Though it has always been a popular holiday destination for citizens of the former Soviet Union, the small Caucasian country of Georgia has only recently begun to gain attention from nations further afield. With huge investments into the tourism infrastructure and budget airlines connecting it with numerous destinations across Europe, Georgia is on the cusp of exploding as the next European hotspot. And because of this, more and more travellers are looking to spend their next adventure embarking on a Georgia itinerary.
Whether it’s the dramatic Caucasus mountains, the world-class cuisine and viticulture, the hip atmosphere of Tbilisi or the famous hospitality that draws you to Georgia, there is no doubt that this country has a lot to offer. However, due to its relative obscurity in the realms of western tourism, mapping out the ideal Georgia itinerary can prove to be a gruelling and overwhelming process.
With so much to see and not a lot of information out there about it, even the most simple of details when planning a Georgia itinerary can prove to be difficult. Luckily for you, we’ve spent a number of months travelling and living in this beautiful country and have a wealth of valuable, up-to-date information to help make planning your route through Georgia an absolute breeze.
Is Georgia worth visiting?
If you’re already in the stages of planning a Georgia itinerary, then you’ve probably made up your mind to the fact that the country is worth a visit. However, given its location in the far reaches of Eastern Europe and its relative obscurity in the world of international travel, there are still some people who might need to be convinced that Georgia is a worthy nation to travel to.
So, is Georgia worth visiting? Well, after spending months in this beautiful country and finding it hard to get the motivation to leave, my answer would be a resounding “yes.” Georgia has a lot to offer visitors and a very developed tourist infrastructure all at an affordable price tag for western travellers.
Nestled in some of the highest mountains in Europe, Georgia is a heaven for trekkers and nature-lovers. For visitors who are more interested in lounging on the beach, Georgia has a lovely coastline on the Black Sea. City lover? Tbilisi is one of the most dynamic and uncomparable cities in Europe. Do you travel to eat? Then get ready to tuck into some of the most delicious and underrated cuisines on the continent.
Georgia has both stunning natural scenery combined with an incredibly rich history and it is sure to impress all kinds of travellers. Whether your ideal Georgia itinerary would see you summiting Mount Kazbek or sipping wine in a Sighnaghi cellar, Georgia is an incredible country with a wealth of experiences to offer visitors.
Is Georgia safe?
Now that you’ve decided that it’s worth travelling to Georgia, you may be asking the question: “Is Georgia a safe country to travel to?”
Well, compared to most major Western European destinations and certainly compared to crime rates in the USA, then Georgia is an incredibly safe country. In fact, Georgia feels like one of the safest countries that we have ever travelled to. There are very few scams that you need to be aware of and, due to the lack of massive groups of tourists even in the most popular of areas, things like pickpocketing and petty theft are virtually unheard of.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should let your guard down or lure yourself into a false sense of security. While it is unlikely that your personal safety will be under threat while in Georgia, it is still wise to always be alert and to exercise normal travel precautions.
Keep in mind that while travel within the Republic of Georgia is considered by all western countries to be very safe, there are certain advisories in place when it comes to visiting any of the breakaway regions in Georgia. For example, the governments of the USA, UK, and Australia all advise against all travel to the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the latter region impossible to enter from Georgia anyway. Know that if you do travel to these areas, it is unlikely that your travel insurance policy will cover you and your embassy may be unable to assist you should anything bad happen.
If you’re looking for a travel insurance policy for your trip to Georgia, we like WorldNomads and used them during our time in the country – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
If you plan on doing some hiking in Georgia, it is worth knowing that shepherd’s dogs can be a threat to trekkers, as they are trained to fight off both people and wolves coming to harm the livestock. While we personally never encountered aggressive dogs on any hikes in Georgia, it is certainly not unheard of. Your best bet is to give any herds of sheep a wide berth (don’t walk through it) and, if you do see an aggressive dog, yell to see if the shepherd is close by. The chances are he is near and will be able to call off the dog.
You will notice that there are many stray dogs in the cities and towns in Georgia, however, 99% of the time these dogs are completely docile and used to people. The biggest threat with city strays is the fact that you might fall in love and want to save all of them that you see. Also, if you give them even the slightest bit of attention, you will likely have a furry friend to follow you all over the city.
