Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისი)  is the capital city of the country of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari river. The city covers an area of 726 km² (280.3 square miles) and has a population of approximately 1,345,000.
Tbilisi lies in the centre of eastern Georgia, in the foothills of the Trialeti mountain range. According to Georgian legends, it was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali who, while hunting, shot a pheasant which fell into a warm spring and was either boiled or healed. Either way, the king was inspired to found a city on the site, and the name of the city derives from the Georgian word tbili meaning "warm". Although the city has been destroyed and rebuilt some 29 times, the layout of the Old Town is largely intact with narrow alleys and big crooked houses built around courtyards.
Tbilisi International Airport entrance/exit
Tbilisi International Airport (IATA: TBS) (ICAO: UGTB),  is 17km southeast of the city center. A new, modern terminal was inaugurated on February 7, 2007. George W. Bush Avenue leads from the airport to downtown Tbilisi.
The following airlines operate service to/from Tbilisi:
Air Astana (Almaty),
Aerosvit Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil, Odessa),
Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv),
Austrian Airlines (Vienna),
Azerbaijan Airlines (Baku),
Czech Airlines (Prague),
Estonian Air (Tallinn),
Euroline (Almaty, Donetsk, Dubai, Kharkiv, Odessa, Vilnius)
Georgian Airways (Amsterdam, Athens, Dubai, Kiev-Boryspil, Minsk, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tehran-Imam Khomeini, Tel Aviv, Vienna),
LOT Polish Airlines (Warsaw),
Pegasus Airlines (Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen),
Qatar Airways (Doha,Baku),
Sky Georgia (Batumi, Antalya),
TAM Air (Donetsk, Kharkiv),
Turkish Airlines (Istanbul-Atatürk), and
Ukraine International Airlines (Kiev-Boryspil)
Bus #37 leaves from the right corner of the arrival area every 15-30 minutes, between 8:00 and 20:00 and then every hour until 23:00 to the city center. It travels via Avlabari, Freedom Square, Rustaveli, Republic Square and Tamar Bridge, to the main train station (Vagzal). The trip can take over 50 minutes. The fare is 0.50 GEL.
Taxis between the airport and the city cost 20-30 Lari. Standard rates are listed on a board by the taxi rank as you exit the airport, on the right hand side.
Trains from the airport to the main train station cost 2 GEL and are fast. The train runs only 6 or 7 times a day but the trips are synchronized with flight arrivals so it's worth checking the schedule. Schedules change from time to time, currently the trains run in betwee 3.15 AM and 18.05 from the central train station.
If you are traveling to/from Mestia, there are flights available 5 days per week for 75 lari. You can reserve tickets in the Courtyard Mariott on Freedom Square from 9am-1pm in the Pegasus airlines office. Note that flights to and from Mestia are cancelled at least 50% of the time due to weather in the mountains; as a result, it's not recommendable to fly to Mestia soon before an international departure.
Domestic trains run between Tbilisi and Batumi, Gori, Kutaisi, Samtskhe Javakheti, Marneuli, Poti, and Zugdidi. An international train runs regularly between Tbilisi and Baku.
An overnight sleeper train runs from Yerevan to Tbilisi on even days of the year starting at 5600AMD ~$15 (Dec 2011). Tickets can be bought at the Yerevan train station, cash only (for detailed information call information centre: 1-84 (from Armenia) or 374-10-511883; or visit http://www.ukzhd.am/ru_passenger.html).
The train from Baku to Tbilisi is not very nice and is pretty hot. The train will have to wait for a pretty long time at the border crossing, and you will have to pay fee for everything that you bring, mostly if it is for sale or in big quantities.
Luks Karadeniz operates a daily bus from Turkey, costing 70 YTL. Bus services from Russia have been suspended.
Regular buses or marshrutkas run between Tbilisi and Batumi or Kazbegi as well as Azerbaijan and locations in Armenia.
Neo-Turs bus company offers bus transfers Tbilsi - Thessaloniki - Athens and back, starting from Didube bus station (price: 100 US-$).
The main mini-bus station can be found at Metro stationDidube. Buses 21 and 46 lead there from the city center. It's rather large, and you'll find minibuses to almost anywhere. Once at the metro platforms, take the train on the right (going forwards). This direction takes you to the main station and centre. There are no signs in English.
For minibuses to some destinations (e.g. Sighnaghi), you must go to Samgori, at Samgori metro station.
Minibuses from Yerevan will drop you off at Ortachala bus station.
Tbilisi is located inland and does not have ferry connections. You may be able to catch a ferry from the Ukraine to Batumi, eight hours away.
Main transport inside and outside the Tbilisi city is bus and minibus - marshrutka.
One of Tbilisi metro stations
Freedom Square metro station
Tbilisi has a two-line metro system, which are served from 6:00 AM until midnight.
All signs inside the metro are in Georgian and English. Station names are announced in both English and Georgian as well. There are rarely system maps on the train cars themselves. You will be lucky to find English speakers riding the Metro; you will however have better luck with Russian which is widely spoken. Take a bilingual map with you if you are not proficient with the local alphabet/pronunciation.
A trip with the metro in Tbilisi costs 0.50 GEL. But you will have to buy a card (2 GEL) at the counter. You can load the card with any amount you like, and use it for travel both on the metro and on buses. Using the metro card, metros and buses cost 0.50 GEL the first time in the day, then decreases to 0.30 GEL the second time, then 0.20 GEL the third time and all future rides on that day. You can use one card for multiple people, however, the second person will cost 0.50 GEL each time.
City buses are yellow, and come in various sizes. The bus number and a description of the route are usually listed on signs in the bus windows, but only in Georgian. The city recently installed electronic arrival boards, with reasonably accurate estimated arrival times, at bus stops on major roads. The signs are in English and Georgian, and display the bus number, minutes to arrival, and destination.
Board through any door you like, usually the double doors in the middle are easiest. A journey costs 0.50 GEL, and exact change is required if you don't have a touch card (which can be purchased at metro stations). Hold onto the ticket you receive on the bus; you will need to present it to the yellow-shirted ticket checkers.
