A stunning blend of European and Asian influences, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is the heart of the country with its geographical location, picturesque old town, eclectic architecture, and excellent cuisine.
The city, which hosts one out of every three citizens, proudly carries this reputation as the most cosmopolitan city of the South Caucasus with its young, lively, dynamic, innovative culture and daily life. At first glance, Tbilisi is a neat destination that can be easily discovered in a few days, although it looks both crowded and chaotic to a visitor. With its narrow streets and charming shops, many neighborhoods are in the village atmosphere. The paths and narrow excursion paths of this historic city, with its houses with balconies and squares equipped with leaves, roam to the 17th-century castle on a magnificent hill. This look competes with stunning modern designs, magnificent streets and architecture inherited from the past. It should not be forgotten that the city’s restaurants and markets, which are enriched by the flavors of Georgian cuisine and the influence of the surrounding area, are also remarkable. Tbilisi is a city of experiences beyond being a destination. Here are the experiences telling about this city and engraved in memories when Tbilisi is mentioned…
Salut to Kartlıs Deda
The symbol of Tbilisi, 20 meters high, aluminum Kartlis Deda (Georgian Mother), a sword in one hand and a bowl in the other, evokes a typical Georgian national character and welcomes you with a warm attitude. Take the cable car to the Narikala Castle that stretches over the old city and the Mtkvari River. The ruins on the steep cliffs of the castle consist of the walls belonging to the Persian and 8th century Arab periods. Power up with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice before starting the path leading up the hill.
Magnificence in the horizon of the city
The most beautiful views of the city can be seen from the top of the dazzling Mtatsminda Mountain as it stretches towards the horizon. From the point reached by cable train, continue to Mtatsminda Park by passing the well-maintained gardens and walking paths. It’s not easy for kids or adults to resist the giant ferris wheel ride here. For those who want to take a break, the Funicular Cafe here is pleasant. Since the place has an outdoor seating area, you can witness the contemporary designs of the city’s rich and contrasting architecture laid under your feet together with the magnificent Georgian churches from this eagle’s nest. The ponchik (buns filled with sweet cream) served with tea is a must.
From Argonauts to Soviets
The Georgian National Museum, which has an impressive collection with two important exhibitions that illuminate both the old and the recent history, offers a truly unmissable history. One of the most striking exhibitions of the museum is the Archaeological Treasury section. It is worth seeing artifacts from the burial sites of Georgia and dated to the 3rd century BC, containing gold, silver and precious stones before Christianity. Artwork gold ornaments, excavated from Kolkhis in western Georgia, are the most striking. These pieces also strengthen the myth that when the region was known as Kolkhis, under the leadership of Yason (Iason) in Greece, the Argonauts came together and decided to go to this region to seize the Golden Fleece. Another part of the museum is the Soviet Occupation Museum. Here, the story of 70 years of Soviet repression and local resistance from 1921 to 1991 is told. Another part that may be as interesting as these exhibitions is the skulls of the human species of 1.8 million years ago, excavated from Dmanisi, the archaeological site in South Georgia.
Healing sulfur pleasure
Although it is small, the city can still be tiring. We have a recommendation that will make you forget about the tiredness that comes with the old city’s narrow streets and slopes; Tbilisi’s famous underground baths, Abanotubani sulfur baths… A few hours of pleasure here will give you the energy to set off again. In the past, famous names such as Alexander Dumas and Pushkin were healed in these sulfur baths on which brick domes were raised. Pushkin even mentions that he has never bathed in such a good bath. It is also worth experiencing the Chreli Abano thermal baths that feel like you are in Central Asia with its blue-tiled façade.
Tempting old city
The old city of Tbilisi is its biggest attraction. The old city with a pleasant atmosphere is extremely traditional and characteristic with its wooden carved patio structures, streets lined with cafes, restaurants and art galleries. In the sidewalk markets under the sycamore trees, products from the city’s countryside are popular. One of the most beautiful buildings of the old city is the Anshiskhati Church, the first construction of which is dated to the 6th century, surrounded by gardens. It is as if there is no one who cannot find peace in this church. If you come across the light of the sun and the visitors who sing the Georgian gospel accompanying this peace, luck is on your side during your trip.
A trip to the past from the flea market
Without a flea market, Tbilisi is out of the question. And this goes on every day… One of Tbilisi’s most popular open-air markets has been built on the bridge known as the “Suhoy Most” (Dry Bridge) for nearly 30 years. In the market, it is possible to find all kinds of trinkets and interesting items, from accordion to jewelry, dagger to Soviet memories. In addition to porcelain plates and cups belonging to the Tsarist Russia period, various items such as medals and military uniforms of the USSR period attract tourists. The market takes on a full carnival atmosphere on the weekends, but it is usually an address that those who are looking for treasure are dying to visit every day.