The post is about the perfect 3 Days in Tbilisi Itinerary for your future trip to Georgia. The Tbilisi Itinerary includes top places to see and explore in the capital city, places to eat and drink, and also day trip details to places around Tbilisi.
The capital city Georgia, Tbilisi is an eclectic mix of bohemian, traditional and modern in outlook. A unique European city, which is influenced by both west and east, it is quite vibrant in character. It shouts loud about its past, takes you to the cobbled streets lined with traditional Georgian pastel shade houses with wooden balconies, towering fortress, narrow alleyways to navigate, coupled with quirky cafes and restaurants offering the best of traditional Georgian cuisine.
Whether it is the buzzing streets of Tbilisi, the bath district, Abanotubani with sulphur bathhouses, new upscale design hotel like Stamba, favorite hub for youngsters like Fabrika or the eye-arresting new city sights with outlandish architectures with those delicate tiny balcony, the city thrives on its glorious architectural treasures, celebrated food culture, and emerging modernism alongside the traditional lifestyle.
Tbilisi, unlike any other European capital city, has a distinct character which doesn’t go unnoticed, even on your first visit to the country. The numerous battles, destruction, reconstruction, the city has seen it all. Yet, it flaunts its past gloriously in the present day.
Also known as the ‘Rome of the Caucasus’, Tbilisi should be on your list. The Georgia is a new emerging European destination, which promises to offer some of the best travel experiences for discerning travelers. The capital city itself has a lot to offer for everyone.
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Whether you are a culture enthusiast, a pub crawler, architecture lover, city wanderer or a luxury traveler; from hidden cafes and pubs, century old orthodox churches to bird-eye views of the historic city, you need more than two days to explore this dynamic city.
Here is the ultimate 3 days in Tbilisi itinerary for you.
The Jazeera Airways make it easy to travel to the country of “Black Sea” with a halt in Kuwait for a few hours from India. A direct flight from Mumbai to Kuwait takes four and half hours. The connecting Jazeera Airways fly to Tbilisi daily and it takes just two and a half hours to reach.
3 Days in Tbilisi Itinerary
Take a walking tour in the old city
What I loved about this fascinating city is that it has retained the old world charm beautifully. The traditional houses with the balconies, winding cobbled streets, tiny shops selling souvenirs, fruit carts, and cafes, take you back to the old times.
The only way you can experience the charm of it is by taking walks in this part of Tbilisi. Whether it is the maze of little streets, wandering cats, courtyards, hanging grape vines, steep climb and smooth walking down in narrow alleyways, you would love to get lost in the maze happily.
The Metekhi Church is located in the old city of Tbilisi. It is one of the must visit places in the city. The view of the old city of Tbilisi is just breathtaking. Built as an Armenian Church in the 18th century, Metekhi Church has now served as a Georgian Orthodox Church.
The aura of the church inside is very calm and serene. I was indeed very lucky to observe the prayer session with the locals. The colorful frescoes on the wall, hanging lamp in front of the photo frames of Mother Mary, designated place for candles and the orthodox tradition that they follow, I had the opportunity to see it all. Whenever you enter a Georgian Orthodox Church, kindly maintain silence as the prayers shouldn’t be disrupted by your chatters.
Another must visit place in the old city of Tbilisi is the Narikala Fortress. Also known as the Mother Fortress of Tbilisi, it was established in the 4th century. There are different theories regarding the name “Narikala”, which means “little fortress”. Walking up to the fortress up on the hillock from the Betlemi Street, meandering through the steep spiral stairs and then walking on the narrow lanes gives you the glimpse of the way of life of the Georgian people.
You can take a cable car to reach the Narikala Fortress and it is considered one of the must do things in Tbilisi. The aerial view of Tbilisi from the Narikala Fortress is simply breathtaking. It is a great vantage point for the photographers to capture the aerial view of capital city.
Don’t forget to look at the iconic statue of Mother Georgia. The towering statue is one of the landmarks of the capital city. Located next to the Narikala Fortress, it is a 20 meter-high aluminium statue of a lady crowned with ivy, holding a cup of wine in one hand and a sword in another. It symbolizes that the mother Georgia welcomes friends with a cup of wine and enemies with a sword.
Buy Souvenir from the old street
While strolling in the old city, you will find lots of tiny shops selling souvenirs to the tourists. Step inside the shop, interact with the locals, and buy things like fridge magnets, wine glasses, tequila glasses, local bakery items, show pieces, etc. The Georgian local people are very warm and hospitable. And, if you are good at bargaining, you might seal a good deal.
