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Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari River with a population of roughly 1.5 million inhabitants. Founded in the 5th century by the monarch of Georgia's ancient precursor Kingdom of Iberia, Tbilisi has since served, with intermissions, as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics.Under the Russian rule, from 1801 to 1917 Tbilisi was the seat of the Imperial administration of the entire Caucasus.
Located on the southeastern edge of Europe, Tbilisi's proximity to lucrative east-west trade routes often made the city a point of contention between various rival empires throughout history and the city's location to this day ensures its position as an important transit route for global energy and trade projects. Tbilisi's varied history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, classical, and Soviet structures.
Historically, Tbilisi has been home to people of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, though it is overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian.
|POPULATION :||City: 1,118,035 / Metro: 1,485,293|
|FOUNDED :||c. 479 A.D|
|TIME ZONE :||(UTC+4)|
|LANGUAGE :||Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%|
|RELIGION :||Orthodox Christian 83.9%, Muslim 9.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, other 0.8%|
|AREA :||350 km2 (140 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||380 m (1,250 ft) - 770 m (2,530 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||41°43′N 44°47′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 47.13% |
• Female: 52.87%
|ETHNIC :||Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5%|
|AREA CODE :||32|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+995 32|
Tbilisi has important landmarks and sightseeing locations. The Parliament and the government (State Chancellery) buildings of Georgia, as well as the Supreme Court of Georgia, are in Tbilisi. The city has important cultural landmarks such as the Georgian National Museum,Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre, Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre, the Sameba Cathedral, the Vorontsov's Palace (also known as the Children's Palace today), many state museums, the National Public Library of the Parliament of Georgia, the National Bank of Georgia, Tbilisi Circus, The Bridge of Peace and other important institutions. During the Soviet times, Tbilisi continuously ranked in the top four cities in the Soviet Union for the number of museums.
Out of the city's historic landmarks, the most notable are the Narikala fortress(4th–17th century), Anchiskhati Basilica (6th century, built up in the 16th century),Sioni Cathedral (8th century, later rebuilt), and Church of Metekhi.
- 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.
According to an old legend, the present-day territory of Tbilisi was covered by forests as late as 458. The King's falcon allegedly caught or injured a pheasant during the hunt, after which birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died from burns. King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut down the forest and build a city on the location.
The name Tbilisi derives from Old Georgian T'pilisi (literally, "warm location") as therefore given to the city because of the area's numerous sulphuric hot springs that came out of the ground. Archaeological studies of the region have indicated human settlement in the territory of Tbilisi as early as the 4th millennium BCE.
Located strategically in the heart of the Caucasus between Europe and Asia, Tbilisi became an object of rivalry between the region's various powers such as the Roman Empire, Parthia, Sassanid Persia, Arabs, Byzantine Empire, and the Seljuk Turks. The cultural development of the city was somewhat dependent on who ruled the city at various times, although Tbilisi (and Georgia in general) was able to maintain a considerable autonomy from its conquerors.
From 570–580, the Persians took over Tbilisi and ruled it for about a decade. In the year 627, Tbilisi was sacked by the Byzantine/Khazar armies and later, in 736–738, Arab armies entered the town under Marwan II Ibn-Muhammad. After this point, the Arabs established an emirate centered in Tbilisi. In 764, Tbilisi, still under Arab control was once again sacked by the Khazars.
In 1122, after heavy fighting with the Seljuks that involved at least 60,000 Georgians and up to 300,000 Turks, the troops of the King of Georgia David the Builder entered Tbilisi. After the battles for Tbilisi concluded, David moved his residence from Kutaisi (Western Georgia) to Tbilisi, making it the capital of a unified Georgian State and thus inaugurating the Georgian Golden Age.
Tbilisi's "Golden Age" did not last for more than a century. In 1226 Tbilisi was captured by the refugee Khwarezmian Empire Shah Mingburnu and its defences severely devastated and prone to Mongol armies. In 1236, after suffering crushing defeats to the Mongols, Georgia came under Mongol domination.
In 1801, after the Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti of which Tbilisi was the capital was annexed by the Russian Empire.
Tbilisi was visited on numerous occasions by and was the object of affection of Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Lermontov, the Romanov Family and others. The Romanov Family established their residence (in Transcaucasia) on Golovin Street (Present-day Rustaveli Avenue). Throughout the century, the political, economic and cultural role of Tbilisi with its ethnic, confessional and cultural diversity was significant not only for Georgia but for the whole Caucasus.
