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8 tips for your trip to Tbilisi

My tips after living here for 2 years

By David GilbeyPublished 12 months ago 3 min read
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8 tips for your trip to Tbilisi
Photo by Georgy Trofimov on Unsplash

1. Hit the markets. At the moment prices in Georgia are crazy, especially for food and rent. Markets are great for cheap fruit and veg but be wary of being a foreigner, stall owners will often mark you immediately and put the price up. The best way to avoid this is to only go to the stalls that have pricing labels.

You can also hit up offline andonline market places for other items you need. Need a new P trap for your sink? Marketplace. Cheap shoes? Marketplace. Apartment? Online marketplace. In fact for apartments facebook groups were the most useful. There are also Telegram groups listing apartments. Be wary of agents, you definetely should use one but many agents, especially on facebook are not legitimate.

2. Bread. I have no idea what the bread is called, we call it flat bread. It is delicious and super cheap and probably ridiculously high in sodium. Don't buy it from supermarkets, there are small bakers on virtually every street who sell it. 

3. Street dogs. Wherever you stay in Georgia you will encounter street dogs. If you are visiting the capital, so long as you stick to the central areas (Saburtalo, Vake, old Tbilisi) you will mostly encounter well-tempered street dogs. The local authorities typically remove the aggressive ones from the tourist areas and plop them down in the suburbs (Didi Digomi, Samgori, Isani).

I have said it in other articles but, please, don't take one in. Give them some food, take them to the vet if they need it and you can afford it. You cannot save them all. Street dogs typically come with many mental and physical health problems. We have experienced this first hand, it turned our lives upside down.

4. Pickpockets. Old Tbilisi/Rustavelli has a bit of a reputation for pickpockets. In particular groups of children will grab hold of your arms and legs while others quickly rob your pockets. Our policy is to simply not keep our wallet in obvious pockets if we can avoid it, if we do we keep a hand in that pocket.

5. Hit up expat groups. Not sure where to go or what to do? There are tons of people going on excursions, meet-ups, and board games. One place I would highly recommend is MESTO board games, they run various themed game nights and are very welcoming. You can also post about activities you want to do. Maybe you want to walk in the mountains, tour some museums? I posted there about playing dungeons and dragons, now I run a regular game at the aforementioned MESTO.

6. Cable cars. There are lots of cable cars going into the mountains surrounding Tbilisi and it is very cheap. Beautiful views and restaurants can be found at the top! 

7. Parks. Particularly Vake Park in the evening is a delight to walk around. There are some rides for kids, tennis courts, a dog park, and various activities being run in the park on a regular basis. There is also a park called red garden, quite nice, much smaller than vake, it also has a dog park. which is the main reason I mention it.

Other than that you may want to check out Tbilisi gardens, gorgeous place to take a stroll in, there is an entrance fee but it is worth it. Leading up to the entrance there are various restaurants, tourist restaurants mind you, so the prices are much higher than the average.

8. Cafes. Lots of great cafes. Some of our favourites are Coffee Lab in Saburtalo, great for working, allow dogs inside, park opposite. For eating we prefer Hello breakfast near Rustaveli station. They have great food and even better Matcha tonics.

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About the Creator

David Gilbey

Hi, my name is David. I'm a 29 year old Englishman living in Georgia (the country, not the state).

I work as a freelance administrator and English teacher, I've done this for 4 years while travelling with my 2 dogs and my girlfriend.

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