Top 10 Things to do while in Tbilisi

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, for me, is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. I am so charmed by the city that I made my fifth visit last December.

Tbilisi is the largest city in Georgia, located on both sides of the Mtkvari River with a population of roughly 1.5 million inhabitants. It was founded in the 5th century but was rebuilt around 29 times since then. The old town Tbilisi is largely intact with narrow alleys and big crooked houses built around small courtyards.

If you’re also planning to visit Yerevan and Armenia, check out this post about 40 things to do in Yerevan by my friend Megan Starr

There´s a church around every corner in Georgia
There´s a church around every corner in Georgia

The newer parts of the capital recently got a huge facelift with modern architecture. It doesn’t yet offer world-class shopping opportunities that you will find in other capitals around the world. But Tbilisi offers something that you will not find in modern capitals charm! If looking for where to stay during your visit to Tbilisi, check out This place.


Booking.com

Here´s my list of the Top 10 things to do in Tbilisi.

1. Take a stroll through the old town.

Old Town Tbilisi has over the recent years gotten a huge “facelift.” These days, there´s local art shops, wine houses, small family run guesthouses. You can spend hours getting lost in the old alleys and backstreet, just to find a small local bar or Kinkhali house.

A tiny part of Old Town Tbilisi as seen from the cable car.
The Sulfur baths are on the left side and old town on the right side.
A complete restored part of the old town.
Restored old houses.

2. Take a Sulphur Bath.

Vent´s to the sulfur bath for ventilation.

The famous Sulphur Baths are located in the Abanotubani district in the middle of the old town. The sulphur baths are an amazing place to relax for an hour or two, especially during the colder months of the year.

Most of the baths are open 24/7 and the price varies from 30 Lari for the cheapest private room to 100 Lari for a private room. The room quality varies as much as the price difference. There are also public rooms available for 3 Lari.

While the expensive rooms are completely refurbished with both hot bath and cold bath and even a private sauna.
The cheaper rooms are more basic with an old Soviet look with just a hot bath and hot/cold shower.

The Sulfur bath has been a part of Tbilisi’s history from the city´s beginning.
The name Tbilisi comes from the Georgian word for warm ‘თბილი, that means “warm location”.

One of the cheaper Sulfur baths.

3. Visit The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi.

There´s no shortage of churches in Tbilisi or Georgia; you will never be far from one. The one you will see the most is the huge Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi or locally known as “Sameba”. The construction of Cathedral was only completed back in 2004, so it doesn’t offer the same amount of history as most of the other churches in Tbilisi. But the Holy Trinity Cathedral is impressive in other ways.

It´s with its height of 97,5m the third largest Orthodox cathedral in the world only after the Saint Isaac´s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg and Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi.

4. Visit the Mtatsminda Park for the stunning view over the city.

Mtatsminda Park is the highest point surrounding Tbilisi; the park has a small amusement park, a Paris wheel (that´s the highest point in Tbilisi), a lot of restaurants and small bars. It´s a popular hangout for the couples in the evening to enjoy the amazing view of the city landscape.

The park can be reached by bus 124 or by the Funicular railway.

Tbilisi Tv tower.
Tbilisi as seen from Mtatsminda Park.
The Paris Wheel and Tv Tower.
The Paris wheel in Mtatsminda Park
A Strange attraction
Dinosaur Park

5. Try the local cuisine.

Georgian cuisine is vegetarian-friendly, and recently, a vegan cafe has opened up in the city. I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian, and I love the anti-vegan food. Georgian food, for me, is up there with Chinese, Mexican and Thai food. Cheese and meat are used in almost every dish.

While most of the food in Georgia like in all other old Soviet countries are heavily meat-based, but they also have some delicious vegetarian surprises. The best and most common dish which is also considered as the national dish is called Khachapuri, a “fluffy” bread with the center of it filled with cheese in the middle and with an egg on top of the cheese again. The crust is a proper bread that you use to dip in the cheese.

Different regions of the country have different versions of Khachapuri. Central Georgia’s Khachapuri looks more like a calzone than a traditional one whereas western Georgia likes to add more cheese to the Khachapuri than the rest of the country. Southern Georgia likes to serve its Khachapuri with a raw egg on top and a dash of butter.

The local dish Khinkali.
The local dish Khachapuri.

6. Take the cable car to the Mother, Georgia Statue.

The Mother Georgia is located on a high hill overlooking the city, you can either walk up, or you can take the cheap cable car from the eastern part of the city. The ride is only 1 lari. You will enjoy a panoramic view while riding over the old town.

You will enjoy a nice view of the city, similar to the top of Mtatsminda Park. You also visit the castle overlooking the city while walking back down. The Mother, Georgia Statue.

Tbilsi
Tbilisi Panoramic view from the Mother, Georgia Statue.
Driving across the old town
Taking the cable car across the river, There´s some strange modern architecture on the right side of the river.

 7. Try the local candy.

There are two types of homemade candy´s in Georgia, Churchkhela, and Taklpi. These are sold from old babushkas on street corners to big shops on the main streets. It´s impossible to walk around Tbilisi without seeing a shop or two selling it.

Churchkhela is a sausage-shaped Georgian candy stick with walnuts on the center. They are dipped in thick hot grape juice. The other local candy is Taklpi which are fruit rolls. There are numerous varieties, including plums, pear, apple and even kiwi.

