Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისი) 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.
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.
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.
- 1 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.), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. 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 feature blind arcades in giant order. A new terminal building was finished in 1990, designed in the International style. The airport has a 3 km concrete runway and a helipad. The terminal 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 m² total usable area.
Seven food and drink outlets, four duty free stalls. There is an ATM and a branch of the Liberty Bank (+995 322 555500). Several bureau de change exist and operate 24/7. The three main mobile phone companies sell SIM cards in the arrivals area.
The following airlines operate service to/from Tbilisi:
Aeroflot (Moscow) 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 (Dnipro), Estonian Air (Tallinn), Euroline (Almaty, Donetsk, Dubai, Kharkiv, Odessa, Vilnius) flyDubai (Dubai), Georgian Airways (Amsterdam, Athens, Dubai, Kazan, Kiev-Boryspil, Minsk, Moscow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Sochi, Tel Aviv, Vienna), LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw), Lufthansa (Munich), Nordavia St. Petersburg, Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen), Pobeda (Rostov-on-Don), Qatar Airways (Doha,Baku), S7 (Moscow, Novosibirsk), SCAT (Aktau), Sky Georgia (Batumi, Antalya), TAM Air (Donetsk, Kharkiv), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk), Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil), and Ural Airlines (St. Petersburg, Sochi, Yekaterinburg)
Flights to Mestia are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Natakhtari airfields in the northern suburb of Tbilisi for only 65 lari (subsidised by Georgian government) and also includes free transfer from Tbilisi. Reservations are available at Vanilla Sky agency (+995 322427427, +995 599659099, firstname.lastname@example.org). Its office is moved from old city centre to further in suburb at 5 Vazha-Pshavela Avenue, Tbilisi, close to Metro Medical University station. Be aware that flights may get delayed for a few hours even in good weather. The airline will occasionally accommodate people travelling from Mestia or Tbilisi, leading to delay of the flight. Flights 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.
Bus 37/137 leaves from the right corner of the arrival area. From 7:00 to 22:35 every 20-30 minutes, and 23:00 to 06:30 every 30 minutes. 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 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 from the airport to the main train station cost 0.50 lari and take 35 minutes. You pay the conductor. As of June 2014 there are only two trains daily: at 8:45 and 18:05 (vice versa at 8:00 and 17:20).
- 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.
An international train (no. 37) runs daily between Tbilisi (dep. 16:30 or 17:55) and Baku (dep. 21:50).
Trains between Yerevan and Tbilisi operate up on odd days of the calendar (dep. 20:20). Coming back on even days, fares starting at 5600 dram. Tickets can be bought at the Yerevan train station, cash only.
In summer (15/06–01/10) the schedules are: Tbilisi 16:30 – Baku 09:20, 62.63 lari 2nd class; Baku 20:30 – Tbilisi 10:45, 29.45 AZN 2nd class, daily service. Tbilisi 21:40 – Yerevan 07:25, 46.41 lari 2nd class; Yerevan 15:30 – Tbilisi 00:12, daily service (the summer train from Yerevan continues to Batumi).
There are generally more (mini)buses before noon than afterwards. Also, after 16:00 it can be hard to catch a bus to/from Tbilisi. Travel between further away destinations and Tbilisi should therefore only be undertaken before noon.
There are three main stations in Tbilisi.
- 3 Didube bus station (დიდუბე), Akaki Tsereteli Ave (The fastest way is the metro, between Didube metro stop and various stops in the centre – the centre is south of Didube. Also buses 21 and 46, as well as minibus 6 (the latter two via Freedom Square) serve the distance between Didube and the centre – they leave along the main road in front of the bus station. Ask the driver when to get off, or a younger local.). The station serves northern and western Georgian destinations like Mtskheta, Stepantsminda / Kazbegi, Gori, Borjomi, Kutaisi and Batumi (including private taxis to Russia, through Kazbegi).
- Kazbegi – hourly, 10 lari, 2h45.
- Borjomi – every two hours, 6 lari, 3 h.