How many days in Georgia?
Now that you’ve determined that Georgia is indeed safe and worth visiting, it’s time to figure out how many days you want to devote to your Georgia itinerary.
You could be forgiven for thinking that, because Georgia is so small geographically, that you wouldn’t need to spend that much time in the country. However, you would be surprised by just how much there is to see and do in this seemingly small country. That is why we wouldn’t recommend staying less than one week in Georgia and would only suggest staying fewer days if you are only planning a short city break to Tbilisi.
Even one week really isn’t enough to give Georgia the justice it deserves, but it does give you an adequate amount of time to get a feel for the country.
If you’re able to take more time to explore Georgia, then that is all the better. If you can, we would really suggest planning to spend at least two weeks in the country, however, three weeks would be the most ideal length of time for a Georgia itinerary.
Out of the three Caucasus countries, we found that Georgia has the most to offer and was the best-suited for a longer-term stint. While we have spent over two months in Georgia (much of it has been spent living in Tbilisi), most travellers we met on the road were visiting for about 2 or 3 weeks.
In our experience travelling through this country, we have come to agree that that length of time is optimal to see as much of Georgia as possible without overwhelming yourself.
When to visit Georgia
Georgia is located in the south Caucasus and though it is a small country, experiences a number of different climates. For instance, while there may be times when Tbilisi and other cities are baking in the heat, the snow in the remote Tusheti region may not have melted yet.
That being said, it is fair to say that Georgia experiences a typical continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. Outside of the mountain areas, you can expect the winter months to be the coldest with temperatures hovering somewhere around freezing.
Because of its southern location, winters do tend to be fairly short (the coldest months will be December and January) and not all that snowy in the bigger cities like Tbilisi and Kutaisi. However, it will still be necessary to have proper winter clothing if travelling to Georgia between late November – late March. Winter is also an attractive time to visit if you want to take advantage of some of the most affordable ski resorts in Europe.
In contrast, summers in Georgia can be incredibly hot, with temperatures in the lower regions and capital soaring to well of 35-40 degrees Celcius (95-102 degrees Fahrenheit), with the mountainous offering some respite from the heat. Summer is the ideal season to visit if you plan to do a lot of hiking or trekking while in Georgia as it is the only season where mountain trails and roads are sure to be open. It is also the best time to visit the coastal area of Batumi.
Like most everywhere else in the world, I would say that the ideal time to visit Georgia would be in the shoulder seasons between March-May and September-November. Here is where you will experience the mildest of weather, fewer crowds (though there aren’t many crowds in Georgia to begin with), and the most availability when it comes to accommodation.
What is worth noting is that, if you do plan to travel in spring, the few weeks surrounding Easter tend to get as busy as it does in peak season. That is because people from countries that celebrate both Orthodox and Catholic/Protestant Easter usually have a bit of time off and use it to travel to Georgia.
How to get around Georgia
Georgia is actually a relatively easy country to travel in and has a fairly easy-to-navigate public transport system. If you’re travelling to Georgia on a budget, then your best bet is going to be to rely upon the bus, train and shared taxi network, as it will undoubtedly save you a lot of money.
The most common mode of transport is by minibus, most commonly referred to as a marshrutka in Georgia. These usually seat about 15 people and are incredibly affordable. Popular routes between various cities run frequently, though they don’t often run on absolute set schedules, rather they depart when they are full.
The train network in Georgia exists, but it is neither as developed nor as convenient as the marshrutka system. There are train routes connecting most major cities in Georgia, however, they tend to leave at odd times and can be slow going depending on the route. Trains are, however, also quite an affordable way to travel and can offer a bit more comfort and a minibus.
Travelling by shared taxi is also a popular option in Georgia, and you can usually find a driver to whichever destination you looking to travel to at the bus station. The car usually has a set price and you will wait until there are enough people to split the fare between before you will depart. Usually they accommodate up to four people, however, taxis will depart with only one or two provided you pay the entire fare.
If you would rather not rely on public transit while in Georgia, then your best bet is going to be to rent a car. Driving in Georgia can prove to be a daunting task as the road can be in poor repair and the drivers can be aggressive and erratic, but it is nonetheless a popular option amongst travellers looking to be a bit more flexible with their Georgia itinerary.
