And now let’s head to Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia, its cultural, economic and political center, but also very interesting and diverse city. “Tbili” means in Georgian “warm,” Tbilisi was founded on hot sulfur spring water. In modern Tbilisi terracotta domes of baths neighbor with modern business centers, but above all this still hovers the spirit of old Tbilisi.
From the airport, located 15 km from Tbilisi, the city center can be reached by bus, train, shuttle or taxi. Bus number 37 runs between the airport and Tbilisi from 7:00 to 21:30. The train runs 6 times a day 4 departures from the airport, arrival – to the railway station in Tbilisi. Journey time – 25-30 minutes. By taxi you get to the city for about 20 GEL (9$).
Transportation in the city. Getting around the capital of Georgia can be by subway, buses, shuttles and taxis. Tbilisi Metro – a fine example of the Soviet “underground”: comfortable, spacious and beautiful. There are 2 branches, trains run from 6:00 to 0:00, ticket price – 0,5 GEL. The station names are written in Georgian, so it is best to consult local passengers. The bus network covers almost the entire city. Stopping locations are indicated in Georgian – be careful when choosing the route number. The fare – 0,5 GEL, for minibuses – 0,8 GEL. To stop approaching minibus or taxi you can shout “gacheret!” (“Stop!”). Taxi payment should be discussed in advance. A short trip should not cost more than 3-4 GEL.
Georgian cuisine. The most popular lunch in Georgia is served by the formula “khachapuri + khinkali”: cheese tortilla for a snack and a hearty ravioli as a main dish. Georgian pastry (including extremely tasty khachapuri) is
offered in network of restaurants “Machakhela” and in a nice establishment “Lunch Ladies”. “Hinkalis Sahli” on Rustaveli Street specializes in all kinds of khinkali. To dine out with traditional Georgian cuisine, nice national music and interior you can go to “Cafe Gabriadze”, “Dzveli Sakhli” on Sanapiro street, “Kopal” that is in the same hotel, ethnographic restaurant “Tamada”, “Tsiskvili”, “Dzveli Metekhi” or “Taglaur”. Do not forget to order for your meal great Georgian wine and consider yourself lucky if the restaurant serves homemade wine in a clay jug.
Shopping & Stores. Plenty of interesting – from ancient folk costumes to daggers – is being sold on Saturday market at the Sukhoi Most (Dry Bridge). You will need to come here early – the market opens at dawn. A variety of souvenirs can also be found in the store “Souvenirs of Georgia” on Rustaveli, 18. For interior goods you can look in boutique
“Meydan 91” and for dazzling beauty of Georgian carpets – in “Carpets” on Leselidze, 27. Antiquarian and modern carpets and rugs, as well as Central Asian embroidery “Susanna” are sold on Rustaveli, 32. In search of interesting paintings by contemporary artists look at the art center “Tiflis Avenue” and the gallery “Artgazm.” For the wine go to “House of Wine” – where there are many varieties from all over Georgia.
Entertainment and attractions of Tbilisi. The main sights of Tbilisi are its cathedrals and churches: Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and the Church of Metekhi, Narikala fortress on the bank of Kura River, Anchiskhati – the most ancient cathedral of the capital, built in the 6th century, Dzhvarismama church
(16 C), Zemo Betlemi Cathedral (18th century), Kvashveti Church and Catholic architecture monuments: Cathedral Church of St. Peter and Paul in baroque style and God Mother Church. You should definitely take a stroll through the ancient quarters of the city with many historical buildings of 18-19 centuries.
Narikala Citadel – Tbilisi architectural dominant, built by Persians in the 4th century. From the top of Narikala there is panoramic view of Tbilisi and at the foot stretches Tbilisi Botanical Garden.
Abanotubani – sulfur baths unique area. Everywhere you can see neat domes almost at a ground level, and you can try on yourself the healing effect of sulfuric mineral water. Available plain spa services here: washing and massages.
Noteworthy are museums of Tbilisi: Archaeological, with an extensive collection of exhibits of ancient history Sakartvelo (including the skull of “Homo sapiens”), Art, Numismatic and absolutely wonderful Puppet Museum. One should visit an open air ethno-museum on Turtle Lake, in the suburbs of Tbilisi. Here you will see 70 types of houses typical to different regions of Georgia, and collection of more than 8000 household items and handicrafts products.
Tbilisi, Georgia is surely the bright and impressive holiday destination. You will find here much to discover, enjoy and admire!
Photos from sources: allcastle.info, georgia.travel, jackandjilltravel.com, io.ua, radio.cz, livingrootless.blogspot.com