Eat lunch at the Cafe Leila
You have to visit this beautiful cafe in the old city for a traditional Georgian food. It has a very warm feel to it. I also loved the delightful decor of the cafe. The hospitality and services are simply amazing here. They have a wide variety of Vegan dishes. I had the best traditional Georgian meal at Leila.
Do try the Khachapuri, Lobio, Pkhali, Khinkali, etc., here. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, Café Leila is the place you should head for your meals in Tbilisi. You get the best authentic Georgian vegetarian dishes here.
Stop to admire the Clock Tower
You can’t possibly miss the leaning clock tower attached to the puppet theater. The unusual look of the tower is one of the attractions in the tiny lane of old Tbilisi. It is amazing to know that the clock tower is not an old structure; rather it is modern and was built by puppet master Rezo Gabriadze in 2010, during a renovation of his theater.
Take a few minutes to pause and admire this unique clock tower. It is true that on the hour, a window opens at the small balcony at the top, and a mannequin of an angel rings the bell with a hammer. At the same time, a screen opens and shows the circle of life, below the clock.
Visit Dry Bridge Flea Market
If you are a lover of antiques, a visit to the Dry Bridge Flea Market is mandatory. Unlike other flea markets across the world, which are well organised, the Dry Bridge Flea Market is on the road where you will find an assortment of antiques, jewelry, brass pottery, vintage knife, soviet coins, etc. The citizens with vintage collections come to this market to sell and earn some extra cash.
You may find anything which is old and classic. Everything is laid out on the ground, arranged and sometimes they use their car’s bonnet to lay out the collectibles. If you can haggle well, you will get some amazing stuff at a reasonable price. It is a vibrant street market to find the unique souvenirs to bring back home from Georgia.
This flea market started to flourish after the fall of the Soviet Union when people needed to find ways to make ends meet. They used to sell their own vintage collections at the Dry Bridge Flea Market at that time. Nowadays, you find more tourists flocking around the market than locals. The vendors are not well versed with the English language.
Therefore, it is advisable to go with a local. The weekends are the best time to visit as it is buzzing with lots of vendors and tourists as well. They only accept Georgian currency (Lari). So, make sure that you carry enough.
Take sulphur bath at the bathhouse in Abanotubani
What better time to go for a traditional sulphur bath at one of the bathhouses in the bath district of old Tbilisi. When you are tired of walking and exploring cathedrals, fortress, souvenirs shops, flea markets, it is time to relax your muscles a bit. You can choose any bathhouse in the district.
They offer a choice of public bath with female and male sections (If you are fine with public bath) or you can opt for a private room for your bath. The charges are on per hour basis. More the luxuries you want to indulge, the more you have to pay. Taking a sulphur bath is one of the unique experiences. This is highly recommended for the first time travelers to Tbilisi.
Time for Dine Out
Well, after a refreshing bath experience, you should head out for dinner. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés around the bathhouses in the old city. I would recommend visiting one of the popular restaurants named Gorgasali. The food at the restaurant is absolutely delicious.
I loved the ambiance and the service as well. During dinner, you are entertained with traditional music and dance. Don’t miss the Khachapuri and Khinkali at Gorgasali restaurant.
3 Days in Tbilisi Itinerary
Walk around Rustaveli Avenue & Liberty Square
The best way to explore the Rustaveli Avenue & Liberty Square is to take a slow walk and observe the surroundings. The liberty square is one of the busiest areas in Tbilisi and always buzzing with people and cars on the road. The liberty square basically marks a boundary between old and new Tbilisi.
The Rustaveli Avenue begins at Freedom Square and extends about 1.5 kilometres, lined with many governmental, cultural and business centers. It is quite interesting to see the stunning 20th century buildings which are on Rustaveli Avenue like Rustaveli Cinema, the Georgian National Museum, and former Georgian Parliament along with a few others. You can also shop at the Rustaveli Avenue and opt for your breakfast at any of the fine cafes and restaurants there.
Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi
When in Tbilisi, one must visit place is the Holy Trinity Cathedral. It is one of the tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the World. Located on the hill of the St. Ilya, on the left bank of the Kura River, the towering Holy Trinity Cathedral is one of the major attractions of Tbilisi. Built in 2004, the complex comprises residence of the Patriarch and a monastery, various supplementary buildings, beautiful gardens and nine chapels, five of which are located underground. It is the highest church of Tbilisi.
