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Georgia – an ancient European country

At the intersection of Europe and Asia lies a gold mine for interesting sightseeing. Though less than half the size of the US state bearing the same name, Georgia is packed full of rich history and culture. From beaches along the Black Sea to fascinating historical sites, fun amusement parks and museums to religious landmarks and mountain range scenery, you’ll find a lot to do in a small area. Perhaps most interestingly, if you visit the country, you’ll have an opportunity to walk where some of the first humans roamed the earth 1.8 million years ago. Scientists have uncovered this ancient evidence through their excavations at Dmanisi, which is a must-see site when you’re there.

Fantastic things to see and do during a visit to the capital city of Tbilisi:

Georgia's capital city of Tbilisi
Georgia's capital city of Tbilisi

Old Town (Altstadt) – Set out on a walk through this area and see a little bit of everything. This eclectic zone is home to religious sites, residential areas, restaurants, sulphur baths and more.

Bazari Orbeliani – Have a meal in this 1866 historic market which has been transformed into a fabulous “food hall.” Come hungry to try a wide variety of dishes and stay late for some drinks and local entertainment.

Aerial Tramway – Take a ride on this cable car for a lovely view of the city.

Bridge of Peace - Cross or simply view this unique bridge, famous for its beauty and lights that change colors at night.

Bridge of Peace
Bridge of Peace

Tsminda Sameba - Admire this historical Cathedral, known to be the largest church in Georgia.

Narikala Fortress – Reach this ancient fortress by climbing the hill from old town. There is plenty to see on the short journey, including the Sulphur Baths.

Funicular – Hop on for a ride from the city to Mtatsminda park for beautiful city and territorial views. If kids are traveling with you, or you are feeling like a kid yourself, enjoy the amusement park at the top. This hilltop (and hillside) in the city is famous for its greenery and spectacular views. While enjoying the natural beauty, check out the pantheon and dine in the highly rated restaurant complex. It is worth noting that the pantheon and surrounding views are especially beautiful in the evenings.

National Botanical Garden of Georgia – Take a leisurely stroll through and appreciate these beautiful gardens dating to the early 1600s. Allow the mesmerizing white noise to calm your travel nerves by taking a rest under the stunning waterfall.

Metekhi Cathedral – Be sure to look for it, one of the oldest cathedrals in the city, perched on a cliff alongside the river overlooking the old town of Tbilisi.

Museum of Illusions and Holoseum – Blow your mind with a wide array of illusions and then step into the Holoseum for a unique display of projections showcasing Georgian art, music and history. Both are conveniently located in the same building.

Memorial History of Georgia – Climb the stairs to visit this impressive monument, sometimes likened to Stonehenge, and admire the massive, engraved pillars along the way.

Dmanisi – Take the time to visit! Though an hour and a half from Tbilisi and technically a day trip, this village is home to Georgia’s most well-known archaeological site. Check out the open-air museum’s ancient, excavated fossils, tools, skeletal remains and other fascinating finds. Look at the ruins of Dmanisi Castle and ponder the thought of the famous silk road once running right through this once bustling area. Dmanisi is of such historical significance that it should be considered a “must-see” for Tbilisi, even if time doesn’t allow for any other day trips or cities to explore.

Historical Site at Dmanisi
Historical Site at Dmanisi

Outside of Tbilisi are countless options for both day and overnight trips. Here are some of the favorites to consider:

Batumi is Georgia’s second largest city and is home to many attractions. Located on the Black Sea, it is home to popular Central Beach. Other “must-see” places in Batumi include the Botanical Gardens, Batumi Boulevard, Batumi Dolphinarium, Monument Ali and Nino, Argo Cable Car, Europe Square, Dancing Fountains, Ethnographic Museum “Borjgalo” and Piazza Square.

Vardzia Cave Town
Vardzia Cave Town

Vardzia is a 12th century cave town that will blow your mind. This is one of the most interesting historical sites in the area. Another great one to visit is Uplistsiche Cave Town.

Prometheus Cave – located in Kumistave, take the optional boat ride to capture its beauty but be sure to exit the boat and walk around for the full experience. The path is damp and slippery, so be careful not to fall. If you enjoy caves, another good choice is the New Athos Cave where entry is via train.

By Lisa Osborne Blalock

Footloose Travel & Tours


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