Don't Miss Places In Georgia
Although most of this country is in Asia, part of northern Georgia is in Europe. Forested mountains cover much of the land and snow stays on the highest peaks all year round. However, near the Black Sea the mountains lower slopes are lush and fertile. These areas along with the coastal lowlands have a mild climate and plenty of rain, enabling farmers to grow in abundance their citrus fruits, tea, and tobacco. Farther inland, cereals and vegetables are grown as well as grapes for Georgia’s famous wines. Georgia is noted for its food, hospitality, and for the health resorts along its Black Sea coast.
When in Georgia, be sure to visit these top ten not to be missed places.
Old Town (Altstadt) Tbilisi
Georgia’s ancient capital, Tbilisi, is also its largest city. The swift current of the Kura River provides the region with hydroelectric power. The Old Town (Alstadt) is a fascinating site and the beauty of Georgia shines on it. There are lots to see like; the Caucasus and above all, the Land of the Svan where their tower of the ancient era starts from the Mestia in Tbilisi center.
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There are structures that are well placed in prominence especially at night. All the monuments and important buildings are illuminated and it’s nice to take pictures and observe how the locals and foreigners interact and learn the culture. The Liberty Square of Lenin is a good starting point for exploring the city streets. The Narikala is a fortress that shows the rich historical treasure of Georgia and the story of fallen nobility.
The Alstadt is one of the few renovated district of the capital city. There are countless bars, cafes, and restaurants of all styles and cuisine that can be found. It is a city with many faces with beautiful and interesting corners and alleys to discover. The new park at the cable car station is always crowded in the evening and many locals gather or meet. Don’t fail to visit the old churches in Tbilisi and be impressed with the deep piety of the people who pray and worship there.
Aerial Tramway in Tbilisi
The Cableway or Aerial Tramway starts at Sands district, in the center of old Tbilisi. From here you can go through the wine rise to the new Trinity Church in Avlabar. This takes you to the new attractions of the city like; the old church of Nariqala, the Mother of Georgia Monument or the residence of the new prime minister. And most importantly, you pass over the old parts of the city to the magnificent review site where you can make great pictures of the city. The funicular runs through a stretch of steep mountains taking the traveler in the green hills and giving the opportunity to admire a breathtaking panorama. The modern cable car drives all the way up to the mountain fortress.
The drives are quite jagged and rugged so hold on tight even when sitting. The cable ride offers easy access to the best viewpoints of Georgia from the top. The terminal station is one of the most beautiful buildings of its kind in Europe. It is well maintained and equipped with new trams.
The funicular ride is used by the locals as a minibus. It also offers a beautiful view of old Tbilisi where you can climb to the Bastille and then you can go down to the streets of the Tbilisi sulfur baths. Be sure to climb on this inexpensive cable car ride. One booth there even has a transparent bottom where you get to see the view down below all the way through. The three-minute rise (30 degrees) offer stops at the pantheon of public figures, and the bottom end - park on Mount Mtatsminda.
Tsminda Sameba Cathedral
The Sameba Cathedral is a new landmark of Tbilisi, which can be seen from almost any point in the city. But it is worth a closer look on the spot because this church is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world that shows their true radiance only when one stands before her. The climb up the mountain on which it is located shows the visitor immediately the balance of power they have on the place. The wide area on which the cathedral stands is not even made quite finished.
It should probably be built around the large church still exists in a total of 12 small churches. The religious self-consciousness of Georgia can hardly be brought out more clearly. The architecture is also quite appealing. Although the church is similar to many others in Georgia, everything here is several sizes larger. Just one look at the interior and you can expect more than it can offer. The church is quite stark and plain but much embellishment work is not yet complete. Outside, however, it is clearly impressive, especially as a beautiful view is seen along the surrounding area. The newly built church was renovated and opened to the public and tourism through the efforts of Bidsina Ivanishvilli, the billionaire and elected Prime Minister of Georgia.
The Fortress of Narikala is one of the landmarks of the Georgian capital. The ruins of the fortress are perched high above the city and are almost seen everywhere in the city. At night the fortress provides a dramatic backdrop as the ruins get illuminated. A visit to the fortress can be accessible with a visit to the Old Town. From there, the fortress is about 15-20 minutes to reach on foot or about 10 minutes from the Metekhi Cathedral. You can easily climb to the fortress of the old town, although the road is not clearly marked.
From the parking lot you can take a 3.5 km walk through the city on the TV tower. The road is concrete, clearly visible, and you will have some great views of Tbilisi on the way. You can also pass by the Kartlis Deda monument on your way. Another short trail from the fortress can be walked for ten minutes to reach the statue of the Mother of Georgia. It is a monument to the victory of the Red Army in the 2nd World War. A cable car line from Avlabari Tramway station can take you back easily to the city center.
