Georgia is a country located between Europe and Asia, a small but extremely charming. Traveling to Georgia, visitors will be surprised by the beautiful natural scenery, which is a blend of pristine, wild and romantic features of Europe. Besides, this place also gives you interesting experiences through destinations, diverse cuisines and more than 8,000 year old wines.
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So, is Georgia worth visiting, how to visit Georgia, what to do in Georgia and how to plan a budget trip to Georgia for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Georgia travel blog (Georgia blog) with the fullest Georgia travel guide (guide to Georgia, Georgia visitor guide, Georgia tourist guide, Georgia city guide, Georgia guide) from how to get to Georgia, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Georgia to help you maximize your trip as follows!
Through the following Georgia travel blog, we will guide you through fully visiting the beautiful country like part of the Middle East but with romantic European vibes.
Overview of Georgia (#georgia travel blog)
The beautiful country of Georgia, nestled in the South Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, right at the tip of Asia, is one of the most exciting, historical and fascinating places to visit in the world. Known for its stunning natural scenery, hospitable people, great cuisine and wine culture dating back more than 8,000 years. Despite the growing interest in Georgia tourism over the past few years, it is still considered a relatively unknown and unusual destination. And although it has just become popular among tourists, traveling to Georgia actually poses some challenges not found elsewhere in Europe.
This is also the birthplace of Stalin. Once belongs to the Soviet Union, it was a favorite vacation spot for Russians. It will be suitable for you who want to combine with a trip to Europe, Central Asia or the Middle East. Not only a crossroads of civilizations, this small country is also the cradle of caucasian Christianity.
Coming to this country, visitors will have to admire the splendid cathedrals and unbelievable beautiful scenery. The capital Tbilisi is proud to contribute to that treasure with beautiful medieval architecture, attracting millions of visitors each year.
Is Georgia safe to visit? (#georgia travel blog)
A key question travelers will ask before traveling is, is Georgia safe to visit? Due to the fact that it is a relatively unknown and little-visited destination for many Westerners, this is an understandable and quite common question. Georgia isn’t in the news very often, and it can be difficult to know a safe destination to travel to.
In fact, the country is really safe to visit. The country has one of the low crime rates, although Georgia is certainly not a completely crime-free place, petty crime there will rarely affect tourism and in general, it is a much safer destination than many countries.
Also, as mentioned in the transport section below, taxi scams still exist, so it’s a good idea to use a ride-hailing app like Bolt to make sure you don’t overpay when traveling from A point to B point in Georgia. One thing to consider when traveling in Georgia is travel insurance.
Language (#georgia blog)
One thing that can be difficult when traveling in Georgia is the language barrier, especially if you only speak English. Apart from Tbilisi and Batumi, English is not widely spoken in Georgia and communication can become quite difficult.
The Georgian language is a unique language that uses its own alphabet and is not particularly easy to understand for foreigners, especially when it comes to reading. The older generation speaks Russian widely, however, those under the age of 30 are more likely to have learned English as a second language, if they have learned a second. The good thing to keep in mind is that you’ll almost always come across English descriptions of things, even if that language isn’t used at a high level.
Religion (#georgia travel guide)
Georgia is a deeply Orthodox country and is, in fact, only the second country in the world to adopt Christianity as the state religion – neighboring Armenia being the first. Thus, it can be said that Georgia has a vast Christian tradition dating back many centuries.
Because Georgia has been Christian through its own history, there are countless religious sites to visit in Georgia. Beautiful churches and monasteries scattered the country, and holidays like Easter and Orthodox Christmas are truly events to behold.
While you won’t see things like business affected in Georgia for religious reasons but there is a very conservative religious ideology in Georgia that deserves attention. Also know that if you are planning to visit some of the many churches in Georgia you will need to dress modestly to enter. Both men and women must cover their knees and women must also cover their heads. Overall, Georgia is a very Christian country with countless beautiful churches and monasteries around the country.
When to visit? (#georgia blog)
Georgia can be a year-round destination so figuring out the best time to visit Georgia may depend on your travel preferences and what you’re expected for when you plan a trip here. Georgia has relatively mild temperatures throughout the year, so there aren’t many bad times, but some times are better than others.
