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Europe > Caucasus > Georgia (country) > Kartli > Tbilisi

Tbilisi

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Tbilisi At Night

Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისი), archaic spelling Tiflis, 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 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.

Tourism[edit]

  • 1 Tourism Office, Freedom Square, Rustaveli Ave (north side of the square). Daily 09:00-21:00. They provide a free, very detailed booklet with city map.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

International flights go to Tbilisi regularly from Aktau, Almaty, Amsterdam, Antalya, Athens, Baku, Doha, Donetsk, Dnipro, Dubai, Istanbul IST & SAW, Kazan, Kharkiv, Kiev KBP, London LGW, Minsk, Moscow DME & ZIA, Munich, Novosibirsk, Odessa, Paris CDG, Prague, Riga, Rome, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Tel Aviv, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw, Yekaterinburg and Yerevan. There are summer seasonal flights to the Med and Red Sea resorts.

See Georgia#Get around for the very limited domestic flights to the city.

  • 1 Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport (TBS IATA, Georgian: თბილისის საერთაშორისო აეროპორტი, Tbilisis saertasoriso aeroporti), Airport St (17 km east of city centre), +995 32 310 265, fax: +995 32 310 322, e-mail: . Small but reasonably modern terminal. Seven food and drink outlets, four duty free shops. There is an ATM and a branch of Liberty Bank (+995 322 555500). Several bureau de change operate 24/7. The three main mobile phone companies sell SIM cards in the arrivals area. Tbilisi International Airport on Wikipedia Tbilisi International Airport (Q778213) on Wikidata

Transport between airport and city:

Bus 37/137 leaves from the right corner of the arrival area. From 07:00 to 22:35 every 20-30 min, and 23:00 to 06:30 every 30 min. Via Avlabari, Freedom Square, Rustaveli, Republic Square and Tamar Bridge to the main train station; allow 50 min. The fare is 0.50 lari. Coins (or a Metromoney Card) are required to purchase a ticket – get them by exchanging a small amount of money and ask for a 50 tetri coin. Also see: (Tbilisi Transport Company)

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 to the airport cost 0.50 lari and take 35 min, pay the conductor. But there are only two trains a day, from Tbilisi at 07:50 and 16:55, from the airport at 08:35 and 17:40.

By train[edit]

  • 2 Tbilisi Central Station (თბილისი ცენტრალი; Tbilisi Tsentrali), Station Square (Sadguris Moedani) (Metro stop: Station Square). After an extensive refurbishment, the lower levels are now a shopping mall. Tickets and platforms are on the upper levels. There's no Wifi at the station. Tbilisi railway station (Q1341835) on Wikidata

Domestic trains[edit]

Trains run twice daily between Tbilisi and Batumi, departing each city around 07:30 and 17:30 and taking 5 hr. These trains also connect to Yerevan (Armenia).

Trains also run from/to Gori, Borjomi, Kutaisi I + II, Marneuli, Poti and Zugdidi.

International trains[edit]

Trains run daily to Baku in Azerbaijan: a 2nd class sleeper berth is 50 lari and 1st class is 85. Train 37 departs Tbilisi around 20:30 arriving Baku 09:00; Train 38 departs Baku 21:00 and reaches Tbilisi around 10:40. The border is an hour out from Tbilisi; procedures may take 2-3 hr. No catering, but hot water is available.

An overnight train runs between Tbilisi and Yerevan in Armenia. From Oct to mid-June this departs from Tbilisi (as Train 371) at 20:20 on odd dates of the month, reaching the border at 22:00 and Yerevan 06:55 next morning. It departs from Yerevan (as Train 372) at 21:30 on even dates, reaching the border at 04:20 and Tbilisi at 07:50. The 31st / 1st of the month may be skipped to maintain the alternation. Border procedures either side take 90 min; if you're eligible for visa-on-arrival you can buy one here for US$6. In summer these trains may be booked out for days ahead, so buy your ticket as soon as possible - you can do so online. The coaches are standard ex-Soviet behemoths, but with fairly comfortable sleeping compartments. No catering, so bring your own food, water, vodka etc. The one way fare is about 50 lari for a 2nd class sleeper berth and 100 lari for first.

From mid-June through Sept this train runs daily from Batumi on the Black Sea coast. As Train 201, it departs Batumi 15:35 and Tbilisi 22:15, reaching Yerevan at 07:25. As Train 202, it departs Yerevan 15:30 and Tbilisi 00:45, reaching Batumi at 07:10. Other domestic trains link Tbilisi and Batumi. Batumi is close to the Sarpi / Hopa border crossing between Georgia and Turkey, currently the main overland route into this region.

The long-delayed railway between Tbilisi and Ankara & Kars in Turkey opened on 30 Oct 2017 for freight only. The start date and timetable for passenger trains has not been announced.

By minibus[edit]

Start early: minibuses/marshrutkas mostly run in the morning and become sparse in the afternoon. After 16:00 it can be hard to catch a bus to/from Tbilisi. Exceptions are the overnight buses, e.g. to Baku or Turkey, which may leave late in the day. Metro Turizm and Lüks Karadeniz both run two buses a day from Ankara and one from Istanbul, and occasionally all the way from Athens and Thessaloniki.

There are three main bus stations in Tbilisi. To transfer between Didube and Ortochalla, use marshrutka 150 or the metro.

