Tbilisi: Wikis


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Tbilisi თბილისი is located in Georgia (country)
Location of Tbilisi in Georgia
Coordinates: 41°43′0″N 44°47′0″E / 41.716667°N 44.783333°E / 41.716667; 44.783333
Country  Georgia
Established c. 479 A.D
 - Mayor Giorgi (Gigi) Ugulava
 - City 726 km2 (280.3 sq mi)
Highest elevation 770 m (2,526 ft)
Lowest elevation 380 m (1,247 ft)
Population (2006)
 - City 1,480,000
 Density 2,038.6/km2 (5,279.9/sq mi)
 Metro 1,485,293
Time zone Georgian Time (UTC+4)
Website www.tbilisi.gov.ge
The Tbilisi Marriott Hotel.
Panorama view of Tbilisi, showing Metekhi church, a statue of the 5th century Georgian King Vakhtang Gorgasali, and the Mt'k'vari River.

Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისი, [tbiˈliːsi] Tbilisi.ogg , literally "Warm Spring") is the capital and the largest city of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mt'k'vari (Kura) River. The name is derived from an early Georgian form T'pilisi and it was officially known as Tiflis (ტფილისი) until 1936.[1] The city covers an area of 726 km² (280.3 square miles) and has 1,480,000 inhabitants.

Founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang Gorgasali, the Georgian King of Kartli (Iberia), and made into a capital in the 6th century, Tbilisi is a significant industrial, social, and cultural center. The city is also emerging as an important transit route for global energy and trade projects. Located strategically at the crossroads between Europe and Asia and lying along the historic Silk Road routes, Tbilisi has often been the point of contention between various rivaling powers and empires. The history of the city can be seen by its architecture, where the Haussmannized Rustaveli Avenue and downtown are blended with the narrower streets of the medieval Narikala district.

The demographics of the city is diverse and historically it has been home to peoples from different cultures, religions and ethnicities. Despite being overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian, Tbilisi is one of the few places in the world (Sarajevo and Paramaribo being another) where a synagogue and a mosque are located next to each other, in the ancient Bath district several hundred meters from the Metekhi Church. In recent times, Tbilisi has become known for the peaceful Rose Revolution, which took place around Freedom Square and nearby locations after the contested parliamentary elections of 2003 led to the resignation of the Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Tbilisi has one international airport. Notable tourist destinations include Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, Freedom Square, Sioni Cathedral, Metekhi, Narikala, Parliament of Georgia, Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, Anchiskhati Basilica, Mtatsminda (Holy Mountain), Kashveti Church along with the National and Historic Museums of Georgia and numbers of art galleries. Tbilisi is the home of famous artists. The city life was immortalized in their art by Niko Pirosmani and Lado Gudiashvili.




Early history

Panoramic view of Tbilisi

According to an old legend, the present-day territory of Tbilisi was covered by forests as late as 458 AD. One widely accepted variant of the legend of Tbilisi's founding states that King Vakhtang I Gorgasali of Georgia went hunting in the heavily wooded region with a falcon (sometimes the falcon is either substituted by a hawk or other small birds of prey in the legend). The King's falcon allegedly caught/injured a pheasant during the hunt, after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died (from the burns received in the hot water). King Vakhtang became so impressed with the hot springs that he decided to cut down the forest and build a city on the location. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian word "Tpili" (თბილი), meaning warm. The name 'Tbili' or 'Tbilisi' ('warm location') therefore was given to the city because of the area's numerous sulfuric hot springs that came out of the ground.

Night on Rustaveli Avenue , Tbilisi
Building of the Tbilisi City Council

Archaeological studies of the region have revealed that the territory of Tbilisi was settled by humans as early as the 4th millennium B.C. The earliest actual (recorded) accounts of settlement of the location come from the second half of the 4th century AD, when a fortress was built during King Varaz-Bakur's reign. Towards the end of the 4th century the fortress fell into the hands of the Persians after which the location fell back into the hands of the Kings of Kartli (Georgia) by the middle of the 5th century AD. King Vakhtang I Gorgasali (reigned in the middle and latter halves of the 5th century) who is largely credited for founding Tbilisi was actually responsible for reviving and building up the city and not founding it. The present-day location of the area which Gorgasali seems to have built up is spread out around the Metekhi cliff and the latter-day Abanot-Ubani neighborhood.

View of Tbilisi as per French traveller Jean Chardin, 1671.
Balconies in Old Tbilisi are very distinctive in style[citation needed]

Role as capital

King Dachi I Ujarmeli (beginning of the 6th century AD), who was the successor of Vakhtang I Gorgasali, moved the capital from Mtskheta to Tbilisi according to the will left by his father. It must be mentioned that Tbilisi was not the capital of a unified Georgian state at that time (therefore did not include the territory of Colchis) and was only the capital of Eastern Georgia/Iberia. During his reign, King Dachi I was also responsible for finishing the construction of the fortress wall that lined the city's new boundaries. Beginning from the 6th century, Tbilisi started to grow at a steady pace due to the region's favorable and strategic location which placed the city along important trade and travel routes between Europe and Asia.

Official Residence and Principal Workplace of the President of Georgia

Foreign domination

Tbilisi's favorable and strategic location did not necessarily bode well for its existence as Eastern Georgia's/Iberia's capital. Located strategically in the heart of the Caucasus between Europe and Asia, Tbilisi became an object of rivalry between the region's various powers such as Persia, The Byzantine Empire, Arabia, and the Seljuk Turks. The cultural development of the city was therefore heavily dependent on who ruled the city at various times. Even though Tbilisi (and Eastern Georgia in general) was able to maintain a certain degree of autonomy from its conquerors, the foreign domination of the city began in the latter half of the 6th century and lasted well into the 10th century AD.

From 570-580 A.D., the Persians took over Tbilisi and ruled it for about a decade. In the year 627 A.D., Tbilisi was sacked by the Byzantine/Khazar armies and later, in 736-738, Arab armies entered the town under Marwan II Ibn-Muhammad. After this point, the Arabs established an emirate centered in Tbilisi. It must be noted that the Arab domination brought a certain order to the region and introduced a more formal/modernized judicial system into Georgia. In 764, Tbilisi, still under Arab control was once again sacked by the Khazars. In 853 AD, the armies of Arab leader Bugha Al-Turki (Bugha the Turk) invaded Tbilisi in order to establish a Caliphate. The Arab domination of Tbilisi continued until about 1050 AD. In 1068, the city was once again sacked, only this time by the Seljuk Turks under Sultan Alp Arslan.

