The Best Attractions in Tbilisiairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

The Best Attractions in Tbilisi

Tiles of Tower Clock | © Baia Dzagnidze
Tiles of Tower Clock | © Baia Dzagnidze
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is the city of contrasts, where both modern structures and old architecture perfectly co-exist next to each other. Throughout its existence, the city has undergone many invasions and been burnt and restored a couple of times, but despite that, it still manages to show its turbulent history and rich culture. Besides popular tourists destinations, Tbilisi does hide unique gems in its backstreets. Here are the best attractions you can visit on your next trip to the capital.

Narikala Fortress

Botanical Garden, Church
Narikala fortress and the old town of Tbilisi, Georgia.
Narikala fortress and the old town of Tbilisi, Georgia | © Magdalena Paluchowska / Alamy Stock Photo
Overlooking the Abanotubani, the oldest district of the capital, the Narikala Fortress, a brick structure, dates back to the 4th century when Tbilisi was a Persian citadel. The fort sits on a steep hill between the sulfur baths and the botanical garden. The St. Nicholas Church, located inside the courtyard, is a fairly recent construction (1996–1997), but it replaces the original 13th-century one, which was destroyed by fire. You can walk up the steep hill from Maidan Square or take a cable car.
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Outdoors, Scenic, Instagrammable

Kartlis Deda

The Statue of Mother of Georgia
The Statue of Mother of Georgia | The Statue of Mother of Georgia
Right next to Narikala, there’s a big statue of a woman holding a sword and a cup. That’s the Mother of Georgia or Kartlis Deda in Georgian. The aluminum figure rises 20 meters (65.6 feet) and is a symbol of not only Tbilisi but the country as well. The sword is for those who come as an enemy, while a cup of wine is for those who come as friends.
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Metekhi Church

Metekhi Church and Statue of the King Vakhtang
Metekhi Church and Statue of the King Vakhtang | © Micheil Samkharadze (kesha) / Flickr
Located on the opposite side of Narikala Fortress, Metekhi Church is a famous landmark in the city, along with the statue of King Vaghtang Gorgasali, the founder of Tbilisi. This locale is where he built his palace and the first church in the area in the 5th century. The church that’s present today is from the 13th century and has undergone reconstruction several times since then.
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Old residential houses

Tbilisi is famous for its old residential houses with colorful wooden curved balconies overlooking the Maidan Square and Metekhi Church. Doorways take you to inner yards that locals call “Italian courtyards,” where residents used to gather to gossip, drink and have dinner together.

Colorful wooden curved balconies of old residential houses © jagermesh / Flickr

Peace Bridge

Bridge, Park
Peace Bridge
Peace Bridge | ©George Mel / Flickr
One of the first modern architectural additions to the city is a glass-and-steel structure. Michele De Lucchi, an Italian architect, designed the pedestrian bridge over the Mtkvari River; it opened to the public in 2010. The Peace Bridge connects Erekle II Street, a pedestrian street full of cafés, and Rike Park.
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Tsminda Sameba Cathedral

Cathedral, Church
Tsminda Sameba Cathedral
Tsminda Sameba Cathedral | © jagermesh / Flickr
The biggest symbol of the Georgian Orthodox Church, after the Soviet Union, is the Trinity Cathedral, as it translates in English. The cathedral, located on Elia Hill above Avlabari, is visible from almost every corner of the city center. The construction of the cathedral took approximately a decade and opened to the public in 2004. Its height is 84 meters (275.5 feet), including the gold-covered cross above its central dome.
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Clock Tower

Clock Tower
Clock Tower | © Baia Dzagnidze
This fairytale-like clock tower is a relatively new edition to the capital. Made by Rezo Gabriadze, a puppet master, and a screenwriter, the tower features hundreds of handmade tiles created by Gabriadze himself. Every hour, an angel comes out of a door at the top and strikes a bell with a hammer; at noon and 7 pm, you can watch a small puppet show called “The Circle of Life.”
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Stalin's Underground Printing House

The well and the printing machine
The well and the printing machine | © Baia Dzagnidze
Just a bit outside of the city center, Tbilisi hides a unique underground publishing house from where young Stalin and his colleagues used to spread Soviet propaganda at the beginning of the 20th century. The publishing house was built under a well, 17 meters (56 feet) below the ground. Activists accessed the room by climbing down the well, but it also had an emergency exit just in case their secret was leaked.
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