Exploring Tbilisi – What To See, Do And Eat

Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is a juxtaposition of old and new. It is a rapidly developing city full of ancient buildings and modern constructions that pop up like mushrooms after a rainy day next to those historical venues. Are you planning your visit to Tbilisi any time soon? Check out this post to know where to go, what to do, and eat on your next vacation here. 

Walk Down the Main Avenue

Rustaveli Avenue is a central street of Tbilisi, offering a glimpse of various architectural style buildings, shopping malls, cafes, and museums. Start your day from Rustvali metro station and walk towards the Freedom Square (also called Liberty Square). Some of the most famous buildings are located here, including the Moorish-style Opera House, the Rustaveli Theater built in Rococo style and Soviet architectural jewel that currently houses the Biltmore Hotel. 

Tbilisi Opera House

Visit the National Museum

If you are interested in learning a bit more about Georgia and it’s artists, make sure to visit the National Museum. Also, don’t forget to check out the Archeological Treasury exhibition, which showcases the magnificent examples of early Georgian goldsmiths found during archaeological studies. Here, you can see items of the different periods, from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD.

See the Freedom Monument at the Freedom Square

At the center of the Freedom Square, you’ll notice a 35-meter high monument dedicated to the independence and freedom of the nation. It features 5.6 meters tall, gold-covered statue of St. George, the patron saint of the country.

Explore The Historical Part of Tbilisi

Abanotubani translated as “the district of the baths,” used to be the very center of Tbilisi back in the day. The area is full of sulfur hot spring waters, which gave the name to the capital. The word “tbili” in Georgian means “warm.” 

Even today, there are dozens of sulfur bathhouses serving both locals and tourists. It’s believed that those waters are beneficial for the skin and general health of the body. Most of the bathhouses are built underground, with domed-like roofs for ventilation. 

Continue your way towards Narikala Fortress, the only citadel of the town. Built in the 4th century by Persians, the fortress expanded in the 7th century with the walls coming all the way to the Freedom Square, Botanical Garden, and Baratashvili Street. Make sure to visit the monument of Mother of Georgia too.

Photo by Mostafa Meraji on Unsplash

Afterward, come down to the National Botanical Garden to admire various plants, trees, and flowers. Then continue your way to the narrow cobblestone streets of Abanotubani and appreciate traditional residential houses with wooden carved balconies. 

Enjoy a Panoramic View of The City 

Mtatsminda mountain with its amusement park is a perfect spot for a nice walk in the evening and to have a picturesque view of Tbilisi. To get there, you can either hike up or take a Funicular. There are various cafes and restaurants if you get hungry or desire to enjoy a cup of your favorite beverage with a view.

Try Local Delicacies 

Georgian cuisine is very diverse; however, there are several staples you need to try once here. First and foremost, Khinkali, a meat dumpling that looks like Chinese dumplings but has an entirely different way of cooking and taste. The uncooked minced meat is placed in the dough and boiled in hot water. The meat exudes its juice inside the boiled dough.

Khachapuri, a pizza-like cheese pie, is another must-try dish here. Each region of the country has its own type of Khachapuri. The most common one is simple and plain, called Imeruli. However, travelers love trying the Adjaruli version, a boat-shaped meal topped with raw egg yolk and a knob of butter. 

Pkhali is a general term of various vegetables and plants seasoned with spices and walnuts. The most popular version of Pkhali is spinach and eggplants, but you can also try cabbage and bell peppers wrapped in the seasoned walnut paste. 

Grilled meat lovers will enjoy a shashlik-like dish called mtsvadi. Chunks of pork or beef meat on a skewer are grilled on vine branches, giving it a distinct and unique taste rather than on ordinary wood. 

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