7 Best Things to do in Tbilisi
7 Best Things to do in Tbilisi Expats in Tbilisi
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What to do in Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi is a small city famous for its thermal springs. The name of the city means "warm". According to the legend, the king of ancient Iberia, Vakhtang I Gorgasali, hunted in the woods near Georgia's first capital – Mtskheta.  Suddenly, he saw a pheasant and shot the bird down. The king sent his falcon to find the pheasant but after a while, the king lost sight of a falcon. Looking for his bird he came upon the hot spring and saw that both birds were boiled in one of the thermal spring. The temperature of the spring was very hot. Impressed with the place he decided to build a city here. That was a very smart decision taking into account the advantage of its location. Tbilisi is in the valley between beautiful green hills on both sides. 

Sulfur baths

The sulfur bath has been a tradition in Tbilisi going back hundreds of years. The city's abundance of sulfur springs has been harnessed and used to naturally. The water in the tube is very hot. Some visitors recommend wrapping the whole body with a cotton sheet. I did not try. Did you?:) 

Sulphur bath

The Cathedral of Saint George

(Armenian: Սուրբ Գևորգ եկեղեցի, Surb Gevorg yekeghetsi; Georgian: სურბ გევორგის ეკლესია, surb gevorgis ek'lesia or სურფგევორქი, surpgevorki) is an Armenian church of the 13th century in the historic district of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.The Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia is a separate ecclesiastical entity since the 5th century, according to historical sources. Armenian historian, Ukhtanes of Sebastia, proved the fact that the church belonged to Armenian Bishop in Tsurtavi in the 5th century.

The Cathedral Tbilisi

 

Open Air Museum of Ethnography

The historical center is situated in Tbilisi's Vake region, toward the west of "Turtle Lake". It involves 52 hectares of land and houses in excess of 8,000 ancient rarities brought from all over Georgia. The Open Air Museum encompasses 14 ethnographic regions: Kartli, Samegrelo, Adjara, Abkhazia, Svaneti, Khevsureti, Kakheti, Meskheti, Javakheti, Guria, Imereti, Racha, Lechkhumi and Ossetia. Each display shows a specific noteworthy ethnographic place of Georgia. Together with landmarks, the historical center presents ethnographic foundings - costumes, fabrics, and pottery. The gallery includes the fifth-sixth century basilica of Sioni and a rich gathering of tombstones.

Expats Tbilisi

 Kashveti Church

St. George's Kashveti Church is a Georgian Orthodox Church. The Kashveti church was built by architect Leopold Bilfeldt between 1904 and 1910. The church was designed as "basilica" which was mostly used through medieval periods. The name of the church means "came from stones". According to the legend, the Monk David of Gareja of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers (6th century) was accused by a common woman who told that the monk made her pregnant. To justify himself he asked her to give birth to the stone. The woman gave birth to the stone proving that the Monk David made her pregnant.

The Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary

(Georgian: ანჩისხატი) is the oldest church in Tbilisi, Georgia. It belongs to the Georgian Orthodox Church and dates from the sixth century. According to the old Georgian scripts, the church was built by the King Dachi of Iberia (circa 522-534) who declared Tbilisi as the capital. Originally the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and later it was renamed as Anchiskhati because of the icon of Ancha in 1675. The icon was moved to Tbilisi to save it from an Ottoman invasion  The icon was kept at the Basilica of St Mary for centuries. Currently one can find this icon at the Art Museum of Georgia.

National Botanical Garden of Georgia

The botanical garden in Tbilisi is a unique place. Besides the garden, one can find a beautiful waterfall and a small river. One can also see an enormous mansion of Mr. Ivaneshvili:) It is recommended to take a cable road and start your walking tour from the top of the hill, especially if you have the kids.

Great nature spot with plenty of peaceful walks and retreats, secret hiding places. Beautiful plants. It hurts sometimes because it feels abandoned. On the other hand, the Botanical Garden is so huge that it requires a lot of investments. The entrance fee is not that high. The waterfall is magnificent. My family has a secret place under the bridge, a wonderful, tranquil place. I also recommend taking a walk to the Japanese garden.  A tiny oasis of exotic plants and flowers.  

