24 hours in: Tbilisi

August 31, 2016
Urban Adventures

Tbilisi is an ancient town, with so much history embedded in its beautiful architecture. Located on one of the main routes of the Great Silk Road, Tbilisi has been the spot where cultures from the east and the west have been merging for centuries, which in turn has created a unique atmosphere that you will not experience anywhere else. Visiting Tbilisi is definitely an unforgettable experience! Check out our suggestions on what to do with just 24 hours in the city.

Early morning (7am – 10am)

Start your day off with breakfast at the bakery-café Entrée, located on Rustaveli Avenue, across from the Rustaveli Theatre. You can take a seat by the window, order a sandwich or croissant with coffee, and just people-watch as locals rush about on their way to work.

Morning and midday (10am – 2pm)

After you’ve loaded up on caffeine, take a taxi up to Kartlis Deda, or the Mother of Georgia statue. From here, you can walk straight up, where you’ll be treated to amazing views of the entire town. You can also walk down to Narikala Fortress, the fortification that dates back to the 4th century.

From the fortress, turn right and follow the stairs, where you’ll end up at the mosque. If you follow the narrow but beautiful streets, you’ll arrive in Abanotubani, which is known as the sulphur bath district. If you want to take a sulphur bath, we recommend booking a private room at Samepo Bathhouse.

Afterwards, you can cross the Metekhi Bridge and visit the Metekhi Church, and then cross the bridge again to visit the synagogue and Sioni Cathedral. Coming out of the yard of Sioni Cathedral, you can continue on to Erekle 2nd Street, pass by the Peace Bridge, and follow the narrow alley that leads to Anchiskhati Church. It’s the oldest church in Tbilisi, and dates back to the 5th century.

Next to the church you’ll find a cosy and interesting café called Gabriadze, which even has a puppet theatre! If you walk along Shavteli Street to its very end, turn left and continue along Pushkini Street, you’ll find Shemoikhede Genatsvale, a nice restaurant that’s definitely worth stopping at for lunch. Here you’ll be able to try famous Georgian dishes like khinkali (dumplings), khachapuri (cheese bread, which is sometimes referred to as Georgian pizza), kababi with cheese, eggplants with walnuts, and soko ketze sulgunit (mushroom on a clay plate with Sulguni cheese).

Afternoon (2pm – 6pm)

After lunch, head to Freedom Square and take a right. Once again, follow Rustaveli Avenue and you’ll come up to the Museum of Georgia. The Archaeological Golden Treasury in the basement is a must-visit, as are pretty much all of the other exhibits. If you’re particularly interested in the Russian occupation, those exhibits are on the third floor, while the second floor houses temporary art exhibitions.

After visiting the museum, continue walking along Rustaveli Avenue, passing by the cinema, Parliament, a school, the Kashueti Church, and the National Gallery. If you are fond of art, a trip to the National Gallery should definitely be on your list, as you’ll find masterpieces by famous Georgian artists.

If you continue along the street, you’ll see the Marriott Hotel — just before the hotel, turn right. Follow Chanturia Street till the very end and turn right, and then left. You’ll find yourself at the Dry Bridge Open Air Flea Market.

Maybe you’ll score yourself a piece of fine jewellery at the flea market! All that’s required is a little hunting around…

At this market you’ll find a variety of things, like antique items and paintings. Take a wander around — you never know, you might find something that interests you!

If you’re feeling a little parched, then we’re guessing your body has figured out it’s teatime! Visit Art-Cafe HOME located at 13 Betlemi Street (just a 10-minute walk from Freedom Square).

Bored and looking to kill some time? Consider taking a sulphur water bath and getting a refreshing massage before dinner!

When the sun sets over Tbilisi, there’s still plenty to do…

Evening (6pm onwards)

For dinner, definitely visit the traditional restaurant Meidani, located in the Old Town, on 6 Rkinis Rigi Street. Here you can try more traditional dishes like pkhali (a dish made up of an assortment of chopped and minced veggies), chakapuli (veal/lamb stew with wild plums), chicken in blackberry sauce, or shkmerui (chicken in garlic sauce).

If you’re looking for after-dinner drinks, hit up ole MacLaren’s Irish Pub, located just next to the Maidani restaurant. They have good beer and great live music from Wednesday to Saturday.