Tbilisi – Top Attractions and City Itinerary

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Explore the best of Tbilisi in 2-3 days with this guide on what to see, where to go, and the must-visit attractions. Discover the top places and a pedestrian route designed for those visiting Tbilisi for the first time.

Answering key questions:

  • What to see in Tbilisi?
  • Where to have dinner?
  • Where to taste the most delicious khinkali in Tbilisi?
  • Where to enjoy the best coffee with a view of the city?
  • Where to buy the tastiest churchkhela, fruits, and souvenirs?
  • Where to go for shopping if time permits? If you prefer guided tours, there’s a selection of the most popular excursions in Tbilisi led by locals at the end of the article.
Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Where to stay in Tbilisi

Choose accommodation in the city center to minimize travel distances to the starting point of our itinerary.

For detailed information on the best neighborhoods to stay in and hotel recommendations based on our personal experience, refer to the article “Where to Stay in Tbilisi – Personal Insights.”

The starting point of the itinerary depends on the central district in which we chose to stay. For the sake of convenience, let’s consider Freedom Square in the heart of Tbilisi, where several central streets converge, including Baratashvili Avenue and Rustaveli Avenue.

Freedom Square

The starting point of our itinerary and the central square of Tbilisi. For those familiar with Kyiv, there might be some resemblance to Kyiv’s Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti). If you arrive in the Georgian capital before lunch, consider beginning at the khinkali restaurant “U Vel’yaminova”, located just 100 meters from Freedom Square at 8 Dadiani Street. It’s well-known to both savvy tourists and locals from the Soviet era.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Since we’ll be exploring for a few hours, I recommend grabbing a bite before setting out.

Baratashvili Avenue

From Freedom Square, head down Baratashvili Avenue and descend to Baratashvili Bridge. You can take a moment on the bridge to enjoy the beautiful view of the Palace of Justice and the amusing sculptures on the railings.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

After crossing the bridge, return to Baratashvili Avenue, use the underground passage to cross the street, and enter a square with sculptures. From there, proceed along Shavteli Street towards the Gabriadze Theater.

Gabriadze Theater

The Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater is a major city attraction. If you’re interested, attend a performance; tickets can be purchased on the theater’s website for around 30 lari. The theater building houses a café with a beautiful interior, though prices are high, and the food isn’t exceptional. At most, you can enjoy coffee on the outdoor terrace.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Every hour, a performance begins on the tower of the theater. The shutters of the clock tower open, an angel emerges, and a bell rings. The number of strikes corresponds to the time, with 11 strikes at 11 a.m. Plan to be there at the start of a new hour.

Peace Bridge

Continue walking past the Church of the Nativity and the Patriarchate of Georgia, past the luxurious Shangri-La Casino, until you reach the Peace Bridge. This glass bridge, for some, has become a new symbol of Tbilisi, while others quietly dislike it. We personally find it quite appealing!

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Make sure to return to the bridge in the evening when it is fantastically illuminated with various colors. Each visit brings a different spectrum of lights.

Rike Park

Crossing the Peace Bridge, you’ll enter one of the most beautiful places in Tbilisi – Rike Park. The park features greenery, benches, playgrounds, a café by the river with a view of the bridge, a monument to U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and a view of the Presidential Palace, which is also beautifully illuminated in the evening.

You can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours leisurely strolling through the park. Within the park, there’s another, according to many, peculiar structure that we find intriguing.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

These are two massive pipes extending over Rike Park. This surrealistic installation was intended to become something like a cultural center or theater but never opened to the public. The complex was built during the Saakashvili era, like many of Tbilisi’s modern architectural wonders.

Above Rike Park, there’s an observation platform. Climb up and admire the old Tbilisi and the view of Mtatsminda Mountain with the TV tower. The tower is illuminated with red light at night, creating a picturesque scene.

Next to the observation deck above Rike Park is the Flowers Café, offering the best views of the city, especially enjoyable in late autumn and even winter.

Avlabari Square and the Holy Trinity Cathedral (Sameba)

After Rike Park, there are two options for the continuation of the route – either walk uphill to Avlabari Square or proceed to the cable car. I recommend including Avlabari Square and the Sameba Cathedral in the route.

Tbilisi, Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA

First, climb uphill to Avlabari Square. In this area, there are many guesthouses and budget hotels. The main attraction is the monument to the characters from the film “Mimino,” sculpted by Zurab Tsereteli – yes, the same one.

After Mimino’s characters, continue walking uphill to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, also known as the main cathedral of Tbilisi – Tsminda Sameba.

Both the size of the cathedral and the view from the observation platform within the cathedral grounds are impressive. The cathedral is visible from almost any point in Tbilisi, and the view from the platform covers the territory of the cathedral.

Cable Car and Narikala Fortress

After descending on foot from the Sameba Cathedral to Rike Park, you can stop by the local market near Avlabari Metro Station.

From Rike Park, it’s a short walk to Europe Square, where you’ll find the lower station of the cable car.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Purchase a ticket at the counter, board the cabin, and in just two minutes, ascend to the top.

