According to the Georgian ancient proverb, Tbilisi is the city that loves you! Since ancient times, it has been noted that “Every guest is Godsend,” for hospitality. Located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, is a former Soviet republic that’s home to Caucasus Mountain villages and Black Sea beaches is a confluence of multiple cultures. Explore this underrated yet spectacular city of culture, art, and hospitality with the Tbilisi Travel Guide and Offline Map for a stress-free visit.
1. The Architecture
The patchwork architecture in Old Tbilisi is reason enough to visit this pretty capital city. Intricate balconies sigh from tired buildings. Cobbled streets ramble through historic neighborhoods. Centuries of Persian, German, and Russian architectural influence is visible. But it’s not just the historic aspects that fascinates. Tbilisi’s more recent stability has it screaming into a disorienting modernity. Controversial space-age architecture takes up residence alongside the historic buildings. A gamut of architectural possibilities sit in the shadow of the 4th century Narikala Fortress. Tbilisi has a complicated history that has continued into the present. The aesthetic of the city bears testament.
2. The Wine Culture
Georgia’s clay vessel winemaking process, Qvevri, made UNESCO’s list for the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. They are one of the oldest wine regions in the world, where they cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production for over 8000 years. Sprinkled throughout the boutiques and sidewalk cafés are dozens of wine shops and tasting rooms. Wine is the icebreaker with new Georgian friends. Each time you meet a local, you can bet they’ll share with you their favorite variety. Even more often, they might just boast of their tasty homemade wines.
3. The Hospitality
Hospitality runs deep in every Georgian’s blood, as evidenced by Kartlis Deda watching over Tbilisi from Sololaki Hill. Better known as Mother Georgia, her looming figure exemplifies the spirit of welcome in the country. For Georgians, this statue represents the dual priorities of hospitality and freedom. Erected in the 50s, Mother Georgia carries a bowl of wine in one hand and a sword in the other. The wine is for friends, the sword for enemies.