T'bilisi Things to Do

  • Carving around main door
    Carving around main door
    by GeoV
  • Samegrelo house (19th century)
    Samegrelo house (19th century)
    by GeoV
  • Kikodzis kucha
    Kikodzis kucha
    by GeoV

Best Rated Things to Do in T'bilisi

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    Blue church St Nshan (Armenian church)

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    The towers
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    St Nshan church is not indicated on guides or maps in Tbilissi, and discovering this church in the old streets of the city gives a somehow sad feeling mixed with the joy of a surprise and discovery! This church also named Church of the Holy Seal built in 1701 is an Armenian church which has been destroyed, rebuilt in 1780, more or less abandoned during the soviet era and recently (in the nineties) burned by an arson fire. . . .; there is not a lot of information about this church which contained thousands of books the remains of which you can still see in the ashes of the fire (picture 2). The blue tiles of the main tower and the small campanile look so moving and beautiful above the brick building surrounded by trees which even grow on the roof!
    I do not know if this church will be reconstructed one day, as there are some outside nice architectural decors protected by wooden props (picture 3), and inside, the cupola and arches look interesting (picture 4). But may be moving discoveries are also part of travel and discovering the blue tiles dominated by the cross was a real pleasure, walking in the sunny deserted streets of the old city.

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    Georgia National Museum: Soviet occupation Museum

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    The Soviet occupation Museum is located in the same building as the Simon Janashia Museum. The lights and the general scenography are intended to move, to frighten, to give the occupation atmosphere rather than to coldly display items and information of that period.
    It is moving indeed to see photographs of tens of deported people, to see train carts which transported the exiles, to see the dictator (a born Georgian) with whom people had really to do with, letters of prisoners, . . . . There are long explanatory boards, and one cannot leave the place without a bad feeling. Really, it is worth to spend some time here to see what human can do to other human under auspices of “civilisation” and “development” and to have a bit a batter idea of what happened beyond what we know from literature.


    Open 11 am- 5:30pm; closed Mondays
    Entrance: 3 GEL

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    Sameba Cathedral

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    The Sameba Cathedral has triggered a great controversy in Georgia; for some it is the renewal of pride of the Orthodox Church, but many orthodox traditionalists think this building reflects more sinful pride rather than religious spirit; moreover, it has been built (in 2000) on the Armenian cemetery, and this was a provocation of the Georgian Orthodox church against the Armenian Church.
    Many Orthodox think it is a sin to have built a church bigger than the traditional sanctuaries, like Alaverdi or Svetitskhoveli, and when one thinks that it has been financed by the billionaire Boris Ivanichvili accused to have tight links with Russian politicians, you can understand there is a bit of controversy about this cathedral which dominates the city from the left bank of the Kura. Sameba is also the siege of the Orthodox Church and whatever the controversies, lots of people visit this place and many shops and stalls are in the small streets around.
    It is easy to reach and worth a short visit, even if it is only for outside, the gardens and the surroundings.
    This Trinity Cathedral looks really gigantic, when you are close (picture 1), as you could have suspected it when discovered from far (picture 2, picture 5).
    There is a big park around and there are other chapels, kiosks, and locals apparently enjoy walking around or having a rest on one of the benches.
    Going to this cathedral is also an excellent pretext to visit the old quarters (Armenian, Turks, Jewish) of the left bank (other tips).

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    More balconies

    by kokoryko Written Apr 20, 2012

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    In some places the balconies are so big and impressive that you barely can see the houses on which they are built (picture 1)! In other places, there are few balconies spotting the facades of houses, other look like a “little palace” in front of the house (picture 3) from where you look at what happens on the street and others are hidden from the street (picture 4). All these are old balconies, but the modern buildings have their balconies too (picture 5, Avlabari Square). It looks like that in Georgia, what ever the social condition, or building style, a house without a balcony is not a real house. . . .

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    Georgia National Museum: Simon Janashia Museum

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    Colchian diadem
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    Unfortunately many sections of this museum are under renovation or rehabilitation or just not made accessible to visitors and only a section for temporary exhibitions, a section for very spectacular archaeological treasures; a separate section devoted to “Soviet occupation” has been opened recently.
    The Georgian National Museum was established at the end of 2004 by a Presidential decree. Its origins, however, date back to the founding of the Caucasian Museum by the German naturalist explorer Gustav Radde under the auspices of the Russian Royal Geographic Society in 1865 which had established a museum of Caucasian department as early as 1852. The Georgian National Museum administrates now several museums dispatched in various places of Tbilisi.
    The Simon Janashia Museum, along with the History Museum is the most important museum of Tbilisi; the visitors just have to hope and wait for getting access to more archaeological marvels, that natural history and ethnography galleries will be accessible again, when nationalist priorities will be put aside. . . . .
    What is visible now (Sept 2011) are treasures of Georgian goldsmithery, and they are really worth a visit.
    Going through time from the third millennium BC to the fourth century AD, you will discover real marvels of early civilisations of the area, admire some masterpieces of Colchian adornments (the famous kingdom of Colchis) (first picture). Incredible display of tens of beautiful jewels; our modern creators did not invent a lot new!!!!

