Top 21 Things To Do in Georgia

By on Published: June 29, 2020 | Last Updated: June 30, 2020 in Europe, GEORGIA with 0 Comments

The Top 21 Things To Do in Georgia

If you’ve read this blog at all before, you’re bound to know I’m pretty much madly in love with Georgia!

The Caucasus gem that I instantly fell head over heels for, Georgia just keeps calling back such is the wealth of things to discover in this dazzling land.

As a cultural crossroads, the history of this region is fascinating enough, but that’s without taking into account the incredible food, welcoming hospitality and geographical diversity that Georgia offers too.

From beaches to deserts, bustling cities to isolated mountains, Georgia packs it all within its borders and more!

So to get you all fired up for a trip to this epic country, here’s my top 21 things to do in Georgia that covers the best of what it has to offer.

And if you want to take a tour in this amazing destination, then check out this top-rated option care of Intrepid Travel.


Related Posts

This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.


#1 Wander Tbilisi’s Historic Centre

Georgia, Tbilisi, Old Town

We start this list of the top things to do in Georgia in the country’s buzzing capital – Tbilisi.

A historic crossroads at the junction of east and west, this place has always been a crucial point on some of the world’s oldest trading routes, where a layering upon layering of cultures and influences has been going on for thousands of years.

And no place typifies this better than the city’s historic centre.

Full of wonderfully old religious buildings, cobbled streets, crumbling buildings, museums and picturesque cafes, just wandering these streets will have you discovering so much at every turn.

Learn even more with a free walking tour of the historic centre that will fill in the blanks in your knowledge, as well as some gaps you didn’t even know where there.

Discover more in my post about the best things to do in Tbilisi here.

 

Download your FREE Check List!
Complete Packing List for the Caucasus Region

Just enter your email address below and I'll send it to you for FREE!

Information will be sent to the email provided above

 

#2 Visit the Stalin Museum

Georgia, Gori, Stalin Museum

And as we take a walk down history lane in Georgia, we can’t forget about one of the country’s most infamous citizens – Joseph Stalin.

Heading to the town of his birth in Georgia – Gori – you can find an interesting museum all about his life.

Wait for an English guide, maintain a critical eye and this is well worth a trip, not to celebrate the man, but to learn more about him and the history he is part of.

 

#3 Hit the Beach

Moving away from the Georgian history lesson, we now get to one of this country’s other amazing elements – its nature and geography.

And we start exploring the diversity of it all, by heading over to the west of the country and the wonderful Black Sea coastline you can find here.

The place Georgians themselves come to party, Batumi is the centre of the action here, but there’s plenty of smaller and quieter towns both north and south to explore too.

In Batumi itself, the sand and sun take centre stage, but don’t miss the famous statues of Ali and Nino for your cultural fix too.

 

#4 Snap Georgia’s Famous Icons

Georgia, Kazbegi, Me

And while we’re talking about statues, we can’t fail to name a few of this country’s other top icons which include among them, the statue of Mother Georgia which towers over Tbilisi too.

Not just limited to statues, there’s also the massive Georgia-Russia Friendship monument to spot just north of the capital and, continuing along this road, you’ll finally get to Kazbegi in the mountains, which is home to the best icon of them all – Gergeti Trinity Church.

This is the Georgian postcard image and heading to see it and snap it shouldn’t be missed during your travels here.

Learn more about travelling to Kazbegi in this complete guide I wrote about this fantastic region.

 

#5 Take a Cable Car Ride Over the Capital

Georgia, Tbilisi, Cable Car

Another one of the top things to do in Georgia you shouldn’t miss is taking a cable car ride over Tbilisi – it’s a ride that actually takes you up the hill to where the iconic Mother Georgia stands over the city.

Firstly, the cable car ride to the top of this hill from Rike park along the river below is cheap (just 2.5 Lari) and stops you having to climb.

Secondly, it offers stunning views on the way up!

And if you’re after views in this city, then you should also visit Mtatsminda Park.

Set on a hill behind the area known as Rustaveli, with the prominent TV Tower at its helm, this place is the ceiling of the city and unsurprisingly, the scenery from the top is superb.