Metekhi Church. Narikala seen in Distance.
Building in the Old Part of Tbilisi

Tbilisi as the capital of a unified Georgian state

In 1122, after heavy fighting with the Seljuks that involved at least 60,000 Georgians and up to 300,000 Turks, the troops of the King of Georgia David the Builder entered Tbilisi. After the battles for Tbilisi concluded, David moved his residence from Kutaisi (Western Georgia) to Tbilisi, making it the capital of a unified Georgian State. From 12-13th centuries, Tbilisi became a dominant regional power with a thriving economy (with well-developed trade and skilled labour) and a well-established social system/structure. By the end of the 12th century, the population of Tbilisi had reached 80,000. The city also became an important literary and a cultural center not only for Georgia but for the larger civilized world as well. During Queen Tamar's reign, Shota Rustaveli worked in Tbilisi while writing his legendary epic poem, The Knight in the Panther's Skin. This period is often referred to as "Georgia's Golden Age"[2] or the Georgian Renaissance [3].

View of Tbilisi. Metekhi Church.

Mongol domination and the following period of instability

Tbilisi's "Golden Age" did not last for more than a century. In 1226 Tbilisi was captured by the refugee Khwarezmian Empire Khwarezmian Shah Mingburnu and its defences severely devastated and prone to Mongol armies. In 1236 A.D., after suffering crushing defeats to the Mongols, Georgia came under Mongol domination. The nation itself maintained a form of semi-independence and did not lose its statehood, but Tbilisi was strongly influenced by the Mongols for the next century both politically and culturally. In the 1320s, the Mongols were forcefully expelled from Georgia and Tbilisi became the capital of an independent Georgian state once again. An outbreak of the plague struck the city in 1366.

From the late 14th until the end of the 18th century, Tbilisi came under the rule of various foreign invaders once again and on several occasions was completely burnt to the ground. In 1386, Tbilisi was invaded by the armies of Tamerlane (Timur). In 1444, the city was invaded and destroyed by Jahan Shah (the Shah of the town of Tabriz in Persia). From 1477 to 1478 the city was held by the Ak Koyunlu tribesmen of Uzun Hassan. In 1522 A.D., Tbilisi came under Persian control but was later freed in 1524 by King David X of Georgia. During this period, many parts of Tbilisi were reconstructed and rebuilt. From the 17-18th centuries, Tbilisi once again became the object of rivalry only this time between the Ottoman Turks and Persia. King Erekle II of Georgia tried on several occasions, successfully, to free Tbilisi from Persian rule but in the end Tbilisi was burnt to the ground in 1795 by Shah Agha-Mohammad Khan. At this point, sensing that Georgia could not hold up against Persia alone, Erekle sought the help of Russia.

Tbilisi under Russian control

The coat of arms of Tiflis under Russian rule.

In 1801, after the Georgian kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti joined the Russian Empire, Tbilisi became the center of the Tbilisi Governorate (Gubernia). From the beginning of the 19th century Tbilisi started to grow economically and politically. New buildings mainly of European style were erected throughout the town. New roads and railroads were built to connect Tbilisi to other important cities in Russia and other parts of the Transcaucasus (locally) such as Batumi, Poti, Baku, and Yerevan. By the 1850s Tbilisi once again emerged as a major trade and a cultural center. The likes of Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, Iakob Gogebashvili, Aleksandr Griboyedov and many other statesmen, poets, and artists all found their home in Tbilisi.

Mikhail Lermontov, Tiflis, 1837.
Metekhi cliff and the surroundings as depicted by N.G. Chernetsov, 1839.
The 11th Red Army of the Russian SFSR occupies Tbilisi, 25 February 1921.

The city was visited on numerous occasions by and was the object of affection of Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Lermontov, the Romanov Family and others. The Romanov Family established their residence (in Transcaucasia) on Golovin Street (Present-day Rustaveli Avenue).

Throughout the century, the political, economic and cultural role of Tbilisi with its ethnic, confessional and cultural diversity (Armenians, Georgians and Russians comprised 38.1, 26.3 and 24.8 percent of the population respectively in 1897[4]) was significant not only for Georgia but for the whole Caucasus. Hence, Tbilisi took on a different look. It acquired different architectural monuments and the attributes of an international city, as well as its own urban folklore and language, and the specific Tbilisuri (literally, belonging to Tbilisi) culture.

Independence: 1918–1921

After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the city served as a location of the Transcaucasus interim government which established, in the spring of 1918, the short-lived independent Transcaucasian Federation with the capital in Tbilisi. It was here, in the former Caucasus Vice royal Palace, where the independence of three Transcaucasian nations – Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan – was declared on May 26 to 28 1918. Since then, Tbilisi functioned as the capital of the Democratic Republic of Georgia until 25 February 1921. From 1918 to 1919 the city was also consecutively home to a German and British military headquarters.

Under the national government, Tbilisi turned into the first Caucasian University City after the Tbilisi State University was founded in 1918, a long-time dream of the Georgians banned by the Imperial Russian authorities for several decades.[5] On 25 February 1921, the Bolshevist Russian 11th Red Army invaded [6][7] Tbilisi after bitter fighting at the outskirts of the city and declared Soviet rule.

Under the Communist Government

In 1921, the Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by the Soviet Bolshevik forces from Russia, and until 1991 Tbilisi functioned first as the capital city of the Transcaucasian SFSR (which included Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), and later as the capital of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. During the Soviet rule, Tbilisi's population grew significantly, the city became more industrialized and came to be an important political, social, and cultural center of the Soviet Union. In 1980 the city housed the first state-sanctioned rock festival in the USSR.

Tbilisi witnessed mass anti-Russian demonstrations during 1956 in the March 9 Massacre, in protest against the anti-Stalin policies of Khrushchev. Peaceful protests occurred in 1978, and in 1989 the April 9 tragedy was a peaceful protest that turned violent.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union

Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Tbilisi has experienced periods of significant instability and turmoil. After a brief Civil War which the city endured for two weeks from December 1991 to January 1992 (when pro-Gamsakhurdia and Opposition forces clashed with each other), Tbilisi became the scene of frequent armed confrontations between various mafia clans and illegal business entrepreneurs. Even during the Shevardnadze Era (1993–2003), crime and corruption became rampant at most levels of society. Many segments of society became impoverished because of unemployment caused by the crumbling economy. Average citizens of Tbilisi started to become increasingly disillusioned with the existing quality of life in the city (and in the nation in general). Mass protests took place in November 2003 after falsified parliamentary elections forced more than 100,000 people into the streets and concluded with the Rose Revolution. Since 2003, Tbilisi has experienced considerably more stability with decreasing crime rates, an improved economy and a real estate boom.[8]

The Tbilisi area received multiple Russian air attacks during the 2008 South Ossetia war.

