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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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GEORGIA TRAVEL GUIDE

The fabled land of the Colchis from the Greek tale of the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece has had more than its fair share of turbulence. Incursions by powerful neighbours all the way from ancient times, separatist movements recently, post-Soviet era reconstruction - the challenges to stability in this beautiful country which one day might yet become the "Switzerland of East Europe" have been relentless.

 

Straddling the East and the West, Georgia is where you’ll find the sunny Mediterranean and the frosty mountains. This is where the Black Sea tempers the wild Caucasus, where the people (for all the troubles they’ve had) are a warm and keenly affectionate lot, where the food is delicious; this here is a destination waiting to be discovered and if you can look beyond the lack of tourist infrastructure, you’ll find that you’ve had a jolly good time.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Capital: Tbilisi
  • Currency: Georgian lari (GEL)
  • Area: 69,700km²
  • Population: 10,62 million (2019)
  • Language: Georgian
  • Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (European plug)

 

ETIQUETTE IN GEORGIA

  • When visiting someone’s home, take a gift, and offer to remove your shoes.
  • If invited to a dinner or an overnight stay, tactfully offer some money, but don’t insist. If it’s a wedding, you will be expected to pay a (fairly hefty) contribution.
  • A handshake is the normal greeting between men. Women generally don’t shake hands, though if foreigners don’t follow this it won’t be an insult. Friends (of whatever sex) normally peck each other on the cheek.

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POSTS ON GEORGIA

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

FEBRUARY

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MARCH

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APRIL

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MAY

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JUNE

HOT

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JULY

HOT

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AUGUST

HOT

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

HOT

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NOVEMBER

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DECEMBER

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT GEORGIA

For a relatively small country, Georgia’s climate is quite diverse, with the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea both playing a part in the differing conditions. In general, it’s drier - yet colder - in the east, and wetter - but warmer - in the west.

 

July and August are the peak holiday months for Georgians when tourist accommodation is crowded, and Tbilisi and the lowlands can get uncomfortably hot. This is a pleasant time in the mountain areas, and the only time you can guarantee snow-free hiking in the Caucasus.

Snow starts to fall as early as September in the mountains, though September and early October offer the most pleasant temperatures in the lowlands. November to April is the low season, with freezing temperatures setting in in December, January, and February and sometimes into March. This is also winter sports season when ski lodges are full and there are plenty of public festivities. Wintry weather often lasts into April, but May is rainy and mild, with wildflowers carpeting the landscape and walking trails in the mountains accessible once again. June is an excellent time to visit Georgia – before the summer rush but with warm temperatures.

 

The best time to visit Georgia is May, June, or September, especially in the lowlands around Tbilisi, as you’ll avoid the summer heat and humidity as well as the freezing winter. Autumn harvest time is well worth a mention, especially around the vineyards of Kakheti. You’ll need to pack quick-drying and waterproof gear no matter when you visit as weather can change in an instant.

BEST TIME FOR:

Georgia has some beautiful beaches with the summer beach season stretching from May to October, although these months can be cooler. July and August are the peak (and hottest) months! Beware of jellyfish, particularly in August!

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GEORGIA TRAVEL COSTS

If, as a traveller, you are accustomed to travelling in continental Europe, you will find prices in Georgia to be quite agreeable and, in fact, it might well be the most affordable destination in all of Europe. Compared to other “cheap” destinations in Europe like the Balkans, Central Europe, or the Baltics, Georgia is positively a steal, with an average daily cost being about 20-30% less expensive than the aforementioned regions. Everything from the cost of accommodation to the price of a meal to a tour into the surrounding area can come at a very affordable price tag for western travellers.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR GEORGIA

GETTING AROUND

  • Taxis in Georgia are the most convenient method of travel, and they are very cheap. Trips within Tbilisi range from $ 1.50 - 4.50 USD, depending on the distance. Drivers are unfortunately known to exaggerate prices for foreigners. You should definitely confirm your destination and price before getting in the cab. All official taxis are required to install meters, but the drivers may not use them unless prompted. It shouldn’t cost more than 20 lari ($ 6 USD) to go anywhere in the city.
  • Ridesharing is not as yet as common but in Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi, Yandex and Bolt are available - this might be the preferred option as booked through these have a set price, so you are sure to not be overcharged. The best is to take a Yandex taxi from the airport, since Tbilisi cabdrivers may hold your luggage hostage in their trunk until you pay an even-higher-than-agreed-upon fare. (Download Yandex before you arrive. Get it on Android or Apple.)
  • Minibusses are locally called marshrutkas, and they operate on established routes. After finding out the number of your route, flag down a marshrutka on the street by holding out your hand, palm facing down. There are also minibus lines from city to city. Their routes end usually at bus stations and city markets. Their destination is written in Georgian, on a sign in the front window. Ask marshrutka drivers if you cannot find the minibus you are looking for. Two major marshrutka stations in Tbilisi are around Didube metro station and around the main train station.
  • Tbilisi and Batumi operate a large fleet of modern, blue buses. There are also a number of inter-regional bus services between Tbilisi and Batumi, and Tbilisi and Zugdidi. These can often be booked online, and run several times per day. These buses are frequently air-conditioned and have undercarriage luggage storage.
  • There is a fairly extensive network of trains in Georgia. It is worth retrying to book online once you are in Georgia, or to simply go to the train station and ask.

