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Favorite thing: Natakhtari is the most popular beer in Georgia; a lager, a bit pils-type, very refreshing during the hot days; I like a lot wine, and some Georgian wines are famous, but on travel I almost always go for beer, knowing that I miss something local, but wine has to be drunk (at least for me) in special circumstances.
So, after an afternoon in the heat of the city, for a good refreshment, or for dinner, with a local kebab, or a delicious khatchapuri, beer is the best!
I do not know which beer the locals drank before, as this brand which exists since 2005, seems by far the most popular in the country; it comes from Efes brewery founded in 1990, just after freedom recovery.
A commercial movie here.
Of course you can have beer in every “serious” café, restaurant, etc. . . .
Written Apr 20, 2012
Favorite thing: Beautiful backyards in the old parts of Tbilissi are among the most interesting things to visit; these backyards are a bit the soul of the city, they all have the common charm of peaceful places, far from the hectic street side, the trees, the beautiful balconies and staircases, high climbing vine arbours providing shade in hot summer days. . . and all are different, have a bit of an own character. It can take time to visit a backyard, especially if people are curious about the tourist coming to visit them. The wooden balconies, the high windows of the high buildings are very beautiful for a person who is not used to these views, and the clotheslines give some charm to these backyards. Some of these places are well hidden, other more accessible; there are probably in most of the old parts of the city; the pictures here have been taken off the small streets between Freedom Place and Narikala fortress, on the left bank, off David Anagmashenebeli Avenue, and Bakradze street, but there are probably many places where you can find these backyards and have a little bit an insight to local life.
Written Apr 20, 2012
Favorite thing: The Kura River (Mt'k'vari in Georgian) flows through Tbilissi, on its way to the Caspian Sea; its name derives most probably (but who can be sure with old assertions based on some linguistic observations or historic nationalism?) from Cyrus the Great, the Persian emperor.
Tbilissi has a number of bridges which link left and right banks, and if there are not anymore old bridges, the bridges one can walk or drive across today have all a personality.
Galaktioni Bridge is marked with signs from soviet times on the décor of its railing, but also interesting are the Assyrian (style) lions guarding it at each end.
The Bridge of Peace (picture 2) is a pedestrian bridge built in 2010, linking a modern park located at the feet of the new presidential palace with the old city on the right bank; this bow-shaped fishnet looks a bit out-of-place at first sight in this old city, but it finally looks nice, specially seen from the hills above the city (See pictures in other tips and travelogue).
The modern sculptures on Baratchvili Brige (picture3) certainly remind of commercial activities which took place in the area in the nineties, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Saarbrücken Bridge offers a totally different type of commercial activity (although linked to Soviet collapse too); there is a flea market (mainly on the right bank end) where you may find some antiques, old soviet medals, uniforms, and also whatever interesting things you may like to look for in a flea market (See flea market tip); here (picture 4), the bridge dominated by the modern Sameba Cathedral is seen from the left bank.
When you walk up to Narikala fortress or on one of the hills above the city, you can have a general view of the city and see the Kura River and some of its bridges (picture 5).
Written Apr 20, 2012
Favorite thing: The churches of Tbilisi are some of the prominent landmarks of the city; some are very old, some are recent, some are big, some are small, some dominate the city some are hidden behind houses in a small street, some are just ruins. . . . The orthodox church of Georgia is very old established church and if the Soviet regime destroyed some buildings, used them as warehouses or stables, and had some “success” in propagating the “new religion”, the independence of 1991 showed that the religion was not dead. The new gained freedom was accompanied by restoring churches, building new ones, and the visitor sees lots of people in the streets make a genuflection or a sign of the cross when they pass by a religious building.
If you walk in Tbilisi, you will see many churches from the Georgian Orthodox Church, but also Armenian churches with katchkars in front of them, and a few catholic, protestant churches, mosques and a synagogue.
There are lots of churches here, and some of the small churches in the city are worth a visit for the paints, frescoes or just their moving simplicity, modesty; there are a few tips about churches in this page, but let us look at some as we just pass by in the streets or discover them from a viewpoint on a hill, or from the river banks. Churches also offer sometimes nice viewpoints, like here (picture 1) from Metheki Church toward Baratishvili Bridge.
From the Moghni Church ruins you can see the Bethlehemi Church (picture 2). You will notice that most churh tower are capped by octagonal roofs, but some have nice campaniles like here (picture 3), this chapel next to Sioni Cathedral; of course when you enter in a church, you will not miss St George and the Dragon (picture 4); if you walk up to Narikala Fort, you will see church towers all over the city and the huge Sameba Church dominating the city (picture 5) is impossible to miss.
Written Apr 20, 2012
I was walking into town one night to have dinner when I came across a real bread bakery near the Avlabari Metro Station. Somehow I got into a conversation with the owner, George and the 2 guys who work for him. This of course led to vodka. And more vodka. Over the course of the next 3-4 hours I managed to obtain 2 excellent bottles of Georgian Vodka, a small cooked chicken and bread. Lots and lots of bread. George and the guys talked to me about their lives, their jobs, cost of living, history and many stories about Georgia. Politics? Religion? Of course we talked about them. My bread dinner was the most basic meal I have ever had while travelling – and one of the best ever. I watched them making bread, interacting with customers and talking to their friends and family who stopped by.
So if you find yourself near the Avlabari Metro Station – buy a bit of bread and you may get some priceless cultural insight into Georgia….. and learn how to shout “Gaumardschoss” between shots of vodka!
(The last picture is the name of the bakery)
Updated Apr 25, 2011
Favorite thing: I'm a dog loving person,and I know that they are great friends of human but sometimes we do not take care of them..they just need a little pay attention and love and respect...but they are always take care and protect us just for a piece of bread..Here are the my friends in T'bilisi...White one was guide me in the Old city:)
Updated Mar 28, 2008
Favorite thing: To find out Visa requirment, fees, who is excempt and who is not click on this link
To find out the address of Georgian Embassies abroad click on this link
To find out what countries have Embassies in Georgia click on this link. Please note that some of these Embassies are NOT located in Georgia. So be carful !! The last link is also worth looking
Also check this page for more consulates in Tblisi. The embassy might not be in tbilisi but the consulate is.
Updated Jan 21, 2008
Favorite thing: As mentioned on my Tbilisi and Georgia pages, we mostly based ourselves in Tbilisi, and took some day trips. For the most part, they were via marshrutka, picked up at Didube station, but to get to Davit Gareja, we hired a taxi. As of this writing, the going rate for a taxi for the day seems to be 100 laris.
Written Oct 26, 2006
Favorite thing: If you walk down Rustaveli avenue you will come across an alleyway marked with an internet sign. It is about a 5 to 8 minute walk past the McDonalds and Cinema (keep to the right side). If you see an English sign go down the alleyway and it is on the right side. They have excellent internet facilities plus they will print you off a much needed Tbilisi Metro Map in Georgian and English for 1.5 Lari. Very useful!
Written Oct 5, 2006
Favorite thing: 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.
Fondest memory: 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.
Written Aug 19, 2006
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