Politics and Administration

The status of Tbilisi, as the nation’s capital, is defined by the Article 10 in the Constitution of Georgia (1995) and the Law on Georgia’s Capital – Tbilisi (February 20, 1998).[9]

Tbilisi is governed by the Tbilisi Assembly (Sakrebulo) and the Tbilisi City Hall (Meria). The City Assembly gets elected once every four years. The mayor gets elected by the City Assembly. The current Mayor of Tbilisi is Giorgi (Gigi) Ugulava and the Chairman of the Tbilisi City Assembly is Zaal Begashvili.

Administratively, the city is divided into raions (districts), which have their own units of central and local government with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. This subdivision was established under Soviet rule in the 1930s, following the general subdivision of the Soviet Union. Since Georgia regained independence, the raion system was modified and reshuffled. According to the latest revision, Tbilisi raions include:

  • Old Tbilisi (ძველი თბილისი)
  • Vake-Saburtalo (ვაკე-საბურთალო)
  • Didube-Chugureti (დიდუბე-ჩუღურეთი)
  • Gldani-Nadzaladevi (გლდანი-ნაძალადევი)
  • Isani-Samgori (ისანი-სამგორი)
  • Didgori (დიდგორი)

Most of the raions are named after respective historical neighborhoods of the city. The citizens of Tbilisi widely recognize a system of the smaller non-formal historical neighborhoods. Such neighborhoods are several, however, constituting a kind of hierarchy, because most of them have lost their distinctive topographic limits. The natural first level of subdivision of the city is into the Right Bank and the Left Bank of the Mt'k'vari. The names of the oldest neighborhoods go back to the early Middle Ages and sometimes pose a great linguistic interest. The newest whole-built developments bear chiefly residential marketing names.

In pre-Revolution Tiflis, the Georgian quarter was confined to the southeastern part of the city; Baedeker describes the layout succinctly:

In the north part of the town, on the left bank of the Kurá and to the south of the railway station, stretches the clean German Quarter, formerly occupied by German immigrants from Wurtemberg (1818). To the south is the Gruzinian or Georgian Quarter (Avlabár). On the right bank of the Kurá is the Russian Quarter, the seat of the officials and of the larger business firms. This is adjoined on the south by the Armenian and Persian Bazaars.[10]

Avlabar is considered "the integral component of the so-called 'old Tbilisi'" and is currently the object of planning and cultural heritage preservation.[11]

Mayors of Tbilisi



View of Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi

Tbilisi is located in the South Caucasus at 41° 43' North Latitude and 44° 47' East Longitude. The city is situated in East Georgia on both banks of the Mt'k'vari River. The elevation of the city ranges from 380–770 meters above sea level (1246–1968 ft) and possesses the shape of an amphitheatre surrounded by mountains on three sides. To the north, Tbilisi is bounded by the Saguramo Range, to the east and south-east by the Iori Plain, to the south and west by various endings (sub-ranges) of the Trialeti Range.

The relief of Tbilisi is quite complex. The part of the city which lies on the left bank of the Mt'k'vari (Kura) River extends for more than 30 km (19 miles) from the Avchala District to River Lochini.

Tbilisi Coordinates

The part of the city which lies on the right side of the Mt'k'vari River on the other hand is built along the foothills of the Trialeti Range, the slopes of which in many cases descend all the way to the edges of the river Mt'k'vari. The mountains, therefore, are a significant barrier to urban development on the right bank of the Mt'k'vari River. This type of a geographic environment creates pockets of very densely developed areas while other parts of the city are left undeveloped due to the complex topographic relief.

North of the city is a large reservoir (commonly known as the Tbilisi Sea) fed by irrigation canals.


The climate of Tbilisi can be classified as humid subtropical. The city's climate is influenced both by dry (Central Asian/Siberian) air masses from the east and humid subtropical (Atlantic/Black Sea) air masses from the west. Tbilisi experiences relatively cold winters and hot summers. Because the city is bounded on most sides by mountain ranges, the close proximity to large bodies of water (Black and Caspian Seas) and the fact that the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range (further to the north) blocks the intrusion of cold air masses from Russia, Tbilisi has a relatively mild micro-climate compared to other cities that possess a similar continental climate along the same latitudes.

The average annual temperature in Tbilisi is 12.7 °C (54.9 °F). January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 0.9 °C (33.6 °F). July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 24.4 °C (75.9 °F). The absolute minimum recorded temperature is −23 °C (−9.4 °F) and the absolute maximum is 40 °C (104 °F). Average annual precipitation is 568 mm (22.4 inches). May is the wettest month (90 mm) while January is the driest (20 mm). Snow may fall on average for 15–25 days per year. The surrounding mountains often trap the clouds within and around the city mainly during the Spring and Autumn months, resulting in prolonged rainy and/or cloudy weather. Northwesterly winds dominate in most parts of Tbilisi throughout the year. Southeasterly winds are common as well.

Climate data for Tbilisi
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 19.5
Average high °C (°F) 6.3
Average low °C (°F) -1.9
Record low °C (°F) -24.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 20
Source: Pogoda.ru.net[12] 8.09.2007

People and culture


Ethnic groups

Carpet gallery.

Tbilisi is a multicultural city. The city is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups. Around 80% of the population is ethnically Georgian, with significant populations of other ethnic groups which include Armenians, and Azeris. Along with the above mentioned groups, Tbilisi is also home to various other tiny ethnic groups including Ossetians, Abkhazians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Jews, Russians, Estonians, Germans, Kurds, Assyrians, and others.

Sameba (Trinity) Cathedral.


More than 85% of the residents of Tbilisi practice various forms of Christianity (the most predominant of which is the Georgian Orthodox Church). The Russian Orthodox Church as well as the Armenian Apostolic Church have significant following within the city as well. Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, and other Christian denominations also make up the city's Christian minority. A large minority of the population (around 8%) practises Islam (mainly Sunni Islam). Judaism is also common, but to a lesser extent (about 2% of Tbilisi's population practices Judaism). Tbilisi has been historically known for religious tolerance. This is especially evident in the city's Old Town, where a Mosque, Synagogue, and Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches can all be found within less than 500 metres (1,600 ft) from each other.


