Is Tbilisi worth visiting? Reasons to see the capital of Georgia

The Georgian capital of Tbilisi is one of my favourite cities in the world. 

It’s one of those places that completely draws you in, with a hip atmosphere, welcoming locals and plenty of things to do. 

I’ve been to Tbilisi twice now, both in the summer and the winter months, and I absolutely adore the city. 

Here’s all you need to know!

Is Tbilisi worth visiting?

Absolutely! Tbilisi has the complete package. There are ample things to do, mouthwatering cuisine and an indescribably cool vibe. 

Whether you’re into gastronomy, history, nature or nightlife, you’ll find something to love in Tbilisi – and it’s very affordable, too. 

Reasons to visit Tbilisi

There are so many reasons to visit Tbilisi! 


Georgian hospitality is second to none. Head to a Georgian supra, and not only gorge on the most tantalising food (more on that below) but be blown away by the immense hospitality of locals. 

Some of the best restaurants to get a taste of Georgian hospitality are the Ethnographer, where you can enjoy an extensive supra, or the smaller Azarphesha Restaurant where the staff will welcome you as if you’re family. 

Or, stay at a local guesthouse to get a sense of Tbilisi’s fantastic hospitality. The first hotel I ever stayed at in the city was Family Hotel Triston; this friendly guesthouse served me the most delectable breakfast, complete with wine, and was on hand throughout my entire stay if I needed anything. 

Even in high-end hotels like the Raddison Blu Iveria, where I stayed on my last trip, Georgian hospitality shines through – for example, the concierge brought my Wolt (like Uber Eats) delivery straight to the room! 


Tbilisi has a relaxed, optimistic yet patriotic atmosphere. It’s hard to describe exactly – you have to experience it – but it’s traditional yet modern, constantly with its finger on the pulse. 

While the Old Town holds onto its history, other parts of the city are revitalizing – here, you’ll find hidden bars in Old Soviet buildings and factories that have been renovated into hostels (Fabrika).

Georgia’s distinct culture and language definitely lend to this, although it’s also an exceptionally welcoming place for tourists. 


While Tbilisi is only just starting to showcase itself on the mainstream tourist scene, it’s exceptionally tourist-friendly. 

Much of the younger generation speaks excellent English, WiFi and data is typically very good, and an abundance of apps make performing daily tasks very easy!

Hotels range in quality but are typically of a good standard. 

It’s a very easy city to visit! 


Tbilisi’s history stretches all the way back to the 5th century, with historic buildings linking the Old Town’s cobbled streets. 

Due to Georgia’s position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, it’s seen empires from the Mongols to the Soviets. Yet, despite all the outside influence, Georgia has never lost its strong spirit. 

History comes alive in Tbilisi, from the Narikala Fortress which was used for the city’s defence, along with historic places of worship like Anchiskhati Basilica, which is the oldest church in the capital. 

My recommendation? Take a walking tour around Tbilisi centre to learn about its history (I use Tbilisi Free Walking Tours) and some secret stories! 


Probably my number one reason to visit Tbilisi is its incredible food

Georgian food is ridiculously underrated, and Tbilisi is the best place to sample it. 

So, what’s on the menu? Here are just some dishes you can expect to enjoy in Tbilisi!

  • Khinkali, which are sumptuous dumplings filled with mushrooms and herbs, cheese, potato or meat. Check out my list of the best vegetarian khinkali restaurants
  • Kachapuri, which is essentially a cheese-filled bread in different varieties. The most famous is the Adjaruli Kachapuri – this comes from Batumi, the Black Sea city of Georgia, but there are plenty of places to try it in Tbilisi. 
  • Phkali, a cold starter which consists of vegetables and walnut paste (this is from the Imeritian region but again, you can try it in Tbilisi!)
  • Tomato and cucumber salad, again with walnut paste. 
  • Lobio, a bean stew. Lobiani, a bean-filled bread. 

There are meat-based dishes as well, but as I’m vegetarian I didn’t try (and can’t personally recommend) these. 


Of course, with excellent food goes incredible wine! 

Georgian wine is legendary. 

It’s the oldest wine culture in the world, stretching back over 8,000 years. So in this way, the beverage is intrinsically connected to Georgia’s heritage! 

