How to Get from Tbilisi to Borjomi & Things To Do in Borjomi

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by Maggie Turansky

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The small city of Borjomi in central Georgia has been a popular destination for tourists since imperial Russian times when the high-ranking members of the Russian elite began to notice the healing powers of the city’s natural spring waters.

Since then, Borjomi has remained a sought-after destination for those looking to explore Georgia further. With a number of great things to do in Borjomi, it is also very easy to get there from Tbilisi.

Considering that it’s an excellent jumping-off point to visit the sites of southern Georgia, Borjomi is a must-visit destination on any trip to this Caucasian nation.

How to Travel from Tbilisi to Borjomi

By Bus

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Borjomi is by marshrutka, or minibus.

Buses to Borjomi leave from the Didube bus station (where the buses to Kutaisi also leave) approximately every hour from 8 AM to 6 PM and will depart when full. The journey costs 10 GEL per person (paid directly to the driver) and it takes roughly 2.5 hours to get there.

The buses are located near the Express Bank, which you can find by turning left from once you’ve exited from the Didube metro station. If you have trouble locating the bus, most drivers will assist you and point you in the right direction.

The bus can drop you along the main drag in Borjomi near the tourist information centre or at the bus station a little further down the road. Just get off where it is most convenient to get to your accommodation.

There are usually numerous taxis at the central bus station should you not want to walk to your guesthouse or hotel.

Marshrutka from Tbilisi to Borjomi
Marshrutka from Tbilisi to Borjomi

By Train

If you are willing to sacrifice the flexibility allowed by taking the marshrutka to have take advantage of a bit more legroom, then there is the option to take the train.

The train leaves from Tbilisi Central Station (near Station Square metro) at 6:40 AM and 4:15 PM. The journey will take about 4 hours. This can be a good option if you’re not operating on a tight schedule for your Georgia itinerary or if you enjoy travelling by Soviet-style trains.

The closest railway station the the city centre is Borjomi Park station so make sure to get off here unless your accommodation is closer to the other station.

By Taxi

If neither the bus nor the train tickles your fancy when it comes to travelling from Tbilisi, then it is possible to get there by taxi as well. However, this is going to be the most expensive of options.

You will be able to find a taxi willing to take you to Borjomi at the Didube bus station, near to where the marshrutky to Borjomi leave from. Expect the cost of a car to be somewhere around 200 GEL.

It is usually possible to wait for other passengers to share the cab with you and cut down on your overall trip cost.

Depending on the demand, this can either be an extremely efficient way of travelling to Borjomi from Tbilisi (if you are willing to pay for the whole car upfront or are the last to fill it), or you will have to wait for some time to find other passengers to share with you.

However, if you don’t want to wait around or even head to the bus station, then consider booking a transfer through GoTrip which makes this all much easier.

Borjomi at sunset
Borjomi at sunset

By Car

It is popular for visitors in Georgia to rent a car to get around and getting to Borjomi by your own car is going to be the most convenient (and most expensive) option.

The road leading to Borjomi is in good repair and the journey should only take you about 2 hours, depending on the traffic conditions.

You can rent private cars directly from locals by using Localrent.

By Organised Tour

If you prefer to base yourself in Tbilisi and only visit Borjomi for a day, then there are a number of organised tours that are possible to take. One of the best options is this full-day tour that includes visiting Vardzia, Rabati Castle & Borjomi.

Another popular option is this full-day tour that includes a visit to Borjomi and the village of Bakuriani. Bakuriani is known for its skiing in the winter, but there are also plenty of summer activities to enjoy.

Things To Do in Borjomi

Because of its popularity as a tourist destination over the span of two centuries, Borjomi has a lot to offer visitors and it is a pleasant place to spend a day or two exploring.

It is also a fantastic jumping-off point for venturing to the fascinating cave city of Vardzia or to the restored fortress complex in Akhaltsikhe.

Borjomi Central Park

Sometimes referred to as the Mineral Water Park, this lush green space is easily one of the main tourist highlights and a great place to visit in Borjomi. The park is massive and fills a couple of kilometres full of benches, walking paths, cafes, and amusement rides that can occupy the whole family.

There is a pavilion where you can sample the famous Borjomi spring water directly from the source. The naturally lightly effervescent water is definitely an acquired taste (and not one that either Michael or I have!) and it is said to cure whatever it is that ails you.

You can have the attendants fill up an entire water bottle for you or just ask for a small cup to sample. I would recommend the latter, as the salty-metallic taste of the water mixed with the sulphuric smell certainly is not for everyone! Regardless of what you choose, the water is free and safe to drink.

Borjomi Mineral Water pavilion
Borjomi Mineral Water

Along with all of the rides and green scenery within the park, there is also a cable car at the entrance that will take you to the top of a hill, commanding great views of Borjomi and the surrounding nature.

Borjomi Sulfur Pools

Located at the end of a beautiful, green path about 3 kilometres from the entrance of the Central Park lies the Borjomi Sulfur Pools.

Originally constructed under the orders of the Romanovs themselves in the 19th century, these pools are now open to the public and use natural spring waters to keep them warm and swimmable year round. They are an especially popular place to visit in the warm summer months.

There are three small pools in the complex that are all kept at about 30°C (86°F), making them ideal to relax in for some time. Keep in mind that they do get very busy in the summer months with local families and tourists alike looking for ways to take the edge off of the Georgian heat, so it is best to get here early.

