Mts'khet'a Travel Guide

  • Tables and a bar on the terrace over the river.
    Tables and a bar on the terrace over the...
    by Hanka
  • View of Armazis Tskaro (Armazi Springs) Restaurant
    View of Armazis Tskaro (Armazi Springs)...
    by Hanka
  • This is what the entrance looks like.
    This is what the entrance looks like.
    by Hanka

Mts'khet'a Things to Do

  • The Fortress of Bebris Tsikhe

    We paid a brief visit to The Fortress of Bebris Tsikhe ("The Elder's Fortress"; built in the 14th Century) during a day trip to Mtskheta in February 2013.This ruined castle is located a little way north of the city centre. It took us around 15 minutes to walk the 1.2km or so along Davit Aghmashenebelis qucha from Samtavro Church to reach the...

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  • Samtavro Cemetery

    The Samtavro cemetery excavations can be visited with the ticket you buy for the museum visit.These excavations look quite spectacular for those who are not used to see big necropolis from the antiquity. The cemetery dates back to the 3rd millennium BC and several periods of “activity” have been identified till the 10th century AD and various...

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  • Mtskheta archaeological museum

    That is the kind of museums which have lots and lots of interesting items and where there are almost no explanations; that leaves a lot of space for imagination and interpretation, but, seriously, if one of the guides from the museum had not guided me for free (I gave her a French course in return) and explained about the people who lived in the...

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  • Svetistkhoveli Cathedral of Mtskheta (2)

    Inside Svetistkhoveli Cathedral the visitors will discover exceptional chapels, frescoes and icons. As there are many pilgrims and worshippers, the religious atmosphere adds to the beauty of the cathedral.Some of the paints on the walls, ceilings are from the 13th century, but most are from the 19th century, as the “Russian Orthodox church did not...

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  • Svetistkhoveli Cathedral of Mtskheta

    The pillar of life is what mean the name of the cathedral; Svetitskhoveli cathedral has long been the most important of the country, and lots of Georgian were angry when the Trinity church has been built in Tbilisi, at the turn of the 21st century.This big church, laid out like a cross is interesting to visit, outside and inside, and here are some...

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  • Mtskheta and St Nino

    Mtskheta is a very old city which is best visited on feet; I walked along one of the rivers, looking at the houses and the hills in the far, enjoying the cool weather (it would rain soon), after having visited the cathedral. Nice in the city are the fortifications around the cathedral and the small renovated houses in small narrow streets near the...

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  • The main gate in the ramparts of Sveti...

    The main gate into the ramparts stands almost in front of the entrance into the cathedral. As this was Easter week, there were plenty of worshipers. On each side, half a dozen old ladies were each asking for a coin from the worshipers.

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  • Jvari

    Jvari (or Djvari) monastery stands on a hill overhanging Mskheta in the South-east. It is close to the city and can easily be seen from Sveti Skhoveli but it rained hard and we felt that the rainy and foggy landscape was not worth the climb and we skipped it, as we had skipped Bebris Tsikhe.It is a cruciform church and the main historical landmark...

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  • Inner view on the way out through the...

    Sveti Shkoveli is famous among Ufologists. On a 17th century fresco depicting the crucifixion of Jesus, they have spotted a pair of flying saucers painted on each side of the Christ. I have not been convinced and feel that the two “things” are more likely to be flying jelly fishes!

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  • Out of Sveti Shkoveli

    I was amazed to see a young lady that came out of the church, speaking in her cellular telephone. After a few feet outside, she turned back and kneeled, as almost everybody did, but did not stop to speak on her phone!

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  • Sveti Skhoveli

    Sveti Skhoveli is a highly venerated place of worship for Georgians. The cathedral that we see today was built in the Xith century at the place where stood a much older church, built in the Ivth century. Several legends are associated to this first church. To make short a long story, it would have been built with seven cedar column including one...

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  • Holy cow ?!

    On each side of the gate, stands a cows’head. They deserve the name of “Holy cow” (LOL).I have searched but I have not found why there were these two cow’s head, which rather unusual in a religious surroundings. Anybody knows ?

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  • Sveti Skhoveli, the bell tower

    In Sveti Skhoveli as in most churches in Georgia, the bell tower stands outside of the church itself. It sits on the inner side of the ramparts. There is a staircase that leads to the bells but there was a locked gate that did not allow to visit. Too bad, besides the bells, there should have been a nice look on the cathedral.

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  • Sveti Skhoveli, the ramparts

    The cathedral of Sveti Skhoveli (or Svetishoveli or Sveti-Tskhoveli) was built Xth or XIth century, but the ramparts around the cathedral were built in the 18th century to protect it when Georgia was split between several local kings that fought each other

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  • Samtavro church, the bell tower

    The bell tower of Stamvro church stands apart from the church. It has three levels, all of them with arched apertures. The first and the second level were built on a square pattern while the third level is circular. The first level has four apertures (one on each side), the second level eight and the third level twelve. I suspect it has a religious...

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Mts'khet'a Restaurants

  • Excellent value Georgian cuisine!

    My girlfriend and I ate lunch at Old Taverna during our daytrip from Tbilisi to Mtskheta in February 2013.Old Taverna is located in a building that looks to have been renovated in recent years, just a short walk from Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Indeed, the plastic tables outside the front of the restaurant look across towards the cathedral. On a...