Marshrutkas are vans which service the side streets of the city; they are independently owned. Like buses, the route is posted in the front window (often only in Georgian), but marshrutkas use a different route numbering system, and the route descriptions may be more general than the buses (e.g. "Vake" rather than a specific street in the Vake area). Fare is (on average) 0.80 GEL; shout "gacheret" when you want to get off, and hand the driver your fare on the way out. In the new yellow Ford Transit vans you can pay also with the electronic card you need for the metro.
Taxis in Tbilisi are typically privately owned vehicles, and don't run on a meter. If you're going anywhere other than the nearest metro station, major hotels, or tourist destinations, or if you don't speak Georgian or Russian, it's likely that your driver will stop multiple times and ask pedestrians for directions. Even then, he may not know how to get to your destination. If the driver has difficulty finding your destination, he will charge you for his trouble. ALWAYS negotiate a price beforehand, and insist on paying before departing. A trip anywhere in the city should never cost more than 15 lari, unless you're going to the airport.
Overlooking old district and the River
- G. Chitaia Ethnographical Open-Air Museum, Tortoise’s pond lane. Every day, except Monday 11:00AM-4:00 pm. 70 houses and thrift buildings characteristic for the various parts of Georgia. 8000 household devices and samples of craft are exposed in the museum Adults: 3 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
- Numismatic Museum, G. Leonidze str.N3/5 (Building of the National Bank of Georgia). Coins dating back to the IV century BC, Kolkhian Tetries, antique coins, Arabian Dirham, coins of then Georgian kings Lasha-Girgi, Rusudan, Demetre I, Giorgi III, also the Turkish coins , Persian Abaz, Austrian and Polish Thalers.
- Museum of Art, L. Gudiashvilistreet 1, ☎ (+995 32) 99 99 09. Every day, except Monday 11:00AM-4:00 pm. Adults: 3 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
- Janashia Museum, Rustaveli avenue 3,. This museum houses hundreds of thousands of Georgian and Caucasian artifacts of archeology and ethnography. A permanent exposition chronologically follows the development of Georgia’s material culture from the Bronze Age to the early 20th century. The most valuable exhibits include Homo Ergaster fossils discovered at Dmanisi; the Akhalgori hoard of the 5th century BC which contains unique examples of jewelry, blending Achaemenid and local inspirations; a collection of approximately 80,000 coins, chiefly of Georgian minting; medieval icons and goldsmith pieces brought here from various archeological sites in Georgia; a lapidary which includes one of the world’s richest collection of Urartian inscriptions, etc. Adults: 3 GEL; Students: 1.5 GEL; Guided tour: 10 GEL.
- Puppet Museum, Shavteli N 17a, ☎ (+995 32) 99 53 37. every day except Monday. Summer: 11:00am-18:00pm; Winter: 11:00am-17:00pm. Adults: 3 GEL; Children: 1 GEL.
- Galaktion Tabidze Museum, Marjanishvili N 4. Every day except Sunday and Monday: 11:00 am till 17:00 pm. The museum of the eminent Georgian poet, Galaktion Tabidze.
Art Centres & Galleries
- Tiflis Avenue is an art centre and a gallery that represents a variety of Georgian artists working in different media. The gallery is located in an old town, on King Erekle II Street, where exhibitions of art are held regularly. Tiflis Avenue also runs an online art store  with the largest selection of contemporary Georgian art. Gallery open Tuesday-Sunday 12noon-9pm. Entrance free.
- Mamadaviti, (south –west of Tbilisi on Mtatsminda). Constructed in 1859-1871, domed in 1879.
- Sioni Church, (upper Kala).
- Sameba Cathedral/Holy Trinity Cathedral Church. Constructed in 2002, the largest church in Georgia and one of the most grandiose orthodox churches. 101 meters high.
- Anchiskhati - constructed by the king Dachi Ujarmeli in VI century
- Kvashveti - Was constructed in 1910 and it is a copy of Samtavisi church of the 11th century
- Synagogue, K. Leselidze street. Functioning synagogue constructed in 1910. Women and men are seated separately.
- Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures, (Mtatsminda Mountain, in the churchyard around St. David’s Church - Mamadaviti). Many famous writers, as well as the mother of Joseph Stalin, are buried here.
- Old Tbilisi. Perhaps one of the most distinctive pleasures of walking through the Old City, with its old-style balconies, ancient churches, winding streets, and charming shops. Be prepared to see a number of eclectic sights, from the abandoned streetcar near Erekle Street to the art galleries of Chardini Street to the stunning modern art lining Sioni Street. Sub-neighborhoods include Sololaki, with its elegant restaurants and art nouveau architecture, Old Tbilisi proper - with sites ranging from churches to mosques to sulfur baths, Betelmi - housing two of the city's oldest churches and the stunning vistas of the Narikala Fortress - and Mtsasminda, just up the mountain from Rustaveli Avenues, a more sedate, "livable" district filled with charming old houses and a number of families.
- Vake. Located around Chavchavadze and Abashidze avenues, this is one of Tbilisi's posher districts, home to many expats and nouveaux riches. While not quite as atmospheric as Old Tbilisi, Vake is home to some lovely parks, pleasant nineteenth-century architecture, and some of the city's most high-end shopping, including luxe furniture store Missioni. There are also plenty of elegant, if understated, bars and restaurants in this area...In Vake there are two buildings of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university. The university is founded by Ivane Javakhishvili in 1918 and is one of the historical buildings in Tbilisi.
- Sulfur Baths. The bath district is called Abanotubani and is on the south side of the Metekhi bridge. It is easy to spot with its small domes on ground level. There are several small baths offering different levels of comfort. The baths are relatively small, and you may have to wait for a pool to become available. English service is not guaranteed. Massages are available; however, they are more like a washing, but well worth it for the experience. You should bring your own towel and beach sandals (available for a small fee). Some travelers have suggested the Royal Baths is a much better alternative to Sulfur Baths (they are next to each other). Sulfur baths tends to double the price at the end of the massage and bath in spite of your original agreed price.
