My honest, comprehensive guide on where to stay in Tbilisi is based on my many months living in Georgia’s capital city.
Each of these top places to stay in Tbilisi have been personally vetted for safety, value, and convenience. I cover accommodation options for every preference, from luxurious hotels to budget hostels. Plus, I share key travel tips so you can confidently enjoy Tbilisi attractions to their fullest!
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5 Best Places to Stay in Tbilisi
Just looking for a quick answer on where to stay in Tbilisi? Here are my top picks:
- 🌟 Best Overall Hotel – Old Town Mtatsminda
- 📍 Best Location – Hotel Aqua Liberty
- 💎 Best Luxury Hotel – The Biltmore
- 👪 Best for Families – Lowell Hotel
- 💻 Best for Business – Radisson Blu Iveria
- 🏨 Best Boutique – Folk Boutique Hotel
- 🏰 Best Near Narikala Fortress – IOTA Hotel Tbilisi
- 🛏️ Best Budget – Fabrika
Ok, let’s do a deep dive into where to stay in Tbilisi:
5 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Tbilisi
Tbilisi sits on the banks of the Mtkvari River, surrounded by hills and mountains. Liberty Square (aka Freedom Square) and Rustaveli Avenue make up the heart of the city. Chugureti borders the city center to the north, right across the Mtkvari River. Neighborhoods like Vake and Vera stand to the west of the center.
Liberty Square is in the heart of the city, located adjacent to the Sololaki district. Many popular tourist attractions are within walking distance, making this the best place to stay in Tbilisi for first-time visitors.
A fountain stands in the middle of Liberty Square, topped with a gigantic golden statue of St. George slaying a dragon. The once old and rustic neighborhood of Sololaki now buzzes with hip vibes. Trendy bars abound, many offering wine and building up Georgia’s craft beer scene. There’s also the Galleria Shopping Mall featuring prestigious outlets and more.
Mid-range hotels here may be expensive by Tbilisi standards. But they offer incredible comfort and services compared to Western countries’ hotels of the same price. The ibis Styles Tbilisi, for example, features a fantastic rooftop bar and modern rooms with a bright, eclectic atmosphere.
Pros of Staying in Liberty Square:
- Closest to most tourist attractions, as well as bars and restaurants
- Easy to get around on foot
- Central location for accessing other sites
Cons of Staying in Liberty Square:
- Some hotels can be expensive
- Restaurants are more expensive here
- Almost always crowded
- Lots of political graffiti on the side streets off the square
📚 Freedom Square Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Tbilisi for First-Time Visitors
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Freedom Square
Rustaveli Avenue is the main boulevard to Freedom Square and the perfect location for living the high life in Tbilisi. Museums, theaters, and the famous opera house are all within a few minutes’ walk of prestigious hotels. Georgian restaurants, gift shops, and street vendors selling art and traditional handicrafts add to the colorful mix.
The open area outside the Rustaveli Metro Station sometimes sees spontaneous performances. Watch locals perform dynamic Georgian dances, or perhaps even Ecuadorians playing their traditional music.
Each offers world-class amenities and private rooms. Those on the upper floors have some of the best views of the city and beyond. The Radisson’s amenities, efficient Wi-Fi, professional staff, and great loyalty program make it a top choice for business travelers.
Pros of Staying on Rustaveli Avenue:
- The best historical and art museums in town are here
- Lots of great restaurants and cafes
- Great place to find souvenirs
Cons of Staying on Rustaveli Avenue:
- Hotels can be pricier than other parts of town
- Louder and more crowded than other places in Tbilisi
📚 Rustaveli Avenue Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Tbilisi for Luxury & Business Travelers
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals on Rustaveli Avenue
Tbilisi Old Town and Mtatsminda
Tbilisi Old Town is the best place to find cheap hostels and budget hotels. Old Town Mtatsminda is one of the best hostels here. It combines cozy rooms, elevated views, and low prices. Other small, boutique hotels lie tucked away like Easter eggs throughout OId Tbilisi.
Tbilisi’s Old Town area trades modern architecture for charming, historic buildings. Here, wooden balconies overhang many winding, quiet streets paved with cobblestones. Art nouveau decor adorns many venerable buildings and the whole neighborhood breathes Old World charm.
Sioni Cathedral and the Mama Daviti Monastery are two of the historical highlights here. Old Town is also home to the Meidan Bazaar, an underground market selling all manner of Georgian memorabilia from wine to swords!
