Hello everyone, rogor khar?!
In case you’re wondering whether I spoke gibberish at that point, just know that it’s Georgian word for ‘how are you?’. And when I said Georgia, I mean Georgia the tiny country somewhere in Eastern Europe. Yes, not Georgia as in one of the states in the USA.
I’ve got a few good friends from Georgia, as I met them during my summer course almost 10 years ago in Turkey. In case you’re not familiar with the country, go google it now. For those who like football ever since the golden era of AC Milan in early 2000s, you might not know about the country, but you’re probably familiar with Kakha Kaladze.
If you knew his personal story about his late brother Levan, you might also take a bit of concern about the country as well. Just like what I did back then. Otherwise, you might want to know a little more about this country and what it can over for your wanderlust.
This week on What You Could Get In The City for $10, Chris from Worthy Go will share with us how far you could get in Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia.
How To Make The Most Out of Tbilisi
The value of $10 USD would be equal around 37 Georgian lari (GEL), and there are a few things you could do within the budget in Tbilisi.
Get Your Travel Card to Explore the City
Pick up a travel card at any metro/subway station. The card should cost 2 GEL, and top up for around 5 GEL in addition to that.
That’ll pay for 10 bus or subway rides. Transfers are free if the next tap is less than 60 minutes from the initial, paid tap.
And if you need more rides, find any orange self-service display, hit the ‘English’ button, and look for the ‘Transport Card Top-Up in the upper left corner.
Street Art Tour of Tbilisi
Once you’re mobile, I have to recommend going on a self-guided street art tour of Tbilisi — partially because it’s completely free (just pay for the buses to get around), and partially because it’s a colorful, fun scene.
With the exception of Fabrika, these are all functional pedestrian underpasses that keep walkers from jaywalking across traffic.
Where to Go
- Underneath the Nikoloz Baratashvili Bridge, as a street address goes for Google Maps: 12 Nikoloz Baratashvili Bridge will get you pretty close. (GPS coordinates: 41.696982, 44.808264)
- The Vake Park underpass, located just north of Vake Park, 41 Ilia Chavchavadze Ave. (GPS coordinates: 1.712075, 44.751651)
- The Monument of Heroes has a number of underpasses amongst the large, multi-level roundabout. It’s east of the Tbilisi Zoo. (GPS coordinates: 41.713201, 44.782480)
- Fabrika, the hostel/bar/board game cafe/coworking space, is decorated almost all the way around. Located at 8 Egnate Ninoshvili St, Tbilisi. (GPS coordinates: 41.709510, 44.802853)
As a bonus, these are kind of scattered around town, so you’ll need to meander around town to see them all.
What to Eat in Tbilisi
Whenever you’re ready to eat, search on Google Maps for your nearest Machakhela.
Machakhela is a great chain serving Georgian food that you can find across Tbilisi. It has had consistently good quality across the board. Figure about 15-20 GEL for most entrees and a drink.
Your next stop is the Mtatsminda Park. If you’ve seen a ferris wheel high up on a hill overlooking the city, that’s where you’re headed.
Getting here is a little tricky — bus 90 and 124 terminate here — but the more scenic route is a century-old furnicular that was reopened. Expect to pay for the ride (2 GEL for a stored-value card, 3 GEL per furnicular trip), but admission to the park is free.
Feel free to spend some of your last GEL on food, drinks, or rides while you’re here. The rides require payment by plastic card, and there are places to add more credit if necessary.
What’s to Expect in Tbilisi Old Town
One final note, really a warning: the Old Town area, especially the area near the Sulphur Waterfall, is full of touts and begging children.
Watch your pockets, on both accounts — tours can be researched and booked online based on reviews instead of whoever’s spamming you with flyers. Some children are also brazen enough to try stealing if they can get your hands on something.
Contributor: Chris from Worthy Go
Chris Backe (rhymes with hockey) has been a travel blogger since 2008 and written dozens of guidebooks/itineraries. Both are focused on the value traveler seeking worthy places, instead of the hyped-up. When not writing or traveling, Chris also makes tabletop games and loves a draft beer.