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Beyond the standard tourist routes

WHAT TO DO IN TBILISI




In this section we tried to collect interesting, out of ordinary and fun places in Tbilisi, everything outside standard tourist attractions (which are discussed in WHERE TO GO section – TBILISI)
Here you will find places that are especially favored by locals, are worth special interest or in our opinions are definitely worth a visit.
With this list you can experience Tbilisi in every way, like a local.
In case you have suggestions to include in the list please let us know in the comments!

DIFFERENT MUSEUMS


Stalin’s Discreet Underground Printing House

The museum, which houses old printing Press in an underground hall, was used by Stalin and other Bolsheviks before revolution, in 1904 to to print revolutionary propaganda proclamations, newspapers and flyers.
The place was highly secret and hidden. The press itself was smuggled into Tbilisi in pieces by a network of Bolshevik supporters. For three years, the press released thousands of papers written in Georgian, Russian, and Armenian.
In 1906, three years after its operation, the press was destroyed when the underground room was discovered.
After Stalin came to power, 31 years later, the press was restored and the place was turned into museum and movie theatre. In 1991 the museum was abandoned.
Museum is currently run by Communist party of Georgia and is located in the party’s headquarter building. One can visit only with a local guide and only spoken languages are Georgian and Russian.
But anyway, the place is a piece of history and interesting as is.
There is no official entrance fee but the tip will be expected.
Address: Kaspi St, 7



Tbilisi Autos Museum



Museum has been created from the private collection which took the owner whole 18 years to gather.
Museum was opened in 2014. It houses unique collection of 28 vintage vehicles (cars and some motorcycles) made in USSR from the small Zaporozhets to the huge Zil and Chaikas.

Entry Price
: Children under 7 – free of charge; 7-17 year olds – 3GEL; Adults – 5GEL
Working Hours: Every day except Monday 11:00-18:00
Web: automuseum.ge
Email: contact@ automuseum.ge
Phone: +995 599 54 56 28; +995 597 05 75 70
Address: 7 Automuseum st (Turn from 79a Gr. Lortkipanidze st)
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Tnia3378qgR95dSn7
 
Museum of Illusions

Is a small newly made museum where one can spend around 1 hour and enjoy all the illusions museum has to offer. The place is not too big so do not expect grandiose settings. Sometimes it can be overcrowded, especially by school excursions so pick your time carefully to avoid crowds.
Great place for taking cool photos.

Entry Price: 6-17 year olds – 11GEL; Adults – 17.50GEL
Working Hours: Every day 10:00-22:00
Web: https://www.museumofillusions.ge
Email: info@museumofillusions.ge
Phone: +995 596 04 74 74
Address: 10 Betlemi St
Location on Map: https://g.page/MOI-Tbilisi?share


Open Air Museum of Ethnography



The Open Air Museum was founded on April 27, 1966 by the famous Georgian ethnographer Giorgi Chitaia. It is located in Tbilisi's Vake district, to the west of "Turtle Lake". It occupies 52 hectares of land and houses more than eight thousand artifacts brought from all over Georgia.
The Open Air Museum encompasses 14 ethnographic zones.
Each exhibit presents a certain historic-ethnographic area of Georgia. Together with architectural monuments, the museum presents ethnographic materials - different kinds of tools, textiles, and ceramics. The museum also includes the 5th-6th century basilica of Sioni, as well as a rich collection of grave stones in relief.
Visitors can explore on their own, or enjoy guided tours around the museum. The museum provides a tranquil environment for visitors to experience Georgian folk exhibitions and festivals throughout the year, and has a quaint Georgian restaurant where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of Tbilisi.

Entry Price:
Children – 0.5 GEL; Adults – 5GEL
Working Hours: Every day except Monday 10:00-18:00
Email: info@museum.ge
Phone: + (99532)2729045
Address: 25, M. Berdzenishvili St (Turtle Lake Road)
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/jKqpHcGJMXFBRsNY8

 
Gardenia Shevardnadze

Gardenia is a small plant nursery, where you can purchase decorative plants for your garden, balcony, terrace, home or office. The place is spectacular and very well made with a small beautiful building, which is a café and a hotel and a beautiful garden which is often used for wedding photography.
Restrictions:
· Unfortunately the place is not yet adapted to fulfill the needs of PWDS.
· Due to narrow walking paths, Baby Strollers have to stay beyond the gate.
· Pets are not allowed at Gardenia Territory

