Top 5 Tourist Destinations in Tbilisi
Shardeni Street is a tiny, but vibrant pedestrianised street in old Tbilisi. It is always popular with tourists, as it’s quite a unique street with its own spirit. Shardeni Street is the place where European and Georgian cultures meet.
In days gone by, this narrow street was used for trading. It was roofed and hence it became known as “the dark street”.
The street was named Shardeni in the 19th Century, in honor of the French traveler Jean Chardin. In 2002, the street was heavily renovated.
Shardeni Street is now home to popular restaurants, cafés and bars, nightclubs, and galleries. Exhibitions and concerts often take place there. Tourists can buy local Georgian handicrafts, taste local wine and food, and discover Georgian culture.
It is worth noting that the street is more crowded at weekends, but ideal for socializing with friends mid-week.
David Agmashenebeli Avenue
David Agmashenebeli Avenue is located in a historic district of Tbilisi. This street is known for its sophisticated classical architecture.
Since 2010, the avenue has seen major renovation work. As a result of the reconstruction, the fronts of the old buildings were restored to their former glory.
There are a variety of cafés and restaurants to be found on Agmashenebeli Avenue. Each café has a different design and different food to offer. Outdoors, the atmosphere is enhanced by live music.
The European architecture of the avenue is complimented by Asian details and contrasts with more modern buildings that were built during the Soviet era.
Agmashenebeli Avenue is easily accessible by metro.
Freedom Square is located in Old Tbilisi. The square has seen two centuries of history. The name of the Square has changed several times. When Georgia regained its independence, the name ‘Freedom Square’ was reinstated.
In 2006, St. George’s statue was erected in the center of the square, symbolizing the independence of the country. When workers began to dig the foundation of St. George’s monument, the remains of the old hall of the former theater were discovered buried beneath the square.
Freedom Square has been the site of various public celebrations and demonstrations.
Today, Freedom Square symbolizes Georgia’s independence.
Freedom Square and its ancient architecture are not to be missed. While walking on Freedom Square, it is poignant to contemplate the struggles it has witnessed and how it has survived throughout history.
Abanotubani is one of the oldest bathing districts. The baths are built on natural hot springs, where the water temperature reaches 37 °. Abanotubani features prominently in the legend of the discovery of Tbilisi.
Old Tbilisi baths served not only a sanitary purpose, but also a social purpose. The baths sometimes served as a hotel for peasants as women often stayed in the baths all day long, gossiping and showing their new purchases to other women.
The Tbilisi baths were frequented by famous people including A. Pushkin and A. Dumas, albeit at different times.
Today, the baths of Tbilisi are still active. Visitors can choose between the communal baths or a private bathing room. In some baths there are pools, which are said to have medicinal healing functions. Massages are also available.
A visit to Tbilisi would seem incomplete without trying the sulphur baths, a unique and very refreshing experience.
Rustaveli Avenue is named after the famous Georgian poet, Shota Rustaveli. The Avenue begins at Freedom Square (formerly “Lenin Square”). Rustaveli is often referred to as the city center because of the multitude of state, public, cultural and business establishments strung along it. The supreme Court, Kashveti Church, the Parliament building, the Georgian National Museum, and the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater are just some of the buildings of note on Rustaveli Avenue. I won’t tell you about the rest of the buildings; it is up to you to discover them.