Misha Meskhi Stadium.
Boris Paichadze National Stadium. Inside view, after reconstruction.

Tbilisi has a fairly rich sports history. Like many other towns of the Near East with strong Asian cultural influences, Tbilisi historically had a special area of town that was designated for sports competitions. The present-day districts of Saburtalo and Didube were the most common areas where such competitions were held. Up until the beginning of the 19th century, sports such as horse-riding (polo in particular), wrestling, boxing, and marksmanship were the most popular city sports. As Tbilisi started to develop socially and economically and integrate more with the West, new sports from Europe were introduced. The Soviet period brought an increased popularization of sports that were common in Europe and to a certain extent, the United States. At the same time, Tbilisi developed the necessary sports infrastructure for various professional sports. By 1978, the city had around 250 large and small sports facilities, including among others, four indoor and six outdoor Olympic sized pools, 185 basketball courts and halls, 192 volleyball facilities, 82 handball arenas, 19 tennis courts, 31 football (soccer) fields, and five stadiums. At present, the largest stadium in Tbilisi is the Boris Paichadze Stadium (55,000 seats) and the second largest is the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium (24,680 seats). The Sports Palace which usually hosts basketball games with high attendance and tennis tournaments can seat up to approximately 11,000 people. Vere Basketball Hall is a smaller indoor sports arena with a 2,500 seating capacity.

The most popular sports in Tbilisi today are football, rugby union, basketball, and wrestling. Also popular sports include tennis, swimming and water polo. There are several professional football and rugby teams as well as wrestling clubs. NBA players Zaza Pachulia and Nikoloz Tskitishvili are Tbilisi natives. Outside of professional sports, the city has a number of inter-collegiate and amateur sports teams and clubs.

Tbilisi's signature football team, Dinamo Tbilisi, has not won a major European championship since 1981, when it won the European Cup Winners' Cup and became the easternmost team in Europe to achieve the feat. The basketball club Dinamo Tbilisi won the Euroleague in 1962 but also never repeated any such feat.

Club Sport Stadium
FC Dinamo Tbilisi Football Boris Paichadze Stadium
FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi Football Mikheil Meskhi Stadium
FC Ameri Tbilisi Football Ameri Stadium
FC WIT Georgia Football Wit Georgia Stadium
BC Dinamo Tbilisi Basketball Vere Basketball Hall
Tbilisi State University Basketball Team Basketball Vere Basketball Hall
Georgian Technical University Basketball Team Basketball Vere Basketball Hall


The large majority of Georgia’s media companies (including television, newspaper and radio) are headquartered in Tbilisi. The city is home to the popular Rustavi 2 television channel which gained considerable fame after its coverage of the Rose Revolution. In addition to Rustavi 2, the remaining three out of the four major public television channels of Georgia (including Imedi TV Mze and the Public Broadcasting Channel) are based in the city as well. Tbilisi’s television market has experienced notable changes since the second half of 2005 when Rustavi 2 successfully bought out the Mze TV Company and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation became a shareholder of Imedi Media Holding at the beginning of 2006. By taking over the Imedi Media Holding Group, News Corporation entered the Post-Soviet media market for the first time in the company's history.

Tbilisi has a number of newspaper publishing houses. Some of the most noteworthy newspapers include the daily 24 Saati ("24 Hours"), Rezonansi ("Resonance"), Alia, the English-language daily The Messenger, weekly FINANCIAL, Georgia Today, and the English-language weekly The Georgian Times. Out of the city’s radio stations Imedi Radio (105.9FM), Fortuna, and Radio 105 are some of the more influential competitors with large national audiences.


The city is home to many of Georgia's prominent colleges and universities:


Skyscraper and fountain in Tbilisi.

The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian), with strong influences of Byzantine, European/Russian (neo-classical), and Middle Eastern architectural styles. The oldest parts of town, including the Abanot-Ubani, Avlabari, and to a certain extent the Sololaki districts clearly have a traditional Georgian architectural look with Middle Eastern influences. The areas of Tbilisi which were built up mainly in the 19th century (Rustaveli Avenue, Vera district, etc.) have a contrasting European/Russian (neoclassical) look. The turn of the 20th century was marked with an architectural revival, notably, with an art nouveau style. With the establishment of the communist government the style was decreed as bourgeois and largely neglected. Architecture of the later 20th century can mainly be identified with the type of building style that was common during the Soviet Era throughout the Soviet Union.

This included building large, concrete apartment blocks as well as social, cultural, and office facilities, like for example the Tbilisi Roads Ministry Building. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, Tbilisi has been the site of uncontrolled/unsanctioned building projects. Since 2004, the city government has taken new initiatives to curb uncontrolled construction projects with mixed success. In the near future, Tbilisi will have three skyscraper complexes. The Axis Towers, Redix Chavchavadze 64, and the new Ajara Hotel/Business Complex, which is currently under construction will be the tallest buildings/skyscrapers in the Caucasus.

Tbilisi Metro

Isani Metro Station

The Tbilisi Metro services the city with rapid transit subway services. It is the fourth metro system in the former Soviet Union. Construction began in 1952, and was finished in 1966. The system operates two lines, the Akhmeteli-Varketili Line and the Saburtalo Line. It has 22 stations. and 186 metro cars. Most stations, like other post-Soviet metro stations, are vividly decorated. Trains run from 6:00 A.M. to 1:00 A.M. Due to the uneven ground, the rail lines run above ground level in some areas. Two of the stations are above ground.

The Tbilisi Metro underwent a campaign of modernization. Stations were reconstructed, and trains and facilities were modernized. In 2005, President Mikheil Saakashvili charged Director General Zurab Kikalishvili with bringing the station up to European standards by 2007. In 2006, the city's budget allocated 16 million Lari for the project. A third line is being planned, which will encompass the Vake District. The three lines will form a triangle, and intersect in the city center.

Main sights

Tbilisi has a number of important landmarks and sightseeing locations. The parliament and the government (State Chancellery) buildings of Georgia, as well as the Supreme Court of Georgia, are all located in Tbilisi. The city also has important cultural landmarks such as the Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, Shota Rustaveli State Academic Theatre, Marjanishvili State Academic Theatre, the Sameba Cathedral, the Vorontsov's Palace (also known as the Children's Palace today), many state museums, the National Public Library of the Parliament of Georgia, the National Bank of Georgia and other important institutions. During the Soviet times, Tbilisi continuously ranked in the top 4 cities in the Soviet Union for the number of museums.

