Traveling to a new place and discovering its gems and landmarks means that most of the time we have to pay a fee. However, major cities do offer various activities you can do for free. And Tbilisi is no exception! In this guide, we provide some of the best things to see and do for free in Georgia’s capital.
One of the great ways to learn about the city is to take a guided walking tour. For those of you who are traveling on a budget, there are companies that offer free walking tours of the city. However, do note that these walking tours work on a contribution basis – so if you think it was great, give however much you’d like to compensate.
Even though the recreational areas are not that numerous in Tbilisi, there are several great parks you can relax and watch the world go by in. Scattered across the various districts of the capital, you can easily choose where to unwind during a hot summer day or enjoy a warm spring weekend. Rike Park, for instance, is located in Old Town and offers various attractions within its territory. Our recommended spots include Vake Park, Dedaena Park or Turtle Lake.
Mtatsminda is a theme park located on Mtatsminda Mountain and boasts impressive panoramic views of the capital. You can hike up there, or take a funicular for a small fee. The park has water slides, Ferris Wheel, a roller-coaster, and various cafés in which to enjoy a lunch or a beverage. On the way to the park, there’s Mtatsminda Pantheon – a necropolis where most of the famous Georgian scholars, writers, national heroes, and artists are buried.
This goes without saying, but wandering in the cobblestone, narrow streets of Tbilisi’s Abanitubani will leave you mesmerized with its beauty, ancient architecture famous for colorful wooden curved balconies, and dome-shaped tunnels of the sulfur baths. Here, the combination of modern and ancient architecture blends perfectly to create a very sophisticated look.
Moreover, climb up to Narikala Fortress for beautiful picturesque views of this part of the city and then continue your way towards the Mother of Georgia statue.
Dry Bridge is a flea market where you can find vintage gems and pre-loved items. There’s an endless array – from Soviet medals, flags, pins, and hats, to antique china and vinyls. Basically, anything you can imagine. While the market is open every day for the whole year, weekends and warm sunny weather sees more sellers than usual working days.
Wine bars are a relatively new concept to Tbilisi and there are various bars opening in the central and more touristy parts of the city. Most of these wine bars or shops host free testing sessions. So, if you are new to Georgian wine, it’s a great option to try several before you commit to buying a bottle.
Almost every bar in town offers live music performances of local musicians. However, don’t think that you’ll hear traditional music; artists often perform covers of world-known bands and musicians. Some of those bands might even perform modern Georgian songs as well.
The Chronicles of Georgia is often called a Georgian Stonehenge due to its shape and size. This 30 meter (98 feet) sculpture, located on the outskirts of Tbilisi, rarely sees any visitors. It depicts Georgian kings, queens, heroes and biblical scenes on its pillars. Visiting the area is free of charge, but you might have to pay for a taxi or a bus ticket to get to the landmark.
Shavteli Street hides a handmade clock tower where you can watch a small puppet show called The Circle of Life at midday and 7 P.M. The tower is part of the Gabriadze complex that includes a café and marionette theater. Rezo Gabriadze is a Georgian playwright, sculptor and a writer who makes marionettes for his theater, decorative items for the café, and now the tower.
When the weather gets warm in Tbilisi, on every other Sunday there is a flea market in Dedaena Park. This is a space for locals to showcase their handmade crafts including clothes, accessories, bags, hats, soaps, paintings, posters and much more. Locals love to come with blankets, listen to some music, meet friends and enjoy a day here.