  • 3 Didube bus station (დიდუბე), Akaki Tsereteli Ave (2 km north of downtown, via metro "Didube" stop (fastest option), or minibuses 6 and bus 46 from Freedom Square, and bus 21 from the center—ask the driver, or a younger local, when to get off.). For all north-western and western destinations, incl. Turkey, Russia and even Greece. Regular bus lines run from inside the terminal, occasional and private operators run from the small street around the station. Has regular connections from/to Mtskheta, Stepantsminda / Kazbegi (for Russia) (hourly, 3 hr, 10 lari), Gori (hourly, 1.5 hr, 3 lari), Borjomi (every 2 hr, 3 hr, 6 lari), Kutaisi (hourly, 3.5 hr, 10 lari) and Batumi. Also daily from/to Mestia (10-12 hr, 30 lari), but more convenient is a night train to/from Zugdidi and a marshrutka to/from Mestia (20 lari).
  • 4 Ortachala bus station (ორთაჭალის ავტოსადგური / "Central" Station, though it's 4 km SE of centre), Dimitri Gulia St 1 / Vakhtang Gorgasali St (Marshrutka 70, 81, and 150; nearest Metro Isani is across river 1 km north), +995 32 753433. Serves southern destination like Marneuli and Rustavi, incl. Armenia and Azerbaijan. Money-change and ATM available. Toilets are squalid.
  • Regular minibuses to Yerevan (Armenia) via Vanadzor (10:00/15:00, 6 hr, 30 lari): change there for Sevan and Ijevan. Alternatively, buses take 12 hr for 15 lari. From Yerevan minibuses leave the Central/Kilikia bus station at 08:30 for 6,500 dram.
  • Vanadzor and Sevan (Armenia) – Hourly 07:00–12:00.
  • Ijevan (Armenia) – At least one (mini)bus from Ijevan at 09:30 (1,000 dram), with necessary interchange at the border.
  • Ganja (Azerbaijan) – Sprinter, from Tbilisi at 07:00, 15 lari, from Ganja at 09:00, 8 manat, 3-4 hr.
  • Baku – Buses take 12 hr.
  • 5 Samgori bus station (სამგორის), Ketevan Tsamebuli Ave (east of the city, 300 m from Samgori metro station). This serves (less frequently) the east Georgian towns of Sighnaghi and Telavi, as well as Qax and Zaqatala in the north-west pocket of Azerbaijan.
  • Sighnaghi – Every odd hour from 07:00; 7 lari, 1.5 hr.
  • Telavi – A few per day, last one 17:00 from Telavi. To Telavi at 09:00 & 10:00 and later. Up to 2½ hr, 10 lari, some go by near Sighnaghi.
  • Qax (Qakh) (Azerbaijan) – From Qax: 8:30, 10:30, 13:30; 8 manat. Vice-versa similarly.
  • Zaqatala (Azerbaijan) – At least one per day from Zaqatala, or if you reserve ahead you might be able to board (along the way) the one that starts in Qax. From Tbilisi, you should be able to also use the Qax one.

By thumb[edit]

Getting into Tbilisi through hitch-hiking is mostly not a problem, because most people go into the centre. And even a little further away, you can always catch a cheap (yellow) bus the last metres.

Getting out though can be challenging. Therefore, it is best to use a regular bus to get as far out of the city centre as possible, e.g. the airport bus if going eastwards, and to start from there along one of the main highways.

Get around[edit]

Tsereteli metro station

The primary transport inside and outside the Tbilisi city are metro, buses and minibuses — 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]

Freedom Square metro station
Tbilisi Metro logo

Tbilisi has a two-line metro system, which operates from 06:00 until 24:00.

All signs inside the metro are in Georgian and English, but station name signs are not always visible from the train. 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 lari. But you will have to buy a Metromoney Card (2 lari) at the counter (more than one person can use the card). You can top up the card with any amount you like, and use it for travel both on the metro and on buses. Tbilisi has a free transfer system between metro and buses, allowing for an hour and a half of free transfer. It applies metro-to-metro, bus-to-bus, and across systems.

You can use one Metromoney Card for multiple people, however, only the first person will be able to take advantage of the free transfer. So, after a transfer the first tap onto the reader will not charge the card (but only print a "zero" receipt in case of buses), but every second (and third, etc.) tap will cost 0.50 lari.

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 alternate 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 lari, 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 (for one person), 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. For using the card for multiple people read above (#By metro).

By minibus[edit]

Minibuses in downtown Tbilisi

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). The fare is (on average) 0.80 lari. If paid with a touch card, every trip after the first one during the day is reduced to 0.65 lari; shout "Stop" or "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.

Kura river, Tbilisi

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 lari for very short trips. A trip in the center of town should rarely cost more than 3–5 lari, and anywhere in the city should never cost more than 15 lari, unless you're going to the airport. The taxi drivers can be persistent when trying to get customers.

By car[edit]

End on parking is widespread, but the ubiquitous informal parking attendants will help you reverse out into the traffic; it's 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]

  • The Georgian National Museum [1] is the umbrella organisation for a dozen museums and other sites in Tbilisi and elsewhere, with practical info in English. Usually they charge 7 lari for an adult, and are closed Mondays.
  • 1 Open Air Museum of Ethnography (ეროვნული მუზეუმი ღია ცის ქვეშ), Kus Tba 1 (1 Turtle Lake Road, Tortoise pond lane) კუსტბის გზა #1) (Bus 59 from Metro Rustaveli; Bus 9 from station square and a little walk up), +995 32 2729045, fax: +995 32 2982133. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Part of the Georgian National Museum. "Skansen"-type museum with 70 houses and other buildings characteristic of the various parts of Georgia, plus household gadgetry and craft tools. The houses are in variable states of repair, some are tumbledown but especially those near the entry gate are okay and with helpful docents. Allow a half day for a visit, a quiet escape from the city. Adults 3 lari, students 1 lari, guided tour 10 lari. Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnography on Wikipedia Open Air Museum of Ethnography (Q2920430) on Wikidata
  • 2 Museum of Fine Arts (საქართველოს ხელოვნების მუზეუმი), 1 Gudiashvili Street (Metro: Liberty Sq.), +995 32 999909, fax: +995 32 2982133. Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Part of the Georgian National Museum. Large permanent collection from antiquity to present. Adults 3 lari, students 1 lari.
  • 3 Tbilisi History Museum (თბილისის ისტორიის მუზეუმი), #8 Sioni St, +995 32 2982281, fax: +995 32 2982133, e-mail: . Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Part of the Georgian National Museum. Adults 3 lari, students 1 lari.
  • 4 Museum of Georgia (საქართველოს ისტორიის ჯანაშიას სახ. მუზეუმი, Simon Janashia Museum), 3 Shota Rustaveli avenue (Metro: Freedom Square 200 m), +995 32 299 8022, fax: +995 32 298 2133, e-mail: . Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Part of the Georgian National Museum, the Museum of Georgia houses Caucasian artefacts of archaeology and ethnography. A permanent exposition follows developments from the Bronze Age to the early 20th C. Gold was mined and worked here from a very early date - it was probably the origin of the "Golden Fleece" legend - so the area developed its own style, which influenced Achaemenid / Hellenistic jewellery. The most valuable exhibits include Homo ergaster fossils discovered at Dmanisi; the Akhalgori hoard of the 5th C BC; a collection of 80,000 coins chiefly of Georgian minting; medieval icons and goldsmith pieces collected from various sites in Georgia; and a lapidary with a rich collection of Urartian inscriptions.