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF GEORGIA

The Great Caucasus mountains will take your breath away with snowy peaks, green valleys, and stone villages. The lowlands are strewn with vineyards, rivers, forests, and rocky canyons, while the Georgian habit of building churches and fortifications on picturesque perches only enhances the glories of the land’s natural beauty.

 

Long-distance trails abound, some linking isolated mountain hamlets where time seems to standstill. Villagers offer homestays and can supply horses should you tire of carrying a backpack. Rafting, paragliding, and skiing are also popular.

 

SUGGESTED 7 DAY ITINERARY

  • Fly into Tbilisi and base yourself there for the first three nights of your stay - take enough time to explore the throbbing heart of Georgia. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a sulfur bath, journey by cable car to Narikala Fortress, enjoy amazing views of the city from Mtatsminda Park or see the excellent National Museum.
  • On day four, head north via Mtskheta – the historic former capital of Georgia and home to two of its most important churches – to the town of Stepantsminda. Two nights here will allow you to visit Tsminda Sameba Church and do a day hike in the Truso Valley, a magnificent walk through a sulfurous landscape that includes a mineral lake and abandoned villages.
  • Head back to Tbilisi and then do a day trip to Davit Gareja, the extraordinarily located complex of cave monasteries right on the Azerbaijan border. Head back to Tbilisi via the charming Oasis Club for a late lunch and spend your last night checking out Tbilisi’s night-life.

 

Further details on sights and locations are available from the map below. Download KML / GPX

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN GEORGIA

TBILISI

Nowhere blends the romance of Georgia’s past with its exciting future better than its magical and chaotic capital, Tbilisi. Its Old Town, in parts gloriously restored and in others still totally dilapidated, is a wonderfully atmospheric place of winding lanes, ancient stone churches, and shady squares. The rest of the city is relentlessly fast-paced and a showcase for all that contemporary Georgia has to offer: world-class dining, fabulous natural wine bars, local fashion brands, a thriving techno scene, and a slew of architectural gems from the ancient to the modern.

 

SVANETI

The mysterious mountain valleys of Georgia’s Svaneti sit high in the Caucasus, surrounded by spectacular snowy peaks, alpine meadows, and thick forests – a paradise for walkers in summer. Long isolated and insulated from the outside world, Svaneti has its own language and a strong traditional culture, symbolized by the centuries-old 175 koshkebi (ancient stone defensive towers) that stand proudly in its villages, and the 1000-year-old frescoes in its churches. Accessible only by a long road trip until relatively recently, Svaneti can now be reached by plane from Tbilisi.

 

STEPANTSMINDA

Just a couple of hours’ drive from Tbilisi, the small town of Stepantsminda is the hub of one of the South Caucasus’ most spectacular, yet easily accessed high-mountain zones. The sight of Tsminda Sameba Church silhouetted on its hilltop against the massive snow-covered cone of Mt Kazbek is perhaps Georgia’s most iconic image. Numerous walking, horse and mountain-bike routes lead along steep-sided valleys and up to glaciers, waterfalls, mountain passes, and isolated villages – ideal for getting a first taste of the high Caucasus.

 

DAVIT GAREJA

Set in remote, arid lands near Georgia’s border with Azerbaijan, these much-revered cave monasteries were carved out of a lonely cliff-face by 6th-century missionaries. They became a cradle of medieval monastic culture and fresco painting. Saints’ tombs, vivid 1000-year-old murals, an otherworldly landscape, and the very idea that people voluntarily chose – and still choose – to live in desert caves all combine to make visiting Davit Gareja a startling experience today. Though remote, the site makes an easy day trip from Tbilisi, Telavi, or Sighnaghi.

WHAT TO EAT IN GEORGIA

Popular "national" dishes include khachapuri (a cheese-filled bread - it more resembles cheese pie) and khinkali (minced, spiced meat in a dumpling, served in enormous quantities). While the khachapuri comes with every meal, khinkali is usually reserved for its own separate meal, where Georgian men will down 15 huge dumplings as if it was nothing. Mtsvadi, tasty grilled chunks of marinated pork or veal on a stick with onions, is another staple. But this is by no means the end of the list of wonderful dishes, usually flavoured with garlic, coriander, walnuts, and dill.