    Photos not allowed
    Open 11 am- 5:30pm; closed Mondays
    Entrance: 5 GEL

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    see the synagogue

    by ellielou Written Oct 19, 2006

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    open door
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    The main synagogue in Tbilisi (actually, there are two, but one isn't so 'main') is ovely , pretty and a relatively large religious structure.

    There are a few things nice about this synagogue. One is that it is on a street that also has a mosque and a church. Another thing is that it's very welcoming. You don't need a letter of invitation, or show them your passport, or prove to them that you're a Jew-in-good-standing to enter. (Sadly, this is the case in some cities.) Anyoneand everyone is welcome. And, the man that showed me around said that, in over 100 years, there was never any problems in Tbilisi with them, even during rather bleak Soviet times.

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    St Nicolas Church

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    Worshippers
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    In the fortress of Narikala it is worth to have a look at St Nicolas church, not for its historical or architectural significance, but just because it is a living church, even here, far from the city; worshippers climb up the narrow streets and stairs to come to pray or for a confession in this church.
    This church has been built on another St Nicolas church which disappeared after a ammunition storage explosion in 1827 and it is interesting to look at the paints, which are recent but in medieval style, where all characters have a sad face, they all look up to the sky. . . . I looked very down earth at the pretty ladies coming confessing their sins. . . . oops!
    Ah, sometimes it seems priests are in a hurry to finish erecting their churches. . . on picture 5, you have an example of very fine bells hung on a sort of steel pipe gallows with concrete reinforcing bars. . . I would not like to be the bells, treated like workplace objects. . . .

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    Ananuri

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    Ananuri
    If you go to the High Caucasus you very probably will pass by Ananuri, and its fortified monastery.
    Ananuri has been built in the 16th century during a period of civil wars, and it has long been a place of fights and rebellions. This fortified complex is often represented as a symbol of Georgia, as it is a sort of synthesis of finest religious art and roughness of a mountain defensive settlement.
    It can be the objective of a short day trip, or you can go there by minibus and take another minibus to resume the journey to the Caucasus, or as I did, have the luck the minibus stops for 15-20mn at this place, for a rest or just for the tourists if there are tourists in the minibus.
    So, I had not the opportunity to visit inside the monastery but enjoyed its setting, the landscape and a look at the souvenir sellers displays (picture 5).
    The nice thing when travelling with locals is that you make nice and pleasant encounters and there is the possibility I even can be photographed in front of a local monument.

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    Kvashveti church

    by kokoryko Written Apr 21, 2012

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    Kashveti church, like many others in Tbilissi has been renovated in recent years; if you do not have a close look at the churches, you will not know if the church is old or recent, except you are a Georgian religious architecture expert; to me, from far, they look all more or less the same style, and it their “personality”, their location, their story which makes them interesting or worth to have a loo at.
    Well, I thought I was heading for an old church when I walked across Leonidze Gardens, but getting closer, I could see the columns, the more or less baroque décor on the walls (picture2) telling me it was a recent one. The recent renovation has been done a bit on a hurry it seems, but the beautiful stones (picture 3) make the small chapel looking warm and welcoming.
    Like in most churches here, paints and frescoes (picture 4), and of course, worshippers and priests; to the contrary of Catholics who go to confession in confessional boxes, the Georgian orthodox confide their sins in open space (picture 5).

    This church is also named St Georges, which explains the paintings inside. . . :-)) (main picture).
    You can find here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kashveti_Church , an explanation to the name of the church, which has something to do with stones.

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    Fine arts Museum

    by kokoryko Written Apr 28, 2012

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    Patio with some antiques. .
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    Even almost all sections of this museum were closed, I did not regret the 10 Gel I spent for a visit here; in fact all was closed except the treasure room, as they call it: it is a collection of religious items, and generally icons from monasteries of Georgia.
    A guide takes small groups (no solo visit possible or allowed, neither are photographs allowed, and they are strict on that!) in a succession of rooms where indeed beautiful and impressive items (from 13th to 18th centuries) are displayed, and the guide is very competent with her explanations and putting these items in artistic and historical perspective; huge golden processional crosses, icons which really express religious art at its best, priests ceremonial clothes, statues of Christ and saints. . .I had seen a lot before, but here I have been impressed.
    Imagine only when the museum will open again all its sections! It is a great museum, we just can hope the collections will be on display soon. . . .
    The picture is from the patio of the main building where items are waiting to find back a place for being displayed, may be?
    The second picture is from Pushkin square, next to the museum.


