I have never been to Georgia before. But I hear that it is a country that has a lot of cultural, natural and heritage sights to see.
While I was doing my research on the best places to visit there, I realized that there is so much more to see in Georgia than I initially imagined. I found it difficult to make up my mind on where to go first.
Georgia is a country with beautiful green hills, magnificent mountains, marvelous caves and canyons, and ancient fortresses and monasteries.
What is Georgia famous for? Georgia is famous for its lush nature, world heritage sites and their millennia-old traditional wine. Also, the Georgian polyphonic folk music is quite famous too, in fact, it is listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. There are 3 sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites too.
Georgia is also one of the most ecologically diverse countries in the world. It has 12 different climate zones ranging from subtropical to alpine to semi-dessert.
If you love history and culture you’ll love what Georgia has to offer you.
I thought I’d let you know that my list is not in a particular order. These are some of the most visited places in Georgia according to my sources. But the attractions of Georgia are not limited to this list, you’ll find a lot more when you visit cities like Tbilisi and Batumi.
Lying on the Aragvi River just 45 miles from Tbilisi (the capital and largest city of Georgia), the Ananuri castle complex was once a place where many battles took place. In fact, it is a wonder that the castle has survived.
Ananuri gives you a glimpse of the architecture of Georgia since the late feudal times. It dates back to the 17th century.
The complex has two castles joined by a curtain wall used for battlements and two churches.
The upper fortification with a square tower is still pretty well preserved. The lower fortification with its round tower, however, is mostly in ruins.
The larger of the two churches, the Church of the Mother of God, still has highly decorated façades and remains of a number of frescoes.
To get the real Georgian experience you have to visit the sulfur baths in Tbilisi, especially if you happen to visit during the colder months from October to March.
In fact, I suggest going there during the cold season as that will make you appreciate these hot baths more.
Tbilisi city is built above thermal springs, and the water from the springs contains sulfur and is around 40°- 50°C.
In addition to being very relaxing, a soak in the sulfur baths is said to be very good for your skin and health.
NOTE: An extra benefit of visiting these baths is that you also get an option to get a really refreshing massage.
Batumi Botanical Garden
What is special about the Batumi Botanical Garden is that it contains plants from nine phytogeographic areas; South America, North America, East Asia, the Mediterranean, the Himalayas, Australia, New Zealand, the Caucasian humid subtropics and Mexico.
You can explore the beautiful Batumi Botanical Garden by foot or by carts that you can rent from the garden’s administration.
Situated on top of Mount Mtatsminda, overlooking the Tbilisi, Mtatsminda Park gives you and your children a chance to do some super exciting activities.
You get to go on water slides, a roller coaster, carousels and much more.
The best part of the park is the Giant Wheel or the big Ferris Wheel. It is the highest attraction in the park and offers you a magnificent view of the city of Tbilisi.
Bridge of Peace
Stretching 150 meters over the Kura River, the Bridge of Peace connects the old historical district of Tbilisi with the new one.
It is bow-shaped and is made of steel and glass. And when it is illuminated by the thousands of LED lights at night, it is a sight to behold.
The bridge has also received a nickname, the “Always Ultra bridge” because it apparently resembles a ladies’ maxi-pad.
National Botanical Garden of Georgia
The National Botanical Garden of Georgia is another famous spot that you can visit in the city of Tbilisi.
It provides you with beautiful green scenery, seasonal flowers, manicured grounds, a waterfall and splendid views of the city.
The history of the gardens spans more than 300 years.
Uplistsikhe is an ancient town dating back to the Iron Age. The specialty of this site is that the town is entirely cut out of rock.
This rock-cut town is located on the bank of the Mtkvari River. The architecture of the town is a mix of cultures from Anatolia and Iran and also pagan and Christian.
INFO: This is one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia.
Numerous historical artifacts have been discovered here during archeological excavations, such as sculptures, ceramics and gold, silver, and bronze jewelry. Many of these are placed for safekeeping in the National Museum in Tbilisi.
Argo Cable Car
Taking a ride in the Argo Cable Car gives you a chance to view the Batumi city from the top. Not only that but you get spectacular views of the Black Sea and the surrounding mountains too.
It is an entertainment complex that has restaurants, gift shops, a wine house, open-air podium, and halls.