Narikala Fortress

Narikala is an ancient fortress that overlooks Tbilisi, Georgia's capital, and the Kura River. The fortress is made up of two parts on a steep hill between Tbilisi's sulfur baths and botanical gardens. The recently restored St. Nicholas Church is situated in the lower yard. Completed in 1996–1997, it replaces the original church that was demolished in the 13th century.

Narikala Tbilisi

Tbilisi Funicular

Tbilisi Funicular (tram) is the main attraction of the city. The history of Funicular goes back to 1905. The tram is visible from every part of Tbilisi. The ride up to Mtatsminda Entertainment Park on the recently rebuilt Funicular is amazing. The views are incredible. One can have a wonderful dinner at the Funicular Restaurant complex. For those who have small children, the place is recommended as there is a  large amusement park up the hill. One can also visit a TV tower and enjoy 710-meter high mountain views over the Tbilisi.

 

Is Georgia a good country to live in?

Georgia is a relatively safe country. However, it is not recommended to travel solo. Before going somewhere review Crime and Safety reports. In the year 2018 a young Georgian-American family was killed by Shepherd in Mtskheta Mtianeti Region, which is next to Tbilisi.  According to the World Bank, poverty decreased in 2014 but it still affects one-third of Georgia's population. The Salaries in Tbilisi are very low, varies between 200-500 USD per month. In remote areas, the salary might be lower than 200 USD.

Erick Livny covers all topics ranging from economics and culture to entrepreneurship in his Tamada Blog. http://tbilinomics.com.

The official language is Georgian.

The older population speaks Russian but not the youngest one. It makes communication even difficult because of the younger generation can hardly speak any language except for Georgian. One-third of the Georgian Population lives in Tbilisi.

The city roads in Tbilisi are full of vehicles and the number is increasing each year.

The old European Cars find the second life here. The Tbilisi narrow streets are not built for bicycles. The driving style is very chaotic. If you see a crazy driver who is trying to be the first by the next traffic light, let him or she go. It is very important to be the first and it does not matter in "real current world" or the "next one".:) It seems to be it is very hard to analyze the situation and to see the consequences of crazy driving in advance for some people here. Be prepared, there is no driving culture. 

Where to live in Tbilisi?

 

Tbilisi is a very safe city. You can live in any part of it. The wealthiest part of the population is on the right side of the river. Most of the expats are living in Vake, Vera and Saburtalo city districts. American Expats are living in Digomi village which is next to Carrefour Shopping Mall. Usually, when you rent a house you do not pay any service fee. The service fee is covered by the landlord.

How is health care in Tbilisi?

Health facilities are usually owned and operated by the state. Georgia is striving to improve the quality and availability of medical care.  In most clinics, you have to pay an extra fee. Dental cost in comparison to European countries is very cheap and the quality is good.

Education in Georgia

There are no best schools or universities in Georgia. All of them approximately the same level. Tbilisi offers a number of internationally accredited IB schools and universities. 

 

Expatriate Communities in Tbilisi 

You can find a lot of expatriate communities in Tbilisi. Most of them are private and you need to pay fees.

 

Where to go for shopping in Tbilisi?

In Tbilisi, you can find everything from high end to the mass market. The main Shopping Mall is Tbilisi Mall. Recently, the new Shopping Mall was opened in Tbilisi, East Point. This shopping Mall is the biggest shopping and entertainment shopping mall in Tbilisi. One can spend there the whole day walking from one store to another. The Dezerter Market is the farmer market in the old city. The biggest farmer wholesale market is in Navtlughi, Tbilisi. This is a huge market with flea sellers, fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, household stuff. A lot of bakery and supermarket shops along the side road. If you like to push people and to be pushed and you are dreaming of walking in mud, this is the right place for you!:)

Once in Tbilisi, you should go to the Tbilisi Flea Market. Do you need an old doll's head or vintage dresses, Georgian art? Here's you can pick of flea markets and second-hand fairs. The Flea Market is on the dry Bridge "Sukhoi Most".

 

 Old City Tbilisi

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