Things to Do in Tbilisi

Things to Do in Tbilisi

With the Mtkvari River rolling through it, Tbilisi is an ancient tradition-laden capital city that has also embraced the trappings of contemporary urban life. It provides an abundance of diverse activities for travelers of all persuasions, ranging from historical and cultural treasures to adventure and nightlife.
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When planning a trip to Tbilisi, it’s quite possible to be overwhelmed by the number of appealing options, but not to worry! In this blog, help you focus on the most popular destinations and the most unmissable things to do in this endearing city.

What is Tbilisi famous for?

The story of Tbilisi is one of determination and rebirth. Indeed, this is vividly evidenced by observing the city's varied architectural styles and historical sites. Narrow, cobbled streets are lined with wooden houses, from which balconies of a spectrum of colors emerge; grand centuries-old churches, along with many other fascinating landmarks, abound.

One of its most noteworthy historic landmarks is the Narikala Fortress. This ancient structure towers above the city, and stands as a testament to centuries of proud defense, as its imposing walls have long repelled enemies who dare to approach. From this vantage point, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Tbilisi's expansive urban landscape, and even the Caucasus Mountains on clear days.

Cultural Exploration

The Georgian National Museum is strongly recommended to anyone interested in Georgian culture. In this striking building, you’ll admire different artifacts telling you all about the archaeological, historical, and cultural development of the country as a whole. Similarly, the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnography, in the hills near Turtle Lake, offers visitors the chance to experience houses and craftworks from Georgia’s diverse regions, giving you a memorable taste of the rich cultural fabric of the country.

Spiritual Sites 

The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world.  Funded by donations from the Georgian people, its construction began in 1996 and was completed by 2004. Its enormity is such that one can see it from miles and miles around, reflecting Christianity’s enduring importance to Georgia and Georgians.

Likewise, the Virgin Mary Assumption Church of Metekhi, perched on the banks of the Mtkvari River, is a serene space for reflection amidst the bustle of the city center.

Natural and Recreational Spaces

Among the many green attractions of Tbilisi, the National Botanical Garden and Mtatsminda Park stand out, offering peaceful escapes from urban life. The botanical garden, a bountiful monument to Georgia's natural diversity, has a seemingly endless variety of flora, through which to amble leisurely. On the other hand, Mtatsminda Park has fun amusements for all ages, and perhaps the greatest views of the whole city. 

Thermal Baths

A visit to the storied sulfur baths in the Abanotubani district is always utterly enriching for the body, mind, and soul. Legend has it that the thermal springs filling these baths date back to the city's foundation and possess medicinal and healing properties.

Iconic Structures

The Bridge of Peace adjacent to the old Metekhi Bridge offers a striking contrast of Tbilisi's new and old, while the iconic statue of the Mother of Georgia (Kartlis Deda) stands tall above the Sololaki district, reminding visitors of Georgia’s proud tradition of preservation and hospitality.

Does Tbilisi have a nightlife?

After sunset, Tbilisi really comes alive with revelers flocking to its numerous nightclubs and live music venues. And there’s something for everyone’s taste, from the haunting sounds of traditional Georgian polyphonic singing to laid-back jazz clubs to the thriving underground electronic music scene, Tbilisi has all musical interests covered. Indeed, the city’s vibrant and youthful energy reverberates against the background of its ancient architecture.

Culinary Journey 

No visit to Tbilisi would be complete without devouring generous helpings of the many glories of Georgia’s world-renowned cuisine. Throughout the city, restaurants and cafes of all sizes serve mouthwatering local specialties like khachapuri (cheese bread) and khinkali (meat dumplings), among a multitude of other treats for the tastebuds.

How long should I stay in Tbilisi?

Of course, with Georgians well known for their hospitality, you can stay as long as you like. However, appreciating visitors won’t have endless free time for their vacation, so we’ve put together some notes for short, medium, and long stays.

Short Stay (2-3 Days)

  • Old Tbilisi, Narikala Fortress, the Bridge of Peace, a selection of museums like the Georgian National Museum, the sulfur baths, and a handful of filling and delicious Georgian lunches and dinners.

Moderate Stay (4-5 Days)

  • Allows for a deeper dive into Tbilisi's culture and a wider exploration of attractions in and around the city.

  • Leisurely spend time in the city’s artsy neighborhoods, visit plenty of museums and galleries and take a short but invigorating day trip to Georgia’s ancient capital of Mtskheta.

Long Stay (6+ Days)

  • Perfect for travelers wanting to thoroughly explore the nooks and crannies of Tbilisi and its surroundings, or even to use the city as a base for exploring the rest of Georgia and its amazingly diverse landscapes.

  • Day trips or overnight stays in nearby regions like Kakheti (for wine tasting), Kazbegi (for mountain scenery), or even Gori (for historical sites) are all easily achievable and highly rewarding. Having more time of course allows you to experience Georgia's diverse landscapes and cultural offerings to the full.

To sum up, Tbilisi has a rich history and cultural heritage, and in every corner of this alluring city, you will find something new and interesting. Whether seeking to learn about Georgian history, experience unique cultural traditions, or simply relax and enjoy a lively atmosphere, Tbilisi promises something very special indeed. Indeed, after coming once, visitors tend to return frequently, with every visit revealing new layers of the city’s identity, and with no two trips ever the same or even similar.

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