I’ve lived among Tbilisi locals and in this guide, I overview the absolute best things to do in Tbilisi, Georgia.
This article captures the city’s unique combination of culture, history, cuisine, and hospitality.
I share popular Tbilisi activities for every interest and budget, as well as hidden gems and insights to help you make the most of your trip. No other guide is as succinct, yet comprehensive — and it’s sure to make you fall in love with “the City that Loves You.”
Table of Contents
- 19 Best Things to Do in Tbilisi
- Liberty Square
- Georgian Cuisine
- Georgian Wine
- Narikala Fortress
- National Botanical Garden
- Tbilisi Sulphur Baths
- Holy Trinity Cathedral (Sameba)
- Old Tbilisi (Tbilisi Old Town)
- Georgian Dance and Music
- Georgian National Opera Theater
- Rike Park
- Georgian National Museum
- The Leaning Clock Tower
- Open Air Ethnographic Museum
- Dry Bridge Market
- Mtatsminda Park
- Chronicle of Georgia
- FAQs About What to Do in Tbilisi, Georgia
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!
19 Best Things to Do in Tbilisi
Kick off your Georgian adventures in the bustling city center of Tbilisi, Georgia.
Liberty Square is the Tbilisi city center and one of the best places to explore when you visit Tbilisi. Traffic swirls around a huge fountain topped by a golden statue of St. George slaying a dragon. Heritage, Sakhli N11, and other stellar eateries line the square and every street that branches off from it.
Liberty Square is the best area to stay in Tbilisi if you’re visiting for the first time. The central location and abundance of great places to eat make it an ideal landing spot. It’s also close to many of the most famous Tbilisi attractions, like The Leaning Clock Tower and the National Botanical Garden.
👉 Local Tip: Many flights arrive late at Tbilisi International Airport. Buses at Tbilisi airport start at 7 am, so you may need a taxi. Download the Bolt or Yandex Taxi apps to get the best prices!
Feast upon some of the heartiest, tastiest foods that you’ve never heard of before!
Georgian food is unique and unforgettable. Khachapuri, a savory cheese bread, is the go-to street food. It has several variations, most of which are available throughout the city.
Khinkali is the undisputed king of Georgian cuisine and an experience unto itself. These dumplings are made with a mix of beef or lamb. There are also vegetarian and vegan varieties with mushrooms or potatoes. There’s an art to eating khinkali. The best way is to flip it upside down, take a bite and suck the juices out. Careful, though — it will be hot!
Other Georgian dishes are as good to eat as they are hard to pronounce (at first)! Chakapuli, a tarragon-heavy lamb stew, is my favorite. Kharcho is a hearty beef stew with spiced plum sauce. You’re sure to spot churchkhela, a string of walnuts covered in a mix of grape must and flour.
Sample wines from the birthplace of viticulture at one of the many wine bars in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Georgian wines are remarkable, and you don’t need to be a learned connoisseur to appreciate them. Recent discoveries and time-honored traditions point to Georgia as the birthplace of wine. Over 500 varieties of indigenous grapes grow here, so there’s an endless world of wine awaiting you!
Georgia uses a different naming system for its wines but has every variety you could want. Our friends at Eat This! Tours have a handy and comprehensive guide to Georgian wine that covers all the details.
👉 Local Tip: Georgia also has a locally distilled spirit, chacha, made from the skins and stems leftover from the wine-making process. Its ABV is 40-52% when commercially produced, but often higher when homebrewed in the villages. Consider yourself warned!
Walk the walls of a 4th-century fortress that still stands on guard over Tbilisi.
Narikala Fortress stands atop a hill and is one of the best places in Tbilisi for great views. A cable car connects Narikala with Rike Park on the opposite bank of the Mtkvari. The fortress is accessible on foot, too. Paths lead up from the Abanotubani neighborhood and the National Botanical Garden.
The Mother Georgia Statue here is a beloved national symbol. She holds a bowl of wine to welcome friends in one hand. In the other, she wields a sword to warn would-be foes. Take in the views and then take a break at one of the cafes here before continuing to other adventures in Tbilisi.
National Botanical Garden
Wander the winding paths in this oasis of diverse flora from around the world.
Tbilisi Botanical Garden lies in the valley behind Narikala fortress, featuring flora from around the world. Coming here for a stroll is one of the best things to do in Tbilisi if you want to get away from the urban bustle.
A compact Japanese Garden stands near the eastern entrance to the park. The waterfall is one of the highlights of the garden and a great place to stop for a while. There is also a small, but tranquil bamboo forest in the botanical garden.
You’re sure to notice a building that looks like a moonbase from a retro sci-fi movie as you walk through the garden. This is the home of Georgia’s eccentric (and controversial) billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Tbilisi Sulphur Baths
Take a dip in the hot springs that gave Tbilisi its name.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: varies by location | Entrance: varies by location
Tbilisi’s sulphur baths have a significant place in the history of the city. The natural hot springs that fuel them gave the city its name (coming from the word tbili, meaning “warm”). Bathhouses stand here, offering a relaxing dip in the natural, warm waters. Several also offer massage treatments and private rooms.