    Nominally a separate Museum of Soviet Occupation, but simply the 4th floor of the same building, depicts Georgia's treatment at the hands of its neighbour, from 19th C tsarist expansion through Soviet times to the conflict over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Adults 7 lari, students 1 lari, guided tour in English 45 lari. Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia on Wikipedia Simon Janashia Museum of Georgia (Q2899707) on Wikidata

  • 5 Puppet Museum (Doll Museum), 17 Shavteli N St (Metro Freedom Square), +995 32 995337. Tu–Su 11:00–18:00 (Nov-March to 17:00). Several visitors in summer 2018 found it closed. Adults: 3 lari; Children: 1 lari.
  • 6 Galaktion Tabidze Museum, Marjanishvili N 4 (Metro Marjanishvili). Tu–Su 11:00–18:00. The museum of the eminent Georgian poet, Galaktion Tabidze (1892-1959).
  • 7 National Gallery (ეროვნული გალერეა), 11 Shota Rustaveli Av (Metro: Freedom Square), +995 32 2157300, fax: +995 32 298 2133, e-mail: . Tu–Su 10:00–18:00. Part of the Georgian National Museum. Extensive permanent collection, plus rotating exhibitions usually featuring Georgian artists. Adult 7 lari.
  • State Academy of Arts (სამხატვრო აკადემია), 3 Gudiashvili Street. It's a working university, not a public gallery, but you may be able to peek in at the historic buildings.
  • Jewish History Museum (ებრაელთა ისტორიის მუზეუმი David Baazov Museum), 3 St. Anton Catholicos. Su-F 11:00-17:00. Depicts the Jews in Georgia from earliest historic times to the present day. Rabbi David Baazov (1883-1947) was sent to Siberia during Stalin's purges, and his son was shot, but he himself survived to return to Tbilisi. The museum collection became a diaspora (notably to Rochester, Minnesota) but has been repatriated.
  • 8 U. Japaridze House-Museum, Shio 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). Tu-Su 11:00-18:00. Part of Georgian National Museum. Home of distinguished painter Ucha Japaridze (1906-1988). Adult 3 lari.
  • 9 E. Akhvlediani House-Museum, 12 Leo Kiacheli St. (Metro Rustaveli 200 m). Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Part of the Georgian National Museum. Showcases the work of painter Elene Akhvlediani (1898-1975). Adult 3 lari, student 1 lari.
  • Open air carriage exhibition, Zviad Gamsakhurdia Named Right Bank (In front of the Public House, shaped as a mushroom, in the middle treed strip in the busy road). In a strip of garden in the middle of a busy road, there are several carriages and wine making tools in exhibit. Free.

Religious architecture[edit]

  • 10 Mamadaviti (მამადავითის ეკლესია), Mtatsminda Pantheon (on Mtatsminda hill). Constructed in 1859–1871, domed in 1879.
  • 11 Sioni Church (სიონის ეკლესია), Sioni street (სიონის ქ.) #6 (upper Kala, from Metro Freedom Square 0.8 km south-east or from Metro Avlabari 0.7 km west). Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral on Wikipedia Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral (Q248050) on Wikidata
  • 12 Sameba Cathedral (Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, Georgian: თბილისის წმინდა სამების საკათედრო ტაძარი Thbilisis cminda samebis sakathedro tadzari), Samreklo Street (on Elia Hill. 1 km north from Avlabari metro station). 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 was 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 on the grounds of what was once a park, and before that the largest Armenian cemetery in Tbilisi, a tiny portion of that cemetery now forms the Armenian Pantheon. 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 are independent from the apses, imparting a more monumental look to the dome and the church in general. The dome is surmounted by a 7.5 m 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 0.5 ha and the volume it occupies is 137 m³. The interior of the church measures 56 m × 44 m, with an interior area of 2,380 m². The height of the cathedral from the ground to the top of the cross is 105.5 m. The underground chapel occupies 35,550 m³. The height is 13 m. 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. Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi on Wikipedia Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi (Q36996) on Wikidata
  • 13 Metekhi Church ("Church of Assumption") (მეტეხის), Metekhis Rise (მეტეხის აღმართი) (Metro Avlabari). Goes back to the reign of St. Demeritus II. late 13th century. Rebuilt 17th century. Unusual in design. Metekhi church (Q20577625) on Wikidata
  • 14 Ascension Catholic Church of the Virgin Mary? (Tbilisi Virgin Mary Church, მარიამ ღვთისმშობლის ამაღლების კათოლიკური ეკლესია), Gia Abesadze St (აბესაძის ქ.) #6 (Metro Metro Station Freedom Square). The church was built, which starts from the 13th 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.
  • 15 Anchiskhati ("Basilica of St. Mary") (Georgian: ანჩისხატი), Ioane Shavteli St, 18 (Metro Freedom Square). Constructed began at the time of king Dachi Ujarmeli in VI cent. This is the 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. Anchiskhati Basilica on Wikipedia Anchiskhati Basilica (Q609419) on Wikidata
  • 16 Narikala Church (ნარიყალა), Orbiri St (Narikala Castle).
  • 17 Kashveti Church of St. George (Qashveti, Georgian: ქაშვეთის წმინდა გიორგის სახელობის ტაძარი), Shota Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #9 (MetroFreedom 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." Kashveti Church on Wikipedia Kashveti Church (Q1734896) on Wikidata
  • 18 Synagogue (სინაგოგა), K. Leselidze street, 4? or Abkhazians Street.(კ. აფხაზის ქ.) #41 (Metro Freedom Square). Functioning synagogue constructed in 1910. Women and men are seated separately.
  • 19 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.
  • 20 Holy Trinity Church (Old Trinity Church, ძველი სამების ეკლესია), Erosi Manjgaladze Turn, Abashidze Street (აბაშიძის ქ.) # 4 (Metro: Freedom Square).
  • 21 Alex. Nevskiy Orthodox Church, Marjanishvili Street, ~53.
  • 22 Armenian Cathedral of S. Gevorg (სურფგევორქი), 5 Samghebro St. (At Meydan Square), +995 322754111, e-mail: . Built in 1251 AD, and seat of the Armenian Archbishop of Georgia. Tomb of the famous Caucasian bard Sayat-Nova is in front of the church. free.
  • 23 Norashen Armenian Church (ნორაშენის ეკლესია), Afkhazi Street. Boarded up Armenian Church, used as a library in Soviet times. Originally built in 1487, with a lot of new work in the mid-1600s. Norashen Church, Tbilisi on Wikipedia Norashen Church (Q2046924) on Wikidata
  • 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.
  • 24 Echmiadzin Armenian Church (წმინდა სერგოს ეკლესია) (In front of Avlabar Metro Station). Built in 1805, and later renovated. free. Ejmiatsin Church, Tbilisi on Wikipedia Ejmiatsin Church (Q2613137) on Wikidata

Other sights[edit]

