Being a travel blogger, the entire world is probably on my list but Georgia was never really in a prominent position in it. Something about a conversation with a couple of friends about Eastern Europe got me really excited and just like that Georgia boosted upright on top for the upcoming Diwali break. Given the short break, a short flight wouldn’t take away much time of the travel and that way I could wander about the breath-taking landscapes of Georgia. The air tickets cost us a mere INR 36,000 return per person (approximately 518 USD) on Gulf Air which stops over at Bahrain. Their Government has also been trying to promote tourism in Georgia and hence the flights turned out to be way less expensive than what we had expected.
I’d have to say that now that I am back from Georgia, I keep wondering how and why this country wasn’t amongst my top contenders on my list. Oh well! At the end of the day, it was a wonderful trip so no regrets! We planned a road trip there for six days and rented a Toyota Prius (hybrid) which cost us only USD 250 for our entire stay. The car actually runs both on fuel as well as battery and thus I was happy to do my little bit towards preserving the environment and I strongly recommend you should too.
In Georgia, we drove from Tbilisi to Gudauri to Kazbegi to Martvilli to Batumi to Uplistsikhe to Tbilisi in 6 days and stayed at the most beautiful Airbnb apartments. The country has some stunning landscapes and the best way to see it is by road.
So, without much ado, let us look at some of the best places to visit in Georgia, with a special feature on some amazing things to do in Kazbegi.
1. Admiring the landscapes of Northern Georgia
Take time to admire the landscapes of Northern Georgia which makes the drive from Tbilisi to Kazbegi, ‘oh-so-spectacular’! This one literally tops the list of the best tourist places in Georgia. You will be surrounded by the Caucasus mountains and driving past the turquoise lakes, abandoned forts and mineral springs. You must stop in the town of Gudauri where you could indulge in some adventure sports. Paragliding here is really popular. Visit the Tsar Bani Spa resort which is the highest Sauna in the world but ensure you book with them at least 3 hours before arriving. The drive from Kazbegi to Tbilisi is ideally of 3 hours but given the number of stops you will want to take, you will be lucky to finish it in be 5-6 hours. It’s totally worth it though. Also, once here, you should definitely visit the Gergeti Trinity Church on the hilltop. So, yes, mark that also as one of your things to do in Kazbegi
2. Stay at the Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi
I don’t think it will be a stretch if I say that the stay here can actually not just count to be one of the must-do things to do in Kazbegi but also the best things to do in Georgia. Although we stayed here for a night I could easily spend a week here. Nestled in the Caucasus mountains and waking up to the mighty snow-clad Kazbegi mountains makes this truly a fantastic experience. The restaurant at this hotel is really cosy & the food is delicious. You might have some occasional cute furry visitors during breakfast. Having said all of that, there is still a part of this hotel which is my most favourite – the open-air hot tub!! Sounds splendid, doesn’t it? I spent almost 4 hours in it and with a view to kill for the mountains and the Trinity church while immersed in a hot soothing bath. Nothing can beat this! It’s like one of those dreams you don’t want to wake up from.
3. Explore the old and unique town of Tbilisi
I loved the walkways, the narrow alleyways, and the houses built high above the street level on rocks. There was something about the vibe that the city offers. Oh, and you must hop on the cable car from Rike Park right up to the top – you will thank me later for the marvellous view.
4. Indulge in a Sulphur bath
Tbilisi is full of natural Sulphur baths which has a lot of healing properties. These baths make your skin super soft and supple. Try the one next to the Tiflis hotel in the main square – the VIP room costs around 150 GEL(50USD) for two and is amazing. Do indulge in the scrub and massage too which is an additional 20-25 GEL. I loved it so much I went for it twice in 14 hours. Oh yes, the sulphur baths make for one of the best things to do in Georgia and given their fanciness, they are one of the busiest tourist places in Georgia too. Look out for a few state-run Sulphur baths joints too which have been incorporated just to boost tourism in Georgia. These are way too crowded but if you are on a budget, it would be a great option to go for!
5. Enjoy the Georgian live music and dance at the Tsiskvili
This restaurant has the best local food and is massive. It has different sections to sit in and live performances in almost all of the sections. It also has a waterfall inside the restaurant. Georgian music and dance is a feast for the eye and you mustn’t miss them. Please, I request you guys to add this to your list of things to do in Georgia. If you do not, you will seriously miss out on the feel that Georgia has!
