Once part of the Soviet Union, Georgia is a destination full of ancient history, stunning landscapes, and plenty of surprises. It’s home to an award-winning wine industry and the cool capital of Tbilisi, which has a stunning Old Town and vibrant nightlife.
And to top it all off, the Caucasus Mountains offer incredible hiking and climbing for anyone looking to explore the outdoors.
Georgia deserves all the praise it gets. It really is jam-packed with activities and attractions and is slowly starting to get on people’s radar. I loved my time there, and my only regret is that I didn’t have more of it (but I guess that’s just a reason to go back, right?).
It may not be one of the most obvious places to travel, but if you want an eclectic destination that doesn’t have a lot of crowds and is safe, inexpensive, and filled with great food and drink, Georgia is it! I can’t recommend it enough.
Here’s a list of what I consider to be some of the best things to see and do in Georgia:
1. Visit Tbilisi
Tbilisi is surrounded by hills, one of which is home to the ruins of Narikala Fortress, which dates back to the fourth century. Take the cable car up for amazing views overlooking the city and the Mtkvari River. And the restored historic Old Town is full of colorful window frames, gorgeous balconies, ornate spiral staircases, and intriguing alleyways to explore.
In contrast with this history, there are also lots of modern sights to see in Tbilisi, like the ultramodern bow-shaped Peace Bridge and a growing number of trendy bars and restaurants. If you’re looking to party the night away, be sure to visit Bassiani, one of the most popular nightclubs in town.
2. Try a Sulfur Bath
The baths underneath the Narikala Fortress are the easiest place to try this popular Georgian tradition; you can also get a traditional scrub and massage. The baths are easy to spot: they have large brick domes rising out of the ground that cover the healing waters.
Expect to pay at least 50 GEL (Georgian lari) ($17 USD) for a budget bathhouse or 100 GEL ($34 USD) for a nicer one.
3. The Chronicle of Georgia
It’s easy to reach the Chronicle by taking the metro and then walking a short distance. In addition to seeing this unusual monument (which is free), you’ll also get a beautiful view over the city and the Tbilisi Sea.
4. See Mtskheta
One of the best things to do in Mtskheta is to go up to Jvari Monastery on the hilltop, most famous for being where Christianity was declared the official religion in 319 CE. The monastery itself was built in the sixth century and has survived nearly unchanged since then. From here you’ll be treated to stunning views over the town and the two rivers that meet at Mtskheta.
Also, don’t miss a visit to the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (which dates to the 11th century) and the fourth-century Samtavro Monastery.
5. Eat Khachapuri
Every region of Georgia has its own version, but probably the most famous is Adjarian khachapuri. It comes in a kind of boat shape and is first filled with cheese and then topped with an egg.
Another popular food you’ll want to try is kudari, which is a large leavened bread pocket stuffed with meat (usually pork or lamb) and vegetables.
6. Visit the Vadrzia Cave Monastery
These days — after earthquake damage and raids from invaders — there are around three hundred surviving apartments and halls that can still be accessed. Additionally, the underground Church of the Dormition is still intact, which is home to murals depicting historical scenes of Georgian royalty.
7. Hit the Slopes
At the moment there are four main ski resort areas: Gudauri, Mestia, Goderdzi, and Bakuriani. There’s even a ski school with English-speaking instructors in Gudauri, which is only a two-hour drive from Tbilisi. You can get lift passes for as little as 30 GEL ($10 USD).
8. See the Katskhi Pillar
But that’s not all — built on the top of this narrow pillar is a church complex dating back to the seventh century. Until 2015, a monk actually lived up on top, but these days the monks sleep in the monastery at the bottom — and only monks are allowed to climb up the steel ladder on the side as part of their daily pilgrimage to pray in the church. The buildings were refurbished recently, and a visitor center is in the works.
9. Go Hiking or Trekking
The most popular multi-day trek is walking from Mestia to Ushguli (4 days). There are enough villages along the route that you don’t need to camp. Not surprisingly, the scenery along the way is magnificent.
As Georgia is a hiker’s paradise, there are literally dozens of other hiking possibilities, so look around and see what kind of trek fits what you’re after. Some suggestions worth considering are Omalo to Shatili (5 days), Chaukhi Pass (1-2 days), and Svaneti to Racha (a challenging 3-4 days).
10. Try Georgian Wine
There are five main wine regions in Georgia, but the largest and most visited is Kakheti in the east. Technically you can make it a day trip from Tbilisi, but it deserves more than just a few hours. If you want to explore the vineyards, then pick either Sighnaghi or Telavi as a base.
11. Explore the Coast
You can chill out at a beach resort near Batumi or explore some of the craziness this part of Georgia has to offer (it’s sometimes described as the Las Vegas of the Black Sea). The region is home to some unique architecture and a number of casinos, though it also has the enormous Batumi Botanical Gardens, which boasts one of the most diverse ranges of flora you’ll see in a botanical garden anywhere.
12. Visit Gergeti Trinity Church
While you can visit on a day trip from Tbilisi, a better idea is to head to Stepantsminda and stay there overnight. That way, you can see the church in the morning (which offers great light for photos) while beating the tourist crowds that will eventually arrive from the capital.
13. The Caves of Gareja
The monastery survived incursions from the Mongols and Persians but was shut down under Soviet rule and used for military training (which caused a lot of damage to the buildings).
Today, you can visit the complex on a day trip from Tbilisi. The journey takes around three hours by bus and bus tickets cost 25 GEL ($9 USD).
14. Visit Gori
Here you’ll also find a World War II museum that focuses on the achievements of the Red Army, as well as Gori Fortress, a citadel that dates back to the 17th century and offers a panoramic view of the region.
Although it’s close enough for a day trip from Tbilisi, you can stay in this small city of just 50,000 for a day or two if you want to get away from the crowds.
15. Get Outdoors in Svaneti
Stay in Mestia, a tiny village of fewer than 2,000 people, and head out on foot or by car to explore the region. You’ll also find some of the best cheese in the country, made by traditional methods kept alive by the Svans (an ethnic subgroup). The region is one of the most remote areas in Georgia — see it before the tourists arrive.
This list just scratches the surface when it comes to the incredible things to see and do that Georgia has to offer. There are dozens more historical sites, monasteries, caves, and castles to see and a whole lot more stunning landscapes to explore. (And the country is quite safe too.)
Whether you just have a few days to enjoy Tbilisi and its surroundings or a couple of weeks to cover more of rural Georgia too, you are not going to be disappointed!(责任编辑：admin)