There is a small fee to enter the pools and there are changing facilities and toilets on sight, along with a beverage stand. However, towels and such are not available for hire so you will need to bring your own.

It is possible to reach the pools from the main path through the Central Park, which is an easy 30-40 minute walk on a path through the lovely forest. You can also take a shorter but very steep path down from the cable car.

Borjomi Sulphur Pools
Borjomi Sulphur Pools

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

If you are visiting Georgia in order to take advantage of all of the beautiful, pristine nature that the country has to offer, then visiting the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is one of the best things to do in the area.

Though this 851 square metre park may not boast as dramatic of scenery that you might find in towns like Kazbegi or Mestia, the underrated lower Caucasus range is home to beautiful, lush greenery and numerous well-developed hiking trails.

It is possible to go for day or overnight hikes here or even ride horses through the numerous trails and routes. If you need more information about visiting the national park, head to the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park Administration where you can get all of the knowledge that you need to visit Georgia’s largest national park.

Borjomi is surrounded by nature
Borjomi is surrounded by nature

Day Trip to Vardzia, Akhaltsikhe, and Khertvisi Fortress

One of the most popular things to do while visiting Borjomi is to go on a day trip to the fascinating and beautiful cave city of Vardzia. Located about 100 kilometres south of Borjomi, it is very easy to organise a trip to this incredible historical site along with some other highlights of Southern Georgia.

There are a few options that you can choose from when it comes to getting to Vardzia from Borjomi. If you are trying to stick to a tight Georgia travel budget, then you can reach Vardzia by marshrutka from Borjomi. However, you would need to transfer buses in Akhaltsikhe and they don’t leave that often.

The cave city of Vardzia
The cave city of Vardzia

A far better budget option for travellers is to organise a driver to Vardzia, the Rabati complex in Akhaltsikhe, the Khertvisi Fortress, and the Green Monastery.

This is the option that we took and the driver our guesthouse organised for us cost 120 GEL for the day back in 2019. You can either organise this through your guesthouse or hotel, through GoTrip, or find a taxi or driver on the street in Borjomi — you will definitely be approached with offers so it is not hard to arrange!

Khvertisi Fortress
Khertvisi Fortress

Visiting Vardzia, in particular, was one of the highlights of our entire trip in Georgia and we really think that it is worth paying a little extra and going out of the way to visit this incredible 12th-century cave city. Due to its out-of-the-way location, there aren’t large groups of tourists that visit here, making it all the more enjoyable.

While it isn’t necessary to dress conservatively to visit most of the cave dwellings, neither men nor women will be permitted to enter the cave monastery wearing shorts or sleeveless tops and women must also cover their heads.

We recommend trying to hit Vardzia as your first stop and then work your way back from there. This is the route that we took and we missed almost every big tour group and at the Khvertsi Fortress, we were the only ones there.

Rabati complex in Akhaltsikhe
Rabati complex in Akhaltsikhe

Where to Eat in Borjomi

Despite being a relatively popular tourist destination in Georgia, there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to restaurants in Borjomi. However, there are a couple of great places to sample local cuisine.

Cafe Tourist – Don’t let the name deceive you as this locally-run restaurant is far from a tourist trap. One of the best places to eat in Borjomi, they have a great menu of delicious Georgian delicacies in an eclectic atmosphere. Their soups are something very special and their Georgian salad with walnuts is one of the best we’ve dined on in the country.

Bergi – This restaurant, located on Borjomi’s main street, is an excellent option for a tasty and hearty meal in Borjomi. They serve a traditional Georgian menu, have an extensive wine list, and streetside seating for warm summer evenings.

Where to Stay in Borjomi

Guesthouse Metreveli – Located in a quiet neighbourhood about 10 minutes walking from the city centre, this family-run guesthouse is one of the best budget options in Borjomi. The friendly owners will fill you full with their extensive breakfast (available for an extra charge) and welcome you with their homemade wine and chacha. There are three rooms available and a wonderful balcony to chill out on after a long day.

Crowne Plaza Borjomi – If you’re after a bit of class and luxury when visiting Borjomi, then you can’t go wrong with the Crowne Plaza. This hotel, located in a beautiful historical building next to the mineral water park, is a top option in the city. They have a range of luxe rooms available and numerous other amenities available to make your stay in Borjomi a swanky one.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Borjomi hotels!

The luxury Crowne Plaza Hotel in Borjomi
The luxury Crowne Plaza Hotel

Borjomi is an excellent place to spend a few days while exploring Georgia. Whether it’s hiking through the beautiful national park, soaking up the healing mineral waters, or climbing through the cave city of Vardzia, there are numerous things to do in Borjomi to occupy any type of traveller!

Are you planning on travelling to Borjomi? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie


    • I’m glad you found this helpful! Unfortunately, we haven’t done the Borjomi to Bakuriani train so I can’t offer any advice regarding that.

  1. Hi! I’m planing a trip to Bakuriani next week and I read that going by minibuses in winter is not safe. What do you think about it? Is it safe?
    Due to this information I read I’m thinking about going to Borjomi by train and than, in the other day, taking a minibus from borjomi to bakurini (or the kukushka).

    • Hi Julia, I haven’t been to Bakuriani so I can’t speak about the minibuses in wintertime. However, I would recommend asking some locals when you’re there to gauge the safety and if they’re running. Hope you have a great time!


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