Is Tbilisi safe? My honest thoughts!

If you’re visiting Georgia and are wondering “is Tbilisi safe”, I’m here to give you my experience in the city!

I’ve been to Tbilisi twice now, once as a solo female traveller and once with my partner and a group as part of a conference.

Here are all of my Tbilisi safety tips!

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 Tbilisi safe?

Is Tbilisi safe? Yes, in my opinion (and that of many other travellers), it is!

Its standing in the Global Safety Index is notably high – much higher than London, Paris or many cities in the United States – and I have always felt very safe there.

During my time in Tbilisi, I always felt safe, even when exploring as a solo female. This is partially due to the locals being welcoming and helpful and also thanks to the low crime rates.

However, there are a few things to be mindful of before visiting – which we’ll go into in this post!

Crime rates in Tbilisi

Crime rates in Tbilisi are low compared to other global cities. 

During my visits, I explored the city at various times of the day and never felt unsafe – although as always, it’s advisable to avoid walking around at night (especially on your own). 

Like any major city, Tbilisi has its share of petty theft and other small-scale crime like pickpocketing, especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. 

That said, the stats show that the petty crime rates are lower than in many Western Europe capitals.

While violent crimes are rare, I would recommend always exercising caution to steer clear of them. Avoid unlit or secluded areas late at night and keep valuables secure.

Scams in Tbilisi

The only issue that I had on my recent trip was nearly falling victim to a scam at a juice stall on Rustaveli Street, Tbilisi’s main street. 

Apparently, this scam has been running since at least 2020 – I stumbled upon a thread discussing it on Facebook here!

I asked about the price of a juice at a juice cart, but the vendor just dove into preparing it without answering my price inquiries (I tried both English and Russian, not knowing any Georgian).

Thinking she maybe just didn’t hear or understand me, I didn’t stop her. She even signalled for me to capture a video of her making the drink!

But then, when she was done, she flipped over a rate card and revealed that it was 50 lari, about 17 euros! I explained that I didn’t have enough to cover that, which she obviously was not very happy with – so we ended up walking away, juice-less.

The takeaway? Don’t proceed with your order at a juice cart until you’ve confirmed the price!

Other scams exist elsewhere in the city, largely in the tourist areas. 

Also, be cautious with taxis; use a meter or agree on a fare in advance to avoid being overcharged by taxi drivers. One of my best Tbilisi travel tips would be to just use the app Bolt

Solo female travel in Tbilisi

I’ve always felt very safe as a solo female traveller in Tbilisi. 

I didn’t experience any harassment from men while here; which I certainly can’t say for major cities in Western Europe, including London, where I grew up.

Plus, in general, local women and men seemed to be more tolerant of solo female travellers than in places like Central Asia (Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan weren’t unsafe for solo female travellers, but I got a lot of questions as it’s quite unusual to travel solo there). There’s good solo travel infrastructure, including hostels and plenty of tours. 

Like always, I followed my own solo female travel safety rules – not walking around on my own at night, abiding by local laws and not flashing around valuables – and explored the city with ease. 

You can wear what you like in Tbilisi – it’s not a conservative city. The only thing to remember is a head covering if you go into any religious sites (in the Orthodox Christian religion women cover their heads). 

Food and drink safety in Tbilisi

By and large, food is very hygienic in Tbilisi – any issues would be a rare and unique case rather than the norm.

Locals are very proud of the hearty, delicious dishes that they serve in incredible local restaurants.

Tap water is clean and generally completely safe to drink. Some older buildings have rustier pipes that can contaminate the water, but generally, it’s safe for drinking. I always drank it and many locals do! 

Alcohol in Tbilisi

There’s a strong wine cultuer in Tbilisi, and it’s a fantastic place for any fans of viticulture! 

I love exploring the city’s many wine bars. They also have a potent spirit called cha cha! 

BUT, it’s important to be responsible. The affordability and accessibility of alcohol in Georgia can make it easy to overindulge! 

Like anywhere in the world, it’s a good idea to pace your drinking and stay hydrated

If you’re in the pubs or clubs, be mindful of your surroundings and plan how to return to your accommodation. I’d recommend downloading Bolt in advance. 

Street dogs in Tbilisi

There are lots of street dogs in Tbilisi, but they’re generally very sweet and loving. I’ve never seen any be aggressive.

In fact, many residents adopt their local dogs as pets, getting them vaccinated, buying medication for them when needed and feeding them! 

Other dogs are vaccinated by the government – the ear tags generally show that they’ve had any necessary jabs. 

However, if one bites you it’s still important to get vaccinated – while the risk is small, there is rabies in Georgia. If they have an ear tag, they’ve likely had at least one rabies vaccine but they may not have been boosted. You can visit this immunization centre if needed.

