For most western travellers, the Caucasian nation of Georgia is still quite an exotic place, an emerging travel destination that many visitors from North America or Western Europe know very little about. Though Georgia is popping up more and more in international travel publications and its cuisine is beginning to gain global attention, people still want to know more about this Eastern European destination and one of the top points on their mind is their budget. Many would-be travellers are asking themselves the questions: Is Georgia expensive? And how much will a Georgia trip cost?
If, as a traveller, you are accustomed to travelling in continental Europe, you will find prices in Georgia to be quite agreeable and, in fact, it might well be the most affordable destination in all of Europe. Compared to other “cheap” destinations in Europe like the Balkans, Central Europe, or the Baltics, Georgia is positively a steal, with an average daily cost being about 20-30% less expensive than the aforementioned regions. Everything from the cost of accommodation to the price of a meal to a tour into the surrounding area can come at a very affordable price tag for western travellers.
With so much to offer travellers, the fact that your overall trip to Georgia cost can be incredibly low makes it a very appealing travel option. If you’re curious about what your money can buy you and how much you should budget for a trip to Georgia, then this is the article for you!
How Much Will a Georgia Trip Cost?
When trying to gauge an idea of your total trip to Georgia cost, there are a few factors that you need to consider.
The prices of accommodation, transportation, food, activities and entertainment are all the most important aspects that need to be considered how much your trip to Georgia will cost.
It is also worth noting that certain areas of Georgia may be more or less expensive than others. For instance, a small village will likely be less expensive than Tbilisi. Batumi, being a popular beach resort amongst many international tourists, tends to be the most expensive destination in the country, with prices across the board being at least 10% more than in Tbilisi.
Obviously, depending on your travel style, budgets can differ from traveller to traveller. This Georgia trip cost outline is best suited for a budget to mid-range traveller, meaning there are some ways where you can cut costs further and there certainly are ways that you can spend more.
The Georgia currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL), however, all prices in this article are listed in Euro. The approximate exchange is €1 = 3 GEL. If you would like to see the current exchange rate in your home currency, we recommend xe.com.
Accommodation Prices in Georgia
Like with all travel budgets, the most constant and often most expensive aspect of visiting Georgia is going to be accommodation. And, depending on your travel style and preferences, accommodation prices in Georgia can be either incredibly affordable or more akin to western prices.
Like most everywhere in Europe, your cheapest accommodation option in Georgia is going to be a dorm bed in a backpacker hostel. And while there is certainly a developed hostel scene in Tbilisi and lesser still in cities like Kutaisi and Batumi, traditional hostels like backpackers might be used to can be hard to come by outside of these cities. Nevertheless, expect a bed in a hostel dorm to start at around €5 depending on the size of the room, the location of the hostel, and the amenities offered.
One of the most popular options for budget travellers in Georgia are guesthouses, which are often incredibly affordable and run by local families so you can get a great immersion into the culture and experience some of the famous hospitality.
Guesthouses usually offer private rooms and are a great option for couples or solo travellers looking for a bit more privacy than a hostel dorm. They can offer either a shared bathroom or an en suite, with the latter option usually resulting in a higher price tag. On average, expect to pay about €15-20 per night for a room in a guesthouse.
Often times, guesthouses will also either include meals or offer them at incredibly discounted rates. We would always recommend adding a breakfast option (usually around €3 per person) as they are usually incredibly hearty and it’s a good way to save money and fuel up for the day.
If you’re offered an opportunity to add dinner, as well, take it. Usually, it will cost around €6 per person and we have always been offered far more food than any reasonable person could eat. It is an incredible value for money and a great way to sample some truly local cuisine.
If you would rather stay in a traditional hotel rather than a guesthouse or hostel, expect fewer homelike amenities and a higher price tag. Most mid-range hotels will start at around €30-40 per night for a double room with an en suite bathroom. This may include breakfast but there is rarely a dinner option unless there is an actual restaurant on site.
If you’re staying in a city like Tbilisi or Batumi, then Airbnb can also be a good option. There are numerous properties available on the platform ranging from private rooms to fully equipped apartments, however, options can be scarce outside of the cities. Expect a one-bedroom apartment in a central area of Tbilisi such as this to cost around €25 per night. Click here to see the best Airbnbs in Tbilisi.
All in all, if you are a budget to mid-range traveller, expect to spend about €10-15 per person per night on accommodation.
Transportation Prices in Georgia
The next most significant and constant factor of your total Georgia trip cost is going to be the price of transportation. You are going to want to get around in Georgia and that costs money, but how much depends on your habits.
