Georgia is the final word European journey vacation spot.
This Caucasian nation is dwelling to, undoubtedly, essentially the most hanging mountains in Europe, composed of huge glaciers, fairy meadows, and 5,000-meter snowed capped peaks; and nice, vibrant capital, very Japanese European on the one hand however, on the opposite, with its distinctive Caucasian and Georgian identification and full of essentially the most unimaginable chaos.
Barely found by the typical traveler, Georgia is a rustic with a really robust nationwide character, seen in lots of elements, from having their very own Christian department to a novel architectural type, a really elaborate delicacies thought of the most effective within the former Soviet Union and a deeply rooted wine tradition.
I lived and traveled in Georgia for greater than 7 months, and it’s actually a kind of nations which, each time I write about its stunning issues, I can’t keep away from falling into nostalgia.
Georgia is a good nation and this information incorporates every thing it’s essential to know for touring to Georgia, from methods to get a visa to cultural information, trekking recommendation and loads of journey ideas, making it essentially the most detailed Georgia journey weblog.
For extra particular information about Tbilisi, don’t neglect my final information to journey to Tbilisi, which incorporates a great deal of off-beat stuff to go to
Visa for Georgia
Finest time to go to Georgia
Journey Insurance coverage for Georgia
How you can get in
Books for touring to Georgia
Excursions in Georgia
Is Georgia protected?
The individuals and the tradition
Get off the overwhelmed observe
Soviet heritage in Georgia
Trekking in Georgia
Wine in Georgia
Transportation in Georgia
My web site solely incorporates little details about Georgia, so if you wish to get deeper and find out about each vacation spot, get a duplicate of my information!
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Visa for touring to Georgia
Free one-year visa – Georgia has one of many biggest visa regimes on the planet, as you will get a 1-year FREE visa upon arrival within the nation.
You possibly can stay in Georgia for the remainder of your life – The perfect half is that this 1 12 months will get robotically renewed as soon as you allow and re-enter the nation, even in case you cross the Armenian border and are available again after one minute. This implies which you could keep in Georgia without end.
Which nationalities? Right here you’ll be able to see the checklist of the nations (94) that are eligible for the 1-year journey visa, which incorporates all Western Nationalities, Latin America, and all excessive GDP Asian nationalities.
By the way in which, apparently, EU residents can enter the nation with out a passport, with simply their nationwide ID however, simply in case, I like to recommend you deliver each.
Different nationalities can get an internet visa – Then, some nations like India, China or Egypt, amongst many others, can apply for an e-visa via this portal.
Keep in mind to learn my Tbilisi journey information
Finest time to go to Georgia
To start with, you need to know that Tbilisi could be visited all 12 months lengthy as, in winter, it by no means will get too chilly plus you received’t discover vacationers. Summer season is especially sizzling in Tbilisi however it’s the finest season to get pleasure from the remainder of the nation.
- Go to Georgia in winter – Georgia has a number of ski resorts, Gudauri being the most well-liked one, round Three hours away from Tbilisi. Clearly, their ski resorts will not be as nice as those in Europe, however they’re all proper and for individuals dwelling in Dubai and different heat areas, Georgia is perhaps the most effective close by ski vacation spot.
- Go to Georgia in spring – Lovely landscapes and lots of sunny days nevertheless it is perhaps too early to go trekking within the excessive Caucasus.
- Go to Georgia in summer season – The perfect time for trekking within the excessive Caucasus and visiting the coastal space.
- Go to Georgia in autumn – Mid-September is the harvest season, so for wine lovers, that is the most effective time to go to Kakheti area.
I personally assume that September can be the best month to journey to Georgia as a result of the trekking season isn’t over but, it’s harvest season, the climate in Tbilisi is nice and the massive crowds have already gone.
Insurance coverage for touring to Georgia
Nicely, Georgia is a trekking vacation spot and, as such, it’s possible you’ll wish to search for journey insurance coverage that covers journey locations and actions.