Also in other districts you can find sulphur baths. For example in the Kiev-ulica, A bit south east of metro station Marjanishvili, around the corner of hostel Green Stairs, there is an old, characteristic bath. In the evening you can get a private bath for 10 lari (although they call them roubles) and an additional towel is 2 GEL. Public Pool: 2 GEL; Private Pool: 10-80 GEL per hour; Massage 5-20 GEL.
- Tea Plantation.
- Turtle Lake (Kus Tba), (Take a taxi or walk up from Saburtalo). This lake is located in the hilly outskirts of Tbilisi. A popular weekend getaway for families, the lake offers pedal-boat rentals as well as swimming (deckchairs optional) for reasonable prices (swimming entry, without deckchair, is about 3 Lari). Allright for a hot summer day, and offering views of both the mountains and the city below. Snackbars, restaurants and fruit cocktail shakers are available overlooking the lake. It's about an hour's pleasant walk from the Saburtalo district along country roads, passing the Ethnographical Museum, or a ten-to-fifteen minute (5-10 lari) cab ride from the center. While the lake itself isn't particularly nice, the views from the hike up to the lake makes it a worthwhile excursion.
- Lake Lisi(Lisis Tba). Much further out than Turtle Lake (a cab will set you back about 10-15 lari each way), Lake Lisi is much larger and more remote, with long, winding mountain walks surrounding the lake. Unlike Turtle Lake, the entire Lake Lisi is opened up for swimmers. Be warned - there aren't always taxis waiting to take you back...
- Climb up to the Narikala Fortress. The crumbling ruins of this once-great fortress, standing alongside the Upper Betelmi Churches and the stunning Botanical gardens, offer panoramic views of the city below. But be warned - it's quite a steep climb - and while the lack of bureaucracy and guard-rails can be liberating for some, you may want to pay extra care to watch your step.
- Botanical garden. National botanic garden of Georgia, lying in the Tsavkisis-Tskali Gorge near Narikala Fortres, has not only collection of plants, but is also a lovely park with with scenic waterfall which is great for a dip on a hot summers' day, although you need to avoid the guards. 1 GEL pp.
- TV antenna park (high on the hill), (Bus 124 from Rustavelli). bus until 23h. Take the bus up to the park to have fun with your kids, or to take a ride in the ferris wheel. The ride is 1,6 lari, and you need to buy a access card at a cashiers desk for 1 lari.
The Saturday flea market ("Dry Bridge Market") by the river (on the "Dry Overpass" and surrounding areas) is one of the best places to get jewellery, antiques and even antiques swords, as well as musical instruments and electronics. Haggling is encouraged, although if you speak little Georgian or Russian you may experience the odd juxtaposition of bargaining for antiques using the type-pad of your vendor's mobile phone.
The daily main marketplace - for fruits and vegetables as well as electronics and DIY/hardware-store type supplies is across the river, near Didube.
- Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, and Other Jewellery - Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewellery, because of its cheap cost and superior quality.
- Art & Paintings – Georgian artists, such as Pirosmani, Gigo Gabashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Korneli Sanadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sergo Kobuladze, Simon Virsaladze, Ekaterine Baghdavadze, Maka Kiknadze-Kipiani and others, are famous for their work. In Georgia you will find many various art shops, paintings and painters who sell their works on the streets, including during the Saturday antique market. Their work is amazing and prices are very reasonable as well.
- Tiflis Avenue art centre offers artworks by a variety of Georgian artists working in different media. It keeps an online gallery  with the largest selection of art in Georgia. Tiflis Avenue keeps a physical gallery in an old town, on King Erekle II Street, where it regularly handles solo and group exhibitions by young or established artists. Open Tuesday-Sunday 12noon-9pm. The quality of art is outstanding and the prices reasonable.
- Antiques & Other Misc. Gifts – in Georgia you will able to find many antiques not only from Georgia, but Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian and European as well.
- Georgian Wine - Georgia is the cradle of wine making, and with 521 original varieties of grape you will be sure to find excellent wines.
- Cognac - Georgian cognac is unique as it's made from Georgian wine.
- Mineral Waters - Try Borjomi, Sairme, Nabeghlavi mineral waters from famouse Georgian resort places.
- Carpets - Outside the cities, you might find an original hand-made carpet for sale.
- Chacha - Grape vodka, a Georgian version of Everclear.
- Goodwill, Chavchavadze Avenue. Second only to Prospero's Bookstore as an expat paradise, Goodwill offers an enormous range of products - mostly groceries, although the larger out-of-town branch stocks a wider supply - imported from the rest of Europe. From German tuna fish to Italian pasta, Goodwill will satisfy all your brand cravings, albeit for significantly more than you'd pay at home.
- Dzveli Saxli (Old House), 3 Sanapiro St. (Right on the Mtkvari River), . 12:00-24:00. Live traditional Georgian music and singing starts at around 6 PM every day, although it's also the perfect place for a quiet post-flea market weekend lunch. Stunning river-views and faux-rural atmosphere - enormous portions at relatively reasonable prices. Credit cards accepted.
- Shemoikhede Genatsvale, 25 Leselidze St., ☎ +995 32 243 96 46, . Delicious food cheaper than in the restaurants surrounding it. Khinkali are around .50 GEL each. Try the ones filled with potato and beef with greens (seasonings). $7-10.
- Cafe Gabriadze, Shavtelis Qucha (Right off Baratashvili street, next to the puppet theatre). Formerly the trendy "Sans Souci," this artsy eatery (owned by master puppeteer Gabriadze himself) has reopened after a lengthy renovation period. With a quirkily bohemian decor and inventive takeoffs of classic Georgian dishes (just try their lobio!), the fare here is a cut above the standard khachapuri-and-khinkhali dinner options.
- Kala, 8/10 Erekle II St., ☎ 899 79 97 37, . 10:00 - 02:00. Hip cafe/restaurant with live Jazz most evenings. Seemingly twinned with its far cheaper neighbor KGBs. Wi-Fi; Credit card payment accepted. Food seems to have gone downhill in recent months, however, and is increasingly overpriced for the quality. 20-25 GEL.