Take the funicular ride up from Daniel Chonqadze Street and enjoy the views as you quickly ascend this large hill.

A ride on the funicular costs 6 Lari, although you have to buy a separate travel card too which costs 2 Lari.

 

#6 Enjoy a Sulphur Bath

Georgia, Tbilisi, Baths

Hitting up some sort of hot spa / hot spring / mineral bath is always one of my favourite things to do anywhere, let alone when it’s set in the middle of one of my favourite cities!

Yes definitely deserving a place on this list of the best things to do in Georgia, spending at least 1 evening soaking in some sulphur baths here is a hit!

The mineral springs of this city all contain natural elements, so be prepared for a bit of a smell and some scorching temperatures, although you’ll quickly get used to both!

Men have the option of attending public baths here, while women must book a private room and, in summer especially, it’s advised you do this at least a day in advance.

There are several different bathhouses, as well as rooms, to choose from, but one of the cheapest and nicest are the private rooms at Orbeliani Baths that start from 50 Lari for one hour.

You can then enjoy an exfoliating body scrub for 20 Lari, which much be paid in cash direct to the person scrubbing you.

Take along some flip flops, a towel and some water with you (it gets very hot inside).

Swimwear is optional.

 

#7 Head to the Former Capital

Georgia, Jvari Monastery, Views

Mtskheta is the former capital of Georgia and heading to this historic city makes for a great Tbilisi day trip and is definitely one of the top things to enjoy in this country.

Home to the impressive Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, as well as the Jvari Monastery that overlooks the city, Mtskheta is a great spot to visit for some more history and some top views!

 

#8 Travel to Svaneti

Georgia, Svaneti, Scene

It’s certainly one of the big daddies in Georgia and rightly so, for Svaneti is a mountain-lovers’ paradise.

Set in the high Caucasus, this is a beautiful and wild place scattered with cute, traditional villages and soaring peaks.

No matter what time of the year you visit, this spot is stunning, with activities as diverse as winter skiing or spring hiking among the wildflower meadows.

The main town of Mestia is the hub for travellers here, with a recent boom in tourists meaning the number of accommodation and eating options have soared.

Around Mestia, traditional stone towers dot the landscape, as do tiny churches decorated with beautiful frescoes.

A bastion of Georgian culture, the sublime landscape of Svaneti boasts glaciers, elevated passes, pristine lakes and snow-capped summits.

Without question, heading here is one of my fav things to do in Georgia, so don’t miss it!

 

#9 Hike

Georgia, Kazbegi, Me Hiking

And one of the main things you do in Svaneti, and the main reasons most tourists visit there, is to hike.

And there’s no question this is one of the best things to do in Georgia overall.

In fact, this country was made for hiking.

So if you’re a hiker like me, you’re going to be in heaven!

The mountains in the north make the obvious hiking choice, but this covers a huge geographical area, and from the Svaneti and Kazbegi regions with their glaciers and valleys, right through to Tusheti in the northeast, there’s a ton to choose from.

Whatever you do, just choose one, strap on your walking shoes and get out there!

 

#10 Get Off-Grid in Tusheti

Georgia, Omalo, Truck

And as I’ve mentioned it now, I think it’s time I let you in on one of Georgia’s best secrets – not that I really want to, because honestly I kinda want to keep this place all for myself!

It’s that amazing and it’s that off the beaten track.

But look, if I don’t let the cat out of the bag someone will, which is why I’m going to tell you now that one of the absolute best things to do in Georgia is to get off-grid in Tusheti.

A remote region in the northeast of the country, heading to Tushtei is only possible during 4 months of the year, due to snowfall, but if you make it here you’ll find a land preserved in all its timeless joy.

I won’t say too much more for now (you can learn everything you do need to know in this ultimate Tusheti travel guide I wrote) but suffice to say you gotta go!

 

#11 Eat!

Georgia, Tbilisi, Market

Next up on my list of the best things to do in Georgia is a simple but sublime one .. and that is eat!

With a wonderful climate, Georgia is a foodie paradise with so many delicious products grown, farmed and produced here it’s quite unbelievable.