  • 25 Georgian Academy of Sciences (მეცნიერების აკადემია), Rustaveli Square (Central Tbilisi.). Georgian National Academy of Sciences on Wikipedia Georgian National Academy of Sciences (Q538954) on Wikidata
  • 26 City Hall (საკრებულოს შენობა), Freedom square (Tavisupleba square, თავისუფლების მოედანი), 2. Before City Hall stay the Monument of St. George Tbilisi City Hall on Wikipedia Tbilisi City Hall (Q2920873) on Wikidata
  • National Bank of Georgia (საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი), Leonidze Street.( ლეონიძის ქ.) № 3/5.
  • Children's Palace (მოსწავლე ახალგაზრდობის სასახლე), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #6.
  • 27 Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures (Mtatsminda Mountain, in the churchyard around St. David’s Church - Mamadaviti). Many famous writers, and 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, Betlemi — 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 Segway rental is available — given the state of Tbilisi pavements a ridiculous proposition.
  • 28 Vake Park Area, around Chavchavadze and Abashidze avenues (from MetroDelisi to south 1.5 km). 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 luxury 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.
  • 29 Presidential Palace, M. Abdushevelli 1 (Metro 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.
  • 30 Melik Kazariantsis House (მელიქ კაზარიანცის სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #37 (Metro: 'Rustaveli').
  • 31 Shota Rustaveli monument (შოთა რუსთაველის ძეგლი), - Shota Rustaveli Square (შოთა რუსთაველის მოედანი).
  • 32 Academy of Sciences (საქართველოს მეცნიერებათა აკადემია), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ), #48 (Metro: 'Rustaveli').
  • 33 House of the Officers (ოფიცერთა სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #16 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
  • 34 Theatre and Film University (თეატრისა და კინოს სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #19 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
  • 35 Gudiashvili monument (ლადო გუდიაშვილის ძეგლი), - April 9 Garden (9 აპრილის ბაღი) (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
  • 36 Library of the Parliament (საქართველოს პარლამენტის ბიბლიოთეკა), Lado Gudiashvili Street. (ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ.) #3 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
  • 37 Caucasian House (კავკასიის სახლი), Galaktion Tabidze Street.( გალაკტიონის ქ.) #20 (Metro: 'Liberty Square' 400 m).
  • 38 Government Chancellery (საქართველოს მთავრობის კანცელარია), P. Ingorokva Street.(პ. ინგოროყვას ქ.) #7 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
  • 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).

Nearby (50-150 km) popular sights that allow for a day trip from Tbilisi are Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe, David Gareja Monastery Complex, Dmanisi archaeological site, Sighnaghi and Rustavi with its Sioni Church and the Auto Trade Center, the biggest market for used cars in the Caucasus.

Do[edit]

Narikala fortress at night
  • 1 Sulphur Baths, Bath Street (აბანოს ქუჩა) (From Metro Avlabari 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 but also they are available for a small fee, but pricey compared to the 3 lari if you use the public bath. Some travellers have suggested the Royal Baths is a much better alternative to Sulphur Baths (they are next to each other). Sulphur baths tend to double the price at the end of the massage and bath in spite of your original agreed price.
    2 Bath No. 5 is the only public bath in this area right at the beginning, follow the neon light. It is definitely worth the experience, so do not miss it. The men's section has a central shower area, a hot pool and a sauna. Women's public section apparently only provide showers and massage, and are probably not worth it.
    You can find sulphur baths in other districts, for example close to the metro station Marjanishvili, around the corner of hostel Green Stairs, there is an old, characteristic bath. (#4 Kiev Street). Upstairs is a men's sauna for 7 lari but also a gay hangout. In the evening you can get a private bath for 10 lari and an additional towel is 2 lari.
    Public pool: 3 lari per hour; private pool: 10–100 lari per hour; massage 5–20 lari.
  • 3 Turtle Lake (Kus T'ba) (take a taxi or walk up from Saburtalo). This lake is 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 the mountains and of 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 10-15 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.
  • 4 Lake Lisi (Lisis T'ba), 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.
  • 5 Climb up to the Narikala Fortress (Nearest Metro Avalabari). 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. 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 watch your step.
  • 6 Botanical garden, Sololaki St (access via Botanikuri St., or from above through the fortress. Nearest Metro Avalabari). varying with the seasons. National botanic garden of Georgia, founded in 1845. Lying in the Tsavkisis-Tskali Gorge near Narikala Fortress, 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. A fun zipline for over 150 cm tall and under 110 kg sliders is available for 40 lari. There is little to no signs leading back to the 1 lari.
The Funicular reopened in December 2012
  • 7 Mtatsminda park (Tbilisi Tower) (high on the hill; Bus 124 or the funicular railway up from Metro Rustaveli). bus until 23:00. to have fun with your kids, see the views of Tbilisi or to take a ride on the ferris wheel. You need to buy an access card at a cashiers desk for 2 lari. Funicular ride is also 3 lari one way and you use the access card for that.
  • 8 Alexander's Garden (ალექსანდროვის ბაღი), Dry Bridge Area (მშრალი ხიდი) (Metro: Freedom Square). A part of Park April.
  • 9 Locomotive Stadium (Mikheil Meskhi Stadium), +995 551536854.
  • 10 Vake Swimming Pool, Chavchavadze Avenue (ჭავჭავაძის გამზირი).
  • Paragliding around Tbilisi. Find yourself (and your pilot) hanging in the sky with the clouds staring at the gorgeous sprawling Georgian Caucasus mountains below you.
  • Watch football ie soccer at FC Dinamo Tbilisi, who play in Erovnuli Liga, the top tier of Georgian football. Their home ground is Dinamo Arena, capacity 54,500, east of the river near the main railway station. Since 2017, the soccer season in Georgia runs Feb to Nov with a winter break.

Theatres[edit]

  • 11 Alexander Griboedov Russian State Drama Theatre, Rustaveli Av. 2 (M1 'Liberty Square' 200 m), +995 32 293 58 11.
  • 12 Gabriadze Theatre, Shavteli 13 (M1 'Liberty Square' 500 m), +995 32 2986590.
  • 13 Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre (თბილისის ოპერისა და ბალეტის თეატრი), Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.), 25.
  • 14 Rustaveli National Theater (Shota Rustaveli Theater, შოთა რუსთაველის თეატრი), Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.), 17.
  • 15 Cinema Rustaveli (კინოთეატრი რუსთაველი), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #5 (M1 'Liberty Square' 200 m).
  • 16 Tbilisi State Conservatory (თბილისის სახელმწიფო კონსერვატორია), Al.Griboyedov Street. ( ალ. გრიბოედოვის ქ.) #8-10 (M1 'Liberty Square' 500 m).

Events[edit]

  • Tbilisi Marathon. Held annually in October, with full & half-marathon, 10 km race and kids' runs. The start and finish is at Rustaveli Avenue. The last event was 30 Sept 2018, the 2019 date has not yet been announced. Participation fee 10 lari/10 km and 15 lari/Half marathon.

Buy[edit]

Money: the unit of currency is the lari. There are two issues of the 20, 50 & 100 lari banknotes: from 2004 and (with stronger colours) from 2016. Both are valid, with no withdrawal date yet announced for the older notes, but you obviously don't want to leave the country with these. Indeed it's difficult to exchange lari anywhere outside Georgia, apart from Yerevan.

