Tbilisi is a small, quaint city in Georgia (the Country, and not the state in the U.S.A) neighboring Turkey to the South West and Armenia to the South. Tbilisi and its neighboring cities offers some great sites, plenty of places to walk around, some beautiful landscapes and most important of all, some great food.
Over the past few years, Tbilisi has transformed itself into a very tourist-friendly destination. The city has a great metro system that will take you to most of the popular sites quickly. If you do wander off to a place where the metro is not easily accessible, there are plenty of taxis around too. Just make sure you haggle, as a lot of the taxi drivers tend to jack up the prices if they know you’re a tourist.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Tbilisi is the Bridge of Peace built over the Kura river. This bridge connects Old Tbilisi with the new district and has a very unique design filled with thousands of white LEDs. At night, the bridge changes colors depending on the time of the year or if major events have recently taken place.
One of the popular areas in Tbilisi is aptly named Old Tbilisi which starts right after you cross one side of the Bridge of Peace. Old Tbilisi is filled with restaurants, cafes, and other small stores . The sidewalks are made of cobblestone and its the perfect place to see some of the old Churches and Synagogues of Tbilisi
A few meters from the Bridge of Peace is where you can catch a cable car to go to Narikala Fortress. The ride offers a great 365 degree view of the town below and lets you pick on spots you’d like to visit later.
When you get to Narikala fortress, make sure you have your camera ready. Some of these views are breathtaking.
Getting to the park is an interesting journey itself. You start off with catching a cab to the Tbilisi funicular. You then take the funicular up a steep hill with an amazing view after which you keep walking higher up until you get to the ferris wheel
And of course, when you’re riding the ferris wheel, you’ll be welcomed with even more breathtaking views of the city below.
Churches and Synagogues
If you walk around Tbilisi you’ll see plenty of Churches and Synagogues around. Most of these are open to the public and you’re allowed to walk in and look around. It’s a good idea to find a English speaking guide to show you around these institutions as they have been around for years and is filled with history
Tbilisi does not have a shortage of museums and one that I enjoyed a lot is the Georgian National Museum. It’s located opposite the Liberty Square metro station, so its pretty easy to get to.
If you’re willing to spend some time on the road, there are plenty of amazing areas around Tbilisi that offer amazing sights. Mtskheta is one town about 30-45 minutes drive away.
The point where the Kura river and the Aragvi merge in Mtskheta
Gori, Georgia. The birthplace of Stalin
Gori is about 90 kilometres from Tbilisi and it’s the birthplace of Stalin. The Joseph Stalin Museum has paid tour guides that will walk you through Stalin’s childhood and describe his rise to power. The museum has tons of artifacts and memorabilia from all phases of Stalin’s life.
The house Stalin grew up in. He shared the house with two other families.
Stalin’s Personal Train Car. He preferred to take this bullet-proof train everywhere and preferred it over flying
Uplistsikhe Cave Town
Uplistsikhe is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and is worth visiting just to get an aerial view of the fields and trees below. As you drive to Uplistsikhe, the scenery changes a few times but each time it does, the trees seem to get a big greener and the clouds, a bit denser.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for a quick, cheap getaway with tons of rich history and some amazing weather, Tbilisi might just be what you’re looking for. The history, the friendly people and the amazing food makes Tbilisi a must visit.