For this, I strongly suggest World Nomads:
- It covers essentially the most journey actions
- Their most elementary plan already consists of trekking as much as 4,500m
- It’s the solely firm that gives cowl with a vast finances, together with rescue
CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR FREE QUOTE FROM WORLD NOMADS
If you wish to know extra choices, learn: methods to discover the appropriate journey insurance coverage
How you can get to Georgia
How you can journey to Georgia by air
- Through Tbilisi – Tbilisi has many connections with Europe, some Asian locations and Dubai and different Center Japanese cities.
- Through Kutaisi – There’s a low-cost airport, with many Wizzair flights coming from a number of European cities, so it will even be an amazing probability to go to Kutaisi.
How you can journey to Georgia by land
- Russia – Formally, just one border with Russia is open, which is the one in Kazbegi. Then, you may have the South Ossetian border, which may’t be used for getting into/exiting Georgia, and the border with Abkhazia, which can be utilized for exiting however not getting into. For extra data, learn my journey information to Abkhazia.
- Azerbaijan – There are two official borders, one nearer to Tbilisi, which could be crossed by prepare, and the opposite one within the Kakheti area. Each are pleasant and really straightforward to cross. Learn my Azerbaijan itinerary for extra data.
- Armenia – There are three borders to select from, relying on the place you wish to go.
- Turkey – The are two very pleasant borders, the best being the coastal one, which takes you straight to Batumi.
Learn: Every little thing it’s essential to know for visiting Iran
Finest e-book guides for Georgia
In opposition to the Compass” Information to Georgia – My private book, filled with all my suggestions after 7 months of journey in Georgia. It incorporates 10 advised itineraries with their daily explanations, all sensible data and 12 journey guides to 12 totally different areas within the nation, with a particular give attention to off the overwhelmed observe locations.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE
Excursions for Georgia journey
Need to do some excursions if you are touring in Georgia?
Nice. I like to recommend you e-book them through GetYourGuide, as you will discover many excursions with evaluations and e-book them instantly on-line. To date, these are their hottest excursions:
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE AVAILABLE TOURS IN GEORGIA
Is it protected to journey to Georgia?
There may be not a lot to say right here apart from Georgia could be very protected to go to, because it enjoys among the lowest crime charges ever.
In actual fact, I used to work in several cafés round Tbilisi daily and I used to be very stunned that the Georgians would all the time go away their laptops and belongings on the desk and go exterior for a few minutes, one thing I might by no means do in Spain or in just about any European metropolis.
Touring to Georgia is protected, actually, together with for solo ladies.
Are you touring to Central Asia? Right here you will discover all my guides to the Stan nations
The individuals, the tradition and the nation
Georgia is a rustic situated within the Caucasus area that was once a part of the Soviet Union till its dissolution in 1991. It’s situated on the crossroads of Asia and Europe, which made it notably interesting and handy to occupy for a number of empires, from the Mongols to the Ottomans, the Persians and, in fact, the Russians, each the Russian Empire and the united states.
Georgia is a rustic with many layers of historical past, completely fascinating, but, and, surprisingly, they’ve been in a position to keep their robust tradition and character, very totally different from anyplace else you might have been to.
Learn: What to do in Iran for 1 month
Is it a part of Europe or not?
From a geographical standpoint, the nation is actually, proper in between Asia and Europe, in Eurasia, so some individuals might argue relating to allocating it.
To be trustworthy, I don’t actually care the place it sits as a result of I personally assume that its tradition is extra essential than its geographic location and, for my part, Georgia has many similarities to Japanese Europe, greater than even Turkey, which is geographically nearer; and it barely shares any similarity with its Central Asian cousins and this can be very totally different from any nation within the Center East.
Furthermore, as a Spaniard, I’ll even inform you that they’ve many similarities with South Europeans, particularly Greeks and Spaniards, not solely in the way in which we appear like but additionally, in the way in which we eat, drink and sit across the desk.
Truly, some research affirm that Georgians have frequent ancestry with Basque individuals, a separate nation inside Spain.
So sure, I believe that Georgia is a part of Europe.
