Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia (thecountrynotthestate), is a city where Europe meets the Middle East. With it’s unique character it is a great place to stay for a while!
The last days in Georgia I spent in Tbilisi. Jenny went back to Turkey, so I was by myself again. In the meantime I went to Armenia as well, but more about that trip later. At the end of my caucasus trip i would fly back from Tbilisi to Istanbul and because I love the city so much, I decided to stay for a couple of days. Yes, there is another post about Tiblisi on my blog, but I liked the city so much I thought there was was more to tell about it!
Strolling through old town
The first thing that struck me about this city is the beautiful and diverse old part of town. When walking on Rustaveli Avenue you probably feel like you are in any other European city, but when you get close to old town it feels almost like you ended up in a Western movie. The pretty coloured woodworked houses are built between Arabian looking buildings. On top of the hills there are a variety of churches. The old town is filled with nice cafes and give it a bohemian feel. If you like wine, you came to the right place. There are tons of wineries in Tbilisi and that is definitely worth a try!
Even though the architecture is beautiful, the houses are in bad state. There are also lots of empty houses around the old city centre. It is great to roam around these areas though, especially if you are into Urbex.
Going to church
I am not a religious person myself, but I loved to visit churches in Georgia (as well as in Armenia). Especially during a service it was special to experience the atmosphere. The last day of the trip I even had a emotional moment. Seeing all these people pray. Some crying. What were they praying for?
There are a couple of interesting museums in the city. One of them is the Georgian National Museum.
At the time an interesting exhibition opened about the Russian occupation in the Ukraine, which was very impressive to see. Especially because of the fact that Georgia was of course occupied by Russia as well in the past.
Another nice part of the museum was the part about Colchis. Colchis was an old kingdom in the west of the country. It is mainly known because of the story of Jason And The Argonauts. I was always interested in this because of a novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley about the mythological story about the fall of Troy in Turkey. In this book, the kingdom was ruled by women and the Amazones. Unfortunateley there wasn’t any information about this history in the museum, but the jewelry exhibition was beautiful. (:
On top of the hill in the newer part of town, you can find the Tbilisi funicular that brings you to Mtatsminda park. It basically contains a big amusement park and back in USSR times is was one of the biggests attractions to visit for people around the area. When I went up it was already closing up, but it looked interesting. I made a little walk around, enjoyed the beautiful sunset and went down again.
During my stay I stayed in quite a lot of hostels. Not all were good unfortunately, but there were some nice ones as well.
The first one is Old Town hostel. It is located on the border of old town. It’s clean, the people are friendly, pubs are closeby and public transport is easily reachable from this place.
Friends hostel is another one. Located in the centre of old town it is an ideal place to stay. People are nice, it is clean and it’s at crawling distance of the pub area.
Why Not? hostel is the last one. It is not in the old town, but the hostel has a very nice atmosphere and public transport is always close by. They provide a lot of tours as well.
Tbilisi and surroundings
1. Love wine? You would love the Eastern part of Georgia. Georgia is famous for its wine and they say it is the oldest country to produce wine! Around the Kakheti area (just an hour from the capital) there are a lot of wineries. You can go by yourself or make a reservation for a guided tour in Tbilisi.
2. I have not been there myself, but I have heard good stories about it. The monastery of David Gareja is one you should definitely visit! It’s all about location at this place!
3. Just three hours up north from Tbilisi lies one of the most beautiful national parks of the country. In Kazbegi National Park you can hike, mountainbike or just enjoy the peace of the area. Here you can read about my experience.
To me, Tbilisi became one of my favorite cities in Europe. I hope I can visit again soon!