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A trip to Georgia on your own - a guide!

A trip to Georgia on my own is an interesting experience, and in this post I will tell you how to make such a trip. I decided to write a large detailed guide: what documents are needed for the trip, when to go, what interesting places to see, how to get cheap and how to travel around the country, what money to take - I will discuss all these and many other questions today.

The links can read more detailed information.

Travel to Georgia on your own

To travel to Georgia, you will need a passport valid for the entire trip. Citizens of Russia do not need a visa to Georgia, in addition, you can stay in the country for 365 days! Georgians greatly simplified visa rules for citizens of many countries of the world, thus stimulating the development of tourism. Well done!

If suddenly you have notes about visiting Abkhazia and South Ossetia (although these territories can be visited with an internal Russian passport), then entry into Georgia may be denied.

Horseman in the mountains of Svaneti

Due to the ban on flights of Russian and Georgian airlines to Georgia, it is now possible to get by land through the border crossing Upper Lars, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, by sea from Sochi, as well as by foreign airlines. Read more about all methods at the link:

Details: How to get to Georgia cheaply - 9 ways

You can get into the country in several ways: fly to one of three international airports (Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi), or arrive on the ground through land borders from Russia (the only crossing is the Upper Lars checkpoint), from Armenia or from Azerbaijan. There is another option to sail on a comet from Sochi to Batumi.

Remember that you cannot enter Georgia from Abkhazia (although Google maps can build such a route), as Georgian services will assume that you illegally entered the country.

The easiest way to get to Georgia is to fly by plane. Direct flights are from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don. With transfers, you can fly even from some cities of Russia. The cost of air tickets from Moscow on average 6000 rubles round trip, for the sale of "Victory" can be taken for 3-4 thousand rubles.

We traditionally select airline tickets for all our trips to aviasales.ru

Airplane lands at Batumi Airport

Inexpensive flights from Russia to Tbilisi, flying to Batumi immediately will be more expensive, it is better to go through Tbilisi.

You can get on the ground through Vladikavkaz and the Georgian military road, but keep in mind that in the summer there are lines at the border in Upper Lars. And in winter the road can be closed due to snow drifts and landslides, yet it passes high in the mountains.

The border of Georgia and Russia in the Darial gorge

He wrote in detail about how to get to Georgia by land in this post . There are many useful links where to look for the latest relevant information about the situation at the border, and a detailed description of the transition procedure.

Georgia is a very small country, so moving will not take much time. In my opinion, the most comfortable way to travel around the country is with your own or rented car. So you can get to those places where public transport does not go, and indeed be free in plans. For a group of friends or family, this is generally ideal.

Renting a car in Georgia is quite easy, prices start from 1,500 rubles a day for a small car with a capacity of 3 people, up to 2,600 rubles a day for roomy SUVs, there are also higher. The cost depends on the specific brand of car, rental period, insurance conditions and other additional options, such as a child seat.

I found the cheapest car rental prices in Georgia at myrentacar.com , they have good reviews and they work with local rental offices.

You can also ride trains, minibuses and buses.

The trains

The branch is essentially the same: it goes from Azerbaijan through Tbilisi, Gori, Rioni and further to Batumi with branches to Armenia, Borjomi, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Poti. The trains themselves are mostly daytime and sessile, but there are also regular reserved seats / coupes with night crossings. You can buy tickets on the official website of Georgian Railways or at ticket offices at train stations. For example, from Tbilisi to Batumi, you can take a modern train in 5 hours for 19 lari (415 rubles, 380 km).

In detail: Trains in Georgia

Buses

In Georgia, there are several private bus companies that operate between major tourist cities. The bus makes sense to travel long distances, quite comfortably. For example, the same distance from Tbilisi to Batumi costs 25 GEL (550 rubles).

Minibuses

Minibus is the main transport in Georgia (as well as in Armenia), they go in many directions from everywhere. The minibuses are cramped, there may be bags in the cabin, so it’s hard to travel long distances, but they help out very close ones. Minibuses depart for filling, although they have a schedule, in general the transport system is established, and it is convenient and interesting to drive around Georgia.

Taxis can also be taken everywhere; many earn extra money by private cab. In my opinion, a trip to Georgia will be as comfortable as possible if you combine public transport and a taxi.

Read more: transport in Georgia

To search for transfers from the airport to the city or between cities gotrip.ge .

On the way to Svaneti

In Georgia, several parts can be arbitrarily distinguished: the center (Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Gori), east (Kakheti), west (Black Sea coast), north (Svaneti, Kazbegi, Khevsuretii mountains, etc.).

