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Borjomi

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Borjomi (ბორჯომი bohr-joh-mee) is a town in central Georgia as well as the name of a natural reserve and of the famous volcanic salty spring water. The source of this spring water lies in the Borjomi gorge.

Get in[edit]

Train[edit]

Timetable Borjomi bis train

From Tbilisi, Gori, Mtskheta, it is possible to get in using the Tbilisi - Borjomi train.

From Batumi it is possible to take a train to Khashuri. Once in Khashuri you have to travel down the road a bit to a market on the edge of town, where you can find marshrutkas going to Borjomi. The marshrutka ride from Khashuri to Borjomi is about 20 minutes.

Marshrutka / bus[edit]

In Tbilisi minibuses to Borjomi depart from an area in front of Didube metro station. The price is 8 GEL and the journey takes about two hours. It is difficult to get a front seat as some of the drivers give them away to good-looking girls and become very aggressive if you insist on first-come first-choice. It is possible to be dropped off in front of the tourist office in central Borjomi 'near the bridge of beauty'. Just ask.

Marshrutkas go from the main bus station in Batumi to Borjomi and vice-verse. The ride is about 3 hours.

Get around[edit]

The town is small enough to get around on foot. It is possible to get to the entry/exit points of the national park by marshrutka (e.g.cost to Likani is 0,40 GEL). Expect to pay 10 to 12 times more if you take a taxi, which of course is more convenient. If you are two or more persons you can share the cost of a taxi. For this purpose a good place to hook up with other travelers who want to visit the park is the National Park office where people have to go anyway to register. Best time is 9 AM.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit the city park. Stretched along the Borjomula river, the city park contains the source of Borjomi mineral water. The first part of the park contains amusements and cafes, and the rear part of the park is a great place for a walk. If you continue past the asphalted part for another 2.5 km you will reach the hot springs, these are being restored as of June 2015, but one of the smaller pools is accessible and can be swam in. A number of the other pools are almost ready and should be open soon. The outstanding beauty of the nature around the springs still makes it worth a trip. Near the entrance there is the option to use the cable car to get up to a plateau, the view over Borjomi from here is fantastic.  edit
  • Visit the Borjomi Kharagauli national park. The largest national park in Georgia [1]. For a free entrance ticket and a map of the area (including all of the routes and shelters), head to the park's administration office. ID is not required for the ticket. If you want to hike in the national park be sure to take ample food and water along with some basic sleeping gear, as the cabins are very basic (and cost 10 GEL). It is a one day hike from Borjomi to Qvabiskhevi (or the other way around), from where you can hitchhike or take a local bus or taxi back to Borjomi. It is also possible to take multiple day hikes, up to the park's higher points (up to 2600 meters).  edit
  • The Green Monastery. An ancient monastery just outside of town. Walk, hitchhike, or bargain with a taxi to take you there (it isn't far, 10 laris should do it for a return trip). A short hike through the woods will bring you to the monastery. Very small, but beautiful.  edit
  • Excursion to Akhaltsikhe Castle and Vardzia, 00995 599 30 25 13 (). You can easily book a day trip to the Akhaltsikhe Castle and the famous old cave monastery and city Vardzia (one day in advance). Artur Stepaniani is a guide very eager to explain the historical background of the sites and is fluent in at least English, Georgian and Russian. Transfer in a modern bus with a careful driver with Artur can be highly recommended. 40 GEL.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Near the entry to the city park, locals sell home-made jam made from pine tree cones. It is claimed that the jam is useful when curing upper respiratory tract infections and is good for improving general immunity.

Eat[edit][add listing]

If you prepare your own meals, be aware that none of the local supermarkets sell fresh vegetables and fruit. You have to get these at the market or at stalls in the street (closed after dark).

