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Open Air Museum of Ethnography |  © Kakhi Kuloshvili / WikiCommons
Open Air Museum of Ethnography | © Kakhi Kuloshvili / WikiCommons

11 Museums in Tbilisi You Must Visit

Picture of Baia Dzagnidze
Updated: 7 January 2018

Tbilisi is home to some fascinating museums. The selection is quite diverse too; here you can find historical, cultural, art, folk, musical instruments and literature, to name a few. Entrance fees are low in Tbilisi and the rest of the country when compared to other European cities—some are even free! So, don’t get discouraged with the ticket price, and visit these 11 essential museums in the capital.

Museum of Georgia

The Museum of Georgia houses several permanent exhibitions, but the most significant of them all is the Archaeological Treasury, displaying some of the most valuable goldsmith works discovered during an archaeological expedition. The examples of Georgian jewelry date back to the 3rd century BCE.

Museum of Georgia, 3, Rustaveli Ave., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 99 80 22

Soviet Occupation Exhibition Hall

The Soviet Occupation Exhibition Hall, located inside the Museum of Georgia since 2006, presents the artifacts from 70 years of Soviet power in the country, from 1921 until 1991.

Here, you can see the country’s files on “rebellious” Georgian public figures who were ordered to be exiled or shot. Additionally, you’ll be able to view the documents of Soviet-era political and cultural repressions in the country.

Museum of Georgia, 3, Rustaveli Ave., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 99 80 22

Elene Akhvlediani House-Museum

The Elene Akhvlediani House-Museum, established in 1976, presents graphic artworks, costumes, theatrical sketches, book illustrations, personal archives, and photo materials of well-known Georgian artists. Akhvlediani gave her house to the museum, where a unique atmosphere, artworks, and rich traditions are still maintained for the public.

Elene Akhvlediani House-Museum, 12, Leo Kiacheli St., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 99 74 12

ელენე ახვლედიანის სახლ-მუზეუმში დაცულია სამი ათასზე მეტი ექსპონატი, მათ შორის წარმოდგენილია მხატვრის ფერწერული და გრაფიკული ნამუშევრები, თეატრალური ესკიზები, კოსტიუმები, წიგნის ილუსტრაციები, ფოტო მასალა და პირადი არქივი. ფოტოს ავტორი @louisa_s სპეციალურად პროექტისთვის #მუზეუმიფოკუსში Elene Akhvlediani house-museum collection contains over 3 000 exhibits including artist’s pictorial and graphic artworks, theatrical sketches, costumes, book illustrations, photo materials and personal archives. Photo by @louisa_s specially for the project #museuminfocus

A post shared by Georgian National Museum (@georgiannationalmuseum) on

Open Air Museum of Ethnography

The Open Air Museum of Ethnography lies in Vake district, on the road towards the Kus Tba, or Turtle Lake in English. There are 70 examples of different traditional Georgian buildings spread over 65 hectares of land. It’s a unique museum in that you can “visit” almost any region of Georgia in a couple of hours and learn about the traditions and architecture of that particular area.

Open Air Museum of Ethnography, Kus Tba St., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 72 90 45

Mose Toidze House-Museum

Mose Toidze was a famous Georgian artist. His house-museum, founded by the Ministry of Culture in 1986, presents his works and the start of modern Georgian art. It displays 373 pieces of Toidze’s various genre paintings and graphics, as well as archive materials that show the history of Georgia’s national cultural heritage.

Mose Toidze House-Museum, 12, Mitropan Lagidze St., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 32 299 01 89

Art Palace

This museum is home to some of the most valuable materials showcasing the history of old and contemporary Georgian theatre, music, cinema, and choreography.

The museum displays the samples of 17th-century paintings, Persian miniatures, works of 20th-century artists, German and French prints, a collection of personal letters, archives of well-known writers and public figures, and manuscripts. There are also theatre costumes, memorial belongings, films, audio-video records, and collections of stage decorative art, to name a few.

Art Palace, 6, Kargareteli str., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 95 35 63

Dendrology Museum (Botanical Garden)

The Dendrology Museum, built as a Royal Garden at the beginning of the 19th century and located in the Tbilisi Botanical Garden, showcases unusual and valuable collections of flora from different regions of Georgia and the rest of the world, as well as photo materials explaining the history of the Tbilisi Botanical Garden.

Dendrology Museum, Tbilisi Botanical Garden, 1, Botanikuri St., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 72 43 06

State Silk Museum

Being one of the oldest silk museums in the world, the State Silk Museum displays a versatile and multinational exposition from 63 countries. Unlike other silk museums that mostly showcase silk collections, this one exhibits everything about silk and sericulture.

Also, there’s a unique library in the museum with rare books that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries and are published in different languages, such as English, French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Rumanian, Chinese, Persian, Japanese, and Arabian.

State Silk Museum, 6, Giorgi Tsabadze St., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 555 37 63 86

Niko Pirosmanashvili Museum

The museum in Tbilisi is a branch of the Mirzaani House-Museum in Dedoplitskaro, dedicated to the famous Georgian painter Niko Pirosmanashvili

Here, you’ll see some of his personal belongings and several copies of his work. The originals are on display in the Tbilisi Museum of Arts and Mirzaani House-Museum, where he spent the last years of his life.

Niko Pirosmanashvili, 29, Niko Pirosmani st., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 95 86 73

Zakaria Paliashvili House-Museum

Zakaria Paliashvili was a famous Georgian composer during the 19th and 20th centuries. His house-museum exhibits materials of his life and works, such as his personal belongings, original scores of operas Abesalom and Eteri and Daisi, manuscripts, and photos, to name a few.

Zakaria Paliashvili, 10, Dimitri Bakradze st., Tbilisi, Georgia, +995 322 99 81 16

Stalin’s secret publishing house

Joseph Stalin was a Georgian-born, most influential figure of the 20th century. During his residency in Tbilisi, he established an underground secret publishing house that supplied Eurasia with illegal revolutionary propaganda and played an important part in the 1917 Russian revolution.

What’s unique about this printing house is its location—situated underneath a small residential building. The only way to the printing room goes through a well, 17 meters (55.7 feet) below the ground. From here, there was another tunnel for the exit in case of an emergency.

Stalin’s Secret Publishing House, 7, Kaspi St, Tbilisi, Georgia

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Printing machine used for publishing Soviet propaganda | © Baia Dzagnidze