Georgia and Russia
Heads-up. Georgians don’t like Russians, for a lot of causes, however primarily as a result of Georgian-Russian battle in 2008. I don’t actually wish to enter into politics however, mainly, Georgia went to battle with South Ossetia, a area that needed to separate from Georgia and had the assist of Russia, which ended up right into a navy invasion of Georgia with Russian tanks.
It’s, in fact, rather more difficult than that, however that is what most Georgians will inform you and, in case you meet some Georgians, you might be prone to hear them complaining about Russians on a regular basis.
This subject is form of controversial as a result of Georgia largely depends upon Russian tourism, and so they can truly journey to Georgia visa-free, however Georgians have to undergo a really tedious course of to enter Russia.
My nation is 20% occupied by Russia
For those who keep within the nation for lengthy sufficient, you’re going to hear this sentence very often, instantly from Georgians and even written on blackboards from essentially the most progressive bars. This 20% refers to South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia.
Georgia is the place conventional and European values collapse
Tbilisi is a kind of capitals which, on the one hand, is dwelling to a really conventional and tremendous non secular, conservative society which nonetheless lives within the final century and, then again, a big younger inhabitants, very open-minded in all senses and with very robust European values.
From not hiding their homosexuality to combating for gender equality, the younger crowd is actually demanding change.
They want to be on the degree of any EU nation, to be a part of it even, however, sadly, they’re in battle with the big, completely conservative department, who’re supported by the highly effective Church and, because of this, a lot of their demonstrations find yourself with violence.
Actually, once I was dwelling there in 2018, I witnessed fairly a number of extraordinarily violent episodes.
Georgians converse Georgian, a language whose origins are a bit unsure plus it’s just like nothing you ever listened to. In addition they have their very own alphabet, fairly stunning for my part.
How you can talk with the locals
In Tbilisi, most younger individuals converse good English however exterior of Tbilisi not that a lot. Not like in most former Soviet nations, in Georgia, they stopped educating Russian in school proper after their independence, which implies that individuals who had been born after 1991 don’t converse Russian in any respect, and among the older technology who do don’t actually like to talk it for the above-mentioned causes.
85% of Georgians belong to a Christian department named Georgian Orthodox, one of many world’s most historical Church buildings, based within the 1st Century and the primary cause why Georgians have been in a position to protect their nationwide identification regardless of all of the invasions.
Georgia is essentially the most non secular Christian nation I’ve ever been to, a rustic the place you’re going to see a number of younger individuals crossing themselves each time they move a Church.
By the way in which, visiting the countless Georgian Orthodox church buildings and monasteries is among the highlights, as they are typically inbuilt epic places, plus they’ve their very own architectural type.
Moreover, 10% are Muslims, primarily dwelling in Adjara, a area bordering Turkey, as that space was once a part of the Ottoman Empire.
Learn: What to do in Azerbaijan in Three weeks
The unrecognized republics inside Georgia
On this Georgia journey information, I believe it’s a good suggestion to say some unbiased, but, non-recognized, nations it’s possible you’ll not have heard of.
Principally, an unrecognized republic is a rustic that has bought its independence, however, no one within the worldwide neighborhood acknowledges it, which implies that the UN doesn’t acknowledge its existence.
There are lots of ghost nations all over the world and in Georgia, you discover two: Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
These nations declared themselves unbiased from Georgia, which led to a bloody battle and, since no one acknowledged them, they weren’t in a position to be a part of the worldwide banking system and their borders had been closed, so right now, they’re economically backed up by Russia, in trade for recognition, affect and navy presence.
Learn: Helpful ideas for touring to Iran
Nonetheless, getting into these enclaves seems like being in a very totally different nation, as they’ve a border, require separate visas, have a definite tradition and Georgia has completely zero energy and affect over them.
Abkhazia – You possibly can simply go to it from Georgia and all you want is an e-visa which takes one week to course of. For extra data, learn: How you can journey to Abkhazia.
South Ossetia – Not accessible from Georgia: you’ll be able to solely enter from Russia and it’s possible you’ll have to have a double entry Russian visa.