- KGBs, 8/10 Erekle II St. (right next to Kala), (fax: """). With the tagline "we're still watching you," this painfully hip piece of Soviet Kitsch wouldn't be out of place in Williamsburg. Menu offerings include "Proletariat pizza" and meals advertised as "Lenin's favorite dish." The cheque comes in vintage Soviet working papers. Much cheaper than Kala. 15 GEL.
- Khinklis Sakhli (Khinkali House), 37 Rustaveli Ave., ☎ 893 75 66 71. 09:30-23:30. All Khinkali, all the time. 12 GEL.
- Machakhela. 10:00 till midnight. Biggest restaurant chain specialising in Georgian pastries, with 10 locations in Tbilisi. 'Khachapuri'-traditional Georgian cheese pie, baked in wood-fired oven. Credit cards accepted.
- Tamada, 37 Orbeliani St (near GTC mall), ☎ +995322923280, . 09:00 - 02:00. Ethnographic restaurant. Evenings Georgian music and dances. WiFi available. 25 GEL.
- Taglaura, . Good Georgian food, locally brewed beer, traditional barbeque, live music and outdoor seating. Four locations in Tblisi.
- Tsisqvili (Windmill). Amazing menu & food, superb customer service and great design.
- Caravan, Purseladze Street. (off Rustaveli Avenue by the cinema), (fax: """). A travel-themed "literary cafe" with East-meets-West decor, a menu that fuses Georgian classics with Middle Eastern treats, and a whole host of travel books on the shelves. Free wifi. 15 GEL.
- Cafe Flowers, Avlabari Ascent (in the pink house overlooking Europa Square). Sporting the most stunning views in Tbilisi, the terrace at Cafe Flowers (so named for the gorgeous flora that adorn the terrace and adjacent garden) overlooks the Old Town from across the river. Food is generally good, although be wary of dairy-based dishes lest you come down with "Saakashvili's Revenge" . 30 GEL.
- Lunch ladies, Corner of Zubalashvilebi and Laghidze (From Rustaveli, turn uphill at the big Magti store (number 22). Head uphill past the Music Conservatory and look for a tiny hut on the street corner at the T-junction.). Run by three friendly women, this tiny take-out place serves a wide variety of delicious home-style salads, in addition to a good selection of khatchapuri, at great prices. Make sure to ask for a "guruli" khatchapuri, a style served with boiled egg inside that is most commonly made during the holidays. If you're looking for a cheap, quick lunch but want to try something besides khatchapuri and lobiani, this is the place to visit. No English, but you can see and point to everything. 5 GEL.
- Asian Town, 28 Janashia Street. (5 minutes from Rustaveli metro), ([email protected]). Central Asian Cuisine: Uzbek Pilaf, Uygur Laghman, great soups. 10-15 GEL.
- Chinese Restaurant, (Off Perovskaya St).
- Vong, (I. Abadshize Qucha). Pricey but delicious fusion-Asian cuisine served in a decadently authentic atmosphere
- New Asia Restaurant, (Up the hill from Rustaveli at the corner of Lagidze and Griboedovi streets. Oposite of Tbilisi State Conservatoire.).
- Qalaquri. Sushi + night club + Middle Eastern atmosphere, 4 floors.
- Sushi, (Perovskaya Street). A bit pricey but dependable sushi. Service is usually nice. Same menu and management as Tokyo Restaurant.
- Tokyo, (in Vake, on Abashidze Street). Japanese Restaurant
- Baan Thai, 4 Tabukashvili St. (Follow the road leading to the Radisson and continue past the Radisson as the road curves right. The restaurant is on the left side of the road, if you see the back side of the Opera house, you've gone too far.). This is the most authentic Thai restaurant in the city, and a favorite of local expats. Operated by a friendly Thai woman, it has good food and quick service, but it's easy to miss because it's on an unremarkable street between the Opera house and Radisson hotel. 25-40GEL. (41.702436381029,44.796265888856)
- Cafe de Paris, Saakadze square (in the city center). Famous for it's tasty salads and crepes. Nice place to spend time with friends. Outdoor garden seating.
- Cafe Canape, Abashidze Street (Vake). Reasonably priced, charming bistro with fusion French-Georgian cuisine and a neighborhood-y atmosphere. Definitely a brunch place for Vake's "smart set." The khachapuri is out-of-this-world.
- Graz Austrian Restaurant, (Behind City Hall off Freedom Square (go to the left of City Hall, back 1 block; restaurant is on your right at the first intersection, down the stairs). Great pepper steaks, soups and bread rolls. Currently closed down - perhaps permanently.
- Hadson and Hooker, Beliashvili Street (next to Cruise), ☎ (822)-53-10-18. American bar/restaurant. Live music every night from 20:30. Great breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Restaurant Mediterranean, 5 Irakli Abashidze, ☎ 22-10-15, . Lunch, dinner. The lively atmosphere, authentic décor and creative cuisine all reflect the region that inspired the restaurant. The extensive menu has Italian, French, Greek and Spanish influences. Unique dishes, fresh salads and seafood, pasta & risotto, grilled specialties and exclusive desserts have earned “Med” an impeccable reputation. The menu is complemented by an impressive wine list with a large “by-the-glass” selection and a full bar.
- Steak Hall, Perovskaya street.
- Zandukeli 40, Zandukeli Street (Straight up the hill from the Philharmony). European bistro with an emphasis on German food. Food and service are among the best in town, prices are very reasonable. Run by one of the longest-lasting expats in Tbilisi, Rainer Kaufmann
- Ronny's Pizza, 3 Vaja Pshavelas (next to the archive building in Saburtalo), ☎ 2-472-472 ([email protected]), . 11am-10pm 11am-11pm Fridays and Sat.. Lunch, dinner, delivery, take out and catering. Ronny's pizza comes in personal size, regular (12 inch) or extra large (18inch) Delivery charge based on kilometers all over Tbilisi. Classic American style pizza with mozzarella. Try the 4X4. The Super sticks with ranch dressing are great. Hot cars and fast pizza it says on the pizza box. Comfortable booth seating and a clean bathroom reminds me of the US. Kid friendly. $$.
