Hotel River Side
Brosse Street Turn, Right side of Mtkvari, Tbilisi, 0110, Georgia
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More about T'bilisi
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I am new to VT. a friend introduced me to it. I am planning on viisting in June. Is there a reccomendation on a good georgia hotel in tbilisi that would be in a good area for walking tour of sights etc.... I prefer not to stay at a chain hotel. Is air conditioning in most hotels?
thanks for your help
Hi and welcome to VT.
You also could try the search box at the top of this page.
If you enter T'bilisi you will find 56 reviews of hotels.
I do know of a comfortable and friendly homestay in Tbilisi, 1 minute from Freedom square ( tavisuplebis moedani) and within easy walking distance of the old town. If you would like, I can send you more information.
Travel Tips for T'bilisi
The old town in Tbilisi is very charming - sometimes in ruins, other times (not yet so often) restored, always authentic... not a tourist trap.
To me the old town is synonymous of wooden building and quaint balconies, in pastel colours.. There are some fine examples in Baratashvili kucha. Other interesting old town streets are shavteli kucha, sionis kucha and leselize. The latter one has become the hub for Tbilisi's nightlife, and you can find a large number of outdoor cafes and restaurants.
How Georgia became Western
The new trends of the current power of the day in this rather cute Caucasian republic are to move West as fast as possible. The reality shows that such hurry can produce comical results. Moreover it starts right away at the border so any unsuspecting foreigner is slammed immediately with the local customs manual. Long story short, when crossing in Georgia from Armenia on the way to Tbilisi, the Georgian border control point looks new and flashy as if to teach somebody across the demarcation line how things are supposed to be managed. Once inside, hardly inside though because an area of hardly 2m is cordoned off and guarded by a policemen ensuring that people stop at the line and wait for the wicket officer to summon them to the last judgement. Needing a visa or not everybody is photografed on the spot! What immediately impresses is the fact that the government officials are in new uniforms freshly minted from the New York police department. If somebody has any doubts about the influences of this border guard fashion and where it comes from, the sign “police” is nicely knitted on the front very close to the heart. This is rather bewildering considering that Georgia has had an alphabet of its own for centuries but no, it has to be written in English as if the bulk of people crossing at this point are from Massachusetts. Next comes - the communication with the proud Georgian/American-wannabe officials who have to ask you questions about your stay. This is where the most unexpected action takes place. He suddenly starts to talk to you in RUSSIAN. So, whoever paid for their uniforms did not bother to pay for their language training – how cheap.
Go Icon Shopping
Orthodox religious icons are BIG in Georgia. You can purchase them in most churches, but if this is not enough, there are icon shops all over Tbilisi. Check them out. The icons are beautiful, inexpensive, easy to pack and make nice gifts.
Train from Armenia to Georgia
The train leaves Yerevan at 7:15 p.m. on even days and leaves Tbilisi on odd days of the month (every other day both ways). It cost around 29 us $ for a sleeper cabin. it reached the Boarder around 4:00 a.m. and we finnished our coustomes on Georgian sides of the boarder @ around 6 a.m. Needles to say that the train is slow but hay you have one night less to worry about accomedation.
I traveled in Late May so only 4 sleeper cabins in the train were occupied. I had one of them for my self. There was no air condtion so it was VERY hot for the first 2 hours but after that it was very nice. I think there is a heating system for winter. There was no food or drinking water on the train so make sure you bring all your needs with you. Toilets are closed when train stop @ station. Both the Tbilis and Yerevan train station are will conected with the city Metro station.
I used the train from Yerevan to Tbilisi.
The boarder Scurity in Georgia insisted that I have to get a visa. I told him few times I don't need one, as I was told by the Georgian Embassy "I was exceimt" but he did not buy it. I finnaly told him to go ahead with issuing a visa but I will complain next day @ the Georgian Forign Minestry about his action. This certainly got his attention and @ 5a.m, he was able to get hold of somebody and confirm that I did not need a visa. If you are coming from a small country like mine. The boarder gard might not know that you are excempt from Visa, so insisit on it and hopefully they might see the light
There are NO english signs within the station. All signs are in Kartuli, the beautifully unique Georgian script.
Buy a token at the token counter before you enter. There are wardens located at the beginning and/or end of the long escalators to ensure no one gets a free ride. I feel sorry for them, all they do is sit in there and watch commuters. I imagine it must be one of the most boring jobs ever.
To purchase tokens:
"Adin (1) zheton pazhalsta" (1 token please)
"Dva (2) zheton pazhalsta" (2 tokens please)
I usually buy a few at a time so it's more convenient.
It's better to learn to recognize some of the letters so you know which platform to take the metro from. Otherwise, just ask any of the commuters, they'd be most glad to help.
Basically, the metro stations that are of most use to a visitor are:
Marjanishvili (Nasi's guesthouse)
Rustaveli (the main thoroughfare)
Tavisuplebis Moedani (the other end of Rustaveli)
Avlabari (near the Old Town, sulfur baths etc.)
Vagzlis Moedani (for the train station, just beside it)