Tbilisi has a humid subtropical climate with warm to hot summers and cold winters.
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).
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.
Climate data for Tbilisi
|Record high °C (°F)||19.5|
|Average high °C (°F)||5.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||1.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−1.5|
|Record low °C (°F)||−24.4|
|Source: Pogoda.ru.net, Hong Kong Observatory|
Tbilisi is located in the South Caucasus at 41° 43' North Latitude and 44° 47' East Longitude. The city lies in Eastern Georgia on both banks of the Mt'k'vari River. The elevation of the city ranges from 380–770 metres above sea level (1,250–2,530 ft) and has the shape of an amphitheatre surrounded by mountains on three sides. To the north, Tbilisi is bounded by the Saguramo Range, to the east and south-east by the Iori Plain, to the south and west by various endings (sub-ranges) of the Trialeti Range.
With a GDP at basic prices of 12,147 Million Georgian lari in 2014, Tbilisi is the economic center of the country, generating almost 50 percent of Georgia's GDP. The service sector, including government services, is dominating and contributes 88 percent to GDP. Its GDP per capita of 10,336 Georgian Lari is exceeding the national average by more than 50 percent. The service sector itself is dominated by the wholesale and retail trade sector, reflecting the role of Tbilisi as transit and logistics hub for the country and the South Caucasus. The manufacturing sector contributes only 12 percent to Tbilisi's GDP, but is much larger, by employment and total value added, than the manufacturing sectors in any other region of Georgia. The unemployment rate in Tbilisi is - with 22.5 percent - significantly higher in Tbilisi than in the regions.
Administratively, the city is divided into raions (districts), which have their own units of central and local government with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. This subdivision was established under Soviet rule in the 1930s, following the general subdivision of the Soviet Union. Since Georgia regained independence, the raion system was modified and reshuffled. According to the latest revision, Tbilisi raions include:
- Old Tbilisi (ძველი თბილისი)
- Vake-Saburtalo (ვაკე-საბურთალო)
- Didube-Chugureti (დიდუბე-ჩუღურეთი)
- Gldani-Nadzaladevi (გლდანი-ნაძალადევი)
- Isani-Samgori (ისანი-სამგორი)
- Didgori (დიდგორი)
There are 3 GSM operators of mobile phone service:
- Magticom: provides 3G, covers all of Georgia.
- Geocell: provides 3G, covers all of Georgia, packet data deals available for prepaid
- Beeline: Russian company, the cheapest of all sim cards, but does not get the best reception in some areas. buy a sim card at the office on Rustaveli Avenue.
Prices in Tbilisi
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€3.75|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€10.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€17.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€34.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€4.50|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.10|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.75|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€5.60|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€3.40|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.07|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€1.20|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.80|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€44.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M.)||1||€35.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€68.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.20|
63 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
167 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
- 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 protected]. 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.
Services: Seven food and drink outlets, four duty free stalls. There is an ATM and a branch of the Liberty Bank (+995 322 555500). The three main mobile phone companies sell SIMs in the arrivals area.
The following airlines operate service to/from Tbilisi:
Air Astana (Almaty) airBaltic (Riga), Alitalia (Rome), Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv), Austrian Airlines (Vienna), Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku), Belavia (Minsk), bmi (London-Heathrow), Czech Airlines (Prague), Donbassaero (Donetsk), Dniproavia (Dnipropetrovsk), Estonian Air (Tallinn), Euroline (Almaty, Donetsk, Dubai,Kharkiv, Odessa, Vilnius) flyDubai (Dubai), Georgian Airways (Amsterdam,Athens, Dubai, Kiev-Boryspil, Minsk, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv, Vienna), LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw), Lufthansa (Munich), Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen), Qatar Airways (Doha,Baku), SCAT (Aktau), Sky Georgia (Batumi, Antalya), TAM Air (Donetsk, Kharkiv), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk), and Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil)
- Flights to Mestia are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Natakhtari airfields in the northern suburb of Tbilisi for only 65 GEL (subsidised by Georgean government) and also includes free transfer from Tbilisi. Reservations are available at Vanilla Sky agency, +995 32 242 7427, Mob. +995 599 65 90 99, e-mail: [email protected] 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 traveling 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 leaves from the right corner of the arrival area every 15–30 minutes between 8:00–20:00, then every hour until 23:00, to the city center. It travels via Avlabari, Freedom Square, Rustaveli, Republic Square and Tamar Bridge to the main train station (Vagzal). The trip can take over 50 minutes. The fare is 0.50 GEL. Coins (or a smartcard) are required to purchase a ticket.