- Elvis-American Diner- Rustaveli ave. Under the Tbilisi concert hall.
- Segafredo Zanetti Espresso, 26 Chavchavadze Avenue Ave. Premium quality coffee and delicious italian + european food. WiFi.
- coffee.ge, Three locations (24 Abashidze Str., 41 Chavchavadze Ave., 154 Aghmashenebeli Ave.). Delicious Pizza and other italian food. Delivers food to your home. WiFi.
- Fiorino, 77 Kostava St. - Saakadze square. Fiorino offers best pizzas in Tbilisi, one of the best carpaccios and veal. Relaxing environment and outdoor seating.
- Il Garage, Mozashvili street 26 (50m from Vake park). Decent versions of risotto, linguini, lasagna, and an excellent, huge antipasti misto. Pleasant outdoor seating in the summer and affordable prices year round. Run by Alberto - a real Italian.
- Prego, Three locations (Saburtalo, intersection of Vazha-Pshavela and Pekini St.; Vake, on Paliashvili, just below the round (UN) garden and the third in the old town, Erekle II st.). The best Italian food in Tbilisi. Prices are reasonable and service is usually good. Look out for the daily specials - usually a bit pricier, but worth it.
- Piano, Tabidze Street (right next to People's). This new Italian eatery feels more like a swank New York restaurant than a Georgian-style trattoria, with black-and-white Botticelli-inspired wallpaper and uber-trendy minimalist light fixtures. The food is reasonably priced for the - admittedly expensive - area, but it's good (especially the super-fresh tomato-based sauces) and air-conditioned to boot. Beware of the bread; it's so delicious, you'll be full before your appetizers arrive.
- Prospero's Bookstore and Caliban's Coffehouse, 34 Rustaveli Avenue (located in a courtyard by the entrance to the overpass near the opera, past the Sony store in the direction of the Rustaveli metro stop). With wireless internet, a bucolic courtyard, and spotless furnishings, this expat bookstore-cum-coffeehouse could be located in London's Notting Hill. The English books are reasonably priced, but the real gem is the atmosphere - a perfect escape for when Tbilisi's more chaotic pleasures start to become overwhelming. Enjoy an iced coffee or a scrumptious sandwich, effectively bilingual waitstaff, and try to strike up conversations with other foreigners.
Georgia is well known as the cradle of wine. Georgian wine was and still is the best in post-Soviet culture.
Georgia produces wine, and Georgians respect wine culture. Try one of the famous wines. The region which is popular for its wine production is Kakheti. This place has a great history of wine.
- Dublin, 8 Akhvlediani Street (off Rustaveli), ☎ +995 32 98 44 67. until 3:00. Irish pub with live music from 8pm-midnight. Try the meat wrapped in bacon. 30 GEL.
- Fahrenheit, 5 Vashlovani Street, ☎ 855 97 51 17. Live music everyday.
- Hadson & Hooker, 67 Beliashvili Street (Next to Cruise), ☎ +995 55 32 83 60. American bar. Exotic wine tasting every Thursday. Live music every evening/Can-can dancers/Billiards/darts
- Marco Polo, 44 Rustaveli Ave, ☎ +995 32 93 53 83.
- Old London, 6 Akhvlediani street, ☎ +995 57 27 91 94. Live music every evening.
- Pub Kolkheti, The left bank of the River Mtkvari, ☎ 8 99 76 06 54.
- Salve, Shalva Dadiani St 15 (located in the basement of an apartment building on a street off Freedom Square), ☎ (+99532)920131. Features a Nintendo game system. Very popular place.
- Scarlet Sails, 25 Leselidze Street, ☎ +995 32 93 10 28. On Fridays live music (light rock).
- Toucan, 8 Kiacheli Street, ☎ 99 65 53; 92 25 54. Live music performances 30-35 GEL.
- Hangar Bar. Irish pub run by an American couple. Very popular among expats.
- Bamba Rooms Lounge, Bambis Rigi st. 12 (Chardin area), ([email protected]), . The thing that catches your eye first is the crystal beads. You can’t miss it; it cascades down over the bar, white and glorious. It’s just one of the highlight in an incredibly striking space, designed by young Georgian architects. The results form one of Tbilisi's most achingly fashionable lounge cafe-bars with both inside and outside.Decent drinks are served alongside a selection of standard European dishes. Dining here becomes more glamorous when it gets to Japanese fusion. By day it’s quite casual, a popular lunch spot; by night it’s altogether different, the crowd is glam and the door policy can be tough.
- Cafe Rustaveli, 30 Rustaveli Ave, ☎ 032 98-58-800 ([email protected], fax: 032 93-58-80), . Currently closed due to bankruptcy, but hopes to reopen following a lawsuit. More a café for food rather than drinks, offers a wide selection of Georgian and "western"-style food in addition to a good selection of coffee, tea, & alcoholic beverages. 2-4 USD.
- Entree, 20 Rustaveli Ave, ☎ 891-193-968. 8-22. A great cafe with tasty pastries, good coffee, and free wi-fi. 5-10 GEL.
- Four Seasons, 4 Mickevich Street (Steps from Gamsakhurdia ave), ☎ 99532-144440. 11AM-1AM. Cozy place with lounge-sitting rooms and unique interior. European cuisine. Prices are affordable and nice music is played. 15 GEL.
- Cafe Casablanca, Bambis Riga (Chardini St. Area) (Towards the end of Bambis Riga). With Humphrey Bogart quotes on the menu and enormous "Casablanca" posters on the wall, not to mention the tantalizing white piano indoors, Cafe Casablanca is an homage to one of cinema's most romantic movies. With a menu that blends retro Americana and Moroccan cuisine, and Hollywood-price cocktails, this is one of the most atmospheric bars in the city. Live light jazz and chansons on Saturday.