If you want to rent a car in Georgia, we recommend finding the best deals through RentalCars.com, which aggregates the best prices across the available car hire companies. We would also suggest taking out a third-party excess insurance policy through iCarHireInsurance, which will save you a lot of money compared to the rates generally offered through the rental company.
Arriving in Georgia
Unless you arrive in Georgia overland via Russia, Turkey, Armenia, or Azerbaijan, it is likely that you will come into Georgia via air. There are three main airports where you could fly into: Batumi, Kutaisi, and Tbilisi.
Kutaisi airport is the hub for the budget airline WizzAir and is where many European tourists will arrive into, however, the highest-traffic airport is in Tbilisi.
All three airports are well-connected to other major cities with buses timed with arrivals to shuttle you onto another destination. For instance, if you fly into Kutaisi but want to begin your Georgia itinerary in Tbilisi, there is a bus connection leaving directly from the airport for those cities.
The Ultimate Georgia Itinerary
Now that we’ve covered all the logistical details needed to plan your trip to Georgia, it’s time to dive right into mapping out your ideal Georgia itinerary! Whether you want to spend 1, 2, 3 weeks or more in Georgia, we have you covered for the best and most efficient route possible through this gorgeous country.
Georgia Itinerary: 1 Week
As stated above, one week can very much seem like not enough time to spend in Georgia, however, it is long enough to give you an excellent taste for the country. The only harm of this one-week Georgia itinerary is that you are sure to leave ready to plan another trip.
Days 1-3: Tbilisi
The most logical first stop on any itinerary through Georgia is in the capital city of Tbilisi. A metropolis known to charm all of those who care to explore it, this hip capital has a tonne of great things to do and can easily keep visitors occupied for a number of days.
However, for your 7 days in Georgia itinerary, we recommend spending three days in Tbilisi. This will give you a solid amount of time to be able to explore all of the main sites in Tbilisi and maybe take an easy day trip to nearby Mtskheta or to Stalin’s birthplace of Gori.
Where to Stay in Tbilisi
Tbilisi is fast becoming an incredibly popular destination in Europe and because of that, there are a lot of options for accommodation. If you’re wondering where to stay in Tbilisi, check out these suggestions:
Marco Polo Hostel — A high-rated hostel located just off Rustaveli Avenue, this is a great option for budget and solo travellers looking to meet others. They have both private and dorm rooms available and good common areas available to mingle with other travellers. Click here to see their latest prices
Guest House Rampa – A budget guesthouse located in the Abanotubani neighbourhood is an excellent option for those looking for more of a local experience. They have a range of private rooms available for both solo travellers and couples and a kitchen available guests to use. Click here to check their latest price
Old Side Hotel — This centrally-located boutique hotel is an excellent place to stay if your budget allows for a bit more than a hostel or guesthouse. It is within walking distance of most of Tbilisi’s main attractions, they have numerous rooms available, 24-hour reception, and an option to add breakfast in your nightly rate. Click here to see their latest prices
Airbnb — Airbnb is a good option in Tbilisi if you would rather stay in your own apartment or a room in a local’s home. There are countless properties available on the platform to suit all personalities and budgets. If you’re new to Airbnb, you can click here to get up to $40 off your first stay
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Tbilisi hotels
Days 4-5: Kazbegi
After spending your first few days in Tbilisi, it’s time to head north and venture into the beautiful Caucasus mountains. One of the most famous places to do this, and the easiest place to visit if you only have one week in Georgia, is in the town of Stepantsminda, commonly referred to as Kazbegi.
Nestled in a valley surrounded by the Greater Caucasus, Kazbegi may well be one of Georgia’s most picturesque areas. And while the town itself isn’t anything to write home about, the scenery surrounding it is truly spectacular.
The most popular thing to do in Kazbegi is to hike up to the Gergeti Trinity Church, which is perched in an incredible location in view of the imposing Mount Kazbek — the 7th highest peak in the Caucasus and a site to numerous legends.
Because of its small size, many treat Kazbegi as a day trip from Tbilisi, however, we would recommend spending one full day (two nights) here in order not to rush yourself and to truly be able to enjoy the incredible scenery.