Get off the overwhelmed observe while you go backpacking in Georgia
Georgia is an rising vacationer vacation spot however I believe that, in a few years, it’s going to enter the mass tourism vacation spot stage.
In actual fact, some elements of Georgia, like Kazbegi or Mestia are already fairly commercialized, which implies that taxi rip-offs are frequent and the locals don’t care about something however the cash you may have in your pocket.
It’s a pity as a result of Georgians are recognized for his or her humble hospitality and plainly this commercialization got here too rapidly.
Nonetheless, don’t be upset as a result of many of the nation has been barely visited by vacationers and there are lots of pure areas, fairly uncooked, the place the locals will bless you with their hospitality. These are the most effective off the overwhelmed observe locations to go backpacking in Georgia:
- The mountains of Adjara (bordering Turkey)
- Some villages of Kakheti
Soviet Heritage in Georgia
Like I mentioned earlier than, the Georgia-Russia relationship is form of controversial as a result of, on one facet, they wish to erase any Russian affect from their tradition however, on the opposite facet, right here you discover a shit load of Soviet Heritage, rather more than in its neighbor Azerbaijan, a Soviet Nation that determined to remove most Soviet buildings, but, they’ve good relations with mom Russia.
Some Soviet relics it’s possible you’ll discover:
- Soviet Modernism – Soviet Modernism was a creative motion that flourished over the past a long time of the united states and primarily consisted of buildings with notably bizarre shapes. Nicely, in Tbilisi you discover traces of this motion all over the place.
- Concrete Soviet buildings – Exterior of the Outdated Metropolis, many of the buildings are from the Communist period, particularly within the suburbs, the place every thing stays untouched.
- Deserted factories – There are a great deal of deserted Soviet factories all around the nation, my favourite being the one in Zestaponi.
- Mining cities – Chiatura was once some of the essential facilities for the mining trade within the Soviet Union (Stalin himself used to stay right here) and the city hasn’t modified a lot since then.
Learn: Backpacking in Kazakhstan for 1 month
Trekking in Georgia
Georgia is the final word trekking vacation spot, dwelling to among the highest mountains in Europe, with its highest peak being Shkhara, situated at 5,193 meters.
A number of issues you need to find out about trekking in Georgia:
- Many of the excessive mountains are situated within the north of the nation, on the coronary heart of the Better Caucasus.
- If you’re planning to trek in excessive altitudes, summer season is the best season however the finish of spring and starting of autumn needs to be good as effectively.
- The Better Caucasus is not any joke, because it gives some actually difficult treks and the climate is extremely unpredictable. For those who don’t have a lot expertise, don’t go alone, or attempt doing one of many busy, well-liked treks.
- Besides in some elements of Svaneti and Tusheti, you received’t discover any guesthouses alongside the way in which, so it’s essential to deliver correct mountain gear.
- From epic glaciers to mind-blowing snow-capped peaks, the mountains of Georgia are an actual surprise, so get pleasure from.
Regardless of spending 7 months within the nation, I simply did a few treks in Svaneti and Kazbegi (the guides are on their method), so in case you actually wish to find out about trekking in Georgia, I like to recommend you test this web site: Caucasus Trekking – It incorporates very detailed guides to just about any trek in Georgia.
Learn: A information for trekking in Kyrgyzstan
Wine in Georgia (and chacha)
Wine is a part of Georgian’s identification and, subsequently, the spotlight of touring to Georgia and it actually deserves a single part on this Georgia journey information.
Archaeological proof exhibits that they’ve been producing wine for almost 8,000 years, making them one of many oldest nations on the planet, if not the oldest, to ever produce wine.
Historically, they used to make wine in one thing referred to as qvevri, that are some clay vessels that are positioned on the ground of a room referred to as marani. This was once the standard method and, like most traditions in Georgia, many wineries nonetheless use it.
In rural areas and smaller cities, plainly all people produces their very own wine at dwelling and, if you’re staying in a standard visitor home, it’s not unusual that your host will most likely give you some for breakfast, no kidding.
It additionally occurred to us that random individuals stopped us in the midst of the road to simply greet us and provides a number of litters of wine, free of charge.