 

For a quick snack, you can try all varieties of ghvezeli - pastry stuffed with meat, potatoes, cheese, or other ingredients, usually sold in markets and on the side of the street.

LGBTQ IN GEORGIA

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WHERE TO STAY IN GEORGIA

For a first-time visit to Georgia, choosing the right area or region to stay in can greatly enhance your experience of the country's diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history. Here are some recommendations along with top-rated accommodation options in different price ranges:


Where to stay in Tbilisi:

As the capital city, Tbilisi offers a perfect introduction to Georgia's culture, history, and cuisine, with its charming Old Town, historic landmarks, and vibrant nightlife. Explore attractions like Narikala Fortress, Peace Bridge, and the sulfur baths in Abanotubani.

  • Budget: Ibis Styles Tbilisi Center: Located in the city center, Ibis Styles Tbilisi Center offers modern and affordable accommodations with colorful and contemporary design. Guests appreciate its convenient location, comfortable rooms, and complimentary breakfast.

  • Mid-range: Iota Hotel Tbilisi: Situated in the Vera district, Iota Hotel Tbilisi offers mid-range accommodations in a stylish and contemporary setting. Guests can stay in well-appointed rooms, enjoy a buffet breakfast, and relax in the hotel's garden courtyard.

  • Luxury: Rooms Hotel Tbilisi: This luxury boutique hotel is located in the trendy district of Vera, housed in a restored Soviet-era publishing house. Rooms Hotel Tbilisi offers luxurious accommodations with chic decor, upscale amenities, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city.


Where to stay in Kazbegi (Stepantsminda):

Nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, Kazbegi is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, including the iconic Gergeti Trinity Church and opportunities for hiking and outdoor adventures.

Take a hike to Gergeti Trinity Church, explore the Dariali Gorge, and enjoy stunning mountain views.

  • Budget: Rooms Hotel Kazbegi: While Rooms Hotel Kazbegi is primarily considered a luxury accommodation, it also offers budget-friendly options such as dormitory rooms and standard rooms with shared facilities. Guests can still enjoy the hotel's stylish design, breathtaking views, and amenities like the on-site restaurant and bar.

  • Mid-range: Kazbegi Grand View Hotel: Located in the heart of Stepantsminda, Kazbegi Grand View Hotel offers mid-range accommodations with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Guests can stay in comfortable rooms, enjoy the on-site restaurant serving Georgian cuisine, and relax in the hotel's garden area.

  • Luxury: Rooms Hotel Kazbegi: As mentioned earlier, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi also offers luxury accommodations with stylish rooms and suites featuring mountain views, luxurious amenities, and a range of facilities including a spa, fitness center, and gourmet restaurant.

    With its unparalleled location in the Caucasus Mountains, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi stands out as a luxury accommodation option offering upscale rooms and suites with stunning views, luxurious amenities, and impeccable service.


Where to stay in Batumi:

Located on the Black Sea coast, Batumi is known for its modern architecture, vibrant seaside promenade, and lively atmosphere. Enjoy attractions like the Batumi Boulevard, Alphabet Tower, and Batumi Botanical Garden.

  • Budget: Sky Inn Batumi: Situated in the city center, Sky Inn Batumi offers budget-friendly accommodations with modern amenities. Guests appreciate its convenient location, clean rooms, and friendly staff.

  • Mid-range: Radisson Blu Hotel Batumi: Situated near the beach, Radisson Blu Hotel Batumi offers mid-range accommodations with contemporary design and sea views. Guests can stay in spacious rooms, enjoy access to a swimming pool and spa, and dine at the hotel's rooftop restaurant.

  • Luxury: Sheraton Batumi Hotel: This luxury hotel is located on the Batumi Boulevard, offering upscale accommodations with panoramic views of the Black Sea. Guests can stay in elegant rooms and suites, enjoy access to a swimming pool and spa, and dine at the hotel's restaurants.


Where to stay in Mtskheta:

As one of Georgia's oldest cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mtskheta offers a glimpse into the country's ancient history and religious heritage. Visit landmarks like Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Jvari Monastery, and the Samtavro Monastery complex.

  • Budget: Guesthouse Mtskheta offers affordable accommodations with a homely atmosphere near the historic sites.

  • Mid-range: Hotel Mtskheta provides comfortable rooms with traditional decor and a central location.

  • Luxury: Hotel Mkudro: Although not as luxurious as options in larger cities, Hotel Mkudro offers upscale accommodations in Mtskheta with modern amenities and elegant design. Guests can stay in spacious rooms, relax in the hotel's garden, and dine at the on-site restaurant serving Georgian and European dishes.


For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

INSURANCE
Travel insurance can protect you against unexpected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

 

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