Batumi Botanical Gardens
The large Botanical Garden of Batumi exceeds all expectations. More than just a garden it is classified as a sub-tropical forest where it grows lush vegetation from different regions of the world starting from; Australia, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, the Himalayas, the Far East and so on. Everything within this Botanical Garden is large, the conifers, eucalyptus, magnolia trees, yuccas, and varieties from every corner of the world plus the impressive flora exceeds all expectations. Winter is the best season to visit this number one tourist site in Batumi. The visible snow on the nearby mountain ranges makes the attraction a picture perfect one.
The ticket does not include the cost of a shuttle service with stops in time, but only a minibus service which stops at the time of the request for a photo and immediately restarts once the picture taking by tourists are done. On the actual site, you must go up the steep staircase and arrive at the top of the hill where the view extends over the palm and bamboo trees that surrounds the Black Sea. The scenery is magnificent and the scent of the flowers during the winter season is intoxicating. The romantic atmosphere of the entire place is authentic. You must go well-equipped with comfortable shoes, warm clothes, sunscreen, camera, and plan a half-day visit.
Lake Rica (Gagra)
The road to the Lake Rica runs through the gorge with sharp turns surrounded by scenic gorges with no fence. The glassy surface of the water perfectly matches the view of the snow capped mountains. The contrast of colors from the scarlet leaves of sycamore to the exhilarating white snowy peaks is one of the highlights of the gorgeous lake. You can circle around the lake, walk past guided trails, and view another hidden attraction; the waterfalls of the Stalin’s Dacha and the Gegskij waterfalls.
There is an observation deck that is located behind the trees where you can have an amazing view of the two lovely falls. The Lake Rica and the remote waterfalls are one of the few attractions and fun places in the Abkhazia region that is very popular among tourists. It is located on the territory of the Ritsinsky National Park which is 120 kilometers from the capital of Abkhazia, Sukhumi in Georgia. Try the delicious meringues made by the local women in the market on your way back. There are several cafes and shops that sell pure honey. You can ride on a catamaran on the lake and buy souvenirs sold by the locals along the way.
New Athos Simoneau – Kananitsky Monastery
It is the largest religious center of Abkhazia. The Simon the Zealot Monastery is situated at an altitude of 75 meters above sea level with its picturesque shining domes situated on the slope of Mount Athos. To the main gate of the monastery you can walk along the narrow paved trail (Path of Sinners’ hill) in the dense shade of cypress or drive a car. Upstairs offers a beautiful view of the sea and the nearby snow capped mountains. The monastery has unique murals and frescoes and can be freely photographed.
The painting was carried out according to the sketches of the artist AV Serebriakova and executed on a blue, brown, and gold color scheme. The monastery houses the miraculous icon of the Mother of God. The restored shrine of the monastery is the miraculous cross with a particle of the Tree of the Holy Cross and the holy relics of Simon the Zealot. Women must wear long skirts and headscarf (inappropriate dress is not allowed). Inside the church there is a shop where you can buy candles, crosses, church literature and prayer pamphlets. The beautiful orthodox monastery stands in an unusual setting that is filled with palm trees and breathtaking allure of the sea.
Stalin Museum (Gori)
This is not a museum of propaganda to glorify Stalin and his "work". It is dedicated to the life of Stalin, and shows a lot of documents relating to his family, his friends or political enemies. It also includes many gifts that have been donated by countries or groups of people for various reasons. The visit is best understood with an official guide.
This museum is interesting and fairly objective. It shows that Stalin was fun with pretty boy in his youth and with the horses. The small house where Stalin was born and grew up is at the museum garden protected by a massive building. Do not forget to visit the personal armored car of Stalin in the garden. The shop contains the memories of a despotic leader including his favorite wine bottles that were marked with the word "Generalismus".
This more than 3000 year old cave city occupies a beautiful site that overlooks the Gori valley. But earthquakes and land subsidence have clearly damaged its topography and it takes a lot of imagination to picture the scene (all steps have disappeared) or kitchens.
The ride is very nice but the caves are now open and at least half have disappeared. It is topped with a pretty little church with three naves containing a beautiful icon of the black virgin and a collection of ancient religious statues.
The interesting Ruins of Uplistische are easily accessible from the city of Gori on any kind of transport. The locals here are hospitable as well as the attentive staff of the old complex.
The Motsameta Monastery
The Motsameta Monastery is located among the rolling hills not far from the city of Kutaisi. It is covered by deep canyon river and lush green forest hills. The small but delightful monastery is dedicated to two brothers who were killed by the invading Turks and thrown into the canyon below because they refused to convert to Islam. They were later made saints and a display case still has their skull where locals and tourists flock to show their respect and devotion. The monastery is still active and there is a small community of monks to visit on the site. Modest clothing is required on every guest to be allowed entrance to the monastery.