Alexandre Dumas wrote that Tbilisi is a city of legends and romance. The founding legend of Tbilisi will tell you how, in the 5th century, when King Vakhtang Gorgasali had gone out on a hunt, his sparrow hawk followed a wounded pheasant. The birds were found in hot sulfur water. The king then ordered a city to be founded there by the name of Tbilisi (“tbili” means “warm” in Georgian). This is the story of how Tbilisi became a city, but humans have been living there since the 4th-3rd millennium BCE.
These hot sulfur waters are now situated in the famous sulfur baths of Tbilisi, and you must, at the very least, visit the ancient district of Ortachala to see them. The colorful baths are a great opportunity to feel the exoticism of Tbilisi.
Ortachala is an amazing district in a lot of ways. Here you see places of worship from many religions in a single neighborhood– an Orthodox church, a mosque, and a synagogue. It is a picture of the multi-ethnic history of Tbilisi, a sign of the love for humanity that Georgians have shown and continue to show toward other nations. You will run into many other examples of co-existence like that in the old districts of Tbilisi.
There is no country in Europe where you can see the kind of natural juxtaposition of Georgian, Roman, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Jewish, and other architectural structures that you can see in Tbilisi. To get the full picture, look down over the city from the heights of Narikala or Metekhi. On the banks of the Mtkvari river, you will discover many historical monuments and modern buildings built within that architectural harmony such as Bronze Age settlements, medieval churches, fortresses that have witnessed numerous battles, decorated Tbilisi yards with stained-glass windows, and more.
The more modern part of Tbilisi starts at Rustaveli Avenue, where you will see refined European architecture from the 19th and 20th centuries. Here there are museums, shopping centers, and high-class hotels with restaurants, cafés, and bars, where you can taste masterpieces of Georgian cuisine and drink unique Georgian wines. You can try the taste of Georgian cuisine in practically all of the districts of the city, but eventually, you might find yourself at a supra at a Georgian’s house, where you will understand the role of the tamada - the toastmaster.
While traveling through Tbilisi, do not forget to take a raft down the Mtkvari, go see the waterfalls in the Botanical Garden, Leghvtakhevi, Kus Tba, and Lisi Lakes, and, most importantly, take the funicular to Mtatsminda Mountain. From the funicular, Tbilisi spreads out over the palm of your hand.
Batumi was awarded the best tourist destination of the year by the American Hospitality Academy and Forbes placed it in the top five best cities to vacation in during autumn. Even though it is a seaside city, visit Batumi in seasons outside of summer as well.
This is a city that you can visit for business or pleasure since the high-class hotels, conference halls, and European-style service of Batumi allow you to hold any kind of international event there. Batumi is beautiful in every season. Its cobblestone streets are complemented by the pitter-patter of rain and the technicolor umbrellas, the intoxicating scent of magnolias, and the steam from the famous Batumi coffee, boiled over sand.
Batumi is an ideal place for a date. Where should you meet? How about at the statue of Ali and Nino? This is an amazing sculpture representing eternal love. If you prefer to turn your date into an adventure, visit The Boy with a Flute. Finding this statue, ensconced in a brick niche in a historical building near the Piazza in old Batumi, is something neither of you will ever forget.
You will not run out of entertainment and sights to see in Batumi. This pearl of the Black Sea, with its ancient port, old and new architecture, European squares, cozy yards, museums, theaters, festivals, concerts, and cuisine (like the boat-shaped khachapuri), has come to be known around the world as one of the major cultural centers of Georgia.
Kutaisi was the first capital of united Georgia and an ancient city of Europe, about which the ancient Greeks composed epics. The city is called Aia in the antiquity period, and is related to the Greek myth of the Argonauts and Colchian princess Medea, from whose name we get the word “medicine”. The unification of the Georgian state started in the 10th century and Davit Aghmashenebeli, one of the most outstanding kings of the country, was born here.
As soon as you arrive in Kutaisi you will notice the magnificent Bagrati Cathedral on top of a hill, a symbol of Georgia’s golden age. A few kilometers away from the city is the Gelati Monastery Complex, which is a UNESCO cultural heritage monument, with its unique academy. Near Kutaisi are the Prometheus and Sataplia Caves, which, with their stalactites and stalagmites and dinosaur footprints on the ground, tell you the story of the age of the Earth.
The frescos and mosaics of Kutaisi’s churches will tell you about the history of Georgia. As for the special nature of the city, museums, exhibition spaces, historical boulevards, and buildings will divulge its secrets because this is the city that gave birth to great Georgian writers, poets, scientists, and actors. At the same time, this is one of the multi-faceted cities of Georgia, with its Catholic and Jewish districts, white stones, and historic bridges built over them.
In the streets of Kutaisi, you will hear the dulcet songs of the city, warm hosts will bake magical Imeretian khachapuri for you at a moment’s notice, along with the chicken in berry sauce, and with a light wine in your hand, they will tell you stories with the famous Kutaisi humor that will make you laugh after you have returned home.
A harmonious juxtaposition of the striking natural beauty of the mountains and medieval culture is one of the main things that sets Kazbegi apart from other cities in Georgia. Its majestic mountains, waterfalls, lakes, valleys, medieval churches atop mountain peaks, abandoned settlements scattered across the slopes, fortress towers, and amazing views that can be seen from everywhere attract tourists like a magnet.
The holidays that are a mix of pagan and Christian, the amazing tradition of hospitality, and the exotic cuisine together are perfect for those who love hiking and relaxing in the mountains. Kazbegi presents a new world for those who love walking tours and winter activities. Here you can go on mountain climbing, skiing, and do many other types of tours.
While staying in a high-class hotel, you can see amazing views of Gergeti Sameba and Mkinvartsveri, or, while staying in a small-scale guesthouse, you can feel how the Mokhevians live, which is at once ascetic and also imbued with warmth and love.
Arrive at the base of the highest peaks in Georgia, the gloomy Ushba and the shimmering Tetnuldi, which, according to legend, has two lovers petrified in the snow.
Hatsvali and Tetnuldi resorts offer skiing, backcountry skiing, heliskiing, horseback riding tours, and many other vacation activities for either winter or summer.
In Mestia, you will find medieval towers with amazing architecture along with secular, religious, and defensive structures. Experience the unforgettable Svan Lile, taste exotic Svan dishes, and get to know the amazing people, who are as striking as the towering mountains around them, but who also have hearts of gold.
Don’t leave Georgia without visiting Telavi, the main city in Kakheti. Your adventure starts at the beautiful Gombori Road. The city itself will charm you with its amazing architecture, beautiful streets, ancient historical monuments, and, most importantly, the diversity of exceptional Kakhetian wine and hospitality.
If you want to learn about this city’s history, then you should visit the King Erekle II museum in the city center, within the massive walled fortress. Go see the main symbol of Telavi, the 900-year-old plane tree, drink the clear water of the Batoni Spring, and enjoy the museum building in the city center, which has an ancient fortress tower inside of it.
You have to climb up to Nadikvari Park, to the main part of the city, and look out over the Alazani Valley at the base of the Caucasus Mountains.
It is as though nearly the entire world is contained within this country, whether old or new, joyous or morose. Every region and every city has its very own charm and character. That character forms a national character, creating Georgia, a country where a guest is from God.