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  • Eat khinkali high in a tree!

    Armazis Tskaro is one of those really neat Georgian restaurants where you eat out in the fresh air at a picnic table, only this establishment is tucked into a small gorge hidden in the cool shade of tall trees and serenaded by a babbling brook. The main restaurant is built upon the bedrock along the brook, out from which spout several artesian...

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  • Georgian fare, decent prices, clean...

    Old Mtskheta restaurant is located on the edge of the large parking lot established at the east end of town. It has indoor and outdoor seating, and specializes in grilled Georgian food, such as kebabi and shashlik. The kebabi, shashlik, khinkali, khachapuri and fries all were better than some places as they were not overcooked or oversalted. The...

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  • Good Restaurant near Svetitskhoveli...

    Quite nice restaurant, exzellent food and big plates. Beans in Clay Pot, Kebab and very good fried potatoes.

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  • River Restaurant

    This restaurant featured South Pacific looking thatched cabin type rooms for private parties...which was well suited for our large group. Each cabin was situated with its own fireplace - a must for this time of year. There was outdoor seeing with a view of the river and Svetitskhoveli - but it was a bit cold for that...would be a great summer...

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  • On your way to Jvari Church

    A typical Georgian restaurant in Mst'khet'a. A good place to stop and take pictures of Jvari from accross the river. They have most of the national food there, we had Khinkali (A ball of dough filled with meat and boiled) and Mthvadi (Meat roasted over an open fire. Mtsvadi can be roasted flesh of lamb, Pig and young goat). Both were very good as...

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Mts'khet'a Transportation

  • Marshrutky between Tbilisi and Mtskheta

    During our visit to Tbilisi in February 2013, we decided to undertake a day trip to the nearby town of Mtskheta, a former capital of Georgia.We ascertained that the cheapest way of getting to Mtskheta was by marshrutka (local minibus) and the following details were correct as at the time of our visit.Tbilisi – MtskhetaThe marshrutky (plural of...

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  • Transport and shopping - 2 for 1

    Getting to Mtsheta is easy. One just has to use subway or marshrutka (minibus – taxi with assigned route) to reach this sprawling market north of the center of Tbilisi. From there another marshrutka takes you for 30 minutes and less than a dollar to the old capital. Do not forget to tell the driver that you want to stop in the center of town - it...

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  • Getting to Mts'khet'a by bus

    From the Didube bus station in T'bilisi there are frequent buses to Mts'ket'a.The busses in Mts'khet'a leave at the maine road opposite the small shop.Just shake your hand to stop the bus.The busses have the pictures of the monastary in front.You can by the tickets at the counter near the bus.Please take a look at the Georgia by bus transportation...

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Mts'khet'a Shopping

  • Men only

    Stalls outside of main church. Sheep "fur" Caucasus style hats. Black ones were not available at this location. Do not give in and buy white hats anyway because real men are supposed to wear black ones. Agressive in their pricing, the local saleswomen are not budging no matter how hard you try. Do not despare! The black hats are waiting for you in...

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  • Typical all you need shop

    This is a typical shop. You can get there cigarettes and cold drinks.But they offer much more Not expensive

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  • Mts'khet'a Hotels

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Mts'khet'a Local Customs

  • Churchkhela - the "Georgian Snickers"

    A popular sweet snack in Georgia is Churchkhela.Nicknamed the "Georgian Snickers", Churchkhela is a string of nuts covered in a thickened sweet grape juice with a slightly rubbery texture.You will find them hanging outside many shops or being sold at markets, from stalls in the streets or by elderly ladies in underpasses. When they are hanging...

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  • Electric meters

    Another feature unknown in Western Europe is about electric meters : instead of being inside each house (or each building), it is directly affixed on the electric poles. I have seen that everywhere in Georgia and this is not special to Mstkheta.

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  • Butcher’s

    The butcher’s is very different of what we are used to see in Western Europe. It is more a booth that a shop. There does not seem to be any fridge : the meat proposed in the morning has to be sold before the end of the afternoon.

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Mts'khet'a Off The Beaten Path

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    Jvari church

    by call_me_rhia Updated Aug 19, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jvari church is a cross-domed church dating back to the 6th-7th century; jvari, by the way. means "cross".

    This little church on top of a hill, overlooking the town of Mtskheta (from where you can see the confluence of the rivers) is where St. Nino erected the first wooden cross - the pedestal can be seen in the middle of the church.

    There is no public transportation to the church so you need a car or taxi to get there. It's probably possible to walk, but the walk is long and it is not signposted. The road and path are really not evident.

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Mts'khet'a Favorites

  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo
    Mtskheta from high up 1 more image

    by call_me_rhia Updated Aug 19, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Mtskheta is Georgia's ancient capital city and, as you can see from the picture, is located at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers. It is about 30 minutes away from Tbilisi.

    Mtskheta is named after Mtskhetos, son of Kartlos - the legendary progenitor of the Georgian people. It is also the place of the first Christian church in Georgia and it is still regarded as the spiritual capital.

    Fondest memory: My fondest memory has to be that of the monasteries visited. We had great expectations about the museum but, it turned out, had been closed for renovations for many year, and it is not thought to e opening its doors again for many years.

    Thank you LP for yer another misleading tip.

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