Tbilisi is centred on the Mtkvari River, which runs through the middle of it roughly northwest to southeast. The old city lies on the right (west) bank where the valley narrows to a gorge, below Narikala Fortress. Tavisuplebis moedani (Freedom Sq) marks the northwest edge of the Old Town. Rustavelis gamziri (Rustaveli Avenue), the main artery of modern central Tbilisi, runs 1.5km northwest from Tavisuplebis moedani to Rustavelis moedani (Rustaveli Sq).
Outside these central areas, the main districts of interest to travellers are Vere and Vake to the northwest, with their hotels, restaurants and some sights; and the area with budget accommodation on the east bank between the river and the main Tbilisi train station (which is 2km northeast of Rustavelis moedani). The airport is 15km east of the centre, to which it’s connected by train, buses and taxis.
The two main bus stations are Didube, 4km north of the train station, and Ortachala (for mainly international departures), 2.5km southeast of the Old Town. A metro system links the northern and western suburbs (including Didube and the train station) with the centre.
Three very obvious landmarks, visible from far and wide, are the massive new Tsminda Sameba Cathedral high on the east side of the city, and the silver-coloured statue of Kartlis Deda (Mother Georgia) and the city’s TV tower, both atop hills on the western side.