Ozurgeti is the small town capital of Georgia's Gurian region. Guria is the smallest region of the country bordering Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, the Black Sea and Adjara. It’s Black Sea coastline that stretches to 22 kilometers, mountainous resorts, food, and subtropical micro climate what makes the city a touristic destination.
The nearest international airport is Batumi international airport (58,2km) in Adjara region. Kutaisi International Airport is (67.4 km) in Imereti region, while Tbilisi international airport is (350km).
Ozurgeti has a railway station which can be reached both from Batumi and Tbilisi. Ozurgeti is end point of a branch line from Natanebi on the Black Sea coast. There are two trains leaving from Tbilisi daily. The first one leaves at 9.00 a.m. and arrives at 17.10. it costs 10 GEL. And there is a night train that leaves Tbilisi Train Station at 21:45. It has three kinds of carriages: third class (Platskart) cost 8.5 GEL, second class (Kupe) costs 21 GEL, and first class (Rbili Modern) costs 35GEL. Tickets from both cities can be bought at stations and online.
a magnificent and newly renovated neoclassical building, is located approximately 500 m north of the center at the end of the Ilia Chavchavadze Street. There is a ticket office and Mini Bus station over there. Taxis await incoming passengers. A taxi from the station to city costs 3-5 lari, to villages 4-20 lari.
The most convenient and cheap way to get to Ozurgeti is by famous minivans called "Marshuktas". They run daily from every major city.
There are "Marshuktas" minivans, that run daily from Kutaisi Main Statin behind the Mcdonalds at 10:30 11:30, 13:10, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30.
The main bus station is situated south of the city center next to the large roundabout.
Ozurgeti lies on the well-developed regional road "შ 2" (Kobuleti - Chokhatauri - Sadzhavakho - Samtredia), "შ 46" Ureki-Natanebi-Ozurgeti and "შ 84" Lanchkhuti - Lesa - Ozurgeti; about 7km east from the regional road 'შ 47" Nasakirali - Schuchuti. Roads are paved with asphalt, except "შ 84" which is paved with concrete. Roads are beautiful, but winding, and are ideal for a scenic drive.
A small town, Ozurgeti is easily covered on foot. Also, Ozurgeti is a bicycle-friendly city. You can rent a bike and easily reach neighbouring places. There are also taxi's available that you can negotiate the price with, 1-2 Gel per kilometre is an alright price.
Ozurgeti has following districts: the center, where government, financial, shopping and service provider institutions are based, Seri south from the center, located on the small hill, historical part of the town Ekadia, former village, now part of the town, south of river Bzhuzhi; Anaseuli - Soviet-era settlement with former tea factory and scientific institutions and sleeping districts: Lashe-Gakiruli in the eastern part of the town, Zvani in the western part and Moidanakhe on the northern hill, where the town's major cemeteries are located.
The main sightseeing in the town is an archaeological site, Ancient Baths in ozurgeti, which were built and used by rulers of Principality of Guria - Gurieli. Baths are located on the central square of the town. Ruins are left open-air, so its free to visit. These baths must have been oldest building in the town. The oldest survived building of the town is Bishops residence, built in 1863, used to be a residence of the noble family, which is now used as a residence of the local Bishop of Georgian Orthodox Church. XIX century typical Gurian wooden houses, with balconies and tile roofs can be found scattered in the town.
The city center is dominated by Ozurgeti Dramatic Theatre (currently under construction) the second largest theater building in Georgia, with statue of Alexander Tsutsunava, famous Georgian movie director, born in Ozurgeti. The city center extends along the Chavchavadze street north to the quite remarkable train station. All around are typical magnificent Soviet buildings of the 1930s to the 1960s, in the classical style, such as Former movie theater - built in 1930s and renovated 1980s, but nonfunctional yet. Slightly away from the town center is a industrial complex of a clay factory with glorious Soviet residential and administrative buildings and the wall mosaics. Also noteworthy is a mural at a sports school |image=Ozurgeti Sports School.jpg}} near the train station. Another Soviet industrial and administrative building can be found in Road to, an outskirt in south-western part of the town.
There are also two newly built, Postmodern architecture buildings: Police Office (2009) and Public Service Hall (2012).
Museums and galleries
The Historical Museum of Ozurgeti has been founded in 1936. Nowadays more than 6000 exhibits, from 9,000 BC until today, are stored in the museum. Numerous unique materials have been accumulated during 75 years in the founds of Ozurgeti Historical Museum, at list there are Neolithic stone weapons, produced 7000 years ago, Best models of Kolkhian culture from Early, Middle and Late Bronze age, collections of Kolkhian axes; burial ground stocks aged with Late Bronze- Early Iron period; Golden and silver things of Antique period: golden breastplate, the fragment of golden bracelet (both of them are beautified with Almandine crystal); silver dish, measuring-glass; The water pipes, heads of the columns, the thing for incense, glass of the window, the brick for building; diversified numismatic collections: Kolkhian Tetri of VI-III centuries BC, golden coin of Alexander Macedonian; the coins of georgian Kings; Silver, rare European coins; well-known Rapier of Napoleon, many historical photos, documentary materials.
