After visiting Tbilisi more than once, I can now say that it is my favourite city in the world. Georgia's under-the-radar capital is one of the most creative cities I've ever been to.
Tbilisi does things its own way in food, fashion, music and design. Its art cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and hotels each have their own personality and Georgians make a big effort to preserve the city's architectural heritage. It's also hard to find an electronic music scene this good, reminiscent of raves from the 1990s, representing change and freedom of expression.
Tbilisi can be compared to the alternative aspects of Berlin and Amsterdam, but it's much more affordable. It's a great city to visit if you're a budget traveller.
Our 3 Day Tbilisi itinerary was designed for those who are looking to discover the city as a weekend getaway, or as a portion of your trip to Georgia.
Your 3 days in Tbilisi includes the best spots to eat and drink wine, where to shop, fun creative spaces and unique cultural experiences you don't want to miss.
Overview: 3 Days in Tbilisi, Georgia
→ Stay in one of Tbilisi's unique design hotels
→ Enjoy a glamorous lunch in a former brutalist Soviet publishing house
→ Shop for edgy attire at vintage shops
→ Hang out at a creative hub that was once a Soviet sewing factory
→ Dine on creative Georgian dishes at a culinary hot spot
→ Go dancing at one of the city's iconic nightclubs
→ Shop at boutiques featuring Georgian designers
→ Enjoy fresh Megrelian cuisine in a greenhouse-like setting
→ Discover treasures at Tbilisi's historic outdoor flea market
→ Dine on Georgian classics at one of the city's best restaurants and discover Georgian wines
→ Have a peaceful brunch at an art cafe
→ Soak in sulphur rich baths in Abanotubani
→ Eat savoury Khinkali for an after-bath snack
→ See Tbilisi's unique contemporary architecture
→ Eat modern Georgian fusion at an art nouveau mansion
→ Discover Tbilisi's cocktail scene and enjoy late night drinks with alternative locals
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Best time to visit Tbilisi
Tbilisi can be visited year round, however, June and Sept-Oct are the best months to visit for a few reasons:
- The weather is pleasant with highs between 17-25°C, ideal for enjoying lunch outdoors. Tbilisi has many charming restaurants with inviting courtyards.
- You will avoid the hot, muggy months of July and August when many locals vacation to the seaside to escape the heat.
- You will steer clear of the rainiest period in April and May.
- In July/August some popular nightclubs like Bassiani close their big rooms for summer break.
- In winter, the Dry Bridge Flea Market has a lower turnout of vendors on colder days.
Getting around Tbilisi
The best way to get around Tbilisi is by using Bolt. Similar to Uber, it's a ride-sharing service and it's much more affordable than other cities. Our rides around the city cost us on average between 4- 8 GEL (~$1.50 - $3 USD).When we arrived at the airport however, we organized a private driver through Welcome Pickups, since they meet you in the arrivals section with a sign. We had a very early arrival time, so this ensured a smooth ride to our hotel once we landed. Our hotel quoted us double the price for this service.
3 Days in Tbilisi Itinerary
Stay in one of Tbilisi's unique design hotels
For your 3 days in Tbilisi, consider choosing accommodation where you can easily drop your off bags early. This way, if you arrive ahead of check-in, you can start exploring without any hassle.
Best neighbourhoods to stay in TbilisiTwo historic neighbourhoods that we recommend staying in are Marjanishvili and Vera. They both have a good local vibe and are home to some of the coolest spots in the city. Located across the Kura River from each other, Marjanishvili feels more bohemian, whereas Vera feels more up-market.
We don't recommend staying in Old Town, since it's a lot more touristy and the narrow cobblestone streets can be a pain when trying to reach other areas of the city by taxi.
Our top hotel picks in Vera and Marjanishvili for design & culture
- Stamba Hotel ($$$) - a former Soviet-publishing house in Vera with a brutalist architectural style
- ROOMS Tbilisi ($$) - has a post-Soviet Wes Anderson feel and is connected to its sister hotel, STAMBA, by a courtyard. If you stay here, get a room that doesn't face the street since it can get noisy.
