Printable travel guide for Georgia
Travel Guide

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about Georgia that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main Georgia Page.

Basic Facts

Population: 5 million. Capital: Tbilisi. Major languages: Georgian, Russian. Major religion: Christianity. Monetary unit: 1 lari = 100 tetri. Main exports: Scrap metal, wine, fruit. International dialling code: +995.

Attractions and Things to See and Do

TBILISI: Red-roofed, low-rise and higgledy-piggledy, Tbilisi has a distinctly cosmopolitan feel. With a population of about 1.5 million, it is a major economic and cultural centre. Tbilisi is famous for its historical monuments and gorgeous architecture, which include the Sioni Cathedral Church that dates from the 5th century and the ancient Narikhala fortress . Visitors can also take in the local theatre scene. Three of the city's most famous and long-established theatres are situated in Rustaveli Avenue, including the Paliashvili Opera House , founded in 1851. BATUMI: Batumi is an exotic-looking subtropical city on the Black Sea ( Pontus Euxinus or Hospitable Sea, as it was called 2500 years ago by the descendants of the legendary Argonauts). Palms, cypresses, magnolias, oleanders, lemon and orange trees, thuja and box trees grow flowering and fragrant in this thriving border town. Batumi is an industrial city and an old trading port. It has a variety of entertainment facilities, and a dolphinarium , of which the locals are extremely proud. Nearby are the botanical gardens , which are a genuine highlight. In the far southwest of Georgia, Batumi is a good point of entry if you're coming from Turkey, but mind the border guards if they're stroppy, and don't pay customs a single lari. By air, Batumi is just over an hour from Tbilisi. KAKHETI: Kakheti (also known as Kahetia) is a striking region of rich, fertile soil surrounding the town of Telavi. Consequently, it has become the major vine-growing region of the country. According to locals, this tradition of wine-making stretches back some 8000 years. Today you can see vineyards stretching to the horizon along the Main Kakhetian Highway. A Georgian scholar recently described grape vines as 'the living principle which innervated the economy, daily life, vision and character of the Georgian people.' Kakhetian vine-growers cultivate some two dozen types of grape, and many offer tastings and cellar-door sales. Easily accessible by train or bus, Kakheti is about 50km (30mi) north east of Tbilisi.

Maps

Here you can include references to maps that are somewhere on the internet. Two conditions apply: they cannot be protected by copyright, (or you have to make sure that we are allowed to use them), and you have to make sure that it is ok if we call them up from here. If that is a problem, you can also send us the image file and we will upload it to our server.

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

Suggested Itineraries

Classical route to main sights - 8 days:,

Day 1. Tbilisi & Mzkheta Tour: Saint Trinity Church, Metekhi church, abanotubani (sulphur baths), Narikala fortress, Sioni Cathedral, basilica Anchiskhati, Treasury of Art Museum, historic and architectural complex of Jvari, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Samtavro Convent. Day 2. North Georgia - Military Georgian Road across the Caucasus: historical and architectural ensemble Ananuri, alpine ski resort Gudauri, Jvari crossing (2,395 m. alt.), village of Kazbegi, Gergeti Trinity church, beautiful view of Kazbegi mountain peak. Day 3. East Georgia: Kakheti – the land of wine and wine-growing: museum in Tsinandali, Telavi - King Erekle II castle, historical complex of Ikalto Academy, architectural complex of Alaverdi, the fortified medieval citadel of Gremi, the monastery complex of Nekresi. Day 4. West Georgia: on the way to Kutaisi – the house-museum of Stalin in Gori, Uplistsikhe, Ateni Sioni church; Kutaisi Tour: Bagrati Temple, historic and architectural complex Gelati. Day 5. Batumi (Adjara region): Museum of History and Architecture, Botanical garden, Gonio Fortress, a walk in the seaside park. Day 6. Balneological resort Borjomi: the Royal Residence Palace of the Romanoffs, tasting of Borjomi mineral spring water and national park of Borjomi-Kharagauli. Day 7. Cave city and monastery ensemble Vardzia – 13-storey city cut in the solid rock. back in Tbilisi. Day 8. Shida Kartli region: Bolnisi Sioni and Dmanisi ruins (proclaimed as “the birthplace of the first Europeans”).

more information about places to visit, tours, hotels on www.exotour.ge

Transport

If you choose to rent a car, or a car with driver, you can expect to pay approximately $50 per day plus gasoline. Call car rental company Info-Tbilisi Travel http://www.cars.info-tbilisi.com +9953218-22-44

