Is Tbilisi Worth Visiting? This question came up a lot in our minds when we considered planning our trip to Georgia. However, it wouldn’t be long until we found our answer to the question.
With its rich history and vibrant culture, the city offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern excitement. Let’s dive into what makes Tbilisi a destination that defied all expectations during our visit.
A Little Bit Of History
But first, let’s take a step back and appreciate the city’s fascinating history. As one of the world’s oldest capitals, Tbilisi boasts a heritage that spans millennia. Founded in the 5th century, the city has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, each leaving its mark on its culture and architecture.
From Persian invasions to Soviet rule, Tbilisi’s story is like a blend of old and new, where the past and today come together in an exciting way.
Is Tbilisi Safe To Visit?
Tbilisi is as safe as every other European city. There wasn’t any place that we didn’t feel completely safe, even when going out late at night or passing through streets that seemed “sketchy”. Georgian people, especially the youth, are kind and heart-warming, and you probably won’t feel any danger at all.
Getting To Tbilisi
The main way to get to Tbilisi is by flying to Tbilisi airport. You can easily find flights from most big European cities at a reasonable price.
Another way to reach Tbilisi is by Flying to Kutaisi and then taking a bus to Tbilisi. Bus rides will cost around 10-15 Gel. It is a bit more uncomfortable but achievable on a budget.
Where To Stay In Tbilisi
We had a very pleasing and comfortable stay in both, and I would highly recommend them. They are excellently placed and very well priced. Hotel Four Brothers was a bit more high-end, while Hotel Nata had a more local style. Both were excellent choices, though.
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Moving around in Tbilisi can be an exciting experience. Here are some transportation options and tips for moving around in Tbilisi:
- Walking: Tbilisi is a pedestrian-friendly city, especially in the historic and central areas. Walking is a great way to explore the city’s charming streets, alleys, and landmarks.
- Metro: Tbilisi has a well-developed metro system with two lines. It’s a convenient and affordable way to travel around the city. The metro stations are marked with the letter “M” and are easily recognizable. Tickets cost just 1 GEL, but you’ll also need a rechargeable card that you can get on the spot for 2 GEL.
- Buses: Tbilisi has an extensive network of buses and minibusses that cover various parts of the city. Be sure to check the route numbers and directions before boarding.
- Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Tbilisi. You can find them on the street or use apps like Bolt or Yandex.Taxi. During our trip to Georgia, Bolt was our go-to app for transportation. Through it, taxi ride rates are fixed and extremely cheap. Is Tbilisi Worth Visiting? Can’t say yet, but Bolt is definitely worth using. However, if you decide to take a taxi the traditional way, make sure to negotiate the fare before starting the ride.
25 Things To Do In Tbilisi
1. Stroll Through The Old Town
Tbilisi’s Old Town is a charming mix of the past and today. Its old streets, lovely buildings, and lively atmosphere make it really special.
The architecture in old Tbilisi shows its long history and exciting energy, perfectly capturing the city’s heart. And you definitely can’t miss the famous clock tower, a theatre that has become a city staple!
We could spend hours just wandering around the neighborhoods, trying to discover a new detail we hadn’t seen before.
2. Cross the Bridge of Peace
A modern architectural masterpiece, the Bridge of Peace is a pedestrian glass-and-steel bridge connecting Tbilisi’s old and new parts.
Lit up at night, it transforms into a wonderful display of lights and shadows, creating a memorable and romantic walking experience. We can’t count the times we passed through it; it became an inside joke in the end.
When passing it, you’ll see many people offering you boat tours. At some point, we thought we’d seen the same guy a million times.
3. Take a break at Rike Park
Rike Park, located on the end of the bridge of peace by the Mtkvari River, offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. Relax by the fountains, enjoy the well-preserved gardens, and admire modern sculptures that add a touch of elegance to this city oasis.
4. Visit The Narikala Fortress
The Narikala Fortress, overlooking the whole town of Tbilisi, is a historic gem. It has stood for ages, offering incredible city and river views.
Exploring its ancient walls lets you step back in time and feel the essence of Georgia’s past. With its stunning presence, Narikala Fortress is a true emblem of Tbilisi’s long-lasting character.
You can visit it day or night. The museum is only open until 22:00, though. Make sure to take the cable car from Rike Park to get some fantastic aerial views of the old town!
The ticket for traveling by ropeway of Rike-Narikala one way is 2.5 Lari. You’ll need a transport card, available on the spot for 2 GEL. It is the same one used for the metro.
5. Admire The Mother of Georgia, Guardian Of Tbilisi’s Skies
Standing tall atop Sololaki Hill next to the Narikala Fortress, the Mother of Georgia statue is a symbol of the city’s spirit.