The payment system for public transportation in Tbilisi, including the cable car, is through the Metromoney plastic card. Therefore, for the cable car entrance, you’ll pay 2 lari for the card itself and 2.50 lari for a one-way ride. If you’re traveling as a pair, you’ll receive one card for both of you. It can be recharged at the metro counter and used for public transportation. If the card is not needed, you can return it at the metro counter and get 2 lari back.

The cable car operates until 23:00, allowing you to enjoy the city views in the evening as well.

From the upper metro station, follow the signs to Narikala Fortress, enjoying the views of Tbilisi along the way. The panorama is remarkable in any weather, be it rain, fog, or bright sunshine.

Narikala Fortress itself is what remains of the defensive city walls, which were essentially an extension of the Sololaki Ridge, serving to protect the city. The fortress is over 1500 years old.

You can reach the fortress on foot from Meidan Square, also known as Vakhtang Gorgasali Square.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Mother Georgia and the Sololaki District

On the other side of the fortress stands the sculpture of Mother Georgia, holding a sword for enemies in one hand and a cup of wine for friends in the other.

Descending from the Mother Georgia sculpture along the pedestrian route, you enter the historic and once affluent district of Tbilisi – Sololaki. Along the way, admire the church domes, courtyards, and Tbilisi houses. Some are architectural and design masterpieces, especially on the inside.

Following the staircase route, you’ll arrive at the beautiful Betlemi Street. You’ll understand why you need to be here once you explore the area.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Check Point Hotel and Cafe, Frida Kahlo Portrait

Parallel to Betlemi Street is Gomi Str. Make sure to visit the Check Point Hotel, or better yet, stay for a day or two.

The hotel lobby is adorned with a portrait of the scandalous and incredibly cool Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. On the second floor, enjoy a fantastic view of old Tbilisi and the Sololaki quarter.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

The hotel rooms offer equally impressive views of the rooftops and the city. In the hotel’s cafe, barista Sergo prepares arguably the best coffee in Tbilisi.

Betlemi street, Tbilisi

In the vicinity of Betlemi Street, there’s a lot to see – take note of these addresses:

  • Gallery 27, address: N3 Betlemi St, Tbilisi 0105
  • Rachinsky Duhan (Rachin’s Shop), address: 1 Abo Tbileli St, Tbilisi 0155

We particularly enjoy Carpe Diam café, known for its delightful ice cream and a balcony and summer terrace with a stunning view of the city. The balcony is designed for a maximum of two people.

From Carpe Diam café, located at 5 Samghebro St, Tbilisi 0108, it takes just 5 minutes to descend to Meidan Square, our next location in the capital of Georgia.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Meidan Square (Vakhtang Gorgasali) and Surroundings

Meidan, or Vakhtang Gorgasali Square, is another tourist hub from which routes diverge in various directions.

The square’s attraction is the Samikitno café, with the “I Love Georgia” sign nearby, a spot that always attracts tourists. You may not necessarily visit the café; it’s a typical expensive tourist place.

Close by is the small tourist street Shardani, named after a French traveler who visited Tbilisi. It’s worth exploring if you visit during the low season; in summer, it can be a tourist hub.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Opposite Meidan, across the river, stands the Metekhi Church and the monument to the Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasali. You can cross the bridge, ascend to the platform in front of the monument, and enter the church.

Near the church is the Peristsvaleba Monastery and the Daredjan Palace, a beautiful building with blue balconies. They are marked on the free Maps.me app, with GPS coordinates: 41.6917, 44.8127. The monastery is visible from the bridge – very close.

Sulfur Baths

Returning across the bridge to Gorgasali Square, turn left onto Gorgasali Street, keeping the Gorgasali monument and the Metekhi Church on the hill to your left across the river.

On Vakhtang Gorgasali Street, on the right side, you will find the Geydar Aliyev Park – if you’re tired, take a break; there are many benches in the park. The park offers free city internet, named “Georgia loves you”.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Beyond the Aliyev Park, you’ll see beautiful domes – these are the domes of the sulfur baths in Abanotubani. Legend has it that King Gorgasali discovered hot springs here while hunting. He liked the idea of creating baths in this area, which led to the founding of Tbilisi, moving the capital from Mtskheta.

If you wish, you can plan an evening program – visit the baths. The price ranges from 4 lari for a spot in a common hall to 150 lari per person for a private cabin and a full range of services. Inside, everything is very clean and civilized; we’ve been and enjoyed it, as it’s incredibly beneficial for the skin. We love such spa procedures and highly recommend them.

Waterfall in the Center of Tbilisi

A real waterfall in the center of Tbilisi! When we first visited 8 years ago, access to the waterfall and the canyon was closed. Now, it’s one of the most popular places in the city; newlyweds come here, and around the waterfall and the canyon, there are many upscale restaurants.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

To reach the waterfall, walk past the sulfur baths along the Tsavkisis Tsikhe River until the end, and you’ll reach the waterfall. The passage is civilized and doesn’t require special clothing or shoes. The water falls from about 20 meters, looking quite impressive up close.

