Trans Eurasia travel

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Tbilisi in one day

Begin with a coffee and khachapuri at one of the cafés on Rustaveli avenue, before wandering the atmospheric alleyways of the Old Town, dropping into some of the fascinating old churches on the way, and crossing the river to the Metekhi Church with its panoramic views. A walk up to the Narikala Fortress and Kartlis Deda above the city will give you great views and help to work up an appetite for lunch at one of the popular Old Town eateries. Visit the Museum of Georgia – or, if it’s not open, the nearby Fine Arts Museum – and then wander back into the Old Town or along Rustaveli for some shopping. In the evening head out to a traditional Georgian restaurant with as many people as possible for some serious feasting. For a nightcap and a spot of live music head to the crowded bar and restaurant strip on Akhvlediani.

Perhaps one of the most distinctive pleasures of walking through the Old City, with its old-style balconies, ancient churches, winding streets, and charming shops. Be prepared to see a number of eclectic sights, from the abandoned streetcar near Erekle Street to the art galleries of Chardini Street to the stunning modern art lining Sioni Street. Sub-neighborhoods include Sololaki, with its elegant restaurants and art nouveau architecture, Old Tbilisi proper - with sites ranging from churches to mosques to sulfur baths, Betelmi - housing two of the city's oldest churches and the stunning vistas of the Narikala Fortress - and Mtsasminda, just up the mountain from Rustaveli Avenues, a more sedate, "livable" district filled with charming old houses and a number of families.

Climb up to the Narikala Fortress. The crumbling ruins of this once-great fortress, standing alongside the Upper Betelmi Churches and the stunning Botanical gardens, offer panoramic views of the city below. But be warned - it's quite a steep climb - and while the lack of bureaucracy and guard-rails can be liberating for some, you may want to pay extra care to watch your step.

Sulfur Baths. The bath district is called Abanotubani and is on the south side of the Metekhi bridge. It is easy to spot with its small domes on ground level. There are several small baths offering different levels of comfort. The baths are relatively small, and you may have to wait for a pool to become available. English service is not guaranteed. Massages are available; however, they are more like a washing, but well worth it for the experience. You should bring your own towel and beach sandals (available for a small fee). Some travelers have suggested the Royal Baths is a much better alternative to Sulfur Baths (they are next to each other). Sulfur baths tends to double the price at the end of the massage and bath in spite of your original agreed price.

Also in other districts you can find sulphur baths. For example in the Kiev-ulica, A bit south east of metro station Marjanishvili, around the corner of hostel Green Stairs, there is an old, characteristic bath. In the evening you can get a private bath for 10 lari (although they call them roubles) and an additional towel is 2 GEL. Public Pool: 2 GEL; Private Pool: 10-80 GEL per hour; Massage 5-20 GEL.

 

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