- Gori – hourly, 3 lari, 1.5 h.
- Kutaisi – hourly, 10 lari, 3.5 h.
- Mestia – daily, 30 lari, 10-12 h; the more convenient option is a night train to Zugdidi and then a marshrutka to Mestia (20 lari), or vis-versa if coming from Mestia.
- It's rather disorganised and sprawling, but you'll find minibuses to almost anywhere. Note, regular and frequent buses / mashrutkas leave from inside the terminal. Seldom and "when-full" mashrutkas / private taxis leave from the small street besides the terminal.
- 'Neo-Turs' bus company offers bus transfers Tbilisi – Thessaloniki – Athens and back, starting from here for US$100.
- 4 Samgori bus station (სამგორის), Ketevan Tsamebuli Ave (300 m from Metro: Samgori metro station). Serves Eastern Georgia and Azerbaijan.
- Sighnaghi – Every odd hour from 7:00; 7 lari, 1h30.
- Telavi – A few per day, last one 17:00 from Telavi. To Telavi at 9 & 10:00 and later. Up to 2.5 h, 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.
- 5 Ortachala bus station (Central bus station, ორთაჭალის ავტოსადგური), Dimitri Gulia St 1/Vakhtang Gorgasali St (Marshrutka 70, 81, and 150 (the latter across Didube bus station). , will also drop you off here. Metro: Isani metro station go down the street heading to South, you come across the bridge, cross it and there is on left side.), ☎ . Serves Southern Georgia like Marneuli and Rustavi, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and even Greece. 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).
- Yerevan – minibuses from Tbilisi at 10:00 and 15:00, 30 lari, 6 h; buses take 12 hours for 15 lari. From Yerevan minibuses leave the Central/Kilikia bus station at 08:30 for AMD6500.
- Vanadzor and Sevan (Armenia) – hourly 7.00–12.00.
- Ijevan (Armenia) – At least one (mini)bus from Ijevan at 9:30 (AMD1000), with necessary interchange at the border.
- Ganja (Azerbaijan) – Sprinter, from Tbilisi at 7:00, 15 lari, from Ganja at 9:00, 8 manat, 3-4 h.
Between Didube and Ortochalla, catch marshrutka 150 or the metro.
Furthermore, also the following options exist:
- Private minibus to Yerevan (Avlabari Metro station), ☎ (Armenia), (Georgia). Leave at 9:00 and 17:00. The seven seats can be reserved via phone. Take 5 h. 35 lari.
- Minibus to Yerevan (Main railway station). Leaves 10:00 (?), 6–7 h. 30 lari.
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.
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.
Tbilisi has a two-line metro system, which operates from 6:00 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
There is a common English website for most museums.
- 1 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 MetroRustaveli), ☎ , fax: . 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 covers the area of 50 ha and is divided into 11 zones. The area is in a poor state of repair, many houses are destroyed and there is almost no explanation without a guide (August 2014). Adults: 3 lari; Students: 1.5 or 0.5 lari; Guided tour: 10 lari.
- 2 Numismatic Museum (Money Museum, ფულის მუზეუმი), 10 Rustaveli Ave./#10, Kvareli (MetroRustaveli. - Building of the National Bank of Georgia?), ☎ . Th–Mo 09:30–16:30 (excluding a break 13:00–14:00).. Coins dating back to the 4th century BC, Kolkhian Tetries, antique coins, Arabian Dirham, coins of then Georgian kings Lasha-Girgi, Rusudan, Demetre I, Giorgi III, also Turkish coins, Persian Abaz, Austrian and Polish Thalers.[This museum has moved to Kvareli.]
- 3 Museum of Fine Art (საქართველოს ხელოვნების მუზეუმი), L. Gudiashvili street (ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ.), 1 (Metro Liberty Sq.), ☎ , fax: . Tu–Su 10:00–17:00. Photographing the museum building and permanent exhibitions for personal purposes is permitted Adults: 3 lari; Students: 1.5 lari; Guided tour: 25 lari per group of ten.