Where is Mtskheta?
Hardly 20 km away from city center of Tbilisi, visiting the early Kingdom of Eastern Georgia is highly recommended. It takes half an hour from Tbilisi. The highlight of Mtskheta is the picturesque location. Situated at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, the old city is located at the ancient trade route. It is said that Mtskheta was an affluent city which became a trading center. Mtskheta was a highly developed city at that point with water supply, bustling markets and stunning stone houses. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Though, the capital shifted to Tbilisi at the beginning of the VI century, Mtskheta remains as lovely laid-back city where you can enjoy a slow life with great landscapes. Even though Tbilisi became the heartbeat of Georgia, Mtskheta continues to be the center place for the coronation and burial place of Georgian kings and the seat of the Patriarch. From the fast-paced life of Tbilisi, if you want to spend a few lazy days to absorb the vibe of any place, Mtskheta is the place to live a few quieter days, away from the capital city.
Visit Jvari monastery
One of the most stunning sights around Tbilisi is the Jvari monastery. Located on a vertical cliff in Mtskheta, the 6th century monastery is a must visit place around Tbilisi. This is an early Medieval Georgian church that survived gloriously to the present day without being damaged or ruined by anyone. The highlight of Jvari monastery is the epic location.
The view of the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers and the cityscape of ancient Mtskheta is a sheer spectacle. This iconic monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photography is not allowed inside the monastery. Don’t forget to look for the frescoes inside and some exotic relief sculptures on the exterior facades of the monastery.
According to the legend, the cross of St. Nino was kept at the monastery. Later, a small temple was built on the site of the holy cross, and now it is the basis of the present Jvari. St. Nino was one of the revered saints who converted Georgians to Christianity. Once inside of the monastery, you will see the central Cross and remains of the old building.
Don’t miss Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
You can’t afford to miss visiting the most important church for Georgians named Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. This church plays a vital role in the Georgian history; built in the 11thcentury, this ancient cathedral is related to the adoption of Christianity during the time of the Kartli Kingdom.
It has served as a religious center for centuries. Tbilisi’s founder, King Vakhtang Gorgasali’s tomb is located inside the church. It is believed that Christ’s robe lies beneath the central nave, under a square pillar. Several other Georgian monarchs are also buried here.
Visit Fabrika, the most happening place in Tbilisi
Where to head for the fantastic party vibe in Tbilisi? I got you covered here
Head to Fabrika, the most happening place for youngsters in the capital city of Georgia. It is a multi-functional cultural center where you will get the uber cool cafes, artist studio, the biggest in the region hostel, open courtyard to hang out with your friends, and some exciting events.
It has a great vibe, fantastic space for a get together and to understand the modern culture of Tbilisi. After a hectic day of exploring, you should visit Fabrika for refreshing your mood with the energetic vibes of the place. Don’t miss the life-size modern graffiti on the wall. They are vibrant and colorful and say a lot about the modern art scene of the city.
If you are too exhausted after an exhilarating party scene and don’t want to go back to your hotel, you can choose to book a room at the Fabrika hostel.
Once a soviet sewing factory, it has been revived and refurbished to turn into a cool budget hostel for all kinds of travelers.
3 Days in Tbilisi Itinerary
What to explore on day 3 in Tbilisi?
The best part about Tbilisi is that there are numerous places around Tbilisi in a few hours’ drive. It is amazing how only in 2 to 3 hours drive you can reach a new region, new landscape and a completely new destination. So, for day 3, I would recommend you to visit the most beautiful mountain destination of Georgia named Kazbegi.
Read the COMPLETE GUIDE TO KAZBEGI HERE
Currently known as Stepantsminda, this mountain valley looks to be straight out of a fairy-tale. This picture perfect postcard destination is just 150 km away from the capital city, Tbilisi of Georgia. The landscapes of Kazbegi are worth admiring for hours.
Located on the northern slopes of the humongous Caucasus range, Kazbegi comes under Kazbegi National Park, covering a total of over 8,700 hectares. The Kazbegi Mountain is the third highest mountain of Georgia, located at 5,047 metres above sea level. Kazbegi is named after the largest mountain here – Mount Kazbegi.
Places to see in Kazbegi
- Gergeti Trinity Church
- Ananuri Fortress
- Friendship Monument
- Gudauri Ski Resort
- Gveleti Waterfalls & Russian Border
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