Local candy. 

8. Watch the puppet show.

The leaning clock tower was created by the famous Georgian puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze.
Each hour a window opens at the top and an angel strikes the bell. Below the clock, a screen opens and shows the circle of life: boy meets girl, marriage, childbirth, and funeral.

The leaning clock tower

9. Check out the local nightlife.

Tbilisi is considered by many to be the best clubbing city in Eastern Europe and almost on a level with Berlin in western Europe. The partying and clubbing culture has become a lifestyle and music is a sacred thing in the city. There´s also a club underneath the national football stadium. If you are not into clubbing, there are many local bars spread around the city, from small jazz clubs to pubs, frequented by the locals and foreigners, selling a glass of draft beer or glass of wine for 2lari.

10. Take a day trip out of the city.

Since Georgia is a relatively small country and Tbilisi it almost located in the central part, it is easy to do a day trip out of the city and still come back by evening.

I Would Also recommend you to visit Yerevan, the capital of neighboring Armenia of you got time.

Additional Information about Tbilisi.

Directions to reach old Tbilisi from the airport –
You can take the N37 bus just outside the terminal which operates 24/7 leaving at 35-minute intervals and costs 0.50 Gel.

Looking for a hostel in Tbilisi or Georgia in General? Check out this page.

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Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, for me, is one of a fascinating cities in the world.
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, for me, is one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

 

23 Comments
  1. Thanks for sharing your tips with me, Christian!

    Georgia looks like an interesting place – I would love to soak in the baths there! And the food sounds divine 😮

    Sapphire

    1. Hello Jen.
      You can easily do most of Central, Northern/Southern and eastern part of Georgia on a day trip from Tbilisi, but depends if you want to use public transportation and go on your own or take a tour.
      The fastest and easiest days trip from Tbilisi to do independently is Gori, Vardzia, Kazbegi. If taking a tour can you do Sighnaghi to.

      Christian

  2. This is a great list! If you’re ever in Tbilisi again be sure to stop by our photography gallery, Fotografia. We’d love tell you a bit about Georgian photography and creative scene in Tbilisi. Hope you can make it!

    Best,

    Ryan
    http://www.fotografia.ge

    1. Heey.
      I actually came back home from Tbilisi today.I just spent 4 great days in one of my favorite cities again. I’m heading back there in October again and I will definitely visit the gallery then.

  3. Thanks for sharing the info, any idea what is the best hotel or location to book (Close for most activities & places )

    1. Hello. I always stay at Hotel Gomi 19 in the old town, it´s a bit uphill but it offers an amazing view all over the city from the rooftop. And the owners are super friendly

  4. Thank you for all these ideas. I love them all. Let me ask you though. We are in Tbilisi for the first time. Where would you recommend to start seeing the old town? We are staying literally a minute of walking from the Liberty Square.

    1. Hello Lena, If I was you would I walk down to Ioane Shavteli St (its just 5minutes downhill from Liberty Square), it´s where the clock tower is located, a nice walking street without any cars. Walk down the street to you reach “Meidan”, it´s where the I Love Tbilisi sign is. From there walk down to the sulfur bath. The old city of Tbilisi is pretty small and compact, but you can still use hours walking around the small backstreets in the area

  5. Outstanding Christian, I browsed the usual sites and came across your informative page on Tbilisi and the surrounding areas/regions. They say a picture speaks a 1,000 words , your photographs are 1st class and actually made me change my mind on what to see in Tbilisi when we arrive next week. I have lived in Russia for coming up to 25 years and genuinely admire people who have passion, dedication and time to keep their fellow man/woman informed of diverse earth we live on. Thank you, enjoy and keep up the great work. Respect. Lee.

  6. Hello! Do these places require a tour or we can go around by ourselves? And how long does it take to visit the places you mentioned? Thank you

    1. Hello.
      You don’t need a guide for Tbilisi it’s a really easy city to get around on your own. Most sites are located in old city or easy walking distance for old city

  7. Hi. I am planning to go there around last week of this coming November. Is it too cold already that month? And i am planning to spend 4 days, just wondering if public transpo is available goung to kazbegi and kakheti? I would love to see these places too aside from tbilisi.

    1. Hello Kris.

      Both Kazbegi and Kakheti is easy to reach with local minibusses. But Since you only got 4days, so is the best way to reach both places with a day tour with one of many travel agencies in Tbilisi. Many of them offer very cheap daytrips

  8. Hi christian i will travel to georgia tbilsi this coming october 10-13 i want to celebrate my burthday there. Can you help me which place i can stay near the city and which is the best place to go. I wanna ask what type of clithe i need to bring for october weather??
    I wanna enjoy the georgia because im a single traveler only.. hope to hear from you christian.
    Thank you in advance

    1. Hello Thea.
      Sorry for the late reply. Depends on your budget but if staying in hostels so are Envoy Hostel in the old town and Pushkin 10 on the main street good options. But if you prefer to stay in hotel instead so are Hotel at Gomi 19 and No12 Boutique Hotel good. I’ve have stayed in all 4 options I mentioned. Wheater for October should still be warm and nice during the day but a jacket or sweater is should be hood for the evening.

  9. Hi christian, planning to go this december 23….hoping to show my kids some snow..any recommendations?? Could you tell me how to book the hotel.you stayed or i heard of a skiing place is it far from the town??

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