Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is a relatively undiscovered travel destination. This fact alone is a great reason to visit, though if you’re still not convinced, Daria, our Tbilisi local, has shared five more reasons to tempt you to her fascinating hometown.
1. Enjoy breathtaking panoramas
Tbilisi is situated in a mountainous area, so you’ll definitely get the chance to enjoy some amazing views. The most popular and easily accessible observation point is Narikala fortress. You can either get there by cable car from Rike Park or by foot from Meidani Square. It’s best to take a cable car up (save your breath for the breathtaking views) and walk down.
With several upscale restaurants and a big Ferris wheel that offers a fantastic panorama of the city, Mtatsminda Park is a must. Head up the mountain by funicular, take a walk, watch the sunset and enjoy the crisp evening air.
There are many other places to get great views of the city including the park at Tsminda Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral, the terrace at Radisson Iveria Hotel and Cafe Flowers near Rike Park.
Photo credit: Daria Kholodilina
2. Sip divine wine at traditional wine cellars
Georgia is famous for its wines. Tbilisi has plenty of small cellars where you can taste different varieties and choose a bottle to take home, or simply stop by for a glass or two. Vinotheca is one of the many cellars that offers tastings, while the atmosphere at Wine Bar Khareba is perfect for relaxing evening tipple. Visit a local wine cellar to learn about the history of Georgian winemaking, enjoy performances by local musicians and chat with friendly bartenders.
Photo credit: Wine Bar Khareba
3. Admire local art and handicrafts
Producing small masterpieces is a part of everyday life in the Georgian capital. You’ll find handmade clothing, enamel and silver accessories, paintings, embroidered textiles and other handcrafted products all across Tbilisi, especially in the Old Town and in the city centre. Meidan Bazaar is the most popular place for buying local souvenirs. Even if you’re not in the mood for shopping, it’s still interesting to see the local handicrafts. 144 Stairs is a great little art café where you can feed your mind and body at the same time.
4. Discover Georgian history
Tbilisi is a city where history and modernity coexist and intermingle. Remnants of its fascinating and complex past can be seen everywhere – Tbilisi was founded around sulphur springs which to this day are a prominent feature of the city centre, and buildings dating back to the 14th, 17th and 19th centuries still form part of the downtown area. Mtatsminda Pantheon is another place that holds great religious, historical and cultural significance for locals.
Photo credit: Morten Oddvik
5. Savour national delicacies at cosy restaurants
Georgian food is disastrous for people who try not to overeat. It’s extremely delicious and there are so many tempting choices that you’ll be hard-pressed to try everything during your stay. There are many different restaurants and cafés in Tbilisi where you can enjoy all the highlights of Georgian cuisine. Maspindzelo, Cafe Gabriandze, Zakhar Zakharich are just a few of the places that serve amazing local food.
Photo credit: Krista
Living by the motto “have love, will travel”, Ukrainian-born Daria moved to Tbilisi after falling head over heels for the city when visiting friends. She enjoys both the feelings of wanderlust and homesickness, and tries to keep them balanced.