Tbilisi's Old Town has some charming atmosphere! You will spot some lovely old houses, terraces and cobblestone streets.
Lunch in Tbilisi
While exploring the old town I decided to have lunch in a place recommended by avid traveller John Noble. The restaurant "Pur-Pur" was in the second floor of an old building desperately in need of renovation. The lunch on one of their balconies overlooking tiny Lado Gudiashvili Square was superb however. Later I found out that many of those Georgian balconies are just supported by the wall connections you see on the far left. And they look quite thin...
Old stairway in Tbilisi
The staircase of the "Pur-Pur" restaurant. The building looks quite demolished and abandoned but the café-restaurant is a good place to have a lunch break. Quite a gem! Tbilisi has plenty of old and beautiful buildings which just deserve to be photographed...
On my way to Old Tbilisi
Dzveli Tbilisi features not only old buildings and history but also some modern vendors and souvenir shops where you can buy Georgian treats like chacha (Georgian vodka) or churchkhela (a sweet treat similar to Snickers).
Tbilisi (and Georgia in general) has lots of stray dogs and cats in the streets. An old woman was taking care of that hairy fellow by rubbing some sort of medicine on the belly.
Shopping time! Well, that's not the shopping time most of us imagine. If you want to see, smell and taste some genuine Tbilisi culture then take the Tbilisi metro and disembark at Didube metro station. The Didube markets (and the adjacent minibus station) are just across the street. While minibus drivers are standing in the middle of the crowd yelling out their destinations like "Gori! Gori" or "Batumi!" and waiting for their passengers locals are selling fruit and vegetables, kitchen accessories and old music CDs, water, wine and churchela (the Georgian Snickers)... And just a few meters away there is a loud and dusty construction site: a new road is being built... Tbilisi. You have to feel it.
Private vendors selling fruit and vegetables at Didube market. In the background some CDs and DVDs can be purchased. I doubt their origin though...
To the right: Natakhtari is beside a beer also a lemonade brand with different flavors: from Cream & Chocolate (close to Bayley's taste) through Tarragon, Pear (wow!), Apple, Orange, Saperavi, Raspberies to Lemon with Mint.
Georgian lemonade... yes, please!
One of the best treats I found is the Georgian home-made lemonade! The drink is both fizzy and creamy! I totally recommend!
Tbilisi Street Art
Graffiti in Tbilisi are quite common. Most of them are nerdy and techy...
Tbilisi Street Art
... others are witty and amusing...
Tbilisi Street Art
... with a slight (or not) dose of criticism.
A stray dog relaxing near Marjanishvili Square in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia. The amount of stray dogs in Tbilisi (and in Georgia in general) is rather high. Nevertheless most of them aren't aggressive and some are even quite friendly to strangers.
Marjanishvili Metro Station
The Tbilisi Metro is one of the deepest in the world. The ride on the escalators takes a while...
Marjanishvili Metro Station
The Tbilisi Metro is one of the deepest in the world. The ride on the escalators takes a while... Nevertheless the frequency is better than some European cities and the rides are inexpensive.
Boarding the Tbilisi metro at Didube station. The metro stations in downtown Tbilisi are underground while stations at the outskirts of the city are above ground. Riding the metro is comfortable though crowded at times. Announcements are made in both Georgian and English.
... also called "Freedom Square". In the middle it features the statue of St. George by Zurab Tsereteli built in 2006.
Liberty Square ahead
Traffic in Tbilisi could be killing... literally! If you see a pedestrian crossing you should think twice before using it.
Ronnie holding the Tbilisi TV Tower
This Ronald Reagan bronze statue in Rike Park in Tbilisi was revealed by Georgia's president Mikheil Saakashvilion November 23rd, 2011. Reagan was the 40th president of the US, one of his missions was to accelerate the fall of the Iron Curtain. The inscript on the bench is a part of a famous quote by Reagan: "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. (We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.)"
Akaki and his Lada
Akaki, a tour guide from Tbilisi, offers his tour services with his Soviet Lada. He told me so many things about Georgia and Tbilisi... And he is one of those guys who love his job and tells the stories and urban legends with so much passion.
A carpet maker
A woman knitting carpets in Tbilisi's Old Town.
