Today I’ll tell you about the sights of Tbilisi and what can be seen in the city in 2-3 days.
Tbilisi has become one of our favorite cities – it is the most colorful capital in the Caucasus. The city lies at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, and therefore many peoples left their traces here. The name of the city translates as “warm spring”, and indeed Tiflis (as the capital was called until 1936) was based on warm springs, where sulfur baths are now located.
Detailed guide to Georgia, read in this post.
Tbilisi is a very heterogeneous city, both in architecture and mood: modern buildings, such as the Peace Bridge or the House of Justice easily coexist with quiet streets in the historic center, and if you turn off the wide, bustling Rustaveli Avenue, you find yourself in cozy courtyards. And the picturesque rocky banks of the Kura … this city is remembered for a long time!
In Tbilisi, you want to stay a little longer, not to hurry anywhere and walk-walk along these incredible quarters in the center. It seems that everything is falling apart, there are cracks in the houses with a fist, but how colorful and atmospheric!
Keep the 20 best places to see in Tbilisi:
Sights of Tbilisi
The capital of Georgia is divided into several areas: Old Town, Avlabari, Rustaveli, Vake, Mtatsminda and others. Traditionally, at the end of the post, attach the map with all the interesting places of the city, for better orientation.
1. Narikala Fortress
Narikalu can be seen from almost anywhere in the old city, it towers on a cliff above Tbilisi. In the 8th century, the residence of the Arab emirs was located here, it was they who built the fortress. Subsequently, Narikala passed from hand to hand several times to Georgians, Persians, Turks, and was almost completely destroyed by the explosion of an ammunition depot.
Above there are wonderful views of Tbilisi, and you can get here by going up from the Metekhi Bridge past the Armenian Church of St. George and further up the stairs.
Another option is to take the lift, which in 2 GELs and 5 minutes will take you from Rike Park on the other side of the river to Narikala Fortress.
Address: Narikala Hill
Entrance fee: free
Work time: 09: 00-21: 00
2. Sulfur baths
Sulfur baths are a business card and one of the main attractions of Tbilisi. Alexander Pushkin himself bathed here, calling them the best baths of all, where he had ever been. Conveniently, all the baths are concentrated in one place and look like decorations for the film about Central Asia. All baths are underground on sulfur hot springs and covered with a dome. Orbeliani and the Royal Baths are considered the best, I recommend to go there.
Address: Abano area
Entrance fee: 40-50 GEL private rooms, 3 GEL common room.
Work time: 08: 00-22: 00
3. Old Quarters
In Tbilisi, everywhere you can stumble upon ancient buildings of different eras: Arab motifs, merchants’ houses, monumental Soviet buildings … But their greatest concentration in the old city is the area between the Narikala hill, the river and Freedom Square. The main street in this area is Kote Abkhazi with many restaurants, cafes, shops and souvenir shops.
4. Front of the old city
Stroll through the streets of Lado Asatiani, Lermontov, Dadiani and parallel to them – you will be delighted! We wandered for half a day, looking at each entrance … more precisely in the front door. Some of them are a work of art, despite the fact that they are located in ordinary residential buildings. You come in and feel: someone fries fish, but emotional Georgians argue about something — such a regular measured life.
5. Tbilisi Historical Museum
Historical Museum is located on the site of the former caravanserai. Located in the old town near the church of Sioni.
Address: st. Sioni, 8
Entrance fee: 3 GEL
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 08: 00-22: 00
6. Cathedral of Tsmind Sameba
One of the symbols of new Georgia was built in 2002 on Avlabari hill, and the temple can be seen from almost anywhere in the city, especially in the evening and at night – it is beautifully highlighted. The cathedral is striking in its monumentality and severity of forms – 68 meters in height. The gilded dome shines in the sun so that it can be seen in the opposite end of Tbilisi.
Address: Avlabari Hill
Entrance fee: free
Work time: 08: 00-22: 00
7. Church of Zioni
Another temple in the historic center of the city, was built in 6-7 centuries, many times destroyed and rebuilt. What came to us is the construction of the 13th century. The temple is interesting not so much architecture as relics that are stored in it. Home – this is the cross of St. Nina, the main relic of Georgia, existing since the time of the baptism of the country.
Tbilisi Old Quarter
8. Freedom Square
Once on this square there was a monument to Lenin, as in many cities of the Soviet Union. Now the Freedom Square is decorated with a column with St. George killing a serpent. Here are the city administration and the hotel “Marriott”. At one time, the square more than once became a place where people gathered, for example, during the rose revolution or the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Victory.
