Georgia


Overview

Georgia travel information including a map of Georgia, facts, culture, attractions, transport and weather in Georgia.

Wedged between Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia is all the more perfect for being largely off the tourist radar.

From the snow-topped castle-dotted Caucasus mountains, the green fertile plains that produce avocados, aubergines and salty olives and the sandy beaches along the Black Sea coast, Georgia has been a closely-guarded secret for years.

Officially considered part of Central Asia (until it’s time for the Eurovision Song Contest), capital Tbilisi is an intriguing mix of the two cultures.

Travellers will be shown a lot of love by the hospitable Georgians who pride themselves on the warmth of their welcomes. Eat, drink and be merry is the motto here.

Wanderlust Recommends

  1. Wine & dine the local way in Georgia
  2. Paddle in the Black Sea at Batumi – a sheltered natural harbour
  3. Visit one of Georgia's many health spas for a relaxing experience using famous mineral waters
  4. Visit Stalin’s hometown
  5. Go hiking in the Kazbegi Region, Borjomi-Karagauli National Park or the less accessible but more dramatic Svaneti district in the High Caucasus
  6. Meet Mother Georgia

Wanderlust tips

Drinking is a serious business in Georgia: this is not a good country for teetotallers.

Be aware that you should only drink wine after a toast has been made and you should only toast your enemies with beer or soft drinks. Georgians will be keen to toast your health as often as possible.  

Women should cover their heads when visiting churches.

There are frequent blackouts in Georgia so be prepared.

Further Reading

Travel in Georgia:vital statistics

  • Capital of Georgia: Tbilisi
  • Population of Georgia: 4,646,003
  • Languages in Georgia: Georgian, Russian
  • Time in Georgia: GMT + 4
  • International dialling code in Georgia: +995
  • Voltage in Georgia: 220 AC 50 Hz
  • Visas for Georgia: Georgia visas
  • Money in Georgia: Lari (GEL). US dollars are also widely accepted.
  • Georgia travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth office
  • Georgia tourist board: Georgia tourist board

    When to go to Georgia

    Georgia has an extreme climate, with freezing winters and – in Tbilisi and the lowlands – searing summers.

    Late spring and autumn are best to visit Georgia.  

    International airports

    Tbilisi (TBS), 18km from the city

    Getting around Georgia

    Buses are the main means of public transport, with numerous departures between all major towns.

    The alternatives are private shared taxis and marshrutkas (minibuses), which are more expensive – up to three times the bus fare, but still quite economical.

    Most marshrutkas leave from bus terminals; outside the towns they can be flagged down.

    A good option – given the state of roads in Georgia – is to arrange a car with a driver.  

    Taxis and minivans are cheap but un-metered so be sure to negotiate a price before you get in.

    Georgia accommodation

    Georgian accommodation is improving and the capital now has a reasonable selection of midrange hotels and a few international chain hotels aimed at business travellers.

    There are few youth hostels in Georgia but there are guesthouses.

    Homestays are a popular option for budget travellers and many owners will be more than happy to show you around town and feed you within an inch of your life.

    There are few restrictions on wild camping but ask locals where to pitch. Although camping is popular in Georgia, there are few official campsites.  

    Georgia food & drink

    Georgian cuisine generally has a Middle-Eastern flavour, with plentiful kebabs and meaty dishes such as chakapuli (lamb stew with tarragon) and satsivi  (chicken with walnuts and garlic, baked in a clay oven).

    Khachapuri is everywhere: a button-popping pie filled with cheese and butter that is one of many tasty options for veggies.

    Only vegans will have a hard time of it here. Wine – both red and white – is ubiquitous and, outside the cities, often homemade.

    Health & safety in Georgia

    Speak to your GP or travel health clinic before you go.

    Tap water is generally safe to drink.

    The situation has been volatile in some northern regions in recent years. Check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for more information before you travel to Georgia.