Out of the city's historic landmarks, the most notable locations are the Narikala fortress (4th century-17th century AD), Anchiskhati Church (6th century, built up in the 16th century), Sioni Cathedral (8th century, later rebuilt), Church of Metekhi (13th century), etc.



English speakers often mispronounce it like /tɪbˈlisi/, or "tib-LEE-see". The correct pronunciation is /ˌtbiˈliːsi/, or "tbee-lee-see", with no vowel between the T and B, but both pronounced nonetheless.

Freedom Square


Tbilisi is home to several major institutions of higher education: The biggest Georgian university is Tbilisi State University which was established on 8 February 1918. TSU is the oldest university in the whole Caucasus region. Over 35,000 students are enrolled and the total number of faculty and staff (collaborators) is approximately 5,000. Tbilisi is also home to the largest medical university in Caucasus region - Tbilisi State Medical University, which was founded as Tbilisi Medical Institute in 1918 and became the Faculty of Medicine within the Tbilisi State University (TSU) in 1930. Tbilisi State Medical Institute has been renamed to Medical University in 1992. Since that University operates as an independent educational institution. TSMU became one of the high-ranking state-supported institutions of higher education in the whole Caucasus region. Currently there are almost 5000 undergraduate and 203 postgraduate students at the University of whom 10% come from foreign countries. Georgia's main and largest technical university named - Georgian Technical University is also located in Tbilisi.Georgian Technical University was founded in 1922 as a polytechnic faculty of the Tbilisi State University. The first lecture in the walls of this establishment was read by the world famous Georgian mathematician Professor Andria Razmadze.It achieved University status by 1990. The two most popular privet higher educational institution in Georgia Caucasus University and Free University of Tbilisi are also located in Tbilisi. Caucasus University was established in 2004 as an expansion of the Caucasus School of Business (CSB) (established in 1998) by a consortium consisting of Tbilisi State University and Georgian Technical University in partnership with Georgia State University (Atlanta, USA). Free University of Tbilisi was established in 2007 through the merger of two higher education schools - European School of Management (ESM-Tbilisi) and Tbilisi Institute of Asia and Africa (TIAA). Today Free University comprises three schools - Business School (ESM), Institute of Asia and Africa and Law School delivering academic programs at undergraduate, graduate and doctorate levels. In addition, Free University conducts a wide array of short-term courses, runs several research centers and summer school programs.

Higher Educational Institutions in Tbilisi:

Tiflis by Ivan Aivazovsky

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Tbilisi is twinned with:[13]

Brother cities

Tbilisi has a brother city:[17]



See also


  1. ^ Pospelov, E.M. (1998). Geograficheskie nazvaniya mira. Moscow. pp. 412. .
  2. ^ "The Golden Age Of Georgia". Dictionary of Georgian National Biography. http://www.georgianbiography.com/history4.html. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Country Overview". Invest in Georgia. http://www.investingeorgia.info/georgia_profile/country_overview/. Retrieved 2008-02-02. "This early Georgian renaissance ... preceded its European analogue by several hundred years" 
  4. ^ Энциклопедия Брокгауза и Ефрона (Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary), Тифлис (Tiflis), 1890-1907
  5. ^ Marshall, David (1962). History of Modern Georgia. pp. 211. .
  6. ^ Jones, Stephen F. (2005). Socialism in Georgian Colors. London. .
  7. ^ Marshall, David (1962). History of Modern Georgia. 
  8. ^ Rukhadze, Vasili; Tobias Moerschen (2007). "Analysis of Tbilisi's Real Estate Boom". http://www.nbg.gov.ge/uploads/workingpaper/nbgwp01.08.pdf. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  9. ^ (Georgian) საქართველოს დედაქალაქის - თბილისის შესახებ. The Parliament of Georgia. Retrieved on May 22, 2007.
  10. ^ Karl Baedeker, Russia: A Handbook for Travelers (Arno Press, 1971, reprint of 1914 ed.), p. 467.
  11. ^ JSC IBERIA Realty Architectural Competition.
  12. ^ "Pogoda.ru.net" (in Russian). http://pogoda.ru.net/climate/37545.htm. Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Tbilisi Municipal Portal - Sister Cities". © 2009 - Tbilisi City Hall. http://www.tbilisi.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=4571. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  14. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Sister Cities". © 2005-2009 www.yerevan.am. http://yerevan.am/main.php?lang=3&page_id=194. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  15. ^ "Bristol City - Town twinning". © 2009 Bristol City Council. http://www.bristol.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/leisure-and-culture/tourism-and-travel/town-twinning/. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  16. ^ "Ankara Metropolitan Municipality: Sister Cities of Ankara". © 2007 Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi - Tüm Hakları Saklıdır.Kullanım Koşulları & Gizlilik.. http://www.ankara-bel.gov.tr/AbbSayfalari/hizmet_birimleri/dis_dairesi_baskanligi/avrupa_gunu_kutlamasi.aspx. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  17. ^ a b "TREND: Tbilisi, Vilnius become brother cities". en.trend.az. http://en.trend.az/news/cis/georgia/1492690.html. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  18. ^ "Kraków otwarty na świat". www.krakow.pl. http://www.krakow.pl/otwarty_na_swiat/?LANG=UK&MENU=l&TYPE=ART&ART_ID=16. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 

External links

Coordinates: 41°43′N 44°47′E / 41.717°N 44.783°E / 41.717; 44.783

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Caucasus : Georgia : Tbilisi
Old Tbilisi At Night
Old Tbilisi At Night

Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისი) [1] is the capital city of the country of Georgia, lying on the banks of the Mtkvari river. The city covers an area of 726 km² (280.3 square miles) and has more than 1.345.000 inhabitants.

Location of Tbilisi within Georgia

Get in

Russia's land border with Georgia is closed.

Tbilisi International Airport entrance/exit
Tbilisi International Airport entrance/exit

Tbilisi International Airport (IATA: TBS) (ICAO: UGTB), [2] opened in November 2006 and is about 20 km from the city centre. A new and modern airport terminal has been inaugurated on February 7, 2007.

Airlines include:

  • airBaltic [3]
  • Airzena Georgian Airways [4]
  • Austrian Airlines [5]
  • Azerbaijan Airlines [6]
  • bmi [7] (direct from London Heathrow)
  • Georgian National Airlines [8]
  • Lufthansa [9]
  • Turkish Airlines [10]
  • Aerosvit Ukrainian Airlines [11]
  • Belavia Belarusian Airlines [12]
  • Armavia Armenian Airlines [13]
  • Ukraine International Airlines [14]
  • Czech Airlines [15]

Old terminal services of local flights to Batumi, Kutaisi, and Mestia.