Entry Price: 2GEL
Working Hours: Every day except Monday. 10:00-18:00, café till the last guest. Closed for visitors in January and February.
Web: http://gardenia.ge/
Email: contact@gardenia.ge
Phone: +995-599181634,+99532-2246703
Address: Tbilisis, N.Khudadovi street N138
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/oqdMwpPnksvmLm3W9

SHOP LIKE A LOCAL

 
Here is the list of interesting shopping locations in Tbilisi (not including malls and standard shops, ofcourse)
 
Flea market on Dry Bridge



This flea market bears a fascinating collection of jewelry, antiques, vintage home accessories and Soviet junk. Back in 90ies, when times were hard, people would come here to sell their household items and belongings to make a little cash. Now it turned into business for some people, and those who don’t want to throw something away bring it here and sell it to the merchants.
Goods are laid out on the ground and stalls. Some stuff may be overpriced, especially for tourists, so don’t hesitate to bargain.

Working Hours: The market is open daily, in good weather, during daytime. More sellers come on the weekends.
Address: Kvishketi Str 1a, dry bridge
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qrD3tV7voSvcT2m28


“Barakholka” (Navtlughi) flea market near metro station Samgori

This one is more remote and less favored by tourists, mostly only locals come here in search for some spare parts or interesting household items.
There is a lot of junk but once in a while one can find really interesting things for almost no price. Unlike dry bridge market, this one is super cheap.

Working Hours: The flea Market sellers gather on weekends. We recommend going before noon.
Address: 7 Mevele st
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/MAMb4Wxh5WYHL4fh7


Desertiri Market



Desertir Market is a main grocery bazaar of Tbilisi. This is the place where majority of locals come to bargain for meat, dairy, fruits and vegetable products.
More details about the market you can find on this blog: https://wander-lush.org/dezerter-bazaar-tbilisi-market/
Photo Credit Wander Lush blog

Working Hours: Every day, daytime.
Address: 2-4 Abastumani St, Tbilisi
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Bw3XLgK6akUXnajU9

THEMATIC BARS & THEATRES


Here we have collected out of ordinary bars and theatres, which we really like.

Jazz Café Singer

Singer is jazz café in the very touristy area of Tbilisi.  You can enjoy jazz concerts of local Georgian bands every day of the week. The environment is cozy, music is good and cuisine is European and local cuisine.

Working Hours: 09:00 – 00:15
Web: https://www.facebook.com/JazzCafeSinger/
Phone: +995 595 05 40 25
Address: 8 Sioni St
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/wtgPiTVNqQTTiGmL6

 

Tsibakha Game Club



Tsibakha, located in the Fabrika Tbilisi courtyard is a bar and café for board-games lovers. They have vast variety of board games for use at the bar and for sale. There are more than 150 games from classic chess and backgammon to strategy games, two or multiplayer elimination games, games where you need not only luck but also logic and smartness.
There are games for any group size. Even if you go there alone, you will be able to join a group of other players or find a partner to play with.

Price: 10 GEL per person / day
Working Hours: 16:00 – 01:00
Web: https://www.facebook.com/TsibakhaGameClub/
Phone: +995 599 93 38 75
Address: Egnate Ninoshvili St., 8 (Fabrika courtyard)
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/KnhzzTedUzgSfSpR7

Movement Theatre

If you contemporary theatre and jazz music –Tbilisi’s Movement theatre is a must see. The Movement Theatre was founded in 2001 by Kakha Bakuradze - (Director and Actor) and represents the synthesis of drama, pantomime, movement and physical theatre, ballet, martial and circus arts, folklore, contemporary music, live music, tango evenings, Jazz evenings, comedian, illusion, extreme shows, open-air and indoor performances
The environment is very inspiring.
Friday to Sunday you can enjoy performances.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays - jazz concerts.

