If you look at Tbilisi from the holy mountain Mtatsminda, it seems that the bottom is a real kaleidoscope. Glass futuristic towers rise above the modest old quarters, ancient churches and fortresses hang over the winding ribbon of the Kura, and behind all this, somewhere on the horizon, silhouettes of mountains appear. You always feel a special, soulful atmosphere in this city. The old-timers are sure that the capital received its name (“tbili”, which means “warm”) not only because of the hot sulfur springs, but also because of the generosity of the local residents!
You can start exploring the city from its oldest part - Abanotubani. It is here that the sulfuric-alkaline springs are located, the ones that were discovered by the Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasali, the founder of Tbilisi, during hunting. Nowadays, there is a whole bath-house block over the springs, poetized by Pushkin and Dumas. It is still possible to steam and take a sulfur bath, and then go for a walk around Tbilisi.
If you walk away from the baths a little bit, you have a chance to get into the Legvtakhevi, along which the small river flows. People come here for the picturesque waterfall right in the center of Tbilisi!
Everyone who comes to the city for the first time should visit Narikala. This fortress complex was formed from the IV century, constantly collapsing and rebuilding – today its walls offer you the most beautiful views of the city. Old Tbilisi is located right at the foot of the fortress – that very area for which many people go to the Georgian capital. Narrow streets and wooden houses with carved balconies, the ancient temple of Sioni, where Griboyedov and princess Chavchavadze got married, old mosques and synagogues, plane trees and vineyard-covered gates – despite their modest size, these picturesque labyrinths can drag on for several hours!
The best way to relax from the urban fuss is in the Tbilisi Botanical Garden, which was laid out in the place of the ancient royal gardens. In addition to the grandiose collection of plants (there is even a whole bamboo grove!), you can see the Georgian “Motherland” (the sculpture of “Mother of Kartli”), waterfalls and picturesque bridges of the time of Queen Tamara.
The Georgian capital belongs to the category of cities that will welcome you both in the summer heat and on the New Year’s holidays. The peak of the tourist season falls on July and August – the days are sunny and warm, there is practically no rain. The heat is breaking by September, the number of tourists is getting smaller, and the amount of seasonal fruits and vegetables on the markets is just off scale! If you are lucky enough to be in the city at the end of October, be sure to visit the famous “Tbilisoba” – the harvest festival, when the streets of the capital turn into one continuous festival of Georgian culture. Winters in Tbilisi are warm, there is almost no frost and snow, and spring comes swiftly – by mid-March the air is warming up to 10-15 °С.
It is almost impossible to visit Tbilisi and not to fall in love with it! This city has a rich soul, it covers a traveler from head to foot like a wave, lures with its ancient lanes and besots his or her head with young wine. Buy the largest storage memory card, forget about the word “diet” and be ready to walk a lot – Tbilisi is worth it!