If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Georgia, a country located on the edge of Europe and Asia, you’re in the right place. With almost 30 trips there since 2012, I’ve been to every corner of the country and still find it fascinating. Despite its small size, there are many amazing things to do in Georgia, from visiting picturesque cities and historic fortresses to vineyards and ski resorts.
Located on the edge of Europe and Asia, the country of Georgia borders Russia to the north, Turkey, and Armenia to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and the Black Sea to the west.
Even though most people are not familiar with the country, it’s becoming a popular destination in the past few years. Several airlines have started operating new direct flights to Tbilisi and Kutaisi, especially from Europe and the Middle East.
Best Time To Travel To Georgia
The country of Georgia is a year-round destination. Despite that, spring and fall/autumn are the best times to visit.
Summers in Georgia are very hot, with the capital experiencing temperatures around 86 F (30 C) to 95 F (35 C). This is when the beaches on the Black Sea coast attract locals and visitors from Russia, Ukraine, and neighboring countries. Hotel rooms are also more expensive during this time. During summer, there are also several music festivals around the country, especially in the coastal cities of Batumi and Kobuleti.
Winters are not too cold, especially in larger cities. Winter temperatures in Tbilisi and Batumi, with temperatures in these cities ranging from 32 F (0 C) to 46 F (8 C). It rarely snows in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi. On the mountains, however, the temperatures can reach -4 F (-20 C), making it perfect for winter sports.
Georgia’s ski resorts have a good infrastructure, especially Gudauri, the biggest of them all. If you’re traveling to Georgia in winter, make sure to book your accommodation in Gudauri and Bakuriani in advance, to get the best rates.
Georgia Visa Requirements
Visiting Georgia Visa Free
Georgia’s visa requirements are among the most generous in the world. That’s the reason it’s been attracting a large number of digital nomads from all over the world. Georgia’s visa-free policy offers nationals of several countries the chance to stay for 360 days in the country.
The Georgian e-visa is offered to citizens of 65 countries, including Indians and Pakistanis. Depending on your nationality, the e-visa allows you to stay in the country between 30 and 90 days at a time.
You will also have to present different documents – again, depending on your nationality. Here you can read more about the Georgia e-via scheme.
The Best Places To Visit in Georgia (Europe)
There are some really amazing places to visit in Georgia and I could write a 100-place-long list. But to be more concise and realistic about what people would do on a first trip to the country, I will show you the most beautiful places that you’re bound to visit in Georgia.
Despite the fact that many believe the country is an adventure or budget travel destination, there are many things to do in Georgia. From mountaineering, skiing, and paragliding to wine tasting, sunbathing on the beach, or just immersing into the country’s rich and unique culture.
1- Tbilisi, The Most Visited City in Georgia
What’s the number one tourist attraction in Georgia? It may be a bit obvious, but let’s start with the capital. But if you were to visit one single place in the country, Tbilisi would be that place.
The Georgian capital is a city that blends historic and modern architecture in such a way that they seem to complement each other. The city was born close to the Mtkvari river, where the sulfur bath district is.
Among the places to visit in Georgia’s capital, you can’t miss the buzzy Rustaveli Avenue, with its large neo-classic and art-nouveau buildings, the parliament, and the Opera House. Ride the cable car to visit Narikala Fortress, nestled atop a hill with fantastic views of the city. Have a drink at Fabrika, a multi-purpose place that includes a cool hostel, bars, restaurants, and lots of street art. For more places to visit in the city, check out this post.
Tbilisi also has a good selection of great accommodation, you can see some of the best in this article. You can also follow my 2-day Tbilisi itinerary and check out the city’s best restaurants.
Also: Transport from Tbilisi Airport to the city center
2- Kazbegi (Stepantsminda)
The small town of Kazbegi is surrounded by mountains and is one of the best places to visit in Georgia any time of the year.
Located 96 miles (155 kilometers) from Tbilisi, at the final part of the Georgian Military Road, which connects the capital to Russia, the town offers great hikes in the surrounding mountains in spring and summer. The town is popular with tourists on day trips from Tbilisi, but it deserves at least one full day and night.
The main attraction in Kazbegi is its setting. The mountain views are spectacular. Especially if you have a hotel room with views of the Gergeti Church and the majestic Mount Kazbegi, the second tallest mountain in Georgia. You can also hike or ride a 4×4 to see the church. From there, you’ll also be amazed by the beautiful views of the valley with the small town down below.
3- Mtskheta, The Old Georgian Capital
Mtskheta is another small town worth visiting when in Georgia. Located 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) from Tbilisi city center, it’s an easy morning or afternoon trip that I highly recommend.
Mtskheta is one of the few UNESCO World Heritage sites in Georgia. In fact, the town is the main religious destination in the whole of Georgia, with many Georgian couples choosing to have their wedding ceremony at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. The cathedral is home to many important relics and was built on a site selected by St Nino.
