Is Georgia safe? My experience in the European country

Is Georgia safe? Let’s go into it in this post!

Georgia, a nation sitting in Eastern Europe, is somewhere that’s just starting to appear on mainstream tourist’s radar. 

However, as it’s only just becoming well known on the tourist scene, some travellers wonder about the safety in Georgia before visiting. 

I’ve been to Georgia twice: once as a solo female traveller and once on a longer trip part with my partner, part as a conference and press trip. 

And, in my experience, Georgia is safe to visit. 

However, like anywhere, there are a few things to bear in mind. 

Part of my second stay in Georgia was a press trip with Georgia Travel and Traverse Events. All opinions are my own. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

Is Georgia safe?

Yes. In general, Georgia is a safe country. I’ve generally felt safer here than I have in many Western European countries. 

The numbers back me up, too: Tbilisi is often high up in the Global Safety Index (way ahead of London, Paris and New York). 

I’m going to break down a few different aspects of safety in Georgia in this post, but the main point I want to stress is that I felt safe 99% of the time on both of my trips to Georgia

In fact, the only time I’ve ever felt unsafe in Georgia was driving on a mountainous road during the worst storm in the region in 20 years – so to avoid that, I’d recommend avoiding this road, and other mountain roads, during storms. 

Other instances that I’ll point out below were more annoyances and inconveniences than anything that made me feel unsafe; they’re just things that are worth making tourists aware of. 

Georgian people

First, I want to mention how kind and helpful nearly all Georgian people are.

English is spoken at a good level in the cities, and many locals will go out of their way to help tourists if necessary – much more so than in countries in Western Europe! 

For example, when I was in the pharmacy once, another customer took 15 minutes of her time to go through my issue and translate it to the pharmacist. She even called the medical services to ask about the appropriate treatment.

This is not at all unusual in Georgia; they are incredibly hospitable to visitors to their country. 

This always made me feel like, if anything did go wrong, people would help me (again, I don’t feel like I could necessarily say this about Western European countries!). 

Crime in Georgia

Crime does exist in Georgia, but it shouldn’t affect tourists’ stays in the country. 

If you look at this comparison between Tbilisi crime rates and London crime rates, Tbilisi is safer in nearly all aspects.

I always felt comfortable walking around Georgia’s cities (although it’s still wise to avoid walking around alone at night) and in the countryside, Georgia felt even safer! 

Scams in Georgia

The only issue that I had in Tbilisi was an attempted scam.

These happen in all large cities, including London or Paris, so I certainly wouldn’t say this makes Tbilsi in any way unsafe – but it’s worth looking out for!

The scam we nearly fell victim to was at a juice cart on Rustaveli Street (the main shopping street of Tbilisi). There’s a Facebook thread about this very scam – it seems to have been going on since 2020!

I enquired about a juice, and the lady running the stall excitedly started making me one, ignoring my questions about how much it was (I asked her in English and tried Russian, as I didn’t know the Georgian). I presumed she just hadn’t heard me ask or didn’t understand, so went with it. She also motioned to me to film her making the juice, which I did. 

Once she’d made it, she flipped over a rate card and quoted me 50 lari (about 17 euros!). I told her I didn’t have the money, and we ultimately left without the juice (she did make me delete my videos, which was fair enough!). 

So, let this be your lesson to not go along with any juice-making until you’re completely sure of the price!

However, this type of scam isn’t unique to Georgia – it happens in many places around the world – so it’s something to be mindful of wherever you are.

I have heard of other, similar scams happening in bars and other establishments.

Again, this can happen anywhere in the world, and like I say it’s more of an annoyance than a danger, but it’s just something to be mindful of! 

Solo female travel in Georgia

My solo trip to Georgia was part of a wider trip travelling from Bali to London without flying (solo). 

I’d already been through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. 

While I thought that these countries were perfectly safe for solo female travel, I did have a lot of questions about why I was travelling solo and if I was married – usually due to curiosity, but sometimes they did make me feel a little uncomfortable. 

I didn’t get any such questions in Georgia – solo female travel seemed to be a lot more accepted – but I also didn’t get any catcalling and unwanted attention like I’ve experienced elsewhere in Europe. 

So, in my experience, Georgia seemed very safe for solo female travel – one of the safest places I’ve ever been to. 

Food and water safety in Georgia

Tap water in Georgian cities is generally safe to drink, and both locals and tourists consume it without issue. In more remote regions, check with a local before consuming it. 

Food is a source of national pride in the country, and I’ve never heard of anyone getting sick from food. The only issue is overindulging – Georgian food is rather decadent!

I didn’t even get a hangover from Georgian wine – it’s very high quality!

Alcohol in Georgia 

Speaking of Georgian wine, alcohol is quite cheap and easy to get hold of in Georgia.