Here you can watch traditional Georgian dance and music performances, enjoy traditional Georgian wine and cuisine, and learn about the Georgian alphabet.
The cable line takes you from the town to the highlands. Each individual gondola can seat 8 passengers. It takes 15 minutes to complete a single one-way trip.
If you visit Batumi, this is one you must experience otherwise your trip would be incomplete. I for one plan on making this a priority. I’d probably visit this last after I’ve explored the other places in Batumi, so that when I look at the city from afar I’d know what I’m looking at.
Narikala is an ancient fortress that was built during the 4th century and it was then a Persian citadel.
This fortress is situated on a steep hill between the botanical gardens of Tbilisi and the sulfur baths.
Narikala offers you beautiful panoramic views of the city of Tbilisi and the Mtkvari River.
Located in the historic town of Mtskheta, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral is one of the chief Orthodox churches of Georgia and is known as the burial site of Christ’s mantle. It is one of the most revered places of worship in Georgia.
It was built during the 11th century.
Dry Bridge Market
The Dry Bridge Market is an open-air flea market in Tbilisi. You’ll find a humongous variety of knick-knacks here such as antiques, jewelry, art, etc, you name it.
This is one of the most popular flea markets in Tbilisi.
Just be sure to haggle for prices as they may be increased especially for tourists.
NOTE: During the weekends, there are more sellers in the market, which also means its more crowded then too.
This 6th century Jvari Monastery is another historical site that is located in Mtskheta in Eastern Georgia.
It is built atop of Jvari Mount overlooking the city of Mtskheta.
The architecture of the monastery is in such harmony with nature. It is built in such a way that it looks as if the monastery is growing out of the mountain.
This is a popular place with both locals and tourists, adults and youngsters alike.
The performances here are given in Georgian, Russian and English. There are 8 dolphins performing in the shows.
Enjoy the spectacular natural scenery and waterfalls and take a boat trip in the deep green waters of the river when you visit the Martvili Canyons.
Located in the Samegrelo region of western Georgia, the Martvili Canyons is a natural wonder.
In addition to the boat trip, there are also walking routes in the canyon and they are just as spectacular as the water ride.
Vardzia is a fascinating cave monastery. The site was excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain.
The caves span a length of around 500 meters through the cliff and have up to 19 tiers.
Georgian National Museum
Like all national museums, the Georgian National Museum also preserves the rich, cultural heritage of the nation.
I always like to visit a museum about the nation as it’s like the entire history of that nation is in one place for me to see.
The spotlight of the Georgian National Museum is on the Archaeological Treasury in the basement. It contains artifacts dating back to the 3rd millennium BC, such as pre-Christian stonework, gold, and silver from burials.
Makhuntseti Waterfall is a picturesque waterfall in Adjara. It is one of the most popular waterfalls in Georgia.
The falling water forms a small lake at the base of the waterfall where you can take a dip and refresh yourself.
You can also buy natural products from the locals there in the Makhuntseti village and enjoy traditional Georgian food.
Rabati Castle is a 9th-century fortress in Akhaltsikhe city. It is situated on a small hill on the shores of the Potskhovi river.
It is a true cultural and historical complex and is the main attraction sight of Akhaltsikhe city. It can be seen from nearly anywhere in the city.
A majority of the buildings that are remaining in the fortress today date from the 17th and 18th centuries.
NOTE: Within the fortress, you can find a history museum, mosque, church, small park, synagogue, a variety of shops, hotels and also a civil registry office.
Prometheus Cave Natural Monument
If you travel to the Tsqaltubo Municipality in the Imereti region you will be able to visit the Prometheus Cave Natural Monument.
This is a karst cave, i.e. its a cave formed in the soluble rock limestone.
It is about 11 km long and has 22 halls but only 6 of them are open to spectators.
Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument
The name clearly gives you an idea of this place. It is a monument that was built in 1983 to celebrate 200 years since the Treaty of Georgievsk and the ongoing friendship between Soviet Georgia and Soviet Russia.
Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument is located on the Georgian Military Highway looking out on the Devil’s Valley in the Caucasus mountains.
The monument is a large round structure that has a tile mural spanning throughout the entire structure. The mural depicts scenes from the history of Georgia and Russia.
