What to do in Kutaisi, Georgia: A 2 or 3 Day Itinerary

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by Maggie Turansky

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As a hub for budget flights connecting the nation of Georgia with the rest of Europe (and beyond), many visitors wonder what to do in Kutaisi and contemplate whether planning a 2 or 3 days in Kutaisi itinerary is worth it.

While most visitors to Georgia set their sites on the cosmopolitan capital of Tbilisi or to mountain towns like Kazbegi, Kutaisi is a quaint yet dynamic city that is very much worth visiting.

Though small in size — the population is only about 150,000 — Kutaisi has a lot to offer visitors from a charming and compact city centre to beautiful botanical gardens, and beautiful natural sites in the surrounding area. There are numerous things to see in this city that makes it a wonderful Georgian destination in its own right.

Kutaisi's Bagrati Cathedral
Kutaisi’s Bagrati Cathedral — a main landmark in the city

Best Time to Visit Kutaisi

Kutaisi, located in west-central Georgia, is the largest city in the lush Imereti region and experiences a continental climate — meaning that you can count on getting all four seasons in Kutaisi.

Winters can be cold and snowy, with January being the coldest month. Expect temperatures to hover around freezing, though it will rarely get much below that. Days can be short, however, there are lots of cosy cafes and wine bars in Kutaisi to keep you warm in the colder months.

Because of the cold temperatures, however, winter is not the ideal season to visit Kutaisi if you’re interested in visiting the natural sites in the surrounding Imereti region. It is also the low tourist season, so if you do visit in winter, you should have no trouble finding accommodation with little notice.

Summers, on the other hand, are warm and sunny, with the hottest months being July and August where the average high temperatures settle around 30°C (86°F).

If you’re sensitive to the heat, then this might not be the best time to visit Kutaisi, however, the city does come alive with many street-side cafes and inviting parks. This is also the best season to visit the nearby canyons, especially if you’re interested in watersports such as kayaking or river rafting.

Summer, especially the months between June-August see the highest tourist numbers, as well, so it may be necessary to book things like accommodation or restaurants a bit further in advance.

Like many other European destinations, arguably the best time to visit Kutaisi would be in the shoulder seasons from March-May and September-November. This is where you’ll likely see the mildest temperatures and tourist crowds (still very few even in high season) won’t be at their peak.

Keep in mind that Spring weather, especially, can be quite variable and while it is entirely likely that you could be blessed with 25° sunshine in April, it is also equally likely that you’ll get grey, rainy weather with temperatures that barely break double digits.

Autumn temperatures are more predictable, with the country hanging onto the warmth of summer until well into October. The lush qualities of the Imereti region mean that travellers could also enjoy a beautiful array of fall colours if visiting Kutaisi in the autumn.

kutaisi bridges
Kutaisi is wonderful to visit no matter the season

Getting To & Around Kutaisi

Most people who visit Kutaisi do so because they are either arriving to or leaving from Kutaisi airport, which has become a hub for budget airline WizzAir and has affordably connected Georgia to many Western European destinations.

While most people flying into Kutaisi airport tend to ignore all there is to see and do in the city and get on the bus direct to Tbilisi, this is truly a shame, as Kutaisi is very much worth visiting.

If you do arrive into the airport, it is worth knowing that it is located about 20 kilometres outside of the city centre. There is an easy minibus that is timed to the flight arrivals that will drop you off at or close to your accommodation.

You can book your spot at the Georgian Bus desk directly after walking through border control (you can also pick up an affordable local SIM at the desk next to it). The bus journey costs 10GEL per person and will take about 30-45 minutes depending on where you’re staying.

If you arrive in Kutaisi by bus, it is worth knowing that the main bus station is located several kilometres from the city centre and you will likely need to take a taxi to the city centre. We recommend using the Bolt app while in Kutaisi (and in major Georgian cities, in general).

There are no meters in Georgian taxis, therefore, you need to agree upon a price before getting into the car. That being said, taxis are prevalent in Kutaisi and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a good one to get you to where you need to go. All in all, it’s probably easiest to use an app rather than organizing a street cab.

