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How To Visit Tbilisi On A Budget


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Fancie Benefield



Visiting Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, doesn’t have to break the bank. With careful planning and a bit of flexibility, you can experience the beauty and culture of this vibrant city without busting your budget. From exploring historical sites to sampling local cuisine and taking in the breathtaking views, Tbilisi offers a wealth of budget-friendly options for travelers.


Whether you’re a student backpacker or a family on a tight budget, this guide will provide you with valuable tips and insights on how to make the most of your visit to Tbilisi without emptying your wallet. You’ll discover affordable accommodations, inexpensive transportation options, delicious and wallet-friendly dining choices, as well as free or cheap attractions to explore in the city.


Getting to Tbilisi is easier and more budget-friendly than you might think. The city is well-connected to major European cities, with a range of low-cost airlines offering affordable flights. Alternatively, you can consider overland travel options, such as buses or trains, which can provide a scenic and economical journey.


Once you arrive in Tbilisi, finding affordable accommodation is a breeze. The city offers a wide range of budget-friendly options, including hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels. Many of these accommodations provide clean and comfortable rooms, and some even offer communal kitchens where you can prepare your own meals.


Getting around Tbilisi is also wallet-friendly. The city has a reliable and affordable public transportation system, including metro lines, buses, and trams. The metro, in particular, is a cost-effective way to navigate the city and reach various attractions.


When it comes to dining, Tbilisi is a food lover’s paradise. From traditional Georgian dishes to international cuisine, you’ll find a plethora of affordable eateries and street food stalls throughout the city. Don’t miss the chance to try the local staples like khachapuri (cheese-filled bread) and khinkali (dumplings), which are both delicious and budget-friendly.


While there are many paid attractions in Tbilisi, there are plenty of free or inexpensive options too. Explore the charming Old Town, visit the iconic Narikala Fortress, and take a stroll along the famous Rustaveli Avenue. You can also enjoy the picturesque views of the city from the Mtatsminda Park or take a leisurely walk in the stunning Botanical Garden.


Don’t forget to visit the local markets, where you can find fresh produce, spices, and unique souvenirs at reasonable prices. Take some time to browse through the bustling market stalls and haggle for the best deals.


If you have more time, consider taking day trips from Tbilisi to explore the surrounding areas. Visit the ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe, the stunning wine region of Kakheti, or the picturesque town of Mtskheta, all of which can be done on a budget.


By following the budget tips provided in this guide, you can make the most of your visit to Tbilisi without breaking the bank. From finding affordable accommodations to enjoying cheap eats and exploring free or inexpensive attractions, Tbilisi offers an unforgettable experience for budget-conscious travelers.


Getting There

Getting to Tbilisi is relatively easy and budget-friendly, thanks to the city’s well-connected transportation network. Whether you’re coming from Europe or other parts of the world, there are several options to consider.


If you’re traveling by air, Tbilisi has an international airport with flights to and from major destinations in Europe and beyond. Many low-cost airlines operate flights to Tbilisi, offering affordable fares for budget-conscious travelers. It’s worth keeping an eye out for deals and promotions to snag even cheaper flights.


If you’re already in Europe, another cost-effective option is to travel to Tbilisi by land. There are bus and train services that connect Tbilisi with neighboring countries such as Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. The overnight train from Baku, Azerbaijan, for example, offers a scenic and wallet-friendly journey.


For those looking for a more adventurous route, consider traveling by bus. There are several long-distance bus companies that operate routes to Tbilisi from various European cities. While bus travel may take longer than flying, it can be a more economical choice for budget travelers.


Once you arrive at Tbilisi International Airport, you have several options for reaching the city center. The most cost-effective option is to take the bus. The airport operates a shuttle bus service that runs between the airport and the city center, with tickets available at a reasonable price.


Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport to your accommodation. It’s important to note that shared taxis, known as “marshrutkas,” are a popular mode of transportation in Tbilisi. These minivans operate on fixed routes and can be a cheaper alternative to regular taxis.


Within the city itself, Tbilisi has a reliable and affordable public transportation system. The metro, in particular, is a convenient and cost-effective way to get around. The metro network covers most parts of the city, and tickets can be purchased at a low price. Buses and trams are also available for exploring areas not covered by the metro.


If you prefer to explore the city on foot, Tbilisi’s compact and walkable city center makes it easy to navigate. Many of the major attractions and landmarks are within walking distance of each other, allowing you to save money on transportation while enjoying the charming streets and architecture of the city.


Overall, getting to Tbilisi is affordable and accessible, whether you choose to travel by air, land, or a combination of both. With a range of transportation options available, you can find the one that best suits your budget and travel preferences.



Finding affordable accommodation in Tbilisi is relatively easy, as the city offers a wide range of budget-friendly options for every type of traveler.


Hostels are a popular choice for budget-conscious backpackers. Tbilisi has numerous hostels scattered throughout the city, offering dormitory-style rooms at affordable prices. These hostels often provide communal areas where you can socialize with other travelers, as well as shared kitchen facilities where you can prepare your own meals to save on dining expenses.


If you prefer more privacy, guesthouses and budget hotels are also available in Tbilisi. These accommodations offer clean and comfortable rooms at reasonable prices. Some guesthouses even provide amenities such as free Wi-Fi and breakfast, making them a great value for money option.