Street vendors in Tbilisi: Georgian food is always worth trying. It doesn't matter if you're having a khachapuri (cheese bread), a khinkali (dumplings) or a few churchkhela ("The Georgian Snickers") you won't be disappointed.
The crooked house
This gem I found on my way to Avlabari in a cobblestone street just above Europe Square in Tbilisi. I had the feeling this building would collapse any time...
The Palace of Justice to the far left, the Bridge of Peace to the lower right. Mtkvari river is dividing Tbilisi in two parts.
The Palace of Justice / Public Service Hall
The modern Public Service Hall & The Palace of Justice in Tbilisi. Fun fact: The Palace of Justice has its own café called "JUSTcafé". I bet they serve... JUSTice there.
... seen from Mtatsminda Park. This area is inhabited by rather wealthy Tbilisians, it is north of Rustaveli Avenue. In the far you can spot the Boris-Paitschadse-Dinamo-Stadium. The left part was damaged by the Tbilisi flood in June 2015.
Mtkvari River is splitting Tbilisi in two. In the far you can see the Tbilisi Circus (the pink tent on the hill). The Berbuk towers in construction are an ambitious project: They are about to be 110 m and 60 m high and are going to include modern condos with a series of extras.
Fun in Mtatsminda park...
Georgian kids having fun at the rides in Mtatsminda Park. In the background you see the Tbilisi TV Tower.
Mtatsminda Ferris Wheel
Fancy a ride? It costs as much as GEL 0.50 (EUR 0.20).
Tbilisi in front, Tbilisi in the far
Tbilisi covers 350 km². Despite of this the central city district is quite walkable.
A curious stray cat is observing me at Lado Gudiashvili Square. The square is tiny but its trees offer a greatescape from the hot summer sun!
In Tbilisi's Old Town you can always enjoy the famous Georgian cuisine. Trying some Georgian wine (or at least a glas of Georgian lemonade) is a must!
Putin is watching you (eat)!
The famous KGB bar in Tbilisi's Old Town. Don't worry there are no bugs in your soup... I think.
The Old Town is also a great spot to see Georgia's development: now you'll find here bio-cafés and vegan steak houses...
Georgia is famous for its magnificent wines! In Tbilisi you will encounter
a portion of wine testing stores where you can degustate a huge amount of
red & white wine sorts and pamper your senses. Cheers! Or as Georgians
The third-largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in the world. It was finished in 2004. The Tbilisi TV Tower on Mtatsminda is to the far left.
Tbilisi features some interesting buildings which are either abandoned or
reconstructed. Here: the former Ministry of Agriculture offers a great
shooting location for a thriller movie...
Another to-be-abandoned building?
While the building seems to be just ready for demolition it is still functioning! The little shops in the basement with an entrance at street level are held by private owners. They sell mostly second hand clothes, food or offer handcraft services.
Vakhtang Gorgasali Monument
This statue at Metekhi Church is dedicated to Vakhtang I of Caucasian
Iberia, the founder of Tbilisi. Iberia existed from 302 BC to 580 AD
and included territories from today's Turkey, Georgia, Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Russia.
Narikala fortress was built in the 4th century. The name comes from Mongols and means "Little Fortress". You can visit it either by riding the cable car and walking down a path or hiking up from Metekhi Square/Bridge.
Sunset over Tbilisi
The Metekhi Church offers a beautivul view over the Mtkvari River in Tbilisi. To bad the yard closes around 9 pm.
Tbilisi in the evening
Evening shots of cities around the globe are magical. Tbilisi however has a different appeal: Most parts of the landscape are not that bright. The Tbilisi Cathedral, Tsminda Sameba, however is one of the most luminous buildings seen from above. Seen from the Mother Georgia pathway.
The Bridge Of Peace
Opened on May 6th 2010 it connects Tbilisi's Old Town (Dzveli Tbilisi) with Rike Park (to the left), passing over the Mtkvari River...
Bridge Of Peace
... The bridge is covered with LEDs which morse the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements by Dmitri Mendeleev. The upper LEDs go on and off according to the pedestrian flow on the bridge.
Tbilisi at night
Mtatsminda park is open till 4 am which gives you the opportunity to see Georgia's capital by night.
Europe Square between Metekhi Church and Rike Park. Even though Caucasus is considered Europe's natural border Georgia might be referred as part of Europe due to its culture. What do you think?