- 4 Tbilisi History Museum (თბილისის ისტორიის მუზეუმი), #8 Sioni St.(სიონის ქ), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu–Su 10:00–17:00. Adults: 3 lari, School Children: 0.5 lari.
- 5 Janashia Museum (საქართველოს ისტორიის ჯანაშიას სახ. მუზეუმი, National Museum of Georgia), Shota Rustaveli avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) 3, (Metro Freedom Square 200m), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 archaeological sites in Georgia; a lapidary which includes one of the world’s richest collection of Urartian inscriptions, etc. Subsection: the Museum of Soviet Occupation is located on the 4th floor. Adults: 5 lari; Students: 1.5 lari; Guided tour: 10 lari.
- 6 Puppet Museum (Doll Museum), Shavteli N 17a (Ioane Shavteli St,17) (Metro Freedom Square), ☎ . Tu–Su 11:00–18:00; except Winter 11:00–17:00. Adults: 3 lari; Children: 1 lari.
- 7 Galaktion Tabidze Museum, Marjanishvili N 4 (Metro Marjanishvili). Tu–Su 11:00–17:00. The museum of the eminent Georgian poet, Galaktion Tabidze.
- 8 National Gallery (ეროვნული გალერეა), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #11 (Metro Station Freedom Square), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Tu–Su 10:00–17:00. 5 lari, tours 25 lari 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).
- 9 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).
- 10 I. Nikoladze House-Museum, Rodin St. #6, (North — Bus to 'Janashia Street', off Petre Melikishvili St).
- 11 E. Akhvlediani House-Museum, Leo Kiacheli St. #12 (M Rustaveli 200m).
- 12 M. Toidze House-Museum, Revaz Lagidze St. #1, (Metro Station Freedom Square).
- 13 Mamadaviti (მამადავითის ეკლესია), Mtatsminda Pantheon (on Mtatsminda hill). Constructed in 1859–1871, domed in 1879.
- 14 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).
- 15 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.
- 16 Metekhi Church ("Church of Assumption") (მეტეხის), Metekhis Rise (მეტეხის აღმართი) (Metro Avlabari). Goes back to the reign of St. Demeritus II. late 13th cent. Rebuilt 17th cent. Unusual in design.
- 17 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 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.
- 18 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.
- 19 Narikala Church (ნარიყალა), Orbiri St (Narikala Castle).
- 20 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."
- 21 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.
- 22 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.
- 23 Holy Trinity Church (Old Trinity Church, ძველი სამების ეკლესია), Erosi Manjgaladze Turn, Abashidze Street (აბაშიძის ქ.) # 4 (Metro: Freedom Square).
- 24 Alex. Nevskiy Orthodox Church, Marjanishvili Street, ~53.
- 25 Armenian Cathedral of S. Gevorg (სურფგევორქი), 5 Samghebro St. (At Meydan Square), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Built in 1251 AD, and seat of the Armenian Archbishop of Georgia. Tomb of the famous Caucasian bard Sayat-Nova is located in front of the church. free.
- 26 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.
- 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.
- 27 Echmiadzin Armenian Church (წმინდა სერგოს ეკლესია) (In front of Avlabar Metro Station). Built in 1805, and newly renovated. free.
- Georgian Academy of Sciences (მეცნიერების აკადემია), Rustaveli Square (Central Tbilisi.).
- [dead link]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.
- 28 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, 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.
- 29 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.
- 30 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.
- 31 Melik Kazariantsis House (მელიქ კაზარიანცის სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #37 (Metro: 'Rustaveli').
- 32 Shota Rustaveli monument (შოთა რუსთაველის ძეგლი), - Shota Rustaveli Square (შოთა რუსთაველის მოედანი).
- 33 Academy of Sciences (საქართველოს მეცნიერებათა აკადემია), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ), #48 (Metro: 'Rustaveli').