Once you are in the city centre, you will find that it is easy to get to most of the Kutaisi attractions on foot. If there are some places that are too far to walk, taxis are affordable and, using the app recommended above, very easy to hail.

To go on some day trips, you can either hire a private driver (GoTrip is a great platform for this), find an organised tour or, for the more adventurous, hire a car and self-drive. If you want to rent a car, using LocalRent is a great option.

Bus to Kutaisi
Kutaisi is well-connected within Georgia

2 to 3-Day Kutaisi Itinerary

Despite its apparent small size, there are a number of Kutaisi attractions that are worth visiting and the cities laid-back nature is a great contrast to lively and chaotic Tbilisi.

Depending on how much time you have, we think the ideal amount of time to spend in Kutaisi is three full days. This gives you ample time to get to know the city while also going on some day trips to some surrounding natural sites or towns.

If you only have one day, we recommend spending it all in Kutaisi — there is certainly enough to keep you occupied for the entire day (follow day one of this Kutaisi itinerary).

If you only have 2 days in Kutaisi, then is it possible to take a day trip into the surrounding region, and if you have three days you can visit even more.

Colourful churchkela at the Green Bazaar
Colourful churchkhela at the Green Bazaar

Day 1 – Central Kutaisi Highlights

If you’re wondering what to do in Kutaisi for one day, then this is the itinerary for you to follow. The majority of the sites in Georgia’s third-largest city can be seen in one day, however, it will be packed with a lot.

Green Bazaar

Start your day in one of our favourite places to visit in Kutaisi, the Green Bazaar. As Kutaisi’s central marketplace, this is an excellent place to visit if you want to learn more about Georgian cuisine or to see where the locals do their shop.

Though it might seem small to begin with, there are numerous different areas to the Green Bazaar which means you can easily spend an hour or two wandering throughout the myriad stalls.

If you want a snack for later, pick up a couple of churchkhela, which are candlestick-like strings of hazelnuts or walnuts dipped in a fruit snack. They are sold by multiple vendors and are one of Georgia’s favourite snacks.

There are also aisles upon aisles of fresh fruits and vegetables, colourful pickles, vibrant spices, massive wheels of cheese, and much much more. It is truly a sight not to be missed if you’re looking for the best things to do in Kutaisi.

Kutaisi's bustling Green Bazaar
Kutaisi’s bustling Green Bazaar

Kutaisi Synagogue

Not far from the Green Bazaar lies the Kutaisi Synagogue. Though there is only a very small Jewish population in Georgia today, Kutaisi was once home to one of the largest communities in all of Georgia.

The Kutaisi Synagogue is located in what was once the historic Jewish Quarter and was built in 1885. It is one of three synagogues in Kutaisi, however, this is the biggest and most grand of them all.

There is a plaque in the front of the building where you can read (in Georgian and English) about the history of the building and get a greater understanding about Judaism in Georgia.

The Kutaisi Synagogue
The Kutaisi Synagogue

Central Park & Colchis Fountain

After visiting the Green Bazaar and the Kutaisi Synagogue, it’s time to stroll a bit closer to the centre and enjoy the views of the spectacular Colchis Fountain.

This fountain was erected to commemorate the ancient Greco-Roman region that was once where Kutaisi was today. It is now the main landmark in Kutaisi and it is a beautiful site to see.

After you’ve enjoyed the view of the Colchis fountain, wander into Kutaisi’s central park, a lush green space that is the perfect place to grab a bench and watch the locals go about their days.

There are numerous statues and monuments in the park with plaques that are written in both Georgian and English so you can understand the significance for yourself.

The Kutaisi Central Park is an excellent place to relax before you begin more sightseeing.

After visiting the park and the fountain, it will likely be a good time for lunch. We recommend heading to Palaty, which is only about a five-minute walk from the park.

The beautiful Colchis Fountain
The beautiful Colchis Fountain

White Bridge & Cable Car

After lunch, head over to the White Bridge. This pedestrian bridge over the Rioni River is adorned with quotes (in Georgian) and a few glass tiles so you can see the river flowing below.

