What is Worth Seeing in The Capital of Georgia?
Sights of Tbilisi
The beautiful and interesting city of Tbilisi attracts tourists to visit it regardless of the season, holidays and weather. Although, frankly, in the summer it is really stuffy and hot. And if travelers go to the coastal cities of Georgia for the sake of the warm Black Sea, they love the capital of the country for its incredible variety of attractions. So Tbilisi will be able to please as little tourists: a zoo, Turtle Lake, an amusement park on Mtatsminda Mountain, and their parents: a botanical garden, sulfur baths, a funicular railway.
Some of the places listed below do not require financial investments or are worth a penny. Therefore, a stay in the capital of Georgia will be quite affordable and interesting for you. We recommend that you carefully read our list of attractions, choosing from them the most suitable and affordable.
Tbilisi Sightseeing Itinerary
Tbilisi is an amazing city. Every day you can find new places in it, admire the unusual combination of seemingly incompatible buildings and even entire neighborhoods, be amazed and enjoy the peaceful coexistence of Orthodox churches, the Muslim mosque and the Judaic synagogue.
Next to the bell tower in the temple Tsminda Sameba there is a house and a small pond.
Here you can spend a month, immersed in a local flavor or a couple of days, seeing the beauty of the city, and maybe its heart …
To fall in love with Tbilisi, it is best to stroll through it with a local guide. It so happened that in 2018, on the advice of our acquaintances, we bought an individual tour and spent a fantastic 12 hours with Dina. Fascinating stories, new amazing places, including ceremonial ones, as well as pleasant company – this is what awaits you on a walk with a guide. By the way, if you don’t have time to find a “tasty” place with good Georgian cuisine, focused not only on tourists or don’t know which bath is better and how to order it, ask the guide during the excursion about this. They will prompt and help with the choice. Dinu can be found on the website: Georgia4travel.ru.
If you are traveling without a guide, we recommend starting with Shota Rustaveli Street; from the main cathedral in Georgia Tsminda Sameba or from the cableway, leaving the new modern park Rike. Any of the selected options will bring not only a lot of joy and positive impressions, but also allow you to get acquainted with the local beauty of the city.
The main sights that we managed to visit during our stay in Tbilisi, we sorted for convenience into groups. Each of them will try to characterize and describe in detail.
Bridges and Parks
Since the Kura River flows through the whole of Tbilisi, there are quite a few bridges in the city. The most interesting and visited by tourists are just four of them: the ultramodern Peace Bridge, the Nikolai Baratashvili Bridge, the Metekhi Bridge and the famous Dry Bridge. Each of them is valuable and in its own way is magnificent not only for travelers, but also for the local population.
The Peace Bridge is one of the main decorations of the city, a symbol of its modern look. It connects the two banks of the Kura River, part of one Tbilisi: the old and the new. The most interesting bridge in the evening, when the lights are turned on. Built into the frame of the bulb, according to the Morse system, transmit the coded information containing the DNA of each person.
The bridge of Nikolay Baratashvili is a little further. He is older, but no less attractive. On its two sides are the original figures of people, made in full growth. Some of them are spectacularly posing, the other as if in reality is preparing to jump into the water, some more cutely “communicate” with each other. Tourists love to take photos on their background: frames are lively and fun.
Metekhi Bridge is an important and necessary building for the city. One of his sides he goes to the church of the same name and the monument to the great king Gorgasali, and the second to the area of restaurants, cafes and sulfur baths. Every tourist at least once during his stay in Tbilisi necessarily passes through it, because from the bridge a beautiful view of the temple opens.
Dry bridge, in our subjective opinion, is too popular for tourists place. Recently, a flea market on the Dry Bridge has become a regular average bazaar, where you can see unnecessary junk to anyone. If earlier it was possible to find really exclusive, unique things, now there is practically no rarity and antiques. Therefore, those who are not interested in antiquities have nothing to do with it. Is that to succumb to the temptation of numerous guides, recommending this place, and personally verify its uselessness.
There are plenty of parks in Tbilisi too, otherwise in the summer it would be simply impossible to be in the city. Practically in each of them fountains work, in many there are drinking sources.
Especially interesting is the new Rike Park, located literally in the city center. Even despite the fact that he did not have time to finish building in his time, now he is a popular holiday destination among adults and children. It is quite spacious, has many comfortable shops, but due to its youth, it is not too shady. In the evenings, it sometimes hosts free concerts of local musical groups, a singing fountain is included.
The next, less popular park is called Park April 9th. It is large and cozy, located just behind the Kashveti Church and the National Gallery of Georgia. The park is shady, it has a nice cascade fountain, several monuments and small flowerbeds, a huge number of shops.
Mtatsminda Park on the eponymous mountain is very popular with young tourists. A large variety of attractions, made it the main entertainment in Tbilisi primarily for children. Adults in the park will not be bored either: the Ferris wheel located at the highest point will allow you to see the city from a bird’s eye view, and the Funicular Restaurant will delight visitors with delicious Georgian national dishes.
