Tbilisi is an up and coming tourist destination and is turning into one of the coolest cities in Europe. With its techno scene and very cheap prices, Tbilisi is a must-visit place particularly for young people. There are lots of things that make Tbilisi so special, such as the delicious Georgian food, the hospitality of the locals, and the many beautiful and special spots that surround the city. Here you will find everything you need to know about visiting Tbilisi in one day.
What’s the best time to visit Tbilisi?
The best time to visit Tbilisi are the summer months from June to August. These months are the hottest in the year, ranging between 30-40 degrees Celsius. However, this should not put you off as the weather in Georgia fluctuates a lot, to the point that it snows in winter. This is why I always recommend visiting during summer as both the sea and the mountains can be enjoyed.
If you would rather avoid the crowds, September is also quite warm (between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius) and much less busy with tourists.
A few facts about Tbilisi
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, and the name directly translates to the word ‘warm’. This name actually comes from an ancient legend. The king of ancient Iberia, Vakhtang Gorgasali, was once hunting in the forest of Mtsxeta, which back then was the capital of Georgia. He shot and killed a pheasant and sent his falcon to go fetch it. When the falcon did not come back, the king went to find what had happened to it, only to come across some hot springs. He then decided to found a city here and name it “Tbilisi”.
In fact, today those hot springs still exist, and sulphur baths are one of the most popular activities to do in the city.
One Day in Tbilisi Itinerary
There are many things to see and do in this city just like in any other capital. However, this itinerary from a local will ensure that you make the most out of your one day in Tbilisi!
Visit the Old Town
The Old Town in Tbilisi is the most interesting and historical part of the city. It is the perfect place to start your explorations as there is so much to see here. Start by wandering around in the streets and you will find some very beautiful colourful buildings and balconies. If you are after popular Instagrammable spots, then head to the Clock Tower and the Chreli Abano (Thermal Bath). You can also spend a couple hours visiting the sulfur bath as this is one of the most popular things to do here.
Discover the New City
The New City is also worth exploring in Tbilisi. After you have explored the Old Town, you can head to the Bridge of Peace towards the new city.
The Bridge of Peace unites the Old Town with the New City and is a very famous bridge which offers some great views over the river Mtkvari (Kura). Here you can also buy some local souvenirs and have a cup of coffee in a nice coffee shop.
Take the cable car to the top
After exploring the city from below, it is time to see it from above. Head to the cable car, where you will be able to see the city from above. To get to the top, you will need to purchase a card which costs 2 Lari.
This is also the ideal place to have lunch. The restaurant ‘Funicular’ not only overlooks the whole city, but also serves some of the best Adjarian Khachapuri in the whole city. This is a so-called ‘cheeseboat’ – bread filled with cheese, some butter and an egg. It is eaten by tearing off the bread and dipping it in the cheese sauce. It is a must try dish in Georgia!
Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral
You cannot leave Tbilisi without visiting any of the cathedrals – this is why the Holy Trinity Cathedral is a must. You can take a taxi from the cable car point (taxis are very cheap in Georgia), and you will be there in less than 20 minutes. Before going to the cathedral, make sure that you wear a skirt/dress if you are a female and bring a headscarf to wear. These are usually provided, but it is usually best to bring your own. Nothing is required for men.
Have drinks at Fabrika
Fabrika is a popular hostel where young people gather every evening to hang out and have drinks. The vibe here is very alive every day – even during the week! It is definitely worth coming here if you fancy meeting some locals and maybe having a few drinks.
There are many amazing and fancy restaurants in Tbilisi. However, ‘Khinkali house’ is one of my favourites because it is open 24/7 and serves very affordable and delicious food. Khinkali (the Georgian dumplings) are a must as well, so what better way to finish off a full day of activities than with a feast?
Where to stay in Tbilisi, Georgia
8 E. Ninoshvili Str., Chugureti, 0102 Tbilisi
This hostel is one of the coolest spots in the city. It is located near
the centre, and is a very fun place to stay in. This one is especially for you if you are travelling
with friends or by yourself – you will definitely meet some like-minded travellers here!
14 Merab Kostava Street, 0108 Tbilisi
This one is a slightly pricey option, starting at £130 per night, but the hotel itself is very trendy and beautiful. It used to be a Soviet publishing house now transformed into a hotel. It has a library and a very good restaurant inside worth visiting!
38 vakhtang VI str, 0144 Tbilisi
This hotel is a lot more affordable and still very nice. As a matter of fact, it offers great value for your money and serves traditional Georgian cuisine. Furthermore, it’s in Tbilisi’s Old Town and close to a metro station. In short, you get everything you need and more
Day trips from Tbilisi
If you want to do a short day trip or only have one day to spend in Tbilisi, then Mtskheta is where you should go. Mtskheta is located only 30 minute drive away from the city. It is also where most of the churches and cathedrals are located. You can find some breathtaking views and learn more about the history of Georgia.
If you have a bit more time, then make sure to do a day trip to Kazbegi. Kazbegi is a stunning mountain region only 3 hours away from the capital by car. It is really worth visiting to get the sense of the true hidden gems that Georgia offers.
Kakheti is another idea for a day trip. This is the wine region of Georgia, located only 1.5 hours drive from Tbilisi. As Georgia is the birthplace of wine, it is definitely worth visiting Kakheti for a wine tasting experience.
Extra tips for visiting Tbilisi
Be aware that there is no Uber in Tbilisi. Make sure that you download Yandex Taxi which works exactly like Uber.
The currency in Georgia is Lari. 1 Lari = $0.29/€0.25. It is very useful to have cash in the city. Make sure that you have some cash on you for the day as most taxis around only take cash.
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