Georgia is well-connected by public transport and it is easy to get to all corners of the country at fairly affordable prices. The most common and affordable way to do this is by mini-bus, also called a marshrutka. These little buses connect cities and towns throughout Georgia and very affordable prices.
Marshrutky tend to only leave when completely full, however, we have never seen an overpacked minibus in Georgia and they are not as uncomfortable as many would have you believe. For the price, you can’t expect luxury.
Depending on the length of the journey, the prices will vary. For a 90 minute ride, like from Tbilisi to Sighnaghi, expect to pay around €2 per person. For longer rides, like from Kutaisi to Tbilisi, expect to pay about €3-5 depending on the length of the journey.
If you don’t want to be crammed into a marshrutka, then taxis are also an option for transport, albeit a more expensive one. You will almost always find a taxi driver at the bus station who will offer to take you directly to your destination and, generally speaking, you expect to pay about 1 GEL per kilometre for a taxi journey. That works out to be about €0.30 per kilometre.
Ordinarily, you have the option to wait for more passengers looking to go on the same journey to share the taxi with you, in which case, the total journey cost will be cheaper.
Some trains exist in Georgia, but the network isn’t all that developed and it really only connects absolute major cities. You can take the train between Tbilisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, and Kutaisi for affordable prices. It can be more comfortable than a marshrutka, however, they are painfully slow as they haven’t been updated in decades. This is a great option, however, if you’re interested in Soviet-era railway networks!
Renting a car is also a popular option for visitors and it gives them a lot of flexibility. It can also be a good choice if you’re pressed for time and want to see as much as possible without being beholden to erratic bus timetables. However, car hire prices in Georgia can be just as expensive as in Western Europe and it can add significantly to your Georgia trip cost.
If you want to find the best prices on a car hire, we recommend using RentalCars.com, which aggregates all of the rates from both international brands and local companies. We also suggest taking out a policy with iCarHireInsurance to save on excess insurance rates.
In Tbilisi, you may also have to rely on some form of public transportation or taxis if you want to get the most out of the city. The capital is well connected with an affordable metro system — it requires the use of a transit card (a one-of 2 GEL or about €0.60 fee) and each subsequent journey costs 0.50 GEL or about €0.16.
Taxis are also affordable and you will rarely need to pay more than about €1-2 to get around the city centre. If you want to save yourself the hassle of negotiating a fare from a taxi off the street, then we recommend using an app like Bolt (Taxify) or Yandex Taxi to hail a cab. This will give you the exact fare before riding and you can pay the driver in cash upon arrival.
In general, if you plan to use mainly public transport with a few taxis thrown in every couple of days, it is fair to only budget about €2-3 per day depending on your travel habits.
Food Prices in Georgia
Georgian food is becoming more and more internationally recognised and sampling the delicious local cuisine is one of the absolute highlights to travelling here. And the good news is that food prices are not going to take a significant portion out of your Georgia trip cost.
While street food in an Asian or Latin American sense doesn’t really exist here, it is possible to eat well on an incredibly tight budget (less than about €5-10 per day if you spend wisely!). If you find accommodation that offers breakfast, that can cut down considerably on your food costs. Pop into a bakery for lunch and fill up on a lobiani (bean-filled bread) or khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) for €1-2. For dinner, you can find a budget-friendly restaurant popular with locals and it’s likely that you won’t spend more than €5 in total for a meal.
In all likelihood, however, you will want to sample more of the fantastic restaurants in Georgia and you won’t always be able to — or want to — stick to such a tight food budget. However, you will find that it is also entirely possible to spend less than €10 per person even at a mid-range restaurant. Even at the fanciest and most expensive restaurants in Tbilisi, your final bill will be a fraction of what a comparable meal in Western Europe would cost.
One of my favourite things about the Georgia food cost is that it is accessible even for the most budget of backpackers to eat at sit-down restaurants and really get a good taste (pun intended) for the country!
Like mentioned in the accommodation section above, many guesthouses will also offer meals as an option. We always recommend taking advantage of a breakfast option even if it isn’t included in the room rate because, more often than not, it will be fantastic value for money. Breakfast options rarely cost more than about €3 per person.
If your guesthouse also offers dinner, this is an excellent way to save money while enjoying some fantastic local home cooking. You will get to experience the famous Georgian hospitality and will often be served more food than any human possibly could eat. Expect to pay about €5-6 for a guesthouse dinner.
All in all, it is more than possible to eat like a king in Georgia for less than €10 per day.
Activities Prices in Georgia
Now that we’ve covered the most essential factors of your total trip to Georgia cost, it’s time to discuss how much your daily activities within the country are going to cost.