Where to Stay in Kazbegi
Though it’s often treated as a day trip, many people spend the night is Kazbegi as well, meaning that there is a lot of accommodation choice in the mountain village. Check out these suggestions if you’re wondering where to stay:
Guest House Kavtarashvili 38 — A small, family-run guesthouse well-located within a short walk of the main drag in Kazbegi and the bus station. They have a handful of clean and comfortable rooms available and a great breakfast option. Click here to check their availability
Red Stone Guest House — Located in Gergeti Village, this guesthouse is a great option if you want to get an early start on the hike to the Gergeti Trinity Church. They have a number of great rooms available and a hearty breakfast option included. Click here to check their availability
Rooms Hotel Kazbegi — This is the place to stay if you want to live in luxury during your time in Kazbegi. They have a number of chic and comfortable rooms to choose from, great facilities such as a swimming pool and sauna and a great restaurant with commanding views of the Mount Kazbek. Click here to check their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other options in Kazbegi!
Days 6-7: Sighnaghi
After enjoying the cosmopolitan vibes of Tbilisi and taking in the imposing Greater Caucasus in Kazbegi, it’s time to discover another aspect that makes Georgia famous — its wine! And there is no better place to do this than the postcard-perfect town of Sighnaghi in the Kakheti region.
This walled hill-town is often referred to as the prettiest town in Georgia and it is an excellent place to escape for a couple of days. Located in the heart of Georgia’s main wine-producing region, you can also opt to go on a wine tour to local vineyards and cellars and learn about Georgia’s ancient viticulture techniques — the oldest in the world!
Again, Sighnaghi is often treated solely as a day trip, however, as we believe that both the surrounding wine country and the town itself is worth exploring, we recommend spending as much time as you 1-week Georgia itinerary allows.
Where to Stay in Sighnaghi
Sighnaghi is a popular short-break destination in Georgia and, therefore there are numerous choices for accommodation available. If you’re wondering where to stay in Sighnaghi, these are our top recommendations:
Maya Guesthouse — This well-located family guesthouse is a fantastic budget option in Sighnaghi. They have a few clean and comfortable rooms available, a beautiful balcony commanding spectacular views of the Alazani Valley and an option to add breakfast and dinner to your room rate. They will also organise tours of the surrounding area. Click here to see their latest prices
Guesthouse Wine — An excellent family-run guesthouse in the town centre that has numerous comfortable and clean rooms with friendly and helpful owners. They also make and sell their own delicious wine on site. Click here to see their latest prices
Boutique Hotel BelleVue — A boutique hotel in the town centre, they have myriad rooms to choose from. This is a great option if you’re looking for a romantic getaway in Sighnaghi and your budget allows for more than a guesthouse. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Sighnaghi hotels!
Georgia Itinerary: 2 Weeks
If you have the time to spend 2 weeks in Georgia, this will give you a great amount of time to really dig deep and visit a number of different destinations and really get to know the country and its people. Here is what to do in Georgia in two weeks:
Days 1-3: Tbilisi
Begin your two weeks in Georgia with three days in Tbilisi. Follow the suggestions above as to how to spend your time and where to stay in the city.
Days 4-5: Kazbegi
Like in the one-week itinerary, your next stop on your two weeks in Georgia itinerary should be Kazbegi, the beautiful mountain with imposing views of the stunning Mount Kazbek. Again, you only really need about two nights here (one full day) to be able to get the most out of these destinations.
Days 6-8: Sighnaghi
Like in the one-week itinerary, make your next stop the lovely town of Sighnaghi and spend a couple of days tasting wine, walking the town walls, and enjoying the prettiest town in Georgia.
Days 9-11: Borjomi
From Sighnaghi, you can easily head to the town of Borjomi with a quick connection in Tbilisi. Borjomi is a beautiful spa town located to the west of Tbilisi and is famed for its healing, sulphuric waters.
You can spend one day exploring the lovely town of Borjomi, taking a walk through its lush central park and going for a swim in naturally warm sulphur pools.
Borjomi is also an excellent jumping-off point to explore the incredible cave city of Vardzia, which is located about 100 kilometres south of Borjomi and accessible as a day trip from the city.
