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Tbilisi, which is also known as Tiflis, sits on the banks of the Kura River and serves as the capital of Georgia. About 1.5 million people call this ancient city their home. Originally founded in the 5thcentury, it has often served a stopping point due to its location as a crossroads between Europe and Asia.
The trade routes may have been important to the initial development of Tbilisi, but today this city depends on its ethnic and cultural diversity to continue thriving. Visiting this city often means stopping at ancient Eastern Orthodox cathedrals, such as Sioni or Sameba. You can also enjoy a tour of the Georgia National Museum or spending time in the Narikala Fortress, which dates back to the medieval era.
Tbilisi has seen numerous kingdoms and governments over the years, from Mongol domination to over a century of Russian control. It has seen freedom and it has seen Communism. Through it all, the people of Tbilisi and Georgia have developed a culture that is warm and inviting.
There is also a thriving nightlife culture that can be enjoyed after you’ve seen the traditional attractions. Certain clubs, such as Bassiani, bring in international stars and DJs so you can kick back and relax after a long day of exploration.
Tbilisi is one of the hidden gems that you’ll want to visit this year. Take a look to see what you can do and where you can go so that you know that a grand time can be had every day.
Travel and vacation in Tbilisi, Georgia
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Travel to Tbilisi, Georgia
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Best of Tbilisi
What to see and do in Tbilisi ?
The Holy Trinity Cathedral
Commonly known as Sameba is the main Georgian Orthodox Christian cathedral, located in Tbilisi. Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it is the largest religious building in the Caucasus and the third-tallest Orthodox Cathedral in the World. The Sameba Cathedral is erected on the Elia Hill, which rises above the left bank of the Kura River (Mtkvari) in the historic neighborhood of Avlabari in Old Tbilisi. The Cathedral represents the synthesis of traditional styles dominating the Georgian church architecture at various stages of its history, but also contains several innovations.
The Sameba Cathedral is a cruciform church crowned with a dome over a crossing, which rests upon eight columns and creates the center. At the same time, the parameters of the dome is independent from the apses, imparting a more monumental look to the dome and the church in general. The dome is surmounted by a 7.5 meter-high cross covered with gold.
The Cathedral consists of nine chapels (chapels of the Archangels, John the Baptist, Saint Nino, Saint George, Saint Nicholas, the Twelve Apostles, and of the All Saints), five of them situated in a large underground compartment. The overall area of the cathedral, including a large narthex, is 5,000 square meters and the volume it occupies is 137 cubic meters. The inner perimeter of the church is 56 m × 44 m. The space totals 2,380 square meters. The height of the cathedral from the ground to the top of the cross is 84 meters. The underground chapel occupies 35,550 cubic meters. The height is 13 meters.
The Old Tbilisi district is located on the both sides of the Mtkvari River and is dominated by Mount Mtatsminda, Narikala fortress and the Kartlis Deda monument. It chiefly represents a 19th-century urban fabric with largely eclectic architecture which includes the buildings and structures from the 5th to the 20th century. However, most of the pre-19th century city did not survive due to the devastating Persian invasion of 1795. The district houses a bulk of the tourist attractions in Tbilisi, including churches, museums, sulphur bathhouses, and peculiar wooden houses with open, carved balconies. In the 19th century, the core territory of the modern-day district of Old Tbilisi was tentatively subdivided into ethnic neighborhoods such as Avlabari with its Armenian and Georgian quarters on the left bank of the Kura River and the Persian Quarter (Said-Abad) on the right bank of the Kura River.
Metechi church of Holy Virgin
Built in 5th century and rebuilt in 13th century. Royal palace was situated here before moving to Narikala Castle. Metechi is a central-domed church.
This cathedral was initially built in the 6 th-7th centuries. Since then, it has been destroyed by foreign invaders and reconstructed by Georgians several times. The current church is based on a 13th century version with some changes from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
A favorite place of Tbilisi citizens and foreign guests.
Erected in Tbilisi in the middle of the 4th century. It was occupied by Iranian, North Caucasian and Byzantine, Arab conquerors in various periods of time. Royal palace was also resided here. Church of St. Nickoloz was built within the castle in 13th century. It was rebuilt in the latter half of 20th century.
Basilica and bell tower dated 6th – 18th cc is one of the most ancient church & building in Tbilisi.
Mamadaviti (Father David’s) monastery
Architectural and artistic symbol of Tbilisi, with the church of Father David located on The Mtatsminda Mount (in translation – Holy Mount). It is named after St. Father David Garejian, who was one of those Assyrian Fathers, who came to Georgia in 6th century to strengthen Christianity. The church was built in 6th century. Nowadays a pantheon of famous Georgian writers and public figures is also situated here.