Exchange kiosks generally have a 4% spread between "buy" and "sell" rates for major currencies, good value by western standards.

Shopping: Shops and restaurants around Kote Afkhazi Street are overpriced tourist-trippy-rippy places, double or more of what you pay elsewhere.

  • 1 The 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 0.6 km NW). Every Saturday, but seems to be every day nowadays until sunset. This is one of the best places to get jewellery, 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.
  • Other markets – places across the city, notably 2 Station Square Underground Market underground right in front of the station (sells mainly clothes), the 3 Main Market between Station Square and Dinamo Arena (sells everything), and the 4 Didube Market around the Didube bus and metro station which has a large selection of cheap second hand clothes and shoes.
  • 5 Tiflis Avenue Art Center and Gallery (ტიფლის ავენიუ), 8/10 Erekle II St (Metro 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 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.
  • 6 Pixel 34, Ilia Chavchavadze ave., 34 (Bus 9, 21, 34, 51, 59, 61, 85, 88, 140 to 'Children's City Mziuri' 50m). Shopping Centre
  • 7 Old City Wall Restaurant/Wine Centre, 1 Baratashvili str., +995 322 99 58 57. Daily 12:00–24:00; wine shop: 11:00–23:00. Restaurant and cafe.
  • Gold, silver, precious stones, and other jewellery – Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewellery, because of its cheap cost and superior quality, there is a dizzying selection available upstairs in one of the malls N/W of station square metro.
  • Art Space Studio, Abo Tbieli Street #1 (Old City).
  • Antiques & other miscellaneous gifts – in Georgia you will able to find many antiques from Georgia, the Middle East, Mediterranean, Russia and Europe.
  • Georgian wine – Georgia is the cradle of wine making, and with 521 original varieties of grape you will be sure to find excellent wines.
  • Brandy (locally called 'cognac' )– made from Georgian wine.
  • Mineral waters – Borjomi, Sairme, Nabeghlavi mineral waters from Georgian resorts.
  • Chacha – Grape vodka, a Georgian version of grappa. Available in supermarkets or homemade available in local markets for as little as 3 lari.
  • Churchkhela aka "Georgian snickers", A traditional sweet made by dipping a string of nuts repeatedly into a grape sauce, a must-try.

Eat[edit]

Georgian cuisine[edit]

Street side stalls selling Georgian "fast food" are all over the city. Some kind of hot snack will cost 0.70-2.50 lari.

The options listed below are hardly exhaustive -- Georgian traditional cuisine is delicious, cheap, and universal. Just wandering into the likeliest looking local joint in any neighborhood whatsoever, even just a block or two from the main tourist streets, will inevitably provide an excellent dining experience at bargain prices - and quite possibly any amount of proud attention and invitations to drink wine from staff and regulars delighted that a foreigner has discovered their haunt. Beyond the classics of khinkali and khachapuri, meat-eaters could begin with "satsivi" (chicken in walnut sauce) or "chakhapuli" (lamb or beef with tarragon and other herbs), and vegetarians or vegans some of the dishes with "lobio" (beans), "badrijani" (eggplant), or "pkhali" (greens) - or simply pick by random off the menu and let the unique tastes of Georgia surprise you.

  • 1 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 18:00 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.
  • 2 Shemoikhede Genatsvale, 25 Leselidze St (Metro Station Freedom Square), +995 32 2439646. Delicious food cheaper than in the restaurants surrounding it. Khinkali are around 0.50 lari each. Try the ones filled with potato and beef with greens (seasonings). US$7-10.
  • 3 Cafe Gabriadze, Shavtelis 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.
  • 4 Kala, 8/10 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. We–Fi; Credit card payment accepted. Food seems to have gone downhill in recent months, however, and is increasingly overpriced for the quality. 20–25 lari.
KGB Still watching you
  • 5 KGBs, 8/10 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 lari.
  • 6 Khinklis Sakhli (House of Khinkali), 37 Rustaveli Ave (M Rustaveli 50m), +995 893 756671. 09:30-23:30. All Khinkali, all the time. Does a wide range of other Georgian food too. The entrance isn't obvious, you have to enter an alleyway at No. 37 and then go down some steps into a courtyard. 12 lari.
  • 7 Machakhela, N106 Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue, (M Marjanishvili), +995 322 911959. 10:00 till 24:00. 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)
  • 8 Tamada, 37 Orbeliani St (Metro Technical University), +995 322923280. 09:00–02:00. Ethnographic restaurant. Evenings Georgian music and dances. Wi-Fi available. 25 lari.
  • 9 Taglaura, Mtkvari 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.
  • 10 Tsisqvili (Windmill), 9 Dzotsenidze St.?. Amazing menu & food, superb customer service and great design.
  • 11 Caravan, Purseladze Street. ? (Metro 'Rustaveli', 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 Wi-Fi. 15 lari.
  • 12 Cafe Flowers, Avlabari 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 lari.
  • 13 Lunch ladies, Corner of Dzmebi Zubalashvilebi St and Laghidze (from Metro 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 lari.
  • 14 Kiwi Vegan Cafe, 6 Ivane Machabeli St (in Old Town between Pushkin and Leselidze), +995 322990456. Vegan cafe. Cheap, delicious, has tofu. 4-7 lari.
  • 15 Cafe Leila, Erekle 2 St., 18, Tbilisi 0105, Georgia (next to Hangar Bar), +995 593 28 10 85. Daily 12:00-02:00. Charming pescatarian cafe with vegan options. Serves vegan wine. Tables outside which look out onto the main square and good decor inside. 10-12 lari average.

Asian cuisine[edit]

  • 16 Picasso Restaurant, 6 Roman Miminoshvili St (Off Perovskaya St). Chinese cuisine
  • 17 Vong (29 I. Abashidze St.), +995 322292570, e-mail: . Pricey but delicious fusion-Asian cuisine served in a decadently authentic atmosphere.
  • 18 New Asia Restaurant, Griboedov Str, 29? (up the hill from Metro Rustaveli at the corner of Lagidze and Griboedovi streets; opposite Tbilisi State Conservatoire).
  • 19 Qalaquri Sushi Bar, 13 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.
  • 20 Sushi Bar Tokyo, 14 I. Abashidze St. (in Vake, on Abashidze Street), +995 322250343. Japanese restaurant.
  • 21 Baan Thai, 4 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 lari.