You could also venture into natural at the lovely Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, the largest national park in Georgia. Here you will find ample trekking opportunities.
Where to Stay in Borjomi
Borjomi is another popular spot to visit in Georgia, however, there aren’t as many choices available as in some other cities. If you’re struggling to find the perfect place to stay, have a look at these recommendations:
Guesthouse Metreveli — This is an excellent guesthouse located in a quiet neighbourhood about 10 minutes walking from the city centre. They have three comfortable rooms available, a delicious breakfast option, and friendly owners who will fill you with their homemade wine and cha cha. Click here to see their latest prices
Hotel Victoria— A small hotel located close to the Central Park, this is a great place to stay if you want a few more amenities than a guesthouse. They have a range of rooms available and a restaurant on site. Click here to see their latest prices
Crowne Plaza Borjomi — This is the place to stay if you want a swanky, luxury hotel in Borjomi. Located next to the Central Park in a beautiful historic building, they have a myriad of luxe rooms available and numerous amenities. Click here to check their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Borjomi hotels!
Days 12-14: Kutaisi
End your Georgia itinerary in the country’s third-largest city of Kutaisi. Though it has now become a hub for low-cost airlines that have affordably connected Georgia with continental Europe, this city is often overlooked by tourists.
We find this to be a huge mistake as there are a number of really great things to do in Kutaisi and the surrounding Imereti region. Take the time to explore the laid-back city, take in the bustling Green Bazaar, and maybe go on a day trip to the impressive Prometheus Cave or lovely Martvili Canyon.
Kutaisi also has a very good restaurant scene and you can eat very well in this city. All in all, Kutaisi is an excellent way to see a smaller city in Georgia and a great place to end your two-week Georgia itinerary.
Where to Stay in Kutaisi
Because of its relatively new status as a transit hub, Kutaisi has a lot of places to stay and visitors are beginning to realise its merits as a tourist destination. If you’re wondering where to stay in Kutaisi, there are our top recommendations:
Pospolita Guesthouse – A small, family-run guesthouse with very friendly owners, this is an excellent budget option in Kutaisi. Well-located near the within easy walking distance of all of the Kutaisi attractions, there is also a large homemade breakfast included. Click here to check their latest prices
Guesthouse Panorama — This family-run guesthouse is one of the top-rated properties in Kutaisi. The rooms are spacious, clean, and comfortable and it is well located to explore the city. There is a great breakfast included in the room rate and the friendly owners will help make your stay as pleasant as possible. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Kutaisi!
Alternative 2 Weeks in Georgia Itinerary
If you have 2 weeks in Georgia but you want to spend a bit more time in the Greater Caucasus rather than exploring some urban areas, we would suggest following the itinerary up to Borjomi. Instead of visiting Borjomi, we would recommend heading straight to Kutaisi for two days before ending your Georgia itinerary in Mestia in the Svaneti region of Georgia.
See the section in the 3-week Georgia itinerary below for our advice on what to do and where to stay in Mestia if this sounds like a more appealing option.
If you would like to experience the Black Sea coast during your two weeks in Georgia, follow the same suggestion of cutting out Borjomi and heading to Batumi from Kutaisi in lieu of Mestia.
Georgia Itinerary: 3 Weeks
3 weeks in Georgia is really the ideal amount of time to really get to know the country and see and do as much as possible without totally exhausting yourself. If you’re wondering what to see in Georgia for three weeks, follow these suggestions:
Days 1-4: Tbilisi
Begin your 3-week Georgia itinerary in the capital of Tbilisi. While we recommend spending three days here in the other itineraries above, we suggest upping that to 4 days if you have 3 weeks in Georgia.
This will allow you to see a lot of the capital city while giving you time to go on a day trip or two. Popular and easy to organise day trips from Tbilisi include to Mtskheta, Gori, or to the cave monasteries of David Gareji.
Days 5-6: Kazbegi
After spending four days in Tbilisi, head up to Kazbegi and follow the suggestions above for how to spend your time there and where to stay.
Days 7-9: Sighnaghi
Like the one- and two-week Georgia itineraries above, we recommend heading to the lovely town of Sighnaghi to taste some fantastic wines and enjoy the lovely atmosphere.
