Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It is the country’s largest city and has a population of about 1.5 million on both sides of the Mtkvari River. Founded in the 5th century, Tbilisi has been rebuilt around 29 times, but the Old Town is mostly intact with its big crooked houses that have small courtyards and narrow alleys. The newer parts of the city boast some modern architecture. If you are visiting for the first time, here are the top things that you should do in the city:
Take a walk through Old Town
In recent years, a facelift has been given to Old Town and now you can find local wine houses, art shops and also small guesthouses, which are mostly run by families. You will not be bored while wandering the old alleys and streets and can find a local bar at any turn.
Go for a Sulphur bath
The well-known Sulphur baths can be found in the middle of the town in the Abanotubani district. If you are visiting Tbilisi in the colder months, these baths are a great place to go for relaxation for an hour or two. Most of them are open 24/7 and you can find low-cost options as well as a bit pricey ones that come with private rooms. The public rooms are available for a very low price, but the quality of rooms varies according to price.
The cheaper rooms offer basic facilities and boast the look of Soviet times with only a hot/cold shower or a hot bath. The expensive ones, on the other hand, are entirely refurbished and offer you a private sauna as well as a hot and cold bath.
Visit the Mtatsminda Park
Visiting this part is a must as it is the highest point that surrounds the city. The Mtatsminda Park includes a number of small bars and restaurants, a Ferris wheel that serves as the highest point and also a small amusement park. It is a popular hangout place because it can offer a breathtaking view of the city’s landscape.
Give local cuisine a try
One of the most important features of Georgian cuisine is that it offers something to vegetarians and non-vegetarians as well. Most of the food items make use of meat and cheese, but vegetarians can also find some wonderful surprises in store for them. Khachapuri is one of the most common and best items and is even regarded as a national dish. It comprises of ‘fluffy’ bread that’s filled with cheese and egg. The crust of the bread is also dipped in cheese. You will find different versions of this dish in different regions of the country.
Taste the local candy
In Georgia, you will find two types of homemade candy, Taklpi and Churchkhela. You can find this candy sold in big shops as well as old babushkas on the main street. If you are walking around on a street in Tbilisi, it will be impossible not to spot a shop that’s not selling this candy. Churchkhela is a Georgian candy-stick shaped like a sausage and has walnuts in the center and dipped in hot grape juice. Taklpi is essentially fruit rolls and numerous varieties can be found including kiwi, pear, plums and apples.
Travel in cable car to the Mother, Georgia statue
Situated on a high hill overlooking the city, you can visit the Mother, Georgia statue in a cheap cable car from the eastern part of Tbilisi. The ride will not cost you much, but will give you the chance to enjoy some beautiful panoramic views when riding over Old Town.
Check out the city’s nightlife
Often regarded as one of the best cities in Eastern Europe for clubbing, Tbilisi is almost on the same level as that of Western Europe’s Berlin. The clubbing and partying culture has become an important part of their lifestyle and the city considers music to be very sacred. There are numerous local bars that are spread all over Tbilisi, ranging from pubs to small jazz clubs that can be explored and you will even find a club under the national football stadium.