The Mongols, the Soviet Union, Rome, Parthians, Iran — Tbilisi’s important place so near the meeting of East and West has left this city a hotbed of culture, politics, and history. Found in Caucasia and riding both banks of the Kura River, Tblisi is Georgia’s capital and most populous city. Founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang I of Iberia, Tbilisi today is one of the most important cities in the Caucasus region and is replete with Art Nouveau architecture, as well as Byzantine, Neoclassical, and more. Home to Sameba Cathedral, Vorontsov's Palace (also known as the Children's Palace), and the Tbilisi Circus, Narikala, an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, is a must-see wonder of the ancient world built in the fourth century. As well as the finest museums and theaters in the region, Tbilisi boasts a burgeoning nightlife and dining scene.


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Old Town

Dzveli Tbilisi, or Old Tbilisi, is a sloping area of the city known for its traditional houses and windy lanes lined with restaurants and cafes. A stroll down the narrow twisting lanes gives one a close look at old Georgian brick homes with wooden balconies and doorways that lead to hidden courtyards, the result of a mix of eastern and western influences. At the northern edge is the Abanotubani area, famous for its domed Sulphur Baths, and Meidani square with its many restaurants.

Narikala Fortress

This fortress is an ancient symbol of Tbilisi’s defence, established in the 4th century around the period when the city itself was founded. Built along the hill overlooking Tbilisi, panoramic views of the capital are superb from here. Narikala can be reached by cable car or a scenic trail that runs from the top of the ridge, around the fortress, and down into Old Town.

Khachapuri Cooking Class

Take a master class in cooking Georgia’s most beloved traditional dish, the Khachapuri. This table-side staple is bread made in the shape of a gondola stuffed with Georgian cheese and a runny egg in the center.


Just half an hour outside of Tbilisi at the confluence of Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers is the ancient city of Mtskheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its outstanding medieval religious architecture. It was here that Georgia adopted Christianity in 334, and remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The two must-see highlights of a trip to Mtskheta are Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and Jvari Monastery.


The town of Gori is an easy day-trip from Tbilisi, best known as the birthplace of Joseph Stalin. During his rule of the Soviet Union, the town’s center was rebuilt to his neoclassical tastes, and even today much of the downtown area is defined by its Stalinist architecture. The main highlight is the Stalin Museum though there are other interesting non-Stalin related sites around such as Gori Fortress, heritage architecture in Old Town, Gori bazaar and intriguing street art.


Only a 20-minute drive from Gori and often combined together as a day-trip from Tbilisi is Uplistsikhe Cave Town. At its peak, up to 20,000 people lived in the chambers carved into the cliff face. The rock-cut structures include a large hall, dwellings, amphitheatre, and prison.

David Gareja Cave Monastery

Southwest of Tbilisi, near the border to Azerbaijan, is the historical cave monastery of David Gareja. There are hundreds of caves that are part of the complex, built into the cliffs 15 miles along the Gareja ridge. As a whole, David Gareja is well-preserved and historical and artistic significance merits a visit.

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