Georgia is located in a temperate climate zone with four distinct seasons. Summer here is very hot, the temperature in Tbilisi can exceed 40 degrees Celsius on peak hot days. However, this is the time when most tourists visit Georgia. Winter is not too cold but long, the coldest months are January and February.
The most popular season to visit is summer. Summer in Georgia is the peak of the tourist season and although the country doesn’t welcome as many international tourists as other European destinations, the main attractions and tourist hotspots are not overcrowded.
Summers in Georgia are also very hot. How hot it gets usually depends on where you’re going unless you’re up in the Caucasus. In Tbilisi, it can be much hotter with temperatures soaring past 40 degrees Celsius on some days. Temperatures in the mountains can be cooler 10 degrees, so this is where many city dwellers flock during the hotter months.
Spring lasts from April to May, the weather is nice and quite warm, the average temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius. Visitors should explore this country in the autumn months, from September to November At this time, the temperature will fluctuate between 22-25 degrees Celsius, cool, suitable for outdoor activities. In addition, September and October also coincide with the grape harvest and wine making in Georgia.
Spring can bring very mild temperatures, with some nice days in April and May hovering around 20 degrees and warming up as May arrives.
In contrast, winters in Georgia tend to be relatively mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing even during the coldest months of January and February. It is quite sunny and the days in winter are usually longer than elsewhere in Europe. Georgia is also home to a number of great ski resorts.
How to get to Georgia? (#georgia travel guide)
To getting to Georgia, visitors must take a flight to Tbilisi International Airport (Novo Alexeyevka). The airport is located in the southeast, about 17 km from the city center. Currently, visitors can reach the Georgian capital Tbilisi by flights with one or two stops, departing from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The average flight time is from 17-35 hours, operated by famous airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa…
Visit Google Flights, Kayak or Skyscanner to search for cheap airline tickets to Tbilisi, book tickets and pay directly on airlines websites. Besides early booking, you can also choose the Price Alerts feature to receive weekly information via email about flight routes that match your needs.
Transportation in Georgia (#georgia guide)
If there is one aspect of traveling in this country that can make you a bit confusing and difficult to navigate, it is transportation. Transportation in Georgia are a bit different from the rest of Europe and it can be a bit daunting if you’re new to it.
Traveling around Georgia doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you’re traveling between heavily trafficked areas as there are so many different options available to you. The public transport network, although quite different from other European countries, is extensive and reliable, and visitors can choose from one of the following modes of transport:
Metro is the most convenient means of transportation when traveling to Georgia. In the capital Tbilisi, there are currently about 22 metro stations in the city, visitors only need to buy a Metro card to be able to travel by this means. Each ride is counted as one hop-on and hop-off, and costs about 0.5 GEL, regardless of the distance. In addition, this card can also be used to ride the Aerial Tramway cable car.
Bus (#georgia travel guide)
If you’re traveling on a budget or want a local experience, the best way to get around Georgia is by marshrutka, or fixed-route minibus, which provide connections across the country. Keep in mind that the majority of vehicles in Georgia do not operate on tight schedules and tend to leave the station only when they are full. They are affordable but can be cramped, hot and a bit uncomfortable, especially during the warmer months.
In Georgia, there are two types of buses, the Marshrutka minibus and the Bohdan bus. All types of buses run according to the fixed routes at a very cheap price. When the they comes, you just need to put your palm down to signal the bus to stop.
It is also quite popular to travel between cities by shared taxi, another affordable option, although this tends to be a bit more expensive than a marshrutka. You should bargain on fare before your journey, and then you’ll wait until there are enough passengers to fill the car before you depart.
Taxis are quite affordable, in fact, a taxi ride through Tbilisi usually costs the same as a bus ride in London. However, it is worth mentioning that it is not recommended to call a taxi on the street. There are no meters in Georgia taxis and you must haggle on a price before getting in the taxi.
Taxi is a means of transportation that helps you take the initiative in your travel schedule. Taxis in Georgia don’t have meters, so bargain before you get in!