- 34 House of the Officers (ოფიცერთა სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #16 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- 35 Theatre and Film University (თეატრისა და კინოს სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #19 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- 36 Gudiashvili monument (ლადო გუდიაშვილის ძეგლი), - April 9 Garden (9 აპრილის ბაღი) (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- 37 Library of the Parliament (საქართველოს პარლამენტის ბიბლიოთეკა), Lado Gudiashvili Street. (ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ.) #3 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- 38 Caucasian House (კავკასიის სახლი), Galaktion Tabidze Street.( გალაკტიონის ქ.) #20 (Metro: 'Liberty Square' 400 m).
- 39 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.
- 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 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 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 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.
- 5 Climb up to the Narikala Fortress (Nearest Metro MetroAvalabari.). 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 thorough the fortress. Nearest Metro MetroAvalabari.). 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 lari.
- 7 TV antenna park (Tbilisi Tower) (high on the hill. Bus 124 or the funicular railway up from Metro Rustavelli). bus until 23:00. 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 2 lari. Funicular ride is also 2 lari one- way.
- 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), ☎ .
- 10 Vake Swimming Pool, Chavchavadze Avenue (ჭავჭავაძის გამზირი).
- 11 Alexander Griboedov Russian State Drama Theatre, Rustaveli Av. 2 (M1 'Liberty Square' 200 m), ☎ .
- 12 Gabriadze Theatre, Shavteli 13 (M1 'Liberty Square' 500 m), ☎ .
- 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).
- HeidelbergCement TbilisiMarathon. October. Every year at the end of October a big, international event officially recognized by the International Association of Athletic Federations takes place. There is a half marathon, a 10-km-race and kids' runs. The start and finish is at Rustaveli Avenue. The racecourse guides the runners through this great city to its most interesting sights. The event is professionally organized by the German company HeidelbergCement Caucasus and a German race director. HeidelbergCement Caucasus is one of the biggest investors in the region. The participation fee goes 100% to charity. Participation fee: 10 lari/10 km and 15 lari/Half marathon.
Avoid everything around Kote Afkhazi Street, including the restaurants. Unfortunately, this area is an overpriced tourist rip-off, prices are often double or more of what you pay in areas famous with local people, e.g. around the train station.
- 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 0.6km 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.
- 2 Tiflis Avenue Art Center and Gallery (ტიფლის ავენიუ), 8/10 Erekle II St (Metro Freedom Square), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 3 Pixel 34, Ilia Chavchavadze ave., 34 (Bus 9, 21, 34, 51, 59, 61, 85, 88, 140 to 'Children's City Mziuri' 50m). Shopping Centre
- 4 Old City Wall Restaurant / Wine Centre, 1 Baratashvili str., ☎ . Daily 12:00–24:00/wine shop: 11:00–23:00. Restaurant and cafe.
- Markets – There are various markets all over the city. The ones worth mentioning are the 5 Station Square Underground Market right in front of the station, the 6 Main Market between Station Square and Dinamo Arena, and the 7 Didube Market around the Didube bus and metro station.
- Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, and Other Jewellery – Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewellery, because of its cheap cost and superior quality.
- Art Space Studio, Abo Tbieli Street #1 (Old City).
- Antiques & Other Misc. 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. Self-made available on local markets.
Street side stalls selling Georgian "fast food" are located 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 [dead link]Dzveli Sakhli Restaurant(Old House), 3 Mtkvris Marjvena Sanapiro (Right on the Mtkvari River), ☎ . 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 [dead link]Shemoikhede Genatsvale, 25 Leselidze St (Metro Station Freedom Square), ☎ . 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). $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, ☎ . 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.
- 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 (Khinkali Centre), 37 Rustaveli Ave (M Rustaveli 50m), ☎ . 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), ☎ . 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), ☎ . 09:00–02:00. Ethnographic restaurant. Evenings Georgian music and dances. WiFi available. 25 lari.
- 9 [dead link]Taglaura, Mtkvari right coast, Vakhushti Bagrationi Bridge, ☎ . 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 wifi. 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), ☎ . New vegan cafe. Cheap and delicious. 3-5 lari.
