21 unique things to do in Tbilisi Georgia (2024)

Looking for the best things to do in Tbilisi Georgia? 

A few months ago, I went to Georgia and Armenia with my oldest son and a friend. I prefer to travel off the beaten path, and I have to say; Georgia is definitely not your typical tourist destination.

And I mean this in a good way! 

There are no crowds, it’s cheap, it’s very authentic! And I didn’t see a single selfie stick or group tour. It’s rugged and rough around the edges, I won’t lie. But it feels undiscovered, just like Albania, which is a rare thing nowadays.

Most of the people I talk to have this image of Georgia that it’s war-ridden, bleak, and unsafe. But that’s not the reality. While the country does have a turbulent past and a disastrous relationship with Mother Russia, it’s actually a lovely place with friendly people, real-life Flintstones cities, and amazing food. 

Let’s take a look at what to do in Tbilisi that you shouldn’t miss!

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Things to do in Tbilisi

So, let’s talk about Tbilisi and why it’s worth a visit.

First of all, there are a lot of things to do in Tbilisi – from riding a funicular (or two) and admiring the really charming and authentic Old Town to eating the world’s best comfort food  ← I’m serious. If you’re a foodie, you need to read this post.

Tbilisi is also a great place to base yourself if you want to explore the country. From here, you can take day trips to anywhere in Georgia and most of Armenia, too.

Georgia

Practical info

How much time to spend

You can see everything in two days, but it’s the kind of city you’d want to stay in. If not for the food then just explore it deeper. It’s hard to explain, but some places just have that effect, you know. There’s always more to see, more to taste, more to understand. Tbilisi is one of those places.

How to get around

Tbilisi is easy to walk around, but you can also use the metro or take a taxi. One thing you should know is that there are very few pedestrian crossings and traffic lights in Tbilisi! To cross the street, you need to use the underground passageways at Rustaveli Avenue (the main street in Tbilisi) or try to cross close to the back of a car as it passes by. Just be careful!

How to avoid getting lost

When you’re sightseeing Tbilisi, use these as pointers ↓ And if you do get lost or can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask someone. I stopped several locals on the street to ask for directions, and some of them even followed us all the way there. 

  • Freedom Square at Rustaveli Avenue (like Park Avenue in NY. Here, you’ll find shopping centers and stores)
  • The Sulfur baths (at the other end of Rustaveli Av.)
  • If you get lost, ask someone for Rustaveli or the river. They both run through the city center.

Prices and budget

Tbilisi is cheap! For instance, a four-course dinner with wine for two – $18. 

Georgia
Freedom Square at Rustaveli Avenue

Unique things to do in Tbilisi

1. Visit the Leaning Clock Tower

Location: In the Old Town
It was pouring rain. Literally pouring both times I visited the Leaning Clock Tower. Which, by the way, is one of the must-see sights in Tbilisi. 

This bizarre building is a modern tower, attached to the puppet theatre of renowned puppeteer, Rezo Gabriadze. He built the clock tower over 30 years, reusing old pieces from abandoned and destroyed buildings. 

It’s really cool. You should go see it.

Georgia

2. Dry bridge flea market

Location: Under the Dry Bridge
This one is fun. 

Under the Dry Bridge, you’ll find a local flea market – and it’s possibly the most funky and antique you’ve ever seen. It’s like a time capsule. I first saw a photo of the flea market pictured by an old Lada filled with old Soviet things. I knew I had to visit! 

Need a 100-year-old axe? (ok, maybe not) Or an old USSR military medal? You’ve got it. The Dry Bridge flea market is the coolest place in Tbilisi, no doubt. 

Pro tips:

  • It’s open from 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Probably closed when the weather is bad
  • Bring cash – they don’t take credit card
  • Be polite. And ask for permission before taking photos of people.
Georgia

3. Gallery 27 / Kaleidoscope House

Location: In the Old Town
Man, it took me forever to find this place! Gallery 27 is located in the old town, about 600 m from the Sulfur baths.

It’s a great place to buy handmade artwork and admire this beautiful stairway. These hand-painted windows are more than a hundred years old.

Remember, people actually live and work here. Be respectful. 

Georgia

4. The Bridge of Peace

Location: Between the Old Town and Rike Park
The Peace Bridge or Bridge of Peace is a bow-shaped pedestrian bridge that connects Tbilisi Old Town with Rike Park over the Mtkvari River.