With a sword in one hand and a bowl of wine in the other, she embodies strength and hospitality, reflecting Georgia’s history and character. This impressive statue welcomes visitors and watches over the city, reminding everyone of the country’s resilience and warm-hearted nature.
The Mother of Georgia statue is not just a landmark; it’s a tribute to the Georgian identity and the stories connected to its very foundation.
6. Explore the Georgian National Botanical Garden
Nestled in the city’s heart, the Georgian National Botanical Garden provides a peaceful escape from urban life. Stroll through lush greenery, charming bridges, and past scenic water features, all while surrounded by a wide variety of plants and flowers. The price for the entry is 5 gel .
7. Admire the iconic Sameba Cathedral
The Holy Trinity Cathedral, or Sameba Cathedral, is a stunning symbol of Georgia’s spirituality and religious roots. Completed in 2004, its impressive golden dome and white façade dominate the city’s skyline. Explore the impressive interiors and surroundings of this majestic building.
8. Wander through the Dry Bridge Market
For a unique shopping experience, head to the Dry Bridge Market, where you can buy various antiques, handmade crafts, paintings, vintage items, and Soviet-era memorabilia. And who knows, you’ll find something unique to remember your trip to Georgia’s capital.
9. Marvel at the Anchiskhati Basilica
The Anchiskhati Basilica, the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi, is a true treasure of Georgian architecture. Admire its famous stone decorations and peaceful inside, and take a break to think about its historical significance.
10. Encounter Tbilisi’s Synagogues
Discover the Jewish heritage of Tbilisi by visiting its historic synagogues. The Great Synagogue, also known as the Synagogue of Elia, is a significant landmark that reflects the history of the Jewish community in the city.
11. Visit The Majestic Tbilisi Mosque
Located in the city’s heart, it is a beautiful symbol of Islamic architecture. Its intricate design and peaceful atmosphere make it a special place. The mosque reflects Tbilisi’s diversity and history, welcoming people to connect with its spiritual ambiance.
12. Walk Through Leghvtakhevi Canyon, Nature’s Peaceful Retreat
Found near the old town of Tbilisi, Leghvtakhevi Canyon is a calm, natural spot in the city. It’s filled with greenery, a gentle stream, and waterfalls that offer a peaceful break from the city’s buzz.
Walking its paths, surrounded by plants and the sound of flowing water, it feels like a refreshing escape from urban life.
Leghvtakhevi Canyon reminds us how nature and the city can blend harmoniously, giving us a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. We would’ve never guessed that such a unique and peaceful place would exist right in the city center. Still having the “Is Tbilisi worth visiting?” question?
13. Connect Your Hearts At The Bridges of Love
The Bridges of Love span the Kura River in Tbilisi, telling a romance story. Couples attach locks with their names to the bridges, symbolizing their love.
The sight of these locks is a beautiful reminder of love’s lasting strength. These bridges symbolize the unbreakable bonds that unite people. The bridges are located at the same place as the mosque and the canyon.
14. Enjoy Street Food At Bazari, Tbilisi’s Lively Market
Tbilisi’s Bazari is a lively market that immerses you in Georgian life. It’s a place full of colorful fruits, spices, and incredible street food. Whether you’re tasting new foods or just soaking in the atmosphere, the Bazari captures the lively spirit of Tbilisi and the everyday lives of its people.
While there, you have to try Burger Brothers, maybe home to the best burger I’ve ever had!
15. Pass Through The Liberty Square: Where History and Today Meet
Liberty Square is a special place in Tbilisi that shows the spirit of Georgia. It’s in the middle of the city and has old and new buildings around it.
The square has seen happy times and also times when people wanted change. People come here to celebrate and sometimes to protest, so it’s a place where history comes alive. Liberty Square is like a meeting point where Georgia’s past, present, and future come together.
16. Shop At Galleria Tbilisi
Galleria Tbilisi is a fantastic place to shop, eat, and have fun in the middle of the city. It’s not just a shopping place – it’s a mix of stores, food, and things to do.
Inside, you’ll find many different shops, some from Georgia and some from other countries. It’s a spot where people hang out, find new things, and enjoy different food. Galleria Tbilisi is a part of the city where you can experience the modern side of Tbilisi.
Is Tbilisi Worth Visiting? I still hear you ask. Even for shopping, the answer is clear! Galleria Tbilisi is located right next to Liberty Square.
We took our time there to see a movie at Cavea theaters, and it was amazing! There are screenings of the most recent movies only in English, without even Georgian subtitles. Impressive, isn’t it?
17. See Where Decisions Are Made In The Parliament of Georgia
The Parliament of Georgia in Tbilisi is where vital choices for the country are discussed and decided. The building is important because it represents the people’s wishes and hopes for a better future.
When you see the impressive building and its rooms, you can imagine all the discussions and decisions happening inside that affect the lives of many.
