Tbilisi sights for 3 days. The True Genatsvale’s Way
It is impossible to see and feel Georgia in a weekend. But there is enough time to see the capital. We will tell you about places of interest in Tbilisi in 3 days, where to go for a walk in the city center, what markets to visit, and what to try and taste dishes and drinks. Useful information about transportation and prices.
What comes to your mind when you think of Georgia? Kazbek, the Black Sea, Kindzmarauli, khachapuri, khinkali, Lermontov. Over the past few years, interest in Georgia among the Russian population has increased. It is promoted by a large number of thematic restaurants, budget cost of travel to Georgia, the opportunity to see the majestic mountains without visiting the Alps, to visit the sea without a flight to Greece or Turkey, the history and the color.
Sights of Tbilisi in 3 days
1. Peace Bridge (Rike Park) . Beautiful, atmospheric, musical. Along the embankment of the river Kura (Mktvari) there are a lot of fishermen. The bridge was designed by an Italian architect and irritates the locals with its absurdity, as the Eiffel Tower irritates the Parisians. The park is full of greenery even in the cold season. Playgrounds, street musicians. There are also unusual structures in the park Rike – two futuristic style pipes. They fit perfectly in the ensemble with the Peace Bridge, but the locals do not like it either.
2. Metehi Church . Viewpoint with a monument to King Gorgasali on his horse. The view of the embankment, Narikala Fortress, the Peace Bridge and the Europe Square.
I love Tbilisi inscription on Vakhtang Gorgasali Square. From this square diverge bar and restaurant streets of the capital. At the weekend there is a lot of action here. On the square is “zaturizny” restaurant “Samikitno”. It’s best to look for places further away from the center. The fewer tourists, the tastier and more soulful it is.
4. Canyon with waterfall . Another place worth seeing in Tbilisi in 3 days. Behind the Sulphur Baths begins the canyon of Legvtakhevi. Along the river Tsavkisistskali there is a sidewalk to the waterfall. It’s just beautiful and quiet, especially if the Chinese tour bus doesn’t pull up at the same time as you. By the way, they sell wine-flavored ice cream by the waterfall. You can take the spiral staircase up Botanical Street and down to Maidan Square.
5. The pedestrian street of old Tbilisi is Shardeni. Sounds like wine. The street with restaurants, cafes, hookah houses. There are crowds of tourists here, so you can just walk around and look for a place to dine elsewhere.
6. Shavteni and Gabriadze Theater . Rezo Gabriadze Puppet Theater. Cafes, restaurants, hotels. Every hour a golden-winged angel appears from the painted doors and knocks on the bell with a hammer. Every day at 12:00 and 19:00 there is a mini-performance “Cycle of Life”. Reminiscent of the Prague clock on Old Town Square. There is a cafe on the first floor of the theater. In the evening it looks very cozy: small windows, dim light from candles and lanterns, small tiled roof. Prices in it are touristy and the tables are booked by tourists. So if you want to get there without looking at the crowds, take care of it in advance.
7. Agmashenebeli Avenue is pedestrian, the local Arbat. Street musicians, cafes, stores, old houses. Festivals and public events are held here. There are many stores with Turkish sweets on the avenue. The street looks like one of the streets of any European city.
8. Rustaveli Avenue . The main avenue of the city, connecting the old and the new part of the capital. Two squares, small figures-sculptures, monuments, souvenir shops, exchange offices, numerous coffee houses and bars.
9. Nikolai Baratashvili Bridge with photo exhibition and adjoining underground passage with gallery of street art (between Peace Bridge and Dry Bridge). On the bridge itself there is an open gallery of paintings on screens. The bridge used to be an unsightly and rather questionable place, but that all changed in 2018: the authorities decided to make repairs and invited artists to paint the crossing. It turned out to be the most real landmark of Tbilisi. In the evening the place turns into one of the atmospheric places with a beautiful view of the city center, strong works of local photographers and street artists.
