Decided to Explore the City?
Attractions in Tbilisi
Written by Arthur Plotkin
After several hours of flight, you finally reached your destination - Tbilisi. The city is full of activities for every hour of the day and it does not matter if you are coming for a romantic getaway, a friends trip, or a family vacation. The city offers authenticity that is hard to find elsewhere in the world. Small street vendors sell local cheese, traditional spices, special items from the soviet era. along with old traditional buildings, Georgia invests in an amazing urban renewal that in some cases, would make you feel like you are in a European capital city. In order for you to know what are the most wonderful and interesting places in Tbilisi, we have prepared a list to make sure you are not wasting your time while visiting the city because there is a lot to do and see before you leave.
The renovation and restoration of the original funicular from 1905 was completed in October 2012. This is the main and most convenient way to get to Mtatsminda Park (details below). The length of the track is 500 meters during which you can enjoy a stunning view of the city of Tbilisi. there are 3 stations, the first station is the lower station from which you start, a middle station where you can see St. father David's monastery and the Pantheon of Public Figures with key figures from the history of Georgia and an upper stop which is the most relevant stop for Mtatsminda Park. The funicular is open every day from 09:00 to 23:30.
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The park is the highest point around Tbilisi from which you will be impressed by the city landscape that unfolds before you. The park offers many activities for all ages starting from restaurants, cafes, a large amusement park (there is a height limit of 1.2 meters for children), a dinosaur park, and up to famous wax figure exhibits. One of the most beautiful restaurants in the city located in the park - Funicular Restaurant. You can reach the park by foot, by taxi or by funicular (highly recommended!). Tip - it is worth visiting both during the day and during the night as the experience changes.
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Bridge of Peace
The bridge of peace is the most beautiful bridge in Tbilisi and was chosen as one of the most amazing bridges in the world as an architectural landmark. This is a 150-meter-long pedestrian bridge that opened in 2010. The idea is to create an contemporary connection between the old city and newer areas of the city. The bridge is made of metal and glass with amazing and complex lighting work that provides a spectacular spectacle as soon as the sun goes down. The bridge crosses over the Kura River and while you walk on it, you can see a number of stunning vies in every direction you look. Its western side ends at the Old City and is very close to Shangri La Casino while its eastern side ends at Rike Park.
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The park is one of the new creations in the city that emphasizes innovation to improve and upgrade the city and create new points of interest. The main entrance to the park is at the end of the Bridge of Peace (an amazing pedestrian bridge), linked to the Kura River, however, you can enter the park by the stairs while going downhill from the Avlabari neighborhood (Avlabari Metro Station is 250 meters from the park). The park is very popular both by local visitors and tourists from around the world due to its beauty and the variety of activities in it for the entire family. Among other things, the park offers dancing fountains with music, an artificial climbing wall, a children's maze, a huge matte table, lovely picnic corners, cafes, scooter rentals and a cable car that goes up to Narikala Fortress. The spectacular structure in the northern part of the park will be used in the future as a concert and exhibition hall. One of the most interesting events of the year is held in the park, the Tbilisoba, where you can try authentic dishes from all the provinces of the country. In addition, here you can purchase a ticket for a cruise on the Kura River.
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The cable car, which officially opened in 2012, is located on the south side of Rike Park. A cable car ride takes less than 2 minutes during which you will pass over one of the most colorful areas in the Old City and you will be exposed to the beauty of the city of Tbilisi from a bird's eye view. In the summer months, there is always a long queue for the cable car but the good news is that the queue is moving quickly. The cable car open between 10:00 and 22:00. When you reach the top, you can visit Mother of Georgia, Narikala Fortress and Tbilisi Botanical Gardens, as well as enjoy local souvenir shops, enjoy a cafe break, or just take a picture of the stunning scenery.
Tip 1 - Wait for the caravan with the sign "only 5 people allowed", the floor in it is transparent and provides a unique experience.
Tip 2 - Get on the train even after dark or at sunset and you will have a completely different experience.
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Mother of Georgia
The statue, called in Georgian Kartlis Deda, was erected on the hill above the Sololaki neighborhood in 1958 when the city celebrated its 1500th anniversary. The statue, which rises to a height of 20 meters and is made of aluminum was created by the sculptor Elguja Amashukeli and symbolizes the Georgian national character when in her left hand she holds a bowl of wine to greet those who come as friends and in her right hand holds a sword to greet enemies. available to reach by taxi, cable car or by foot (involves a difficult uphill walk).