Days 10-12: Borjomi
After visiting Sighnaghi, Borjomi makes an excellent next stop on this three-week Georgia itinerary. Spend one day on a day trip to Vardzia and the Rabati Fortress complex in Akhaltsikhe and the other day either exploring the town of Borjomi itself or trekking in the national park.
Days 13-15: Kutaisi
Georgia’s third-largest city of Kutaisi is the logical next stop from Borjomi and it is worth spending a couple of days exploring the city and its surrounding area and enjoying its gastronomic scene.
Days 16-18: Mestia
After enjoying laid-back Kutaisi, it’s time to head into the Greater Caucasus once more and explore the beautiful Svaneti region. The most developed, easy-to-reach, and tourist-friendly town here is the lovely village of Mestia.
While this three-week Georgia itinerary doesn’t give you enough time for it (unless you cut out the last stop!), Mestia is well-known as the starting point for the four-day Mestia to Ushguli trek, a hiking route that takes you village to village until you reach what what claims to be the highest town in Europe: Ushguli.
However, if you don’t have the time for this trek, you can spend one day in Mestia and going for one of the day hikes that are easily accessible from the town. On the other day, you can hire a 4WD or take a tour up to the town of Ushguli and even trek to the glacier from there.
This is truly a beautiful area of Georgia and very much cannot be missed on your 3-week itinerary in Georgia.
Where to Stay in Mestia
Though relatively out-of-the-way for most on a Georgia itinerary, Mestia continues to be a top destination in the country and there are numerous accommodation options to choose from. If you’re trying to find somewhere to stay in Mestia, these are our recommendations:
Guesthouse Guram Baba — This family-run guesthouse is an excellent place to stay if you’re visiting Mestia on a budget. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms available, a kitchen available for guests use, and the friendly owners will organise transport to Ushguli if you’d like. Click here to see their latest prices
Chalet Mestia — This hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a more high-end place to stay in Mestia. They have numerous rooms available and a bar and restaurant on site. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more accommodation in Mestia!
Days 19-21: Batumi
After ascending some of the highest peaks in Georgia, it’s time to soothe those sore muscles in the salt water of the Black Sea in Georgia’s premier resort town of Batumi!
Batumi has been a popular holiday destination since the days where Georgia was under the rule of the Russian Empire, however, these days it’s grand colonial past also shares space with modern high-rises, futuristic architecture, and plenty of casinos. Acting as something like a mini Las Vegas on the sea, Batumi isn’t for everyone.
However, it is possible to have a mellow beach holiday here as well. You can spend one of your days soaking up the rays on the beach and swimming in the Black Sea and another getting lost in the massive botanical garden located a few kilometres outside of the city centre.
Batumi is a little bit out of the way for shorter Georgia itineraries, however, it is the perfect place to end your three weeks in Georgia.
Depending on where you plan to visit after Georgia, it is possible to travel onto Turkey from Batumi. There are also easy connections from Batumi to Kutaisi or Batumi to Tbilisi.
Where to Stay in Batumi
Batumi is one of the premier tourist destinations in Georgia, especially during the warm summer months. Because of this, there seem to be endless accommodation options. If you’re struggling to choose where to stay in Batumi, have a look at our suggestions:
Dzveli Batumi — This boutique hotel is an excellent place to stay in Batumi. Centrally located within walking distance of the beach and all the main attractions, they have numerous rooms available and a helpful staff. Click here to see their latest prices
Light Palace Hotel — This hotel is a great option if you’re looking for a nice place to stay while still supporting a local business. Well located close to the beach and the main sites, they have a great breakfast available and an array of clean and comfortable rooms available. Click here to see their latest prices
Airbnb — Airbnb is also a great option for Batumi, as it is very popular to get a short-term apartment rental at this seaside retreat. There are numerous properties available on the platform and if you’re new to Airbnb, you can click here to get up to $40 off your first stay!
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Batumi hotels!
Planning the perfect Georgia itinerary can seem daunting when you consider just how much there is to see and do in such a small country. However, whether you only have one week in Georgia or two or three, there are so many options to make your trip a memorable one.
Are you planning a Georgia itinerary? Have you been? Let us know in the comments!