You can enjoy the charm of the old city in Tbilisi, taste Georgian wine, it is best to go to Kakheti (ideal in September), swim in the sea, go to Batumi or the surrounding area, go on a hike in the mountains, climb or just go for a walk in Kazbegi or Svaneti, and temples and monasteries you will meet everywhere. Georgia is a country that is waiting for something interesting at every turn.

See also: Holidays in Georgia : where, when and how much does it cost

I painted in detail the places we visited, using the links you can find all the detailed information on attractions, hotels, prices, and transport.

Sights of Georgia in one article: something that is definitely worth a look!

Tbilisi and surroundings

Sights of Tbilisi - where to go, where to eat and what to see in ancient Tiflis.

Ceremonial Tbilisi . Dullness and brilliance of the entrances of the capital.

Mtskheta - Lermontov wrote about this place in his poem “Mtsyri”.

Burn. The birthplace of Stalin with an interesting museum, you can still see the fortress.

Uplistsikhe is a cave city with an interesting history near Gori.

Tbilisi center

Jvari church near Mtskheta

Kakheti

Sighnaghi is a city of love: the most romantic city in Georgia.

Telavi is a good base for a trip to Kakheti.

20 attractions in Kakheti - what you can see in Kakheti in a few days.

Sighnaghi Town

Alaverdi Monastery in Kakheti

Kazbegi

The Georgian Military Road is one of the most beautiful roads I've been to.

Sights of Kazbegi - what to see and where to go to Kazbegi.

Trinity Church in Gergeti and Mount Kazbek . Symbols of Georgia. Awesome places, a real delight!

Kazbegi village, Trinity Church and Mount Kazbek

Georgian military road

Samtskhe-Javakheti

Borjomi is a famous resort where you can drink mineral water almost for free.

Narrow Gauge Borjomi-Bakuriani . Riding through a fabulous forest at a local rarity, I recommend it.

Vardzia is another cave city, the largest and most impressive.

Borjomi

Cave city of Vardzia

Imereti

Sights of Kutaisi. Big city with interesting surroundings. City guide.

What to see in Imereti? Interesting places near Kutaisi, a good plan for a trip for 1-2 days.

Gelati Monastery. One of the most important spiritual centers of the country.

Okace Canyon - a walk over the abyss.

Kutaisi

At Gelati Monastery

It seems to me that a trip to Georgia will be incomplete without visiting the mountains, and in Svaneti there are a lot of them!

Svaneti

Mestia . The main village in Svaneti - the most remote corner of Georgia. Incredible landscapes, snowy mountains around, one of my favorite places in Georgia.

Chalaadi Glacier . A good one-day itinerary from Mestia - description and photo.

Corundi Lakes . Another route, a little more difficult, but the views will surprise you, that's for sure!

Sights of Svaneti . Where to go and what to see in Svaneti, track routes.

Svaneti

Svans

Adjara

Ureki . Magnetic black sand beach. By the way, he even has healing properties.

Sarpi . The cleanest beach in Georgia near the border in Turkey.

Top 25 attractions of Batumi . Cableway, chacha tower, alphabet tower and other interesting places where you can go to Batumi.

Rest in Batumi - the pros and cons of rest in Batumi, tips.

The beaches of Batumi . Where is the cleanest beach within the city and how to choose among them?

What to see in Adjara? Small mountain towns, coastal villages, the Batumi Botanical Garden and many other interesting places.

You can order excursions in Georgia from local residents, a large selection can be found at this site . So look at interesting places and get to know the locals - they already know everything about their homeland and will sing wine :)

Batumi

Matsunkheti Waterfall

We did not investigate the mountainous regions of Khevsureti, Tusheti, Racha-Lechkhumi. They also did not visit the eastern part of Georgia and many other interesting places. There will be a reason to come again!

Naturally, your route will depend on the number of days, the longer the better ;-) but 10-14 days will be enough to absorb the atmosphere of this country.

Here is an approximate route for traveling in Georgia on your own, with visits to the main tourist places:

Kazbegi (2 days) - Tbilisi (2 days) - Kakheti (2 days) - Borjomi-Vardzia (2 days) - Kutaisi and places nearby (2 days) - Svaneti (2 days) - Batumi and surroundings (3 days).

It is clear that the number of days I wrote is approximate, if you like mountains, then you should stay in Svaneti (for example, go to the track to Ushguli) or Kazbegi. Or, on the contrary, if the main goal is to lie on the beach, then add more time to Batumi.

In general, you can choose any region of Georgia and go only there, and still there will be something to see.

Here, too, everything depends on the purpose of the trip: the weather in different parts of the country at the same time can be different.

For example, it is best to go to Batumi in June or September. In June there are not many people, and the sea is already warm. In September, plenty of fresh fruit and a velvet season. You can swim in the sea from June to October, at other times it will be cool.

