Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia. Georgia is a very interesting country on the crossroad of Europe and Asia. While the country is relatively small, and the total population is somewhere around 4 million people, it has a very big history, culture and a word to say in the tourism industry.
Georgia has become a tourism destination recently, only a couple of years ago. Georgian people are famous for their hospitality and a great attitude. Georgia is also famous for its nature, the wine and of course food, and we will get back to that topic later.
If it is your first time traveling to Georgia you have to consider several things in order to feel yourself like a local and not a tourist. This way you will be able to experience all of the beauties and pleasures of the country. So let’s go step by step and I will guide you through the country, while you try to imagine everything I am telling you.
Just like a tourist
Upon arrival at Tbilisi, make sure to find a proper place to stay. It is better to find a house somewhere in the center, not on the outskirts of the city unless you really want to feel like a local. The center of Tbilisi is a mixture of modern buildings and tendencies and the cultural part of the city.
In Tbilisi, you will come across the old buildings, the soviet building, as well as the modern glass skyscrapers. The city is divided into two parts by the River Mtkvari, aka Kura. The right bank of the river is the modern city, while the left bank of the river is the old city. As a tourist, you might want to explore both sides, and you really have to do that. In the modern part of the city, you will find a lot of attractions, bars, restaurants, casinos, modern buildings. While on the left side of the city you will discover old districts of the city, the colorful houses, a lot of churches and messy streets, as well as very unstylish houses.
Once you have done all of the sightseeing and have visited the National Museum, or the Europe Park, the Old Narikala Castle, and several more churches, you can think of something rather entertaining to do.
Near the city center, there is the old Sulfur Baths District. There are many natural sulfur baths that you can visit. This is a great way to relax. Many locals go there on weekends and even arrange meetings and dinners there.
Tbilisi is a great place for spending some quality time with your friends in bars or clubs. Actually, you definitely need to visit Bassiani or Khidi which are considered to be the best clubs in Europe. You can also visit different theme bars, which can be located literally everywhere. They can be on the rooftop, in the ceiling, in the ordinary house, in an apartment, under the stadium or under the ground. And you know what is the most interesting thing? You do not really have to look for them for a long time. Once you are in the city center, you can go down the street, up the street or parallel street and all of the themes will be on the way.
There are many casinos in Tbilisi and Georgian people love to gamble, especially bet. You can visit several casinos while being in Tbilisi. Some of them are located in the center in luxurious hotels, while others are located in different suburbs. But there is no problem you will be able to find them easily. Online gambling is legal in Georgia as well, so not only can you gamble in the land-based casinos, but you can also address online gambling for real money on the web just like the real local.
While in most of the European as well as in Asian cities you will come across the busses or trams, in Tbilisi and in whole Georgia you will come across the yellow mini buses, which are just as common a means of transportation as the buses are. If you really want to feel like a local, you have to take the yellow minibus called Marshrutka. They only cost 80 Tetri, which is around 20 cents.
Get acquainted with the taxi driver
As mentioned before Georgian people are very hospitable. This concerns every Georgian person, in spite of their background and profession. Especially talkative are Georgian taxi drivers. It is a common thing to know that most of the taxi drivers have two diplomas while graduating from the Soviet Union universities. They are very talkative and can tell you very interesting stories about their lives and stories of flying to Moscow or Ukraine for very cheap. This is a very common thing for locals to do. Just take after them.
Drink as you have never drunk before
It has been officially and internationally approved that Georgia is the home country of winemaking. The history of making wine in different regions of Georgia counts for many centuries. Thus, Georgian people are very proud of their wine. If you really want to feel like a local, you have to forget about the German Beer, the Polish Zhubrovka and drink Georgian Wine. And believe it or not, this might be one of the best experiences in your life. Almost every Georgian family has homemade wine at their houses. So if you behave yourself like a true Georgian, you might be even gifted with a bottle or two.
Eat as you have never eaten before
Georgia is very famous for its cuisine. This is one of the best places to be if you love eating tasty food. Though you also have to consider that if you want to be like a real local Georgian, you have to eat a lot of pastry, like Khachapuri, a cheese pie, Khinkali, Lobiani, Acharuli Khachapuri and many more. Take note, that even while eating a lot of pastry Georgian people might not gain extra 5 Kgs, while most probably you will. But, it should be worth it.
Explore the city
While most of the sightseeings are located in the city center, you have freedom of going somewhere to the outskirts of the city. There is the subway in Tbilisi, which can take you almost everywhere. If you really want to feel local, you have to know the places like a local one.
While exploring the city, you will see the great difference between the modern city and the Soviet descendant in one single city. People are also different in different suburbs. For example, Vake is considered to be the local Manhattan and Lotkin is the local ghetto. Do not worry, the crime rate in Tbilisi is very low, so it is very safe to walk in any district of the city at any time of the day.
To be short, if you are tall, blond and have bright eyes, it is very unlikely that you can blend with the middle height, brunette people in Tbilisi. Though, anyways, if you follow all of the steps, you should be able to more or less look like Georgian and get all of the huge experience the small city can give you.