- Elvis Cafe just opened in about July 2010 in the Philharmonic Center (hint: take the underground walkway to get over - traffic is busy and unpredictable). Elvis Cafe offers American, Italian, Thai/Asian fusion cuisine and sushi. They also have a bar (alcohol) and a nice selection of deserts. Food is fast and tasty, very clean and bright. Staff speaks English.
- People's Cafe and Restaurant, 10 Tabidze street (steps from Freedom Square), ☎ 995 32 45 0505; 984851 ([email protected]), . 11AM-2AM. A favorite place for locals and foreigners as well. Great place with terrace and lounge sitting. Winner of the best public place interior award in 2007. Delicious food and friendly staff – place where you can feel at home. 10-15 USD.
- Bamba Rooms Lounge, Bambis Rigi st. 7 (Chardin area), ([email protected]), . A unique and vibrant premier Restaurant & DJ Bar, having one of the chic locations at Tbilisi Chardin area, is one of the liveliest and trendiest spots attracting a younger, faster-living crowd and enthusiastic clubbers. A good combination of a restaurant and a bar for around 300 people is perfect for a quiet, romantic meal in early evenings while towards midnight at weekends the place erupts into a wild party zone. *bamba rooms at bambis rigi street is probably the best and newest club in tbilisi. you will feel like in London-NY with a great interior and nice lounge music and techno. Also beautiful gogo girls.
- Buddha Bar, Rikhe, 0144 Tbilisi, ☎ +99532 2 255222 ([email protected]), . 7pm - Late. Opened in March 2012. Latest arm of Buddha Bar asian inspired restaurant/lounge chain. Reservations are highly encouraged and sometimes a must. Reservations can be called in after 12pm daily. An excellent place for sushi and good lounge and electronic music. Expensive.
- Cubic, 45 Kostava Str. One of the best places for good house music, real minimal minmal techno and sometimes some breakbeats and dnb. Entrance: 30 GEL.
- GURU Club, 12 Rustaveli Ave, ☎ +995 32 98 38 03 ([email protected]), . ay, Saturday, Sunday 22:00-07:00. Foreign DJs and singers & G.U.R.U. show girls
- KalaKuri Restaurant/Club, 13 Shavteli St. (Mtatsminda District), ☎ +995 32 99 66 83. Club: Fridays and Saturdays from 23:00; Restaurant: 12:00-01:00pm; Lounge Bar: 17:00-03:00. Good night club, pop, 90s and modern music.
- Night Flight, Baratashvili Street (Under Baratashvili bridge). Open on Fridays and Saturdays.. Best House, Trance, Dance, Club music, finest Georgian and foreign DJs in Tbilisi. Drinks are a bit expensive, but worth it. Entrance: 30 GEL.
- В Тбилиси! (In Tbilisi!), Intersection Mikheil Tsinamdzghvrishvili street and Giorgi Mazniashvili street (Around the corner of Green Stairs-hostel, on the groundfloor behind the grey courtyard-door), ☎ +995 591 207186, . Friendly homestay/hostel run by Gia, a friendly elderly man who, besides this hostel, helps tourists to explore the wide surroundings of Tbilisi, also with his ancient blue Moskvitch taxi. The rooms are large, the beds comfy and the sheets and shower clean. Gia speaks way better Russian then English though. 25 lari.
- Boombully Rooms & Hostel, Rustaveli Ave. 24 (across from Opera House), ☎ +995 551 100172, +995 322 931638 ([email protected]), . Located in historical downtown, near many city attractions and the Old town District, block away from Prospero’s Books. The property is located in a historical building with many green, eco-friendly and sustainable elements, like vintage and re-purposed furniture.The sign on the front of building for Boombully isn't the most noticeable, so watch the building addresses as you pass them.
- City Hostel Waltzing Matilda, 11, Al. Chavchavadze str. (from Rustaveli near the Opera turn up the hill and go two blocks), ☎ +995 55 554 590 ([email protected]), . Friendly people, amazing view of the city, free wi-fi, possible airport transport for $20. dorm 17 GEL.
- Envoy Hostel, 45 Betlemi Street (Off Gorgasali Meidan, in the Old Town area), ☎ +995 322 920111 ([email protected]), . Boasting a large terrace with a view of the city. Their staff speak excellent English and are very knowledgeable and helpful. Newly renovated and clean, it has a high ratio of bathrooms per beds. Free breakfast is offered daily as well as Tea/ Coffee available all day. Free Wifi, laundry service, airport pick up and air conditioning/ central heating are just some of the conveniences offered. They also offer tours around Georgia as well as Armenia (including a weekly tour that takes you from Tbilisi to Yerevan with sightseeing and a bbq lunch!). They also have a hostel in Yerevan (ranked as Best Hostel in Armenia by HW 2010&11).
- Green Stairs Hostel, 53 (walk east from Marjanishvili metro station one block, turn right and it'll be a 5min walk on the left). Free wi-fi and a communal fridge. The hostel is very simple, but run by a nice couple who speak English. It's a little cold in the winter, but each room does have a space heater. The owner will drive you to the airport for 25 GEL. 25 GEL/room.
- Hosfer Hostel, Ritsi St , No.3 (Rustaveli , in front of Opera House , Al.Chavchavadze st. , last alley on your right , this is Ritsi St. , we are at No.3), ☎ +995 557 533476, +995 557 502987 ([email protected]), . Located in historical downtown,
- Old Town Hostel, Khodasheni St. 7 (Walk down from Freedom Sq. to Leselidze St and in 2 min you turn on your right (in front of TBC Bank Leselidze branch)), ☎ +99571004002, +99532986188 ([email protected]). Comfortable beds, clean, cozy, and friendly hostel. Airport transfer is possible. €10-14.
- REST Hostel Tbilisi, 68 Dimitri Uznadze St (Near Marjanishvili metro station), ☎ +995 599 164249, +995 598 111469 ([email protected]), . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Has 6 beds and one extra bed. Luggage storage, 24 hour reception, internet, computers, free wi-fi in room, cable TV/DVD, free towels, linen included, air conditioning, guest kitchen, bathroom/shower, laundry.Car service 4WD. €11.