For hiking in the mountains, months from June to September inclusive, when the weather is nice, is ideal. In winter, many mountain roads are closed for travel, about late autumn or early spring, the weather is also not the most suitable for walking.

Badumi in Batumi

But for skiing and snowboarding (and in Georgia there are three ski resorts: Gudauri, Bakuriani and Hatsvali), months from November to March are suitable.

To explore interesting places in Tbilisi, Kakheti, it is best to come in spring or autumn, in the summer on the plain hellish heat at 35-40 degrees.

In detail: When is it better to go to Georgia?

In Georgia, tourism is developing by leaps and bounds, and almost everywhere there is where to spend the night. I recommend staying in guest houses - this is an ordinary residential building, and it is here that you can plunge deeper into local life. In addition to hotels, in large cities there are classic hostels with several beds in the room.

Appearance passwords in Georgia: all contacts of the places where we lived

Picturesque guesthouse in Telavi

Book your accommodation conveniently on hotellook and airbnb , we only used them or searched locally.

Made a couple of housing reviews:

Apartments for rent in Tbilisi - an overview of good options in the center.

Apartments in Batumi - 20 apartments near the sea.

How to rent an apartment in Batumi by the sea? Tips and important points when renting a house in the main resort of Georgia.

Georgia is a relatively inexpensive country. For example, travel by metro and buses in Tbilisi costs 0.5 GEL (12 rubles), and this is in the capital! Prices for accommodation in general are at the level of Russia, and somewhere cheaper, even considering the current rate.

Some products are cheaper than ours, some are more expensive, quality wine is much more affordable - it’s understandable ;-) For more than three weeks of a leisurely trip to Georgia, we spent 1300 GEL for two (29,000 rubles at the current exchange rate writing an article). This is not much more than we spend just living at home in Omsk.

Details about prices in Batumi

How much money to take to Georgia? - detailed our expenses during the trip

Churchkhela in the market

What money to take with you? Take dollars or euros, rubles can also be changed, but the rate is unprofitable. In addition, be sure to take a bank card for insurance, it is easy to cash it out at ATMs. Do not forget to remove restrictions in the bank before the trip so that the card is not blocked!

Detailed calculation of which currency to take to Georgia

There are three mobile operators in Georgia: Geocell, Beeline and Magti. Beeline has the cheapest packages, but they only work on 4G networks, if your phone only supports 3G, then it will not work for you (if you are going to go online from your mobile). We took a SIM card Geocell and were satisfied with the quality, speed and coverage. Simka itself is free, and an Internet package for a month with 1.2 Gb costs 5 GEL (110 rubles) - there are less and more.

Read also: Communication and mobile Internet in Georgia

You can talk a lot about Georgian food, but it's better to just try it! The most popular dishes that can be most often found are khinkali, khachapuri, barbecue, and kharcho soup. Be sure to try the local lemonade: tarragon was our favorite, but pear and apple are also good.

Read also:

Georgian cuisine: 25+ most delicious dishes

The best cafes and restaurants of Tbilisi

Wine in Georgia flows like a river ;-) You will be poured and offered almost everywhere: random companions, hosts in guest houses, and just people you meet. In almost all stores selling wine, you can taste alcohol for free before buying.

I recommend buying wine in private wineries in Kakheti, the region of winemaking. Kindzmarauli, Tsinandali and many other varieties are produced there, in the Alazani Valley. In an article about Kakheti (link above) I wrote about specific places where it is worth buying this or that wine.

Georgia is a fairly safe country, unless you specifically seek extra adventures. The attitude of Georgians towards Russians is quite benevolent, Georgian hospitality extends to everyone.

The only thing that can cause trouble is the driving style of local drivers, but you quickly get used to it. Pedestrians in Georgia have a hard time, rarely cross the pedestrian crossing.

But for your own peace of mind, you can take out insurance, all the more it is inexpensive, but it saves a lot of nerve cells in case of something. You can compare prices of several insurance companies at once and take out insurance online through the service Compare.ru .

More useful posts about Georgia:

Moscow - Batumi: airfare, price review and several ways to buy cheap airfares.

How to get to Batumi from Tbilisi and Kutaisi? Schedule, fare by train, bus, minibus.

Comet Sochi - Batumi . Schedule, fares, features.

How to get to Mestia from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, Batumi? All ways to get to a remote corner of Georgia.

How to get to Kutaisi? Minibuses, trains, buses, planes from other cities of Georgia, Russia and European cities.

Public transport and metro in Tbilisi . Description, photos, fare.

How to get from Tbilisi airport to the center?

Transport from Yerevan to Tbilisi .

I hope all the information above was useful to you and will help organize an independent trip to Georgia. That's all. Ask - add in the comments!

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