Georgia is a small country at the intersection of Europe and Asia. It’s a hidden gem that many visitors overlook.
However, this hidden gem is a land of contrasts and diversity, with historic monasteries and cave villages coexisting with contemporary cities, lush green valleys, and spectacular snowy peaks only a few hours away.
The country is renowned for its hospitality, delectable cuisine and wines, and rich cultural legacy. It’s full of surprises and experiences, from the busy capital city of Tbilisi to the remote mountain villages.
In this post, we’ll take you on a tour of Georgia, highlighting some of the best things to see and do in this interesting country.
Top 10 things to do in Georgia
1. Visit Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia
Tbilisi is the capital and the largest city in Georgia. It’s a cultural, religious, and architectural melting pot formed by centuries of invasions and influences.
The city is divided into two parts by the Mtkvari River, the old town and the new city. The Old Town is the heart of Tbilisi, where you can find a mix of medieval, Georgian, and Art Nouveau architecture. The winding streets are lined with traditional houses, souvenir shops, and charming cafés.
One of the highlights in Tbilisi is the Narikala Fortress. The ancient fortress offers a panoramic view of the city and the Mtkvari River. Another iconic landmark is the beautiful medieval Sioni Cathedral. Another attraction worth visiting is the Metekhi Church, perched on a cliff overlooking the city.
Tbilisi is also known for its hot springs. The most famous one is located in the heart of the Old Town in the Abanotubani neighborhood. Here, you can visit the sulfur baths that have been used for centuries for their healing properties.
Tbilisi is also a great destination for food lovers. The city has a vibrant culinary scene, with a mix of Georgian, European, and Asian influences. You can find here traditional Georgian dishes such as Khachapuri, Khinkali, and Kharcho soup, and enjoy them in one of the many traditional restaurants.
Tbilisi is a great starting point for exploring the rest of Georgia, with many day trips and excursions available to nearby attractions such as Kazbegi and Mtskheta.
2. Explore the cave city of Uplistsikhe
The cave city of Uplistsikhe, also known as the “Lord’s Fortress“, is an ancient rock-hewn town located in Eastern Georgia.
The town is carved into the soft sandstone cliffs and dates back to the 1st millennium BC. The town was once an important religious and political center of the ancient kingdom of Kartli, and was continuously inhabited until the 13th century.
Uplistsikhe offers a unique opportunity for exploration as it is made up of a labyrinth of tunnels, caves, and rock-cut structures including the main street, palace, theater, church, and granary.
The most striking feature of the site is the grand central hall referred to as the “Great Hall“, which served as a gathering spot for both religious and political events. The site also boasts picturesque vistas of the surrounding rural area.
3. Explore the stunning Kazbegi region
Nestled in the northern part of Georgia, the Kazbegi region is a natural wonder that offers a wealth of outdoor activities and breathtaking landscapes.
The region is home to the Kazbegi mountain, the third-highest peak in the country, which offers some of the most awe-inspiring views of the Caucasus Mountains.
At the heart of the region is the Gergeti Trinity Church, a 14th-century church that sits at an altitude of 2170 meters. Reachable by a steep hike or by a 4×4 jeep, the church offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is a must-see landmark.
Visitors can also take a horseback ride to nearby villages like Juta and Roshka to experience traditional mountain life and hospitality.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in the Kazbegi region, with hiking, trekking, and rock climbing opportunities aplenty. For those seeking a thrill, there are also options for paragliding and canyoning.
4. Visit the wine region of Kakheti
The wine region of Kakheti, located in the eastern part of Georgia, is a must-visit destination for wine lovers.
Kakheti is the oldest and largest wine-producing region in Georgia and is known for its ancient winemaking traditions dating back 8,000 years. The region is known for its unique grape varieties, such as Saperavi and Rkatsiteli, which are used to make some of Georgia’s most famous wines.
One of the highlights of visiting Kakheti is a visit to one of the many traditional wineries in the region. You can take a winery tour, learn about the history and process of winemaking, and sample some of the region’s wines. Some of the famous wineries in the region are Telavi Wine Cellar, Tsinandali, and Schuchmann Wines Georgia.