This is one of the most fashionable points of Tbilisi. Various sorts of events often take place here. It is the spot where the fancy restaurants, café-bars are located. This spot features the best galleries and souvenir shops, where something interesting is always found for everybody and especially for the visitors.
Janashia State Museum
Georgia’s cultural treasure is exhibited here. The Janashia State Museum operates as a scientific-educational institution that preserves and exhibits a unique collection of natural and human history.The collections of the S. Janashia Museum cover the history of the country, starting from animal remains dating back 40 million years. One of the most intriguing specimens at the museum is the prehistoric human remains found in Dmanisi. These remains date back 1.8 million years and are the oldest sign of human existence outside of Africa. This discovery has changed the whole theory of human evolution. One of the most important collections of the Georgian National Museum is the Collection of Treasures that contains a large number of unique objects from different historical periods (from the second half of the III millenium BC through XIX century AD). The collection features gold and silver artifacts and jewelry from the pre-Christian period from Kakheti (East Georgia), Vani (West Georgia), Mtskheta, Trialeti Kurgans, Zhinvali, Akhalgori, Martkopi, etc. These objects were discovered during archeological excavations from the beginning of the 20th century to the summer of 2004 and/or collected by historians
Museum of Archeology
The Museum of Archeology was established in 1988 by the well-known Georgian archaeologist, head of the Tbilisi archaeological expedition, Rostom Abramishvili (1924-1996). The museum houses monuments, discovered by the archaeological excavations in Tbilisi. The chronological frames of the collections are from the V c. B.C. up to the feudal times. In the museum is kept the earliest in the world samples of tinned bronze objects from the Delisi (Tbilisi district) dwelling, dated as 4.000 years old; bronze buckle inlayed with silver decorated with horse rider image; inventory of the Treli royal burials (XII-VIII-VII c.c. B.C.).
Museum of Fine Arts
S. Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts was established in Tbilisi in 1920 as the National Arts Gallery of Georgia. The Museum houses the best-known samples of Georgian artwork. Different collections of the Museum preserve approximately sixty thousand objects. The Museum is distinguished for its Georgian goldsmith pieces dated back to the VIII-XIX Centuries. The most significant exhibits are the icon of Zarzma Monastery, the Chalice of Bedia, Anchistkhati and Khakhuli Triptychs, Processional Liturgical Crosses etc. Also unique are the exhibits of cut-enamel, jewelry and art textiles from VIII-XV cc. The Museum stores the works of famous Georgian painters Niko Pirosmanishvili, Lado Gudiashvili, Elene Akvlediani, David Kakabadze and others. The Museum also hosts collections of Russian, Western Europe and Oriental (mainly Persian) artworks.
Open Air Museum of Ethnography
More than 70 dwellings from 10 distinct regions of Georgia and more than 7,000 artifacts. The houses have been moved piece by piece from their native villages.
The Open Air Museum was founded in 1966 by George Chitaia, a famous Georgian ethnographer and academician, whose name it now bears. The museum is one of the most unique museums in Georgia: you can physically “visit” almost all the regions of Georgia in several hours and learn about the architecture and traditions of different regions. The Open Air Museum is located in Tbilisi, Vake district, to the west of “Turtle Lake”. It occupies 65 hectares of land. The Museum features objects of traditional art and architecture from different parts of Georgia.
Tbilisi Museum of History
I. Grishahvili Museum of Tbilisi History was founded in 1910 as a City Museum. In 1943 it was renamed to the Tbilisi State Historic-Ethnographical Museum. Currently the museum is named after Georgian poet Ioseb Grishashvili. The Museum collection contains unique objects weapons and household accessories starting from the Bronze Age. The Museum has the collection of Lado Gugudiashvili, Mose Toidze, Elene Akhvlediani paintings as well as masterpieces of other renowned Georgian Painters. The Museum carries out scientific research into the old history of Tbilisi, and organizes expeditions in vicinities of the capital city.
National Centre of Manuscripts
The Institute was established on the basis of the State Museum of Georgia. In the funds of the Institute are stored more than 170.000 items in Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Sirian, Ethiopian, Armenian, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Slavic languages (dated from I c. up to XX c.). One of the most important aims of the Institute of Manuscripts is organization of the on contemporary level and assistance to international collaboration in the field. The _parent directions of the scientific research and international relations are: description, systematization, studying and publishing of manuscripts, historical documents and personal archives of local and foreign (mostly Aphon, Sinai Mountain and Jerusalem) origin; organization of manuscripts care, diagnostics and conservation-restoration according the international standards.
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