European and American[edit]

  • 22 Cafe de Paris, Saakadze square (in the city center). Famous for its tasty salads and crepes. Nice place to spend time with friends. Outdoor garden seating.
  • 23 Cafe Canape, Abashidze 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.
  • 24 Zandukeli 40, Zandukeli 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.
  • 25 Ronny's Pizza, 3 Vaja Pshavelas (next to the archive building in Saburtalo), +995 322 47 24 72, e-mail: . Su-Th 11:00–22:00, F Sa 11:00–23:00. 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 Espresso, 26 Chavchavadze Ave. Expensive quality coffee and Italian + European food. Wi-Fi.
  • coffee.ge, Three locations (24 Abashidze Str., 41 Chavchavadze Ave., 154 Aghmashenebeli Ave.). Pizza and other Italian food. Delivers food to your home. Wi-Fi.
  • Fiorino, 77 Kostava St. - Saakadze square. Fiorino offers best pizzas in Tbilisi, one of the best carpaccios and veal. Relaxing environment and outdoor seating.
  • Il Garage, Mozashvili street 26 (50 m 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.
  • Prego, Three 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.
  • Piano, Tabidze 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 Bar, 27b Mitskevich Str. - Saburtalo. Pizza and other Italian food. Delivers food to your home. Wi-Fi.

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 Coffehouse, 34 Rustaveli Ave (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 in London's Notting Hill. Good selection of English books, but the real gem is the atmosphere - a perfect escape for when Tbilisi's more chaotic pleasures start to become overwhelming. Effectively bilingual waitstaff, try to strike up conversations with other foreigners.
  • There is a kebab shop where you can get a large kebab for 2.5 lari outside Didube metro, go left past the money changers shops. a good first stop if arriving by the bus station.

Drink[edit]

One is never far from a corner store opening late selling the bare essentials of life late into the night, which always include booze and bread. Georgia is known as the cradle of wine having produced wine since the neolithic period; and locals are very proud of this. Georgian wine was and still is the best in post-Soviet culture and there are many wine tasting shops in the upmarket areas of the city where wine culture is greatly respected. Try one of the famous wines from Kakheti or the other popular regions.

It is possible to have a great night you may or may not remember for only 10 or 15 lari if you follow students to the cheaper bars where tourists are welcome, but you might be shortchanged a few lari.

Bars[edit]

  • 1 Singer (Konka Station). Jazz bar and restaurant with great live music. In summer you might just hang around on the square in front and enjoy the music with a beer from a local shop. mulled wine 8 lari.
  • 2 Dublin, 8 Akhvlediani St (Metro Rustaveli), +995 32 98 44 67. until 03:00. Irish pub with live music from 20:00-00:00. Try the meat wrapped in bacon. 30 lari.
  • 4 Hangar Bar, Irakli 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.
  • Hadson & Hooker, 67 Beliashvili St (Next to Cruise), +995 55328360. American bar. Exotic wine tasting every Thursday. Live music every evening, can-can dancers, billiards, darts
  • Alibi Room. Cheap bar well known (or infamous) among locals, attracts a young crowd and gets packed on Fridays, when things can get a bit rough; so it's not for the faint hearted. Recently moved address. Chacha 1 lari, beer 2 lari.
  • Shot time bar, 15 Aleksandr Pushkin St, Tbilisi (underground on Liberty Square). Cheap and friendly bar in good location, beer, wine or chacha. Beer 2 lari.
  • Warszawa bar ("war-sha-wa") (Next to the Subway restaurant on liberty square). Polish bar with a nice atmosphere, popular with young people. 2 lari beer, decent selection of other drinks. 2-6.

Cafés[edit]

Tbilisi is the one city in Georgia where coffee vending machines 0.50-0.80 lari may be found, though with a huge load of sugar.

Unless you would like to forget you are in Tbilisi and drink in fancy expensive places where only tourists and expats may be found, Chardini and its connecting streets should be avoided as the most blatant tourist trap in the country. The best pubs and cafes in Tbilisi are tucked in unlikely looking side streets of the Old City, often underground or sometimes without even a sign to mark their presence. Keep your eyes and ears open.

  • 6 Four Seasons, 2 Irakli Abashidze Street (Steps from Gamsakhurdia ave), +995 322147188 , +995 32-144440. 11:00–01:00. Cozy place with lounge-sitting rooms and unique interior. European cuisine. Prices are affordable and nice music is played. 15 lari.
  • 7 People's (Cafe and Restaurant), 10 Tabidze St (steps from Freedom Square), +995 32 45 0505. 11:00–02:00. 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. US$10-15.
  • 8 The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, 20 Rustaveli Ave. 08:00—22:00. A great cafe with tasty pastries, good coffee, and free Wi-fi. 5-10 lari.

Clubs[edit]

Be wary about scams and tourist traps – see #Stay safe below. Some shady clubs/bars have specialised in forcing tourists to pay unjustified amounts of money for drinks and services, especially strip bars. If it's shiny and classy, be wary.

  • Buddha Bar, Rikhe,, +995 322 255222, e-mail: . 19:00–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 12:00 daily. An excellent place for sushi and good lounge and electronic music. Expensive.
  • Cubic, 45 Kostava Str. One of the best places for good house music, real minimal techno and sometimes some breakbeats and dnb. Entrance: 30 lari.
  • KalaKuri Restaurant/Club, 13 Shavteli St (Mtatsminda District), +995 322 996683. Club: F and Sa from 23:00; Restaurant: 12:00–13:00; Lounge Bar: 17:00–03:00. Good night club, pop, 90s and modern music.
  • Night Flight, Baratashvili Street (Under Baratashvili bridge). Open on Fridays and Saturdays.. Supposedly has the best house, trance, dance, club music, Georgian and foreign DJs in Tbilisi. Drinks are a bit expensive, but worth it. Entrance: 30 lari.
  • Bassiani, 2 Akaki Tsereteli Ave, Tbilisi (under the dinamo arena). Famous underground techno club, possibly one of the best in the whole region, has an LGBT night. 30 lari entry, if the bouncer lets you in..

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Due to the countless budget options, prices have dropped significantly in the city. Check out prices on the usual suspect websites and turn up on site stating the price – hostel owners will happily give you the online rate, so they can skip the fee they pay via such websites.