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 GEL 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).
Tbilisi Central Station (თბილისი ცენტრალი; Tbilisi Tsentrali), Station Square (Sadguris Moedani) (Metro: Station Square). After an extensive refurbishment, the lower levels are now a shopping mall. Tickets and platforms are on the upper levels. (All Georgia English timetable). Domestic trains run between Tbilisi and Batumi, Gori, Kutaisi I + II, Marneuli,Poti, and Zugdidi. An international train (no. 37) runs daily between Tbilisi (dep. 16.30) and Baku. Trains between Yerevan and Tbilisi operate up on odd days of the calender (dep. 20:20). Coming back on even days, fares starting at 5600AMD ~$15 (Dec 2011). Tickets can be bought at the Yerevan train station, cash only. In summer (15/06–01/10) the schedules are: Tbilisi 16:30 – Baku 09:20, 62.63 GEL 2nd class; Baku 20:30 – Tbilisi 10:45, 29.45 AZN 2nd class, daily service. Tbilisi 21:40 – Yerevan 07:25, 46.41 GEL 2nd class; Yerevan 15:30 – Tbilisi 00:12, daily service (the summer train from Yerevan continues to Batumi).
Minibuses are generally privately owned vans. They operate at different frequencies depending on destination. They usually have leave on time, but leave earlier if filled up. From Yerevan minibuses leave the Central/Kilikia bus station from 08:30 and cost 6500 AMD.
- To Yerevan by minibus (Avlabari Metro station), The seven seats can be reserved by calling +(374-94)320460 (Armenia), . (Georgia)Leave at 9:00 and 17:00, duration 5 hours. 35 GEL.
- To Yerevan by minibus (Main railway station). 10:00 (?), 6–7 hours. depart at 9:00 and 17:00, cost 35 Lari, and take 5 hours. For other options to Yerevan see at 'Bus stations' or 'train' sections 30 GEL.
There are three main stations in Tbilisi.
- Didube bus station (დიდუბე), Akaki Tsereteli Ave (Metro: 'Didube' metro stop. Once at the metro platforms, take the train on the right (going forwards). This direction takes you to the main station and center. There are no signs in English. Alternatively buses 21 and 46 go there from the city center.).Northern and Western Georgia destinations (including private taxis to Russia, through Kazbegi) are served. It's rather disorganised and sprawling, but you'll find minibuses to almost anywhere. 'Neo-Turs' bus company offers bus transfers Tbilisi – Thessaloniki – Athens and back, starting from here (price: 100 US$). Mashrutkas to Kazbegi Mountain (hourly, Fare: 10 Lari. Duration: 2h45, From the Didube metro station, go down, turn right, cross the subway, cross the first parking lot (full of marshrutkas), and the marshrutkas to Kazbegi are in the second parking lot.)
- Samgori bus station (სამგორის), Ketevan Tsamebuli Ave (300 m from Metro: Samgori metro station). For minibuses to Eastern Georgia (e.g.,Sighnaghi, every odd hour from 7:00. Price: 7 lari. Duration: 1h30)
- Ortachala bus station (Central bus station, ორთაჭალის ავტოსადგური), Dimitri Gulia St 1/Vakhtang Gorgasali St (marshrutka 70, 81, 150 (across Didube bus station). Minibuses from Yerevan (30 GEL, six hours), 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.), +995 32 753433 ?. Serves Southern Georgia (e.g., Marneuli) as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and even Greece. Lines to Vanadzor and Sevan (hourly, 7.00–12.00).- It is serviced from the city by ATM inside the station. Staff speaks very limited English. No English sign, but some Cyrillic signs that might help you. Toilets (0,20 Lari, horrible). To Yerevan: marshrutkas (6–7 hours, 30 Lari, at 7AM (?), 8h20 (as of 2014) 9:00 (?), and 13:00 (?)), buses (12 hours, 15 Lari).
- Between Didube and Ortochalla bus stations, catch marshrutka 150.
- Marshrutka to Mestia (daily, 12 hours); otherwise, the usual option is a night train to Zugdidi and then a marshrutka to Mestia.
Transportation - Get Around
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 GEL. But you will have to buy a Metromoney card (2 GEL) 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. In Fall 2012, Tbilisi introduced free transfer system between metro and buses, allowing for an hour and a half of free transfer. It applies across metro-to-metro, and bus-to-bus, as well as across systems. You can use one card for multiple people, however, the second person will cost 0.50 GEL each time.