It’s most beautiful at sunset, and at night it lights up in bright colors. You’ll get some beautiful views of the city from this bridge.

Georgia

5. Mtatsminda Park

Location:  Take the funicular from Daniel Chonqadze Street (6 GEL/US$2.20 for a return trip)
Mtastsminda is the highest point in town and also the best place to view Tbilisi from above.

There’s an amusement park, several restaurants, a nightclub, and a pretty amazing view. And the best part? The entrance to Mtatsminda Park is free.

You can get there by car, bus or funicular (the easiest).

FYI: If you’re wondering if Mtatsminda Park and Narikhala Fortress are located on the same hill, then no. They’re not. There are two funiculars/cable cars in Tbilisi: one going to Mtatsminda and the other going to Narikhala. They’re not located next to each other.

6. Narikala Fortress

Location: Take the cable car at the Bridge of Peace (2 GEL/US$0.7 for return trip)
On a hill overlooking the Old Town, you’ll find the Narikala Fortress. It’s pretty hard to miss, no matter where you are in town.

Narikala fortress was established in the 4th century, around the time when the city was founded. It’s an ancient symbol of Tbilisi’s defense.

Georgia
Georgia
View from the top

7. Mother Georgia (Kartlis Deda)

Location: Next to the Narikhala Fortress
Right next to the fortress, you’ll find the Mother Georgia statue, also known locally as Kartlis Deda.

This 20m-tall aluminum statue holds a sword in one hand and a cup of wine in the other.

There’s a small walkway around the statue, but the front is best seen from the Old Town below. 

Georgia

8. Tbilisi Botanical Garden

Location: At the foothills of the Narikala fortress
When you’re standing at the top of Narikala Fortress or Mother Georgia, you’ll look down at Tbilisi Botanical Garden (opposite side of the Old Town).

We visited in April, so there were all kinds of pretty colors. I imagine it’s even prettier in the fall!

Georgia

9. Sameba Holy Trinity Church

Location: On the left bank of the river (opposite side of the Old Town)
The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is also known as Sameba (Trinity in Georgian).

It’s the third-highest Orthodox cathedral in the world and consists of nine chapels. The cathedral is free to enter, although women should cover their hair and shoulders and wear a long skirt.

It’s definitely worth visiting, although a bit further away.

How to get there

Either take a taxi from the city center (not more than 7 GEL) or take the stairs at Rike Park to get to the road, and from there follow the steep path up to the cathedral (25 minutes walk).

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10. Leghvtakhevi waterfall

Location: Close to the sulfur baths
Few capitals in the world can pride themselves on boasting two waterfalls. Tbilisi can.

Leghvtakhevi is one of them, and the other is located inside the Botanical Garden, just on the other side of the Narkala Fortress.

You can swim in the Leghvtakhevi waterfall or just admire the view. It’s a great little walk and a popular place for couples to stroll together. 

How to get there

Next to the Orbeliani Baths (the blue mosque-looking building), there’s a bridge. Cross that. To your right, there’s a walkway that leads straight to the waterfall (5-7 mins walk). 

Georgia
Georgia
I’ve got the waterfall in my back at this photo. The baths are at the end of the walkway to the left

11. Stalin’s Underground Printing Press

For history enthusiasts, this museum offers insights into Stalin’s early revolutionary activities in Georgia, adding a unique perspective to your visit.

12. See the sulfur baths from the outside

Location: Close to Leghvtakhevi waterfall
Fun fact: The sulfur baths are built on hot springs that gave Tbilisi its name (“Warm place”).

Yep. Once upon a time, the King of Georgia found these hot springs and decided to build a city surrounding them. And that’s how Tbilisi was born.

There are several baths in the area, but the famous Abanotubani sulfur bath is a great place to get a massage or relax in the natural pools. 

You can go in, but the Sulfur baths are also cool to look at from the outside. 

Georgia
Georgia

13. The Orbeliani Baths building

Location: Next to the sulfur baths and the Leghvtakhevi waterfall
The Orbeliani Baths is the prettiest building in Tbilisi, if you ask me.

I’ve dreamt of visiting  Uzbekistan and Iran for quite some time now, but in Tbilisi, I got a little glimpse of how it would be.

