It was in the first week of September 2017 during the Eid Vacation, Myself with my beloved wife Pallavi decided to visit Georgia from Riyadh, KSA . A beautiful country which resides in the eastern part of the Europe and of late the country’s name was buzzing around in the gulf region after Georgia allowed on arrival visa for GCC Citizens and Residents.
So, On September 2nd 2017, we left Riyadh early in the morning and reached Tbilisi in Georgia around 4 PM via Bahrain through Gulf Air. It was not a long and tiring journey though. Before travel ,we had got the information that September will be the start of autumn in Georgia with frequent rainfalls but we had made up our mind to visit it. In Fact, the weather forecast deceived us as there was very less amount of rain 😛 . Anyway, I will talk about it later in my future posts 🙂 .
We had booked Georgian local tours named Simon Tours to plan our travel and accommodation in Georgia.
Note : Seasons in Georgia if you want to plan your travel – Spring (March to May) , Summer (June to August) , Autumn (September to November) , Winter (December to February)
Upon arrival in Tbilisi airport, We were greeted and escorted to the hotel called Hotel 7 Rooms at the heart of the city. While we were on the way, we noticed the city was green filled with trees on both sides of the road. Of course, Nature always makes you feel happy 🙂 .
Upon entering the heart of the city, You can notice the statue of mother of Georgia holding wine on one hand to show kindness to people who are good and sword on the other hand to show their strength against enemies. We happened to see some of the buildings in Georgia from the Soviet Union times which were built in different style. You can also find churches, synagogue, mosque and a Zoroastrian temple in this multi cultural and multi religious City.
Note : It is better to get the currency exchanged in the city instead of airport so that you can get a better conversion rate
1. Mekethi Church
We got ready and headed to the first place of our tour around 6 PM in the evening called the Mekethi Church , a historical place in the city which dates back to 12th Century architecture which is located on the left bank of the river Mtkvari. You can also notice the equestrian statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali next to it who erected this church.We spent around 30 minutes in this place.
Next, we headed to the Narikala fortress which is slightly at the higher altitude. We can reach this ancient fortress either by cable car ride from Rike park or by road. We did not take the cable car ride as there was a long queue and we did not want to spend much time waiting. So, we planned to go by road and we were amazed to see the roads filled with stone blocks like old times. The road heading towards the Narikala fortress was risky as it was steep and narrow.
This fortress offers you stunning panoramic views. You can get a beautiful view of the tbilisi city from here. It is even more beautiful to see the city during night time from this place. It was established in the 4th century A.D and later lot of structural changes happened by arabs somewhere in 7th Century A.D. and then it was King David in the 11th Century. There is also St. Nikolas Church inside the fortress which dates back to 12th Century A.D. We spent around 30 minutes in this place.
Next, We left the fortress and headed to a place nearby to have a glimpse of Sulphur baths. It is one of the highlights of Tbilisi City. The water here is High in sulphur and other minerals and have been used as an aid for a range of ailments including skin conditions and arthritis. We did not opt for Sulphur baths as we had to visit other places. In Addition, we happened to see a beautiful waterfall near to Sulphur baths which is one of the tourist attraction. We spent around 45 minutes in this place.
Next, We headed to another beautiful place in the city called Mtatsminda Park which is located on the top of mountain Mtatsminda . It is a half an hour drive from the center of the city. This place has a attractive TV tower decorated with lights, a hotel named Kartli next to it which is from the Soviet Union times. The place near to the hotel also offers you stunning panoramic views of the city and it is pretty much cool over there during the night. We took few snaps with the view of Tbilisi City in the backdrop.
After that, we had a walk in the Bombora Or Mtatsminda Park near TV tower.We were told that the whole park will be filled with snow during winter. Of Course, who does not feel happy thinking about snow 😀 . We wished for snow whenever we heard of that word 😦 . Also , We Spotted ancient Indian stuff in the park too 🙂 . We spent around 1 hour in this place.
At the end of the day, We headed back to Rike park in the center of the city. We wanted to check if the cable car ride which we planned to go in the evening was available or not. Fortunately, It was available. We took the ride to the top near the Narikala Fortress. Once again, It was a treat to the eyes to see the panoramic view of the city. Tbilisi City looks more beautiful in the night compared to daytime. It was so windy that they had to stop our cable car in the middle and then it started to move to and fro like a pendulum. That was bit scary though 😀
Note : Cable Car ride in Rike Park will cost you 2 GEL per person
At last , We ended our first day in Georgia by going to the peace bridge which is again in the Rike Park and it is one of the most famous tourist spots in the city. It connects Tbilisi Old Town with Rike Park over a river of Mtkvari. It is a visual treat to see the bridge especially during the night time as it will be illuminated with Georgian Flag Color i.e., Red and White. We spent around 45 minutes in this place.
Last but not the least.. Enjoy this Panoramic View of the Tbilisi City 🙂 .
Isn’t it a beautiful city ? 🙂 🙂 So, what are you waiting for ? Plan your next travel to Georgia 😀
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment here.
Photo Credits : Pallavi Ravindra
Stay tuned for the next update !
Tips & Information
GEL – Georgian Lari
Please check if you have an on-arrival visa to Georgia from this link https://www.evisa.gov.ge/GeoVisa/en/VisaApp
Please Note that there is no visa fees If you are exempted from getting visa to Georgia.
For the food, Georgia offers varieties of foods and restaurants from different countries. You can always check online. For Breakfast, We were offered usual stuffs Salads, Cheese Bread etc.
To reach Tbilisi , You can take any of these flights from GCC countries Air Arabia, Fly Dubai and Gulf Air. I happened to see only these options.
If you are a Resident of Saudi Arabia or any GCC Country, Please know your’s and your family’s Residence Permit Expiry Date in prior so that you can inform the Immigration Authorities in Georgian Airport for the on-Arrival Visa as they do not speak any other language apart from Georgian, Russian and English.
We had asked to book 3 star Hotels for accommodation. 3 Star Hotels in Georgia will cost around 30 – 35 USD per night.