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Georgia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Georgia in 2023

Georgia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Georgia in 2023

Welcome to Georgia

From gorgeous landscapes and delicious food to welcoming people and bustling cities, it’s time to visit Georgia! This small country is located at the intersection of Eastern and Western Europe, and has the Black Sea as its backdrop.

In this ultimate Georgia travel guide, you will find all you need to know before your Georgia trip, including visa information, travel inspiration, and the best time to go.

Document checklist for Georgia

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • Valid passport (with a validity of at least 3 months beyond length of stay)

  • Sufficient funds

  • Return airline ticket

  • Travel insurance

Essential Georgia travel information

  • Currency - The official Currency is the Georgian lari (GEL). GEL 1 is equivalent to approx. USD 0.37.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of GEL 70 (USD 26) per person.

  • Languages - Georgian, English, Russian, and Azerbaijani are also spoken in Georgia.

  • Socket type - For Georgia, there are two associated plug types: C and F. Georgia operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Georgia Standard Time (GMT+4),

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Tbilisi, Batumi, and Mestia.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - The Bridge of Peace, Tsminda Sameba Cathedral, and the Narikala Fortress.

Visa information for Georgia

Citizens of several countries must get a visa to visit Georgia. The good news is that this can be done entirely online! iVisa assists travelers with applying for a Georgia eVisa for tourism and business purposes. Check if you need to apply for the eVisa by using our handy Visa Checker Tool, and apply directly online.

The Georgia visa explained

The Georgia eVisa is a Multiple Entry travel document. It allows travelers a maximum stay of 30 days per entry or 90 days per entry within a 120-day period, depending on your nationality.

To apply, simply fill out the online form on iVisa and pay the visa fees with your credit or debit card. After receiving your approved Georgian eVisa by email, print it and bring it along when you travel to Georgia.

Typical costs and budget for Georgia

Here are any essential costs you should consider for your trip to Georgia.

Daily spending per person - Allow a daily budget of GEL 70 (USD 26) per person. This includes:

  • Meals - Meals are very affordable. On an average budget, you may spend up to GEL 19 (USD 7) per day.

  • Transport - Public transportation may cost up to GEL12 (USD 5.50) per day.

  • Hotel - A private room for one person might cost between GEL 25 (USD 9) and GEL 51 (USD 19), depending on the comfort level.

A two-person trip to Georgia costs around GEL 978 (USD 364) for one week.

Transport and best ways to travel around Georgia

There are direct flights to Tbilisi International Airport, Kutaisi and Batumi from multiple cities in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Direct flights are offered by Wizz Air from cities in Germany, Greece, Italy, and Poland.

There are several ways to explore Georgia. Here’s an overview of the most used options for public transport to take into account when planning your trip.

  • Local bus - Both intercity buses and long-distance services are available to travel between cities in Georgia.

  • Mini bus - This type of public transportation is also known as Marshrutkas. It’s a common means of transport among locals to travel to the most remote places in Georgia. The yellow mini buses do not run on schedules, simply stop them on the street or along main routes. Make sure to check the destination and your stop before you get on.

  • Taxi - Taxis in Georgia are very affordable and comfortable for short trips. We recommend negotiating with drivers about the cost of your trip, before setting off.

  • Train - The train is a fantastic way to explore the country and enjoy its beautiful landscapes. Trains run between major cities and towns. There are even overnight trains from Tbilisi in central Georgia, all the way to western Georgia and Turkey. Buy tickets online or at the train station.

Safety in Georgia

Georgia is overall a very safe country to visit for tourism and business. Crime rates are low. However, you should always take precautions during your trip to avoid inconveniences. Solo female travelers should not have to worry in Georgia. However, avoiding remote areas at night is recommended.

Due to political instability, all travel to regions bordering Russia, including the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and surrounding areas is discouraged.

To cover medical emergencies and valuables, it is always a good idea to purchase Georgia travel insurance.

Weather in Georgia

Knowing the best time to visiting Georgia is essential. Depending on what you plan to do, like hiking in the Caucasus Mountains, exploring Kakheti's vineyards, or skiing, the weather can be a key factor of deciding when to travel.

The best period for exploring the landscapes of Georgiais from May to October. The temperatures are great, and the weather is generally sunny, whereas winter is much colder.

The high season runs from June to August, when tourist accommodations fill up quickly and prices are higher. The capital Tbilisi and the lowlands can get extremely hot. However, this is an excellent time to be in the mountain areas, with snow-free hiking in the Caucasus guaranteed.

Popular cities and towns in Georgia

Georgia is a small and welcoming country, so you can easily discover several wonderful cities and villages on one trip. It’s a great way to learn more about Georgia’s rich culture and history. Don’t miss these on your trip:

  • Tbilisi - Tbilisi boasts an enormous cultural heritage, as well as being a creative hub where you can find street-art, great musicians, and coworking spaces. It’s also an important religious destination, with the Georgian Orthodox Church, Great Synagogue and Jumah Mosque located close to each other.