In addition to visiting wineries, a visit to the charming town of Signagi, located in the heart of the Kakheti region, is a must. Signagi, also known as the city of love, is a picturesque town known for its well-preserved 18th and 19th-century architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and stunning views over the Alazani valley.
Visitors can take a stroll through the town’s charming Old Town, where they can admire the colorful houses, and the beautiful Signagi City walls, and explore the local art galleries. Signagi offers a great base for exploring the wine region of Kakheti and its many wineries, as well as the surrounding historical and cultural landmarks.
In Kakheti, you can also find several historical and cultural landmarks. The more popular ones are the Alaverdi Monastery, an 11th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery, and the Bodbe Monastery, a 9th-century monastery that is the final resting place of Saint Nino, the Equal-to-the-Apostles, and the Enlightener of Georgia.
5. Explore the medieval city of Mtskheta
Mtskheta is a city located in central Georgia and a hidden treasure that deserves to be on any traveler’s itinerary. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered the religious center of Georgia.
One of the city’s must-see attractions is the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an 11th-century Georgian Orthodox cathedral that holds great religious significance. It is said to contain the robe of Jesus Christ and is a major pilgrimage site for Georgians.
Visitors can also pay a visit to the Jvari Monastery, a 6th-century monastery that offers an incredible panoramic view of the city and the Mtkvari River.
Other historical and cultural attractions in Mtskheta include the Samtavro Monastery, Georgia’s oldest Christian monastery, and the Armaztsikhe Fortification, an ancient fortress that gives insight into the region’s history and culture.
The city is easily accessible from Tbilisi and is a great day trip destination.
6. Visit the city of Batumi
Batumi is a city located on the Black Sea coast in the southwestern part of Georgia. It’s a place that’s been rapidly growing in popularity thanks to its lively nightlife, stunning beaches, and charming Old Town.
One of the city’s most iconic attractions is Batumi Boulevard, a seaside promenade that offers breathtaking views of the city and the sea. Visitors can also take a ride on the Batumi Cable Car, which offers a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding mountains.
The city also boasts a number of historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Batumi Botanical Garden, one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the Caucasus, and the Batumi Opera and Ballet Theater.
In short, Batumi is a city that offers a perfect blend of culture, history, entertainment, and modern amenities. It’s a great destination for beach-goers, food enthusiasts, and those interested in architecture and nightlife.
The city is easily accessible from Tbilisi by car or regular minibus service.
7. Discover the beautiful Svaneti region
The Svaneti region, located in the northwest of Georgia, is a remote and ruggedly beautiful mountain region that offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s traditional way of life.
Known for its dramatic landscapes, medieval stone towers, and ancient cultural heritage, Svaneti is a destination that should not be missed.
One of the main draws of Svaneti is the unique medieval stone towers, used as fortifications and homes by the local population. The most famous of these towers can be found in the village of Ushguli, which is not only the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Svaneti is also home to a number of historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Mestia Museum, dedicated to the history and culture of the Svan people, and the St. George’s Church, a medieval church that is one of the oldest in the region.
8. Visit the city of Gori
Gori is a city located in the central part of Georgia. It’s known for being the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union.
The most popular attraction in Gori is the Stalin Museum, which is dedicated to the life and legacy of Stalin. The museum is located in his birthplace and visitors can take a tour of his childhood home, learn about his life and see artifacts and personal possessions.
Other popular landmarks in Gori are the Gori Fortress, an ancient fortress that dates back to the 8th century, and the Jvari Monastery, a 7th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery that is considered to be one of the oldest in the country.
Gori is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, trekking, and skiing in the surrounding mountains. While visiting Gori, you can also take a guided tour to the Uplistsikhe, an ancient rock-hewn town and one of the oldest human settlements in the country.
9. Visit the David Gareja Monastery complex
When visiting Georgia, we recommend to see the David Gareja Monastery complex. This historic site is located in the semi-desert area on the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan, and it’s a great destination for those who are interested in history, art and architectural heritage.