Trains are also a popular form of transportation in Georgia with low prices. However, the biggest minus point of this type of vehicle is the speed of travel. The train runs quite slowly, so it is only suitable for those who have a lot of time and like to admire the scenery.
There is a rail network in Georgia, but there aren’t too many routes and it’s not an option for traveling across much of the country. You can travel between Tbilisi and Batumi or if you take the night train between Tbilisi and Yerevan, Armenia or Tbilisi and Baku, Azerbaijan.
If your budget is a bit higher, many visitors choose to hire a private driver for their trips around Georgia. This is a very common practice and there are countless drivers offering their services around the country. You can hire a driver for your entire trip, or you can choose to just hire a driver for the occasional day trip and get around using a combination of public transport and this vehicle type.
Kutaisi: This place is as small as a district of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s almost possible to walk. If you need to go further like the airport, you can take a taxi via the Bolt app – about 1 GEL/km. Airport taxi to the city is about 25-30 GEL.
Tbilisi: You can use a travel card for both metro and bus. Price is 0.5 GEL/trip. Except for some special cable car or bus trips, the price is 1 GEL/trip. Taxi is also using Bolt app to call. From the city center to the airport using Bolt is about 22-27 GEL.
Taxi and book train apps
- Bolt App Taxi: https://bolt.eu/en/.
- Book train/activities ticket: https://tkt.ge/. Choose English and pay by credit card. This page also has information about activities taking place in Tbilisi.
Where to stay?
To get easy for exploring and traveling, you should stay in Tbilisi. In the capital Tbilisi, there are two main types of accommodation: hotel and airbnb. In particular, airbnb are old houses, built in the Soviet era and refurbished, although not new, but still fully equipped. Airbnb rental price usually ranges from 10 – 15 USD/night.
Check out more top and best hotels in Tbilisi on Agoda.com or Booking.com
Where to go and what to do in Georgia?
As a beautiful country nestled in the snowy Caucasus Mountains, Georgia has no shortage of wonderful destinations waiting for you to explore. Traveling to Georgia, visitors must definitely visit the following destinations:
The capital city of Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, a multicultural city with a history of more than 1,500 years. This is the gathering place of great civilizations in the world, from Europe, Asia to the Middle East. Besides the scenic spots and unique architectural works, Tbilisi also impresses visitors with its friendliness and hospitality.
Tbilisi’s old town is a great place to start exploring the city and where you’ll find many worthwhile attractions, including stately churches, historic sites, and fortresses. The maze of narrow streets holds surprises at every turn, and even if it’s just a picturesque courtyard, you can’t help but snap a few pictures along the way. The old town is made for walking without a plan, as you really never know where you are going to, be it a small pub, bakery or a khinkali shop.
You can start your tour from the old town, home to fortresses, historical sites and stately churches. The narrow streets with many turns create a mysterious labyrinth that makes visitors feel lost among the bakeries, pubs or khinkali shops.
The monument of St. George in Freedom Square is the great is an iconic work of the capital city of Tbilisi and a must-visit place in Georgian capital. Wherever you go, you must walk past this monument. Besides, Tbilisi is also proud of the monumental churches, standing proudly in the middle of the city, demonstrating the creativity of the Georgians.
The Great St George’s Monument is one of Tbilisi’s iconic landmarks. No matter where you want to go, Rustaveli, the old town or enjoy the nightlife in Tbilisi, you will have to pass this monument.
Tbilisi has been one of the leading cities for generations. The Old Quarter is a vestige of that long history. From the oldest sulfur baths in Georgia, to the transformation of mosques.
Another iconic architectural wonder of Georgia, the cathedral stands in the heart of the sacred city. It’s huge, unique, and beautiful, a perfect symbol of Georgian creativity.
Tbilisi is not only a place to display old-style architecture, they also have a lot of modern-style structures. Rustaveli Avenue is an ideal place to see the European side of the city as it tries to integrate with the European Union.
Mtskheta is smaller than you can imagine a small town. It is the former capital of Georgia and is only twenty minutes from its current capital, Tbilisi. The main highlight is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, which was built in the year of 337 and is one of the most amazing places to see in Georgia. It is believed to be the burial place of Christ’s robe.