When you explore Tbilisi’s wine scene, you’ll encounter a variety of unique grape varieties that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Saperavi is one of my favourites. 

Dive into the local culture by visiting a traditional wine cellar, known as a “marani,” where you can witness the age-old winemaking process that utilizes qvevri – large earthenware pots buried underground. The most famous is probably the Tbilisi Wine Museum, which is located underneath the Museum of Tbilisi.

And don’t miss the chance to visit one of Tbilisi’s cosy wine bars, where knowledgeable staff can guide you through an array of local wines. 

Nearby nature 

There’s not just nature near Tbilisi, but pretty much in the city! 

To access the hills close to the city, just take the funicular up to Mtatsminda Park, and then take one of the nature trails around the city. 

We walked from Mtatsminda to the Mother of Georgia monument. You can even camp here in the summer!

Or, visit the Tbilisi Botanical Gardens where there’s an urban waterfall. 

Plenty of day trips

Tbilisi is a fantastic place for day trips!

You won’t be able to see the whole of Georgia using Tbilisi as a base (Svaneti, for example, is an up to 15 hour drive away!) , but there are ample trips that you could take from the capital. 

They include: 

  • Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe, and Gori: Delve into Georgia’s rich history with visits to Mtskheta’s ancient spiritual sites, Uplistsikhe’s rock-hewn town, and Gori’s intriguing historical landmarks.
  • Kakheti Wine Region: Savor the essence of Georgian winemaking with a journey through Kakheti’s vineyards, tasting unique local wines and exploring charming towns and landscapes.
  • Kazbegi: Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus in Kazbegi, where scenic vistas and the iconic Gergeti Trinity Church await amidst towering mountains.
  • Ananuri: Discover the architectural splendour and historical depth of the Ananuri fortress, set against the stunning backdrop of the Zhinvali Reservoir.

Street dogs

This isn’t usually a reason to visit a city, but for any dog lover, Tbilisi is a delight. 

The street dogs here are well looked after and, if you show them some affection, are incredibly friendly. 

And don’t worry if you’re not a dog lover – they usually can tell this and I’ve never seen any act aggressively. 

Many are vaccinated – you can usually tell by the tag on their ears – although if you are ever bitten by one do go to the vaccination clinic.

I was actually bit by a pet dog (who we think was being trained to be a guard dog) when we were last in Tbilisi and went to this vaccination centre

However, I’ve never heard any reports of street dogs acting aggressively or biting humans. 

Considerations for visiting Tbilisi

There’s plenty I adore about Georgia, but there are a couple of things to bear in mind before planning a trip here. 

LGBTQ+ travellers 

One of the biggest things I don’t like about Georgia is the fact that some people have deep-rooted homophobia. 

As a straight woman, I can’t speak on what it’s like to travel as an LGBTQ+ person here; but I have unfortunately heard homophobic comments in conversation while travelling around the country. 

Generally, Tbilisi (and Georgia) is welcoming and happy to see tourists, and the younger generation is becoming more liberal. Plus, Tbilisi is more liberal than other parts of the country in general. 

Many gay travellers certainly do visit the city and country without issue but it is worth mentioning.


This is an issue in cities around the world, but traffic in Tbilisi can be a little hair-raising! 

The city is usually very busy during rush hour, and cars cutting each other up can be common. 

I wouldn’t recommend driving in Tbilisi – instead, Bolt taxis are very cheap (we usually paid less than 2 euros to get anywhere in the city) or there’s also a metro system. 


Tbilisi is a very safe capital, but like with any large cities, scams can and do happen. 

We nearly fell victim to a “juice cart scam” in Tbilisi recently; we enquired about the price of a cup of juice, and the lady excitedly started making it before we got a chance to confirm we wanted it. When she’d made it, she flipped a price card over to reveal that it was going to cost 17 euros! More information in this TikTok.

Other scams can happen at bars (particularly when inebriated) and in taxis. I’d recommend being careful of anything non-official, making sure that you pay the right amount and are always sure of the price before ordering a service. For taxis, use the Bolt app

So, is Tbilisi worth a visit? 

YES, Tbilisi is most definitely worth a visit! 

It has the full package when it comes to food, attractions and hospitality.

If you’re travelling around Europe, don’t miss this wonderful city!