Local markets fill every town and brim with homegrown fruits, vegetables, as well as homemade cheeses and nuts. (one of the best is the massive Deserter Market in Tbilisi FYI)

Bakeries on every corner boast delicious rustic bread and, of course, the famous Khachapuri – a Georgian cheese bread that has many variations depending on the region and the cook.

No time in Georgia would be complete without consuming at least one of these daily and those that are served open with an egg baked in the middle take some beating!

There’s also a ton of other local Georgian dishes which the cheese and meat lovers among you will particularly enjoy because, although the cuisine here is not known for its finesse, it’s world-class on it rustic, authentic and homegrown flavours that bring to life the earthy and honest culture of this country.

 

#12 Sample the Wine!

Georgia, Tbilisi, Wine

But it’s not just the food in Georgia that’s basically all grown here, it’s the wine too!

Having produced the stuff for thousands of years, much of it is still done in the traditional way in this country using clay pots, called Qvevri, which are buried underground for up to 6 months to help the pressed grapes (plus their juice, skins, stalks and pips) ferment beautifully!

Alongside modern production methods, Georgian wine has recently begun making a big splash on the world stage thanks to its unique grapes, Mediterranean climate and excellent quality.

You can learn all about this, and try some, when you enjoy a vineyard tour in the country’s wine-growing heartland.

 

#13 Take a Wine Tour

And on that very point, the towns of Telavi and Sighnaghi in Georgia are the main places to head if you want to enjoy a wine tour in this country.

Telavi can be enjoyed as part of a top day trip from Tbilisi and has some great monasteries around it, which are historically bound-up in the wine-producing industry here.

However, I do think you’d be doing the area an injustice by just visiting for the day here, so I highly recommend spending 1-2 nights in this quaint town too, possibly enroute to Tusheti – see point #10.

Sighnaghi is located closer to David Gareja in the southeast of the country and is harder to get to from the capital meaning taking a wine tour here isn’t possible as part of a city day trip.

That said, making the journey all this way here is definitely worth it thanks to the quieter and more picturesque nature of this town, which lies conveniently enroute to Azerbaijan if this is where you are heading next…

 

#14 Brave a Chacha

Georgia, Drink, Alcohol

But it’s not just the wine Georgians love to drink with a fearless abundance, nope it’s also a mean old, clear spirit called chacha they make with a similar level of finesse!

Somewhat lethal, but always a lot of fun, chacha is definitely a party drink, but no surprise to learn that Georgians often bop it out on a random Tuesday lunchtime… why not?!

If you decide to partake, just be warned this stuff has been the undoing of many a traveller to Georgia, so please proceed with care!

 

#15 Meander the Monasteries

Georgia, Tbilisi, Monastery

Now moving onto slightly more holy matters, no question one of the best things to do in Georgia is meander the monasteries and, crumbs, is there a lot of them here!

From the famous Gergeti Trinity Church in Kazbegi we’ve discussed, as well as Jvari near Mtskheta, through to the ancient churches in Tbilisi and not forgetting David Gareja (which we’ll get to) this Orthodox nation has a stack of ancient and beautiful religious buildings which wandering, exploring and learning about is well worth doing.

 

#16 Don’t Miss Gelati Monastery

And while we’re on the subject of monasteries, let’s pick out a couple you should definitely visit in Georgia, starting with Gelati in Batumi.

This coastal town is most famous for its beaches, but the beautiful church here dates all the way from 1106 –  if that doesn’t deserve a mention I don’t know what does!

UNESCO describe it as “masterpiece of the Golden Age of medieval Georgia” and it’s supposed to be the largest medieval Orthodox monasteries globally – pretty impressive!

 

#17 Discover David Gareja

Way more famous, especially among international tourists however, is the monastery complex located in southeastern Georgia, right near the border with Azerbaijan, as the desert begins to take over.

With hundreds of churches, chapels and living spaces for the monks hollowed out of the rock face, this is more like a huge complex, which is thought to have been constructed by and for early Christians as a place of refuge.

Dating initially from the 6th Century, many of the cave structures here have amazing frescoes, although not all can be accessed and seen.