- Unfound Door Design Hotel ($$) - a 19th-Century building in Marjanishvili that has been beautifully restored to capture Old Tbilisi.
- Fabrika Hostel & Suites ($) - a former Soviet sewing factory turned creative hub in Marjanishvili.
Enjoy lunch at Stamba Cafe in a former Soviet publishing houseEven if you're not staying at ROOMS Tbilisi or Stamba Hotel, the former Soviet publishing factory is a must see. Stop in for lunch at the buzzing Stamba Cafe. The cafe's pink and teal walls, sea foam-coloured booths and massive chandelier are playful with the brutalist architecture.
Shop for edgy attire at vintage shops
As you walk through Tbilisi you'll probably start to notice that locals have an edgy look - many in black hoodies, but with their own eclectic style. If you are starting to think that you've stepped into a Balenciaga campaign, you are actually not that far off. The Creative Director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, was born in Georgia and his designs are inspired by his Georgian heritage and Tbilisi's street style.
In 1993, when Demna was just 12, he fled the civil war with his parents. His designs have often addressed socio-economic issues reflected from his upbringing, like a dress he created from a single piece of white cotton, representing the bedsheets his family grabbed as they fled to bomb shelters. Demna challenges traditional luxury norms by blending high fashion with elements of everyday life, offering a unique perspective on cultural identity and societal disparities.
Tbilisi's fashion scene is inspiring with many well-curated vintage shops throughout the city.
Our Top 3 Tbilisi vintage shops:
Chaos Concept Store - on the second floor of the Stamba Hotel you will find this concept store, which has one section of edgy designer brands and another section across the hallway of high-quality vintage pieces at fair prices. I found vintage cargo pants from Acne Studios and a jean jacket in excellent condition, and my sister picked out a long leather trench coat.
The Vintage Seeker - a spacious room with a curated selection of vintage clothing, jackets, cowboy boots and accessories. I bought two leather skirts here for a good price.
Vintylator Vintage Shop - this shop feels a bit cramped, but there are a lot of unique vintage pieces to browse through. Don't miss the second level upstairs. I found an amazing pair of leather pants, but sadly they were too big. The staff are friendly and the prices are good.
Hang out at Fabrika, a former Soviet sewing factory turned creative hubFabrika is an extraordinary creative hub that magnetically draws both locals and travellers alike. Formerly a Soviet sewing factory, its metamorphosis into a hostel, gathering space, bar and restaurant shows the efforts that have been made to preserve the architectural heritage of the city.
During the daytime, Fabrika is a great place to spend a couple hours chatting over coffee, reading or working on your laptop. Different types of alternative music plays in the background, making it a nice atmosphere.
At nighttime, it feels like an industrial disco. The energy increases, the music is more upbeat, people order cocktails and the disco ball sets the scene.
Don't miss the large courtyard in the back with restaurants, bars and fashion boutiques. The lively space fills with people when the weather is warm, especially in the evening.
Dine at culinary hot spot, Shavi Lomi
Shavi Lomi is hands down our favourite restaurant in Tbilisi, and whenever we recommend it to friends, it becomes their favourite as well. Just a 7 minute walk from Fabrika, it's located on a quiet back street of the bohemian Marjaveshli neighbourhood. With no sign, you may think you're lost, but it's in fact behind a large graffitied door.
Shavi Lomi has a charming courtyard and inside dining space that plays soothing vintage jazz, so no matter what time of year you go, you're in for a treat. We loved the elevated bohemian atmosphere and creative Georgian dishes. It's one of the city's best restaurants, so make sure you call ahead and make a reservation.
Must try: Shashlik (skewered charcoal roasted meat) and their off-menu item called Gobi - it's their way of doing Pikhali (Georgian dips).
