If you haven’t visited Georgia, you’re missing out. There’s much to love about this beautiful country on the border of Europe and Asia. The capital, Tbilisi, provides that city buzz, while the Caucasus Mountains offers a more natural experience. Need more? Here are the main reasons to visit Georgia.
Georgians say that a guest is sent from God, so they welcome guests into their homes like they would any friend or family member. If you befriend a local here, you can be sure you’ll be invited into their home and treated like royalty. They might even show you around and recount the history of the nation. On Culture Trip’s specially curated nine-day Georgia adventure, you can enjoy a traditional Georgian lunch with a local family.
Much like the landscape, the food here is diverse. Even though the cuisine is mainly meat- and dough-based, there are vegetarian options, too. The national dish is khinkali, meat dumplings with a bit of broth inside. Vegetarians can try it with potato, mushroom or cheese filling. Another local favourite is khachapuri, a pizza-like cheese pie served at dinner with different variations across the country. You may also come across a popular appetiser made with aubergine, spinach and cabbage leaves with a walnut sauce.
Despite its small size, Georgia has all kinds of landscapes, including deserts, coasts and mountains. The country is a paradise for hiking and camping lovers. You can also explore breathtaking lakes, canyons, waterfalls or relax at spa resorts. And for more inspiration, check out our article on natural wonders to visit in Georgia.
Though Georgia is increasing in popularity, it is still considered a budget-friendly destination. Most of the cultural and historical sights are free of charge, while the ticket price of the museums starts at three Georgian lari (£0.70).
Eating out can be both expensive and cheap, depending on your budget. Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi are the major destinations, of which Tbilisi might be the most expensive dining destination. However, if you’d like to make your trip as affordable as possible, check out our budget-friendly guide to Tbilisi cafes and restaurants.
Georgia has natural hot springs and spa resorts across the country. But the sulphur baths in the Abanotubani neighbourhood of Tbilisi are the first stop for many tourists. The bath water, which sits at 40C (104F), is thought to be beneficial for the skin. You can experience the sulphur baths for yourself as part of Culture Trip’s immersive small-group Georgia tour.
During archaeological excavations in Dmanisi, scholars found a 1.7m-year-old skull – the oldest evidence of human habitation in Europe.
Georgia is said to be the oldest wine-making country in the world. It’s thought people have been making wine here for at least 8,000 years, using egg-shaped clay jars called qvevri. Those jars are buried underground where the fermentation process happens naturally. The process gives Georgian wine a distinct amber tint.
If you like examining architecture, you’ll find a lot of interesting buildings here. Head to Tbilisi to see Soviet structures, art nouveau buildings and architectural landmarks. While there, drive two hours southeast to the David Gareja Cave Monastery complex, a sixth-century cave system founded by St David Gareja, one of 13 Assyrian monks who spread Christianity throughout the country.
Ushguli, in the Svaneti region, sits 2,200m (7,218ft) above sea level and is considered the highest settlement in Europe. Make it here and you’re rewarded with views of Mount Shkhara, the third-tallest mountain in Europe.