  • Batumi- The second-largest city in Georgia is home to beautiful European and Asian style-architecture.

  • Mestia - A principal city in the Caucasus Mountains, where you can find many outdoor activities and UNESCO listed villages in the surrounding area.

  • Sighnaghi - Recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in Georgia for its traditional Georgian style of the nineteenth century, Sighnaghi resembles a time capsule.

  • Kakheti - The best region for a traditional wine tour, with wineries dating back many centuries.

  • Uplistsikhe - A cave city located 10 kilometers from Gori. In the past, Uplistsikhe was a center of trade between Asia and Europe. Its main attraction is the tunnel that was previously used as an escape route.

Must do and see on a Georgia trip

To enjoy and get to know Georgia fully, you need to visit its historic sites and landscapes. Here’s our top 5!

  1. Hike the Caucasus Mountains - Georgia is a prime trekking destination. Whether you are looking for challenging long-distance hikes through remote regions, or easy day hikes in the shadow of spectacular snowy peaks, Georgia's mountains have something to offer everyone.

  2. Visit Vardzia - One of the most spectacular places in rural Georgia, famous for its caves, sanctuaries, and churches carved in the sandy rocks. The places were inhabited from as early as the 12th century.

  3. Admire the Gergeti Trinity Church - The most iconic cathedral in the country has a high walled chapel, which is a sight to behold, especially when viewed from afar against a dramatic backdrop of snowy and jagged peaks.

  4. Relax in Tskaltubo - This spa town is famous for its mineral springs of radon and carbonate, known as the "waters of immortality" that sprout from the ground at about 33-35 degrees Celsius. It is a magical place for lovers of photography.

  5. Discover the tea route - In addition to its trendy wine route, Georgia has a tea route as well. During the Soviet era, the Black Sea coast region in Georgia was one of the largest producers of tea. Tea plantations can still be seen near Guria, in the west of the country.

Typical Georgian food to try

One of the best ways to explore Georgian culture is by tasting the cuisine. Our top three Georgian delicacies are listed here.

  • Khinkali - One of the most popular dishes in Georgian cuisine, and considered by many as a national meat dish, Khinkali consists of pieces of dough stuffed with a broth mixture of pork and veal.

  • Georgian bread (Puri) - Similar to the Indian naan, this bread is baked in a clay oven. Most Georgian dishes are served with this type of bread.

  • Churchkhela - A popular sweet candy in Georgia, consisting of a string of nuts dipped in grape juice syrup.

Vaccine information for Georgia

Understanding the Covid vaccine requirements and other requirements is essential before entering Georgia. Check the CDC website for all up-to-date health advice for your trip to Georgia.

A short guide to hiking in Georgia

Mountainous areas make up about 85% of Georgia, including the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world. There's no better way to enjoy Georgia's stunning landscape than hiking.

The best time for hiking and outdoor activities in Georgia is late spring and early summer, but you can find hikers exploring the mountains as late as September. July and August get very hot, however, and winter covers the trails with snow. If you're new to hiking, you might want to hire a Georgia tour guide who knows the trails, climate, and mountains.

Here are some of the best hikes in Georgia.

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

There are 12 long-distance hikes mapped out in one of the largest national parks in Georgia. Check out the website of the Agency for Protected Areas in Georgia for more info on each of the routes.

Adishi to the Ushba Waterfalls

This week-long hike takes you through meadows and forests with more scenic views than your phone camera storage allows. You’ll also pass the gorgeous Adishi Glacier, as well as UNESCO-listed Ushguli, one of the highest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe.

Matskhvarishi to Lentekhi

Despite its beauty, this three-day trail requires a bit of climbing, but the views are unbeatable. This means it’s better for adventurous, but experienced hikers who like a challenge.

Truso Valley

This lovely day-hike takes you through a near-deserted valley. A number of ancient towers and abandoned settlements can be seen along the route. To walk from Kvemo Okrokana village to Zakagori Fortress ruins and back takes approximately six hours.

Fun facts about Georgia

  • Georgia is the birthplace of wine. The wine industry in this country may not be the largest in the world, but it dates back about 8000 years. UNESCO has included the ancient Georgian tradition of making Qvevri wine in its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

  • The world's deepest cave is found in Georgia. The Veryovkina Cave is hidden amidst the Gagra Mountain range of the western Caucasus region.

  • In Georgia, guests are believed to be a gift from God. Guests are traditionally welcomed with open arms during a traditional feast (supra). Make sure to return the favor by raising a glass and saying “gaumarjos” which means “cheers” in the Georgian language.

  • The name of the capital city Tbilisi comes from the Georgian word for “warm.” This refers to the natural hot springs discovered in the 5th century.

  • The first Europeans were born in Georgia. The oldest human skulls in the Caucasus were found during an archaeological expedition in Dmanisi. The skulls belong to a couple who lived 1.8 million years ago. They represent a link between European and African ancestry.

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