Tbilisi – Georgia’s Tourist Hub
A beautiful town, serving as capital of Georgia, Tbilisi was formerly known as Tpilisi and Tiflis. The city is filled will mazes of cobblestone paths that cast a spell on its onlookers. Inhabited by more than 1.5 million residents, the city is the largest city in Georgia and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Flourishing on the banks of the Mtkvari River, the city has served as the historical capital of Kingdom of Kartli, Imperial administration of the Caucasus during the Russian rule and also as the capital of Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic before becoming the capital of Georgia. The city was founded in the 5th century during the reign of Kingdom of Iberia and since then it has been serving as home to people of diverse culture, religion and ethnicity. The location of the city, on the southeastern edge of Europe has made it an important trade hub since times immemorial. At an elevation of 380 meters above mean sea level, Tbilisi also is a major transit route for worldwide energy and trade projects. While Georgian is the official language spoken by majority of the people, Russian as well as English is also spoken widely.
All flights coming to Tbilisi land at the Tbilisi airport, the primary airport serving the city, located at a distance of 17 km from the city center. Earlier known as Novo Alexeyevka International Airport, the airport is currently connected to more than 50 destinations across the globe. Having a humid subtropical climate, the city experiences warm summer from June till August and cold winter from November till March. July is the warmest month of the year with temperature averaging nearly 31° C, during the coldest month of the year, January, temperatures remain around 6° C While the city can be visited at any time of the year, the best months for tourism is from December to February and from May till September. May and June are the wettest months in Tbilisi and the city received an average of 15–25 days of snowfall every year. Tbilisi International Festival of Literature in May, Tbilisoba in October are some of the major tourist festivals celebrated in the city.
Naikala Fortress is the landmark of Tbilisi and the most important historical attraction. Built, destroyed and rebuilt between 4th and 17th century, this fortress overlooks Tbilisi. Your next stop in the city should be at the Botanical Garden, which is another major tourist draws in the city. TV Antenna Park, famous for its Ferris Wheel and picnic spot, Lake Lisi and Turtle Lake are among the most exotic natural attractions in the city. When in Tbilisi, do not miss visiting the Sulfur Baths district which is famed for its small baths that offer different levels of comfort.
G. Chitaia Ethnographical Open-Air Museum, Numismatic Museum, Museum of Art, Simon Janashia Museum, Puppet Museum and Galaktion Tabidze Museum are the most popular museums in the city and should be must visited if you want to experience the rich cultural and heritage past of the city. Sioni Church, Sameba Cathedral and Synagogue are among the popular religious sites in Tbilisi. Paragliding and Rope Park Activity can also be enjoyed in Tbilisi.
Eating and Shopping
When in Tbilisi, tourists can enjoy wonderful options of eating, dining and drinking. The city is filled with restaurants, pubs, eating joints and nightclubs for travellers of any budget. Some of the local delicacies that the city is famous for are - Khinkhali (a local dumpling filed with meat or veggies), Pkhali (a vegetarian dish), Kachapur (local bread filled with cheese), Mtsvadi (frilled meats) and Kababi (grilled skewered meat). However, if you are not a huge admirer of the local cuisine then there are always other restaurants that serve vast range of international cuisines. In Tbilisi, many Asia, European, American, and Italian specialized restaurants are available. The city is known as ‘cradle of wine’ and the Georgian wine is considered to be the best in the region. Kakheti, is the major wine producing area in the city and tourists can take wine tours to taste varieties of wines produced in the region. Stylish café that provides whole range of baked goods and the famous Georgian tea and coffee can also be spotted all over Tbilisi.
Similar to its counterparts, Tbilisi also offer multiple options to tourists interested in shopping in the city. There are many malls, departmental stores, luxury boutiques and branded outlets for the brans conscious and upscale shoppers. However, if you are interested in shopping the ‘Georgian style’, then skip the mall s and hit the local markets where you can not only buy local stuff at cheap prices but the ambiance will invigorate you. Gold, silver, antiques, precious stones, wine, cognac, mineral water, carpet, grape vodka and paintings are some of the things that the city is eloquent for. Saturday flea market, Tbilisi Mall, Smarti and Goodwill are the places you can go on your shopping tours in Tbilisi.
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