a women in the streets of Tbilisi surrounded with outdoor market
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How to Spend 3 Days in Tbilisi: First Time Visitors Guide (Family Friendly)

Are you planning to spend 3 days in Tbilisi, Georgia? I am so happy for you and glad you stopped by here. I have gathered valuable information and recommendations to make the most of your visit in just three days.

Tbilisi is known for its ancient history, diverse culture, delicious cuisine, stunning nature and friendly locals.

If you found me through this article, you may not know I am a native Georgian and have spent 17 years living in Tbilisi!

Wondering in the cobblestone streets of Old Tbilisi, admiring the traditional architecture, strolling on Rustaveli Avenue, and indulging in Georgian cuisine are just a few of my favorite things to do in Tbilisi.

But do not get me wrong I had not been in Tbilisi for a few years (not proud) and for this trip, I had to research a lot and put together the entire itinerary for our family as if I was visiting it for the first time!

This itinerary is perfect if you are visiting Tbilisi for the first time and only have few days to spend in the capital of Georgia.

Please note that this post may contain affiliate links, and for any sales made through such links, I will earn a small commission that helps me run this blog – at no cost to you.

Things to Know Before Visiting Tbilisi

Location: Tbilisi is the Capital city of Georgia and the largest one in the country. Georgia is at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Name: Georgia is a Western name of the country, but locals call it Sakartvelo.

Culture: Tbilisi is a melting pot of cultures with influences from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

History: The city has a long and storied past, with landmarks like the 4th-century Narikala Fortress offering a glimpse into its ancient history.

Language: Georgian is the official language. Many Georgians speak English but I would encourage to learn few casual phases in Georgian.

Currency: The currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL). (1 Lari = 0.37 USD as of January 2024). Credit cards are widely accepted in Tbilisi, but we advise carrying some cash, especially for smaller shops and street art and markets.

SIM Card – If you want to avoid connectivity issues while in Tbilisi, we highly advise to purchase a SIM card when you get at the Airport. Otherwise you will need to go to specific shops in the center of the city to buy it for example on Rustaveli Avenue.

Safety: Tbilisi is generally considered safe for tourists, but standard travel precautions should be taken.

Visa Requirements: Getting a visa for Georgia is easy and convenient. Some nationalities, including the US, can enter Georgia visa-free for short stays or work. However, always check the latest visa requirements before traveling to a new country.

Tbilisi evening scene overlooking Mtkvari River, Metekhi church, and King Vakhtang Gorgasali Statue

3 days in Tbilisi: Planning Your Trip

Getting to Tbilisi

Getting to Tbilisi, Georgia, from other countries is relatively easy. The Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) is the primary international gateway to Georgia and is well-connected with direct flights from many cities.

Several international airlines operate flights to Tbilisi, including well-known carriers like Qatar Airways, Emirates, Delta, Turkish Airlines, and KLM, indicating a range of options for travelers.

There has yet to be a direct flight from the USA. You will need to take connecting flights. The availability of multiple airlines and frequent flights makes it quite accessible for travelers to reach Tbilisi from different parts of the world.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Tbilisi is spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant with less crowds. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters can be cold and snowy here so you will need to plan accordingly.

Where to Stay During 3 days in Tbilisi

Tbilisi offers various accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. You can find something that suits your needs, from luxury hotels to budget hostels. Some popular areas to stay in Tbilisi include the Old Town, Sololaki, and Vera.

Here, I only recommend hotels where we have stayed or have some personal knowledge about the quality and experience. Please book your accommodations a few months in advance if you’re able. That will ensure some availability and save you from higher rates.

Tbilisi Marriot Hotel – If you want a luxury stay in the center of Tbilisi, I highly recommend Tbilisi Marriot Hotel in the heart of Rustaveli Avenue. We stayed here for two nights and had a fantastic experience. The rooms, location, service, and atmosphere are sophisticated and high quality. The hotel has a fantastic breakfast buffet and offers Georgian and International dining experiences.

The interior of Marriot Hotel Tbilisi
A woman enjoying her cup of coffee overlooking the window at Marriot Tbilisi

Rooms Hotel Tbilisi: We stayed at the Rooms Hotel in Kazbegi and fell in love. I can only hope the service and quality are comparable to Kazbegi. Located in the Vera district, you are only steps away from many cafes, restaurants, and boutique stores.