- 15 Picasso Restaurant, 6 Roman Miminoshvili St (Off Perovskaya St). Chinese cuisine
- 16 Vong (29 I. Abashidze St.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pricey but delicious fusion-Asian cuisine served in a decadently authentic atmosphere.
- 17 New Asia Restaurant, Griboedov Str, 29? (Up the hill from Metro Rustaveli at the corner of Lagidze and Griboedovi streets. Opposite of Tbilisi State Conservatoire.).
- 18 Qalaquri Sushi Bar, 13 Ioane Shavteli St (Near to 'Anchiskhati Church' -), ☎ . 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.
- 19 Sushi Bar Tokyo, 14 I. Abashidze St. (in Vake, on Abashidze Street), ☎ . Japanese Restaurant
- 20 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
- 21 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.
- 22 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.
- 23 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.
- 24 Ronny's Pizza, 3 Vaja Pshavelas (next to the archive building in Saburtalo), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 11:00–22:00, 11:00–23:00 Fridays and Saturdays.. 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. $.
- Segafredo Zanetti Espresso, 26 Chavchavadze Ave. Expensive quality coffee and Italian + European food. WiFi.
- coffee.ge, Three locations (24 Abashidze Str., 41 Chavchavadze Ave., 154 Aghmashenebeli Ave.). Pizza and other Italian food. Delivers food to your home. WiFi.
- 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 (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.
- 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. WiFi.
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 (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.
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. 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.
- 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), ☎ . until 3:00. Irish pub with live music from 8PM-midnight. Try the meat wrapped in bacon. 30 lari.
- 4 Hangar Bar, Irakli II Street (ერეკლე II ქუჩა) (Metro Station Freedom Square), ☎ . Irish pub run by an American couple. Very popular among expats.
- 5 Old London, 6 Akhvlediani St, ☎ , . Live music every evening.
- Hadson & Hooker, 67 Beliashvili St (Next to Cruise), ☎ . American bar. Exotic wine tasting every Thursday. Live music every evening/Can-can dancers/Billiards/darts
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), ☎ , . 11:00–1:00. 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), ☎ . 11:00–2:00. 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. 10-15 USD.
- 8 The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, 20 Rustaveli Ave. 8:00—22:00. A great cafe with tasty pastries, good coffee, and free wi-fi. 5-10 lari.
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,, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- GURU Club, 12 Rustaveli Ave, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. ay, Sat, Sun 22:00-07:00. Foreign DJs and singers & G.U.R.U. show girls
- KalaKuri Restaurant/Club, 13 Shavteli St (Mtatsminda District), ☎ . Club: Fri and Sat 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.
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 the pay on 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), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 2 Boombully Rooms & Hostel, Rustaveli Ave. 24 (across from Opera House. - Metro Rustaveli), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 3 City Hostel Waltzing Matilda, 11, Alexander Chavchavadze str. (from Metro Rustaveli near the Opera turn up the hill and go two blocks. -), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Friendly people, amazing view of the city, free wi-fi, possible airport transport for $20. dorm 17 lari.
- 4 Envoy Hostel, 45 Betlemi St (Off Gorgasali Meidan, in the Old Town area. - From Metro Freedom Square 0.8km SE), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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).
- 5 Fox Hostel, 30 Griboedov St (Metro Rustaveli, walk south, 50 m up the hill, opp. Radisson Blu Hotel), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 6 Friends Hostel (Friendly Hostel), Betlemi Str. #28-30, entrance up from ascent Tumaniani street 9 (Old Tbilisi,), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 7 Green Stairs Hostel, Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street, 53 (walk east from Metro Marjanishvili one block, turn right and it'll be a 5min walk on the left). Free WiFi 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.
- 8 Leviathan Hostel, 12 Giorgi Leonidze Street (Only a few 100 m from Freedom Square. The entrance door of the house has a small sign, ignore other doors before it, it's not 10 nor 11. Arriving at night can be tricky because the staircase has no lighting.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A clean, beautiful and decent hostel. Also claims to be gay-friendly, even though most travellers don't come here for that reason. The private rooms are upstairs and thus well separated from the dorm area, which allows for a little quietness. 10-bed and 4-bed dorms. Dorm from 10 lari, private from 45 lari.