9. Shota Rustaveli Avenue
The main and widest street of Tbilisi with beautiful and elegant buildings on both sides. The street starts from Freedom Square and goes to the Rose Revolution Square, from south to north. It is here that the Parliament, museums, the Opera and Ballet Theater and many other sights of Tbilisi are located. Rustaveli Street is named after the famous Georgian poet of the 12th century.
10. National Museum of Georgia
A large collection of historical and ethnographic material, a collection of gold jewelry from the ancient Colchis,
Address: st. Rustaveli, 3
Entrance fee: 5 GEL
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10: 00-18: 00
11. Building of the Parliament of Georgia
The monumental building on Rustaveli Avenue with a large fountain at the entrance. This place is a witness of many important events in the life of the country, including protests, the rose revolution, and many others.
Address: st. Rustaveli, 8
12. Bridge of Peace
The pedestrian bridge over Kourou, which connects Rike Park and Irakli II Street, is one of the most interesting places in Tbilisi where you should go. The bridge looks a bit like a huge glass shell of a turtle, and the architect is Italian Michele de Lucca, who also designed the presidential palace. Very prominent place, especially in the evening and at night.
13. Church Metekhi
The Metekhi district is another historical area of Tbilisi, located on a high cliff directly above the Kur. It is on this rock that the Metekhi church, which was built in the 5th century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, stands (a monument to him on a horse is installed next to it). In the 13th century, the temple was destroyed by the Mongols, and almost immediately restored, as such, and reached our days. At various times, it was used as a powder warehouse, as a prison, and even as a youth theater.
14. Presidential Palace
A very solemn and elegant building, as befits a presidential palace, is located in the Avlabari district. Unfortunately, the entrance here is closed, but it can be clearly seen from many points of the city.
15. Puppet Theater Rezo Gabriadze
You probably know or heard about Rezo Gabriadze through the films “Kin-Dza-Dza” and “Mimino”. He also created a very unusual puppet theater in Tbilisi. In the very center of the city, you can see a quaint house with a clock tower nearby – this is it. This is a real pride and pearl of Tbilisi – a place that is definitely worth a visit!
Tickets must be bought in advance, because there are many who want to, and the capacity of the hall is small.
Address: Shavteli St., 13
Entry fee: 20 GEL ticket
Opening hours: performances at 12:00 and at 19:00
16. Mtatsminda Park
Mtatsminda Park towers over the capital, and this is a favorite place of citizens on the weekends. There are several attractions for the whole family – from children’s merry-go-rounds with horses to a roller coaster. The best views are opened from the Ferris wheel.
You can get to the park by funicular from the street. Chonkadze, either by bus 124 or 90 from Freedom Square (0.5 GEL, 20 minutes).
Over there on the mountain tower and ferris wheel
Slides in Mtatsminda Park
View of Tbilisi from the park
Address: Mount Mtatsminda
Entrance fee: free of charge, attractions 3-5 GEL, plus 2 GEL for an electronic card
Work time: 12: 00-21: 00
17. Botanical Garden
Botanical Garden was founded in 1845 on the site of the royal gardens. Here you can take a nice walk for a few hours, there is even a waterfall.
Entrance fee: 1 GEL
Work time: 09: 00-20: 00
18. Park Rica
Nice place on the banks of the Kura River at the Bridge of Peace. In the evening they come here to sit on the benches and look at the singing fountains, from 8 to 11 pm.
If you go a little deeper from the sulfur baths, you can see the mosque – the only one of its kind in Tbilisi. It was built in the 18th century by the Ottomans. Like many things in Tbilisi, the mosque was destroyed and rebuilt several times. As they say, Sunnis and Shiites pray here (two different currents of Islam), which is not typical.
20. Market at the Dry Bridge
The most famous flea market in Georgia, where you can find everything you can imagine. There are no vintage items here, only Soviet and earlier rarities. This market has an amazing story: after the collapse of the Union, difficult times began in Georgia, and residents of the surrounding houses began to sell everything they could to feed their families. Gradually, life has improved, and the market is still functioning.
You can book a tour of Tbilisi and the surrounding area even in advance, from home online, a large selection and local guides I found on this site . It will be a really bright experience!
Well, now you know what to see in Tbilisi in 2-3 days and where to go. Memories of your walks and pleasant journey!