Tbilisi … maybe I should talk in a historical and geographical way as all the websites, that want to give a tone, as Tbilisi deserves, but here we are more practical, up and to the left you will find photos and videos of the districts and below carrie over the link to read the history on wikipedia … I wish to write on this site and on my blog about useful infos and curiosity, those ones you need for every day, to manage yourself in all the basic situations.
Curiosity and Helpful General Informations:
Before you arrive: check your passport if it is not expired and it has more than 3 months validity, that is it, we are waiting for you, nothing else (no visa for Shengen citizens)…
Upon arrival: arriving at the international airport of Tbilisi Novo Alexeyevka, before passport control on the right you will find the change. Change only € 50 you will find the most favorable exchange rate all around the city during the day. At the passport control forget that Georgia is an ex CCCP nation, here almost always you will receive a sincere smile and welcome and this actitude is only a preview of the immense sense of hospitality that characterizes the Georgians. Once you got your baggage, if you have not booked a transfer to your hotel, no problem, as you exit from the arrivals area, you have two main solutions: a shuttle bus service with 8 lari per person takes you to the city center, or take a taxi, it is very cheap for the Europeans, take one of those white just out the exit row, clean and in order and before you get on board, in English or even better in a well-written piece of paper with the name of your hotel, ask the price and agree for the center Tbilisi (or depending on the area of your hotel) on the 30 maximum 40 Gel .
Security and safety: what fascinates tourists but especially those like me that live here, the peace of mind when you walk up and down the streets of Tbilisi. For years it has been developed a project to reorganize the police and at today you found them almost everywhere, especially in the evening. The only people arrassing are not local but the common gipsy those mainly based in the area of the Baths of Abanotubani.
Hospitality: although the sound of the Georgian language is not so hot at our ear, do not panic, in most cases, it is a kind word. Here the guest is sacred and the respect of the host is overwhelmed by foods, glasses up with endless toast, in a sincere, friendly, warm welcome. The guest disrespectful was once skewered, on the other hand the statue of Mother Georgia overlooking the city speaks for itself … I offer the wine as a friend,I offer the sword as enemy … seems normal to me.
The Language: to learn Georgian is almost a mission impossible, young people understand a bit of english, the most speack Russian, better write the address of your hotel in a piece of paper and if you want to bring a smile, please learn the three fundamental words: Garmagiobat (Health with the meaning of hallo) Ukazravat ( Excuse me please) Madlobt (Thanks)… as written here you should pronounce.
Money: The gel called by all Lari is changed everywhere. Need to change because the shops and restaurants do not accept Euros or what else value. 1 euro is worth 2.18 lari to August 2013. The cost of living, leisure, transport, restaurants is half that in Europe. Change time by time as you need. Debit and Credit Cards accepted in many places but often the connection does not work (credit) always better to have cash.
Driving and accrossing the road:
A lot of hospitality does not match civic road education. What is perplexing is certainly the driving behavior typical Georgiana, who comes first pass and who comes second will try to pass as well… be careful pedestrian crossing stripes almost ineffective.
Things to see and things to do in Tbilisi:
There are countless things to see in the capital, everything is fascinating for us Europeans, including the contrast between the areas of the city already renovated and those that tell the problems about the recent past. For people like me who loves photography, every corner has a reason to be impressed, every balcony restored or demolished will influence you emotionally … let me be practical now.. and for the itinerary please follow the Photo tour of Tbilisi to which I refer for a journey into the heart of the city … here, in no particular order of importance, I will write the 20 things to not be missed, enriched where possible with the photo link:
1) Metecki church and Avlabari District 2) Narikala Fortress and Church of San Nicola 3) Abanotubani baths and walk to the waterfall 4) Armenian Cathedral of St. George 5) Sioni the ancient cathedral 6) Shardenia local street restaurants and nightlife 7) Jvari church Mama and Norashen 8), the basilica of Anchiskati 9) the Bridge of Peace 10) Europe Square and the cable car to the fortress 11) Freedom Square 12) Sololaki district 12) Kalaubani district 13) Rustaveli Avenue 14 ) Chavchavadze avenue 15) Sameba Holy Trinty Cathedral 16) Museum of Fine Arts Shalva Amiranashvili 17) the avenue Agmashenebeli 18) National Museum of Georgia 19) lunch or dinner in a typical restaurant Georgian 20) Folk Entertainment, Erisioni or Sukishvili the most famous
Museums: Being in Georgia and to not visit the archeologial treasure in the Georgian National Museum means to miss a big opportunity to be full in touch with the history of this country. Than in Tbilisi you have various house museums one more interesting of the other! See the Museum page
Emergency Telephone and Mobiles Companies:
The emergency number in Tbilisi is 112, unique number for Police, Fireman, Ambulance. Visit the official web site, the building is a new beautiful architetural art creation. If you wish your personal mobile phone number. you just should go to one of the various companies as Magti o Geocell . Just Show your passport in one the dealers and you will get your chip at affordable pirices…check the official sites for the daily offers.
Eating in Georgia: As soon possible I will write a short list of dishes not to be missed when you go to enjoy the typical Georgian cuisine as Kinkali, Kachapuri Adjaruli or Imeruli, padrigiana with nuts, Lobio, Suvlaki, Kebabi …
Drinking in Georgia: The wine is excellent, nothing to envy to the best wines in the world. On the other hand, the great Georgian wineries, in addition to their age-old tradition, have cleverly been able to secure the cooperation of the best Italian and French winemakers. The finest grapes are for red wine Saperavi, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli, for whites Rkatsiteli, Mtsvane and Tsinandali mix between Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane. Personally I have tried and enjoyed Kindsmarauli Marani, Badagoni and Tbilvino. If the wine is excellent but it is priced as in Europe, the beer is superb and costs less than half than in Europe. I recommend you to try Herzog, Natakthari and Zedazeni.