To get from the airport to the city: bus route 37 leaves from the right corner of the arrival area every 15-30 minutes, between 8:00 and 23:00. It travels via Freedom Square, Rustaveli, Republic Square and Tamar Bridge, all the way to the main train station (Vagzal). The trip can take up to 50 minutes, the buses are crowded and the fare is 40 tetri. Taxis are available at 25 Lari to the city, 20 to the airport. There is a newly built train connection from the airport to the main train station with modern station and old railway. Runs only 6 or 7 times a day but the trips are synchronized with flight arrivals so it's worth to check the schedule as it's rather cheap (2 laris) and fast.

By train

Trains from Yerevan and Baku to Tbilisi;

There are no trains to Moscow unless you go to Baku. Highly unrecommended. 3 days on train to Baku then overnight to Tbilisi. The border netween Russia and Azerbaijan is not open for non-CIS citizens.

The train from Baku to Tbilisi is not very nice and is pretty hot. The train will have to wait for a pretty long time at the border crossing, and you will have to pay fee for everything that you bring, mostly if it is for sale or in big quantities. Local ones: Batumi, Gori, Kutaisi, Satskhe Javakheti, Marneuli, Poti, Zugdidi.

Fast Express Trains To Batumi During high season in Summer, every second day, Service by High class and economy carriage. Buy as far in advance as possible, might be sold out. Overnight A class service is also available daily.

Yerevan - Batumi is in service during High Season.

By car

From Turkey via Sarpi border, or Posof border (a lot less used but with a real lot more potholes on the way).

From Black Sea to the rest of Europe, using ferry.

Azerbaijan and Armenian borders are open for cars.

By bus

The bus line Luks Karadeniz has a daily bus from Turkey, costing about €40 (70ytl). Bus services from Russia have been suspended. There are also buses criss-crossing the country and going into Armenia and Azerbaijan, where you can probably connect to Iran. The 'Neo-Turs' bus company offers bus transfers Tbilsi - Saloniki - Athens and back, starting from Didube bus station (price: 100 US-$).

The main micro-bus station can be found at Didube. Certainly buses 21 and 46 lead there from the city center. It's rather large, and you'll find minibuses to almost anywhere.

By boat

Black Sea ports in Poti, Batumi. Boat service and cruise available.

Get around

Main transport outside or inside the Tbilisi city is taxi, cars, bus and, in some places, trolleybus or trumps.

Tbilisi Metro
Tbilisi Metro
One of Tbilisi metro stations
One of Tbilisi metro stations
Freedom Square metro station
Freedom Square metro station

Tbilisi has a two-line metro system[16], which are served from 6 h AM till 12 h PM.

All signs inside the metro are in Georgian, and some stations feature Georgian and English signs. Stations' names are announced only in Georgian and text is in the Georgian alphabet, which makes figuring out which direction you are going in somewhat taxing. Plans are there to add English announcements, however this has not yet materialised (July 2009). You will be lucky to find English speakers riding the Metro, but generally people over 40 years old are willing to speak Russian to help lost tourists at metro stations and mashrutka (minibus) stops, younger people are less inclined to help you. Take a bilingual map with you if you are not proficient with the local alphabet/pronunciation. A trip with the metro in Tbilisi cost 40 tetri (aprx. $0.25). Pay 40 tetri at the entrance and get a token for the gate, or buy a card (2 GEL) that you can load with any amount you like at the counter, and use it for travel.

By bus

There are yellow busses also available going around the city. It will cost you 40 tetri (aprx. $0.25).

Rustaveli Avenue
Rustaveli Avenue
Overlooking old district and the River
Overlooking old district and the River
  • Sulfur baths The bath district is called Abanotubani and is on the south side of the Metekhi bridge. It is easy to spot with its small domes on ground level. There are several small baths offering different levels of comfort. The baths are relatively small, and you may have to wait for a pool to become available. English service is not guaranteed.

Prices start at 2 Lari for a public pool, and 15 to 80 Lari per hour for private pools. Massage is available for 5 to 20 Lari, depending on the bath and length ("light" or "heavy"). Drinks are available at normal prices. The massage is more like a washing but well worth it for the experience.

You may want to bring your own towel and beach sandals (available for a small fee), and a swimsuit for the public pool.

  • Tea plantation
  • Gold & Other Jewelry - Gold, silver, handmade & other misc. jewelry, precious stones are very cheap in Georgia and quality of the precious stones, gold and silver is superb. Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewelry, because of its cost and quality.
  • Art & Paintings – Georgian artists, such as Pirosmani, Gigo Gabashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Korneli Sanadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sergo Kobuladze, Simon Virsaladze, Ekaterine Baghdavadze and others, are famous for their work. In Georgia you will find many various art shops, paintings and painters who sell their works on the streets. Their work is amazing and prices are very reasonable as well.
  • Antiques & Other Misc. Gifts – in Georgia you will able to find many antiques not only from Georgia, but Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian and European as well.
  • Georgian wine, as much as you can. Georgia is the cradle of wine making, and with 521 original varieties of grape you will be sure to find excellent wines.
  • Cognac. Georgian cognac is unique as it's made from Georgian wine.
  • Georgia is famouse with its mineral waters. Try Borjomi, Sairme, Nabeghlavi mineral waters from famouse Georgian resort places.
  • When heading outside the cities, you might find an original hand-made carpet for sale.
  • Georgians love to drink, so the country has an seemingly infinite amount of beers, wines, liquors and distilled drinks. To take home, buy a bottle of chacha grape vodka, a Georgian version of Everclear.


Georgian Cuisine

Georgian cuisine is quite delicious. There are many affordable restaurants and cafes on almost every corner of the city. Here is the list of a bit more expensive but very good places.

