Why Georgia?

Georgia, with its scenic natural beauty, has been the center of attention for the tourists since quite some time. Social media, and especially all the tourist and traveler forums, have been flooded with the Georgia’s amazingly beautiful pictures, and the notes about tourist friendly nature of the place. Thus, we also decided to check it off out list, and we were off to Georgia in the first week of April. What’s more? It is totally affordable, in terms of accommodation, food, transportation as well as the tourist attractions, thus you do not need a very heavy account to plan Georgia Visit- it is backpacker’s heaven!

Where to stay?

There are numerous options available for the tourists, depending upon their personal liking and inclination; we always prefer staring from the center- Tbilisi in this case. While Tbilisi is not a huge town, there are several tourist attractions packed within the area (that would be discussed later in this post). I would totally recommend staying in this city, as against stay in suburbs, as it allows easy access to all the other parts of Georgia, and also has all the facilities of a metropolis. The weather is moderate as compared to other parts of the country, as well. Thus, if you are backpacking, or have a short tour, staying in Tbilisi is highly recommtbended.

Tbilisi- City View

What do I need to know before visiting Georgia?

Here are a few essential tips, which might help anyone visiting Georgia for the first time:

  • Climate-

The temperate in Georgia is generally low from November until April- better search for the forecast in your days of travel, and take your warm clothes along.
It rains very often, and sometimes even without the forecast, so taking the umbrella/ rain coat would be a plus.

  • Visa-

Visa on arrival is offered for a number of nationalities, and also for GCC residents, however, it is recommended that you take your resident ID and employment letter along, just to avoid any confusion. Being Pakistani National (and GCC resident), I was also subjected to short interview before issuance of visa, and the above mentioned documents helped in going through.
In addition, you would also be required to produce Return Air Tickets, Hotel Booking for total length of stay, Travel Insurance, Valid GCC RP, Valid Passport, for getting visa on arrival.

  • Food-

Do not worry about food- there are multiple restaurants and food outlets, almost everywhere. Halal food is also readily available; you just have to ask for the right restaurant. The baked stuff- cakes, pastries, brownies, puff pastries and breads- is readily available and is must-try. We came across numerous bakeries (small and large) selling them; they look really tempting, and the prices are also very reasonable.

  • Transportation-

Try to conduct a little research about the transportation fare, in order to avoid any confusion. As with most of other tourist destinations, the lack of information might cause you to pay much more than the actual fare.

  • Electric Sockets-

The country uses European style electric sockets. It is better to take adopters along; it saves the hassle once you are there.

  • Currency-

Take US Dollars/ Euro along and get them exchanged at the airport when you arrive. While you might get them exchanged for GEL anywhere, it is important to note that all the GEL should be converted back to USD/ Euro before you leave Georgia. The currency is not accepted anywhere else, not even at the exchange, thus get them all exchanged before you leave; preferably at the airport (they provide the best rates, as per our observation).

How many days do I need for a tour?

This question can have multiple answers- depending on how much time do you have, and how you want to spend it. Speaking of minimum, at least 3 days should be speared, for a pleasant and slightly thorough tour. While one day is enough for the capital Tbilisi, the other two days can be utilized to travel to the suburbs. The following paragraphs would present detailed account of our 3 day tour to Georgia:

3 days itinerary

Day 1- Tbilisi

The Arrival

We reached Tbilisi Airport somewhere around 2:30- 3:00 AM, and it took us some time to clear immigration and leave the airport. We saw this counter, announcing FREE SIM. Went there, waited in the queue, turned out the SIM was free but 15 GEL top-up was required, right at the spot, to get the FREE SIM. As we were in a hurry, we just paid and got the SIM, and did not notice the package details- it only had data package, with no talk time or SMS. So, have a detailed look at the package before you buy SIM at the airport.


It was very early morning, we just checked in to the hotel and slept. The next morning started with a trip to Funicular. It was a unique experience, and the sight was totally worthwhile. Since it was morning, most of the restaurants and other attractions (including the rides) were closed. However, you can get view of complete city from the top, and admire the beauty of this amazing place, while clicking some stunning pictures.

View from the Top

The tour took around 60- 75 minutes, and we were back to the hotel. From here, the guided tour started, and the following places were covered:
  • Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi
  • Rustaveli Avenue
  • Metekhi Church
  • Bridge of Peace and Park
  • Cable Car
  • Suplhur Bath
  • City Waterfall
  • Freedom Square
  • Shardeni Street

All these attractions are packed within the same area, the whole tour took no more than 4 hours, and all the tourists were free to explore the city on their own. The cable car ride was really good, although not a very long one, but totally worth a shot.

City Waterfall 

Bridge of Peace

Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi

Once the guided tour was dispersed, we started moving around on our own. We discovered the Georgian Bread (yes, the taste was good indeed), combined with some baked goodies (tried the brownies, and it was scrumptious). Although a dinner was planned, this munching really made up for a proper meal, and we decided to postpone the same until next day. The day ended with a dose of Gelato- certainly one of the best I ever had!