Though it is one of four bridges in Kutaisi (the others being the Red Bridge, the Chain Bridge, and the Rustaveli Bridge), it is the only one solely for pedestrians and it is a main Kutaisi attraction.

On the city centre side of the White Bridge, you will find a small cable car that will take you over the river to the Besik Gabashvili Park. This park is filled with a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, and other carnival games that make it a great place to visit with kids.

Even if the park doesn’t interest you, the cable car ride, though short, is worth it for the views over Kutaisi.

The cable car across the Rioni River
The cable car across the Rioni River

Bagrati Cathedral

From the Besik Gabashvili Park, you can easily walk the 1 kilometre or grab a taxi to the Bagrati Cathedral, which is one of the main attractions in Kutaisi.

A spectacular example of medieval Georgian architecture, this massive Orthodox cathedral was first completed in the early 11th century, though it has seen considerable damage and reparations throughout the years. Today, the Bagrati Cathedral is something this must be included on your Kutaisi itinerary.

The cathedral stands on a hill overlooking Kutaisi and provides excellent views of the city below. It is free of charge to enter, however, it should be noted that, as it is an Orthodox cathedral, it is respectful for women to cover their heads before entering — I always carry a scarf in Georgia for this reason!

The Bagrati Cathedral
The Bagrati Cathedral

Kutaisi Botanical Garden

After visiting the Bagrati Cathedral, spend the rest of your first day in the beautiful Kutaisi Botanical Gardens. Most major Georgian cities have some beautiful botanical gardens and, though they may not be as beautiful or as varied as the ones in Tbilisi or Batumi, the Kutaisi gardens are still worth a visit.

The gardens are equipped with ample paved walking trails and numerous benches. There is also a tiny church nested inside of a centuries-old oak tree!

All in all, ending your day of sightseeing in Kutaisi in the Botanical Gardens is a choice you will not regret.

After the botanical gardens, head for dinner at Sapere Wine Bar, a chic Georgian restaurant and wine bar in the city centre.

The lush Kutaisi Botanical Garden
The lush Kutaisi Botanical Garden

Day 2 – Caves and Monasteries

The second day in Kutaisi sees you heading out of the city to explore some of the attractions in the greater Imereti region. If you want to easily reach these sites, we recommend either hiring a driver, taking a taxi, or finding a group tour. There are numerous options available and it can be helpful to explore all of your options.

We ended up hiring a driver through Kutaisi Trip Station. You can also pre-book tours online such as this guided tour. You can also hire a private driver from GoTrip for ultimate flexibility.

Prometheus Cave

The entire Imereti region is sat upon a labyrinthine network of caves, some of which are now open to the public. Perhaps the most spectacular and the largest cave to visit near Kutaisi is the Prometheus Cave located just outside of the town of Tskaltubo.

The cave, which was discovered in the 1980s, is over 11 kilometres long, however, only about 1,060 metres are open for tourists. Entry into the cave includes a guided tour throughout. It takes you about 80 metres below the ground and it is truly spectacular to see all of the incredible stalactites and stalagmites.

There is a boat trip that is also possible to take through the cave, however, it wasn’t running when we were there and we are unsure of the schedule.

The incredible interior of the Prometheus Cave
The incredible interior of the Prometheus Cave

Motsameta Monastery

After visiting the Prometheus Cave, hop in the car and drive to the beautiful and secluded Motsameta Monastery.

Though this monastery is not nearly as famous as many others in Georgia, it is set in an absolutely beautiful location overlooking a canyon. It is also known to hold the sacred remains of Saints David & Konstantine Mkheidze.

Though it isn’t very big, the architecture is just lovely and the views of the surrounding hillsides and canyon are absolutely stunning, which makes the Motsameta Monastery a great stop in you’re wondering what to see in Kutaisi.

The Motsameta Monastery
The Motsameta Monastery

Gelati Monastery

After visiting the Motsmeta Monastery, it’s time to head to perhaps the most famous monastery in all of Georgia, the Gelati Monastery.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this monastery was originally founded in the year 1106 and is known for its beautiful medieval Georgian architecture. In its time, it was known to be one of the most important intellectual centres in Georgia and educated many scientists, theologians, and philosophers.