The actual fact is that Georgian wine is all over the place, and you’re going to discover good wine and unhealthy wine however an important is that for just some €, you will discover some great things.
If you wish to actually witness the wine tradition in Georgia, it’s essential to go to Georgia in September, through the harvest season, when all Kakheti is full of Soviet vans additional loaded with grapes and all of the small wineries are of their manufacturing levels.
By the way in which, Georgia produces a big number of grapes however the most typical ones can be Saperavi for purple wine and Rkatsiteli for white wine.
What about chacha? When Georgians don’t drink wine, they drink chacha, a extremely robust liquor normally created from grape which may simply include as much as 60-70% of alcohol. You’ll be stunned to know that some visitor homes additionally give you chacha for breakfast.
We additionally bought supplied chacha by many taxi drivers, bus drivers and simply random individuals we ran into.
The meals is one other of the highlights of visiting Georgia.
In actual fact, Georgian delicacies is the delicacies of reference within the Soviet Union, to the extent that the most effective native eating places in Russia are Georgian eating places.
Their meals, nonetheless, tends to be heavy however they provide a big number of dishes and, not like all of the growing nations I’ve been to, in Tbilisi you already discover fairly a number of eating places serving excessive native delicacies.
Cheese, walnuts and meat, a great deal of meat, are normally the core of any of their meals however in addition they have many vegetarian choices, particularly eggplant dishes.
A number of the dishes you might be prone to style are:
Churchkhela – Churchkhela isn’t actually a dish however a standard candle-shaped sweet, and I’m placing it on the highest of the checklist since you discover it all over the place. Principally, it consists of walnuts and almonds dipped into an excellent thick, and very sizzling, grape juice, which they should hold for a few hours to dry out. Don’t purchase it in touristic areas, as they cost Four or 5 instances the precise value. The native value is 2-3GEL per unit.
Khinkali – The native dumplings, sometimes full of meat. You may additionally discover them full of cheese and different components however these are aimed toward vacationers. By the way in which, the native method to eat them is biting one a tiny bit to suck all of the meat broth after which consuming it as if it was an apple.
Khachapuri Adjaluri – Khachapuri is, mainly baked bread with melted cheese, however they’ve many variations and adjaluri is boat-shaped khachapuri with a great deal of melted cheese, butter and an egg floating over on high of it.
Badridzhani Nigvsit – Grilled eggplants with walnut paste. Maybe, my favourite.
Satsivi – Rooster in walnut sauce. This dish tends to be costly and never accessible on most menus however I strongly suggest you order it, at the very least as soon as.
Lobio – Bean stew, normally served with cornbread and pickles.
Gobi – Gobi is a particular starter dish containing a number of vegetarian snacks corresponding to phkali, that are spinach balls with walnut paste.
Kupati – The native grilled sausage.
My web site solely incorporates little details about Georgia, so if you wish to get deeper and find out about each vacation spot, get a duplicate of my information!
CLICK TO LEARN MORE
Cash in Georgia – Georgia journey finances
In Georgia, they use the Georgian Lari (GEL) and, roughly, 1€ = 3GEL
They name the small foreign money Tetris.
Bank cards and ATMs – In Tbilisi, you’ll be able to pay by bank card just about anyplace and ATMs abound, all of them accepting worldwide bank cards. You will want money for taxis and the standard retailers. Exterior of Tbilisi, do deliver money.
Exchanging cash – Exchanging cash is simple and € and USD are accepted all over the place.
How a lot does it value to journey in Georgia?
The excellent news is that Georgia is actually, actually low-cost.
How a lot does meals value in Georgia?
- A meal in finances, native eateries – Round 7-10GEL
- A meal in increased high quality eating places – Round 15-25GEL
- A meal in top-end eating places – From 50-60GEL
- Cappuccino – 4-5GEL
- Native beer – 2-3GEL
- A glass of native wine – 2-4GEL
- A glass of excellent high quality wine – 8-11GEL
How a lot does transportation value in Georgia?
