Top 8 Reasons to EcoTravel to Georgia, Europe

A day before a long weekend in early September this year, we decided to travel to Georgia and booked our flights. Luckily we could find flight availability but booking hotels was a bit more difficult task just a day before traveling. Also, I had to look at things to do, where to visit, what to see & eat in just 24 hours. But the traveler in me knew exactly what fun we can have if we won’t get regular hotel bookings. I never planned any trip on such short notice but I took the challenge anyway. I just googled and narrowed down on where to visit and decided to go with the flow instead of planning the whole itinerary, that is the best you could do when you are impulse traveling.

The next night after landing in Tbilisi we reached near the old town in some old Mercedes and felt like we were entering an era gone by.  It was really late in the night so we decided to walk up to nearby Mac Donald’s but the long queue there was an evidence of Tiblisi’s bustling nightlife. There was only one more family with kids in that queue apart from us.  But over next few days, we saw how this is a great destination for young and free travelers as well as families with kids. Georgia caters so much that everyone can find something here. This country welcomes you and unfolds many different colors in front of you.

1. Georgian People

They are really great hosts, even though not all are fluent in English they are eager to have a conversation with you be it, driver or seller. We stayed with a Georgian family our first night in Tiblisi. They were so accommodating even at such a short notice of fewer than 24 hours, they kept ready some milk for Ruhaan the night we landed. The lady of the house cooked very yummy Georgian breakfast next morning. Having a coffee sitting under grape vines in their front yard overlooking a 200-year-old beautiful building while our son played with their dogs, I thought I will prefer this anytime than staying in some hotel with all amenities but totally detached from the local culture. The host was so kind, he stayed awake till we reach home from Mc Donald’s, arranged taxi and bargained a good price the next day.

Right from our hosts in Tiblisi, the drivers we met over next few days, our hosts in Kazbegi we had a lovely experience with Georgian people. Especially if you have kids with them, they are very nice. I generally found Georgian people traditional and with strong family value. So it’s obvious that they are so kind with kids.

2. Georgian Food

We didn’t know much about Georgian cuisine, we have been to Turkey before (read the post here) and thought being a neighboring country the food here must be similar. But to our surprise, they have totally different and their own cuisine. Be it a simple tomato cucumber salad a staple for almost every meal, but tastes great as they serve you very fresh. Or famous Khachapuri, a Georgian traditional bread stuffed with cheese and varieties with meat or topped with egg etc. Chankhali, Chakapuli are popular lamb dishes.

Khachapuri

They also have some traditional dumplings which are called Khinkali mostly stuffed with meat. But we also tasted some homemade Khinkali stuffed with cheese and they were delicious.

Churchkhela candies are kind of a must to try when in Georgia. They made out of grapes, nuts, flour and you can find them hanging in many shops in Tiblisi or almost everywhere in Georgia. You can also take a cooking class if you want to learn how to make them. I particularly liked the red walnut Churchkhela. These are good to keep with you for munching on a road trip or hiking trip.

Candy Shop in Tbilisi

 

3. Old Town Tiblisi

You need to walk on the cobbled stone streets in Old Town Tiblisi to see the charm of this place. We happened to explore Old Town and got mesmerized by the beautiful architecture of those really old buildings at one night and we are glad we did that. The old architecture is preserved really nicely in Georgia, you can easily find when the building is constructed as it’s carved on some stone (board) near the building generally.

An old Lada parked on cobbled stone streets of old Tbilisi

If you look at these old buildings adorned with grape vines, surrounded by some old big trees; they look like paintings. Some are the popular landmark here are Freedom Square, Sioni Cathedral, Narikala Fortress etc

Freedom Square

4. Sculptures & Statues

Looks like Georgians are huge fans of sculptures and statues. You can find really interesting statues and sculpture in every corner of this very picturesque city of Tiblisi. The huge monument of Mother of Georgia and St. George monument in freedom square are some of the most popular statues in Tbilisi which you can’t miss.

 

Then there are the modern sculptures of Tiblisi like Tamada (toastmaster in Georgian feast, holding a horn) which can be found near Bambis Rigi street.

Also, I particularly loved the upcycled sculptures of a tree, dog, and a bench out of waste metal in the park at Rica square. We even found street art in Tbilisi, mainly in the underground subways or on walls of some old houses.

5. Street Side Cafes

If you are a fan of wine & jazz like me, then you are spoilt for choices in Tbilisi. There are so many street side cafes along Shardeni street. They put the tables & chairs on cobbled stone streets, some grape vines hanging from all corners and at night you can enjoy live Jazz music with a glass of Georgian wine.