Price: 10 - 15GEL
Working Hours: Majority of performances start at 20:00
Web: https://movementtheatre.ge/en/
Phone: +995 557 766626, +995 593 247478
Address: Aghmashenebeli ave 182 Mushtaidi Garden
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Ht9LVh3hDASpxS1b6


Rezo Gabriadze Puppet Theatre & Café



Though modest in size, The Gabriadze Theater is among the world’s preeminent cultural institutions. Presenting mature puppet performances full of depth and meaning, it has gained the respect and recognition of local and international audiences and critics alike.
Based in Tbilisi, Georgia, the company is under the direction of a noted artist, writer, and director Rezo Gabriadze (whose awards include Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic – France’s highest recognition for cultural achievements.)
The Gabriadze Theater stands in the heart of Tbilisi’s historic Old Town. This beautiful building of the unique marionette theatre was designed by Gabriadze himself. Among the shows in its current repertoire are: “The Autumn of My Spring”, “Stalingrad”, “Ramona”, “Diamond of Marshal de Fant’e”.
Tickets are almost always sold out so plan ahead!
In the same building one can visit a small, lovely café.

Price: 30-50GEL
Working Hours: Check the schedule at tkt.ge
Web: http://gabriadze.com/en/
Phone: tickets + 995 32 2 98 65 90 / café + 995 32 2 98 65 94
Address: Shavteli St, 13
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/3TrvY8yau7C5BePcA

PARKS, LAKES & OUTDOOR RECREATION

 
There are several great outdoor recreational areas in the city, here we will list the ones most popular among locals

Tbilisi Botanical Garden

The National Botanical Garden of Georgia, formerly the Tbilisi Botanical Garden is almost 3 centuries old. It occupies the area of 97 hectares. Approximately 40 hectares of land are occupied by plantings, roads and buildings, 58 ha are covered with the natural vegetation. The local flora of the garden is quite rich represented by 3500 species, varieties and cultivars. The National Botanical Garden of Georgia is constantly creating collections of exotic and local flora for scientific and educational purposes. It carries out conservation of rare and extinct plants of Georgia. The Garden has a Seed Bank that is a member of the global network.
This is probably best place in the center of Tbilisi to enjoy beautiful flora and landscapes. Do not hesitate to visit the park if you have some free time.

Entry Price: Children – 0.5 GEL; Students – 1GEL; Adults – 4GEL
Working Hours: Every day 09:00-20:00
Web: http://nbgg.ge
Email: info@nbgg.ge
Phone: (+995) 322 72 43 06
Address: 1 Botanikuri St.
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/zag8dvgNF7w1D4fK6


Vera Park

Vera Park is smaller than Vake Park and does not contain amusement park. There is a small playground for children, tennis courts, viewpoint, chess palace, bouldering hall and some small restaurants.

Address: Merab Kostava St, in front of Philarmony
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/6RBoKhgFHMvYGwW39
 
Vake Park

Vake Park is good for long walks or chilling on the lawn, there is a large fountain and an impressive statue of a woman – mother of an unknown soldier, tribute to those deceased in WW2.
There is a small territory of amusement park – for children and tennis courts as well as some restaurants.

Address: Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/o42gWRVmhKgXSD5a8

 

 

Dedaena Park

 





Dedaena Park is popular among young adults for its skate park, trending bars (Bauhaus, Dedaena).
There is also a nice chill café called Book Corner. The park is situated on Mtkvari River bank.


Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/qSifxfJNVwWeQM74A

Old Hippodrome

Another favorite outdoor location for locals is the Old Hyppodrome Territory.
Although the hippodrome itself has moved to Lisi Lake, this huge territory is actively used and enjoyed by people who walk their pets, jog (on hippodrome lanes), play fresbee, do picnics and etc.

Address: Mikheil Tamarashvili st 13
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/aYv9NXY4wPCy2vTz8


Mtatsminda Park



Mtatsminda Park is located atop Mount Mtatsminda on 770 meter height, overlooking Tbilisi.
It is the highest point in Tbilisi, taking more than 100 hectares. Here you can find various Cafes, popular restaurant Funicular (which has a long history) Souvenirs shops, child entertainment center, wedding house, picnic zones, a big Ferris Wheel at the edge of the mountain, offering a splendid view over the city, funicular tram and probablymost important - TV broadcasting tower - Tbilisi's Andza.
In short, this is the most popular park among children and parents alike to spend a lovely day outdoors.

To get to Mtatsminda Park, most recommended transport is the funicular, which was first constructed in 1905, located at the bottom of the Mtatsminda hill.
At the entrance visitors can buy and charge the visitors plastic card. The card is used for payment of funicular and all attractions in the park. Other entertainment facilities in the territory of park may be used by cash payment.