- Rover Hostel, 14 Purtseladze St (From Rustaveli Avenue turn down at the crossroads with Purtseladze St (next to the Rustaveli Cinema, in front of the building of parliament) and in one and a half blocks you are there), ☎ +995 32 93 65 20, . checkout: 11AM. Clean and well arranged hostel with comfortable, quiet, and safe rooms. There is a common room for guest use with free internet access, WiFi, coffee and tea. There is one bathroom/shower with hot water all day long. Clean sheets, luggage storage, spacious lockers, personal reading lights and plugs, fully equipped laundry and kitchen facilities. 25 GEL.
- SkadaVeli, 27 Vertskhli str, ([email protected]), . Light, quiet and comfortable apartment located in Kala neighborhood. €30 per room of 2-3 beds.
- Star Hostel, 45 Verckhlis str (From Freedom Square walk north down Pushkini street, take first right at Vertskhli and you will see the sign.), ☎ +995 32 995099 ([email protected]). checkin: 13:00; checkout: 11:00. 2 Bed Apartment Ensuite available. Recently renovated and has all the modern amenities, including cable flat screen TV/DVD, free Internet & WiFi and a well supplied kitchen. Run by a friendly speaking couple. Not the coziest place, but owner can provide good information. Dorm: €12 per person per night.
- Tamuna's Guesthouse, 32. Chijobava str. near sabchos moedani (Close to the Marjanishvili Metro), ☎ +995 99 18 35 55 , +955 90 52 78 18 ([email protected]). Two bedrooms available, laundry facilities, free internet, living room, kitchen open for use, many TV channels, well heated in the winter. English is spoken here. 20-25 GEL per person/night.
- Tbilisi Friends Hostel ([email protected]), Betlemi Str. #28-30, entrance up from ascent Tumaniani street 9 (Old Tbilisi), ☎ +995 577 737771, . checkout: 12 pm. Near the Narikhala Fortress, surrounded by the traditional balconied Georgian houses and architecture. The building itself is a historic one, with old-styled interior. 10 beds in dorm and 2 privates.Nice balcony and common area, Old Town view, bar, BBQ area, guest kitchen. two showers. Dorm:€8, Privates: €12.
- Tbilisi Hostel, Avlabari, Makhati turn 22 (near Avlabari metro station, from the exit turn right and pass the market and bear right). Run by ex-backpackers. Popular among young backpackers, particularly those who are very price-conscious. Can be crowded and noisy. Free Internet & WiFi; guest kitchen; cheap laundry service. Advertises itself as a 'party hotel'. dorm: €10.55.
- Niki (Veronica) apartments, Chonkadze St #10, ☎ +995 93 16 39 36 ([email protected]). Warm and cosy apartments to stay at, a lovely and hospitable family run this place in Old Tbilisi, so backpackers who are into local lifestyle would be able to feel it by staying in a real georgian house, about 25$ per night/double bed. internet, stove and bath is available.
- Walker Hostel, 19 Gomi st. (From Freedom sq. to Leselidze st. in the end of Zdanevich upturn (behind Bethlemi st. 27).), ☎ +995 322 14 65 75, +995 555 55 66 65 ([email protected]). checkin: 14.00; checkout: 13.00. Cozy rooms, big living room, kitchen and balcony with incredible view. 24h reception, fan, airport transfers (11€), BBQ area, bicycle parking, cable TV, free parking, free WiFi, laundry, linen and towels included, lockers, luggage storage, tours/travel desk. €10. (41.688853562779656,44.80753540992737)
- Why Not Tbilisi Legend Hostel, Tabukashvili 15/4 (in centre), ☎ (+995)99007030 ([email protected]@gmail.com), . Awesome atmosphere, comfy beds. €10-15.
- GreenHouse Hostel, Akhvlediani Khevi 13 (old Tbilisi), ☎ (+995)599265432, (+599)32 2958377 ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. One may take advantage for enjoying the exhibition displayed by the owners of the Hostel. You will find friendly artistic environment as you can view Georgian ethnographic items, paintings and patchwork obtained and created by the hosts. €12 - €33.
- Beaumonde, 11 Chavchavadze St (Next to Rustaveli Avenue), ☎ 986-003, . A beautiful bed/breakfast with dinner. There are balconies and a roof deck. The breakfast and dinner are very filling. There is free internet. The family that runs the hotel is very warm and welcoming. Staff speaks Georgian, Russian, and some English. Single: €70; Double: €88, breakfast included.
- Betsy's Hotel, 32-34 Makashvili Street, ☎ +995 931404, 923996, 982615 ([email protected]), . 57 rooms.
- Hotel Ata, 17, Leselidze Street, ☎ +995 (32) 987715 ([email protected], fax: +995 (32) 986026), . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. Double: 100 Lari.
- Hotel British House, 32 Belinski Street, ☎ (+995 32) 98 87 83 ([email protected]), . A friendly personalised bed & breakfast. €70-100.
- Hotel Vere Inn, 53 Barnov street, ☎ (+995 32) 291252 ([email protected]), . 5 rooms. Very comfortable hotel in Vere, safe location with very friendly multilingual staff. Free WiFi. US$50-US$100, breakfast included.
- Hotel Charm, 11 Chakhrukhadze street, ☎ (+995 32) 985333 ([email protected]), . 7 rooms. Very nice hotel with very friendly staff. US$40-US$100, breakfast included.
- Hotel Georgian House, 38 Vakhtang VI street, ☎ +995 (32) 2791919 ([email protected], fax: +995 (32) 2791920), . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. Single: €35; Double: €45 including breakfast and VAT.
- Prestige Hotel, 51 Marjanishvili Street (in north, central Tbilisi on a quiet street), ☎ 995 32.940505, 32.942974, 32.952974 or 91.141500, . Quiet, comfortable, newly renovated. US$50 including breakfast.