With such a big alcohol culture, it’s easy to get carried away, so do be mindful of not drinking too much – as this is largely when the little crime that does occur in Georgia happens. 

Dogs in Georgia

Georgia is home to lots of street dogs – an estimated 500,000!

Generally, these street dogs are exceptionally sweet and loving. They’re microchipped and mainly vaccinated (usually you can tell if they are by an ear tag, although they might not be up to date with boosters). I haven’t heard any reports of street dogs in the city being aggressive towards humans. 

I have heard that dogs in the mountains can be a bit more aggressive and territorial, so mind them if you’re hiking. 

All that said, I was bit by a dog on my last day of my recent trip to Tbilisi. This wasn’t a street dog, it was a dog on a lead (and the owner just walked away without saying sorry!). We think that it was probably being trained to be a guard dog, hence the aggression. 

Rabies is a small risk in Georgia, so to be on the safe side I had rabies boosters. 

I had them when I returned to the UK as I was leaving the next day, but if you are bitten by a dog you do need them within 24 hours, or 48 if you’ve had pre-exposure shots. 

If you do need rabies vaccinations in Tbilisi, head to the Preventative Medicine and Immunization Centre (I’m not sure about other cities, but check with your hotel staff who will be able to assist you if necessary). 

Provided you get any shots if needed, this is much more of a hassle than any kind of danger, but just worth noting!

Geopolitics in Georgia

One of the reasons some people seem sceptical about visiting Georgia is its geopolitics. 

While it’s true that Georgia has always been at the crossroads of many nations, and still has turbulent relations with Russia (Russia occupies two breakaway territories in Georgia), it’s unlikely that the war in Ukraine will spill over to Georgia. 

If anything were to change, there would be indications in the weeks and months prior and travel advisories (like would change. So, do keep an eye on those before your trip (as you should when planning to go anywhere), but rest assured that it’s likely that all will be fine. 

Georgia does aim to join the EU (it is currently a candidate) and subsequently NATO, which will strengthen it geopolitically. 

The war in Ukraine has affected Georgia in other ways; it’s seen a lot of migrants from Russia, and sometimes this can cause tension. 

Most Georgians are very pro-Ukraine, and it’s best to not speak Russian, even if you can, unless someone speaks Russian to you first. 

When I visited Georgia in 2019, I spoke a little Russian to older people (I’m not a Russian speaker by any means, but picked up quite a bit when travelling Central Asia), but in 2024, I didn’t apart from in very limited situations.

Breakaway regions in Georgia

This is not something that should affect your trip to Georgia at all, but it’s worth pointing out. 

There are two breakaway regions in Georgia: Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

At the time of writing, they are both exceptionally difficult/ impossible to visit and are classed as “do not travel” zones from Gov.UK and other government advisories. 

There’s no way you can stumble into these regions by accident, and the areas of Georgia around them are safe (the main highway from Kutaisi to Tbilisi runs right next to South Ossetia, for example).

Roads in Georgia 

The roads in Georgia can be a little hair-raising, and this is the only time I felt in any danger in Georgia!

We had a scary experience on the mountain road to Mestia when we were caught in the worst storms in 20 years and were stuck between avalanches on a narrow mountain road, one nearly hitting our car. 

Bearing this in mind, I would strongly recommend not taking this road, or similar, in stormy weather.

Personally, I wouldn’t travel on it again in winter (as I have a bad association with it now!), but most tourists who travel on it in the winter months have a much better experience than me, so I am biased!

I would, however, travel on this road again out of the snowy season.

I also wouldn’t drive myself; locals know the roads much better, and personally, I wouldn’t rent a car in Georgia (but again, I am on the more cautious side of things like this – many people do rent cars without incident!). 

In the cities, traffic can be heavy and sometimes cars can cut in very close – this is another reason why I personally wouldn’t drive myself, but some people might feel comfortable doing so. I’ve never felt a need to drive myself in Georgia, as public transport is plentiful and affordable.

Winter safety in Georgia

I touched on this above, but it’s important to note that snow can be very heavy in Georgia in winter, so do be careful if you’re in the mountains. 

Avoid driving unless you have a lot of experience in similar conditions, and be careful walking on icy ground – a member of our group in Svaneti fell over and broke her leg! 

So, is Georgia safe? 

Yes, Georgia is a safe country that welcomes tourists. The country has made huge strides in the last 20 years to become a traveller’s paradise, and I’ve felt safe almost all the time I was in the country. 

The only thing I’d advise being very mindful of is the roads in Georgia. I’d recommend using a driver unless you’re confident driving yourself and steer clear of those snowy mountain roads during storms! 

Otherwise, everything else is just an advisory, and in general, Georgia felt much safer to me than France or even the UK, where I’m from. 

Georgia’s a wonderful country – enjoy your trip!