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 GEL, and exact change is required if you don't have a touch card (which can be purchased at metro stations). Metromoney cards allow free transfers, and can be topped up at many pay boxes around the city, in addition to metro stations. Hold onto the ticket you receive on the bus; you will need to present it to the yellow-shirted ticket checkers.
Marshrutkas are vans which service the side streets of the city; they are independently owned. Like buses, the route is posted in the front window (often only in Georgian), but marshrutkas use a different route numbering system, and the route descriptions may be more general than the buses (e.g. "Vake" rather than a specific street in the Vake area). The fare is (on average) 0.80 GEL. If paid with a touch card, every trip after the first one during the day is reduced to 0.65 GEL; shout "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 GEL for very short trips. A trip in the center of town should rarely cost more than 3–5 GEL, and anywhere in the city should never cost more than 15 GEL, unless you're going to the airport.
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.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
- The Saturday flea market (Dry Bridge Market), Dzveli Tbilisi, ~3 Zviad Gamsakhurdia Named Right Bank (by the river on the "Dry Overpass" and surrounding areas. From Metro Station Freedom Square 0.6km NW). This is one of the best places to get jewelry, antiques, and even antique swords, as well as musical instruments and electronics. Haggling is encouraged, although if you speak little Georgian or Russian you may experience the odd juxtaposition of bargaining for antiques using the type-pad of your vendor's mobile phone.
- Main marketplace, ? (across the river, near Didube). daily. for fruits and vegetables as well as electronics and DIY/hardware-store type supplies. A further sprawling bazaar area is south-east from the main train station.
- Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, and Other Jewelry Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewelry, because of its cheap cost and superior quality.
- Art & Paintings – Georgian artists, such as Pirosmani, Gigo Gabashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Korneli Sanadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sergo Kobuladze, Simon Virsaladze, Ekaterine Baghdavadze, Maka Kiknadze-Kipiani and others, are famous for their work. In Georgia you will find many various art shops, paintings and painters who sell their works on the streets, including during the Saturday antique market. Their work is amazing and prices are very reasonable as well. Check out the "Art Space Studio" on Abo Tbieli Street #1, in the Old City.
- Tiflis Avenue Art center and Gallery (ტიფლის ავენიუ), 8/10 Erekle II St(Metro Freedom Square), , e-mail: [email protected].Tu-Su 16.00-21.00. This is represents a variety of Georgian artists working in different media. The gallery is located in an old town, on King Erekle II Street, where exhibitions of art are held regularly. Tiflis Avenue also runs an online art store with the largest selection of contemporary Georgian art. Entrance free.
- Antiques & Other Misc. Gifts – in Georgia you will able to find many antiques not only from Georgia, but Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian and European as well.
- Georgian Wine — Georgia is the cradle of wine making, and with 521 original varieties of grape you will be sure to find excellent wines.
- Cognac — Georgian cognac is unique as it's made from Georgian wine.
- Mineral Waters: — Borjomi, Sairme, Nabeghlavi mineral waters from Georgian resorts.
- Chacha — Grape vodka, a Georgian version of grappa.
- Goodwill grocery, Chavchavadze Avenue? (From M Rustaveli 3.2km W).Second only to Prospero's Bookstore as an expat paradise, Goodwill offers an enormous range of products — mostly groceries, although the larger out-of-town branch stocks a wider supply — imported from the rest of Europe. From German tuna fish to Italian pasta, Goodwill will satisfy all your brand cravings, albeit for significantly more than you'd pay at home.
- Pixel 34, Ilia Chavchavadze ave., 34 (Bus 9, 21, 34, 51, 59, 61, 85, 88, 140 to 'Children's City Mziuri' 50m). Shopping Centre
Street side stalls selling Georgian "fast food" are located all over the city. Some kind of hot snack will cost between 0.70-2.50 L.
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.
- 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.
- Shemoikhede Genatsvale, 25 Leselidze St (Metro Station Freedom Square), . Delicious food cheaper than in the restaurants surrounding it. Khinkali are around 0.50 GEL each. Try the ones filled with potato and beef with greens (seasonings). $7-10.
- 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.
- 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 GEL.
- 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 GEL.
- 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 GEL.
- 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)
- Tamada, 37 Orbeliani St (Metro Technical University), .09:00–02:00. Ethnographic restaurant. Evenings Georgian music and dances. WiFi available. 25 GEL.
