For the most of you, this place is probably completely unknown. Well, with its relatively small population of 1,1 million – Tbilisi isn’t the brightest star on the map. But where is it? It is in Georgia, yes in the proud Republic of Georgia.
Welcome to Tbilisi
Once we got to Tbilisi, after a train ride of roughly 12 hours from Yerevan, we did not know what to expect. We have to admit, that the train station isn’t the nicest part of the Georgian capital, but well in most cities train stations aren’t. But during the taxi ride to the old city, Tbilisi presented its noble marvels. Beautiful boulevards, narrow steep and windy lanes, thousand of houses with astonishing facades and impressive amount of balconies in every shape one can imagine.
Soon we realized, that Tbilisi is the place which attracts Georgians and foreigners with its excitement and urge to action and progress. Thus, countless busy bars, bakeries and cafes are everywhere. The strive to move forward to the 21st century is perceptible. Due to a stagnation in the late 20th century, flagship buildings coexist with run-down Soviet apartment blocks, overcrowded markets and confusing train stations.
But not doubts at all, this city should be missed by any visitor to the region – it is the vibrant soul of the South Caucasus.
After we got to our hostel after midnight, we starting exploring the city center, especially the nightlife area at the bottom of the old town. Honestly, you will not be disappointed – nightlife in Tbilisi is superb and in our opinion the best in the entire region. Most of the nightlife happens in Rkinis Rigi St and Jan Shardeni St. In particlar we enjoyed Biblioteka, which is a club/bar with great music and good prices. People are super friendly and are always open for a chat. We liked the place so much and stayed until dawn – so check it out.
Touring the city
After a rough night we headed to a cafe just across the street from our hostel. We stayed at Envoy Hostel which offer really good rates and have a beautiful rooftop terrace. The cafe across the road offered really good smoothies and some sandwiches. After finishing our hangover breakfast we were ready to go and made our way through the windy lanes. We started with a short hike up to Nariqala Fortress. It dates back to the times when the Persians ruled the area in the 4th century. The view from the Fortress is great and worth the steep ascent.
After that, we made our way back to the old town and wandered along marvellous buildings with nostalgic wooden balconies. We randomly followed some streets which took us to the beautiful square Gudiashvilis baghi, were old men were playing chess and having a good time with some wine. We continued to Tavisupbebis moedani with its St. George and Dragon monument. From the on we followed Rustaveli Street and passed by the parliament which proudly presents the Georgian and EU flag, although the country actually is not in the European Union. Also worth a stop is the Opera House and the Rustaveli Theatre.
On the way back we crossed the river by using the Peace Bridge and went to Ride Park. People are gathering here to just relax and to have a look at the fountain show. The final leg of our tour through Tbilisi took us the the Sulfur Baths and Orebeliana Baths. Unfortunately we haven’t had enough time to go inside, but if you have – go for it. Instead we followed the little stream upwards and went to the beautiful Dzveli Sulphur Waterfall, which is still in the city in a gorge.
Food and wine
No visit to Georgia is complete if you haven’t experienced the country’s wine and food culture. Take youself enough time to discover and hang out at little cafes. Visit one of the many bakeries which prepare fresh Khachapuri – it tastes sooo gooood. 😉 Food in Georgia is a special topic and deserves a post for itself – in a few weeks I will get back with more information on that.
If you want to find out more about restaurants in Tbilisi, the following post “The 7 Best Restaurants in Tbilisi” by All the Rooms (Click here).
Now its time for you to book your Georgian experience. Tbilisi is connected to many European hubs and Wizz Air flies to Kutaisi which is just a few hundred kilometer away from Tbilisi.
Enjoy and Safe Travels!