Located in the Trialeti Mountains' foothills, Tbilisi has served as Georgia's capital for more than a thousand years. The city has been destroyed and rebuilt nearly 30 times since King Vakhtang Gorgalasi founded it in the 5th century, though it has retained its old-world charm. Visitors will love strolling through the narrow alleyways of Old Tbilisi, and admiring the destination's architectural mix of medieval, neo-classical, Soviet and modernist styles.
Peace Bridge, Tbilisi © George Mel
Getting around Tbilisi is relatively easy, thanks to a good public transport system. Travellers will find comprehensive bus and minibus networks, and a metro system that runs daily until about midnight. Most major tourist attractions in Tbilisi are located close to the city centre and are easily reached on foot. These include the Janashia Museum, the Museum of Art, the Anchiskhati Church, and the Saturday flea market.
Old Tbilisi offers its own attractions, including the Royal Baths and Sulfur Baths, the Narikala Fortress, and the art galleries of Chardin Street. It's also home to some attractive neighbourhoods, including Sololaki, Betelmi, and Mtsasminda. They're worth exploring.
Several stunning lakes lie just outside the city and are popular for weekend excursions from Tbilisi. Turtle Lake offers paddle boats, mountain and city views, and some good hikes, and is near the Giorgi Chitaia Ethnographical Open-Air Museum. Another popular option is Lake Lisi, a larger lake that is better for swimming.