You will find the fascinating country of Georgia at the crossroads where Europe meets Asia. This country is considered by many as the cradle of winemaking. Apart from over 18,000 historic years of unparalleled wine production, it is also home to three UNESCO World Heritage sites. To give you a glimpse of Georgia’s colorful past, know that Georgians refer to their country as Sakartvelo, meaning ‘the place where the Kartvels – Georgians – are living’ and within its territory lies two of Europe’s oldest cities.
This country was also a venue for many picture-perfect movie scenes as well as headline-making historical events. These all make Georgia’s colorful past and timeless beauty worth preserving and visiting. Not yet decided on where to go? Here’s a list of the ten best places to visit in Georgia.
If you’re alighting from the Tbilisi Airport, a warm and unique atmosphere will welcome you. Many tourists find this city charming and eccentric. Interestingly, the word Tbilisi in Georgian means ‘warm location’. In this city, you can do many fun yet uncommon activities. One must not leave without trying one of Georgia’s national dishes, khinkali. This slightly chewy dumplings filled with tasty meat is hard to resist and simply unforgettable. Make sure you eat it right because there’s a Georgian way of devouring this deli dish.
This cathedral has been gracing the city since the 11th century. Its unique architecture, historic bell tower, and ancient yet beautiful gates make it a breath of fresh air. Apart from its grandeur and past, this UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site is the central topic for two popular legends. The architect responsible for this stunning cathedral is rumored to have been amputated on the right hand, disabling him from building another edifice as beautiful as the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. This church is also said to be the burial place of Christ’s seamless robe on a different legend. If there’s anything common between these legends, it is the long history that lies in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, making it an absolutely perfect place to visit.
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
This national forest is oozing with captivating natural wonders. The scenic mountains, rolling hills, rushing rivers, and cascading waterfalls will take your breath away. Here, you will find the Appalachian Mountains, standing tall and proud of the history-shaping civil war battles that took place around its premise. Today, this area looks no less than serene, a perfect place to spend a day with nature. If you’re into hiking, make sure you don’t miss Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia standing magnanimously at 4,784 feet.
Bassiani, a nightclub that uses an abandoned swimming pool as its dance floor, is one of the best techno clubs in the world. This club attracts all types of partygoers and is famous for hosting haroom nights, which is attended by around 1,000 LGBTQ members each month. Haroom hails its name from a Georgian war dance and is an event that encourages you to be whoever you want.
This ski resort on the Kreuz Pass is famous for hosting winter sports activities. Its elevations of 1,993 and 3,276 meters are the highest and largest in all of Georgia. If you want a modern ski resort where you can cat ski, heli ski, do cross country trails, and more, Gudauri is the best place to be in.
You will find one of the oldest cities in Georgia forty minutes away from its current capital city, Tbilisi. Mtskheta, a former city of ancient Europe, was also previously the capital of Georgia. Apart from the many beautiful places in this city, it is proud to be the world’s first winemaker. There are many wineries situated here, making it a certified wine-town. Whether it’s a winery tour you want or simply tasting the best wines in the world, Mtskheta has a lot to offer. This city is frequented by upper-class Tbilisians when they want fine wines and dining. Make sure you try out an interesting place for a luxurious experience.
Sitting at Mtskheta’s mountaintop is this 1,500 square-meter castle. This ancient fortress was built to protect the cities of Mtskheta and Tbilisi against invaders and enemies. Much of this landscape’s beauty is due to the initial intent of making it appear as one with the mountains. Its towers were strategically built to appear triangular, mimicking the shape of the mountain it sits on. Today, Bebris Tsikhe is not in its tip-top form after enduring damages from wars and of time, but it is certainly in perfect shape to amaze visitors.
History and Ethnography Museum
Svaneti, the land of medieval defense towers in Georgia, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site for many reasons. One of the reasons being, it houses one of the most important museums in Georgia, the History and Ethnography Museum. This museum showcases the lifestyle of Svans and the weaponry that aided their battles. It also features memorabilia that help commemorate and celebrate the successes of Mikheil Khergiani, a famous and well recognized Georgian alpinist.
Back in the days, Svaneti was guarded by battle-ready villages. The village of Ushguli had 300 formidable towers and many stone houses that were meant to intimidate and fight enemies while protecting their village. Today, many of these defense towers and homes are still standing, making a uniquely beautiful tourist attraction.
This avenue is a must-see for two reasons. Firstly, this street is named after a popular medieval poet in the name of Shota Rustaveli. His literary contributions during Georgia’s golden age are unforgettable, not only to his home country. Apart from this avenue in Georgia, there are also streets in Uzbekistan, Lviv, Ukraine, and Armenia named after him. Apart from this avenue’s commemoration of Rustaveli’s amazing work, this alley is also famous for being the location to a scene for the ninth installment of the Fast and the Furious movie franchise. A total of $10.94m was spent by the movie franchise when filming in this beautiful country. The streets of Georgia is must-see when you watch the FF9 movie and a must-visit in real life. What are you waiting for?
*Photos are downloaded from DepositPhotos.com
Searching for the best Georgia hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in Tbilisi? Check out our list of affordable Hamburg hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.
Want more updates about new tourist attractions in Georgia? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.