Houses located along the edge of the gorge with a view of the waterfall and the canyon look even more spectacular.

Where to have dinner in Tbilisi

Locals recommended the restaurant Chef Sarajeff, which doesn’t stand out from the street and is located in a courtyard on Gorgasali Street. It’s a five-minute walk from the sulfur baths behind the balneological complex, which is clearly visible from the street. This family restaurant, Chef Sarajeff, is a favorite among locals.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

The prices are very reasonable, about half the cost compared to touristy places. The food receives high praise, and they have a good wine selection. The place is still relatively undiscovered by tourists, having opened recently.

The restaurant has a small dining area with around 7-10 tables. It’s advisable to book in advance for the evening or come during the day, around 16:00-17:00 when there are still available seats.

Where to buy churchkhela and fruits in Tbilisi?

For the second day in Tbilisi, it’s recommended to start with a trip to the market. The Deserters’ Market, also known as the Borjomi Market, is the place to go for the most delicious churchkhela and fresh fruits.

Allocate at least three hours for a visit to the market. The Borjomi Market is located near Station Square, the main railway station in Tbilisi.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

You can get there by bus number 37, which also comes from the airport, or by metro to Station Square. We took the metro there and walked back through the beautiful David Agmashenebeli Avenue to the city center, which takes about an hour at a moderate pace.

David Agmashenebeli Avenue

Synonymous with European Tbilisi, David Agmashenebeli Avenue is a beautiful and tourist-friendly pedestrian part of the avenue. It’s enjoyable to stroll here, especially in the evening when the lights come on.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

There are many beautiful cafes and hookah bars, but also quite a few overpriced ones that may spoil the experience. Prices are relatively high, with wine costing more than at Tbilisi Airport. It’s not recommended to spend the entire evening here. Instead, it’s better to head towards the Bridge of Peace and the pedestrian street for a drink of wine or tea.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Dry Bridge Flea Market

Walking along David Agmashenebeli Avenue will lead to a beautiful square, and on the right side of it is the Dry Bridge (Sukhishvili). This is the famous Tbilisi flea market, which has become somewhat dull recently due to ongoing renovations.

The bridge is currently under repair, but it’s still accessible, and sellers continue to display their goods. After crossing the bridge and turning left towards the Ministry of Justice, a beautiful building with mushroom-like roofs, one can explore further. Continuing down the road will lead to Baratashvili Avenue and the Baratashvili Bridge, where the journey began yesterday.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Shopping in Tbilisi

If you still have money, desire, and energy, or in case of necessity, you can explore the shopping centers in Tbilisi. Similar to restaurants, a concise selection is preferred for shopping centers.

Tbilisi Gallery

Located on Rustaveli Avenue, near Freedom Square, this is the nearest classic shopping center. A significant advantage is its proximity to the city center, making it accessible no matter where you stay. It opens at 10:00 AM, similar to most shops in Tbilisi.

East Point

A shopping center located at the exit from Tbilisi, essentially a collection of boutiques in one area. It’s worth going if you are serious about shopping. There’s a Carrefour, a cinema, and hundreds of boutiques with everything imaginable. Plan for at least half a day. The address is 2 Aleksandre Tvalchrelidze Str, Tbilisi.

It’s recommended to take a taxi if you don’t want to spend half a day on the road. The taxi costs around 10 lari for a one-way trip (3.5 Euros). The distance from the center is approximately 10 km.

Tbilisi Mall

A large, classic shopping center located on the way to Mtskheta. Locals highly recommended this place. Marshrutkas are available, but we prefer not to use them due to time loss and crowded conditions. It’s recommended to take a taxi for 10-12 lari, as you agree. Taxis are available at Freedom Square and in all tourist areas.

There are many other shopping centers, but they are not worth mentioning, especially if you are in Tbilisi for 2-4 days.

Georgia, Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi

Where to buy cheap flights to Georgia?

Browsing airline websites in search of cheap flights or promotions is no longer relevant. In Tbilisi, you can find inexpensive tickets almost any time of the year. I use the search engine Aviasales – always good prices, convenient site navigation, and a user-friendly interface. Additionally, there’s a low-price calendar.

How to book a hotel in a new place?

After trying at least a dozen booking systems, I returned to the familiar and convenient Booking.com-Tbilisi. Here, there’s a user-friendly filtering system, a map with districts, and a sufficient number of reviews to guide you.

Moreover, you can always cancel a reservation if something goes wrong or if plans change.

How to rent an inexpensive car for travel in Georgia?

We often travel to Georgia and found the best car rental website: LocalRent – Georgia. You can pick up the car right at the airport.

If you plan to spend a couple of days in Tbilisi and then explore the surroundings, book the car at the hotel. You don’t need a car in the city itself, but it’s essential to explore the surrounding areas. Before the trip, read about the nuances of renting a car in Georgia.

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