Tbilisi, the hidden gem in Eastern Europe

I like Tbilisi! Yes, really nice! Before we left, I didn’t have many expectations. Perhaps that is why I was so incredibly surprised by the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. That
actually only called that since 1936. Before that, it was called Tiflis. Tbilisi has many hot springs and that is where the name is derived from. Tbili, in fact, means warm location. Less than 1.5 million people live in this city and you will see a nice mix of Russian buildings and European buildings. I was impressed by the beautiful balconies and railings. Unfortunately, many are breaking down fast and there is past glory, but when you look beyond that you see the potential of this vibrant and welcoming city.

What can you do in Tbilisi?

#The old center of Tbilisi

Everything around Freedom Square is nice to see. Two very old churches can be found on Tbilisi’s most touristy street. Be sure to visit there! Visit Rustaveli street and walk towards the metro. From there you go up into the smaller streets. Wander around here and have a drink at Out Bar. Tired of walking around a lot? Then head to one of Tbilisi’s bathhouses! There are also many restaurants and bars in the old center. We spent several days in Tbilisi and have listed the best restaurants Tbilisi for you in this blog.

#Visit one of the bathhouses

During your stay in Tbilisi, you can go to one of the bathhouses. It is basic and you can choose between private rooms at 90 lari per hour. Or for the cheaper common areas. After some asking around and first impressions, we decided not to go to a bathhouse. We found it a little too expensive for an hour of hot bathing. Would you like to go though? The bathhouses are near Jumah Mosque, also worth admiring. Another good tip! I did Thai massage twice for 50 lari. I felt like I was reborn afterward!


#Mother Georgia and Narikala fortress

You can get here in two ways. Walking and by cable car. The cable car costs 2 lari per person (one way). Walking you can walk up from the old center in 20 minutes. Fine to
do with stairs. When you get to the top of the fort you have fantastic views of Tbilisi. This is also true of the Mother Gorgia statue.


#Hiking in New Tbilisi

Cross the bridge where the daily flea market is (Dry Bridge). Totally recommended when you have a blog like us and are looking for fun cutlery :). Are you over the bridge? Then take the second exit to the left. You walk right into New Tbilisi. Streets have been refurbished and everywhere you can sit for a drink or food. This new part is not remotely like the old part and really worth crossing the river for that! You will also find Trinity Church on this side of the river.


Day trips from Tiblisi

From Tbilisi you can do several day trips. Consider David Garetja or visit the Stalin Museum in Gori. Or get away for longer and hit the road in Svanetia.

General Tbilisi

Transportation is cheap: cab is usually no more than 5 lari. Cab from the airport to downtown is around 30 lari. They try for 50, don’t be fooled!
Water or soft drinks in restaurants usually cost 2 lari and beer from 3 to 4 lari. On average, you spend 20 lari per person for nice dinner including drinks (1 beer or 2 water). Fruit is super cheap in markets, but a bit more expensive in supermarkets.  Although it is still cheap compared to the Netherlands. Vegan things like soy milk and almond milk are scarce in Tbilisi. And even more so in rest of Georgia. At the downtown Carrefour, you pay 10 lari for 1 pack of almond milk (about 5 euros) and 8 for soy milk. Pretty pricey, then. What you really should try is the fruits like raspberries and cherries. That is so incredibly cheap and delicious, really buy there! Tbilisi as a city break or city trip is fine. Just keep in mind that many flights go via Kiev.

More Georgia:

>Natural beauty in Mestia and surroundings
> Vegetarian and vegan food in Tbilisi 
> Discover Georgia: go before it’s too late!