Price: Visitors card costs 2GEL, attractions have different prices, entrance is free
Working Hours: Every day 11:00 – 22:00
Web: https://park.ge
Email: info@park.ge
Phone: +99532 249 23 23
Address of Funicular: 22 Daniel Chonqadze St.
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/JU7N2n6oZVmUXxxE6

Tbilisi Zoo

The history of Tbilisi Zoo started in 1927. The mission of the zoo was and is to enhance wildlife protection and conservation by means of animal management, educational programs and scientific approaches. Currently Tbilisi Zoo houses around 300 wild species.
It must be mentioned that in 2015, when Tbilisi was flooded by Vere River the Zoo was the most devastated territory, many animals and some stuff members have died during the flood. June 2015 was very sad time for all Georgians, Tbilisi and Zoo residents.

Price:
3GEL
Working Hours: Every day 10:00 – 20:00
Web: http://www.zoo.ge/index.php
Email: contact@zoo.ge
Phone: (+995 32) 233-29-01
Address of Funicular: 64 Merab Kostava St.
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/dApLNa51dD5Fcbj99

Turtle Lake



Turtle Lake is located on the height of 700m, on the left cliff of Mtatsminda, towering over the Vake Park and the Ethnographic Museum. Once there were many turtles, this is how the lake got its name. They are still there, but in smaller quantities.
This is a great place for walking, rest and sports training.
There are cozy cafes – we recommend to check out venue – Ciskari (https://www.facebook.com/ciskarikustba/), playgrounds for children, sports grounds.
You can hire a catamaran, swim (not very recommended though) and sunbathe, or go trekking over surrounding hills to the svan tower, Udzo hill or following the range down to Mtatsminda Park.
The Lake can be reached by walking from Vake Park, taxi or the most recommended, aerial tramway leading from Chavchavadze St.

Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/hP4MoXRRFksGY4eKA
Price of Tramway: 1GEL in each direction
Location of Tramway station: https://goo.gl/maps/xTcxdYXXA2X3myY69
Working hours of Tramway: 8:00-22:00
Lisi Lake

Lisi Lake is a small lake in the vicinity of Tbilisi. It belongs to the Mtkvari River valley.
The landscape is rocky and arid with shrub vegetation and plots of steppe. The Lake has very interesting and diverse fauna.
Lisi area is excellent for biking, running, fishing, picnics and sunbathing (there even is a beach used for swimming in the lake, but its cleanness is questionable). At the entrance there are some lounge bars and a natural Sulphur bathhouse (like in old town).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisiLakeRecreation/
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xu4wq2YMaRqqDYn18


Tbilisi Sea



The Tbilisi sea is an artificial lake (largest) in Tbilisi (20 min. drive from center) that serves as a reservoir. The lake has a length of 8.75 km and a width of 2.85 km. It was opened in 1953 and has become a popular recreation spot. In summer time it’s crowded with people enjoying the free beaches.
Around the sea area, there is a private beach, Yacht Club, restaurants, Sea Club (with private pools) and an aqua park.

Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/SuNgjVt5VTqSjAVW8

SPORTS, ADVENTURE & SPA


Zip line

There are two spots for Zip Line in Tbilisi, both run by company Zipin.
Working Hours: 11:00-20:00
Phone: 599039900
Website: https://club.zipline.ge/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zipingeorgia/

One is at the Turtle Lake (near the cable car) – the longest in Georgia and Caucasus, 1200m long, with elevation drop of 236m. Price 30GEL. Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/oK7XAqNY1jSTBqoT8


The other, at Narikala fortress, going down to the Botanical Garden, its only 270m long and takes just 30 seconds, overlooking Botanical Garden. Price is 30 GEL. Location: https://goo.gl/maps/KoAeB97WeYEhtJU98



Horse Riding

Horse riding is possible at Tbilisi hippodrome or even better outside Tbilisi in beautiful village Ghvevi (40 minutes’ drive from Tbilisi) where you can enjoy the unique countryside with amazing horse-riding experience.
See more about Ghvevi Horse Riding here.
Hippodrome Working Hours: Every day, except Monday, 08:00 – 20:00
Web: https://www.facebook.com/tbilisihippodrome/
Email: ipodromi@gmail.com
Phone: 0322153131
Address: Next to Lisi lake
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/veweu1VMH5of5K9c7


