This is the most photogenic part of the city. Just spend an entire day here leisuring around with no specific purpose or destination, hang around its narrow streets, take a look at carved balconies. Pick into the courtyards and every so often stop for the local wine tasting. Definitely walk into entrance halls and be sure to pay attention to the entrance doors.
The most authentic courtyards are in the vicinity of Bethlehem street (Betlemis Kucha) or Silver street (Vercxlis Kucha), also in the Sololaki quarter. In the Old Town be sure to take a walk down to its most touristic sightseeing - Sulfur Saunas, and then continue to the waterfall Legvtakhevi, following the wooden bridges and the metal spiral staircase which will lead you to the Narikala fortress.
Here you will find the must-see place in Tbilisi, Check Point hotel. It is a very flamboyant hotel owned by my friend Lina. I highly recommend staying at this hotel or at least visiting this place for a cup of homemade coffee and a picture with Frida Kahlo.
Vera and Vake
These are our favourite districts (they are situated next to each other). This is the city part for the secular life of the locals. There are barely any tourists, but there is a ton of popular restaurants and Georgian designers’ showrooms. The two of my most favourite hotels are also here: Stamba and Rooms Tbilisi.
This is a slightly ‘different’ Tbilisi. Agmashenebeli with its restored boulevard offers a lot of restaurants and cafes. The recently famous place ‘FABRIKA’ is also here. This is not just a conjecture of various shops, cafes, and hostels, but a true ‘third spot’ where you will find people who are very open, stylish, and pleasant on all accounts. During the warm season on the weekends they host open-air parties and events here.
This is the local amusement park and a place that offers a magnificent view of Tbilisi. Nearby there is the local Pantheon of artists, a cemetery of poets, painters, actors, directors, including Alexander Griboyedov.
Plan in advance and purchase tickets to the Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theatre. Trust me, this point is well worth it! The most classy performance in this theatre is ‘Stalingrad Battle’ played out in the Russian language. The marionettes are dubbed by the voices of Liya Akhedzhakova, Valentin Gaft, and other talented celebrities.
The ‘Blue Gallery’ is a very unique place which offers the works of Pirosmani, Kakabadze, Gudiashvili and others. Take the pleasure to immerse into Georgian visual art right at its birthplace.
Even if you are not a fan of flea markets, it is definitely worth visiting the one in Tbilisi. This is the zest! The market is located under the Dry bridge and a bit above it. Take time to visit surrounding shops as well as you will be especially stunned by the rug shops.
Gardenia Shevardnadze - a quiet oasis in the outskirt of Tbilisi. This is something like a park or botanical garden with incredibly beautiful grounds and a very tasty cafe.
Tbilisi is a city where I really recommend to hire a tour guide. Otherwise, you will not see even the half of what is so carefully hidden from tourists’ eyes in this magical city: courtyards, front entrances, secret gardens. The best city tour is offered by - «Мама знает, как лучше!»
Lolita is a popular place with signature dishes. It is located right across the Rooms. I especially enjoy its terrace which is comfortable even in winter due to heating devices.
This restaurant is not far from the Sulfur Saunas. Its menu offers amazingly tasty dishes of Georgian cuisine.
This is a restaurant located in an antique restored mansion. The time seems to freeze here.
The Black Lion (Shavi Lomi)
This place is in the historic part of Tbilisi, a very cozy and chambered family restaurant with a short yet very tasty menu.
Littera It the courtyard of the Writers’ House there is a ‘secret cafe’ with very pleasant ambiance. This is a place of inspiration.
A place where one wants to come back to. Everything is excellent here: cuisine, interior design, and atmosphere. This place is always packed.
This place offers a bar and a restaurant. Rooms is where the Georgians start and finish their nights out. Both, the special lobby ambiance, which makes every visitor feel at home, and a wonderful terrace, which stays open all year round make guests want to keep on coming back.
Culinary avant-garde and traditional Georgian cuisine are secluded into a designer’s interior here. A must-visit place.
Where to buy the works of Georgian designers
More is Love
This is a multi-brand store owned by a good friend of mine, Nino Eliava. It offers a great selection of goods all of which are worth purchasing.
This is a boutique of the oldest Georgian fashion house. They sell very conceptual and intricate items here.
This is a store right next door to the Materiel boutique, but with lower prices. They display beautiful and unusual jewelry and other very original items. Just grab a coffee or a glass of wine, a snack at a cafe, and enjoy the nearby surroundings.
Famous knit cardigans by Lalo Dolidze seem to be well-known around the globe.
This is a Georgian trademark with fabulous sewing quality and very unique items. If you like to emphasize your individuality, then this is definitely a place for you.
A trademark that combines contrasting styles and textures. Spangled dresses made of oxford cloth and embroidered denim jackets with hyperbolized chiffon applique works look unbelievably feminine.
This is a concept store which gathers the collections of popular Georgian designers. This fashion space is located in the historic building of a local wine factory, and recently it has been attracting young and progressive residents of Tbilisi.