This is a point made more difficult by the currently disputed border territory in this area, so while I still absolutely say discovering David Gareja is one of the top things to do in Georgia, just do ensure to research the security situation in this area before you head there.

 

#18 Explore the Caves of Uplistsikhe

And now for some more cave structures!

If you can’t get to David Gareja, especially, this is a good alternative and can often be tied in as part of this great Tbilisi day trip.

Located out in a lunar-type landscape, this ancient and abandoned town is thought to be one of the oldest settlements in the whole country and is pretty mind-blowing to visit.

Going in the late afternoon can also give you some great shots of the expansive countryside bathed in a golden light too.

 

#19 Step Back in Time at the Soviet Sanatoriums

Sticking with the abandoned theme, the derelict soviet sanatoriums, near the city of Kutaisi in Georgia, are another symbol of this country’s layered history.

Originating from a time when Georgia was part of the Soviet Union, the town of Tskaltubo where the sanatoriums can be found used to be part of a popular spa resort in the time of USSR.

Now lying crumbling, that’s actually a few old sanatorium hotels here and while you are able to enter some, others are blocked off.

Many are also occupied by internationally displaced people, so please always remember to be respectful and ask permission to visit or photograph any of the buildings if you encounter anyone.

There’s a lot of great detailed info in this post from the guys at Kathmundu and Beyond.

 

#20 Check Out Ananuri Castle Complex

Georgia, Ananuri, Castle

I actually thought this was a monastery when I visited, but on further research, it seems it’s been denoted as a castle and so I thought it deserved its own spot on this list!

Often visited as part of a journey up to Kazbegi from Tbilisi, given that it sits just off the main road, the stunning setting of Ananuri is what makes it.

Take the camera for the lakeside scenes!

You need to cover up when you visit this castle / church, but clothes to put over your head or legs are available at the door.

 

#21 Go Skiing!

Georgia, Juta Valley, Hammock

And finally, last on my list of the top things to do in Georgia is a rather unusual one and it’s a seasonal one too, but if you are brave enough to head to this country in the winter, then you can look forward to enjoying some of the best and most affordable skiing in Europe.

If snow is your thing, rather than sun, then travelling to Georgia between the months of November and February is the time for you!

 

Best Travel Insurance for Georgia

Georgia, Juta Valley, River

I would never travel to a destination like Georgia without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads, which I’ve used during my time in this country and across the Caucasus region.

I love World Nomads great protection for outdoor activities like hiking – essential in a country like Georgia – as well their easy claims process and the ability to buy or extend coverage with them when you’re already overseas.

Get Your Free Quote Here…

 

 

5 Packing Essentials for Georgia

Georgia, Tbilisi, Narikala Fortress

#1 Caucasus Lonely Planet – Still my go-to when it comes to guidebooks, the Caucasus Lonely Planet packs in a huge amount of information about travelling in Armenia, Georgia & Azerbaijan and will likely save you the cost of a guide in many of this region’s fabulous historical attractions.

#2 Good Camera – From the mountain landscapes to the village life, you’ll want a good travel camera to capture the best of Georgia and the Sony A6000 mirrorless ticks my box every time!

#3 Headscarf – If you’re heading to see any monasteries in Georgia, ladies will need to come prepared with a headscarf to enter, as well as a long skirt or pair of pants and long-sleeved top.

#4 Hiking Shoes – No trip to Georgia would be complete without spending at least a day or two hiking in this country’s untouched rural landscape. Coming prepared with a pair of good walking shoes is essential therefore and Keen Targhee’s II always get my vote!

#5 Rain Jacket – I visited Georgia in June, technically the start of summer and the high season, but was amazed how storms suddenly blew in across this high altitude country. Having my North Face lightweight, windproof and waterproof jacket therefore saved my life!

 

PIN IT TO PINTEREST!

 

So there you have it, my list of the top 21 things to do in Georgia.

Can you tell now why I love this country so much?

Are you planning a trip there or are you already an experienced fan too?

If the latter, then do drop a comment in the box below letting me know your favourite thing to do in Georgia too – I’d love to hear from you…

 

Sharing is caring!

Tags:

About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

Get All the Latest From My Travel Adventures

Subscribe for FREE Here

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Top