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There is a record that shows that the walls of the fortress appeared in the 4th century, during that period of time they served as a part of a Persian fortress. The fortress grew over the following centuries when most of the walls we see today were built in the 8th century by Arab emirs who build their palace in the fortress. It is a symbol of the genius in Tbilisi's defense throughout the years. The St. Nicholas Church is decorated inside with scenes from the Bible and Georgian history by murals. It is impossible to be in Tbilisi without visiting the fortress which provides Panoramic views of the surrounding area. The entrance is free and can be reached by car (relatively close), by foot through the Meidani neighborhood, or by cable car from Rike Park.
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National Botanical Garden of Georgia
Another great place to hike after boarding the cable car is the Botanical Gardens. From ancient times the gardens have been used as royal gardens, with evidence dating from the 17th century. The garden, which was destroyed in the Persian invasion in 1795, was officially restored and opened as Tbilisi Botanical Gardens in 1845. You will find lots of rare plants in the gardens, along with several waterfalls, bridges, hiking and biking trails, and wonderful shady corners. From there, you can continue walking down until you reach the Sulfur Baths area.
Tip - There is an amazing omega that goes over the botanical gardens that is worth a try.
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A visit to Abano Street will expose you to the wonders of the sulfur pools. Beyond the fact that the place is no less than magical for a walk during the day or in the evening, full of restaurants, cafes, bars and more as this is where it all started for Tbilisi. According to myth, King Vakhtang went hunting with his falcon in a wooded area of the country. The falcon caught a pheasant and during the struggle between the 2 birds, they fell into the water and died. The king was so impressed by the wonder of hot water he found, that he decided to clear the forest and build a city around this wonder.
Tip 1 - You can come and bathe in public or private sulfur pools and include a massage or scrub to rejuvenate the skin cells since bathing in water contributes to the health of the body and helps with skin diseases.
Tip 2 - Go see the entrance of Orbeliani Baths at 31 Abano Street.
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The Curved Clock Tower is one of the strangest buildings in the city. The tower stands at a tilt while a heavy metal beam holds it. Despite its outdated appearance, this is not an ancient tower. The tower linked to Rezo's Gabriadze puppet theater which is also the brain behind the tower. It was built over 30 years from pieces of abandoned buildings and buildings that were damaged by the earthquake. The clock was added to the tower in 2011. It was built as a counter-statement to modern construction that combines metals and glass as it happens today in most capitals of the world. There are nice cafes in the area with outdoor seating areas especially for a sunny day.
Tip 1 - Every hour a window opens with an angel puppet striking a bell while under the clock, a screen shows the circle of life: a boy meets a girl, a wedding, a birth of a child and a funeral.
Tip 2 - You can go to a puppet show, but only for those who understand Russian and booked places in advance.
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Dry Bridge Market
Once upon a time, the Kura River passed under the bridge while it was later diverted, and now, vehicles pass under it. Above and around it, there is a flea market that offers vintage souvenirs from various periods but mainly from the Soviet era. Here you will find old cameras, radios, Soviet souvenirs, pictures, crystal items, amazing bronze items, and more. right next to the market there is a painters' park that displays their works. You can definitely negotiate the price as you would often start with a price for tourists. The market operates on sunny days without rain between 10:00 and 17:00. You can only pay with cash here so make sure you will come prepared in case you want to buy something nice.
Tip - When you finish visiting the flea market, go to the April 9 park which is close by (100 meters) and enjoy the extensive renovation and the charming architecture of the surrounding streets or try the other side and visit the pedestrian street that is fully restored with a great atmosphere at Aghmashenebeli Avenue.
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Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi
Located on Elia Hill in the Avlabari neighborhood, it is the largest landmark of the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is the third tallest cathedral in the East among the Orthodox cathedrals and one of the largest religious buildings in the world in terms of total area. The cathedral is also called Sameba and despite its ancient appearance, it was built between 1995-2004 and contains architectural features from various periods in Georgian history as well as Byzantine features. The cathedral, which rises to a height of 84 meters, was built mainly from donations and it is impossible not to be impressed by its beauty during the day and the night especially when it is lit. There is almost no place in Tbilisi from which the place can not be seen. The surrounding gardens are also pleasant and very well maintained. Outside the cathedral you will find golf carts that offer a tour around the old town. Open from 09:00 to 17:00.
Tip - There are excellent Georgian pastries in the cafe after you pass the main entrance to the cathedral on the left side.
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