Have you been to a city where you can find Armenian Gregorian, Georgian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches, a mosque, a synagogue, and a Zoroastrian temple all within a 5 minute walk of each other? Then you should definitely plan a trip to Georgia and its beautiful capital Tbilisi. The name Tbilisi derives from the Old Georgian word “tbili”, meaning warm.
It is AA multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-cultural, city on the crossroads of history, a city neither European nor Asian but a heady blend of both East and West. A European Istanbul of sorts.
If you’re wondering what attractions the capital holds? Here are 6 Incredibly Fun things to do in Tbilisi.
- Take a Sulfur Bath
Abanotubani is the place where Tbilisi started, and those sulfur springs were exactly the reason why King Gorgasali decided to found the town there. You will really be touching history while going to a sulfur bath in Tbilisi.
Moreover, it’s really healthy, and helps you relax a after a long trip and especially after those days of overeating and overdrinking.
- Look at History
A chief part of Tbilisi’s history is its location along the Silk Road. A small remnant of the Silk Road that remains today in Tbilisi is the caravanserai. If you visit the Narikala Fortress, down below you can see some buildings with an open courtyard inside.
These are remaining caravanserais. Travelers and traders along the silk route would stop and stay at these caravanserais which had ramps in the courtyards that descended below ground where the camels would be housed. The goods they would bring for trade were stored on the ground floor in storage rooms.
- Visit a Bazaar
Another surviving remnant of the Silk Road is Meidan Bazaar. This may be one of the oldest business centers in Georgia and is supposed to have been in use as early as the 4th and 5th centuries. This underground shopping area and can be accessed through a flight of stairs. The market has been repurposed and now offers customers Georgian wine and tastings, churchkhela, Georgian cheese, jewelry, and other Georgian souvenirs.
- The Rezo Gabriadze Theatre
The theater was founded by Revaz “Rezo” Gabriadze, an artist, writer, and director. The theater puts up puppet shows and before you dismiss it as children’s entertainment, allows us to say that these puppet shows aren’t for children.
The theater is easily spotted by the fantastical clock tower that was added in 2011 for the 30th anniversary. Gabriadze had the tower built by covering it with erratically decorated tiles. Every hour an angel rings the bell with a small hammer. At 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., an additional puppet show called “The Circle of Life” is featured.
- Tbilisi Wine Factory #1
If you’re the alcoholic kind, then you’re in luck. Georgia has been making wine for thousands of years and you can sample its wine at one of the many Tbilisi’s restaurants, but a distinctive introduction to Georgian wine in Tbilisi is offered by Tbilisi Wine Factory #1.
The historic factory was financed by the brandy king of Georgia, David Sarajishvili. The basement contains 40,000 wine bottles, a museum of wine including those from the private collections of Napoleon, Romanov and Stalin, all under lock and key by government order. The basement also houses massive Soviet-time wine barrels and enameled wine tanks.
- Georgian National Museum
While the world has tons of museums to visit, an exhibition of Archaeological Treasury at the Georgian national museum is a must visit. This exhibit displays gold and silver items from 3000 BC through 400 AD that were discovered in the country. Since 1984, the Tbilisi History Museum has been located in a restored caravanserai, representing the city’s notable role as a Silk Road trading station.