- 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. -
- Tsisqvili (Windmill), 9 Dzotsenidze St.?. Amazing menu & food, superb customer service and great design.
- 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 GEL.
- 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 GEL.
- 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 GEL.
- Kiwi, Vertskhlis kucha (in Old Town between Pushkin and Leselidze). New vegan cafe, cheap and delicious. 3-5 GEL.
- Chinese Restaurant (Off Perovskaya St).
- Vong Restaurant (I. Abadshize Qucha?). Pricey but delicious fusion-Asian cuisine served in a decadently authentic atmosphere
- 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.).
- 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.
- Sushi Sake Bar, Besiki Street 4? (Perovskaya Street?), e-mail:[email protected]. A bit pricey but dependable sushi. Service is usually nice. Same menu and management as Tokyo Restaurant.
- Tokyo (in Vake, on Abashidze Street). Japanese Restaurant
- Baan 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 GEL.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hadson and Hooker, Beliashvili Street (next to Cruise), (822)-53-10-18.American bar/restaurant. Live music every night from 20:30. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Restaurant Mediterranean, 5 Irakli Abashidze, 22-10-15. Lunch, dinner. The lively atmosphere, authentic décor and creative cuisine all reflect the region that inspired the restaurant. The extensive menu has Italian, French, Greek and Spanish influences. Unique dishes, fresh salads and seafood, pasta & risotto, grilled specialties and exclusive desserts have earned “Med” an impeccable reputation. The menu is complemented by an impressive wine list with a large “by-the-glass” selection and a full bar.
- Zandukeli 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
- Ronny's Pizza, 3 Vaja Pshavelas (next to the archive building in Saburtalo), 2-472-472, e-mail: [email protected]. 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.
Coffe & Drink
Tbilisi is the one city in Georgia where coffee vending machines 0.50-0.80 Lari may be found.
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.
- Bamba Rooms Lounge, Bambis Rigi st. 12 (Chardin area), e-mail:[email protected]. The thing that catches your eye first is the crystal beads. You can’t miss it; it cascades down over the bar, white and glorious. It’s just one of the highlight in an incredibly striking space, designed by young Georgian architects. The results form one of Tbilisi's most achingly fashionable lounge cafe-bars with both inside and outside.Decent drinks are served alongside a selection of standard European dishes. Dining here becomes more glamorous when it gets to Japanese fusion. By day it’s quite casual, a popular lunch spot; by night it’s altogether different, the crowd is glam and the door policy can be tough.
- Cafe Rustaveli, 30 Rustaveli Ave, +995 32 9858800?, fax: 032 935880, e-mail: [email protected]. Currently closed due to bankruptcy, but hopes to reopen following a lawsuit. More a café for food rather than drinks, offers a wide selection of Georgian and "western"-style food in addition to a good selection of coffee, tea, & alcoholic beverages. 2-4 USD.
- 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 GEL.
- Four Seasons, 4 Mickevich St (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 GEL.
- Cafe Casablanca, Bambis Riga (Chardini St. Area) (Towards the end of Bambis Riga). With Humphrey Bogart quotes on the menu and enormous "Casablanca" posters on the wall, not to mention the tantalizing white piano indoors, Cafe Casablanca is an homage to one of cinema's most romantic movies. With a menu that blends retro Americana and Moroccan cuisine, and Hollywood-price cocktails, this is one of the most atmospheric bars in the city. Live light jazz and chansons on Saturday.
- Elvis Cafe just opened in about July 2010 in the Philharmonic Center (hint: take the underground walkway to get over - traffic is busy and unpredictable). Elvis Cafe offers American, Italian, Thai/Asian fusion cuisine and sushi. They also have a bar (alcohol) and a nice selection of deserts. Food is fast and tasty, very clean and bright. Staff speaks English.
- Old City Wall Restaurant/Wine Centre, 1 Baratashvili str., . Daily 12:00–24:00/wine shop: 11:00–23:00.
- People's Cafe and Restaurant, 10 Tabidze St (steps from Freedom Square), , e-mail: , 984851[email protected]. 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.
Sights & Landmarks
- Mamadaviti (მამადავითის ეკლესია), Mtatsminda Pantheon (on Mtatsminda hill). Constructed in 1859–1871, domed in 1879.
