5 Must See Places in Tbilisi

1. Sulfur bath – abanotubani

Sulfur Baths
Photo Source: bucketlistly.com

  • +99532 272 20 90
  • Abanotubani District, Tbilisi
  • Mo-Su: public bath 07:00 – 21:00; private bath 7/24

According to the legend, in the V century, King Vakhtang Gorgasali found his hunting falcon poached in the  hot sulfur waters and ordered to move the capital city to this place. He named the city – Tbilisi. The word “Tbili” translates as “Warm” so the name was most probably inspired by hot sulfurous springs that come natural in certain districts of the city.

The original place is located  at the eastern bank of the Mtkvari river and is called abanotubani (bath district). The closer you get to ancient bath district, the better you smell sulfur. Sulfur helps protect your body against toxins in the environment. Sulfur baths also relieve pain and itching caused by hemorrhoids. This water is perfect for nervous system, boosts blood circulation and has other positive effects on the human body. In every bath at Abanotubani you will find massage therapist called Mekise, who will give you strong rub and clean your skin. Back in the days there were 63 baths in Tbilisi, nowadays most visited places are in Abanotubani: “Orbelian Bath”, “Royal Bath House”, “Sulphur baths”, “Bakhmaro baths” and the oldest “Bath house #5”, which is  the cheapest and the oldest  and it’s located right in the middle of Abanotubani.

The more privacy and comfort you look for, the more money you should pay. Prices range from 6 to 50 USD.

Note that in sulfur bath women should wear swimsuits and men should wear swimming trunks. You can get all the bath accessories at the place, but bringing your own towel and footwear is highly advised.   

By the way, if you walk pass Abano N5 and cross the bridge, you will discover a small waterfall in the heart of the city. Most of the locals don’t even know that it exists. The place is called Leghvtakhevi and it is a beautiful escape from the noisy city.

2. Dry Bridge (mshrali khidi)

Mshrali Khidi
photo Source: yankeerussia.com

  • Dry Bridge (close to Saarbrucken Square), Tbilisi
  • Mo-Su: 10:00 – 17:00

Dry bridge is a must see flea market in Tbilisi which is located in the old historical part of the city. Mshrali Khidi is very close to Saarbrucken Square, Easily accessible from the main roads. 20-25 minutes away from Liberty square. Bus #20 goes straight to the market. You will notice first merchants from Soviet time Georgia already from the bus stop. On the dry bridge you can find almost everything you were looking for, even Irons and remote controls, but mostly people come here for old coins, postcards, dishes, paintings, books, accessories, vintage phones, and cameras.  Here citizens of Tbilisi bring out all the treasure from their houses to make money or just present their collections to the Tourists. At the weekends visitor of Tbilisi go to the busy market for cheap souvenirs or just for something memorable to take home from the city. Note that the prices here are quite high and merchants might try to charge you extra just because you are foreigner, so feel free to negotiate the price.

Knowing couple of Russian words would be a plus, because most merchants at the Market speak only Georgian and Russian.

 

3. Funikular

Funicular
Photo Credit: Khuroshvili Ilya

  • Chonkadze Str., Tbilisi
  • Mo-Su: 11:00 – 19:30.

Tbilisi is surrounded with hills from all sides. Bad thing about the hills surrounding Tbilisi is that they make the city so hot in the summer, but the good thing is that there is a panoramic view of the city from every hill.

The best thing you can do is go to the Funicular station on Chonkadze street and get into the cable car to the Mtatsminda Park. But first you will have to buy a pass. One way costs less than 2 USD for adults, while children below 6 years are for free.

Try to sit near the lowest window, so that you can enjoy the view on your way up. Once you get out of the cable car, you are in the restaurant with Khinkali and traditional Georgian food on the right side from you, with Khachapuri, Lagidze Water and desserts on the left side from you, and stylish European Restaurant on the second floor. There are terraces, so in the good weather you can sit outside and enjoy relaxed Georgian lifestyle.

Outside the restaurant there are binoculars that will help you to have a closer view of almost any place in Tbilisi.

4. Narikala

Narikala Castle
photo Source: panoramio.com

  • Narikala Castle, Tbilisi

It is a fortress with a church on the top of the old city. First citadel was built here in the IV century, but what has remained now is dated with VII-VIII centuries. You can either walk there from Kote Apkhazi or Lado Asatiani streets or you can take a cable car from the Rikhe Park.

5. Gabriadze Theatre

Gabriadze Theatre
photo Source: gabriadze.com

Rezo Gabriadze is an incredible artist full of creativity and talent and on top of that he is a beloved person for locals. Gabriadze is a painter, director, sculptor, and a writer who has created a marionette theater for adults. He paints and invents puppets and brings them to life in his own performances.  Most of the performances feature English subtitles, so you might be interested to attend one. You can buy tickets here from 11:00 to 19:00, but please check availability of subtitles in advance.

Even if the puppet theatre is among your top destinations, you still have to go there and see the theatre building. It stands in the heart of Tbilisi’s historic center and was designed by Gabriadze himself. The most attractive part of the building is a tower with a clock. On the right to the tower is an entrance to Gabriadze Cafe. One of the coziest places in the city with truly delicious dishes. At the entrance of the building you can find Gabriadze’s motto:

Photo Source: gabriadze.com

Photo Source: gabriadze.com

„Extra Cepam Nihil Cogito Nos Lacrimare“, which literally translates as: “May Our Tears Come Only Because Of Onions”.

2017-01-18T20:28:25+00:00 May 22nd, 2016|