Basic Information about Georgia
Your trip in Georgia is likely to start and and end in the capital city of Georgia: Tbilisi. Tbilisi is served by one international airport which is 20 mins away from the centre. The airport is quite small and mainly connects the Georgian capital to the main cities in the middle east, with some seasonal flights to European cities.
When you look for information on Georgia online, most probably you will stumble on websites that give information on the American state instead of Georgia as a country. So be careful when doing your research. Tip: I suggest you search for “Georgia caucasus” instead of just “Georgia”.
Good to know
The country has a long way to go when it comes to tourism infrastructure, especially when you venture away from the capital. This is where you realise that you are not in Europe. Make sure to be aware of certain aspects of the country you are visiting, especially if this is the first time you are going out of Europe.
Here are some points to keep in mind if you are planning to visit Georgia:
- Road conditions are far from optimal, especially when you leave the highways. If you are renting a car and plan on driving in the valleys in mountains, make sure to rent a 4×4 car.
- The language barrier is real; people who work in tourism speak some basic English, but otherwise you have to resort for sign language. The alphabet is not latin and you can forget about using Google Translate’s camera to help you out – it doesn’t work.
- You are visiting a developing country, most of the population lives below the poverty lines. Houses and buildings are in their majority in awful conditions.
- Although the natural beauty abounds, there is little to no environmental consciousness whatsover. Throwing rubbish in the street is normal, single use plastic is present everywhere, recycling is unheard of.
So why did we decide to visit?
This was a trip that has been postponed by two years due to Covid. Our main objective (as usual) was to experience the outdoors as much as possible and that is the strongest point in favour of Georgia. The mountains are truly spectacular. I can compare the natural beauty of this country to the majestic landscapes of Patagonia (or even better since we were able to experience its beauty to the full during the best season with greenery, flowers and better weather).
Different culture – we had been travelling to Europe for the past 3 years and we wanted something different. Mind you I am aware there are variations in culture within our continent. However, going out of the continent is something we like to do whenever possible. Travelling to Georgia, proved to be the change in culture we wanted to experience in certain aspects.
The Food – thanks to Michelle and Nikki from Cheeky passports which provided a good guide on Georgian food. The food is so delicious, full of flavours as well as abundant. This was one of the highlights of our trip.
How much time to spend in Tbilisi and where to stay
We just spent one night when we landed and another night before we departed in the city. We spent most of our time in the mountains and the country side. However if you prefer spending more time in the city and not change accommodation, you can easily do so by taking day tours. Such tours will take you to several destination including the Kazbek mountains, Kakheti wine region, Borjomi, Kutaisi, amongst others. July and August are not the best time to visit Tbilisi as it is very hot with temperatures going up to 32°C during the day and it gets quite humid. This is also one of the reasons why we decided to spend the minimum time possible in the capital.
The historical centre of Tbilisi lies around Meidan Square and I would suggest staying within walking distance from this square. From here you can take a city bus tour to visit the highlights of the city. Here are some of the attractions you may visit in the centre of Tbilisi:
- Marionette Tower
- Sulphur Baths
- Narikala Fortress
- The Bridge of Peace
- Holy Trinity Cathedral
- Freedom Square
- National Botanical Gardens