Sighnaghi is a town not far from the capital Tbilisi, located in the Kakheti region famous nationally for growing wine grapes. Surrounding this beautiful little town is the 5km long wall of Lightaighi.
Borjomi is located to the west of Tbilisi, about 2 hours by car from the capital. This place is an ideal destination for Georgia tours with majestic streams and a system of lavish and luxurious resorts. In addition, visitors to Borjomi can also visit Borjomi Kharagauli National Park to discover lush forest scenes and beautiful natural landscapes. One of the most beautiful places to visit in Georgia, Borjomi has everything you could want in a day trip location.
A few hours away from Borjomi is the city of caves – Vardzia. The city of Vardzia is carved out of the cliffs, built in the 12th century by Tamar the Great. This tourist attraction Georgia is impressive and confusing and is one of the main attractions in Georgia.
Standing at the window of one of the caves carved into the mountainside in Vardzia, your mind soars and you’ll be instantly transported back 12th century, you’ll wonder how such a feat so it can be done without using the technological advances we have today.
The impressive system of caves and tunnels is located on the banks of the Kura River, stretching 500 meters and 19 stories high. It’s one of the most incredible things being considered as a Unesco World Heritage site, making it a must-see tourist attraction in Georgia.
Located along the mountainside, overlooking the green valley on the banks of the Kura River is a 19-storey cave carved into the mountainside, including a monastery, 15 churches, 25 cellars and an apothecary. With unique architecture and great historical value, this place is being considered by UNESCO to be ranked as a World Heritage Site.
From Vardzia, it’s a 9-hour drive that will bring you to the shores of the Black Sea. With a population of over 160,000, Batumi is one of the cities on the Black Sea coast. There are plenty of things to do on the Black Sea, but most people opt for some action water sports like windsurfing.
It’s nice to be back in the bright lights of a larger city like Batumi, but it certainly doesn’t feel like the atmosphere of a big city. It is an attractive place you will not be bored with this city because there are many Batumi tourist attractions.
If you are looking for new experiences during your trip to Georgia, you must definitely come to Svaneti. Svaneti is a beautiful land with ancient spiers, mountains and villages. Mestia is the largest city in the region, extremely developed in terms of tourism services. Coming here, visitors can visit the mountain bungalows, restaurants, pubs, cafes with impressive decoration style.
It’s very different, but it’s a beautiful, interesting region, very different from the rest of the country. Svaneti is a picturesque place in Georgia, mountains and villages dotted with ancient spiers.
Ushguli is a UNESCO World Heritage village in Upper Svaneti and feels like you’re leaning on the edge of the world. Ushguli includes several villages along the road. Only one, Chazhashi is recognized by UNESCO. The main village, Chvibiani, is where you’ll find most of the tourist amenities.
In addition attractions above, you can visit and try some activities in Georgia as follows:
- Martvili Canyon: Going from Kutaisi, this is a canyon with a river below with super beautiful blue color. You can take a small boat ride down the canyon and enjoy the view.
- Prometheus Cave: A very long underground cave with many rock formations underneath.
- Okatse Canyon: This is the deepest canyon in Georgia, with a bridge above it for you to walk about 1km.
- Kazbegi: A highland region north of Tbilisi. The landscape is very beautiful with many majestic mountains. It is possible to go in a day, but if you have time, spending for about 2 days will be more fun.
- Gergeti Trinity Church: A hundred-year-old church perched precariously in the middle of a hill in the Kazbergi region. This is roughly the promotional picture you will see when learning about Georgia.
- Sulfur Sauna: This is a part of local culture. There are many public baths in Tbilisi. After bathing, you will feel very healthy and comfortable. If you go with a large group, the price will be even cheaper.
What to eat in Georgia? (#georgia travel blog
Traditional Georgian cuisine is influenced by neighboring countries such as Russia or Turkey. However, the dishes here are still “remembering” for visitors thanks to their unique and strange flavors.
