So you’re planning to visit Tbilisi? It can be a bit overwhelming to plan your travels, especially if you have limited time. So we’ve put together a small Tbilisi Old Town Guide for you. These are the places and activities you should definitely plan when visiting Georgia. Let’s count down the top 10 things you need to see in Tbilisi Old Town.
#1 – Abanotubani
Number one on our list is Abanotubani which is also known as the Bath district. This place is popular both with tourists and locals alike as this is where Tbilisi began to exist. This is according to a legend but still most of the people believe it to be so. This place is full of Sulfur baths that are a bit stinky, but still it’s a very nice experience to go in there, get a nice bath and maybe get one of those really painful scrubs that the baths are known for.
This place is located right next to the bath area and all you need to get there is to follow the river that flows right next to the baths. In 5 minutes you’ll find yourself in a place that doesn’t look like Tbilisi at all. This place is beautiful year-round because in summer times it’s nice and refreshing to be here as it’s colder than the rest of the city and in winter times, it freezes over and you get a frozen waterfall for taking some awesome photos for your social media detox ?
#3 Juma Mosque
Juma mosque is a symbol of tolerance in Georgia. As this place is the only functioning mosque around here, the Shiite and Sunni Muslims use it together, which is a fact that doesn’t happen in many places around the world. Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed inside, but you can trust us that it’s definitely worth a visit.
#4 Narikala Fotress
Narikala Fortress was first built here in the 4th century, since than everyone who would come to Georgia, would attack this place and most of the times destroy it pretty much to the ground. But every time, Georgians would get together and restore it to its glory. Now it stands right on top of the old town, overlooking the whole city of Tbilisi and offering breathtaking views to its visitors.
Once you get to the top of the Narikala fortress you’ll get a view on our next location:
#5 Mother Georgia
This Aluminum lady has been here since 1958 when Tbilisi celebrated its 1500th anniversary. Today it’s a representation of the Georgian simple nature. In her right hand there’s a sword for the enemies and in her left hand you’ll find a goblet of wine for dear friends. And yeah, Georgian Wine is amazing, so make sure to come as a friend or maybe take a Wine tour with us ?
Next activity on our list is a pretty obvious one:
#6 Cable Car Ride
If you’re not a big fan of climbing a lot of stairs and you’d like to find an easy way to get up to Narikala fortress or Mother Georgia, the best way to get there is the cable car. What do you get? Awesome views, bit of adrenaline and no wasted calories.
While you’re visiting the old town, you need to take a walk on the Abkhazi avenue and take a look at the Meidan Square.
#7 Meidan Square
Once this place used to be the very center of Tbilisi and boasted a huge bazaar where you could find caravans from all over the great silk road. Today it has turned into the tourist center of Tbilisi and here you can find: Souvenirs, cafes, restaurants, bars or clubs – basically anything you might want or need during your stay in Georgia. It’s also a great orientation point if you ever get lost wandering through the tiny whirling streets of Tbilisi.
After all these historical sights, you might want to see something new and maybe relax a little bit. So our next stop is:
#8 Peace Bridge
Georgia constructed this bridge in 2010. Built by a famous Italian Architect Michele De Lucchi – since than it has become the symbol of new Georgia and Tbilisi. Once you get there, you’ll see it offers a beautiful 360 view of the surroundings and a prime spot for some selfies.
From the peace bridge we continue to the Rike park, which is where the Old town meets the new.
#9 Rike Park
Here you’ll find singing and dancing fountains, pathways, a giant chessboard and many other cool things. Rike Park is the home of the famous glass tubes of Tbilisi. Also, it offers a great view of the Presidents palace of Georgia. Here you’ll also find a statue of a famous American president – which one? You’ll have to find out ?
Last but not least:
Metekhi church and the statue of the founder of Tbilisi – Vakhtang Gorgasali, are located next to the Rike Park. This is a huge heritage sight for Georgians, because this is where we think the first ever Christian church in Tbilisi stood. The structure that stands here is from the 13th century. Since than it’s seen many attacks and destruction, but still – it stands strong.
Another interesting fact about Metekhi is that it was used as a prison in Russian Empire and Soviet times. On the walls you’ll find Grafitti “tags” left by the political prisoners.
These are the top 10 things you most definitely need to see in the old town. But there’s more!
Bonus – Dry bridge market
Though its not located in the old town itself, its only a 15-minute walk from here. This is an open air flea market. Here you’ll find anything from Hendrix Vinyl records to a uniform of a soviet soldier. If you’re wondering where to buy souvenirs in Tbilisi, this is the place you need to go, period!
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading through the article. If so we recommend booking a Tbilisi Walking Tour with Irakli or one of our guides from the superstar team to get a more detailed insight of history and fun stories of Tbilisi.