Here are archaeological artifacts exhibited, as well as an exhibition on the life of Ektwmie Takaischwili can be seen. Museum is located in old Gurian type wooden house, with fireplace and balcony.
Parks and gardens
Ozurgeti is known for its gardens, some of them date back to XIX century. Scottish gardener Jacob Mar developed town garden in early 1810s fot his client Principal of Guria Mamia III Gurieli. That garden now is divided into three parts.
Theater building and has an open-air mini-football ground, there is, also, Statue of Alexander Tsutsunava, famous Georgian director, who was born in Ozurgeti and Ozurgeti dramatic Theater is named after him; and former, which is located in front of Dimitri Gurieli's palace. Slightly south of the park, a car-free area with a Soviet-era can be found.
Other parks are:
Around the town
Festivals and performances
Despite Georgia's failure to score a major success since independence, football (soccer) remain the most popular sport in the country, and Ozurgeti as well. The town has two major sports clubs - Mertskhali (the swallow), which has the home ground Megobroba (friendship) and Rugby club Piralebi (robbers), which has the home ground Zvani field. Sports Season in Georgia lasts from September to May.
Eating in Ozurgeti is very cheap. Prices per person may be vary from US$7-12. Do not buy wine in restaurants, its better to buy wine in a shop and take it in restaurant. The best choices are Corn bread, cheese, cucumber and tomato salad, eggplant with nuts, barbecue, kebab, Khachapuri, Beef with potatoes (Ojakhuri), fried chicken in garlic (Shkmeruli).
If you get invited in someones house, your host may also offer you Georgian "chacha," an outrageously potent vodka distilled from grapes.
There is only one hotel in Ozurgeti and some Guesthouses. Guesthouses are good opten for budget travelers. They are clean, safe and cheap and give opportunity, to meet local people. A wide range of accommodation are available in the beach resort towns Ureki and Kobuleti, where, however, many businesses are closed during winter.
See also: Georgian phrasebook
Gurians speak much more quickly than average Georgians from other regions, so it is more complicated to understand them. The older generation speaks Russian fluently, and Armenian as well. The younger generation now studies English. Almost every school in Ozurgeti has a native English-speaking teacher. There are some US and European volunteers who speak English as well. When in need for help, look for younger people; they are more likely to know some English.
There are no universities in the town. Only one technical school operates. Wide range of driving schools is in Ozurgeti. It seems easyer to get driver's license in Ozurgeti then in other towns in Georgia.
Working time in Ozurgeti starts at 09:00 or 10:00 and end at 16:00–18:00. Locals like to take an hour lunch break and enjoy their food while socializing with their co-workers. Approaches to punctuality used to be very relaxed. Summer (late July-August) and January are months when people take two weeks or a whole month off work to enjoy vacationing with family. A local wage in Ozurgeti will typically be around 300–400 lsri a month, with only a small section of public servants making in the range of 800–1000 lari a month.
Foreigners working in Ozurgeti are employed as volunteers. There are volunteers from the US Peace Corps and EVS (European Volunteering Service) volunteers from Poland, Germany, and Lithuania. These volunteers mostly work for the NGOs Young Pedagogues Union, Guria Youth Resource Center and Student Youth Council.
Free wireless internet is avilable in the Platanus garden and Culture and Resort Park, free internet is avialable in Public Service Hall, also.
There are 3 GSM operators of mobile phone service: Magticom, Geocell and Beeline. Their offices are near each other on the Chavchavadze Str.
Ozurgeti is very safe for travelers. the crime rate is among the lowest in Europe. Most of the streets are illuminated at night. Police cars patrol the streets in the town and can help with any problem. Call 112 in any case of emergency (police, ambulance, fire).
Tap water is good for drinking in Ozurgeti. Ozurgeti has one of the best tap water among Georgia's cities.
You will find many gyms in the town. One of them is on the second floor of shopping mall on Eristavi Street, called My Fitness. Monthly ticket costs 70 lari. Olympic House is located on 26 Rustaveli Street. Monthly ticket costs 60 lari. There is a gym in Sports Palace is on the second floor. Ticket costs 50 lari and covers 12 visit to the gym. You can work out in Park of Culture and Resort, where open-air training equipment is available.
Modernized hospital is located on the "Seri" hill and is seen from the town center.
There are four pharmacies open 24/7, in front of "Bazari", GPC, PSP, Impex and Aversi.
There are plenty of buses and minibuses to neighboring villages (generally 0.5-2 lari). Buses and minibuses leave from central bus station in the south part of the town, or from the station on Aghmashenebeli Str, near big roundabout. The best destination may include
Villages and rural tourism
Beach resorts (only in summer)
Outside of the Guria region, popular destinations may include Kobuleti and Batumi. There are plenty minibuses, they leave in every hour from 8AM to 5PM to Batumi. Travel to Batumi costs 5 lari, to Kobuleti - 3 lari.