also a good, safe option for 0.50 lari.

  • Police Tel: 112
  • Ambulance tel: 112

Connect[edit]

There are 3 GSM operators of mobile phone service:

  • Magticom: provides 3G, covers all of Georgia.
  • Geocell: provides 3G, covers all of Georgia, packet data deals available for prepaid
  • Beeline: Russian company, the cheapest of all sim cards, but does not get the best reception in some areas. buy a sim card at the office on Rustaveli Avenue.

Cope[edit]

  • Tourism OfficeFreedom Square, Rustaveli Ave.3 (Metro Liberty Sq. exit - on the south side of Freedom Square—on the ground floor Georgia Museum of History). - upon arriving in Tbilisi. They provide a free, very detailed booklet with a map of the city but little other information.

Stop by the Marriott Courtyard if you're lost - the staff are fairly fluent in English, and they are more than happy to provide you with free maps, and help you track down whatever you're looking for on a map before you leave.

Head to Prospero's bookstore on Rustaveli 34 for a delicious, if relatively pricey (5-7 lari) chicken salad sandwich and great coffee of every variety. Good selection of books and a nice calm place to escape, just a little.

Be careful about renting DVDs from Prospero's bookstore - there is quite a selection, but as most of them are pirated, almost half of all their DVD stock is of a poor quality. For your peace of mind, you can check any DVD on a player in the cafe before you rent it.

Embassies[edit]

Go next[edit]

Armenia[edit]

  • Yerevan, Armenia - via night train, bus or taxi. Marschrutkas leave from the international bus station "Ortachalla" at 7am (?), 8h20 (as of 2014) 9am (?), and 1pm (?). Marschrutkas may also leave from the main train station (10am?). From "didube" regional bus station, catch marschrutka 150 to reach Ortochalla. Marschrutkas take 6–7 hours, 30 Lari (fixed price whatever your destination in Armenia is, as of 2014). Buses take 12 hours, 15 Lari. Minivans also depart across from the Havlabari Metro station. The minivans depart at 9am and 5pm, cost 35 Lari, and take 5 hours. The seven seats can be reserved by calling +(374-94)320460 (Armenia) or +(995-593) 229554 (Georgia).

Azerbaijan[edit]

Within Georgia[edit]

  • Ozurgeti via night train, leaves around 21:45, arrives 6:10. There is also a marshutka from Station Square (the train station), which leaves at 4pm and arrives around 10pm.
  • Batumi - on the Black Sea. Via night & day train, plane, or bus/minibus
  • Borjomi - by train, leaving early in the morning, or minibus.
  • Telavi - see an old fortress, the Alaverdi Cathedral, and a basis for exploring the mountains of Tusheti. Marshrutkas depart more or less hourly from the Ortachalla marshrutka station. Price: 7 Lari. Duration: 2h30.
  • Mtskheta - a UNESCO world heritage site, about 30 minutes by minibus
  • Sighnaghi - a restored wine town. From Tbilisi marshrutkas run daily every odd hour 7 am - 5 pm, the last one leaving at 6 pm, from Samgori station. Travel duration is 1h45, cost 6 Lari (as of 2014).
  • Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi): Mashrutkas leave more or less hourly the Didube bus station of Tbilisi several times per day. From the Didube metro station, go down, turn right, cross the underway, cross the first parking lot (full of marshrutkas), and the marshrutkas to Kazbegi are in the second parking lot. Fare: 10 Lari. Duration: 2h45.
  • Mestia - If you are traveling to/from Mestia, there are flights available 5 days per week for 75 Lari. You can reserve tickets in the Courtyard Mariott on Freedom Square from 9am-1pm in the Pegasus airlines office. Be aware that flights may get delayed for a few hours even in good weather. The airline will occasionally accommodate people traveling from Mestia or Tbilisi, leading to delays of the flight. Otherwise, the usual option is a night train to Zugdidi and then a marshrutka to Mestia. There is also one daily direct marshrutka from Tbilisi (12 hours).
  • Ski resorts - Gudauri and Bakuriani
  • National Parks - Mestia-Svaneti, Borjomi-Kharagauli, Telavi-Gurjaani
  • David Gareja monastery complex, at the border with Azerbaijan. No public transportation, but chartering a taxi to and from there should cost around 100 Lari (including 2–3 hours on site). Ask your hotel for help.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!
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