- 9 Maria Tours and Hostel, Freedom Square/Liberty Sq. 4, 2nd floor (Metro Liberty Sq. Next door to Marriott Courtyard.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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 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), ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Comfortable beds, clean, cozy, and friendly hostel. Airport transfer is possible. 10-14 lari.
- 11 Pomegranate Hostel, Grigol Abashidze St. 4, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Laid back and friendly hostel & owner. More like a big family. Big common area, clean and several showers and toilets. 12-bed and 6-bed dorm. Dorm from 10 lari.
- 12 REST Hostel Tbilisi, 68 Dimitri Uznadze St (Near MetroMarjanishvili metro station), ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. 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". 11 lari.
- 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), ☎ . 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, 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 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.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 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.
- 15 Tamuna's Guesthouse, 32. Arnold Chikobava St near sabchos moedani (From Metro Marjanishvili Metro NE 0.3km), ☎ , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 0.4km 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.
- 17 Tbilisi Rooms Hostel & Tours, Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi, Georgia (Tbilisi Rooms Hostel & Tours is located 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 to the Opera house.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 24 hours, check-out: 12:00 am. Hostel is clean and has both private rooms and dormitories, equipped kitchen for self catering, free tea and coffee, free Wifi, 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 0.3km West), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).), ☎ , , e-mail: WalkerHostelTbilisi@gmail.com. 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.
- 20 Why Not Tbilisi Legend Hostel, Tabukashvili 15/4 (in centre. - Metro Freedom Square), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. €10-15.
- 21 [dead link]Beaumonde, 11 Chavchavadze St (Next to Rustaveli Avenue), ☎ . 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.
- 22 Betsy's Hotel, 32-34 Kote Makashvili St (Metro Rustaveli), ☎ , , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 57 rooms. No pricing information on website.
- 23 SkadaVeli, 27 Vertskhli str (Metro Freedom Square), e-mail: SkadaVeli@gmail.com. Light, quiet and comfortable apartment located in Kala neighborhood. 70-80 lari per room for 3rd p. +30 lari.
- 24 Hotel Ata, 17, Leselidze St (Metro Freedom Square), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. double 100 lari.
- Hotel British House, 32 Belinski St, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A friendly personalised bed & breakfast. €70-100.
- 25 [dead link]Hotel Vere Inn, 53 Barnov Street, (From Metro Rustaveli 0.7km West), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 5 rooms. Very comfortable hotel in Vere, safe location with very friendly multilingual staff. Free WiFi. US$50-US$100, breakfast included.
- 26 [dead link]Hotel Charm, 11 Chakhrukhadze St (From Metro Freedom Square 0.7km East), ☎ , e-mail: info@HotelCharm.ge. 7 rooms. Very nice hotel with very friendly staff. US$40-100, breakfast included.
- 27 Hotel Georgian House, 38 Vakhtang VI St (From Metro Avlabari 0.7km NE), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Sgl: €35; Dbl: €45 including breakfast and VAT.
- 28 Prestige Hotel, 51 Marjanishvili St (in north, central Tbilisi on a quiet street), ☎ . Quiet, comfortable, newly renovated.+ phones=+995 32 940505, +995 32 942974, +995 32 952974 US$50 including breakfast.
- 29 Hotel River Side, Brosse Street Turn | Right side of Mtkvari (Metro Freedom Square). Really nice, comfortable. friendly staff. Free WiFi. US$110-140.
- 30 Hotel VIP Victoria, D. Arakishvili I Lane, 3 (From Metro Rustaveli 1.0km West), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. Over US$100.
- 31 TBILOTEL, 8, Daraselia str (Metro Medical University), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 32 VIP Hotel, 31, 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., ☎ . €50-60 per night.