Getting Around Tbilisi

Tbilisi is a very walkable city, and the best way to get around is by walking, but occasionally, you may still need some public transportation. We traveled with kids and we quite often used a car service to accommodate little travelers.

I highly recommend using Bolt if you are visiting Tbilisi for the first time. It is similar to Uber and a convenient way to get around. We had no issues with and rides can range as affordable as 2 GEL+ depending on your destination.

If you prefer public transportation, the Tbilisi metro system is efficient and cheap. Buses and mini buses (marshrutkas) are also available but can be crowded and confusing for first-time visitors.

Day 1 of 3 days in Tbilisi

Explore the Old Town

Welcome to Day 1 in Tbilisi Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and start to explore the charming Old Town, the city’s most historic and picturesque part.

Old Tbilisi is the historic heart of the Georgian capital, known for its cobblestone streets, colorful architecture, and vibrant atmosphere. It is easily accessible on foot from many parts of the city.

Alternatively, you can take the metro to Avlabari, Freedom Square, or Rustaveli stations, all within walking distance.

Clock Tower

The Clock Tower in Old Tbilisi, Georgia, is a whimsically designed structure that has become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.

The Clock Tower symbolizes the creativity and artistic spirit that thrives in Tbilisi. It’s located near the equally charming Gabriadze Theater, which hosts puppet shows and is a significant cultural venue in the city.

A mom and a baby in front of Clock tower in Old Tbilisi
A woman dressed in long brown trousers and a cropped top smiling standing in front of Gabriadze theatre

The area around the Clock Tower is a popular tourist spot, with its cobblestone streets, street markets, and nearby attractions, including cafes, galleries, and other historical sites.

Flea Market in Tbilisi Old Town displays paintings, jewelry, and other items.

Narikala Fortress

Next, head over to see the Narikala Fortress, a must-see attraction in Tbilisi and one of my favorite places for stunning city views. This ancient fortress dates back to the 4th century and offers stunning city views. Narikala is an ancient symbol of Tbilisi’s defense.

You can hike to the fortress or take the cable car for a more comfortable ride, which is also super affordable (2.50 GEL one way).

Traveling by ropeway is possible only under a “Metromoney” card. If you do not have a card, you can purchase it in the payment offices of Wire Rope. The cost of the card is 2 GEL.

Once you reach the top, you can explore the fortress and take in the panoramic views of the city.

We took a Gondola, which was convenient and fun for kids to view the city from above.

Sulfur Baths

If you want a very unique experience head to the Sulfur Baths, which are located in the Abanotubani district. These iconic baths are a popular attraction in Tbilisi and offer a unique experience.

The baths are heated by natural hot springs and have healing properties. You can choose from various bathhouses with unique styles and ambiance. Bathhouses range from budget to luxury and from private to public. Be sure to book in advance to avoid waiting in line.

A women happily poses in front of Sulphur Baths Tbilisi,

Tbilisi Botanical Garden (Waterfall)

Located in the heart of the Old Town, next to the Narikala fortress and the Mother of Georgia monument, the botanical gardens offer a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Here you enjoy a variety of plant species, some of which are native to Georgia, as well as picturesque landscapes, waterfalls, and bridges. We loved our time here. It felt like a mini-city escape.

The garden’s highlight is a tall waterfall that is very easy to find. Just follow the water sound, and you will get to the stunning waterfall. Our son had a great time here and even cooled off by splashing his feet in the water.

The garden is open every day, including weekends, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm or 7:00 pm depending on the season.

Tbilisi Botanical Garden Waterfall

Stroll through Shardeni Street

End your day by strolling down Shardeni Street in the heart of the Old Town. This vibrant street is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. You can sample local cuisine, shop for souvenirs, or enjoy the lively atmosphere.

That concludes your first day in Tbilisi! Rest up and get ready for another exciting day tomorrow.

Day 2 of 3 Days in Tbilisi

Visit Georgian National Museum

Start your day at the Georgian National Museum, which is home to an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase Georgia’s history and culture.

The museum houses over 200,000 items, including archaeological finds, medieval manuscripts, and traditional costumes. One of the museum’s highlights is the Treasury, which displays a collection of gold and silver artifacts from the ancient kingdom of Colchis.

Admire Holly Trinity Cathedral

After the museum, head to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, also known as Sameba Cathedral. This impressive structure is one of the largest Orthodox cathedrals in the world and is a symbol of Georgia’s religious heritage.