- Sioni Church (სიონის ეკლესია), Sioni street (სიონის ქ.) #6 (upper Kala, From Metro Freedom Square 0.8 km South-East or from Metro Avlabari 0.7 km West).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Narikala Church (ნარიყალა), Orbiri St (Narikala Castle).
- Kashveti Church of St. George (Qashveti, Georgian: ქაშვეთის წმინდა გიორგის სახელობის ტაძარი), Shota Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #9 (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."
- 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.
- Jumah Mosque (მეჩეთი), Botanikuri (Abanotubani, ბოტანიკურის ქ.) #32.Turkish Sunni mosque, along the road from the Botanical Gardens to the Sulphur Baths. The usual dress code and entry restrictions for non-Muslims apply.
- Holy Trinity Church (Old Trinity Church, ძველი სამების ეკლესია), Erosi Manjgaladze Turn, Abashidze Street (აბაშიძის ქ.) # 4 (Metro: Freedom Square).
- Alex. Nevskiy Orthodox Church, Marjanishvili Street, ~53.
- Armenian Cathedral of S. Gevorg (სურფგევორქი), 5 Samghebro St. (At Meydan Square), , e-mail: [email protected].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.
- 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.
- 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.).
- City Hall (საკრებულოს შენობა), Freedom square (Tavisupleba square, თავისუფლების მოედანი), 2. Before City Hall stay the Monument of St. George
- National Bank of Georgia (საქართველოს ეროვნული ბანკი), Leonidze Street.( ლეონიძის ქ.) № 3/5.
- Children's Palace (მოსწავლე ახალგაზრდობის სასახლე), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #6.
- Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures (Mtatsminda Mountain, in the churchyard around St. David’s Church - Mamadaviti). Many famous writers, as well as the mother of Joseph Stalin, are buried here.
- Old Tbilisi (Area between Liberty Sq, slopes of the hill of Narikala Fortress and the river.). Perhaps one of the most distinctive pleasures of walking through the Old City, with its old-style balconies, ancient churches, winding streets, and charming shops. Be prepared to see a number of eclectic sights, from the abandoned streetcar near Erekle Street to the art galleries of Chardini Street to the stunning modern art lining Sioni Street. Sub-neighborhoods include Sololaki, with its elegant restaurants and art nouveau architecture, Old Tbilisi proper — with sites ranging from churches to mosques to sulfur baths, 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. usually outrageous.
- 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.
- 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.
- Melik Kazariantsis House (მელიქ კაზარიანცის სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #37 (Metro: 'Rustaveli').
- Shota Rustaveli monument (შოთა რუსთაველის ძეგლი), - Shota Rustaveli Square (შოთა რუსთაველის მოედანი).
- Academy of Sciences (საქართველოს მეცნიერებათა აკადემია), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ), #48 (Metro: 'Rustaveli').
- House of the Officers (ოფიცერთა სახლი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #16(Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- Theatre and Film University (თეატრისა და კინოს სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტი), - Shota Rustaveli Ave. #19 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- Gudiashvili monument (ლადო გუდიაშვილის ძეგლი), - April 9 Garden (9 აპრილის ბაღი) (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- Library of the Parliament (საქართველოს პარლამენტის ბიბლიოთეკა), Lado Gudiashvili Street. (ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ.) #3 (Metro: 'Liberty Square').
- Caucasian House (კავკასიის სახლი), Galaktion Tabidze Street.( გალაკტიონის ქ.) #20 (Metro: 'Liberty Square' 400 m).
- 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).
- Ananuri (N 60 km). — a castle and monastery overlooking the beautiful Zhinvali Reservoir
- Dmanisi archaeological site (SW 93 km). — a bronze age settlement and the 1.8 million year-old fossilized remains of the first human in Europe have been discovered here
- David Gareja (SE 70 km — No public transportation, but chartering a taxi to and from there should cost around 100 Lari (including 2–3 hours on site). Ask your hotel for help.). — a 6th century cave monastery on a mountain lying just meters away from Azerbaijan, with beautiful frescos
- Gudauri (N 90 km). Ski resort
- Uplistsikhe (NW 60—km). Uplistsikhe — a 3,600 year old Silk Road cave city that was a major regional center of Caucasian pagan religion
- Khashuri (NW 100 km).
- Mtskheta (N 10 km). A UNESCO world heritage site, about 30 minutes by minibus
- Rustavi (SE 15 km). Sioni Church
- Sighnaghi (From Tbilisi marshrutkas run daily every odd hour 7:00–17:00, the last one leaving at 18:00, from Samgori station. Travel duration is 1h45, cost 6 Lari (as of 2014).). a restored wine town.
