Obviously, the list has to start with Tbilisi, former known as Tiflis, the charming capital of Georgia. Tbilisi is the largest city in Georgia. It’s located on both sides of the Mtkvari River with a population of 1.5 million inhabitants. Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century by Vakhtang I of Iberia, but was rebuilt around 30 times since then. Because of its location on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, and close to the lucrative Silk Road, Tbilisi used to be a transit route for various trade projects.
Today, Tbilisi has plenty of exciting activities to offer visitors. It’s a bustling city full of attractions, historical sights, great nightlife and delicious restaurants.
The name Tbilisi means “warm location” and was given to the city because of the area’s numerous sulphuric hot springs.
Kutaisi, the third most popular city of Georgia is located in the west, about 220 kilometres (137 miles) from Tbilisi, on the Rioni River. Along with Mtskheta, Kutaisi is one of the oldest cities in Georgia and a former capital of the country. It also serves as the country’s legislative capital and seat of the Georgian parliament.
The town offers some of the most ancient cultural landmarks to explore. The Gelati and Bagrati churches, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are Kutaisi’s most popular landmarks.
Kutaisi has a lot to offer it’s visitors. You can take a short boat trip through the Prometheus Cave (35 GEL), visit the huge indoor market or enjoy the beautiful view on top of the Okatse Canyon.
Borjomi is a small resort town, about 120 km from Tbilisi in the green valley of the swift Mtkvari River. Russian soldiers discovered a health-giving mineral spring here in 1810. Therefor, it became a popular tourist destination where the Russian leaders went for holidays during the soviet rule.
Today, the city is very famous for its naturally carbonated mineral water and the healthy side-effects from this. The water pushes up from 1500m below ground by natural carbon dioxide pressure and doesn’t cool down before it reaches the surface. It comes out at a temperature of 38–41 °C . The use of Borjomi water has been suggested by the Georgian and Russian researchers for complex treatment of several digestive diseases and diabetes mellitus. It is believed that the highly carbonated water washes out illness and makes your body healthy again.
Head to the Mineral Water Park, a beautiful park with great hiking trails, a cinema, natural swimming pool and a cable cart which will carry you up to a hilltop Ferris wheel.
Rabati Castle is a medieval fortress in Akhaltsikhe, which dates back to the 13th century. The fortress has been conquered, destroyed and rebuilt several times during its history, and thus there are structures representing different cultures and religions.
Within the 7 hectares castle complex there is a Church, a Mosque, a Minaret and a Synagogue.
Nowadays it is both a historical monument and a cultural city center.
Vardzia is a cave city built during The Golden Age, after 10.000 Turkish troops marched into Georgia but were defeated by a bold Georgian army of just 2,000 men. Back in the days the cave city housed over 50,000 people, before an earthquake destroyed most of it. Today, there are only 750 rooms left. There are still a few monks living in Vardzia who act as guides to guard its history and make sure it’s won’t be destroyed by tourism.
Walking through the underground halls and caves of Varzia feels like walking on the set of Lord of the Rings. This medieval cave city, close to the Turkish border, is worth visiting as a long daytrip from Tbilisi.