The cathedral was completed in 2004 and features stunning frescoes and mosaics. Take a moment to admire the beautiful architecture and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

Pictured is the Holly Trinity Cathedral of Georgia also called Sameba

Grab Lunch at Puri Guliani

Puri Guliani is one of my favorite places to eat in Tbilisi. I would be here if I could visit one place every day to eat in Tbilisi. This place offers an authentic Georgian bakery and kitchen. Here, enjoy a range of meals, from breakfast to dinner, in a cozy, casual place. If you have yet to try Adjaruli Khachapuri, this place really knows how to make it right.

Adjaruli Khachapuri on a plate (A cheeseboat with an egg yolk in the middle)
Buratta salad

Visit Mtatsminda Park

In the afternoon, make your way to Mtatsminda Park, located on the top of Mount Mtatsminda. This amusement park offers stunning city views and is popular with locals and tourists. Also, it is a stroller friendly!

Take a ride on the Ferris wheel or the roller coaster, or stroll around and enjoy the atmosphere. The park also has several restaurants and cafes, so you can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the view.

You can get here by bus or a car however The most popular and scenic way to get to the park is by taking the Tbilisi Funicular. That is how we chose to get to the top. Ride is very smooth and quick in modern cars. You’ll need to purchase a 2 GEL plastic card at the ticket office and add credit for your rides.

Tbilisi Funicular Car
a woman posing in front of Tbilsi TV Broadcasting Tower in Mtatsminda Park.

Day 3 of 3 Days in Tbilisi

Visit Chronicles of Georgia

The Chronicles of Georgia, located in Tbilisi, is a monumental sculpture of 16 towering pillars depicting scenes from the history of Georgia. Monuments show important events and figures, such as kings and queens, as well as stories from the Bible

a lady holding a baby going up on the stairs of Chronicles of Georgia

Tips

  1. Location: The monument is on a hill near the Tbilisi Sea, a short distance from the city center. It is not easily accessible by public transport so I recommend visiting by car.
  2. No Entrance Fee: Visiting the Chronicles of Georgia is free.
  3. Open Hours: The site is open 24/7, allowing you to visit any time that suits your schedule.
  4. Best Ways to Experience: To fully appreciate the monument, consider joining a guided tour that can provide insights into the history and significance of the carvings.

Lunch at Gardenia Shevardnadze

From Chronicles of Georgia, you must stop by Gardenia Shevardnadze for lunch! This Unique botanical garden and cafe is such a hidden gem.

It’s a rejuvenating place that offers more than just a walk among greenery; you can also taste delicious homemade cakes and lemonade, and jams, as well as coffee and tea at the vintage-style café located within the garden

The garden has an entrance fee of around 2 GEL, which is very affordable and contributes to the maintenance of this lovely spot. It’s a great place to visit for those who enjoy botany and peaceful outdoor settings or are looking for a picturesque place to unwind.

Gardenia Shevardnadze is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm, and plants can be purchased until 6 pm.

Lunch table setting inside a beautiful garden surrounded with flowers
A lady sitting with one leg crossed on another at the outdoor table eating a dessert

Day Trips From Tbilisi

Depending on your schedule, there are multiple trips that you can take from Tbilisi. Here are some of my favorites.

Sighnaghi

Known as the ‘City of Love’, Sighnaghi is famous for its charming architecture, cobblestone streets, and the defensive wall with watchtowers. It’s also a gateway to the Kakheti wine region, where you can enjoy wine tasting and local cuisine

Street with colorful houses in Sighnaghi, Georgia

Kazbegi National Park

As the highlight of our Georgia trip, Kazbegi National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Located in the Caucasus Mountains, the park is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in Georgia, including the towering Mount Kazbek.

The journey from Tbilisi to Kazbegi takes about 3 hours. Once you arrive, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore and opportunities for horseback riding and paragliding.

While it could be a great day trip for someone very tight with time, I highly recommend staying in Kazbegi for at least two nights. You can also read about our Ultimate Kazbegi Itinerary.