The Monastery is a 6th century monastic complex, founded by St. David Garejeli one of the thirteen Syrian Fathers. The complex includes over 20 cave monasteries and churches, many of which are adorned with frescoes and other works of art that date back to the 9th and 10th centuries.
The Monastery complex is also an important pilgrimage site for Georgian Orthodox Christianity, and visitors can participate in religious services and meet the monks who still reside there.
The surrounding landscape of the David Gareja Monastery complex is simply breathtaking, with picturesque views of the rugged mountains and the beautiful desert landscape.
10. Take a dip in the mineral waters of Tskaltubo
Tskaltubo is a small town in the western part of Georgia, that is known for its mineral water springs.
One of the main attractions in Tskaltubo is the Tskaltubo Spa. It’s a series of mineral water springs that were discovered in the 19th century and were developed into a spa town in the Soviet era. The spa offers a wide range of treatments that are believed to have healing properties.
Tskaltubo is also home to several historical and cultural landmarks. The more important ones are the Tskaltubo St. George’s Church, a medieval church that is one of the oldest in the region, and the Tskaltubo Museum, which is dedicated to the history and culture of the area.
Tskaltubo has also a breathtaking surrounding landscape, with picturesque views of the lush green forests and the beautiful mountains.
11. See the beautiful Rabati Castle
If you’re a history and architecture enthusiast, then the Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe in western Georgia is a must-visit destination for you.
The castle is a complex of medieval and Ottoman-era buildings, including a palace, mosque, church, and madrasa. The castle was first built in the 13th century and has been expanded and rebuilt over the centuries, making it a fascinating place to explore.
One of the main reasons to visit the Rabati Castle is to marvel at the diverse architectural styles and historical periods that the different buildings inside the castle showcase. The palace, mosque, church, and madrasa, each with its unique architecture, give you a glimpse into the different time periods that the castle has gone through.
Inside the castle, you’ll find exhibits and displays that give you an idea of the daily life of the people who lived there, as well as the rich history of the castle and the city.
12. Visit the Dadiani Palace
The Dadiani Palace, located in Zugdidi, is a must-visit destination while in Georgia.
The palace was built in the 19th century and was the residence of the Dadiani family, one of the most powerful and influential noble families in the region.
The palace is an impressive architectural masterpiece, with a mix of Georgian, Italian, and Byzantine styles, and it is an excellent example of the 19th century architecture.
One of the main reasons to visit the Dadiani Palace is to marvel at the stunning architecture and the intricate details of the palace. The palace is a great example of the 19th century architecture, with a mix of Georgian, Italian, and Byzantine styles.
Inside the palace, you can find an interesting collection of art and artifacts that belonged to the Dadiani family. The palace’s collection includes portraits, weapons, ceramics, fabrics, and many other artifacts that provide a glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the family.
Another great reason to visit the Dadiani Palace is to explore the palace’s beautiful gardens. The palace is surrounded by lush greenery and visitors can take a stroll in the palace’s gardens and enjoy the beautiful outdoors.
13. Explore the Tusheti National Park
Nestled in the northern region of Georgia, the Tusheti National Park is a true gem for nature and outdoor enthusiasts. The park boasts a rugged and unspoiled landscape of towering mountains, deep gorges, alpine meadows, and dense forests, making it a haven for those seeking adventure and breathtaking vistas.
Designated as a protected area in 2003, the park is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including several endemic species. You may have the chance to spot wildlife such as the elusive Caucasian leopard, bears, and wolves, while bird-watching enthusiasts will revel in sightings of the Golden Eagle and the Caucasian Grouse.
The park’s cultural and historical significance is equally impressive. Visitors can explore traditional villages and learn about the local way of life, as well as marvel at historical monuments such as medieval towers, churches, and fortresses that date back centuries.
For those seeking an adrenaline rush, the park offers a variety of activities such as horseback riding, hiking, and trekking, with trails ranging from easy to challenging.
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