Alternative Georgia: Day Trip to Chiatura from Tbilisi


45 EUR

Step off the beaten track and discover a different side of Georgia on a day trip to Chiatura – a former mining city full of forgotten wonders.

Duration: 10 hours
    Available in
  • English,
  • German,
  • Russian
Tour by Maria
Local Guru

Hello, I’m Maria, a private travel guide in Georgia. Tbilisi became my home 4 years ago and ever since then I’ve been exploring every corner of the country, taking the craziest routes and making unforgettable memories.

I became a guide not because I had to, but because I really wanted to share my passion for Georgia with visitors. It’s still my dream job! Travelling has taught me that we’re all different, and that’s why I create tailor-made tours for each of my guests.

I love showing visitors another side of Tbilisi, the one that you won’t find in the guidebooks. For example, I know the city’s socialist architecture well, from grand buildings and monuments to abandoned cable car stations, and am always finding beauty in decay.

I also love introducing people to the food scene beyond the fancy restaurants: typical diners where office workers eat, a small fast food spot that all local kids love, and an old restaurant that’s still popular today.

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  • Take a ride in Chiatura’s cable cars aka ‘flying coffins’
  • Visit a hidden cave monastery
  • See the incredible Katskhi pillar
  • Admire brutalist architecture
  • Discover forgotten places

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Once a splendid Soviet industrial city, Chiatura is now almost abandoned. The rusty cable cars run through the gorge, connecting residential areas with the mines.

The apocalyptic atmosphere of Chiatura, with its concrete brutalist architecture and panoramic views from the hills, creates a unique morbid charm that captivates anyone who visits. It’s no wonder the BBC and National Geographic have covered this special place!

During our tour we’ll take a ride in Chiatura’s ‘flying coffins’, enjoy the city’s Stalinist architecture, visit a hidden cave monastery, and see the Katskhi pillar – an unusual stone pillar with a small church on top.

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What’s included & not included

  • Private transfers
  • Local guide
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Lunch
  • Souvenirs

Meeting point

Liberty Square

Reviews from travellers (2)


Great tour!
Great day tour from Tbilisi! A unique glimpse back in time with some great Soviet architecture.
What an extraordinary window into the mid 20th century, and a (then) futuristic industrial- residential complex that must confirmed in many Soviet citizens the inevitable victory of socialism was just around the corner. The extraordinary 3 dimensional public transport system, linking disconnected suburbs with mine sites, industrial plants, mine sites and the civic centre, in a setting of near-total dilapidation - yet somehow still clinging to some kind of “normal” life, has weirdly science-fictional feeling to it. Standing on one of the ruined hilltop “suburbs”, where even now a few shattered Soviet era flats are still occupied, one can see see the remaining operational cable cars, industrial and public transport, Criss crossing the valley and imagine how advanced the whole setup must have looked back in the early 1950s.
I approached the cable car ride with some trepidation, but it all worked fine. I would not have missed this for anything. Added extras included a very worthwhile visit to what would have been the cultural centre for the city, a performing arts theatre in a rather sophisticated style that linked bauhaus with art moderne. Although it is also worn down to the bone, the theatre continues to host intermittent musical & theatrical performances.
Bookends to the tour, the remarkable cave monastery and the Katskhi pillar, round out a very full, and fulfilling day.
All this is hosted by lively, whip-smart and very knowledgeable Maria, whose energy and passion for Georgia, and perhaps especially this aspect of its past, present and future, make this unusual tour one out of the box.
Don’t miss it,

From 45 EUR per person
Starting time:
Total price:
  • Full refund if you cancel up to 72 hours before the tour
  • No booking fees
  • Pay by credit card or PayPal
Starting time:
Total price:
  • Full refund if you cancel up to 72 hours before the tour
  • No booking fees
  • Pay by credit card or PayPal