It is still operating as a monastery today and it a site of pilgrimage for many of the Georgian Orthodox faith. Unfortunately, when we visited, the monastery was undergoing significant renovations so we weren’t able to experience it in all its glory. However, that is sometimes the case with 900-year-old buildings!

Visiting all of these sites should likely only take about half of the day, so if you want to get a late lunch back in Kutaisi, we recommend heading to grab some delicious Khinkali at Eldepo.

The Gelati Monastery
The Gelati Monastery was, unfortunately, under construction

Kutaisi State History Museum

After spending the day outside of the city centre, it’s time to head into the city and visit the Kutaisi State Historical Museum. This small museum houses a couple of rooms filled with artefacts from throughout Kutaisi’s history, dating from bronze-age tools to medieval icons to 19th-century wine labels.

It will likely only take you an hour at most to see everything this museum has, but it is still worth it to see just how old Kutaisi is and to better understand its long history.

End your second day in Kutaisi having an unforgettable meal at Toma’s Wine Cellar. You need to book in advance and there is no menu, however, it stands as one of the best meals of our lives and it’s something you absolutely cannot miss if you want to really experience Georgian cuisine.

The Kutaisi State History Museum
The Kutaisi State Historical Museum

Day 3 – Canyons and Nature

On the third day, take the time to visit some more natural sites outside of Kutaisi — its canyons. If you only have two days in the city, it is possible to visit the caves and monasteries mentioned in day 2 and the canyons mentioned today in one full day. However, if you can account for it, we would recommend taking your time.

You can easily arrange the trip yourself through this organised tour or this guided day tour or a private taxi in the same way as the day trips above.

Another alternative if you don’t want to see the canyons is to head out to some local vineyards and learn all about Georgian food and wine. This day tour is an excellent option for that.

Okatse Canyon

This is one of the most popular day trips from Kutaisi and this gorgeous canyon is well known for its suspension bridge spanning the width of the canyon.

Though it is not for those who are afraid of heights, the Okatse Canyon is a truly beautiful natural site to visit in Kutaisi.

Martvili Canyon

Martvili Canyon is the less popular canyon in the Imereti region, however, it is still very much worth visiting. Though not as high or dramatic as the Okatse Canyon, the Martvili Canyon is known for its great swimming holes and offers the opportunity to kayak or raft through its waters.

Nature around Kutaisi
Visiting the lush natural sites surrounding Kutaisi is well worth it

Other Day Trips from Kutaisi

If you have even more time to spend in Kutaisi, then there are a number of other day trips from Kutaisi that may be of interest.

First and foremost, the nearby town of Tskaltubo could be of interest for those who like some urban exploration and Soviet architecture. The town was, during Soviet times, famous for its sanitoriums. Today, the majority of those have been shut down and long abandoned, making for an interesting visit.

If you want to venture even further into an ex-soviet town, then head to nearby Chiatura. This former mining town was once a thriving industrial village, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Georgia’s subsequent independence, it has become abandoned and derelict. It is, however, a great day trip from Kutaisi if you want to learn more about industry in the former USSR.

Where to Eat & Drink in Kutaisi

Though it may seem small, Kutaisi is packed to the brim with excellent restaurants and cafes serving up traditional Georgian fare or a great cup of tea. If you’re wondering where to eat in Kutaisi, check out these suggestions:

Sapere — As one of the top-rated restaurants in Kutaisi, this trendy wine bar serves traditional Georgian cuisine coupled with some fantastic local wine. If you want to sample some of the best of what Georgian food and wine has to offer, then this is a great place to do it.

Toma’s Wine Cellar — This is a ca-n’t-miss restaurant in Kutaisi — run by a friendly local man in his family home, Toma’s Wine Cellar serves an incomparable traditional set meal cooked by his mother, paired with a half-litre of his homemade wine per person and ample cha-cha throughout. As there are only limited tables available, booking is essential, but it cannot be missed in Kutaisi.