Geopolitics in Tbilisi

While Georgia’s geopolitical situation has fluxed over the years due to its geographical position, nowadays, things are calm.

The country was part of the Soviet Union for a long time and went through a period of upheaval after the USSR; terminating in the Rose Revolution in 2003. 

Since then, tensions with Russia have been high at times, most notably in the 2008 Russo-Georgian War

Tensions are heightened yet again during the Russian-Ukraine war.

Plus, there are two breakaway regions in Georgia – Abkhazia on the Black Sea and South Ossetia to the north (a segment of land that goes up to the Russian border) – and a lot of political issues around this. 

However, while this might impact the Georgian government, daily life in Tbilisi continues as normal despite them. I haven’t noticed any geopolitical issues spilling over into my experience of the city. 

What you will likely see in the city is a lot of pro-Ukraine and anti-Russian street art and some anti-Russian sentiment throughout the city. I’d recommend not speaking Russian in Tbilisi, even if you can. 

I have heard reports of occasional fights breaking out between Georgians and Russian people (many of the latter migrated to Georgia after the war began). However, I haven’t experienced this myself and all reports I heard said that it was easy to avoid this. 

But generally, any geopolitical issues aren’t affecting tourist experiences in Tbilisi at the moment. As always, I’d recommend keeping up to date with your country’s travel advisories (just like I’d recommend for everywhere). I check frequently when I travel. 

Georgia is hoping to become part of the European Union, so you’ll also notice lots of EU flags around the city. EU and NATO membership will bolster its geopolitical security, so hopefully the process will be speedy!

Road safety in Tbilisi

Tbilisi isn’t unsafe to drive in,  but personally, I wouldn’t rent a car – largely because I don’t tend to drive in foreign cities anywhere. 

Driving can be a little more aggressive than elsewhere in Europe and some drivers don’t abide by speed limits, but for anyone with driving experience in cities it should be relatively easy. 

However, I wouldn’t recommend renting a car to drive around Tbilisi – it’s connected well by public transport and Bolt taxis are very cheap. 

English level in Tbilisi

The English level with the younger generation in Tbilisi is excellent. Most under 40s have a good command of the English language, having learned it in school and watching English language TV. Older people speak less English, although many still know a few words.

Of course, learning a few words of Georgian is always greatly appreciated!

Weather in Tbilisi 

Weather conditions in Tbilisi are never usually that dramatic; in the summer, it gets warm but usually not too warm thanks it its slight altitude, and in the winter it rarely snows. 

There is the occasional earthquake in the city (the largest recent one was back in 2002), but they’re uncommon compared to other areas. 

How to stay safe in Tbilisi

While I consider Tbilisi to be very safe, here are a few things that you can do to amplify this. Here are my best safety tips! 

Get comprehensive travel insurance 

Of course, it’s important to take normal precautions when you’re visiting Georgia, like anywhere in the world! One of the most important things to do is to take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover your health and maybe personal belongings too. 

I use and recommend SafetyWing who have comprehensive policies targeted at digital nomads (but anyone can use them). If you’re planning on skiing in Georgia, they cover this too!

Don’t walk around alone at night 

Tbilisi is one of the safest places in Eastern Europe, but not walking around at night in a foreign country is common sense! 

Do a walking tour and chat to the guide 

One of my top tips, especially for solo travelers, is to take a walking tour of the old town and speak to the local guide. They’ll be able to give you the best tips for things to do, any scams and generally how to stay safe. 

Get a local SIM card

I’d recommend downloading a local e-sim card onto your mobile phone when arriving in the city. 

E-sim cards work with most modern mobile phones; for us, the best option in Georgia was to visit the Magti shop and purchase an e-sum card there. They’ll download it onto your device. You can also purchase a physical SIM here. 

Some people I know have used Airalo e-sim cards in Georgia. You can download these onto your phone before or after arriving to a country, so they are convenient, but they are expensive and although they do work well in Tbilisi, they don’t function as well elsewhere in the country. 

Don’t carry too many valuables or cash

While I’ve not heard of any reports of muggings in Tbilisi, these things can happen anywhere. I’d recommend only taking limited valuables and a small amount of local currency cash (Georgian Lari).

Contactless payment is accepted in most places in Tbilisi. To avoid the risk of pickpocketing, ensure that any valuables are zipped away when you’re in crowded places. 

So, is Tbilisi safe? 

Yes! Georgia is a safe country, and Tbilisi is no exception. 

I’ve never had any real issues exploring the city, and it’s unlikely you will!

For a wider look at safety in the country, take a look at my is Georgia safe post.