18. Explore Georgian Art At The National Gallery
Discover Georgian art and culture at Tbilisi’s National Gallery. This museum houses many artworks, from old classics to modern creations, each reflecting Georgia’s history and traditions.
With paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, the National Gallery lets you dive into Georgia’s artistic past and present.
19. Discover Beauty And Creativity At The Museum of Fine Arts
Tbilisi’s Museum of Fine Arts is a paradise for art lovers. It’s a journey through various styles and periods, featuring both local and international artists. From stunning paintings to intricate sculptures, the museum showcases human creativity in all forms, sparking imagination and a more profound love for art.
20. Unveil The Past At The Museum of National History
Let’s travel back in time at Tbilisi’s Museum of National History. This museum tells the story of Georgia’s past through carefully arranged exhibits and historical artifacts.
From ancient relics to cultural treasures, every piece gives a glimpse into Georgia’s heritage and its significance in the world. The museum’s galleries offer a captivating experience that unravels the layers of history that have shaped the nation.
An adult ticket costs 30 GEL, while a student one costs 15 GEL. It’s worth every penny!
21. Take the Funicular to The Mtatsminda Park
Visiting Mtatsminda Park is a must-do experience for anyone exploring Tbilisi. Situated at the highest point of Tbilisi, this charming amusement park dates back to the Soviet Union.
To reach the park, visitors can take a scenic funicular ride, which adds to the excitement of the journey. The cost of the funicular is 10 GEL each way, while you’ll also need a card that costs 2 GEL. It is a different one, however, than the one for the metro.
Please note that the ride will stop halfway, allowing you to continue the hike through a stairway. We didn’t know that and got out early, so we had to walk up in the middle of a hot summer day. It would be worth it if the weather were better.
Once at the top, travelers are greeted with plenty of attractions and activities suitable for all ages. From thrilling amusement rides to cozy cafés and restaurants, Mtatsminda Park has something to captivate every visitor.
Take your time to sit and enjoy the amazing views of Tbilisi. The park offers many games, such as train rides and a haunted house. The “upside-down” houses are another famous and very Instagrammed attraction there. However, the highlight would definitely be the Ferris wheel. The ride costs just 3 Gel and provides some of the best views of the city! Highly recommended!
While entry to the park is free, you’ll need to pay for the activities separately. There is a booth where you can fill your card with credits to enjoy as many rides as you want!
22. Engage with Local Art at Fabrika
Fabrika is a creative space that brings artists, designers, and travelers together. Explore art galleries, workshops, and exhibitions highlighting Tbilisi’s vibrant contemporary art scene.
It’s a hub of creativity that encourages interaction and collaboration. Make sure to stop for a coffee or some street food. It’s totally worth it!
23. Enjoy A Traditional Georgian Feast
Dive into an authentic journey of tastes through Georgia’s many dishes. Not to be missed are khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread, and khinkali, dumplings filled with meat or vegetables. Pair your meal with local wines, known for their unique production methods and exceptional taste.
Among the best restaurants in Tbilisi are Cafe Daphna and Shavi Lomi. Cafe Daphna is home to some of the best khinkali in the city!
Shavi Lomi, on the other hand, is a city staple! You should try their khachapuri and Eggplants with walnuts. Their minted lemonade is also amazing! While there were few vegetarian options, everything was tasty and well-prepared.
Is Tbilisi Worth Visiting? Even just for the food!
24. Go Out To Feel Tbilisi’s Nightlife
Nightlife in Tbilisi is just legendary, offering plenty of entertainment options. From underground techno clubs to cozy wine bars and live music venues, the city comes alive after dark, inviting you to dance, socialize, and experience its dynamic spirit.
A suggestion for a night out would be the Millesime Wine Bar. The bar was cute, the personnel always helpful, and the wine sensational. Highly recommended!
25. Take The Tbilisi Metro
The Tbilisi Metro, opened in 1966 as the Soviet Union’s first metro system beyond Russia, holds historical significance as a city symbol.
Its stations combine Soviet and local design, featuring captivating sculptures and mosaics that show Tbilisi’s cultural journey.
Beyond its purpose as a means of transport, the metro stands as proof of the city’s history and artistic heritage, a truly historic site.
Final Thoughts: Is Tbilisi Worth Visiting?
In the end, our question finds its clear answer. Is Tbilisi worth visiting? absolutely! Tbilisi’s mix of old stories and new experiences creates a special place that’s definitely worth exploring.
Its streets tell tales of the past, while its lively markets and friendly neighborhoods show the excitement of today. The kind-hearted people, the fantastic sites, and the mouth-watering food add up to the experience.
Tbilisi welcomes all people with open arms, promising an unforgettable adventure filled with culture and memories. So, is Tbilisi worth visiting? Without a doubt, it’s a place that will stay with you long after you leave.