Georgian food is gaining popularity around the world, with dishes like Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread) and Khinkali – Georgian Beef and Pork Soup Dumplings… However, there’s much more to this complex and flavorful culinary tradition of the country.
The great thing about Georgia is that in contrast to many other Eastern European countries, there are a wide variety of vegetarian options and vegetables play an important role in traditional cuisine. In fact, it’s actually a pretty easy country to travel to if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. Vegetarian options are always available due to the high percentage of fasting days in the Georgian Orthodox calendar.
Along with the rich and diverse cuisine, it would be remiss if this Georgia travel guide did not mention wine. Georgia is the birthplace of wine, with archaeological evidence dating wine production to more than 8,000 years ago. And Georgian wine is really something special. With a multitude of endemic grape varieties, wine is traditionally fermented on contact with the skin. In the underground crockery is called qvevri.
Along with the richness in cuisine, Georgia is also famous for its famous wines. Visitors to Georgia will have the opportunity to learn about the winemaking process from 8,000 years ago.
The wine is produced from endemic grape varieties, brewed according to the traditional qvevri recipe. The by-product from the brewing process is made into Chacha – a drink that closely resembles the Italian grappa.
Many families make their own wine and with that, they also use grape by-products to produce Chacha (brandy), sometimes called “wine vodka”, “grape vodka”! This is a Georgian drink that resembles the Italian grappa and it’s incredibly strong – some homemade varieties can have an alcohol content in excess of 60%!
Overall, tasting Georgian food and drink is one of the absolute highlights of traveling to the country. And if you want to learn more about the food in Georgia then you can try the following dishes.
Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian bread. The filling is made from cheese or salted eggs, when eaten, it has a greasy taste. Khachapuri are flattened cheese breads, closed and stuffed with sulguni cheese.
Churchkhela is a famous street food in Georgia. The ingredients of this dish include almonds, peanuts and nuts, topped with eye-catching juice. Churchkhela is not actually a treat but a traditional candle-shaped candy as you can find it everywhere. It basically consists of walnuts and almonds dipped in a super hot and thick grape juice, which they need to dry for a few hours.
Kupati is a fried pork sausage, loved by tourists for its delicious and unique taste. Sausages are fried on a hot cast iron pan, often served with bread.
Kharcho is a soup made with a rather sophisticated recipe and ingredients. The soup is made from beef, rice and coriander. All ingredients will be put in a pot and stewed until tender.
And khinkali are dumplings usually stuffed with meat, though sometimes they also have khinkali with cheese, mushrooms, and potatoes. There are many versions of khinkali – in the mountains of Svaneti, for example, lamb dumplings are quite popular. For vegetarians or Georgians who are fasting for religious reasons, khinkali mushrooms are also very popular.
Most meals in Georgia start with a variety of dipping sauces, usually made with walnuts, and they go with bread. Beets and pomegranate seeds add color. Cheese, walnuts and meat, a lot of meat, is usually the core of any of their meals but they also have many vegetarian options, especially the eggplant dish.
As for the main courses, stews such as the common and familiar dish in the meal are chicken stew with onions and tomatoes with fresh herbs.
A meal in a normal restaurant will be about 10-15 GEL people are full. Khinkali price 0.6-1 GEL/piece. Eating on the street, 1 serving, for example 1 serving of Mtsvadi – grilled meat with bread will be 5-7 GEL.
With unique experiences, Georgia (former Gruzia) promises to be an attractive destination for all “moving” believers. Hopefully the information shared above will be really useful for your upcoming Georgia trip.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Tbilisi you can refer to
- Tbilisi Evening Walking Tour
- Kakheti Wine Region Private Day Tour from Tbilisi
- Kazbegi Crazy Tour from Tbilisi
- Zoo Atlanta Admission in Georgia
- Tbilisi Private Walking Tour
- Tbilisi: Kazbegi Full-Day Group Tour
- From Tbilisi: Kakheti Wine Region, Including 7 Wine Tastings
- Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour
- From Tbilisi: Borjomi Central Park and Vardzia
- Tbilisi: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour
- From Tbilisi: Small Group Tour to Armenia with Lunch
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