Day 2- Ananuri, Kazbegi and Gaudauri

Enguri Dam

The second day started comparatively early, and the guide was there right on time, to start the tour. The first stop was Enguri Dam- while the scenic beauty of this place was a candy to the eye, it also provided an excellent background for pictures, with its green water and lush green mountains.

Enguri Dam


Ananuri was the next stop- it was small one as well, where the tourists can take a tour of the Church, while enjoying the sight of green mountains and the river that flows beside.

Gaduari and Georgia Russia Friendship Monument

Once done with Ananuri, the tour guide took us to Gaudauri- while the place is beautiful indeed; the route is also totally scenic- with snowcapped mountains all around, and also some waterfalls here and there (they were there in April, as the snow starts melting). The road took us to Georgia Russia Friendship Monument, which offers the most beautiful panoramic view of the whole area. Imagine standing atop one of the mountains, on a specially built post, facing the striking view of the surrounding snow-covered peaks- that’s Georgia Russia Friendship Monument.
View from Georgia Russia Friendship Monument
Georgia Russia Friendship Monument

Kazbegi and Gergeti Trinity Church

The high-rise mountains near Kazbegi are not reachable with the regular vans, and special jeeps (4x4) have to be hired to get the tourists there. The route is kind of dangerous (very narrow roads with multiple turns, and no boundary), the view from the top would make the risk totally worthwhile. Since it was winter, we got to see snowfall as well- the temperature was almost 0 degree, but the experience was totally out of this world (this comes from someone who saw snowfall for the very first time).

Gergeti Trinity Church

A short visit to Gergeti Trinity Church, numerous photographs and cherishing the view- all this called for the end of our second day tour, and the journey back to the hotel (Tbilisi) stared. It is essential to mention here that the visit to Gergeti Trinity Church is totally subjected to weather conditions- if it is not suitable, the jeeps would not be operating, as the tour during unsuitable weather conditions can be dangerous.
The journey back to Tbilisi was around 3- 3.5 hours long- drive through the snow covered mountains, leading to greenery and then the views of city. The rest of the day was spent walking around the streets, getting dinner and retiring to the hotel.

Day 3- Jvari Monastery, Uplistsikhe Caves and Mtskheta City

Jvari Monastery

The third (and the last) day started with a tour to Jvari Monastery. Again, the green mountains welcomed us, and upon reaching the top, we got to witness an amazing natural phenomenon- the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. While the two rivers do not mix up, their distinct colors form a beautiful boundary at the junction- a unique sight it is!
Confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers

Jvari Monastery

Uplistsikhe Caves

Moving on the ancient side of the country, Uplistsikhe Caves provide an overview of Georgia’s history, and living conditions in gone-by times. These caves are well maintained, but might be a little difficult to climb for some (normally climbing is pretty easy, but if you are accompanied by kids or elderly, you might face some issues). Make sure that you wear your comfortable (preferably, sneakers or joggers) to move up and down the caves with ease, getting the taste of ancient Georgia.
Uplistsikhe Caves 

Mtskheta City

Also known as the old capital of Georgia, the major attraction offered by Mtskheta City is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. After a visit to the church, the tourists might also take a small tour of the town, to observe the ancient built houses and the old streets.
With this, our guided tours came to an end, and all the tourists were dropped at the hotel, for rest/ city tour on their own. We decided to have one last look at the city, and specifically the market, as we had flights early morning, the next day (3:00 AM, to be precise). Thus, we packed our stuff- since we travel light, packing and unpacking is not an issue anymore- and set out for the city tour.
Walk around Mtskheta City

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Sulphur Bath- Tbilisi

Our first destination was famous Sulphur Bath- although it was not on our list, but upon recommendation of a fellow tourist, we decided to give it a shot- and we are glad we did. It was a unique experience, soaking in warm Sulphur water. While we opt for the simple bath, numerous services are also provided along, including body scrub by a specialist and beverages during the bath. The standard session lasts for 60 minutes, and there are extended options as well.
There are several options to choose from, and most of the well-known baths are reserved days before. So, if you are planning to take one, make sure it is booked beforehand. At least one day in advance. Also, it is better to take a tour before you make the booking, to see the level of cleanliness in the specific bath.
Sulphur Bath

The last tour of Tbilisi, and the departure

Later that evening, we just roamed around the city a little bit. Since we had some time, we decided to utilize all of it, and see as much as we can. Grabbing some pastries from the way, we headed towards the nearby shopping mall, Galleria Mall.
Galleria Mall, Tbilisi
It had majority of the brands, and can be a nice place to shop, if you are into it. Since we were not there to shop, we just had a round of the mall and walked back to the hotel, just in time for a few minutes rest, and the checkout.
The whole group (sharing the same flight) was picked up from the hotel at around 12, and headed to the airport, where we got all the left-over currency exchanged to USD, and we good to head back home.
Although this tour of ours was totally unplanned- Georgia was on our list alright, but not for this time- it turned out to be one of our best. The tour mainly came as a last minute deal, and a huge discount was offered over a weekend offer, and we decided to take it without a second thought. It was busy, there was plenty to see and do, and the weather was just perfect. For anyone looking for a short vacation, Georgia is totally recommended, because it has all that you would want to see on a vacay.