Have you considered visiting Georgia’s capital Tbilisi? Or maybe you haven’t and need more convincing to do so. Tbilisi is a bustling city full of attractions, historical sights, and tasty food. There are lots of reasons why you should plan your next vacation here, but we came up with the most important ones.
Whether you are a budget or luxury traveler, you’ll find that Tbilisi, and generally the whole country, is a very budget-friendly destination. Accommodation, transportation, food, and even attractions are relatively inexpensive. More importantly, most of the historic sights are free of charge.
In terms of places to stay, Tbilisi is home to various international hotel chains like Sheraton, Marriott, Radisson, and Ibis to name a few, but if you are more of an Airbnb person, renting an entire apartment can cost you around $30 per night. Solo travelers can find cheap and nice hostels to stay at.
Georgia’s capital is one of the oldest cities in Europe, therefore it boasts lots of historical sights for you to explore. Ruled by various Middle-Eastern power of the middle centuries, and later on by the Russian Empire, the city still hides traces of those epochs in its backstreets.
In the 19th century, Tbilisi starts to develop into a European city. Moorish and Gothic motifs emerged with Art Nouveau and stylized Medieval Georgian architectural decoration. The unity of diverse styles and traditions creates a unique appearance for the city. One of the most impressive sights of this period is the painted entrance hallways, most featured on houses that used to belong to merchants and nobleman. Today, they are residential houses and some are enlisted as cultural heritage sights.
You can find architectural examples of each period of the country’s existence – starting from the ancient city wall, the ruins of the first town, Soviet architecture, and modern glass buildings. Tbilisi perfectly blends those architectural styles within its territory, making the city a unique places to travel to.
When walking down the streets of the city, you will notice small and big markets, stalls pretty much in every corner. Vegetables, fruits, souvenirs, and household stuff are all sold by farmers or second-hand dealers. Mostly, the items sold in markets are relatively cheap compared to supermarkets and other shops.
However, if you’re not a big grocery market lover, you might want to check out the Dry Bridge flea market, where you can find unique souvenirs to take back home.
For those of you who love attending music festivals, Tbilisi should be on your radar. There are several festivals held throughout the year, but most of them are scheduled during spring, summer, and autumn. And to choose which one suits you best, check out our article about 16 Georgian festivals
Even though the majority of the restaurants here focus on Georgian food, there still others which serve cuisine from different countries. But it’s more likely that you’ll want to try all the local meals as much as you can. Therefore, make sure to try Khinkali, the meat dumplings, Khachapuri, a cheese pie, Georgian kebab, and vegetables in walnut sauce.
Museum lovers will enjoy their vacation here because there are dozens of museums to visit here. And, more importantly, the ticket for those museums start at GEL$3 (US$1.25). You can visit history, Soviet occupation, archeological treasury, various art galleries, and folk instrument museums to name a few.
Mural art in Tbilisi is still in a developing phase, with new artists emerging every day. The graffiti you’ll see here might not be as professional as in other parts of the world, but there are several street artists who do a gorgeous job at decorating gray facades of various buildings all across the city. And if you’d like to know where to find those pieces, check out our guide.