Gergeti Trinity Church
Constructed in the 14th century, the Gergeti Trinity Church is a popular waymark for hikers in the area.
This church is located on the right bank of the Chkheri river, under Mount Kazbek and at an elevation of 7120 feet.
The original structure of the Bodbe Monastery was built during the 9th century. It is also referred to as the Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe.
It is a Georgian Orthodox monastic complex and is also the seat of the Bishops of Bodbe.
Today it functions as a nunnery and is one of the major pilgrimage sites of Georgia.
Ali and Nino, Moving Statues
The moving statues of a “Man and Woman” located in Batumi is based on the tragic love story of Ali, a Muslim boy who fell in love with Nino, a Georgian Princess.
These are characters from a popular 1937 novel.
The statues begin moving at 7 p.m. every night. The movement lasts for 10 minutes.
The two lovers meet briefly for a short embrace, and then pass through each other and leave each other behind. This movement represents the separation of Ali and Nino during the Soviet Invasion.
The statues are made of steel and stand at a height of 8 meters.
Europe Square is located in Batumi and is the hotspot for city festivals.
Here you will find bizarre and unusual buildings as well as cafes, various shops, restaurants, etc.
You can try the local delicacies in the restaurants of the square while enjoying the view.
One special building here is the Astronomic clock tower. In the clock tower, in addition to checking out the time, you can also check out the position of the Sun, Moon and planets.
There are many sights in Batumi that I have mentioned on my list so far. And while you are in Batumi visiting them, don’t forget the Europe Square, otherwise, you will be missing out on a real Georgian experience.
Gonio fortress is a Roman fortification located in Adjara.
It is believed that the grave of one of the twelve apostles, Saint Matthias is located inside Gonio Fortress. However, this has yet to be verified as the Georgian government has prohibited digging near the so-called gravesite.
Gino Paradise Tbilisi
Gino Paradise offers you a range of fun activities as well as healthy and relaxing activities.
It has a water park, relaxation and wellness center, fitness center as well as catering.
This 11th-century cathedral, located in Kutaisi city of the Imereti region, is a magnificent work of medieval Georgian architecture. It is one of the chief tourist attractions in the city.
Bagrati Cathedral was built during the reign of King Bagrat III, hence the name Bagrati meaning Bagrat’s cathedral.
This is also called the Kutaisi Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Dormition.
Kartlis Deda is an aluminum figure of a woman in the Georgian national dress.
Standing 20 meters tall atop the Sololaki hill in Tbilisi, Kartlis Deda stands for the Georgian national character; holding a sword in her right hand for those who come as enemies and in her left hand, a bowl of wine to greet those who come as friends.
It was erected in 1958, which was the year Tbilisi celebrated its 1500th anniversary.
Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi
The primary cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church, commonly known as Sameba, is designed in the traditional Georgian style.
Many people have referred to this as an eyesore, while many others feel the opposite and revere the architecture. I for one am entranced by the design.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is not an ancient structure, it was built between 1995 and 2004.
NOTE: There are nine chapels in this cathedral and five of them are located in big, underground compartments.
Georgia has been wine producers for at least 8000 years, in fact, they are the oldest wine producer in the world.
Wine is an important part of Georgian culture and identity. Remember the Kartlis Deda statue I mentioned before? On her left hand, she is shown holding a bowl of wine welcoming those who come as friends.
The most well-known wine region in Georgia is Kakheti.
The ancient traditional method of winemaking in Georgia is done using Kvevri clay jars. In fact, the traditional Georgian winemaking method is listed in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
When you visit Georgia you will be able to taste different wines and see how they are made in local families as well as in larger wineries.
Georgian wine has a unique flavor and strength to it than the wine of other European countries.
If you are someone who drinks wine frequently you will be able to tell the difference.
For hundreds of years, the Georgian people drank their wine from horns called kantsi and some people still do.
Today wine is produced by thousands of small farmers who use the traditional methods, modern wineries and also some monasteries.
Mtirala National Park
Located in Adjara region, Mtirala National Park offers you scenic trails, beautiful waterfalls, lush forests, and fauna.
You get to go picnic camping in the trails, hiking, take scientific eco-tours and horsing.
The best time of the year to visit the park is during the spring, summer and early autumn.