While aimlessly wandering through city streets or up the sides of the Greater Caucasus mountains is completely free, there are going to be times where you might want to pay to do some things as well.
Luckily, activity prices in Georgia don’t have to be expensive at all and most things are accessible even to budget travellers. There are few areas of the world where budget backpackers have the ability to hire a private driver for the day and still have some money left over for a sit-down dinner, but Georgia is one of them!
It is popular to go on day tours in Georgia, especially if you’re pressed for time and you want to visit a number of sites in one day that are hard to get to by public transport. Walk down any tourist-heavy street in Tbilisi and you will inevitably be approached by and see a number of vans advertising tours to sites all over the country, all with quite agreeable daily rates. And while there are certainly some day trips that are easy enough to organise independently such as from Tbilisi to Mtskheta, it can be a huge convenience to find a day tour to some of the more difficult-to-reach areas.
The cheapest option for this would be to book a group tour, where it is likely that you will only have to pay around €15 per person depending on what is included. Sometimes, you are only paying for the transport to the various sites and not the entry within, and sometimes everything is included in one price. Make sure you verify what is included before you book and know approximately what extras you will have to account for.
Many guesthouses will organise day tours for their guests to see the surrounding area, as well. Here, often a family member or a friend will drive you around and you will pay for the price of the car. The more people you can get to come with you, the cheaper it will be for everyone. For a full day tour (not including entry fees) with a private driver, expect the car to cost around €30-40. If you manage to get four people to go on the tour with you, that is only €8-10 per person.
Obviously, it doesn’t make financial sense to plan to do a tour of this nature every day, however, it is a definite occasional option even for budget travellers.
When it comes to general sightseeing and entry into attractions, fees aren’t typically high. Museum entry fees tend to be about €1.50-3 depending and the same goes for other attractions. Cathedrals and monasteries are almost always free to enter (we have never encountered one that has charged an entrance fee except to climb the towers).
All in all, expect to pay about €5 per day on average, accounting for the occasional day tour, entry fee, and a day or two where you spend nothing at all on activities.
Entertainment Prices in Georgia
Now that we’ve discussed the prices for everything from accommodation to activities, we need to discuss how much entertainment will factor into your average cost of a trip to Georgia.
Well, like most everything else, it doesn’t have to cost much! Keen to see the ballet in Tbilisi? Well, some of the top seats in the gorgeous Tbilisi Opera Theatre will only cost about €15 — and that is about the most expensive it gets. You can get tickets for as little as €5, and this pricing structure is on par with most performing arts venues across the country.
If you like to go out for the occasional drink, it doesn’t have to be expensive in Georgia at all — especially if you stick to local products. If you find yourself in a local wine cellar where they make their own reds and whites, expect a litre of wine to cost less than €5. A shot of local chacha (Georgia’s response to grappa) can be less than €1 and so can a glass of some homemade wines.
If you want to get a glass of a fine wine, expect to pay a little bit more. Bottled wines are typically produced for foreigners as locals tend to only like to drink the homemade stuff, however, you will likely not pay more than €3-5 for this, and that is for a very pricey one. A bottle of fine wine will cost closer to €10.
All in all, if you don’t drink to excess and don’t purchase prime seats to the opera every night, you need only to budget about €2-3 per day on entertainment.
Average Georgia Trip Cost
All the above factors considered this a breakdown of how much an average trip to Georgia will cost per person per day. As mentioned earlier, this is following a low- to mid-range budget — accounting for the occasional splurge while staying in guesthouses and not eating every single meal out.
Accommodation: €10-15 / night
Transportation: €2 / day
Food: €10 / day
Activities: €5 / day
Entertainment: €2 / day
In total, expect your daily average Georgia trip cost to be about €30-35 per person per day. There are certainly ways that you can cut things down more and spend closer to €20-25 per day and obviously countless ways to spend more. However, it is safe to assume that €30-35 per day is more than enough to have a wonderful time in Georgia without sacrificing any unmissable experiences.
This doesn’t factor in pre-trip expenses such as a travel insurance policy – we like WorldNomads and use them of all our trips abroad – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads.
If you’re travelling on a tight budget and long term then SafetyWing is another good option to consider. They are cheaper than WorldNomads but don’t offer as comprehensive of coverage. Click here to get a quote from SafetyWing.
So is Georgia expensive to travel? Is Tbilisi expensive? Not at all! Your total Georgia trip cost does not have to break the bank in the slightest and you can live very well in this beautiful nation on a shoestring budget.
Are you curious about your total cost of a trip to Georgia? Have you been? Let us know in the comments!