6. Feast on Georgian bread & drink lots of their wine
Given that you are in a country which is the birthplace of wine, how can you not? Khachapuri is one of their traditional bread which is stuffed with cheese which you get almost everywhere and is a great snack. We had Georgian bread (Shoti) with almost every meal. I even went to a bread store early morning where they were baking fresh bread in an underground oven. Both food and wine here are very reasonably priced.
7. Dress up as a Russian soldier
As silly as this may sound, it was a real fun thing to do. We happened to stop at one of the local restaurants while on the road and there was a Georgian soldiers’ costume which I couldn’t resist. You could also do this when you visit Ananuri Fort complex which is on the way to Gudauri.
Also read: 10 Top Things to do in Bulgaria
8. Visit the hidden canyons in Martville
Another one of the amazing places to visit in Georgia, this one needs some really long drive! We drove from Kazbegi to Martville to visit the Martville canyon but the locals at our Airbnb told us to visit some hidden canyons instead and I am so glad that we did. We skipped the main canyon and went on to visit a local’s house and her garden led us to this beautiful canyon which is a part of the Balda Canyon. She charges around 2 GEL per person and as strange as it may sound, she is known as the woman with a beard. Also, you will be surprised to know that this backyard isn’t unknown! Rather it features prominently in the list of tourist places in Georgia
9. Drive to Batumi and visit the amazing cave town of Uplistsikhe
Now, you could either take a train to Batumi (it leaves twice a day and takes 5 hours) or drive there. It takes around 5.5 hours to drive to Batumi and I didn’t think it was really a scenic drive but since we had the option of stopping at multiple places, we chose to drive. You are in Batumi when you have hit the Georgian coastline and all you want to do here is chill by the Black Sea. We wanted to relax and so we rented a great Airbnb apartment with a panoramic view of the sea all around. In the evening we rented bicycles and rode on the boulevard, around town for a couple of hours. For a hearty breakfast stop by the Radio Kitchen & Bar- once again, you are welcome! On your way back to Tbilisi you might want to stop at this unique and ancient cave town of Uplistshike which is going to blow your mind.
So there you have it, sometimes the unexpected places can bring you utter joy and contentment. Hope my experiences will help you plan your next getaway to Georgia. If you liked what you read, please leave me a comment below.
You may also want to read my blogs on other destinations in Eastern Europe like Bulgaria & Romania. To keep yourself updated with all my adventures, please follow me on @travel.chatter on Instagram and Travel Chatter on Facebook.
FAQ About Things to do in Georgia
What is the best time to visit Georgia?
Georgia can be travelled all around the year due to its pleasant climate. Tourists mainly choose the time to visit, depending on the activities they want to indulge in. Spring and Autumn are the best time to visit this beautiful city for those who love cultural tours. Summer is a great time for trekking and winter is popular among ski and snowboarding lovers.
Is there a limitation of bringing cash to Georgia?
Generally, there is no restriction or limit on cash brought by a visitor but you need to go through necessary custom declaration if the amount exceeds 30,000 GEL.
I am a vegetarian. Is Georgia suitable for me?
You will easily find a lot of vegetarian-friendly dishes in Georgia like Khachapuri (bread or pie filled with cheese), Khinkali (kind of dumplings), Lobio (bean stew), baked mushrooms with Sulguni cheese, Churchkhela (candy made from grape jelly and nut) and a lot more. If you are not willing to try the local variety of food, you can easily find a lot of vegetarian restaurants serving different types of cuisines from all over the world.
The Georgian language is written in a different style. How can I read the street signs?
All major destinations and tourist spots in Georgia have street signs written in two different languages, Georgian and English. If you are still worried, you can simply ask localities for directions as a lot of them understand and speak English very well.
Is Georgia pocket friendly to travel?
You will be surprised to know how cheap it is to travel to Georgia. It’s one of the major reasons which makes Georgia a point of interest among tourists. If you belong to the USA or UK, you will find Georgia 50% cheaper. A dinner meal for 2 people in Tbilisi cost around £20 and you can get a luxurious hotel room for one night at around £20-30 GBP.