Couldn’t agree more! 😉

On one of the night in Tbilisi, we were exploring the old town and looking for a place to have dinner. We heard amazing Jazz music and walked towards the direction. Next three hours were the best date night memory me & my husband created in a these few years of parenthood. Jazz Cafe Singer located just next to Tamada sculpture was the perfect place for Ruhaan to run around and play with cats and make some new friends after dinner. Once he slept comfortably on a few chairs we went on to try different Georgian wines while listening to melodious live jazz and some people watching in the square. What tired parents can ask for more than such relaxing time after a day-long exploring Tbilisi with an energetic 4-year-old.

Streetside cafes in Old Tbilisi

 

6. Kids Friendly Destination

Georgian people like kids and so it’s very easy to travel in Georgia with kids. When we visited Kazbegi in North, there was open Nature for him to play and run around but then in Tbilisi, we decided to allocate more time for his play than just sightseeing, as it becomes a bit boring for that age kids. So I had an option of Turtle lake which is a bit far from old town but is a popular place for kids or I assumed botanical park might be fun. But on the recommendation of one of a fellow tourist from the US, we opted for Mtastminda Amusement Park. This park is on the top of Mount Mtastminda, easily accessible from the old town through funicular and is so much fun for kids that I say it’s must-visit for every kid traveling to Tbilisi!

We spend almost an entire day there right from Dinosaur park to water park and a very beautiful play park where games and rides were made out of tree log and natural material. The park is not just for kids but as a tourist, you get to see the flavor and culture of Georgia. This seems to be a popular hangout place for locals. We happened to come across newly married bride and groom, who just got married at the altar in the park. I couldn’t resist but just stopped at a gazebo to watch couples practicing beautiful dance. Watch video here,

There are many restaurants and rides and some amusing structures in the park. But the landscaping is so beautiful, almost natural and big open spaces where families can have picnic and kids can run around and play. From the top of Mtastminda, you can get a beautiful view of Tbilisi.

7. Natural Beauty

Georgia is blessed with Natural beauty, while on the way to Kazbegi a far north town in Georgia which is on Russia border, I even felt for a moment why did we spend so much money on Switzerland trip when we can see almost similar natural beauty in so much less.

The glacier rivers, snow-capped peaks, rugged mountains, valleys, greenery, the alpine landscape it was all breathtaking and still kind of untouched, not much commercialized or spoilt.

In winter, it snows across Georgia, Gudauri Ski Resort is a very popular destination. If you are a winter sports fan or want to experience cold weather and winter wonderland then you need to visit Georgia in winter. But when we traveled it was springtime and we got to see the bloom of wildflowers everywhere, which enhanced this already heavenly beauty. This is also the time for honey straight from seasonal beehives and fresh local fruits. It was really Nature at it’s best during the springtime and we could enjoy it to the fullest.

Wildflowers in Spring

8. Ease of Travel

Georgia is a small country and it’s really easy to travel inside and do road trips to cover famous attractions like Ananuri Fort or Batumi or Cave dwelling in Uplistsikhe. I practically started my Georgia Travel search on the internet just 24 hours before we traveled there and still, we could cover most famous places and some off the beaten path travel experiences in Georgia. So you can imagine, how traveler friendly this country is!

You can easily find public buses from the main bus stop in Tiblisi or like us you can share a taxi with fellow tourists and make new friends while traveling sustainably, you can even find many fuel-efficient taxis here like Toyota Prius which can help reduce carbon emissions of your travel in Georgia. Read here why we are Toyota Prius fans.  Even better, you could walk and hike in Georgia to see the Nature’s beauty closely and have some fantastic time outdoors. No doubt you would return home much more healthy and refreshed.

Planning road trips are easy and Georgian travel is cheaper than many places, thanks to the cheaper currency of Georgia. Eating local food to lower your carbon footprint and save some money is not a problem in Georgia, as the food is really delicious. Many nationalities can get a visa on arrival here especially if you have a previously stamped Schengen visa.

So if you are up for visiting a country before it gets more commercialized and popular amongst travelers around the world, you need to hurry up and book your tickets to Georgia!

Don’t forget to read here the practical tips for ‘sustainable travel packing and planning’, just little efforts go long way when you want to reduce your travel impact on ecology! Let me ask you now what I found on the cobbled streets of old town Tbilisi, ‘What did you do to save the world today?’ If nothing yet then join our Tribe here to get simple and doable sustainable lifestyle and Ecotravel updates and start your sustainable journey with us!

Somewhere on the streets of Old Tbilisi

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So interesting! THank you!

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Hi, I am Amruta, Thank you for visiting my blog!

I am a Sustainability Professional. I have worked on many green building projects in the

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