The Top Must-See Attractions in Kutaisi

Maximise your time on a trip to Kutaisi by visiting these top sights around the city
Maximise your time on a trip to Kutaisi by visiting these top sights around the city | © Shutterstock

Ancient cathedrals and legendary caves mixed with futuristic architecture: Kutaisi, the capital of the Imereti region, is one place you can’t miss in Georgia. The city, 230km (143mi) from Tbilisi, offers visitors an excellent base for exploring the cultural landmarks and natural features in the area. From dinosaur footprints to historic monasteries and a mythical cave, here’s our pick of the top attractions in Kutaisi.

Interested in exploring more of Georgia with a small group of like-minded travellers? Join our nine-day exclusive TRIPS by Culture Trip for epic experiences like trekking in Lagodekhi National Park and visiting Unesco World Heritage sites in Mtskheta.

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CentralAmerica

GORGEOUS GUATEMALA

Gorgeous Guatemala

5 days . Mini
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1. Guatemala

An express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.

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CentralAmerica

BEACHY BELIZE

Beachy Belize

5 days . Mini
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2. Belize

A quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
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CentralAmerica

COLONIAL MEXICO

Colonial Mexico

5 days . Mini
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3. Mexico

An exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
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SouthAmerica

ADVENTUROUS ECUADOR

Adventurous Ecuador

8 days . Epic
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1. Ecuador

A remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.

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SouthAmerica

ANCIENT PERU

Ancient Peru

9 days . Epic
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2. Peru

An alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
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Europe

SEDUCTIVE SOUTHERN ITALY

Seductive Southern Italy

10 days . Epic
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1. Italy

The ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.

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Europe

EDINBURGH AND THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS BY TRAIN

Edinburgh And The Scottish Highlands By Train

7 days . Culture
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2. Scotland

Embark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
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Europe

COMPLETE PORTUGAL BY TRAIN

Complete Portugal By Train

8 days . Culture
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3. Portugal

A wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
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Asia

SOULFUL SOUTH KOREA

Soulful South Korea

10 days . Epic
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1. South Korea

Discover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.

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Asia

THAILAND, CAMBODIA & VIETNAM

Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

11 days . Epic
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2. Thailand

From Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
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Asia

SECRETS OF SRI LANKA BY TRAIN

Secrets Of Sri Lanka By Train

10 days . Culture
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3. Sri Lanka

A fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
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Africa

EPIC MOROCCO

Epic Morocco

11 days . Epic
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1. Morocco

An epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!

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Africa

ULTIMATE EGYPT

Ultimate Egypt

9 days . Epic
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2. Egypt

From Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Africa

IMMERSIVE KENYA

Immersive Kenya

8 days . Epic
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3. Kenya

An immersive blend of culture and wildlife for first time travelers to Africa. Learn about Nairobi, sample local coffee in the Aberdares and finish up with a fantastic safari stay in the Masai Mara.
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Bagrati Cathedral

Cathedral

Bagrati Cathedral at sunset in Kutaisi, Georgia
© Timo Christ / Alamy
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Bagrati Cathedral was commissioned by King Bagrat III and originally constructed in the 11th century. It underwent extensive renovations from the 1950s until the project finished in 2012 – today it is one of the top attractions in Kutaisi. Step inside and marvel at the frescoes covering the walls. You’ll find some of the best views over the city from the cathedral hilltop.

Parliament Building

Building

Don’t make the mistake of thinking everything in Kutaisi is ancient history – the former Parliament site is a futuristic building, featuring a rounded glass and steel dome. Built in 2012 on the initiative of then-President Mikheil Saakashvili, it housed the Parliament until 2019, when a new government brought parliamentary activities back to Tbilisi. With the legislative action now in Tbilisi, there are no longer tours offered in conjunction with plenary sittings – but it’s still an interesting structure to see. The building is outside the city centre of Kutaisi, so take a bus or taxi to visit.

Colchis Fountain

Architectural Landmark

Right in the city centre, this ornate fountain features models of archaeological artefacts. There are approximately 30 statues of goats and sheep, and it’s crowned with two statues of horse-like figures, meant to represent jewellery found at Vani (an archaeological site near Kutaisi). The fountain’s name honours the ancient kingdom of the Colchis, which existed from the fifth to sixth century BCE – Kutaisi was the capital of this kingdom.

Sataplia Nature Reserve

Natural Feature, Park

This nature reserve, 11km (7mi) from Kutaisi and close to the town Tsklatubo, is home to many unique geological formations. Surrounded by scenic Colchic forest, the site has a visitor centre and a glass observation deck with panoramic views. The cave is the main attraction: it’s 900m (2,953ft) long, with dramatic lighting showing off its stalagmites and stalactites. Don’t leave the reserve without seeing the well-preserved dinosaur footprints, which are 120 million years old.

Prometheus Cave

Natural Feature, Museum

Close to Tskaltubo and 22km (14mi) from Kutaisi, Prometheus Cave – also known as Kumistavi Cave – can’t be missed on a trip to Kutaisi. Boasting 22 halls, six of which are open to the public, it’s one of the biggest in the country. There’s more than just stalagmites and stalactites here: you can also see underground lakes, cave pearls and petrified waterfalls. Wander along the walkway, then enjoy a boat ride on the underground river. The name comes from the mythical Greek figure of Prometheus, who was supposedly chained to a mountain in the Caucasus region.

Gelati Monastery

Monastery

AN old church building at the Gelati Monastery complex near Kutaisi
© Baia Dzagnidze
Situated outside of Kutaisi, this medieval monastery is a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most important churches in the country. The site was constructed in 1106 on the orders of King David IV, also known as David the Builder – he is buried in the monastery, along with many other Georgian rulers. It was also the coronation site of King Tamar, the only female king in Georgia. But Gelati was founded for more than just religious purposes – it was a centre for education and science, with an academy on site to further Christian culture and learning.

This is an update of an article originally written by Baia Dzagnidze.

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