Tbilisi old town
What to see?
The old bath’s in Abano street. Recommended: Gulo’s Thermal
After the Spa, you may walk around in the area and head towards the Leghvtakhevi Waterfall. Its just a 5 minutes walk.
For a walk in the old town, find the Erekle II street. Its a stunning pedestrian area with cafe’s, restaurants etc.
After that, head to Rustaweli street, the main shopping street in Tbilisi. Start from Erekle II street to Liberty square towards the „Tbilisi Concert Hall“
When arrived at the „Tbilisi Concert Hall“ you may take a stop at Cafe Stamba to have a coffee and a snack.
From stamba, find a Taxi to go to Funicular station. Every Taxidriver should know the Funicilar and the ride from Stamba should not cost more than 6-7 Lari and takes around 5-10 Minutes depends on traffic.
Take a ride up to Mtatsminda Mountain and enjoy the view. Good dining option is in the upper station building. Mtatsminda is an amusement park. You may want to take a ride with the big wheel (which is incredible cheap: 5 GEL per person).
If its to crowded to get back down the hill with the Funicular, there are options as well with Taxi and Bus. Ride with the taxi should be never more than 10GEL (15 is acceptable, but nearly a cheating price for western tourist. If he asks for 20, burn his freakin‘ car and walk away. This is nothing else than outrageous).
Explore the other side of the river. Remember, Taxis are cheap, Subway is cheaper (and safe!):
Go to Subway Station „Marjanishvili Street“ and take a walk to „Achmashenebeli Ave“. After 10 Minutes walk this street turns to a nice pedestrian Area as well.
on your way back to the subway, you need to walk to „Fabrika“. Its an old clothes factory and an urban hotspot with a stunning backyard, hostel, bars etc especially for young people.
Dining tip: Barbarestan. They offer georgian cuisine out of Grandmas recipe book. Its great, dont miss it!
Get out of the city and head towards the mountains. Here is a tip for a one day trip. You can rent a car with or without driver. Go to Juta and enjoy the stunning Georgian Mountains. Up to Juta, you can drive with a normal non 4×4 vehicle. But the last 800 meters, regardles 4×4 or not, you need to walk (ore horseback if you dare). Why? see the pictures:
After Juta and if its not to late, you may head on to Stepandsminda and see the Trinity Cathedral. Its one of the most taken pictures in Georgia on Travel Books and Trip Advisor. The photos are a bit old. They have build a road now and you should be able to go with a normal sedan in summertime. In winter, roads may be blocked by snow and 4×4 is mandatory.
On your way back to Tbilsisi, you may want to find a dining option. Thers a lot on the „Georgian Military road“ (This is the main road from Tbilisi to Stepansminda). My recommendation for dinner is:
ბულაჩაურის რესტორანი (Gulatschauris Restorani) with the best Schaschlik in the Area
in Mtzkheta (The old capital, as well worth to visit): House of Beans
In both Restaurants you need to order and pay for your food at the bar. Its not common to sit, wait for the menu like in other restaurants. They usually dont speak english, so good luck. But they understand the „Hand and feet“ language. Heres some translations (dont worry, not in georgian letters):
- Gamarjoba – Hello
- Nakhvamdis – Good bye
- Ludi – Beer
- Zkhrali – Water
- Khvino – Wine (Saperavi is dry red, Kindsmarauli is semi sweet red)
- Khinkali – Dumplings with meat
- Khachapuri – Georgian Cheese Bread (Adjaruli Khachapuri is like a „Boat formed“ Bread with Butter and Egg, Imereli Khachapuri is like a pizza and easier to share)
- Badrijani – Egg Plants
- Shashlik – BBQ Meat pieces, Pork, Veal or Lamb
- Erti – one
- Ori – Two
- Sami – Three
- Didi madloba – Thank you very much
- And, most important: Gaumarjos! – Cheers!
Me minda sami ludi tusheidsleba – I like (to order) 3 beers please. The word tusheidsleba literally means „if its possible“.