Important General Info
Before you Arrive to Georgia
historical background on Georgia
Georgia is located in the Caucasus region, bordering the Black Sea, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. Due to its strategic location (as it is located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea), it has been a constant economic interest for many foreign countries since before BC.
For many centuries, Georgia has experienced ongoing wars and revolutions by cultures of foreign countries both from the east and west. Georgia was ruled and invaded by the Greeks, Persians and Romans in the early periods. The Arabs also invaded the country in the 7th century. This shows the diverse culture of the country because it has been greatly influenced throughout history.
Between the 11th to the 13th century, Georgia experienced its “Golden Age” with a cultural, political and military rise until the Mongol invasion occurred during the 14th century. In 1921 the Red Army invaded Georgia and then it became a part of the Soviet Union. 15 years later, they are considered one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. However, they experienced extreme repression under Stalin's leadership. They were repressed from their rights and freedoms. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Georgia declared its independence in 1991. It soon became a member of the United Nations.
In 1995, the Georgian government amended the constitution and held presidential elections. From now on, Georgia operates its freedom as a democratic state. That being said, after the ouster of President Saakashvili, the new president was appointed (in 2012) without elections.
The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. The city serves as the economic, commercial, political, and social center of the country. In the past, Mtskheta was the country's capital, which is 20 minutes from Tbilisi.
Georgia has a population of around 4 million, about half of them live in and around Tbilisi.
The official language of the country is Georgian although the majority of the population (over the age of 35) also speaks Russian. Some of the young population speak English but it is uncommon.
The local currency in Georgia is Georgian Larry. The value of Larry is currently worth about 0.305 USD. Money can be exchanged freely without fear of fraud (including at the airport reception hall).
In Georgia, the power plugs and sockets are types C (regular euro plug)and F. The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Flight to Georgia
Flight time depends on where you live. For example, there are regular direct flights from Israel to 2 destinations in Georgia - Tbilisi, and Batumi. The flight duration to each of the destinations is 2-2.5 hours.
Georgia time zone is GMT +4 so make sure you set your clock upon arrivel.
Good news - Georgia is a recommended destination most days of the year. Despite its small size, the climate varies from place to place and the black sea + the Caucasus mountains play a big role.
Georgia prefix is +995. Internet packages and calls in Georgia are significantly cheaper than in most areas of the world, so there is no reason why not to make a package upon arrival. It is recommended to buy a local SIM at the reception hall at the airport in Tbilisi at a yellow booth called BEELINE.
Georgia has been chosen as one of the 10 most easy countries for doing business in the bureaucratic and taxation aspects, which operates according to the Estonian model and encourages foreign business and investment.
Sense of Security
Georgia has undergone a makeover in recent years and today it is very safe to walk around the country at all hours of the day and night and in all regions. In addition, the Georgians are hospitable and appreciate tourism so they will be happy to help if needed.
Yes, it really is that cheap! A metro within the city will cost less than Larry for a ride. An average taxi ride in the city will cost up to 10 Lari. A taxi to the city center from the airport will cost up to 40 lari.
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