✔️ Top Tip: Portion sizes are big in Georgia, so be careful you don't order too much.
Go dancing at one of the city's iconic nightclubs
Tbilisi has one of the best electronic music scenes in the world. Techno music has evolved into a form of political expression, advocating for freedom of speech and challenging traditional norms.
On May 12, 2018, the globally renowned Bassiani nightclub became a political battleground between the progressive youth and old conservatives in the country. The club was raided by armed SWAT police that night, resulting in numerous arrests. In response, the following day saw thousands protesting by dancing in the streets at Liberty Square.
A visit to one of Tbilisi's iconic nightclubs offers a distinct experience, reflecting the community's appreciation for an inclusive and non-judgmental environment. With that said, there is a strict "face control" policy that may seem contrary, but it was created to safeguard this environment and people's freedom of expression inside.
Even if you're not a lover of techno music, you will find other styles of electronic music like house, electro and disco, and a wonderful group of people who love music and to dance.
✔️ Top Tip: See what events are on for each nightclub by browsing Resident Advisor. Look up the DJs that are playing and see what style of music you vibe with.
Best nightclubs in Tbilisi
Bassiani - Bassiani is Tbilisi's most famous club and you can't beat its impressive location underneath a historic soccer stadium. Known as the Berghain of Tbilisi, it's typically open on Friday nights and is where you will hear hard techno music. Before you exit through the gates outside, make sure you see the mesmerizing view of the stadium through the window in the outside seating area.
Horoom - Horoom is located in the same complex as Bassiani in a smaller room and is usually open on Fridays and Saturdays. Although Bassiani is a sight to see in itself, I always end up in Horoom grooving to its house-oriented music. Horoom has been likened to Panorama Bar at Berghain. Note that some nights Horoom is open, but Bassiani is not and its dance floor is closed off.
TES - We loved the scene at TES the most - we felt like we had a lot of space on the dance floor and enjoyed making friends with locals in the large outdoor garden. The space is unique since it's a former thermal electro station. You can expect to hear electro, techno and house music here.
Left Bank - Located next door to TES, Left Bank is a former bread factory turned social space and nightclub. Space Two is where you will find its nightclub, whereas Space One is its newer space with a record shop, bookstore, cafe and bar.
Mztkartve - we didn't get a chance to go here, but after making friends with locals this seems to be the hot spot at the moment. It's located close to Bassiani in a building from the 1950s over the Kura River and plays mostly house and techno music.
Cafe Gallery - Art cafe by day and dance party by night, we enjoyed the intimate dance floor. If you're travelling to Tbilisi on a weekday, Cafe Gallery is great to check out since they host some weekly events.
Grab a pick-me-up after your night out
After a late night of dancing, you'll likely be sleeping in! We were constantly up until 4 AM-8 AM each morning. Wake up with a coffee from Entree (this French-cafe chain has the best coffee in the city) and pick up a pastry from one of the traditional Georgian bakeries. They typically serve right out of the front door or window.
Shop at boutiques featuring Georgian designers
As mentioned before, the fashion scene in Tbilisi is awesome. Don't miss these boutiques featuring Georgian designers:
- IERI Concept Store - if you only have time for one store, go here. They have an amazing curation of Georgian designers and some funky pieces.
- Le Chic Radical - for unique handmade jewelry - the sterling silver pieces have both elegance and personality.
- MORE is LOVE - curates pieces from Georgian designers that have a feminine touch.
- Nikolo Brega - for handmade sunglasses
Enjoy lunch in a greenhouse-like setting at Alubali
Alubali is an airy space adorned with greenery and flowers and serves up some of the freshest Megrelian cuisine. Don't underestimate their seemingly simple veggie dishes - they are exquisitely flavoured. The restaurant has a calming ambience with jazz classics that play in the background.