- Hotel River Side, Brosse Street Turn | Right side of Mtkvari, . Really nice, comfortable. friendly staff. Free WiFi. US$110-US$140.
- TBILOTEL, 8, Daraselia str, ☎ +995 32 387804 ([email protected]), . a High Class Business and Leisure Hotel. offers 18 very comfortable room, standard and semi-suites, with balconies, Free Wi-Fi Internet, satellite TV and international phone. Reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day. Double: 170-190 Lari.
- VIP Hotel, 31, Leselidze Street. This is a lovely hotel in a quiet coutyard with views over the river. The owners are really charming people and the breakfast is excellent.. €50-60 per night.
- Betsy's Hotel, 32-34 Makashvili St., ☎ Tel.: (+995 32 ) 931404, 923996, 982615 (fax: "(995), .
- Courtyard Marriott Tbilisi, 4 Freedom Square, ☎ +995 (32) 779200 (fax: +995 (32) 779210), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. US$185+ per night.
- Hotel Vere Palace, 22-24 Kuchishvili street (Near the Zoo and Hero's Square), ☎ +995 32 253340/41/42 ([email protected]), . 4-star hotel.
- Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, Rose Revolution Square 1, ☎ +995 32 402200 ([email protected]), . Glass tower overlooking the river. 249 rooms. The fanciest hotel in the city.
- Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel, Issani, ☎ +995 (32) 772020 (fax: +995 (32) 772120), . 15 minute walk to the Old City and 5 minute walk to a subway station. US$200+ per night.
- Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, 13 Rustaveli Prospekt, ☎ +995 (32) 779200 (fax: +995 (32) 779210), . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. €212+ per night.
Tbilisi is very safe after the Rose Revolution. The police system was reformed completely and the recent polls show that public's trust in police shifted from nearly 10% to 88%. The police are usually quick to respond, though usually only Georgian and Russian are spoken.
While walking is generally fine, even for solo women, it makes sense to take a bus or taxi home at night. Use common sense and big-city awareness. Night time at the clubs and bars are safe, and taxi service is safe as long as it's a company taxi like "009" or others. The public bus is also a good, safe option for 0.50 lari.
- Police Tel: 022. or 112 from Mobiles.
- Ambulance tel: 022 or 033 or 031.
There are 3 GSM operators of mobile phone service:
- Magticom: provides 3G
- Geocell: provides 3G, covers all of Georgia, packet data deals available for prepaid
- Beeline: russian company, the cheapest of all sim cards, but does not get the best reception in some areas. buy a sim card at the office on Rustaveli Avenue or Ortachala international bus station (help-line number for Beeline mobile: 110101 from Georgia).
You should make a quick stop in the Tourism Office on the south side of Freedom Square upon arriving in Tbilisi. They provide a free, very detailed map of the city as well as varying levels of competency when it comes to information; they are often out of printed material, and it can take some time to extract maps, brochures, etc, as they keep most of these hidden behind the counter and are often oddly reluctant to part with them, though if you're politely persistent you may be able to get what you need. They can print out a list of hostels or hotels upon request. (August 11, 2011. For now, the tourism office is located in the Georgia Museum of History at 3 Rustaveli Street. It seems like they are doing repairs on their normal office.)
Stop by the Marriott Courtyard if you're lost - the staff are fairly fluent in English, and they are more than happy to provide you with free maps, and help you track down whatever you're looking for on a map before you leave.
When all you want is to order food in English and not be bothered, head to the Marriott Courtyard, though the food does tend to be quite expensive. Head to Prospero's bookstore on Rustaveli 34 for a delicious, if relatively pricey (5-7 lari) chicken salad sandwich and great coffee of every variety. Good selection of books and a nice calm place to escape, just a little.
Be careful about renting DVDs from Prospero's bookstore - there is quite a selection, but as most of them are pirated, almost half of all their DVD stock is of a poor quality. For your peace of mind, you can check any DVD on a player in the cafe before you rent it.
- United States, .
- Yerevan, Armenia - via marschrutkas, minivans, taxi (the most expensive) or train (night train?).
Marschrutkas leave from the international bus station "Ortachalla" at 8am, 10am, 11am and 1pm. Marschrutkas take 6-7 hours, 30 Lari. Marschrutkas may also leave from the main train station. From "Didube" regional bus station, catch marschrutka 150 to reach Ortachalla.
Minivans also depart across from the Avlabari Metro station. The minivans depart at 9am and 5pm, cost 35 lari, and take 5 hours. The seven seats can be reserved by calling +(374-94)320460, +(374-91)141490 (Armenia) or +(995-593) 229554, +(995-592)202617 (Georgia).
- Gyumri, Armenia - Marschrutka leaves from the international bus station "Ortachalla" at 10:30am, takes 4.5 hours, 25 Lari. There is also a marshrutka to Spitak via Vanadzor, Armenia, which departs at 15pm.
- Baku, Azerbaijan - via night train or bus
- Ozurgeti via night train, leaves around 21:45, arrives 6:10. There is also a marshutka from Station Square (the train station), which leaves at 4pm and arrives around 10pm.
- Batumi - on the Black Sea. Via night & day train, plane, or bus/minibus
- Borjomi - by train, leaving early in the morning, or minibus.
- Telavi - see an old fortress and a basis for exploring the mountains of Tusheti
- Mtskheta - a UNESCO world heritage site by minibus from "Didube" regional bus station. It takes ~20min and 1 Lari.
- Sighnaghi - a restored wine town by minibus
- Mestia - If you are traveling to/from Mestia, there are flights available 5 days per week for 75 lari. You can reserve tickets in the Courtyard Mariott on Freedom Square from 9am-1pm in the Pegasus airlines office. Be aware that flights may get delayed for a few hours even in good weather. The airline will occasionally accomodate people traveling from Mestia or Tbilisi, leading to delays of the flight.
- David Gareja Cave Monestary
- Ski resorts - Gudauri and Bakuriani
- National Parks - Mestia-Svaneti, Borjomi-Haragaili, Tevali-Gurjaani
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!