Things to do in Tbilisi Georgia

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The country of Georgia, located in the Caucasus region near Armenia and Azerbaijan, has about 3.7 million people. Georgia is known for its natural landscapes, rich history, UNESCO World Heritage sites, architecture and cuisine. It is also one of the world’s oldest wine producers.

Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi has a population of just over one million, according to World Population Review. People visit Tbilisi because of the vast diversity of culture, food, architecture and history as well as the laid-back city vibes.

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12 Best Things to Do in Tbilisi

There are plenty of things to do in Tbilisi. Days can be spent wandering around the streets of Old Tbilisi, checking out a museum and buying paintings at one of the markets. You can also take a Masterclass, visit a nearby monastery or learn about the history on a walking tour.

Following is a complete list of the 12 best things to do in Tbilisi, Georgia’s vibrant capital city.

1. Old Tbilisi Day Tour 

The baby blue balcony caught my attention during the Old Tbilisi walking tour
The baby blue balcony caught my attention during the Old Tbilisi walking tour.
Photo by Erin Coyle

Informative walking tours include stops such as the copper statue of Tamada, known as the Toastmaster, and the Meidan Bazar, once a place for trading and chatting, now a market selling souvenirs. Along the way, you can expect to see colorful green, pink, and blue balconies and learn why Tbilisi is the city of balconies. 

2. Sololaki – Urban Legends Walk of Bourgeoise & Haunted Flats

There are colorful wall paintings inside many buildings in the Sololaki neighborhood. Things to do in Tbilisi
There are colorful wall paintings inside many buildings in the Sololaki neighborhood.
Photo by Erin Coyle

This walking tour is a chance to see some hidden spots you may not find when exploring solo. You will discover Baroque, Art Nouveau and Renaissance-style architecture and learn about the tale of one of the haunted houses. I was fascinated with the iron rod handrailing leading upstairs to the second floor in one of the apartment buildings, maybe because of its shape or style.

Visitors will marvel at the decorative hand paintings on the walls, some consisting of faded purple flowers and other symbols on pale yellow walls. I was in awe of the paintings, architecture, and stories we learned along the way. The Get Your Guide tour lasts 90 minutes and is well worth the price of about $38.

3. Soak in the Sulfur Baths

Sulphar baths are one of the things to do in Tbilisi Georgia
This is the Kisa scrub area. Photo by Erin Coyle

In ancient times, the baths were a way for wounded soldiers to heal and mothers to size up their future daughters-in-law. It was more common to come for bathing than a relaxing type of experience.

Guests can choose a basic room with a hot sulfur water bath and a natural cold pool. Some rooms also have a sauna and a sitting area with a couch and chairs. Rooms range in size, accommodating up to 12 people.

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I chose the one with a hot and cold bath and added a Kisa —a ten-minute scrub to remove dead skin cells. I booked a one-hour session at Gulos for 150 Gel. You can pay with a credit card, but they will ask for cash for the Kisa, which is an additional 20 Gel.

4. Visit the Writer’s House of Georgia

Things to do in Tbilisi: Visit the Writers House
One of the rooms inside the Writer’s House features information about the first owner of the house,
David Sarajishvili. Photo by Erin Coyle

David Sarajishvail was the first man to make Georgian Brandy. He and his wife were prominent philanthropists, and their home eventually became the Writer’s House. The Museum of Repressed Writers exhibit is on the second floor.

The Art Nouveau architecture and decor alone are worth the visit. One room’s ornate ceiling decoration with baby blue and gold symbols caught my attention. The residence is quaint, making guests feel at home and the garden is a lovely peaceful spot. The cost is 5 Gel,

5. Get Your Portrait at Kvarts Coffee 

The finished protrait of me
The finished portrait of me. Photo courtesy of Tania Tome

Near the Opera House, this popular coffee shop is famous for its portraits. I waited thirty minutes to have mine done with three or four people ahead of me. The artist said she sometimes draws more than 40 portraits in six hours. Order a cup of coffee to enjoy while waiting to have your portrait done.

6. Take a Khinkali and Khachapuri Masterclass

These dumplings have meat inside with salt, cumin, and chili pepper
These dumplings have meat inside with salt, cumin, and chili pepper.
Photo by Erin Coyle

Khinkali is a Georgian dumpling filled with meat or cheese, while Khachapuri is a cheese-filled bread with cheese or an egg on top. All are delicious. This masterclass will test your cooking skills to see if you can fold the khinkali into a round ball to stuff meat inside. You will also work on your kneading skills while making the Khachapuri.

The two-hour class includes learning about, making, and eating the dishes. The 65 Gel price also includes one glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink, salad and two types of cheese to sample while cooking. 

7. Shop at Dry Bridge Market

Some of the antiques at the market to visit with things to do in Tbilisi
Some of the antiques at the market. Photo by Erin Coyle

This eclectic market sells old records, carpets, porcelain, paintings, watches and more. As you start walking over the bridge, vendors are in a row selling items. Some are set up on the ground or a small table, while others have items for sale inside their van. 

Additional paintings and colorful purple, pink, orange and green scarves are displayed in the park below the market. It is an excellent place to watch the interactions between vendors and buyers. 

8. Try Churchkela at Dezerter Bazaar

This local market sells produce, cheese, spices, plants, bread, nuts and more. They also sell Churchkhela which is a candy-like snack made from grape juice and nuts. It looks like sausage. The stall I went to also had pomegranate-flavored Churchkhela.

9. Stop in at Fabrika

Another thing to do in Tbilisi is to stop by Fabrika. The building was once a sewing factory and has some unique art on the outside. I came here to see this and decided to go inside. It is now a hostel with a co-working space and has a courtyard outside with cafes. The co-working space was busy and had a good atmosphere.

10. Get a Photo of the Giant Bicycle Monument

The iconic metal sculpture at Revolutionary Square in Tbilisi was larger than I expected at double my height. It’s an excellent place to take pictures. This spot is the meeting point for some tours and reminds people to stay healthy and active.

11. Take a Tour to Mtskheta

Views of Mt. Kvari and Aragvi rivers from Jvari Monastery
Views of Mt. Kvari and Aragvi rivers from Jvari Monastery. Photo by Erin Coyle

Mtskheta is about forty minutes from Tbilisi. From the 6th century Jvari Monastery, there is an incredible view of the city and the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Another stop includes Samtavro Monastery, which has a church and nunnery. You may feel chills while the guide explains this significant historical place while walking around the complex.

12. Kazbegi Day Trip

I took a day trip tour that lasted about 11 hours, including lunch. Stops included Zhinvali Reservoir, which looks like a painting with cloud and mountain reflections in the pale turquoise water. Plus Ananuri Fortress, housing a 17th-century Orthodox church and Gergeti Holy Trinity, home to six monks.

From afar, Gergeti, perched on a hill surrounded by snow, adds an element of mystery and solitude. Do not miss Kazbegi for the 12 best things to do in Georgia.

If You Go:

Many countries are exempt from needing a visa, so check here for more details. Most places accept credit cards but bring local GEL currency for the markets.

Pack layers if planning to travel in the winter because it can be between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius, and colder if going toward Kazbegi. Bolt is a reliable taxi app.  

Author Bio: Traveling with friends, solo and in group tours, Erin Coyle has explored Southeast and South Asia, Oceania, Europe, the Middle East, East and South Africa. She is currently a freelance travel writer and ESL teacher living in Sur, Oman.

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