Must try: fried aubergine with garlic
Discover treasures at the historic Dry Bridge Flea Market
Discover an array of fascinating treasures at the Dry Bridge Flea Market where you'll find items from traditional handmade jewelry to obscure Soviet war memorabilia. This vibrant market extends beyond Dedaena Park into the surrounding streets, inviting you to explore its diverse stalls and hidden gems.
The Dry Bridge Market has been a fixture of Tbilisi since the early 1990s, emerging in the post-Soviet era. We bought some unique jewelry, coloured glassware for aperitifs and Georgian drinking horns known as Kantsi.
Bartering is accepted here - our best tip is to pay what something is worth to you and to check similar products at other vendors.
✔️ Top Tip: weekends and warm days have the best turnout. On a warm day in August it was filled with vendors, but on a chilly weekday in November, there were barely any vendors.
Eat Georgian classics at Salobie Bia
Walk down the stairs to find the sophisticated, yet inviting space with eclectic artwork all over the walls. Salobie Bia is famous in Tbilisi for its lobio (bean stew) and also offers other delicious Georgian classics. The Megrelian khachapuri was so satisfying with its pizza-shaped bread stuffed and topped with melted cheese.
Call ahead to make a reservation.
✔️ Top Tip: If you want a break from alcohol, order a pitcher of the homemade lemonade of the day. They are at most restaurants and are so refreshing.
Discover Georgian wines at wine bars
Did you know that the oldest known wine-making technique originated in Georgia over 8000 years ago? Winemakers to this day ferment grapes in earthenware vessels called a Qvevri.
Discover Georgian wines by visiting a couple wine bars of your choice. Each wine bar we went to had its own personality and style of how they serve you wines. Some ask you questions about what you like, some have a few bottles on feature to try, some have a wine list to choose from, some explain the wines enthusiastically and some just pour with no explanation.
Here are our top wine bars picks to choose from, each for a unique reason:
Vino Underground: best for an inexpensive tasting experience
This was our favourite wine bar we visited. Located down the stairs it felt grungy in a cool way with alternative rock music that played. We loved the concept here since you pick out four wines to try from the wine list for 30 Lari (~ $11 USD). They have very generous pours, so much so that we had to ask for smaller pours or we risked falling out of our chairs. They explained each type of wine we tried and we liked being able to reference the name from the wine list.
8000 Vintages: best for a thorough tasting experience
8000 Vintages is one of the best wine bars and shops in Tbilisi and there are now three locations in the city. Their one-hour tasting experience comes with a qualified sommelier and includes 4 Georgian wines and a charcuterie board. For parties of 2-5, it's 45 Lari per person (~$16.80 USD). Reserve your tasting in advance - we tried to show up as a walk-in once and they were booked solid.
Dadi Wine: best for sampling wines with food pairings
Dadi wine has a sophisticated atmosphere and offers a tasting of three wines with a food pairing for each. You can choose a white, amber or red pairing. They have tasting-size pours like you see at most wineries.
Tsitska Wine Shop: best for tasting wine in a chill atmosphere
The small wine shop has a large communal table and standing room to sip wines and chat. When we were there, 90s hip hop blasted out of the Marshall Speaker. Our server asked us what kind of wine we were looking for and poured us a glass based on their recommendation.
Have a peaceful brunch at Linville Cafe
Dotted throughout Tbilisi you will find many art cafes - calming spaces with their own personality and eclectic decor. Some of these art cafes even turn into dance parties by night.
Linville is my favourite cafe in Tbilisi for a peaceful brunch. The lopsided steps that take you up to the cafe remind me of something out of Alice in Wonderland.
The cafe has multiple rooms with whimsical wallpapers and retro furniture, and each table has different vintage chairs and tablecloths. Choose a room that best fits your mood, and don't miss the cute terrace with a few seats - it's perfect for a sunny day.
I ordered the broccoli soup that came in a pink bowl (such a fun colour combination) and my sister chose the banana chocolate crepe. They were delicious!
Soak in sulphur-rich baths in Abanotubani
The word, Tbilisi, means 'warm place' in Georgian, referencing the sulphur springs running below the city.