- Shida Kartli. NW ~100—km is a region (Mkhare) in Georgia.
- Telavi (NE ~100—km Marshrutkas depart more or less hourly from the Ortachalla marshrutka station. Price: 7 Lari. Duration: 2h30.). see an old fortress, the Alaverdi Cathedral, and a basis for exploring the mountains of Tusheti
- Trialeti Nature Park, Nichbisi-Didgori-Didi Toneti Botisi, (W 60km).
Museums & Galleries
There is a common English website for most museums.
- G. Chitaia Ethnographical Open-Air Museum (ეროვნული მუზეუმი ღია ცის ქვეშ), Kus Tba 1 (#1Turtle Lake Road, Tortoise’s pond lane, კუსტბის გზა #1) (Bus 59 from 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: 3GEL; Students: 1.5 or 0.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
- 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.]
- 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 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 25 GEL per group of ten.
- Tbilisi History Museum (თბილისის ისტორიის მუზეუმი), #8 Sioni St.(სიონის ქ), , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Tu–Su 10:00–17:00. Adults: 3GEL, School Children: 0.5GEL.
- Janashia Museum (საქართველოს ისტორიის ჯანაშიას სახ. მუზეუმი, National Museum of Georgia), Shota Rustaveli avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) 3, (Metro Freedom Square 200m), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. 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 includeHomo 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 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
- 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 GEL; Children: 1 GEL.
- Galaktion Tabidze Museum, Marjanishvili N 4 (Metro Marjanishvili). Tu–Su 11:00–17:00. The museum of the eminent Georgian poet, Galaktion Tabidze.
- National Gallery (ეროვნული გალერეა), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.) #11 (Metro Station Freedom Square), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Tu–Su 10:00–17:00. 5 GEL, tours 25GEL up to 10 persons.
- Art Academy (სამხატვრო აკადემია), Gudiashvili Street.(ლ. გუდიაშვილის ქ) #3.
- The Jewish History Museum (ებრაელთა ისტორიის მუზეუმი), St. Anton Catholicos( ანტონ კათალიკოსის ქ.) #3.
- Children's Art Gallery of the Chardin University (ბავშვთა სურათების გალერეა). The museum houses exhibits about 20 thousand (drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, woven, embroidered, metal and wood products).
- U. Japaridze House-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).
- I. Nikoladze House-Museum, Rodin St. #6, (North — Bus to 'Janashia Street', off Petre Melikishvili St).
- E. Akhvlediani House-Museum, Leo Kiacheli St. #12 (M Rustaveli 200m).
- M. Toidze House-Museum, Revaz Lagidze St. #1, (Metro Station Freedom Square).
Things to do
- Alexander's Garden (ალექსანდროვის ბაღი), Dry Bridge Area (მშრალი ხიდი) (Metro: Freedom Square). A part of Park April.
- Sulfur Baths, Bath Street (აბანოს ქუჩა) (From MetroAvlabari 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. Some travelers have suggested the Royal Baths is a much better alternative to Sulfur Baths (they are next to each other). Sulfur baths tend to double the price at the end of the massage and bath in spite of your original agreed price. (As of 2014, Sulphur Bath is closed for renovation). Other public bath in the area is called Public Bath No. 5.
You can find sulfur 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). Upstair 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 GEL.Public Pool: 3-4 GEL; Private Pool: 10–80 GEL per hour; Massage 5–20 GEL.
- Turtle Lake (Kus Tba) (Take a taxi or walk up from Saburtalo.). This lake is located in the hilly outskirts of Tbilisi. A popular weekend getaway for families, the lake offers pedal-boat rentals as well as swimming (deckchairs optional) for reasonable prices (swimming entry, without deckchair, is about 3 Lari). Alright for a hot summer day, and offering views of both the mountains and the city below. Snackbars, restaurants and fruit cocktail shakers are available overlooking the lake. It's about an hour's pleasant walk from the Saburtalo district along country roads, passing the Ethnographical Museum, or a ten-to-fifteen minute (5–10 lari) cab ride from the center. While the lake itself isn't particularly nice, the views from the hike up to the lake makes it a worthwhile excursion.
- Lake Lisi (Lisis Tba), Reservoir Road (5.1km SW-W). Much further out than Turtle Lake (a cab will set you back about 10–15 lari each way), Lake Lisi is much larger and more remote, with long, winding mountain walks surrounding the lake. Unlike Turtle Lake, the entire Lake Lisi is opened up for swimmers. Be warned — there aren't always taxis waiting to take you back.