    Working hours: Everyday except Monday, 11.00 – 16.00
    Ticket price: Adult -3 GEL, Students - 1.5 GEL, Schoolchildren (max. 15 people) 0.5 GEL, Guided Tour Fee 10 GEL

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    Museum of Georgian Folk Architecture

    by MalenaN Written May 5, 2007

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    The Ethnographic Museum in Tbilisi
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    This is an open-air museum (it is also called the Ethnographic Museum) with 68 buildings from all over Georgia. Most of the houses are taken from their original site to be rebuilt here. The architecture is different in different regions of Georgia, but many of the houses are built in wood and have a big porch.
    The houses near the entrance are open and furnished, but not the houses further up the hill. I and Nino (VT-member photonina) walked all the way up to the Svan defence tower (the stairs were under renovation so the tower could not be climbed). We entered several empty houses on our way up, not all of them too safe as the floors were broken at a few places.
    It is a nice open-air museum to stroll around in.
    Entrance fee is 1.5 lari (July 2005).
    The museum is open11 - 17 Tuesday - Sunday.

    To go to the museum you can take bus 61 to Bagebi. We took the bus from Rustavelis Street.

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    David Anagmashnebeli Av. works, left bank

    by kokoryko Written Apr 20, 2012

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    Since a few years Tbilisi is renovating its streets and trying to get a modern clean look after having spent its revenue for more urgent needs after liberation. The right bank has already been renovated for big parts, and now (2011) there are big road works and building renovation on the left bank, specially around David Anagmashnebeli Avenue.
    On long sections of the avenue wooden or iron scaffolds stand in front of houses which will recover hopefully their former splendour (picture 1), we can have an idea of when looking closely at some house entrances hidden behind the scaffolds (pictures 2, 3).
    Road works, sewage, electricity are undertaken in the same time, and if it is a bit dusty now (picture 4) and the traffic a bit congested (picture 5), one can hope that in a few months, the left bank of Tbilisi will be a very nice and agreeable place to stroll around; the side streets are not renovated with the same energy and I hope the backyards will be protected and preserved, as thes add to the charm of the city.

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    Tbilisi's Sulphur baths

    by marsistanbul Updated Mar 28, 2008

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    orbeliani bath(Blue tiles)
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    Sulphur baths,Turkish hammam or Roman..anyhow,I've not been there..'cause it was a walk along the Mtkvari river.Next time?? never:) I do not like hammams:(
    As you know that Balnea(small Banyo-bath) or Thermae(Termal-large bathhouses) were communal activities and most of the bathhouses had separate facilities for men and women.
    I've been lots of Roman ruins-of course I'd search Roman baths- in Turkey,I might say that Turks've been copied hammam than Romans.same tectonical design,ceromony and rituals,etc.But the Turks developed very hot baths,which to this days are still known as Turkish baths..

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    Mosque and baths

    by kokoryko Written Apr 20, 2012

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    Bathes seen from the fort
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    The baths of Tbilissi, according to the local legend are at the origin of the foundation of the city during antiquity; since long they are one of the big attractions of the city and had as famous visitors as Alexander Pushkin or Alexandre Dumas. There are a number of bath institutes but I did not have a bath in the hot sulphurous waters. The Muslim quarter is located nearby and I strolled down the streets coming from Narikala fort; the area is under renovation and you can see how the workers renovate the old houses and the mosque; have a look in the mosque, just for the atmosphere; I like the quiet places where people communicate with their creator, whatever the religion.

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    Cable car station

    by kokoryko Written Apr 21, 2012

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    Behind the Academy of Sciences, after passing the arcades you will find a strange cylindrical stone and glass building where the high arches are filled glass and wrought metal (picture 2); when you enter you discover two spiral ramps climbing smoothly (picture 1), like if you could go up with a horse or a vehicle.
    The watchmen at the entrance were reluctant to let me in and asked me not to walk up. There is a columnar heating device in the centre of the tower (picture 3). I was very impressed by this building and was puzzled for a while as what it could be; the guys could not explain me, and I went back out, made two more pictures (I liked this small violet (picture 4) car displayed for sale probably; you see on picture 5 how the two ramps are climbing and the medallion above the door representing a . . . . cable car !! I discovered what it was when I finished visiting: it is the lower station of the cable car leading to Mtatsminda plateau (where you can see the telecom tower); this cable car is not anymore in use and is waiting for rehabilitation. . . .

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