  • Taglaura If you are in Tbilisi, you should go to Taglaura. This is the best Georgian restaurant in Town. There are few of them and you can visit any, not much difference. They have best Georgian barbeque and locally brewed beer. Also at evening time, very nice band is playing traditional Georgian music. If you get there at summer time, you can seat in the beautiful garden, next to 10 meter high waterfall and enjoy the nice breethe of river Mtkvari. Must see this place. They also have very nice taglaura website.
  • Machakhela If you are looking for something quick and traditional best thing to try in Georgia is Georgian Khachapuri. This is cheese pie, very delitious. Go to Machakhela, best place for khachapuri and try Adjarian one. They bake it in the wood fired oven, one of the best food ever tasted.
  • Taglaura Best Georgian food, locally brewed beer, traditional barbeque, live music and outdoor seating. Three different locations spread around the city. (www.taglaura.ge)
  • Machakhela Biggest restaurant chain in Georgia. 10 locations around the city. Specialising in georgian pastry. 'Khachapuri'-traditional Georgian cheese pie, baked in wood fired owen. Very delicious. (www.machakhelagroup.ge)
  • Tamada Ethnographic Restaurant in Tbilisi. Evenings Georgian music and dances.
  • Dzveli Saxli (Old House): One of the best restaurants in Tbilisi. Live traditional Georgian music and singing starts at around 6 PM every day.
  • Tsisqvili (Windmill): The best Georgian restaurant in Tbilisi, amazing menu & food, superb customer service and great design.
  • Dzveli Sakhli "Old House", high quality Georgian restaurant, with live Georgian music in the main hall.
  • Kala. Hip restaurant with live Jazz most evenings
  • Khinkali House (Khinklis Sakhli): all Khinkali, all the time
  • Kopala. amazing view from the top of the hotel of the same name, in Avlabari
  • Korean Restaurant - Located next to Avlabari train station
  • Chinese Restaurant - off Perovskaya St.
  • New AsiaRestaurant - up the street (up the hill) from Rustaveli at the corner where Nikala restaurant is. Recommended.
  • Japanese Restaurants "Tokyo" and "Sushi" - One in Vake, on Abashidze Street, the other ionn Perovskaya Street. The management and menu is the same. A bit pricey but dependable sushi. Service is usually nice.
  • Qalaquri - Sushi + night club + Middle Eastern atmosphere, 4 floors...
  • Cafe de Paris Famous for it's tasty salads and crepes. Nice place to spend time with friends. Located in the city center. Outdoor garden seating. Address: Saakadze square.
  • Steak Place, Erekle st.
  • Zandukeli 40, Zandukeli Street straight up the hill from the Philharmony. European bistro with an emphasis on German food. Food and service are among the best in town, prices are very reasonable. Run by one of the longest-lasting expats in Tbilisi, Rainer Kaufmann.
  • Graz Austrian Restaurant. Great pepper steaks, soups and bread rolls. Located behind City Hall off Freedom Square (go to the left of City Hall, back 1 block; restaurant is on your right at the first intersection, down the stairs).
  • Steak Hall, Perovskaya street.
  • Make sure you check out the local bars. They usually serve traditnal meals for a very fair price
  • Restaurant Mediterranean, 5, Irakli Abashidze str. ph: 22-10-15 [17]. Lunch, dinner. Since its opening this has become the popular European Restaurant in Tbilisi. The lively atmosphere, authentic décor and creative cuisine all reflect the region that inspired the restaurant. The extensive menu has Italian, French, Greek and Spanish influences. Unique dishes, fresh salads and seafood, pasta & risotto, grilled specialties and exclusive desserts have earned “Med” an impeccable reputation. The menu is complimented by an impressive wine list with a large “by-the-glass” selection and a full bar.
  • Pizzeria Fiorino Located in the heart of the city, Fiorino offers best pizzas in Tbilisi, one of the best carpaccios and veal. Relaxing environment and outdoor seating. Address: Saakadze square.
  • Il Garage, UN Circle in Vake, has decent versions of risotto, linguini, lasagna, and an excellent, huge antipasti misto. Pleasant outdoor seating in the summer and affordable prices year round. Run by Alberto - a real Italian.
  • Prego Three locations (Saburtalo, intersection of Vazha-Pshavela and Gamsakhurdia; Vake, on Paliashvili, just below the round (UN) garden and the third in the old town, Erekle II st.) The best Italian food in Tbilisi. Prices are reasonable and service is usually good. Look out for the daily specials - usually a bit pricier, but worth it.
  • coffee.ge Three locations (24 Abashidze Str., 41 Chavchavadze Ave., 154 Aghmashenebeli Ave.) Delicious Pizza and other italian food. Delivers food to your home. WLAN Internet-Access.
  • Baskin-Robbins, 142 David Aghmashenebeli Ave.
  • Lotus, on Freedom Square, tucked away behind the bus turnoff (directly across from City Hall) is this tiny, inexpensive, vegetarian diner.
  • McDonald's, Rustaveli street, city center, 1 Dzmebi Kakabadzeebi street, 20 Kote Marjanishvili street.
  • Pizzeria "UNO" Located on 30 Abashidze street.


EUROCAKE cake shop 24,iverieli str,tbilisi 0144


Georgia is well known as the cradle of wine. Georgian wine was and still is the best in post-Soviet culture. Georgia produces wine, and Georgians respect wine culture. Try one of the famous wines. The region which is popular for its wine production is Kakheti. This place has a great history of wine.


There is a good selection of cafés dispersed throughout Tbilisi.