- Taxis inside Tbilisi – 3-5GEL
- Bus/metro journey – 0.50GEL
- Marshrutka to Mtskheta – 1GEL
- Marshrutka to Kazbegi – 10GEL
- Prepare to Batumi – 50GEL
How a lot does lodging value in Georgia?
- Funds Hostels – From 15GEL
- Double room in a finances visitor home – From 40-50GEL
- Double room in a mid-range lodge – From 80GEL
Backpacking Funds for Georgia: 25-30€ a day
Transportation – How you can go backpacking Georgia
How you can transfer round Tbilisi:
- Taxi – If you wish to get the most cost effective charges (and keep away from bargaining), obtain Yandex or Taxify. Most rides value round 3-5GEL.
- Metro – There are two metro strains. A single metro journey prices 0.50GEL, however it’s essential to first purchase a metro card for 2GEL.
- Bus – It really works with the identical metro card and Google Maps tells you the bus variety of your route.
- Yellow mini-vans – Additionally, you will see some yellow mini-vans roaming round Tbilisi. They’re non-public and one single ticket prices 0.80GEL. Nonetheless, they’re tougher to make use of as a result of the indicators are within the Georgian alphabet.
How you can transfer round Georgia:
Marshrutka – Marshrutkas are the tiny mini-vans used to maneuver across the nation. They go just about anyplace, are the most cost effective method to transfer round and go away as soon as they’re full. Nonetheless, the drivers are actually loopy, critically, among the craziest I’ve ever met, and notice that I’ve been touring in locations recognized for his or her loopy driving like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Prepare – There’s a prepare line that goes all the way in which to Zugdidi, Batumi and in addition to Armenia and Azerbaijan. You possibly can e-book your prepare tickets on the prepare station itself however I used to purchase them on-line via this web site. Do e-book them upfront, particularly in summer season as a result of they run out fairly rapidly.
Renting a automotive – When my dad and mom came over us in Georgia, we traveled across the nation by automotive for every week. It is extremely handy and, in case you drive fastidiously, you need to be all proper. We used a neighborhood firm named father or mother.ge, which is considerably cheaper than most worldwide branches. The proprietor of this firm was our landlord, Dato. He’s a cool man.
Lodging in Georgia
In Georgia, you discover a variety of lodging all through the nation:
Hostels – In Tbilisi, you will discover a shit load of hostels.
CLICK HERE TO FIND THE BEST HOSTELS IN TBILISI
Visitor Homes – Funds, beautiful guesthouses additionally abound throughout Georgia.
Motels – From 5-star inns in Tbilisi to the mountain lodges in Kazbegi, the lodge choices are countless.
CLICK HERE TO FIND THE BEST HOTELS AND GUEST HOUSES IN GEORGIA
Homestays – In Svaneti and Tusheti, homestays are the way in which to go.
Airbnb – Airbnb could be very well-liked in Tbilisi. Do not forget that, in case you create an account via my hyperlink, you’ll stand up to 35€ of FREE credit score in your subsequent reserving.
SIGN UP THROUGH THIS LINK TO GET YOUR 35€ OF FREE CREDIT
Web and cellular
Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi is nice all through the nation. Within the mountains, the sign is unhealthy, in fact, however you’ll be able to nonetheless hook up with just about anyplace, even in Tusheti.
SIM Card – Magticom is the cellular firm I used to be utilizing and I do not forget that for just some €, you will get a great deal of GB each month. The perfect is which you could top-up your telephone on-line. Test their web site for the newest offers.
Extra data for touring to Georgia
Fb Teams – Expats in Tbilisi and Georgian Wanderers are some nice Fb Teams the place you’ll be able to ask questions.
Keep in mind to test In opposition to the Compass’ Information to Georgia – CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!
For trekking, don’t neglect to test Caucasus Trekking
Right here you will discover all my articles and guides to Georgia
Touring to Azerbaijan? Nice, right here it’s also possible to discover all my articles and guides to Azerbaijan
Many vacationers who journey to Georgia additionally go to Iran, so I like to recommend you test my information to journey to Iran.
Touring to Central Asia? Right here you will discover all my guides to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
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