  • 1 В Тбилиси! (In Tbilisi!), Intersection Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street ~53 and Giorgi Mazniashvili St (around the corner of Green Stairs-hostel, on the groundfloor behind the grey courtyard-door - Metro 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 than English though. 25 lari.
  • 2 Backpackers Hostel, no.11, Machabeli St. Old Tbilisi district (through the arch next to the olympic office), +995 32 293 44 72, e-mail: . Hostel in the old city, Kitchen, laundry services, common room. It is one of the cheapest places in town but has trouble with drifters. Dorms 8/18 lari in off-/high-season.
  • 3 Boombully Rooms & Hostel, Rustaveli Ave. 24 (across from Opera House - Metro Rustaveli), +995 322 931638, +995 551 100172, e-mail: . It's in historical downtown, near many city attractions and the Old town District, a block away from Prospero’s Books. The property is 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.
  • 4 City Hostel Waltzing Matilda, 11, Alexander Chavchavadze str. (from Metro Rustaveli near the Opera turn up the hill and go two blocks), +995 55 554 590, +995 322988343, e-mail: . Friendly people, amazing view of the city, free wi-fi, possible airport transport for $20. dorm 17 lari.
  • 5 Envoy Hostel, 45 Betlemi St (off Gorgasali Meidan, in the Old Town area - from Metro Freedom Square 0.8 km 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 is tea and coffee. Free Wi-Fi, laundry service, tours,airport pick up and air conditioning, and central heating.
  • 6 Fox Hostel, 30 Griboedov St (Metro Rustaveli, walk south, 50 m up the hill, opp. Radisson Blu 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 lari.
  • 7 Friends Hostel (Friendly Hostel), Betlemi Str. #28-30, entrance up from ascent Tumaniani street 9 (Old Tbilisi), +995 577 737771, e-mail: . Check-out: 12:00. 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 (though a little dark), Old Town view, bar, BBQ area, guest kitchen. Two showers. Worth while if you get a bargain deal. Dorm from 7 lari, privates from 30 lari.
  • 8 Green Stairs Hostel, Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street, 53 (walk east from Metro Marjanishvili one block, turn right and it'll be a 5-min 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 lari. 25 lari/room.
  • 9 Maria Tours and Hostel, Freedom Square/Liberty Sq. 4, 2nd floor (Metro Liberty Sq., next door to Marriott Courtyard), +995 599 208989, e-mail: . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: noon. Carters mainly to Arab families with small children, due to location additional traffic noise. Security camera installed inside the dorm watching your sleep. Laundry 5 lari. Dorm 25 lari.
  • 10 Marishka's Hostel, 62 Dimitri Uznadze Street (1.5 km from Metro Marjanishvili). 24 hours. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Great hostel in a nice part of Chugureti. Private double rooms are perfect for travelling couples, spacious and with comfortable beds. Each room has access to a balcony in the common area. The place is clean and Marishka and her family are lovely and helpful with advice for getting around the city. Highly recommended. Double room: 55 lari.
  • 11 Old Town Hostel, Khodasheni/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 Freedom Square), +995 32 986188, +995 71004002, e-mail: . Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Comfortable beds, clean, cozy, and friendly hostel. Airport transfer is possible. 10-14 lari.
  • 12 Rest Hostel Tbilisi, 68 Dimitri Uznadze St (near MetroMarjanishvili metro station), +995 598 111469, +995 599 164249, e-mail: . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Has 3 private rooms with shared bathroom, a total of 7 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. 50 lari for room (2 beds).
  • 13 Rover Hostel, 14 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 Freedom Square), +995 32 936520. Check-out: 11:00. Clean and well arranged hostel with comfortable, quiet, and safe rooms. There is a common room for guest use with free internet access, Wi-Fi, 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 lari.
  • 14 Star Hostel, 45 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 en suite available. Renovated and has all the modern amenities, including cable flat screen TV/DVD, free Internet & Wi-Fi 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.
  • 15 Tamuna's Guesthouse, 32. Arnold Chikobava St near sabchos moedani (from Metro Marjanishvili Metro NE 0.3 km), +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 lari per person/night.
  • 16 Tbilisi Hostel, Avlabari, Makhati turn 22 (from Metro Avlabari metro station 0.4 km 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 & Wi-Fi; guest kitchen; cheap laundry service. Advertises itself as a 'party hotel'. dorm: €10.55.
  • 17 Tbilisi Rooms Hostel & Tours, Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi, Georgia (near Freedom Square in the city centre of Tbilisi: it's a 9-minute walk from Liberty Square Metro Station upwards Shota Rustaveli Ave opposite the Opera house), +995 555 33 30 55, e-mail: . Check-in: 24 hours, check-out: 12:00. Hostel is clean and has both private rooms and dormitories, equipped kitchen for self catering, free tea and coffee, free Wi-fi, laundry (3 lari), and two shared bathrooms. The friendly staff speak English, Georgian, and Russian. 20-45 lari.
  • 18 Veziko apartments, 10 Chonkadze Street, (from Metro Freedom Square 0.3 km 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 US$25 per night/double bed. Internet, stove and bath is available.
  • 19 Walker Hostel, 19 Gomi St (From Metro 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 Wi-Fi, laundry, linen and towels included, lockers, luggage storage, tours/travel desk. €10.

Mid-range[edit]

  • 21 Hotel Ata, 17 Afkhazi St (Metro Freedom Square), +995 32 987715, fax: +995 32 986026, e-mail: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Small place, great rate for central location. Doubles US$50.
  • 22 Beaumonde, 11 Chavchavadze St (next to Rustaveli Avenue), +995 32 986003, +995 32 2921172. Nice B&B with 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. Double B&B from US$50.
  • 23 Betsy's Hotel, 32-34 Makashvili St (Metro: Rustaveli 500 m SW), +995 32 931404, fax: +995 32 999311, e-mail: . Hotel with 57 rooms, 4 star going on 3, often booked out for conferences. Doubles from US$80.
  • British House, 32 Belinski St (500 m west of Metro Rustaveli), +995 32 988783, e-mail: . A friendly personalised 3-star bed & breakfast. Doubles from US$80.
  • 24 Georgian House Hotel, 38 Vakhtang VI St (Below Trinity Cathedral; Metro Avlabari is 700 south), +995 32 2791919, fax: +995 32 2791920, e-mail: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. 3 star near Rose Square. Double B&B US$50.
  • 25 Prestige Palace Hotel, 51 Marjanishvili St (in north central Tbilisi on a quiet street), +995 91 322 940505. Quiet, comfortable, renovated. Doubles B&B US$50.
  • 26 SkadaVeli, 27 Vertskhli str (Metro Freedom Square), e-mail: . Light, quiet and comfortable apartment in Kala neighborhood. Double from US$35.
  • 27 Tbilotel, 8 Vitali Daraselia St (Metro Medical University is 400 m southwest), +995 32 387804, e-mail: . 24/7. Mid-range business and leisure hotel. Offers 18 comfortable rooms, standard and semi-suites, with balconies, free Wi-Fi Internet, satellite TV and international phone. Doubles from US$70.
  • 28 Vere Palace Hotel, 22-24 Kuchishvili St (Near the Zoo and Hero's Square, Metro: Rustaveli), +995 32 253340, e-mail: . 4-star hotel. Doubles from US$50.
  • 29 Hotel VIP, 31 Leselidze Street, +995 32 923336. 2-star hotel close to Sioni Cathedral. Friendly hotel in a quiet courtyard with views over the river. The owners are charming people and the breakfast is excellent. Doubles from US$70.