Old Town is located close to all the modern attractions but favors foot traffic over automobiles. The roads on Mtatsminda are steep, but the views make up for the extra effort.
Pros of Staying in Tbilisi Old Town:
- Quaint atmosphere
- Hostels and boutique hotels are low cost and centrally located
- Small, charming cafes and restaurants
Cons of Staying in Tbilisi Old Town:
- Steep terrain on Mtatsminda
- Winding backstreets can be confusing at times
- Restaurants closer to the main streets are a little more expensive
- The lower part of the Old Town isn’t the best for driving
📚 Tbilisi Old Town Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Tbilisi for Budget Travelers
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Old Tbilisi
Chugureti features several high-quality hotels with fantastic amenities at shockingly low prices. Marjan Plaza Hotel, for instance, features a spa, sauna, pool, and more with rooms starting below $100 a night (as of September 2023). Similar hotels along Rustaveli Avenue generally cost double that rate!
There are also a few simpler options available in Chugureti. Fabrika, a former Soviet sewing factory, now functions as one of the best hostels outside Old Tbilisi. Fabrika offers both dorm-room and private-room accommodations. It also has on-site restaurants and boutique shops. You’ll know you’re getting close when you see funky street art everywhere.
Chugureti lies to the northeast of the city center, across the river but still within walking distance. Davit Agmashenebeli Avenue is the main road here and bustles with cafes and restaurants. You can also find a good wine cellar or hidden restaurant a little off the main drag, too.
Chugureti has two metro stations for getting around town. Marjanishvili Metro Station opens on Agmashenebeli Avenue. Station Square Metro Station, a bit further north, is the main hub for the metro and Georgia’s railroad.
Pros of Staying in Chugureti:
- Lots of cozy restaurants with outdoor seating
- More affordable restaurants a little off the beaten path
- Easy access to transportation beyond Tbilisi
- Areas off the main road still have an authentic, local feel to them
Cons of Staying in Chugureti:
- Agmashenebeli Avenue feels less Georgian and a bit more touristy
- Noisy and crowded at times on Agmashenebeli Avenue (especially at night)
📚 Chugureti Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Tbilisi for Affordable Luxury
Vera and Vake
Vera and Vake feature some of the best accommodation options for families visiting Georgia. For example, Lowell Hotel offers family rooms, cribs on request, an excellent breakfast, and an airport shuttle service.
Vera and Vake are twin neighborhoods just west of the city center. Vera is the closer of the two to the center. The Rustaveli Metro Station is the nearest metro station, located about a 5-minute walk from Vera proper. Other forms of public transport (minibusses, for instance) are the best way to get further into the neighborhood.
This part of Tbilisi is one of the greenest parts of town. The main street here, Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue, is a tree-lined boulevard featuring trendy cafes and stores. Vake Park is perfect for a stroll and letting the kids get out a little energy. The much humbler Vera Park is also pleasant, but better suited for sitting and taking in the atmosphere.
Pros of Staying in Vera and Vake:
- More peaceful than city center neighborhoods
- Cozy cafes and restaurants
- Great parks for walking or letting children play
Cons of Staying in Vera and Vake:
- The metro doesn’t run here, so getting around takes a little more effort
- Vera gets crowded around rush hour
📚 Vera and Vake Mini Guide 📚
Where to Stay in Tbilisi for Families
Tips for Staying in Tbilisi
Learn a Little Georgian
Most people you’ll meet in the more central, touristy areas will speak at least a little English, especially the younger generations. But Georgians take pride in their culture and love when foreigners make the effort to learn more than basic travel phrases. Prospero’s Books on Rustaveli Avenue is a great place to pick up phrase books and local history books as well.
Georgian Drinking Culture: Wine and Spirits
Georgia’s drinking culture is intricate. Wine is the age-old standby along with certain spirits, and one doesn’t drink without a toast. Toasting is more than a simple “cheers” here. Toasts are meant to be heartfelt words, even blessings at times. As a visitor, you won’t be obliged to match your host’s eloquence, but give it your best shot (no pun intended)!
Georgian Drinking Culture: Beer
Beer is more of a casual hang-out drink, so you can drink it without a toast. Beer was, in fact, only used for toasting enemies in traditional Georgian culture. This attitude has loosened up a little in recent years, so friends may use it for toasts from time to time.