In Georgia, there is a longstanding tradition of curing hangovers by sweating them out in the city's sulphur baths. Abanotubani, which translates to 'bath district', is where you will find various bathhouses offering both private and public sulphur-rich baths.
Our top bathhouse recommendation is Chreli Abano - it has an easy online reservation system and nice private rooms. Our favourite room is N1, with its large circular hot pool, cold plunge pool and sauna. We booked the room for 1 hour and highly recommend booking a 1 hour massage after. It was heavenly! We made the mistake of booking just a 30 minute massage.
✔️ Top Tip: add on the 10 minute traditional Georgian exfoliating experience where a Kisa (masseuse) vigorously scrubs you down on a stone couch in your private room. Your skin feels baby smooth after!
Pop into Klike's Khinkali for savoury after-bath snacks
After your spa bath, stop into Klike's Khinkali for twisted knobs of dough filled with meat or vegetables. These Georgian dumplings are a satisfying afternoon snack and an excellent price at 1.80 Lari each (~$0.69 USD).
See Tbilisi's unique contemporary architecture
Walk through Old Town and check out the peculiar Clock Tower. You may think it's a relic, but it's in fact a modern tower built in 2010 attached to a puppet theatre. It's sure wacky and a fun sight to see. From the Clock Tower, walk 5 minutes over to the Bridge of Peace, a curvy pedestrian bridge made from glass and steel.
Dine at Cafe Littera for modern-Georgian fusion
At Cafe Littera, Georgian and International flavours combine to make unique dishes. I loved their veal tartare with Georgian truffle. If it's warm outside, they seat people in their lovely outdoor garden - it's located at the back of the Writers' House of Georgia, an art nouveau mansion built from 1903-1905.
We were there in November, so dined inside. We loved the moody lighting, red and black decor, art nouveau touches and large lit candlesticks everywhere. The Turkish mid-tempo electronic music was also a welcome surprise that perfectly matched the ambience.
Call ahead to make a reservation.
Sip inventive cocktails at 41°
41° is one of the best cocktail bars we've ever been to and we won't be surprised if it ends up making the World's Best list. The cocktails are handwritten in a book and each one we ordered had a thoughtful story tied to Georgian culture.
The staff was so friendly and fun to talk to. We initially were going to stop for one drink, but ended up getting two because they were so inventive and delicious!
Enjoy late night drinks with alternative locals
After your cocktail at 41 degrees, head over to one of these three hot spots that are great for socializing with locals:
Dedaena Bar - located in Dedaena Park, this bar hosts weekly events, from jazz and hip hop nights to jam sessions. It has a fun atmosphere and we appreciated that they had cocktails and not just rail drinks.
Mozaika - a relaxed, alternative bar with fun touches like sequin curtains and eccentric artwork. The bar is over two small levels but feels intimate. Grab a glass of their house wine and hang out with a local crowd. When we were there, indie rock music was playing.
Space One at Left Bank - this is the coolest looking space out of the three, housed in a former bread factory. Space One is Left Bank's newer space with a bar, cafe, record store and bookshop. We ordered a Mai Tai from the friendly bartender and sat at one of the tables. The industrial building has art-world touches and feels spacious with its high ceilings and curved brick column. Their events change throughout the year - check their Instagram to see what's on.
Enjoy your 3 days in Tbilisi!
Get started on planning your trip to Tbilisi
- 🌃 Book your accommodation: Booking.com is our go-to for finding places to stay. Sort by top reviewed.
- 🚖 Book your airport transfer: with WelcomePickups
- 🍷 Browse tours with local guides: with Viator or GetYourGuide
Don't miss our other Georgia travel guides:
- 1 Week Georgia Itinerary for the arts, food & wine lover
- 16 Cool things to do in Tbilisi
- 9 Fun things to do in Signagi - the city of love
- Uniquely designed Tbilisi cafes and restaurants
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