Apart from the cathedral, you can also drive up to the Jvari Monastery, perched atop a hill with fantastic views over the city. Seeing Jvari from the road or from Mtskheta itself is already a special sight. There is also a small market near the cathedral selling paintings and handicrafts by local artists, local snacks, and plenty of restaurants.
4- Ananuri Fortress
Ananuri Fortress is another attraction on the Georgian Military Highway, 27 miles (44 kilometers) from Mtskheta. It was the castle of the Duchy of Aragvis, built in the 6th century.
It’s often visited as a stopover between Tbilisi and Kazbegi but deserves a visit in its own right. The setting, by a dam on the Aragvi River, makes it the perfect postcard picture. So much so, that Lonely Planet used it as the cover of one of its travel guides.
5- Gudauri, The Main Ski Resort
Also located along the Georgian Military Highway, Gudauri is more famous as Georgia’s largest ski resort. In the winter season, it becomes a lively place with skiers from Georgia and neighboring countries enjoying the snow and the ski pistes.
While in winter, the hotel rooms in Gudauri get booked up fast, in the rest of the year there are fewer tourists around. Those who do come will enjoy mountain hikes, horseback riding, and paragliding. Don’t miss out on a stop at the iconic Monument to the Georgian and Russian Friendship, built in the early 1980s. The views from there are also second to none.
6- Kutaisi, The Alternative Gateway To Georgia
The third biggest city in the country, Kutaisi has become one of the main ports of entry to Georgia, with low-cost flights from all over Europe and the Middle East. Although many travelers just use the city as a point of arrival and departure, don’t let yourself be fooled. Kutaisi is one of the top places to visit in Georgia.
The city center is dominated by old charming houses, but the main attraction in Kutaisi is the beautiful Prometheus Caves, located 13.5 miles (21.6 kilometers) away. The many stalactites and stalagmites are enhanced by smart lighting that makes exploring the caves even more interesting.
Other places worth visiting are the Bagrati Cathedral, the Gelati Monastery complex, the futuristic Georgian Parliament Building, and the local vegetables market.
7- Batumi, Georgia’s Must-Visit Beach Resort
Batumi is the second most visited city in Georgia, located on the Black Sea shores. This is where local and international tourists come to spend the summer months, with accommodation in Batumi going at a premium this time of the year.
There are people sunbathing on the pebble beach, cycling along the New Boulevard, or gambling in one of the many casinos. Yes, Batumi is kind of a Las Vegas of the Black Sea but has ambitions of being the region’s Dubai.
The city’s skyline is filled with skyscrapers and there are also plans to construct a smaller version of Dubai’s The Palm complex. But the city also has a small historic area in the city center, with many large houses and mansions that give you an idea of what it used to look like in the old days.
It’s located 233 miles (375 kilometers) from the capital and here I show you how to get to Batumi from Tbilisi and back.
8- Sighnaghi, One of the Prettiest Places in Georgia
Also known as The City of Love, Signhaghi is located in the Kakheti region, also known as the main wine-producing region in Georgia.
What is the prettiest place in Georgia? Some people dare say that it’s Sighnaghi. With its cobblestone streets, restored old houses with colorful wooden balconies, ancient fortress, and valley views, the city is another popular day trip destination.
The Bobde Monastery is located just over one mile (1.6 kilometers) from the town center and is also worth visiting. Don’t forget to try some great local wine, especially the one produced by Pheasant’s Tears winery.
9- David Gareja Monastery
David Gareja Monastery is among the places to visit in Georgia that you can’t miss. Also located in the Kakheti region, a visit to the monastery can be combined with a vineyard tour.
Situated 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Tbilisi, this rock-hewn Orthodox monastery was built in the 6th century. The complex includes many chapels, churches, cells, chapels, and sleeping quarters. Some of the small cells have ancient frescoes, some of which are very well preserved.
Part of the monastery is right on the Georgia-Azerbaijan border and you can stand right on the small markings with one foot in each country.
See Also: The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Israel
Gori is a small city located 53.5 miles (86 kilometers) from Tbilisi. The city’s historical part has been recently renovated, bringing back the beauty of the old houses and wood-carved balconies. The city also has a medieval fortress on the hilltop.
What makes it one of the best places to visit in Georgia, however, is its main attraction, the (in)famous Stalin Museum. This is where Joseph Stalin, the ruthless Soviet ruler was born. In the museum patio, you will see the small house where Ioseb Dzhugashvili (his original Georgian name) was born and lived, as well as his personal train carriage, which he used from 1941 onwards on trips that included those to the Yalta and Tehran Conferences. and where he traveled from Moscow.
As I mentioned, there are many things to do in Georgia and I could go on and on. The country is becoming an ever so popular destination, so I highly recommend you to.