10. Fabrika Tbilisi space . A trendy modern space like Moscow’s Flakon and St. Petersburg’s Sektabel Port. Stores, bars, cafes, restaurants, a hostel, and a large co-working space. Locals hold work meetings and lunch here during the day, the space is filled with kids and workshops in the afternoon, and hangouts are held in the evening. The space is located in the Leselidze neighborhood (metro Marjanishvili).
11. Tsminda Sameba Cathedral . Tsminda Sameba is the temple of the Holy Trinity, the main cathedral of Tbilisi. A unique opportunity to see the other side of the capital. For example, walking by yourself to the church is quite a treat. There is real life here, not for tourists. This is why many visitors may be repulsed by the capital: broken homes that look uninhabitable, small stores with dusty windows and faded signs, broken sidewalks, small markets.
12. Narikala Fortress . A beautiful view of the city opens from Mtatsminda Mountain, on top of which the fortress is located. To get to the top you can take a cable car up from Europe Square. Cabins have tinted windows, so you can hardly shoot high quality video in the evening, but the feeling of flying over the city – 10 out of 10.
13. Park Mtatsminda . Great view of the city. For convenience you can take a funicular up and down – on foot. On the mountain is an amusement park with a Ferris wheel, TV tower and rides for children, as well as observation decks overlooking the city.
Markets in Tbilisi
1. Desert market (metro station Ploshchad Vokzalnaya-1). Here you can pick up cheap vegetables, fruits, churchella, cheese, spices and much more.
Flea market on Dry Bridge (along Marzen Sanapiro Street). A paradise for lovers of antiques. By the way, the souvenirs here are several times cheaper.
The advantage of the markets is that here you can bargain (within reason) and hear a lot of interesting stories from the lives of local residents.
What to try in Tbilisi
National cuisine is one of the main attractions of Tbilisi and the whole of Georgia. A wide variety of dishes with a contrast of spicy and spicy flavors will please gourmets. Khinkali, khachapuri, kharcho, churchkhela, dolma, chahohbili, ojakhuri, chashushuli, lobio … The list goes on and on.
To visit Georgia and not taste khinkali and wine is like visiting Italy and not trying pizza and … wine.
Cafes and restaurants in Tbilisi
5 national cuisine establishments in Tbilisi that you can visit in 3 days:
1. Samikitno . This is a whole chain of restaurants (there are both near Freedom Square and in the area of the Sulphur Baths). But the most successful was a restaurant on Rustaveli Avenue, near the Opera and Ballet building (on the way to Mtatsminda Park). Here, kharcho and nuts is perfect. Khinkali can be ordered only from 5 pieces and only from one kind.
- The price for 1 khinkali starts from 0,81 GEL (20 rubles), the speravi or kindzmarauli is from 2,5 GEL (61 rubles).
- Address: 24/1 Shota Rustaveli Ave.
2. Pasanauri .
The restaurant is located in the city center, near Maidan Square, works around the clock and will please you with delicious dishes at affordable prices. The specialty of the restaurant is Pasanauri.
In the same building – store of Khareba winery. Here you can buy the best Kindzmarauli and Khvanchkara wines on tap.
- Address: 1, Gorgasali Street.
Marto Khinkali . This place is called “marto khinkali”, which translates as “only khinkali”. There is a huge variety of khinkali at medium prices (1.5 lari – 36 rubles per piece), and you can order from one piece for tasting.
- Address: 15 David Agmashenebeli Ave.
4. Racha . The restaurant in the basement is near Freedom Square. Delicious khinkali, the preparation of which you can watch online through the window in the kitchen. Nice prices for drinks and dishes is one of the main pluses.
- Address: 4 Lermontova Street.
5. Ketsi . An atmospheric place with homemade wine. Meals are cooked in a wood stove and served in clay dishes. Dinner with wine for two will cost just over 30 lari (730 rubles).
- Address: 9 Giga Lortkifanidze Street.