  • Taverna: Located near the entrance to the main bridge (Silamazis Khidi) and the small park (patara parki), the Taverna restaurant has a wide selection of traditional Georgian dishes and enjoys a good reputation for its mushrooms cooked in clayware.
  • Imereti: A nice restaurant near the Borjomi train station. When you leave the station turn left and walk to the end of the street, you'll find the restaurant on your left hand side. Imereti offers shashlik and a number of tasty Georgian dishes.
  • Fast Food: Near the central bus station on Rustaveli. It is more like a small buffet restaurant with cheap, reasonable quality food. Try the fish (from the local river) with mashed potatoes and vegetable salad for 3,5 GEL.
  • Touristou: Despite the touristy name, this restaurant offers a true local atmosphere and delicious Georgian meals for adequate prices. On the way to the tourist information centre, turn right and cross the bridge after the bus station, then take the second right; in 8-10 meters you'll see the restaurant. The chef, owner and waiter is the same charming man. The mushrooms with cheese, khachapuri and shashlik are highly recommended. The average price for dinner for two is 50 GEL with home made wine. 10% tips are already included. The owner collects foreign banknotes. If you have some, leave him a souvenir for good luck.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Local wine is sold at the market. White wine costs about 3 GEL per liter.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are lots of low budget options for staying overnight in Borjomi, particularly in the low season as the prices come down. Information is available from the tourist office, who are also able to make and manage bookings. In fact, they able to book you into one of more than 300 apartments and rooms to rent across the city. A room with an attached kitchen and bathroom with wifi in central Borjomi cost 15 GEL per night (mid October 2014). Be aware that during the summer season there are many unreliable so-called makler (intermediaries) active. They promise one thing, but deliver another. It is better to use the tourist office, who are free and reliable. If you have any complaints about your accommodation, you can report them to the tourist office, who are effective in dealing with any issues.