The traditional way to bathe is in the buff. It has become more acceptable in recent times for women to wear a bathing suit and for men, their underwear. The private rooms are a good option for anyone uncomfortable with nudity. The price is higher, of course, but it won’t break most people’s banks with Georgia’s favorable exchange rate.
👉 Local Tip: Travelers from most Western countries can visit Georgia visa-free and stay for up to 1 year! You can reset this by leaving the country, even just for a day, too.
Holy Trinity Cathedral (Sameba)
Marvel at the beauty of Georgia’s unique, sacred art traditions in this massive cathedral.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 8 am – 10 pm daily
Holy Trinity Cathedral is the main church of the Georgian Orthodox Church. It’s also one of the newer churches in the country, completed in 2004. The courtyard features fountains, smaller chapels, and even a cafe. The church is busiest during services on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings.
Visiting Sameba is one of the best things to do in Tbilisi, even if you aren’t religious. You’ll find exquisite icons and other expressions of Georgian sacred art here.
There’s a dress code prohibiting shorts and tank tops for men and women, and asking that women cover their heads. Scarves and wraps are available for anyone to use at the kiosk at the southern entrance.
Old Tbilisi (Tbilisi Old Town)
Wind your way along the rambling backstreets of Old Tbilisi.
The Old Town area of Tbilisi exudes Old-World charm. Walking here is one of my favorite things to do in Tbilisi. Wooden balconies overhang narrow cobblestone streets. Art nouveau decor adorns many of the buildings. Modern high-rise apartments give way to apartments surrounding rustic Italian courtyards.
Betlemi Street in Tbilisi Old Town hides a house with colored stained glass windows. Not-so-hidden gems of Old Tbilisi include the Great Synagogue and Sioni Cathedral. There are also quite a few sophisticated (if touristy) restaurants here, too, including Restaurant Hide and Organique Josper.
Georgian Dance and Music
Forever ditch the idea that folk dance and music are boring, thanks to Georgia!
Entrance: varies by venue
Georgia’s traditional dance and polyphonic music must be seen and heard to be believed. Haunting melancholy. Heart-stirring heroism. Flawless gracefulness. Indomitable energy. All of these characterize the diverse dances and songs of Georgia. Each region in the country has its own unique manifestation of these qualities.
The best way to see a performance is to visit one of several “dinner-and-a-show” restaurants. These include Mravalzhamieri, Ethnographer, and Ethno Tsiskvili. Ethno Tsiskvili has a business-casual dress code, so make sure to bring (or buy) something a little nicer than old travel clothes.
Each of the restaurants features song and dance performances every night, often at or after 7 pm. Check with the restaurants to confirm precise times. Reservations are recommended, and available via the restaurants’ websites, Facebook pages, or phone.
Georgian National Opera Theater
Enjoy an upscale, entertaining evening at this intricately-designed venue.
Georgia’s Opera Theater proves that Georgians are adept at other forms of music outside of their own. The lavish interior of this theater rivals famous operas of major European cities. The singers themselves are quite talented, too. I’m no opera critic, but I loved seeing their production of La Traviata (one of the more accessible operas if you’re new to the genre).
The theater also hosts ballet performances of Swan Lake and other classics. Note that Georgians also refer to their traditional dance performances as “ballet” (most often, “national ballet”). Check twice when booking tickets!
There isn’t a strict dress code at the Georgian National Opera Theater, but locals do like to look good when coming here. Consider hitting up local stores for something a little more spruced-up.
Unwind for a spell in this park in the center of the city.
Rike Park is another great place to see the best of central Tbilisi. You’ll also see some of Georgia’s most prominent examples of modern architecture such as the Rike Park Concert Hall, the Tbilisi Peace Bridge, and the Tbilisi City Hall. The lower station of the cable car to Narikala sits on the eastern edge of the park.
Rike Park is perfect for families with children visiting Tbilisi. There are playgrounds and other kid-friendly attractions here. Older and stronger children (and adults) can also pass the time with the giant chess game here. Crossing the Metekhi Bridge from the Old Town area will be the easiest way to get to Rike Park for most visitors.
Georgian National Museum
Explore the age-old history of the Georgian nation.
The Georgian National Museum houses artifacts from throughout Georgia’s long history. Traditional attire, armor, and armaments from medieval Georgia adorn the halls. The collection of intricate gold jewelry dates from the earliest years of civilization.
Georgia was an important trade partner of the famous ancient empires. One look at the gold artifacts will show you why. There are many other ancient attractions here. Coins from every era, Bronze Age inscriptions, and medieval church art all await visitors to this remarkable museum.
Chill at Tbilisi’s principal hipster haven featuring retailers, eateries, and an on-site hostel.
Fabrika used to be a Soviet sewing factory. Now, it functions as the hippest hangout in town. Funky street art covers the walls here. Restaurants offer an eclectic array of pizza, ramen, Georgian wine, and more. Boutique shops sell cameras and vinyl records. A hostel offers affordable lodging and great opportunities to meet travelers and locals.