Heydar Aliyev Park modestly sheltered in the area of sulfur baths, Abanotubani. Very green, well maintained and equipped, the park attracts lovers of a relaxing holiday. There is always a bench for relaxing and drinking a fountain to refresh in the summer heat. And what are the magnificent flower beds, flaunting around.
Cable Car and Funicular
If we compare these two sights, then, to tell you the truth, we liked the cable car much more than the funicular that is popular far outside Tbilisi. Perhaps this conclusion contributed to a huge queue and further blockage of the car during the ascent and descent from Mount Mtatsminda.
The Tbilisi cableway differs in many ways from the Batumi one: in terms of size, price and, of course, a panoramic view, but we recommend everyone to take a ride on it.
It begins in Rike Park, passes over the old part of the city and takes tourists to the observation platform near the Narikala Fortress. Such a two minute pleasure will cost you 2.5 GEL. We recommend walking downstairs on foot – this is how you will see more.
The funicular is essentially an unnecessarily expensive pleasure to go up in a wagon full of cars, to the Mtatsminda Park. One way fare is 3 GEL. In this case, you must buy a card for 2 GEL, which cannot be returned at the end to return the balance. If you go in the afternoon, it is possible to exit in the middle of the road, for a review of the pantheon and the temple of St. David. Further travel from the Pantheon will be an additional 3 GEL.
Sulfur Baths and a Waterfall in the City Center
We have written a good and very detailed article about sulfur baths in the capital of Georgia: Should we go to sulfur baths? Here we will try to briefly outline the essence of this attraction.
Sulfur baths are located in a very convenient place – in the Abanotubani district, next to Heydar Aliyev Square. There are more than 10 of them in total. Each one is distinguished by its setting, area, cost, and the like. Only a few of them have common rooms, which, frankly, is not always good. In the bath it is better to go with your individual set of bath accessories or, at least, with a towel, slippers and washcloth. You should not be afraid of the peculiar smell of sulfur – the body quickly gets used to it, however, you will smell sweet for a long time. In addition, near the sulfur baths, there is practically no smell of sulfur, but very beautiful views of the Abanotubani area are opened.
Additionally, you can order a massage, but do not expect much pleasure from it. The average cost of bathing in sulfur springs is about 30 GEL / hour for an individual room and 3 GEL for a total.
Immediately behind the baths is a waterfall. It is very pleasant to go to him for a very short time and, most importantly: not so long ago, the fig gorge was ennobled. In addition, a small rivulet flowing along it was brought out. Now locals and visitors of the city gather near the waterfall. On hot summer days it is impossible to break away from the reservoir – the coolness attracts everyone around him.
Museums, theaters, temples of Tbilisi
There are enough museums and theaters in Tbilisi too. Some of the most interesting and popular among tourists are located along the main avenue of the city, Shota Rustaveli. Among them: the Opera Theater, the Shota Rustaveli Drama Theater, the National Gallery of Georgia (Blue Gallery), the Rustaveli Main Cinema, the Georgian National Museum, the Griboyedov Theater, the Rizo Gabriadze Puppet Theater. No less beautiful and interesting buildings: Vorontsov Palace, Academy of Sciences, the former building of the Parliament of Georgia. And completes this wonderful composition – Freedom Square, which has seen many magnificent events in its life.
The Presidential Palace does not belong to museums, much less to theaters. Nevertheless, it can also be “examined”, at least externally. Although, according to rumors, excursions are conducted on it: you only need to stipulate your trip in advance (two weeks, or even a month) and sign up for a “walk”. The palace is clearly visible from the Bridge of Peace and Rike Park.
Tbilisi is inhabited by a huge number of believers of various denominations. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are many temples in the city. We visited the most interesting and being on our way personally.
The Tsmind Sameba Church, the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church, is especially impressive. From its scope and greatness just catch your breath. In it, we spent the greatest amount of time: we looked at all the floors, including two underground ones, walked a lot of territory, climbed the belfry and just enjoyed the beautiful flower beds and magnificent views around.
To get to the entrance to the church of Sameba, you need to overcome a few dozen steps. The temple is also the highest in Georgia (more than 100 m in height and 40 m in depth).
The following no less fascinating temples are the Armenian churches Surb Gevorg and Echmiadzin. They belong to the old and very honored in Tbilisi. They are cozy, calm, homely warm and pleasant to be. Surb Gevorg Church, moreover, is the Cathedral of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia.
Sights of Tbilisi Suburbs
Near Tbilisi there are just a huge number of attractive places: the ancient religious center of the country – the city of Mtskheta; the edge of the sun, wine and smiles – the region of Kakheti with the romantic city of Sighnaghi; famous health resort Borjomi; Uplistsikhe cave city and the ancient cave monastery Vardzia; the usually secretive Mount Kazbek and the magnificent Georgian Military Highway ending in the Gergeti church; Zhinvalskoe reservoir and Ananuri fortress near it.
There are several ways to see these sights: during a group or individual excursion; on a rented car or by ordering a car with a Russian-speaking driver. No matter how surprising this may sound, we personally recommend choosing individual trips for yourself, especially if you come by company. So it turns out more profitable, more interesting and more fun. Our guides at Tripster.ru and Georgia4travel.ru turned out to be good specialists who know their business thoroughly and answer any of our questions.