Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia is one of those places not many people know about. A city of over a million, Tbilisi historical value dated back to the 4th century. They are one of the oldest wine regions in the world, where they cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production for over 8000 years. Despite its long history, Georgia independence was disrupted several times but even through all the hardship, they were still able to preserve their traditions and their language to this day.
Apart from the historical value of Tbilisi, the newer generation of Georgians have created one of the most creative environments in the region. Every corner of the city exudes creativity from random abstract statues to open air psychedelic electro concert. I did not expect much from Tbilisi, but somehow the city left me surprised and craved for more.
- Georgia Travel Video
- Where to Stay in Tbilisi
- How to Get to Tbilisi
- Travel Insurance
- 8 Hippest Things to Do in Tbilisi
- Further Reading for Georgia and the Caucasus
Georgia Travel Video
Where to Stay in Tbilisi
The Why Not? hostel is what made my trip in Tbilisi great. The hostel is right on the Rustaveli shopping street. There is only one big communal area, making it the best place to hang out with people. The cheapest option is the 16 beds dorm room where you sleep on a mattress on the floor. I don't know about you but I love it. With enough space between each mattress, it did not feel crowded at all. The staff was super friendly, so much so that it felt like we were one big family. If you are looking to meet people, both the locals and travelers, this is the place.
How to Get to Tbilisi
The best way to get here is to fly directly to Tbilisi or cross the border from Turkey. I would recommend you browse through Skyscanner or Momondo to find all the cheap flights from where you live to Georgia and compare them so that you can find the one best fit for your itinerary.
This place is quite cheap compare to all the other countries in the world. If you are planning a trip here, you can expect to pay around 25 - 45 USD per day per person and that should include accommodation and 3 meals.
Keep in mind that this is just a suggested daily budget based on my style of traveling, which is leaning more toward the budget side of things. If you want to stick to this budget, expect to sleep in dorms, eat out only a few times, and be comfortable using the cheapest and most convenient way of transportation, which often times involves walking.
If you are looking for a travel insurance to go along with your trip to Georgia, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for a travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure. They have a simple and flexible search system that allowed me to find the right insurance for the right amount of time at an affordable price in seconds. If you need a travel insurance, give WorldNomads.com a try.
8 Hippest Things to Do in Tbilisi
1. Liberty Square
Just a few minutes walk away from the Why Not? hostel, immerse yourself with Georgian culture, buy some souvenirs or shop for some Soviet-era goodies.. like the Stalin statue which seems to be quite popular for some reason.
The great St. George monument is one of the iconic landmark of Tbilisi. No matter where you want to go, Rustaveli, the old town or enjoy nightlife in Tbilisi, you will have to pass through this monument.
2. Eat at Racha
If you are around the Freedom Square, just around the corner is the best local restaurant that is popular among locals. If you crave Georgian home-made food, go eat at Racha. The price is extremely cheap for what you get and the food.. my god, it was delicious.
I ate there 5 times when I was there.. and I still can not remember the name of this dish. It was a meat inside a sausage with homemade fries on a hot plate.
Approximate location of the restaurant. Please ask the hostel reception for more information.
3. Walk around the Old Town
Tbilisi had been one of the forefront city for many generations. The old town is the remnant of that long-lasted history. From the oldest sulfur bath in Georgia, to the variation of Mosques and churches showing how tolerant they are toward diversity.
Go people watching. You have the front seat row here to see how the locals live in Tbilisi.
Explore all the old streets of Tbilisi both night and day.
4. Hike up to the Narikala Fortress
From here, you get to see the remnants of the once greatest fortress in the region. You can either hike up the steep street from the old town or take the cable car up. From the top, you can see the panoramic view of the whole city.
From the many outlook points, either intentionally built or not, you will be able to see the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church towering and shining upon the city.
5. Pay respect to the Mother Georgia
Wonder at the humongous monument of Mother Georgia, and explore every detail of the statue. It is a beautiful creation that reflects the history and architectural wonder of the Georgians.
6 Dwarfed yourself by visiting the Holy Trinity Cathedral Church
Another iconic architectural wonder of Georgia, the cathedral stood dead center of the holy city.
It's gigantic, it's unique, and it's beautiful, a perfect symbol for the Georgian creativity.
7. Explore the New Town
Tbilisi are not only the place to showcased old style architecture, they are also plenty of modern style structure. The Public Service Hall is one of them that stood out, with mushroom-like steels towering each other, creating a layered canopy over the roof.
The Rustaveli Avenue is a good place to see the European side of the city as they are trying to integrate themself with the European union.
8. Prospero's Books & Caliban's Coffeehouse
Prospero's coffeehouse is a quiet cafe/bookshop hybrid tugged away in a courtyard of a building, surrounded with art galleries. The coffee is great, the wifi is free and fast, and there are power outlets inside the cafe. If you want to get some work done while in Tbilisi, this is the place.
Further Reading for Georgia and the Caucasus
If you are looking for more articles about Georgia and its neighbors, here are a few articles that might help plan your trip:
- Looking to do some hiking or cycling in Georgia? There’s no better place than Kazbegi. Here’s the ultimate adventure guide to Kazbegi.
- Want to learn more about the countries in the Caucasus region? You should definitely visit Armenia. Here’s an awesome travel guide on things to do in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia you might like.
- Lake Sevan in Armenia is a great vacation/adventure place you can visit while you are in Armenia. Here’s travel guide on things to do in Lake Sevan.
- If you are looking to really go off-the-beaten-path in the caucasus, Artsakh or Nagorno Karabakh is the place to be. Here's a complete guide on how to travel to Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), a country that doesn't exist.
- If you are currently traveling in Turkey and wants to get to Georgia, here’s a guide on how to cross the border from Turkey to Georgia via Kars.
- You can also watch my Georgia travel video here: "Mother Georgia" travel video.
- And of course, my Armenia and Artsakh travel video here: "Armenia 100 Years Later" travel video.
- To see all articles about Georgia or Armenia, visit Georgia Travel Guide or Armenia Travel Guide pages.
- Looking for more travel guides for the Caucasus? You can find more on my Caucasus Travel Guide page.
- For more of my travel guides, visit my Destinations page.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by BucketListly where we will follow our founder, Pete Rojwongsuriya around the world as he singlehandedly travel alone and experience different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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