Accommodation

1) Western standard four-star hotel in Tbilisi is the Metekhi Palace Hotel: The room rate for an Embassy visitor (minus the VAT) is $164 per night. The regular rate is $204 (plus 18% VAT) per night, including breakfast and full use of the Health Club.
2) Georgian House: 38 Vakhtang VI st, room rates: Single $40, Double $50 including breakfast and VAT. Hotel is owned by travel company EXOTOUR: Tel/fax: (+99532) 791919, e-mail: info@exotour.ge, web: www.exotour.ge. 3) Villa Berika 9 Dzotsenidze St., (995) 8832 933563 or 304438 Satellite tel/fax: +49 5151 12013 ext. 933562 +1 908 888 9698 ext. 123 President Berika International Ltd. - Natasha Chikvaidze. The room rates are $110-140 per night, including breakfast and dinner.
4) Betsy 55/21 Belinski St., Tel: (995) 8832 983551, 982937 E-mail: betsy@2121.ge Manager: Donald Jenkins The room rate is $80 per night, including breakfast and dinner.
5) Lux 47 Nutsubidze St., Tel: (995) 8832 397194,394787 E-mail: nino@homelux.ge Manager: Laura Shanidze The room rate is $90 per night, including breakfast and dinner.
6) Art Rcheulishvili St., building 4 Fax/Tel: (995) 8832 294443 TLX: 212990 Manager: Mamuka The room rate is $ 110 per night, including breakfast and dinner.

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

Georgian Restaurant TAMADA, with old Tbilisi interior and items of traditional culture: "tone” (bread baker), "factory” for destillating chacha, stone fireplace, traditional drinks and cuisine (khinkali, shashliki, khachapuri, saczivi, phkhali, skmeruli). Furthermore you can order additional Exotic menu, where you can take part in the process of vodka distillation, preparation of churchxela, tasting hot bread from "tone”, tea from cattle with the wine Saperavi. Live music every day: national children dancers assembly and polyphonic Georgian folk singers. You will have the unique possibility of hearing sounds of an old street organ from Odessa.
37 Orbeliani St. Tbilisi, Tel/fax: (+99532) 913191, 923280; e-mail: info@exotour.ge, web: www.exotour.ge
Restaurant is owned by travel company EXOTOUR:

Money and Costs

Currency, Exchanging Money, Credit Cards, Tipping, Bargaining, Costs...

Visa and Documents and Embassies

The visa acquiring process for foreign visitors has been very simplified since the new governmnet came into power. Since attracting as many tourists as possible is our main desire, government made visas available right in teh airport. So the foreign visitors don't need to worry about visas before they come or after they come. Visa can be acquired right in the building of the airport, as soon as you get in the airport. It takes probably several minutes. So wish you all luck and hope to see you in georgia.
GEORGIA-CONSTANTLY IMPROVING

Borders and Customs

Post and Communications and Internet

Post, Telephone, Fax, Internet Access ...

Questions and Answers or Forum

Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospitality Club into the category Offtopic Messages.

Hospitality Club Meetings

Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.

Travelogues

Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.

Photos

Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

Nightlife and Entertainment

Bars, Cafes, Discos, Cinemas...

Population and People

Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

Language and Useful Phrases

Events and Holidays

Festivals, Sports, Concerts, Public Holidays...

Climate and When to Go

Geography

Environment and Flora and Fauna

Dangers and Warnings

Tourist Traps

Health

History

Government and Politics

Economy

GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...

Arts

Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...

Media

Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...

Religion

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

Organized Tours

What to Bring or Packing List

Shopping

Books and Further Reading

Guidebooks, Travel, History and Politics
Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.

Other Information

Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

Useful web sites about Country profile, Cities, Activities, Tours & Programs, Photos and news:
- http://www.exotour.ge
- http://travel-georgia.blogspot.com
- http://www.tourism.gov.ge
- http://www.concordtravel.ge
- http://georgianholidays.com

Offtopic Messages

Here you can add messages that are not exactly related to the aims of the Hospitality Club (but related to the country). Do you need a visa invitation? Looking for an internship, job or a flat to rent? Just add this here, and if you are lucky other members will read it and contact you. Remember: do not send messages like this directly to members - after giving you this space here, we will fight spam even more strictly!
Disclaimer: The Hospitality Club has no control over the information above and accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone using this website. Please correct false information or send us feedback about it.
Copyright: Feel free to use the text on your website as long as you notify us and include a clearly visible link to www.hospitalityclub.org above the text.