After being in Turkey for four weeks we thought we’d switch it up a bit and head further East into the neighbouring country of Georgia-one of the three Caucasus countries (Armenia and Azerbaijan are the other two). Georgia’s past (both happy and war torn) has given it a fascinating mix of influences from Turkey, Russia, Persia, Central Asia and beyond, all of which are recognizable in the architecture and the way the people look and the languages they speak.

It seems that anyone over the age of 40 will speak Georgian and Russian…but no English. 40 years old and under will speak Georgian and English as well. This is to do with the fact that Georgia was part of the USSR in the 1920’s during Stalin’s rule. People grew up speaking Russian and therefore passed the language onto their children. Georgia has a terrible past but we were lucky to enjoy Tbilisi as it is now: the atmosphere of Eurasian crossroads, the nightlife and restaurants of a European City and a mix of new and old beautiful architecture.

We only had a few days there as we still needed to get all the way back West of Turkey in time to see Istanbul before our flight on July 10th. Even though Georgia isn’t on most backpacker’s radar, we spent 6 nights in the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi and loved it there. It is one of our favourite big cities we’ve ever been to.

at the Georgian immigration…seemed more like a construction site!

We saw lots of sights and spent every day walking around the city. It was nice to be in a country with cafes and bars on the sidewalks. It was my birthday when we were there so instead of having tea and a kebab I was able to have beer, wine and Georgian cuisine. The food in Georgia is pretty fatty…Nick ordered one of the traditional dishes: dough shaped into a canoe and baked with soooo much cheese inside, then an egg is cracked open on top together with basically a block of butter, stuck back in the oven for a minute and served. I opted for spicey meat dumplings and salad.

the doughy, cheese, buttery specialty meal in Georgia – one of Nick’s favourites

We went for a wine tasting on my birthday as well. We entered one of the wine stores and saw that there was a huge table full of opened bottles of red and white. Perfect we thought, then it got even better. The owner said we could taste as many as we wanted and the Georgian version of a ‘taste’ is our version of a full glass of wine…needless to say we stumbled out of there, without buying a bottle.  It was a great day for the budget backpacker inside of us!

free tastings of delicious red wine, Tbilisi, Georgia
Nick making his way down into one of the many wine cellars, Tbilisi, Georgia

There are numerous churches and cathedrals spread out all over the city and we went inside most of them. There was a fort area overlooking the city and a statue of “Mother Georgia” towering beside the fort. We hiked up there for sunset one night. One of the most noticeable sites was the new modern bridge connecting the areas on both sides of the river.

The best part of Tbilisi though were the narrow alleyways and back streets where locals are everywhere doing their day to day things. We walked and walked and got lost many times, but it didn’t matter, we were enjoying the days.

Enjoying sunset at one of the many stunning cathedrals, Tbilisi, Georgia
sunsetting over a cathedral in Tbilisi, Georgia
Mother of Georgia statue, Tbilisi, Georgia
beautiful park, Tbilisi, Georgia
view from the Mother Of Georgia Statue, Tbilisi, Georgia
Mosque in Tbilisi, Georgia
gorgeous fresco paintings on the ceiling of a church in Tbilisi, Georgia
a statue in one of the parks, Tbilisi, Georgia
stunning architecture in Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia
On the very modern bridge in Tbilisi, Georgia
the modern bridge over the river in Tbilisi, Georgia
a funky clock tower, Tbilisi, Georgia
Presidential Palace, Tbilisi, Georgia

After an amazing 5 days in Tbilisi, we decided to experience another culture.  Again, not really a place that backpackers go, but we were looking for something off the beaten path.  We boarded a bus and made our way to the neighbouring country of Armenia!

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Tbilisi, Georgia - A Quick Trip Through The Caucasus Countries

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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6 thoughts on “Tbilisi, Georgia – A Quick Trip Through The Caucasus Countries

  1. An old flame now lives in Tibilsi although, I would like to be reaquainted a cruise would be more relaxing. I do not easily speak new languages. I would like to learn about Jewish history and wines there. Is there something you may suggest for January or later on spring or summer. Thanks very much. Angela

  2. Hello,
    We took a bus from Kars in Eastern Turkey to Tbilisi, Georgia. We got off at the border and walked across and then back on to the same bus.

    Unfortunately I don’t remember the cost, but it took 10 hours to get there.

    Tbilisi was a great place! We spent 6 nights there and loved it. You can get from Tbilisi back to Istanbul by overnight bus if you need/want. It took 26 hours and the cost was 90TL/person.

    I hope this helps! Have a great time 🙂

  3. Questions regarding your bus/transportation into Georgia from Turkey. Where did you guys leave from? How long was the bus ride? I am heading over that way and now am curious to check out Georgia for a few days. Thanks!

  4. On the photos in the post, that is not a Parliament of Georgia but the President Palace 🙂
    an there are more than one more mosque in Tbilisi near the one you’ve pictured (about 500 meters) and more than 5 in whole city 🙂

  5. Thank you for correcting my error on the Presidential Palace. We were told this was the only mosque in Georgia, but I guess we were misinformed.

    Happy travels.

  6. So that’s not a mosque… it’s the sulphur baths.

    Also, it’s not cool to go to a winery, try the wines, and not at least buy one bottle – bad manners.

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