- Climb up to the Narikala Fortress (Nearest Metro 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. But be warned — it's quite a steep climb, though you could take the cable car instead. Also while the lack of bureaucracy and guard-rails can be liberating for some, you may want to watch your step.
- 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 GEL.
- 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.
- Locomotive Stadium.
- Vake Swimming Pool, Chavchavadze Avenue (ჭავჭავაძის გამზირი).
- Alexander Griboedov Russian State Drama Theatre, Rustaveli Av. 2 (M1 'Liberty Square' 200 m), .
- Gabriadze Theatre, Shavteli 13 (M1 'Liberty Square' 500 m), .
- Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre (თბილისის ოპერისა და ბალეტის თეატრი), Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.), 25.
- Rustaveli National Theater (Shota Rustaveli Theater, შოთა რუსთაველის თეატრი), Rustaveli Avenue (შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ.), 17.
- Cinema Rustaveli (კინოთეატრი რუსთაველი), Shota Rustaveli Ave.(შოთა რუსთაველის გამზ) #5 (M1 'Liberty Square' 200 m).
- Tbilisi State Conservatory (თბილისის სახელმწიფო კონსერვატორია), Al.Griboyedov Street. ( ალ. გრიბოედოვის ქ.) #8-10 (M1 'Liberty Square' 500 m).
Festivals and events
- HeidelbergCement TbilisiMarathon. 2016 date: 23 October, 10:00. 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 GEL/10 km and 15 GEL/Half marathon.
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.
- Dublin, 8 Akhvlediani St (Metro Rustaveli), . until 3:00. Irish pub with live music from 8PM-midnight. Try the meat wrapped in bacon. 30 GEL.
- Fahrenheit, 5 Vashlovani St, . Live music everyday.
- Hadson & Hooker, 67 Beliashvili St (Next to Cruise), .American bar. Exotic wine tasting every Thursday. Live music every evening/Can-can dancers/Billiards/darts
- Marco Polo, 44 Rustaveli Ave, .
- Old London, 6 Akhvlediani St, . Live music every evening.
- Pub Kolkheti, The left bank of the River Mtkvari, +995 8 99 760654?.
- Scarlet Sails, 25 Leselidze St, . On Fridays live music (light rock).
- Toucan, 8 Kiacheli St, . , Live music performances. 30-35 GEL.
- Hangar Bar, Irakli II Street (ერეკლე II ქუჩა) (Metro Station Freedom Square), . Irish pub run by an American couple. Very popular among expats.
- Bamba Rooms Lounge, Bambis Rigi st. 7 (Chardin area), e-mail:[email protected]. A unique and vibrant premier Restaurant & DJ Bar, having one of the chic locations at Tbilisi Chardin area, is one of the liveliest and trendiest spots attracting a younger, faster-living crowd and enthusiastic clubbers. A good combination of a restaurant and a bar for around 300 people is perfect for a quiet, romantic meal in early evenings while towards midnight at weekends the place erupts into a wild party zone. *bamba rooms at bambis rigi street is probably the best and newest club in Tbilisi. You will feel like you're in London or New York with its great interior and nice lounge music and techno.
- Buddha Bar, Rikhe,, , e-mail: [email protected].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 GEL.
- GURU Club, 12 Rustaveli Ave, , e-mail:[email protected]. 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 GEL.
Safety in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is very safe after the Rose Revolution. The police system was reformed completely and the recent polls show that public's trust in police shifted from nearly 10% to 88%. The police are usually quick to respond, though usually only Georgian and Russian are spoken.
While walking is generally fine, even for solo women, it makes sense to take a bus or taxi home at night. Use common sense and big-city awareness. Night time at the clubs and bars are safe, and taxi service is safe as long as it's a company taxi like "009" or others. The public bus is also a good, safe option for 0.50 lari.
- Police Tel: 112
- Ambulance tel: 112
- Medi Club Georgia, 22a, Tashkenti St (Metro: "Medical University" 300 m walk to Taskent lane corner opp- of its), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. One of 'designated' medical clinic for foreigners. (The official bills from here accepted some national health insurance). Emergency Contact: +995 599 581991
Quality drugs without a prescription, can be obtained from pharmacies. Recommended the priority attention to the warranties of the drugs!
About H1N1 or any other infectious diseases you could get information on the website