There’s just something about that sharp blue facade with tiles and mosaics and arch-shaped windows and doors.

Georgia
Georgia

14. Mtatsminda Pantheon

Visit this hillside cemetery for a quiet moment and enjoy panoramic city views. It’s a significant site where Georgia’s notable figures are buried.

Check out this private residence known for its bright, colorful facade. It’s become a hit for photos due to its unique look.

15. Explore historic Tbilisi

Location: Between Freedom Square and Sulfur Baths
This covers quite a large area, but when I say old or historic Tbilisi, I’m referring to the houses you see below.

It’s an area of town where houses are charming, vintage, and super old. Think cobblestone streets, wooden houses with balconies, and old courtyards coupled with Art Nouveau buildings.

You can see more buildings here.

Georgia
Georgia

16. Taste khinkali

Best restaurant: Pasanauri Rustaveli (close to the Sulfur baths)
Khinkali reigns supreme in the Caucasus. And Georgia is the motherland of Khinkalis.

These chunky dumplings are made with different fillings like meat or vegetables, and you can have them deep-fried or boiled. Either way, khinkali is a must-try dish when you’re in Georgia.

Armenia

17. Explore the Brutalist style

I’ve already introduced you to Brutalist architecture in my post about Skopje and Armenia.

Remember that weird post-Soviet design style? Well, it doesn’t get more interesting than this.

Tbilisi

18. Chronicles of Georgia

Location: 10 km from the Old Town
This is an absolute must. Like, you can’t visit Tbilisi without going to the Chronicles of Georgia

This monument is huge and majestic and impressive and SO unique to Georgia. It consists of 16 gigantic pillars and was created by Georgian sculptor, Zurab Tsereteli.

The top parts are decorated with Georgian history, such as the kings and queens from the last 3000 years. The lower part shows Georgia’s Christian heritage through the life of Jesus Christ.

How to get there

You can either take a taxi (although many drivers might not know where it is) or take the metro to Ghrmaghele station and then bus no. 60 straight to the Chronicle of Georgia. 

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19. Go for a scrub at the Abanotubani Sulfur Baths

Head here for a relaxing soak in historic baths known for their health benefits. It’s a great way to unwind and experience Georgian spa culture.

20. Head to the Dezerter Bazaar

Dive into local life at Tbilisi’s biggest market. You’ll find everything from food to clothes, offering a real taste of Georgian commerce.

21. Take a cooking class

Learn to make Georgian specialties like khachapuri and khinkali. It’s a fun, hands-on way to explore the country’s cuisine.

Book here – Cook True Ajarian Khachapuri and Khinkali

Georgian food

Where to stay in Tbilisi

We rented an apartment at Rustaveli Avenue, but it was a bit overpriced and not in the best shape. So, I’ll give you a few hotel recommendations here instead:

IOTA Hotel Tbilisi (mid-range) was my top pick, but it was fully booked when we visited. It’s a few hundred metres from Freedom Square and the rooms are modern and homely. Find the latest prices here.

Hotel Garnet Tbilisi (mid-range) is another beautiful hotel, 500 m from Freedom Square. It gets a 9.0 rating on booking.com, which is really good! Find the latest prices here.

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Best day trips from Tbilisi

You’ve got a few options when it comes to great day trips from Tbilisi. The most epic one was Kazbegi (the Caucasus mountains and that iconic church) and one of the easiest was Mtskheta. Here are a few to choose from:

  • Kazbegi/Stepansminda, which is a full-day tour of the mountainous part of Georgia. Book here.
  • Mtskheta – Gori – Uplistsikhe is a full-day trip to Stalin’s hometown, a cave city, and the beautiful former capital. Book here.
  • Kakheti wine tour – wine was invented in Georgia, so this trip is perfect for wine lovers. Book here.
  • Jeep Tour to David Gareja Monastery and Rainbow Mountains. Book here. 
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Mtskheta from above

Before you go – read more from Georgia

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Wondering what to do in Tbilisi, Georgia (Caucasus)? To make sure you don't miss any cool activities, have a look at the best things to do in Tbilisi, Georgia. From eating khinkalis and the world's best comfort food to the Narikala Fortress and the modern Peace Bridge. Find fun activities and a guide to where to stay in Tbilisi. #tbilisi #georgia #caucasus

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