What to do in 48 hours in Tbilisi, Georgia

The heart of Georgia lies in the capital city Tbilisi, a popular and well-connected hub that forms the base for many tourists who want to explore the country in a short period of time. Tbilisi is an eclectic mix of the old and the new, with the most lively areas lying at the foot of the ancient Narikala Fortress and relatively modern buildings that stand in contrast to the cobbled stone streets. Georgia is truly a cultural mix, with strong Asian and European influences distinctly showing in the food, architecture, people, and places. I felt that 48 hours were enough to explore Tbilisi city, while the rest of the time could be better spent exploring neighboring cities and towns.

Day 1: Tbilisi Old Town

On the first day, spend some time exploring the old part of Tbilisi. Ancient churches, monasteries, cobbled stone streets and charming architecture will come alive with street art, music, cafes and bars, funky shisha places, clubs and friendly people. A strong Asian influence comes in cahoots with European culture, creating a vibe that is unique, fun and full of energy.

Although modernization is visible, the soul of the city lies in the old town, where the zigzagging lanes, street markets, colourful houses and al fresco cafes maintain a certain charisma. Walking is the best way to explore this area and many historical structures will be found at a stone’s throw from each other. I recommend taking the aerial tramway to the Narikala Fortress from the Rike Park only because of the amazing views of the city’s skyline, with the winding Mtkvari river flowing below. Alternatively, you can walk up the fortress and stop for a coffee and some snacks at one of the charming outdoor restaurants.

Narikala Fortress

Narikala Fortress

Once you’re up, you can either turn to the right to walk towards Kartlis Deda statue or left to the Narikala Fortress. The views from the top are superb. There is a zipline experience which will take you all the way down to the other side of the hill. If you want to try this, make sure you’ve already visited the fortress else you will have to walk back up, there is no easier way to return to the top.

View from the top

A short 5-minute walk from the Narikala Fortress is the Sulphur baths, an interesting site to visit, with the brick domes rising above the grounds. The water is known to have therapeutic capabilities and you may choose to go inside, to experience, if you wish. I decided to skip it, after my Hammam experience in Turkey.

Once you’re at the bottom of the fortress, while walking towards the iconic Bridge of Peace, you will come across the very ancient Sioni Cathedral, a photogenic building both from the outside as well as inside. Visit this cathedral before crossing the Bridge of Peace.

Sioni Cathedral

Bridge of Peace

Looking for a place to stay? Click here to read Where to stay in Tbilisi.


Day 2: Tbilisi city

On this day, you can visit the Rezo Gabriadze Theatre, a quaint little puppet theatre located ahead of the Bridge of Peace, further from the Old Town. Even if puppet shows aren’t your thing, the building is quite an artistic and interesting one and the area is very buzzing. Visit the Anchiskhati Basilica, located right next to the theatre before you proceed to the only existing synagogue in Tbilisi, also in the area. From here, you can visit the Liberty Square, a place where you will see some of the more modern buildings of Tbilisi.  

(Sepia) Anchiskhati Basilica

Metekhi Church view from across the river

Rezo Gabriadze Theatre

A very lively street surrounding the theatre is a must visit during the night, as it is very buzzing with music, entertainment, pianists and singers playing on the streets surrounded by numerous cafes and bars.

There’s also a flea market, although not so popular, which is another kilometer ahead of the bridge. It is known as the Dry Bridge Market and is a very interesting one to visit because of the collection of fascinating relics from the past, retro cameras, warfare scraps such as knives, bottles, shoes, clothes, accessories, colourful stone jewellery, stamps, etc.

Dry bridge flea market

Nightlife: Tbilisi has great nightlife! My favorite area was the Shardeni Street, located right below the hill on top of which Narikala Fortress is perched. The street with the brightly lit fortress in the backdrop is one of the liveliest places here.

Old town Tbilisi at night

Shardeni street in the afternoon

The other area with ample nightclubs and bars is Rustaveli Avenue. There are many strip clubs and gentlemen clubs in the area as well.

 

114 thoughts on “What to do in 48 hours in Tbilisi, Georgia”

  1. This looks like a great place and somewhere to stay for longer than 48 hours. The bridge of peace looks amazing, as does the town centre. Thanks for sharing.

    1. There was so much more to explore in Georgia that I could only spare 48 hours in Tbilisi. There are amazing wineries, old towns and mountains, hardly 2-3 hours away from the capital.

  2. I have never really thought about visiting Georgia, but the culture sounds amazing! I love the mix between Asian influence and European culture. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures and information!

  3. My friend had returned from a layover of sorts in Tbilisi. He was not in much awe of that place as it was freezing apparently. I should show him this post just to show what he missed:)

  4. I would love the opportunity to visit Georgia – and obviously as the capitol city, Tbilisi city would be on the list. Thanks for this 48 hour guide – sounds like you fitted quite a lot in! I would love to walk around the old town and marvel at how well preserved the ancient buildings and structures are. Narikala Fortress looks like a great stop – awesome views and then I would totally zipline down!! The Sulphur baths look really interesting too.