Splurge[edit]

  • 30 Courtyard by Marriott Tbilisi (სასტუმრო "ქორთიად-მარიოტი"), 4 Freedom Square (თავისუფლების მოედანი) (Metro Freedom Square), +995 322 779200, fax: +995 32 779210. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Six-storey hotel built in the 1990s in post-modernist style. Comfortable and very central. Doubles (room only) from US$170.
  • 31 Mercure Tbilisi Old Town, 9 Vakhtang Gorgasali street, +995 322 00 60 60. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A four-star chain hotel with fitness centre and a sauna bath. Doubles from US$100.
  • 32 Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Rose Revolution Square 1 (Metro Rustaveli), +995 32 402200, e-mail: . 5-star hotel in glass tower overlooking the river, 249 rooms. Doubles from US$140.
  • 33 River Side Hotel, Brosse Street (corner with Right Bank; Metro: Freedom Square 500 m south). Really nice, comfortable, friendly staff. Free Wi-Fi. Doubles US$120.
  • 34 Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metechi Palace, 20 Telavi St (Metro: 300 Aragveli Station), +995 32 772020, fax: +995 32 772120. 5 star on ridge crest east of river, 15-minute walk to the Old City. US$200+ per night.
  • 35 Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (სასტუმრო "თბილისი მარიოტი"), 13 Rustaveli Prospekt (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) (Metro Freedom), +995 32 779200, fax: +995 32 779210. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. 5-star hotel on city's main avenue; not to be confused with Courtyard by Marriott 500 m south. Doubles from US$200.

Stay safe[edit]

Tbilisi is very safe after the Rose Revolution. You will be welcomed with the cheerful hospitality that is a hallmark of Georgian culture. 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 generally safe but fights between locals can escalate quickly. The 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

Extreme caution should be exercised when frequenting any establishment in the "Shardeni" area, between Kote Apkhazi street and the river, on streets "Chardin", "Bambis Rigi", and "Rkinis Rigi". These bars, clubs, and restaurants are well known for operating expensive scams, charging upwards of US$1,000 for a few drinks and forcing tourists to pay. Although a few establishments in this area have a reasonable reputation, such as "KGB", it is safer and cheaper to completely avoid this area. This is the only area of the city where such caution should be taken.

As always, cab drivers will try to cheat tourists; especially coming from the airport, rigging the meter, misrepresenting the value of the lari or quoting a price in lari then demanding payment in US dollars. Stand your ground and walk away if necessary.

Beggars have become more aggressive in the tourist areas, children may cling to the legs of wealthy-looking tourists or several adults may cling to a tourist whilst pickpocketing them; yell for help and fight back- unfortunately the police appear to be in on this and will often turn a blind eye; or encourage you to let the perpetrators go.

Stay healthy[edit]

  • 2 Medi Club Georgia, 22a, Tashkenti St (Metro: "Medical University" 300 m walk to Taskent lane corner opp- of its), +995 32 2251991, fax: +995 32 2250911, e-mail: . One of designated medical clinic for foreigners. (The official bills from here accepted some national health insurance.) Emergency Contact: +995 599 581991

Cope[edit]

The Government postal service is notorious for being over-priced and unreliable with many thefts, and lost or damaged packages. Use a private postal company for anything important.

Embassies[edit]

More details here: https://www.embassypages.com/georgia

Mount Kazbeg

Go next[edit]

Within Georgia[edit]

Day trips[edit]

  • Mtskheth – The old capital, and nearby is Jvari monastery. Taking a tour is much easier than public transport. Tour prices range from 30-120 lari per person.
  • Rustavi – For a Soviet immersive experience, to the east. You'll be glad to come back. Unspoiled and 25 km, about half an hour by frequent marshrutkas from metro station "station square" (1.5 lari).

East[edit]

Not far east of Tbilisi is the beginning of the Kakheti region with various sights, including:

  • Telavi – Gateway to the close-by Alaverdi Monastery, Gurjaani (part of the wine route) and the mountain region of Tusheti
  • Sighnaghi – A restored wine town with an extensive wall and close-by the popular Monastery of St. George at Bodbe (aka Bodbe Convent)
  • David Gareja Monastery Complex – A 6th-century cave monastery, though not as impressive as Vardzia

North[edit]

  • Gudauri – A popular ski resort about 120 km north
  • Stepantsminda/Kazbegi – A great hiking and mountaineer destination with one of the highest mountains in Europe, Mount Kazbeg, and home to the spectacularly situated Gergeti Trinity Church. And along the way from Tbilisi the beautiful Ananuri Fortress Complex.

West[edit]

All sights are covered under the according region article and its cities, especially Rioni Region, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Northwestern Georgia. Some highlights:

  • Gori – Known for its Stalin cult and the close-by Uplistsikhe, a 3,600-year-old Silk Road cave city that was a major regional centre of Caucasian pagan religion.
  • Borjomi – A resort town popular for its mineral well, the nearby Borjomi (Kharagauli) Nature Reserve, a hiking paradise, and Mtsvane Monastery (aka the Green Monastery).
  • Bakuriani – A ski resort and scenic slow train trip destination from Borjomi.
  • Vardzia – The best cave monastery to visit in Georgia, beyond Uplistsikhe and David Gareja.
  • Mestia/Svaneti region – 10-12 hr away by bus, and the most famous mountain region in Georgia with the famous Svan Towers, glaciers, the authentic village Ushguli, as well as numerous hiking destinations
  • Batumi – ~250 km away by night & day train, plane, or bus/minibus, a summer and beach city on the Black Sea, also on the way to Turkey.
  • Ozurgeti – A good jumping off point for nearby beaches and mountain resorts. ~200 km via night train, leaves around 21:45, arrives 06:10. There is also a marshutka from Station Square (the train station), which leaves at 16:00 and arrives around 22:00), is a regional centre.

Armenia[edit]

  • Ijevan – The first destination when coming from Georgia/Tbilisi and popular for its post-Soviet feel and the surrounding mountains. Easily reached by marshutka from Tbilisi, several a day.
  • Sevan – The nearby lake (biggest in Armenia) is a famous summer destination. Also several marshutkas daily from Tbilisi.
  • Yerevan – The capital is a must see, and the best base for exploring the country. Ijevan and Lake Sevan are on the way to Yerevan.

Azerbaijan[edit]

  • Ganja – First large town when entering Azerbaijan from Tbilisi along the main highway. Popular for its architecture as well as nearby hiking destination, Goygol National Park.
  • Baku – The most eastern point of Azerbaijan. The capital, cosmopolitan and spectacular, best reached by night train.
  • Qax (Qakh) – A popular and remote city near the Caucasus, great for hiking into the Caucasus
  • Zaqatala – Similar to Qax, though a little more touristic


This city travel guide to Tbilisi is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.