Fabrika is a stone’s throw from the Marjanishvili Metro Station. The nearby Davit Agmashenebli Avenue has tons of great Georgian and Middle Eastern restaurants, too.
I recommend Ankara Style Restaurant and Ghebi, especially. Turkish bakeries offer baklava and a whole galaxy of delectable desserts. This is also one of the livelier parts of town at night.
The Leaning Clock Tower
Snap a selfie or stop in for a show at one of the most unique places in an already-unique city.
The leaning clock tower at the Gabriadze Puppet Theater shows the more whimsical side of Georgians’ artistic penchant. The theater features plays more geared toward adults, such as avant-garde art plays and adaptations of operas. Attending a show here is one of the most unique things to do in Tbilisi.
There are also several super-cozy cafes nearby plus the historical Anchiskhati Basilica, Georgia’s oldest surviving church. The temple dates from the 6th century. It’s also known for the Anchiskhati Ensemble, a famous folk group that forms the choir here when not performing at concerts or on tour.
Open Air Ethnographic Museum
Explore the world of Georgian architecture at this hillside museum.
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (+995) 032 272 90 45 | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: ₾ 15 adults ₾ 2 students, seniors, children (with relevant ID)
The Open Air Ethnographic is one of the best Tbilisi attractions to visit if you don’t have time to explore the rest of the country. Here, you can get a glimpse at Georgia’s many sub-regions. Each has its distinctive characteristics, reflected in everything from song and dance to architecture.
Traditional houses vary by region, adapting to the unique local microclimates. The humid western regions, as well as the arid eastern ones, favored airy, wooden farm homes. Each area had its own variations. The harsh mountains of Svaneti were more suited to tall stone towers, good for keeping the elements (and feuding clans) at bay.
Dry Bridge Market
Browse the most eclectic collection of goods in town at this flea market.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 8 am – 5 pm Mon – Fri, 8 am – 4 pm Sat, 9 am – 4 pm Sun
Head to the Dry Bridge Market if you’re hunting for a truly unique souvenir. Here, you’ll find Soviet military memorabilia, antique drinkware, vintage cameras, and much more! You can also find a wide assortment of traditional Georgian handicrafts and art here.
This is the best place to go antiquing in Tbilisi, hands down. The merchants here only take cash, but there are ATMs all over town. Authentic rugs are another great thing to pick up at this market. They may cost a little more to transport, but you can’t match the classiness they add to any room.
Get the best views of Tbilisi from this mountain-top park.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: 12 pm – 11 pm daily (amusement park area) | Entrance: free
Visiting Mtatsminda Park is one of the best things to do in Tbilisi if you’re traveling with family. There’s a funicular car to the top and a trail winding up the mountain, too, if you need to burn off that khachapuri. Amusement park games and rides are great for kids and the park is a lovely place for a walk.
The Mama Daviti Monastery and the Georgian Pantheon graveyard halfway up the mountain are also worth a visit. The views here are great, and the Pantheon has the graves of some of Georgia’s greatest poets, thinkers, and cultural leaders.
Chronicle of Georgia
Step off the beaten path and deep into the epic history of the Georgian nation at this haunting monument.
📍 Google Maps | Hours: open 24 hours | Entrance: Free
The Chronicle of Georgia near the Tbilisi Sea conveys Georgia’s “otherness” like few other places in the country. It may model itself after Stonehenge, but walking here makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a world out of a fantasy novel.
Images from Georgia’s past stand carved in stone. Icons of kings and queens, poets and apostles, the life of Christ, and the life of the Georgian nation all emanate a gravitas that defies words. Visiting this majestic memorial to Georgia’s long, heroic history is one of the most criminally underrated things to do in Tbilisi.
👉 Read Next: Best Day Trips from Tbilisi
Hunt for the best deals on fresh produce and awesome fashions at Tbilisi’s bazaars.
Hours: varies by location
Tbilisi has a few open-air markets besides the one at the Dry Bridge. The largest is north of Station Square. Another lies outside the Didube Metro Station, and another is within the northern neighborhood of Gldani. Farmers sell their all-natural crops, and fashionable clothing goes for lower prices than you’ll find at most outlet stores. Vendors only take cash, though.
Of course, most of the fab fashion logos you see hanging here are not authentic, but hey, who’s to know? You can get some smart-looking threads at prices that won’t leave your wallet smarting.
👉 Read Next: Best Things to Do in the Country of Georgia
FAQs About What to Do in Tbilisi, Georgia
What are the best things to do in Tbilisi?
What are the best free things to do in Tbilisi?
What are the best things to do in Tbilisi at night?
Thanks for reading my guide on things to do in Tbilisi! Read Nate’s article on places to visit in Georgia for more travel inspiration.
Help us help you travel better!
Your feedback really helps ...
What did you like about this post? Or how can we improve it to help you travel better?