  • Hotel Texel 5 Orbeliani Street, phone(+995)599 50 04 21, (+995)367 22 30 44. The owner is very hospitable and used to be the first post-Soviet mayor of the city. Prepare to be invited for endless amounts of tasty home-made wine along with interesting stories from his official career. The hotel is an unmarked house and in close proximity to the now defunct Hotel Tbilisi. Asking for 'Avtandil Gongladze' or 'pervy me-er' (first mayor) should get you there. The rooms with two beds are completely new and a bed costs you 40 GEL. If you travel alone, you will still only pay 40 GEL and have the room to yourself. A very good breakfast prepared by Avtandil's wife is available for 5 GEL. Russian and Georgian is spoken.
  • Hotel Borjomis Kheoba, [5]. 28 comfortable rooms, mineral water spas, outdoor swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Prices from 65 to 250 Georgian lari including all meals.
  • Marina's Guesthouse: Cozy guesthouse near the center of town and a popular waystation for expats, backpackers and tourists. Marina's son and daughter both speak fluent English.
  • Hotel Borjomi. Elegant, wooden Tsarist-era house located in central Borjomi, next to the Museum of Local Lore. Bed and breakfast available. Prices start from 70 Georgian lari. Russian spoken.
  • Leo's homestay |Guesthouse, 18 Pirosmani, [2]. 18 Pirosmani (turn right onto the street after the Borjomi museum of local lore - the home is on the left side of the street.), ☎ (+995)574861516 / (+995)593981595 (+995)551414422. Leo and his mother have 4 rooms that can accomodate 10-11 or so people. The price for the night is 25 GEL a person, and for 7 GEL more Leo's mother will make breakfast, which often features a substantial number of pancakes (mid July 2015). Leo is also a great source of information about Borjomi and the surrounding area, and regularly arranges excursions for his guests, such as trips to Vardzia and horseback riding in the Borjomi-Kharagauli national park. He also speaks excellent English and Russian. [email protected] . price.  edit
  • The Khutsishvili Guesthouse, Village Kvabiskhevi, +995 577 53 84 17.  edit The house is located 18 km from Borjomi. The two-storey house is surrounded by a well-maintained yard. On the first floor, there is a living room with a fireplace and shared bathroom. On the second floor, there is a sitting room, two double bedrooms and a kitchen. The family has a small farm and offers natural products to tourists.
  • Inga Sergia homestay, Rustaveli n123 (Oposite main bridge which is near tourist information), 568355551. Nice homestay in Soviet time apartment, a trip to past. Host is a little bit crazy old lady, but she is very nice, speaks only Russian. Sheets are clean, hot shower. 20.  edit
  • 85 Likani Guesthouse Borjomi, 85 Meskheti Street, Tsqarostan, Likani, Borjomi, Georgia (3 kms from town center, landmark in front of Tsqarostan (flowing drinking water)), + 995597005282 / + 995577382120, [3]. Settled 2 kms from the entrance of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, this homey guesthouse could accommodate 12 persons in all 4 rooms. 25 GEL per bed or 75 GEL per room of 3 beds. Complete kitchen facilities, hot shower, washing machine. 3 kms from the town center along the Meskheti Street, it is easily accessible by road. Landmark is the famous Tsqarostan, a water source with free clean drinking water. Near the guesthouse is a campsite with a water source where campers could pitch their own tents and cook their food. The owner's son Soso speaks Georgian, English and Russian. Ruby speaks English, Tagalog and some Japanese. Massage therapy / Reflexology is available from an ex-Dubai therapist and can be free to do other guests staying in other places. Depending on the therapist's availability, guests may get free samples of back massages. Email: [email protected]  edit
  • Hillside Guest House, Gogias Tsikhe St 4 (The house is located 5 minutes up the hill from the center), +995568737361, [4]. Excellent central location only approx. 400 m from the bus station (Direction towards the Museum). Still very quiet, due to location at the end of a dead end street. Sitting in front of the guesthouse can be very relaxing, especially when Nick's two cats are around. Nick and his mother are very friendly, helpful and socialising. Nick speaks English quite well. The local breakfast prepared by Nick's mother was always very yummy and filling. Also it was easy to get in contact with other travellers here, which added to the traveller friendly atmosphere. WiFi worked very well and washing service can be provided. A good viewpoint for the city near the Gogia Fortress is situated only a 15 minutes hike behind the guesthouse. Everything in town can be reached on foot. Many side trips by public transport can be done from Borjomi. 20 Gel and up.  edit
  • Camp Borjomi Spa Hostel, Rustavelli Street, 1 Schesaxvevi, Bina 2A (From Elit Electronics, walk to the right side of the Y-road, on the left side there will be a grey gate with stairs behind. Climb to the 2nd floor.), +995 597005282. First hostel with a 5-star spa treatment offered to guests and non-guests. Asian international therapists on call. Therapy includes: DORN Method therapy, Breuss therapy, Advanced Therapeutic Massage, Thai Yoga Bodywork, Yoga, Cupping therapy, Reiki, Anti-cellulite therapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Maternity therapy, Foot Reflexology, Back massage. FREE Yoga class on Fridays and Saturdays (subject to instructor's availability). We have a natural air ionizer to help your breathing problems while inside using Himalayan Salt therapy. The Kabayan hostel in Georgia. Tours are also offered. Including 3-day Tour-A-Thon, to Extended Tour-A-Thons, Camping tours, Yoga retreats, Mountain boarding tours (first in Caucasus!), thermal pool trips. Rate is 50 GEL per person in a 2-bed room and double bed plus 1. 50 GEL.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • It is possible to reach Tbilisi, using the train from railway station #1 (4.5 hours, 2 GEL) or minibus (2 hours, 8 GEL). Trains leave Borjomi every day at 7:00 and 16:40. There is an abundance of minibuses to Tbilisi, pretty much one leaving every hour during day time.
  • The sightseeing train [6] to Bakuriani ski resort (1 or 2 gel, 38 km) which leaves from railway station #2 is nice for sightseeing and takes 2 hours. It leaves Borjomi for Bakuriani every day at 7:15 and 10:55. Trains in the opposite direction leave Bakuriani at 10:00 and 14:15.


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