Rock climbing

For climbers there are several spots.
- Botanical Garden
Rock at Botanical Garden is open to public and free of charge. You can reach it easily through botanical garden, or go inside through construction site near former institute of Botany. Though construction site is shortest route, upon newest updates, as far as we know, the workers of the site and security sometimes don’t let people through.
The Botanical garden natural rock is great place where local climbers train in good weather. There are several routes, some bouldering spots and fixed station for top-roping. Expect that in good weather, on weekend, there will be someone you can join in training.
Location on Map: https://goo.gl/maps/sn3bpoi19pmYNjmx6
More info here: https://climbinggeorgia.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/rock-climbing-tbilisi/

- Monument climbing area in Lotkin District
(pictured)
This monument was adapted for climbing in 2017 by support of Federation of Georgian Mountaineers. 
For today there are 6 lines. Height varies between 20-40m. Difficulties grade 5c / 7a.
In the middle of the 40 m lines there are top chains.
For guiding and assistance please contact: gugadabrunda@gmail.com
Tel:  +995 557 300 700

- Vake Gym is the great place for speed and sport climbing in Tbilisi.
The wall is 15 m high, you can climb with quick draws and top-rope. For warming up there is also a smaller bouldering wall.
Address: Sports Department, Chavchavadze Ave. 49.

- S.K.Lucky at Arena 2
12-meters wall is equipped with automatic safety tools (“gri-gri”). There is a big bouldering section with mats for climbing at safe height. Here you can rent all necessary climbing equipment.
The routs are renewed every week by professional routsetter. The gym is equipped only with UIAA certified equipment.
Working hours: Daily from 09:00 to 23:00
Prices: entrance – 10 Gel; Unlimited membership – 100 Gel a month.
Address: Tbilisi, Vake-Saburtalo, University Street #6, Sport complex “Arena 2”
FB: facebook.com/esca.lucky

- Bouldering Hall at Alp Club in Vere Park
The alpine club is located in the center of the city, just a few steps away from the philharmonic hall. The address is Kostava Str. 37a, in Vera Park.
Work hours: Daily except Sunday 18:00 – 22:00
For more details please visit https://climbinggeorgia.wordpress.com


Biking

Tbilisi is not the best city for bicycle lovers. There are too many hills and almost no lanes. Best places to go biking are parks and lakes or hills outside.  Lisi Lake offers good terrain for chilled cycling.
Kustba (Turtle Lake) is good for steep downhill. For more details about trails please check this websites: https://www.mapmyride.com/ge/tbilisi-t-bilisi/; https://www.bikemap.net/en/l/611717/


Paragliding

Another interesting activity you can engage in is paragliding. It’s a one-day activity and can be done at Tbilisi Sea and Rustavi (both very near Tbilisi). Contact Georgian Paragliding Federation, which arranges weekly flights available to anyone willing to join for a small price. They provide equipment and instructors.
For more info see our page about Paragliding.

Georgian Paragliding Federation
Alex Iskandarov +995 577 322 221; alex.iskandarov@gmail.com
Irakli Kapanadze +995 595 424 298; i_kapanadze@yahoo.com 


SPA Procedures at Sulphur Baths

One of the most popular must do things in Tbilisi is visit to thermal baths and a scrubbing massage. There are several natural hot springs (Sulphur water of 40-50C) in Tbilisi. The most concentrated and used location is at Abanotubani district (Baths district) where several popular bathhouses are located.
The bath session is very relaxing, massage invigorating, both good for blood circulation, skin conditions, and general health.
Once you get in the bathhouse expect a pool of very hot Sulphur water, another pool with icy cold water, a chilling area. Massage scrub is extra (but very recommended) and has to be ordered separately. Massage is very tough scrub, is not very pleasant but removes all dead skin and leaves the body very refreshed is performed by professional masseur. You will have to be naked and masseur will be of same sex.
Most of the Bathhouses are located at Abanotubani and there is also one at Lisi Lake.

Chreli Abano
This is the one that looks like a mosque. One of the most popular buildings in Tbilisi,
Address: N2 Abano Str., Tbilisi, Georgia; http://chreli-abano.ge/; 0322 93 00 93

Gulo's Thermal Spa
Most popular one among locals.
Address: Ioseb Grishashvili St, Tbilisi; 599 58 81 22; https://goo.gl/maps/bocr9R2SsWtmENgc9

In General, all bathhouses are good and slightly vary according to price and design. Feel free to have a walk around, ask to see the rooms and choose afterwards.
Prices for private room with pools vary from 80-12GEL per room, per hour.  For more details about the experience check out this article.



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