- 33 Betsy's Hotel, 32-34 Makashvili St (From MetroRustaveli 0.5km SW), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 34 Courtyard Marriott Tbilisi (სასტუმრო "ქორთიად-მარიოტი"), 4 Freedom Square (თავისუფლების მოედანი) (Metro Freedom Square), ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Six-storied Courtyard Marriott Hotel was built at 1990's, in post-modernist style. US$185+ per night.
- 35 Hotel Vere Palace, 22-24 Kuchishvili St (Near the Zoo and Hero's Square. - Metro Rustaveli), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-star hotel.
- 36 Mercure Tbilisi Old Town, 9 Vakhtang Gorgasali street, ☎ . Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 12.00. A four star hotel. Hotel amenities: fitness and a sauna bath. $170 single room without breakfast. +$18 for breakfast.
- 37 Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Rose Revolution Square 1 (Metro Rustaveli), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Glass tower overlooking the river. 249 rooms. The fanciest hotel in the city.
- 38 Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel, Issani (Metro 300 Aragveli Subway Station), ☎ , fax: . 15 minute walk to the Old City US$200+ per night.
- 39 Tbilisi Marriott Hotel (სასტუმრო "თბილისი მარიოტი"), 13 Rustaveli Prospekt (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) (Metro Freedom), ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. From €152.
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 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
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 $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.
- 6 Medi Club Georgia, 22a, Tashkenti St (Metro: "Medical University" 300 m walk to Taskent lane corner opp- of its), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. One of 'designated' medical clinic for foreigners. (The official bills from here accepted some national health insurance). Emergency Contact: +995 599 581991
- 40 Tourism Office, Freedom 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.
Ask at 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 locate whatever you're looking for on a map before you leave.
- 7 Armenia, 4 Gia Tetelashvili Street, 0102, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 8 Azerbaijan, 4 Vakhtang Gorgasali street, 0114, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9:00-18:00.
- 9 Brazil, 6/2 Gia Chanturia street, 0108, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 10 Bulgaria, 15 Vakhtang Gorgasali street, 0105, ☎ , , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 11 Estonia, 4 Likhauri street, 0171, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 12 France (Ambassade de France), 49 Krtsanisi St, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-18.00 and Fri 09.00-13.00 and 14.00-16.30.
- 13 Germany, 20 Telavi street, Hotel „Sheraton Metekhi Palace“ (300 Aragveli Subway Station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Mo-Th 08:30–17:30, Fr 08:30-14:30.
- 14 [dead link]Hungary (Magyarország Nagykövetsége, Tbiliszi, Georgia), 83 Lvovi Street on some map Kushitashvili street (off Budapesht Street), Saburtalo district (Metro: "Medical University" 0.7 km), ☎ , (Emergency), fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 15 Iran, 80 Ilia Chavchavadze Ave (From M Delisi S3.5km. - At Vake Cemetery), ☎ , , , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- Iraq, 17 Lvov St, ☎ , , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Israel, 154 Aghmashenebeli Ave, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- Italy, 3a Chitadze St, ☎ , , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 16 Japan, 7d Krtsanisi St, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 17 Latvia, 16 Akhmeta St, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lithuania, 25 Tengiz Abuladze street, 0162, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 18 Swiss, Krtsanisi St (კრწანისის ქუჩა).
- 19 Turkey, 35 Chavchavadze Ave, ☎ , , , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 20 United Kingdom, 51 Krtsanisi St, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 21 United States, 11 Balanchini St, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For finding the right bus or train to get out, read the comprehensive #Get in section.
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
- 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.
- 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 cave monastery / town to visit in Georgia, beyond Uplistsikhe and David Gareja
- Mestia / Svaneti region – 10-12 h 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
- Ozurgeti – ~200 km via night train, leaves around 21:45, arrives 6:10. 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.
- 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, a must see and conveniently located for exploring Armenia. By night train, bus or taxi. No visa required for EU or US, visa on arrival for everyone else (Armenia#Get in).
- Ganja – First bigger city when travelling from Tbilisi into Azerbaijan, and popular for its architecture as well as nearby hiking destination, Goygol National Park.
- Baku, Azerbaijan – 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