Palaty — This cosy restaurant, located in central Kutaisi, is another fantastic option if you want to try some truly delicious local Georgian cuisine. Some of their standout dishes include eggplant with walnuts and their traditional tolma.

Eldepo — If you’re after a lot of food at low prices, then you cannot go wrong with Eldepo. This place is famous for its fantastic khinkali (Georgian soup dumplings), but they also have a number of other dishes available on their menu. They are open 24 hours per day and always seem to be busy with both locals and tourists alike.

A delicious meal from Toma's Wine Cellar
A delicious meal from Toma’s Wine Cellar

Tea House Foe-Foe — This cosy tea house is an excellent place to chill out in Kutaisi. Their menu boasts over 80 loose leaf teas and the cafe is filled with comfortable chairs and couches. It is the perfect place to relax after a long day of Kutaisi sightseeing or to wait out a rainstorm.

White Stone Cafe — This cafe, located at the end of the White Bridge, is a great place to grab a drink, a coffee, or even a bite to eat with great views of the Rioni River and Kutaisi.

Eggplant with walnut paste from Palaty
Eggplant with walnut paste (badrijani nigvzit) from Palaty

Where to Stay in Kutaisi

Pospolita Guesthouse – This small, family-run guesthouse is an excellent budget option in Kutaisi. Located near the White Bridge and within walking distance of all of the Kutaisi attractions, there is also a large homemade breakfast included. The owners are also very friendly and helpful.

Nana’s Home – Another family-run guesthouse, this is one of the best-rated properties in Kutaisi. The rooms are large 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.

Hotel Veneto – This centrally-located hotel is a great option for both couples and solo travellers alike. There is a hearty breakfast included, a range of clean and comfortable rooms, and the helpful staff can help you organise day trips into the surrounding natural sites and monasteries.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other hotels in Kutaisi!

White Bridge Kutaisi
A sculpture on Kutaisi’s White Bridge

Kutaisi, though often overlooked by tourists in Georgia in lieu of the capital of Tbilisi, is well worth the visit. If you are wondering what to do in Kutaisi, then you will certainly be impressed with all that this small city has to offer!

Are you planning to visit Kutaisi? 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


  1. Hi Maggie. Read your article and it is quite informative. Just arrived in Kutaisi today on 20th July 2023. The Bolt app helped from airport to the city and costed 20 GEL only. Usual taxis were charging 50 to 60 GEL for the same. Thanks

  2. Hi! We are a family of four, planning to visit Georgia in mid July for 4 days. Would be staying in Tbilisi. Can u suggest an itinerary, would love to visit caves and canyons of Kutaisi, but not sure how to fit it in such short time. Is it worth the visit from Tbilisi? What other day trips u recommend to view awesome, lush greenery in Georgia?

    • Hi Monika – in general, I wouldn’t recommend a day trip to Kutaisi from Tbilisi. It’s a long way to go. There are plenty of other great places to visit with easy reach of Tbilisi including the old capital of Mtskheta, the city of Gori and the wine region of Kakheti all which are much closer than Kutaisi and worth the journey 🙂

  3. Read the article in one breath….precise & concise explanation…booked ticket to visit in June 3rd week…thanks for your valuable information…

  4. Planning to visit this coming January. Indeed this gave me a good read on where to go as a solo traveller. Thanks for the very useful informations! 🙂

  5. Hi dear, your such a lovely person.I found it very informative and i enjoyed reading it.Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Apparently your beautiful character enable your positive perspective towards
    Kutaisi. Thanks for sharing with others. I’m inspired to pay a visit to this natural
    scenery city.

  7. Hi, thanks for the useful information! When you say you booked your car through Kutaisi Trip Station, how did you do this please? Did you do it through the website or actually in Kutaisi?

    • Hi Emma, I ended up just sending them a message via WhatsApp a day or two before we wanted to go on the trip while already in Kutaisi. You will find that you don’t need to plan too far in advance when it comes to organising tours in Georgia. Hope you have a great time!


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