5 best “wine” places
Wine is another integral attraction of Tbilisi. Not without reason, the Georgian method of making wine in the kvevri was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. List of “wine” restaurants for 3 days:
1. g.Vino . The wine bar is located in the heart of the old city. The wine list is full of products not only from factories, but also from small local wineries. Cozy atmosphere, great food and unique wine will brighten up the evening and help you to feel the aroma of Georgia.
- Address: 6, Irakli II Street.
2. 8000 Vintages . The institution works as a bar-shop and is located in a non-tourist, but territorially convenient, location. Here you can sit in the evening with a glass of wine, taste the drinks and take them away with you.
- Address: Abashidze Street, 60.
3. Wine Bar Dadi . Bar pleases with a homely atmosphere and a wide range of wine list. It’s easy to find the place, but it’s hard to get out.
- Address: 4, Shalva Dadiani Street.
4. Vino Underground . The institution attracts not only wine lovers, but also winemakers from all over the world. To get acquainted with the range and Georgian wine in general, it is better to order a tasting for 15 lari (365 rubles).
- Address: 15 Galaktion Tabidze Street.
5. Poliphonia . The restaurant is located in a cozy semi-basement. It is an establishment from the owners of “Vino Underground”, only with a wider selection of wines of all tastes and colors. You can order a tasting from 30 lari (730 rubles).
- Address: 23 Amagleba Street.
The main rule is not to worry: all the calories sooner or later will be burned by the constant descents and ascents of the streets of Tbilisi.
Briefly about transportation
You can travel around the city by the following means of transport:
- Bus ticket is 0,50 lari (12 rubles), as for the subway.
- You can buy a ticket in the bus ticket machine only with coins.
- You need a Metromoney card to ride the subway. It is valid in the subway and on the cable car.
Cable car, cable car.
- On the cable car, which goes to Mtatsminda Park, you need to buy a special card Mtatsmindapark.
- The cost of the card is 2 GEL (49 rubles), 1 ticket in 1 direction on the cable car – 1 GEL (24 rubles), on the funicular – 2 GEL (49 rubles).
A little about money
With euro and dollar is more profitable, but when you exchange ruble for euro in Russia, and in Georgia – euro for lari, the benefit evaporates. Part of the money can be exchanged at the airport. There are a lot of exchangers here, there is no need to run to the first one you see. There are no problems with exchange offices in the city either. In some stores and markets you can pay in rubles (locals are only happy). At the Dzertieri market and flea market on Sukhoy Most they can even give you the change in rubles.
Interesting facts about Tbilisi
- Tbilisi is caring and friendly. Georgia smiles in spite of its misfortunes. It closes the back door and opens the front door for guests.
- Georgia is a modern bridge, the exit of which rests in ruins. It is a palm tree against a background of faded walls.
- Georgia turns a depressing underpass and intimidating bridge into an exhibition of contemporary photography and street art.
- The Georgian language is beautiful. The songs in it feel like home. You close your eyes and imagine mountains in white hats, old men laughing loudly, children playing. Every motif seems familiar.
- Georgia has beautiful people with stiff black hair, sharp noses and big eyes.
- There’s good food in Georgia. It’s wine, khinkali and cheese.
- It’s noisy in Georgia.
- In Georgia, it’s clothes drying on ropes.
- In Georgia, if your last name doesn’t end in -dze, it probably ends in -shvili, or -uli, or -uri.
- There are many bookstores in Georgia.
- Georgia has stylish, fun-loving young people.
- Georgia is a kiss on the cheek when we meet.
- Georgia sings “Love.” Doesn’t require you to love yourself, but loves you in advance.
Now you know what sights to visit in 3 days in Tbilisi, what restaurants to go to and what to try. Several articles write that Georgians are not hospitable, as it is commonly called, but just pushy and trying to make money off of tourists. Don’t believe it! Agree: If you take a cab instead of a bus from Tbilisi airport, only a lazy person won’t make money on you. If you go to a touristy area for dinner, you need to be prepared for touristy prices. Try being a local in Tbilisi. Come to Georgia!