Uplistsikhe: Explore this ancient rock-hewn town, one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. Uplistsikhe contains various structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages

Ananuri: Visit the Ananuri fortress complex on the Aragvi River, which was the seat of the feudal lords of the region and is now a picturesque architectural monument with two churches and a fortification overlooking the Zhinvali Reservoir

Where to Eat in Tbilisi

Tbilisi has a variety of restaurants that serve traditional Georgian cuisine as well as international dishes. Here are some of the best restaurants to check out during your three days in Tbilisi:

  • Machakhela: This restaurant serves traditional Georgian dishes in a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The portions are generous, and the prices are affordable.
  • Restaurant Sofiko – Located in Old Tbilisi, restaurant Sofiko in Tbilisi is a well-regarded dining establishment known for its Georgian casual dining experience and amazing city views.
  • Ezo: This restaurant is located in the heart of Old Tbilisi and serves various Georgian and European dishes. The outdoor seating area is perfect for enjoying a meal on a sunny day.
  • Iasamani – a restaurant in Tbilisi, is famous for its cool and beautiful atmosphere, along with its super delicious food. It is particularly noted for serving tasty Georgian cuisine. The restaurant is situated at 33 Asatiani Street and can be found behind a green wooden door in the entrance hall of an old Tbilisi house, adding to its unique charm and concept 
  • Puri Guliani – As mentioned above, this place offers an authentic Georgian bakery and kitchen. Here, enjoy a range of meals, from breakfast to dinner, in a cozy place. Address: Saarbrucken Square Tbilisi Tbilisi, 0102, Georgia

Try Traditional Georgian Dishes

Georgian cuisine is known for its hearty and filling dishes. Some of the must-try traditional Georgian dishes include:

  • Khachapuri: This is a famous Georgian cheese bread that is made with a variety of cheeses and baked until golden brown.
  • Khinkali: These are Georgian dumplings that are filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. They are usually served with a side of sour cream and can be enjoyed as a main course or appetizer.
  • Nigvziani Badrijani – Nigvziani Badrijani is a traditional Georgian dish with fried or baked eggplant slices rolled and filled with a spiced walnut paste. This dish is a popular appetizer or side dish in Georgian cuisine and is known for its rich, nutty flavor combined with the distinct taste of eggplant.
  • Elarji – a traditional Georgian dish originating from the Samegrelo region. It is a hearty and comforting meal made primarily from coarse cornmeal, cornflour, and a stretchy, melted cheese called Sulguni. Combining these ingredients results in a dense, cheesy, and gooey dish that is distinctive and beloved in Georgian cuisine.
  • Lobio: A flavorful bean stew often cooked with spices, herbs, and sometimes walnuts. It is typically served with pickles and cornbread (mchadi).
  • Mtsvadi: Georgian shashlik or skewered and grilled chunks of meat, usually pork or lamb, marinated with onions and spices and cooked over an open flame.
  • Churchkhela: While this is not a meal, it is a traditional Georgian snack and dessert that consists of nuts (usually walnuts or hazelnuts) threaded onto a string, dipped in thickened grape juice, and dried to form a chewy, candy-like treat. You will want to pack up a few to bring back home too!
Platter displaying the Lobio meal made with beans, a cornbread and a cheese
Lobio & Mchadi
Georgias favorite snack Churchkhela hanging on the rope
Churchkhela
One of the most popular Georgian Dishes is this Imeruli Khachapuri
Imeruli Kjachapuri


Try Georgian Wine

If you did not know Georgia is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world based on archeological evidences. The Qvevri winemaking method, which uses buried clay vessels to ferment wine, is a part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

This makes it so special to try the Georgian wine. The best way to learn more about Georgian wine is to sign up for group or private tour in wine region of Georgia Kakheti if schedule allows. You can also try to sign up for a food and wine tasting tour in Tbilisi.

Hand holding a Georgian wine, "Qindzmarauli,"  with the mountain backdrop.

Cultural Performances

Tbilisi is also home to a thriving cultural scene, and there are plenty of performances to enjoy in the evening. Check out the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre for a night of world-class performances. The stunning building alone is worth the visit, and the performances are sure to leave you impressed.

Visit Dry Bride Flea Markets

Tbilisi has several flea markets where you can find various vintage and second-hand items. One of the most popular flea markets is the Dry Bridge Market in the city’s heart. Here, you can find all kinds of old Soviet paraphernalia, trinkets, tools, clothes, and books. Even if you’re not shopping, there are so many exciting things to spot, including KGB spy cameras, old records, and ancient maps.

Another great flea market is the Dezertirebi Market, located near the Dry Bridge Market. This market specializes in antique furniture, carpets, and other collectibles. You can find some great deals here if you’re willing to haggle.

Conclusion: 3 Days in Tbilisi Guide

With this, you have enough to see and do in Tbilisi in just 3 days! Remember, you can customize this as it best fits your schedule. And if you are planning more things to do in Georgia, you may like Travel Guide to Kazbegi, Georgia.

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