Avoid Talking About Politics
Georgia’s relations with Russia have been tenuous at the very best in recent years. Many Georgians have pro-European leanings, but this is also a nuanced issue for many people. Relations with other neighbors (Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) have also been complicated at times, so it’s better to avoid talking about politics altogether during your stay in Tbilisi.
Frequent demonstrations take place outside the Parliament building. It’s best to give them a wide berth as they have, at times, gotten ugly.
Hostel Private Rooms
Tbilisi has several great hostels offering private rooms as well as dorm rooms. The private rooms are a great option if, like me, you prefer a little more personal space. Prices are reasonable, too. This also gives you the chance to mingle with fellow travelers more so than hotels.
📚 Related Reading: Hostel vs Hotel? Here Are Key Differences & Honest Advice
Drinking The Tap Water
Tbilisi’s tap water is considered safe to drink by many visitors and commentators. I, however, have found that most times that I’ve done so, I’ve felt a little under the weather the next day. It’s nothing serious and passes with a good night’s rest, but I’d advise sticking to bottled water. There’s plenty available in most stores, with larger bottles costing below a dollar.
Restaurants and Service
Georgian food is some of the best in the world. Georgian people are some of the most profoundly hospitable in the world. Unfortunately, this attitude does not always carry over into the restaurant sphere.
Georgian restaurants have achieved mild notoriety for sometimes spotty, slow service. The most popular places tend to do better. A food tour also ensures a more hospitable experience. Consider booking a tour with our friends at Eat This!
Crossing the Street
Remember that game Frogger? That’s what crossing the street in Tbilisi can seem like at first. There are, of course, crosswalks regulated by traffic lights. The largest streets also have pedestrian underpasses.
The rest of the time, though, you’ll see locals playing real-life Frogger, especially on the back streets. Thankfully, this is the established way to cross the street and drivers know to slow down. Shadow a few locals if you find it too intimidating to cross the street solo.
Getting Around Town
Tbilisi has several options for public transport. Buses and minibusses (known as marshrutkas) operate on fixed routes. Tbilisi’s metro system connects the core regions and is the fastest way to get around town. These options can be paid for by scanning your credit card. There’s also the option to get a Metro Card at the nearest metro station and load it with lari.
Taxis and ride-hailing apps (Bolt and Yandex Taxi) offer a little more speed at a higher price. Tbilisi, however, has terrible traffic, especially in the evenings. Georgians are also among the most aggressive drivers.
Quieter places on the edge of town may tempt you when deciding where to stay in Tbilisi. This will, however, put you at the mercy of the horrific traffic. Places further from the city center may not have as many English-speaking staff. They will also have far fewer restaurants and stores located close enough for convenience.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Tbilisi is an overall safe city, despite the hair-raising nature of its roads. It’s still good to have travel insurance in Georgia, just in case.
The city has a few modern medical centers with English-speaking staff, and prices for services are low compared to most Western countries. Having the extra help from reliable companies, though, makes your stay in Tbilisi that much more enjoyable.
Bring Good Shoes
Tbilisi proper sprawls out beyond the areas mentioned above. Most of the attractions in the city center, though, are within walking distance of each other. Walking may also be the fastest way to beat evening traffic (together with taking the nearest metro). It’s also a great way to work off all that tasty Georgian food and wine.
You’ll notice quite a few strays roaming the streets of Tbilisi, but don’t worry. The dogs are generally not aggressive. I’ve only encountered one “territorial” dog in my two years in Tbilisi. It was right after the COVID curfews ended, so he was probably not happy with seeing humans on “his” turf again.
It’s best to leave the cats and dogs be, either way. They may often have fleas and other parasites.
FAQs About Where to Stay in Tbilisi
What are the best areas to stay in Tbilisi for first-timers?
What are safe areas to stay in Tbilisi?
The safe areas to stay in Tbilisi include Liberty Square, Rustaveli Avenue, Vera, and Vake. But all of Tbilisi is safe compared to many other cities of its size worldwide. Visitors should, though, follow the same common sense precautions they would anywhere else. Female solo travelers, for instance, would do best to not go too far off the main streets later at night.
What are the best areas to stay in Tbilisi on a budget?
What is the best month to visit Tbilisi?
September is the best month to visit Tbilisi. The peak tourist season is over and the summer heat starts to fade by mid-month. Crowd levels tend to drop, as do prices for accommodations.
I hope you’ve gotten some great ideas about where to stay in Tbilisi. Read my guide on the best day trips from Tbilisi next!
(Featured Image Credit: Aleksandr Medvedkov / Shutterstock)
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