    Love how then the bridge of bridge is a juxtaposition with modern architecture. You took in some beautiful sights in Tbilisi – I can’t wait to visit also!

  5. Sounds like there’s a lot to see in Tbilisi! I’d have to do the zipwire, it must be so much fun. The flea market looks like a fun place to browse.

  6. A tell tale detalied view of the place 🙂 The sulphur Bath and the old town particularly interested me! I could literally travel through the streets thorough this photographic description! You are truly an amazing story teller 🙂

  7. I like a city (or town) which is walk-about-able. Especially of there are lots of interesting things to look at while you walk. The zip line experience much be pretty special. Did you have a go?

  8. I have to be honest, Apart from football I knew nothing about Georgia before reading this post. I love how there is such a mesh of modern and traditional, reading through this You’ve sparked my interest in Georgia. Thanks for another great post Medha, another place you’ve been that I want to travel to now haha.

  9. I must say you covered a lot in 2 days and a good mix of culture, nature, markets, night life. We spent very little time in Tbilisi on our visit to Georgia mainly because the driving was so crazy. Is it a solo travel friendly city?

  10. What an interesting place to explore. I’ve never been there but the culture sounds fascinating. Those brick domes look cool, are they the sulphur baths? Would definitely love to take the aerial tram to see such an historic city from up above!

  11. Hi Medha,

    how did you like georgian food? I really enjoy it every time when I go to georgian restaurant 🙂 I have never been to Georgia but I would love to go there to try some good wine 🙂

    Best,
    Kasia Walkow

    1. To be very honest, I found it slightly bland for my taste. But their wine is amazing! I went to one of the wineries in Kakheti and what a brilliant collection they had!

  12. I loved Tbilisi but all the country is beautiful so yes, you are right when you say that after 48hrs it is better to go and explore other cities and towns. I also skipped the sulfur baths but now I’d be curious to try! I enjoyed its wine and staples but you can find this everywhere in the country. Thanks for bringing back nice memories!

  13. Tbilsi comes alive in majestic splendour in your pictures. I would love to take a leisurely stroll on the cobblestoned streets of the old town. The other place I really think I would enjoy is the Bridge of Peace. The architecture of Rezo Gabriadze theatre reminds me of the architecture of Paris.

  14. I haven’t been to Georgia, and i am thankful to you for sharing this story. It is as if I am also travelling with you, decribed very vividly and personal.

  15. It looks lovely. I especially liked the night picture of Tbilsi old town and hills beyond and of course the modern Bridge of Peace. How many days did you spend there?

  16. I have never heard of this place before, but it is spectacular! I love the architecture and feel of the village. It would be great to follow your guide there. Very cool.

  17. I’ve never been to Georgia but this city looks so cool! I love exploring old town in every city I go to and this one looks fantastic. The fortress looks really historic as well. Thanks for sharing

  18. The view from the Narikala Fortress is gorgeous! I bet ziplining would be quite thrilling! Sulphur bath sounds like a great reward after a walk up the fortress!

    1. Yes, 2 days are enough to explore the city in my opinion. There’s so much outside Tbilisi, in the rest of Georgia, that you’d certainly want to spend more time exploring that 🙂

  19. Wow! lovely city.. Great and beautiful landmark.. i use to say to myself that if anything is going to bring me to Georgia that Atlanta is the first and probably the only place i will explore if my stay will be short but no matter how short my stay will be, i will definitely make out time for Tbilisi.

    1. I think you’ve confused the state Georgia in the US with the country Georgia in East Europe 🙂 I’m referring to the country here; Tbilisi is the capital.

  20. Aw great that you posted this article, as Georgia was just named one of the most interesting countries to visit by The Lonley Planet. I actually haven’t been, but Tbilisi looks like a great city for a weekend escape. The Rezo Gabriadze Theatre looks super interesting!

  21. Wow, how beautiful is Tbilisi. I dont really have Georgia on my bucket list but I may have to change this now. That amazing old town, Narikala Fortress, and the theater all look so cool. That is right up my alley! Can you relax in the thermal baths or is that something from the ancient world? I love the domes.

  22. This looks beautiful Medha. Thats what I miss about living in New Zealand, the ancient architecture. I just love the little winding streets and the theatre looks so intruiging. Thank you for the lovely photos too.

  23. I would love to take the aerial tramway to the old town and enjoy those views. That Bridge of Peace is really a stunning piece of architecture, isn’t it?!

  24. My favourite part of any city is its old town (if it has one). Tbilisi’s looks wonderful. I also love taking trams. The street with cafes and bars looks like a place I would spend some time as well. I love the photo with the fortress in the background.

  25. I’ve heard that Georgia is gorgeous, but this confirms it. I’m a sucker for unique buildings and Tbilisi has them in spades. I love those brick domed roofs and different styles of buildings.

Leave a Reply

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