Tbilisi … a city that dates back to 4000 BC.
You can reach the city of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, with a flight that takes about 2:30 hours from Istanbul.
If you want to take a 2-day weekend trip, it is quite enough time for Tbilisi. We stayed for 3 days and had the opportunity to explore the city comfortably.
You can reach to the city center from Shota Rustaveli Airport in 2 ways:
Use Bolt to be fast. Once you download the application to your phone, its working system is just like Uber, you can pay by credit card or cash.
If you want to review the link: https://bolt.eu/en/cities/tbilisi
Another option is the city bus ( number 37 ), you have to pay the fee directly to the driver. With this option, you can reach the city center in approximately 40 minutes.
Tbilisi is a cheap city. They use Georgian Lari as a currency.
It is known that Georgians were the first to find wine in the world and wine production in Georgia has been going on for more than seven thousand years.
Indeed, their wine culture, variety, and taste were incredibly good. The reason for this is the fertile soil and grapes grown with Caucasian water.
In their food culture, the most famous dish is Khachapuri, which resembles an open round cheese pita. It accompanied our table in almost every meal we had.
PKHALİ, vegetables such as beets, carrots, and spinach are served with lemon sauce and garlic, obviously, it was not suitable for me…
Khinkali is a dumpling-style pastry dish. There are options with cheese, minced meat, and vegetables. Think of the dough bundle which is similar 😊 Oh, watch out for the coriander!
I would like to point out very important that they use a lot of coriander in their food, if you do not like coriander, I recommend you to specify this when ordering. Since we were not aware of the situation before, we could not eat some dishes because the aroma was very heavy.
Places to Eat & Drink:
Lolita: Advice for breakfast.
Shavi Lomi: Imagine a Georgian house with a huge garden, which is a little hard to find in the back streets of the new city. At first, you say we came wrong, but when you open the door, you are shocked by the wonderful ambiance that appears before you. The decoration of the house and the originality of the plates on which the food service is served, almost open the doors of another experiment.
Sofia Melnikova’s Fantastic Douqan: It can be preferred for dinner. With its large garden and shabby seating arrangement, you feel like a guest, not a customer.
Factory: After-dinner entertainment. The factory has the same concept as Bomonti Ada in Istanbul, but I think the environment is more fun and colorful 😊 It also hosts the most popular hostel in Tbilisi.
Dadi Wine Bar and Shop: In this small and cozy place, you can taste the modernized dishes of traditional Tbilisi dishes accompanied by the wines they produce in their own vineyards.
Wine Gallery: You can taste wine in this place that I happened to come across by chance on a street on the new city side, and you can also buy souvenirs and travel-sized wines.
Things To Do:
- You can take a boat tour in the Kura River. If you bargain, you can reduce the price of 25 lari to 20 or even 15, tour takes about 1 hour.
- You can take photos at the Peace Bridge, which connects Old Tbilisi and New Tbilisi.
- Go to Narikala fortress on the old city side and see the statue of Kartlis Deda (Georgian Mother). With the cable car from the castle, you can cross the Kura River to the new city side in 1 minute. The castle district is highly recommended to watch the city from above.
- Sameba Cathedral: You can visit the largest religious building in Georgia, which is located on the new city side and can be seen from all over the city.
- Rustaveli Street: You can stroll through the most lively street of the city, which is also located on the old city side, and you can both shop and take a feast break in beautiful spots.
- Freedom Square: You can tour around this square, which has been the most active place in the city since Soviet times, accompanied by the melodies of street musicians.
- If you are a fan of antiques and second-hand goods, visit the Dry Bridge Market, which is established on Sundays throughout the year.
- And it’s time for the most important activity for me 😊. Exploring the city by walking through the city’s side streets. Lose yourself in the narrow streets where the influence of medieval and Soviet architecture is felt profusely.
Factory Hostel: If you do not want to spend too much budget on accommodation and you are going to travel with a young group of friends, I recommend you to check the Factory Hostel and make your reservation in advance.
Stamba Hotel: Located on the old city side, this modern hotel is one of the most popular places in the city with its ambiance and public bookstore. If you are going to travel with your family, I suggest you take a look here. Even if you are not a hotel customer, be sure to visit the hotel’s café and taste their delicious desserts with coffee.
As someone who has visited most capitals in Europe, I can say that this city has the potential to be the Berlin of the East. It is almost impossible to see the walls of the buildings in the city as empty, you will often come across graffiti, each drawn/painted as a work of art. Add Tbilisi to your travel list as soon as you have the opportunity, and you will definitely come back with a completely different vision.
Have plenty of fun in advance.