Tbilisi, the capital and the largest city of Georgia, won us over with subtle charms and gentle nudges.
The city’s picturesque architecture, an ever-lively arts and cultural scene, and the welcoming Georgian lifestyle is almost infectious. Numerous cafes serving good food, excellent range of lodging options from backpackers hostel to five star hotels, parks, plaza, transport options and vibrant pubs, all make this city extremely tourist friendly.
Here are the top things to do while in Tbilisi
1) Wander about the Old Town
This is the heart of the tourist activities and most of the churches and historic sites are all located in a walkable area. Labyrinth of narrow streets where wooden balconies look down from old brick-build homes. Doorways lead to hidden courtyards an ancient vines climb to the skies using anything vertical for support. You can spend hours getting lost in the old alleys and backstreet, just to find a small local bar or Kinkhali house.
Tip : Do not forget to stop by a quirky cafe or two. Cafe Linville and Art Cafe Tiflis were our favorites.
2) Visit Narikala fortress and Mother Georgia Statue
This site is gorgeous and looms over Old Town. This is near the Mother Georgia, but best to be visited with enough time to just see it. The views are also stunning at night.
Tip : Take the aerial tram for either one or both ways. Not only it is an unique experience but also darn cheap.
4) Try the Sulphur Baths of Abantubani
At the northern edge of the city, is the recently renovated Abanotubani area, famous for its Sulphur Baths and Meidani square with its many restaurants. The sulphur baths are an amazing place to relax for an hour or two, especially during the colder months of the year.
Most of the baths are open 24/7, and the price varies from 30 Lari for the cheapest private room to 100 Lari for a private room.
4) Watch the Puppet Show at the Leaning Clock Tower
The leaning tower of Tbilisi is one of the city’s most unusual buildings. Tucked into a side street of old town, it truly is a bizarre structure, with a tower on the perpetual brink of falling down, and only a steel beam holding the tower in place.The renowned puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze is the brain behind the tower and it’s adjoining theatre.
It is hard not to fall in love with the playful, naive architecture of the tower. This is especially true when on the hour, a window opens at the small balcony at the top, and a mannequin of an angel strikes the bell. Below the clock, a screen opens and shows the circle of life: boy meets girl, marriage, childbirth and funeral.
While you wait for the clock to strike the next hour stroll into Cafe Gabriadze just below the Leaning Clock itself for delicious food and fairytale vibes.
5) Gorge on local cuisine and great wine
Well I can just go on and on about this. Here’s the link to the best dishes to try out in Georgia.
6)Visit a Tbilisi Fresh Market
The Saturday flea market, also known as the “Dry Bridge Market” is easy to spot near the river Didube and is a fun place to be. Wander through the antiques and artworks spread on the sidewalks. Even kids might enjoy poking around the weird and quirky things on offer. We picked up some interesting knick-knacks that you won’t find anywhere else.
We stayed for 6 days in a very cosy and comfortable Bed and Breakfast in Rustaveli Avenue booked through Airbnb. I would definitely recommend to stay in a B and B in and around Freedom square and/ or Rustaveli Avenue as there are some excellent options here.Morover, you can easily access most of the aforesaid places from this area by walking or public transport.
I hope the informations helps you explore this beautiful city a tad bit more easily.