  • Bamba Rooms Lounge(Bambis Rigi st. #12, Chardin area info@bambarooms.ge) The thing that catches your eye first is the crystal beads. You can’t miss it; it cascades down over the bar, white and glorious. It’s just one of the highlight in an incredibly striking space, designed by young Georgian architects. The results form one of Tbilisi's most achingly fashionable lounge cafe-bars with both inside and outside.Decent drinks are served alongside a selection of standard European dishes. Dining here becomes more glamorous when it gets to Japanese fusion. By day it’s quite casual, a popular lunch spot; by night it’s altogether different, the crowd is glam and the door policy can be tough.
  • Cafe Rustaveli, 30 Rustaveli Ave, 032 98-58-800 (, fax: 032 93-58-80), [18]. Currently closed due to bankruptcy, but hopes to reopen following a lawsuit. More a café for food rather than drinks, offers a wide selection of Georgian and "western"-style food in addition to a good selection of coffee, tea, & alcoholic beverages. 2-4 USD.  edit
  • Entree, 20 Rustaveli Ave, 891-193-968. 8-22. A great cafe with tasty pastries, good coffee, and free wi-fi. 3-8 USD.  edit
  • Four SeasonS (Cafe & Bar), 4 Mickevich Street, Tbilisi, Georgia (Steps from Gamsakhurdia ave), 99532-144440. 11AM-1AM. Cozy place with lounge-sitting rooms and unique interior. European cuisine. Prices are affordable and nice music is played. $10 per person.  edit
  • People's Cafe and Restaurant, 10 Galaktion street (steps from Freedom Square), 995 32 45 0505; 984851 (), [19]. 11AM-2AM. Located in the heart of Tbilisi People’s is a favorite place for locals and foreigners as well. Great place with terrace and lounge sitting. Perfectly designed- winner of the best public place interior award in 2007. Delicious food and friendly stuff – place where you can feel at home. 10-15 USD.  edit
  • Bamba Rooms, Bambis Rigi st. # 7 (www.bambarooms.ge; +99599-339229) A unique and vibrant premier Restaurant & DJ Bar, having one of the chic locations at Tbilisi Chardin area, is one of the liveliest and trendiest spots attracting a younger, faster-living crowd and enthusiastic clubbers. A good combination of a restaurant and a bar for around 300 people is perfect for a quiet, romantic meal in early evenings while towards midnight at weekends the place erupts into a wild party zone. *bamba rooms at bambis rigi street is probably the best and newest club in tbilisi. you will feel like in London-NY with a great interior and nice lounge music and techno.Also beatiful gogo girls.
  • Zen, Also called "Zen Klub". Located on a narrow pedestrian street in one of the nicest part of the old town, not very far down the river from 'Night office' - see below. Ask for its precise location among young people, since most taxi drivers don't know about this place yet (May 2008). It's a relatively small but currently perhaps the most popular club in the city among the hip crowd. Two floors. 20-30 laris to enter (per person). There are a couple of more or less outdoor clubs close nearby where you can get some fresh air before returning to Zen.
  • Night Office, Baratashvili Street, under Baratashvili bridge. Best House, Trance, Dance, Club music, finest Georgian and foreign DJs in Tbilisi. 30 laris to enter (per person) drinks are a bit expensive, but it is worth it. Open on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • KalaKuri Restaurant/Club Good night club, pop, 90s and modern music.
  • Cubic Club One of the best places for good house music, real minimal minmal techno and sometimes some breakbeats and dnb. 30 lari if not on the guest list.
  • GURU Club

Check the clubs out on mySpace, dance.ge or info-tbilisi.com.

Freedom Square
Freedom Square
  • Hotel Georgian House, 38 Vakhtang VI street, +995 (32) 791919 (, fax: +995 (32) 791920), [20]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. € 40+ per night.  edit
  • Hotel Ata, 17, Leselidze Street, +995 (32) 987715 (, fax: +995 (32) 986026), [21]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. € 60-80 per night.  edit
  • VIP Hotel, 31, Leselidze Street. This is a lovely hotel in a quiet coutyard with views over the river. The owners are really charming people and the breakfast is excellent.. € 50-60 per night.  edit
  • Beau Monde, 986-003. A beautiful bed/breakfast with dinner. It costs 90 dollars a night. It is next to Rustaveli Avenue, the main avenue of Tbilisi. There are balconies and a roof deck. The breakfast and dinner are very filling. There is free internet. The family that runs the hotel is very warm and welcoming. They speak Georgian and Russian and some English.
  • Courtyard Marriott Tbilisi, 4 Freedom Square, +995 (32) 779200 (fax: +995 (32) 779210), [22]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. € 180+ per night.  edit
  • TBILOTEL, a High Class Business and Leisure Hotel in the central part of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, offers 18 very comfortable room, standard and semi-suites, with balconies, Free Wi-Fi Internet, satellite TV and international phone. Reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day. Price starts from $100 per night, including rich continental breakfast and all incountry taxes. address: 8, Daraselia str., Tbilisi 0160, Georgia; Tel.: +995 32 387804; e-mail: tbilotel@tbilotel.ge
  • Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, 13 Rustaveli Prospekt, +995 (32) 779200 (fax: +995 (32) 779210), [23]. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. € 212+ per night.  edit
  • Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel, Issani, +995 (32) 772020 (fax: +995 (32) 772120), [24]. US $225+ per night.  edit

Stay safe

Tbilisi is very safe after the Rose Revolution. The police system was reformed completely and the recent polls show that public's trust in police shifted from nearly 10% to 88%. The police is quick to respond, usually.

Take taxis home at night. Use common sense and big-city awareness. Night time at the clubs and bars are safe, and taxi service is safe as long as it's a company taxi like "009" or others. If you know the place well and have lived there for a while, you can also take a public bus. They are usually clean and safe.

  • Police Tel: 022. or 112 from Mobiles.
  • Ambulance tel: 022 or 03.
  • If you are using ATM machines(in Georgia as in most parts of eastern Europe they are known as "bancomats") look around and make sure that there are no suspecious people around. Most bank offices have bancomats in the entrance controlled by camera and when it gets dark the door can be opened only from the inside.That means no one can come from the outside and take money away. One this kind of ATM machine is available at the Bank of Georgia office on the Freedom Square. Many ATMs are also located inside Hotels, for example Courtyard Marriott on Freedom Square and Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on Rustaveli Ave. They are accessible easily and can be used any time.


Mobile Network dominates as any other place in Europe. There are 3 GSM operators:

  • Magticom: provides 3G
  • Geocell: provides 3G, covers all of Georgia, packet data deals available for prepaid
  • Beeline


When all you want is to order food in English and not be bothered, head to the Marriott Courtyard, though the food does tend to be quite expensive. Head to Prospero's bookstore on Rustaveli 34 to be only slightly overcharged for a delicious chicken salad sandwich and great coffee of every variety. Good selection of books and a nice calm place to escape, just a little.

Be careful about renting DVDs from Prospero's bookstore - there is quite a selection, but as most of them are pirated, almost half of all their DVD stock is of a poor quality. For your peace of mind, you can check any DVD on a player in the cafe before you rent it.

  • Tbilisi-Baku via night train
  • Tbilisi-Ozurgeti via night train
  • Tbilisi-Batumi via night & day train (around 20 GEL Per person one way), also airplane, and via bus or mimibus from central bus station
  • You can get to almost any place in georgia via bus or minibus from central bus station
  • Ski resorts Gudauri and Bakuriani
  • Hiking in any grand National Park of Georgia including Mestia-Svaneti, Borjomi-Haragaili, Tevali-Gurjaani
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





  • IPA: /təˈbli.si/

Proper noun


  1. The capital city of Georgia (the country).


  • Tiflis (former Persian name)


Simple English

Tbilisi is the capital, and the largest city in Georgia. It was founded in the 5th century AD by Georgian king, Vakhtang Gorgasali. When he was hunting, he killed a pheasant which dropped into hot water. Gorgasali discovered there were a lot of hot springs in this place, which he called Tbilisi as tbili means hot in Georgian.


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