When searching for budget accommodation in Tbilisi, it’s advisable to book in advance to secure the best deals. Online booking platforms often offer discounted rates, particularly if you’re flexible with your travel dates. Additionally, consider staying in the less touristic areas of the city, as accommodations there tend to be more budget-friendly.


If you’re traveling as a group or with family, renting an apartment can be a cost-effective option. Many locals in Tbilisi offer apartments for short-term rentals, providing you with the comfort and convenience of a home away from home. These apartments often come equipped with kitchen facilities, allowing you to save money by preparing your own meals.


Another budget-friendly accommodation option in Tbilisi is homestays. This gives you the opportunity to stay with a local family in their home, providing a more unique and authentic experience. Homestays are not only affordable but also offer opportunities for cultural exchange and learning about Georgian traditions and way of life.


When choosing accommodation, it’s important to consider its proximity to public transportation and major attractions. Opting for an accommodation near a metro station or bus stop will save you time and money on transportation costs. Additionally, staying in the city center or near popular tourist areas can help you save on commuting expenses.


Overall, finding affordable accommodation in Tbilisi is easily achievable with careful planning and research. By choosing budget-friendly options such as hostels, guesthouses, or rented apartments, you can enjoy a comfortable stay without stretching your travel budget.



Getting around Tbilisi is not only convenient but also budget-friendly, thanks to the city’s efficient public transportation system.


The Tbilisi Metro is a cost-effective way to navigate the city. The metro network consists of two lines that cover most of the city’s major areas and attractions. The metro operates from early morning until late at night, with trains running at regular intervals. Tickets can be purchased at the stations using a rechargeable card, which offers discounted fares compared to single-ride tickets.


For areas not covered by the metro, Tbilisi has an extensive bus and tram network. Buses are a common mode of transportation in the city, with various routes connecting different neighborhoods and attractions. Trams also operate in certain parts of the city, providing an alternative way to explore Tbilisi’s streets. Tickets for buses and trams can be purchased directly from the driver or using a rechargeable card.


If you prefer a more unique and nostalgic experience, consider riding a “marshrutka.” These shared minivans operate on fixed routes and can be hailed from bus stops or along the streets. Marshrutkas are a popular mode of transportation among locals and offer a cheaper alternative to regular taxis.


Taxis are also available in Tbilisi, but it’s important to choose official taxi services or use ride-hailing apps to ensure fair prices. Look for taxis with meters or negotiate a price with the driver before getting in. It’s always a good idea to have the name and address of your destination written down in Georgian to avoid any language barriers.


For travelers who enjoy exploring on foot, Tbilisi’s city center is compact and walkable. Many of the major attractions and landmarks are within walking distance of each other, allowing you to save money on transportation while enjoying the city’s charming streets and architecture.


When it comes to traveling outside of Tbilisi, there are several transportation options available. Buses and trains connect the city with other regions of Georgia, making it convenient to explore the country’s stunning landscapes and cultural sites. If you’re planning day trips from Tbilisi, consider joining organized tours or hiring a private driver for a more personalized experience.


When using public transportation in Tbilisi, it’s important to have a rechargeable card for fare payment. These cards can be purchased at metro stations and can be topped up with credit as needed. They not only offer discounted fares but also eliminate the hassle of carrying change for each ride.


Overall, Tbilisi’s public transportation system provides budget-conscious travelers with affordable and convenient options for getting around the city. Whether you choose to ride the metro, hop on a bus or tram, or explore on foot, you’ll have no trouble navigating Tbilisi while keeping your transportation expenses in check.


Dining on a Budget

Exploring the culinary scene is an essential part of any travel experience, and Tbilisi offers a wide range of options that won’t break the bank. From traditional Georgian cuisine to international flavors, here are some tips to help you dine on a budget in Tbilisi.


One of the most budget-friendly dining options in Tbilisi is street food. You’ll find numerous street food stalls and kiosks throughout the city, offering delicious and affordable snacks. Don’t miss the chance to try khachapuri, a cheese-filled bread, or khinkali, traditional Georgian dumplings, both of which are popular street food choices.


Local cafes and canteens, known as “stolovayas,” are another great option for budget dining in Tbilisi. These establishments serve home-cooked style meals at reasonable prices. You’ll find a variety of dishes on the menu, including hearty soups, flavorful stews, and traditional Georgian specialties.


When dining out, consider going for lunch rather than dinner. Many restaurants and cafes offer lunch specials and set menus at lower prices compared to their dinner offerings. This is a great way to sample local cuisine without spending a fortune.


Another dining option is to explore the local markets in Tbilisi. Not only can you find affordable fresh produce and ingredients to cook your own meals, but many markets also have food stands or small restaurants where you can enjoy budget-friendly meals. The Dezerter Bazaar and the Dry Bridge Market are two popular markets to check out.


If you’re craving international cuisine, Tbilisi has a variety of affordable options as well. Asian restaurants, pizza parlors, and fast-food chains can be found throughout the city, offering budget-friendly alternatives to Georgian food.


To save further on dining expenses, consider staying in accommodations that offer kitchen facilities. This allows you to buy groceries from local markets and supermarkets and prepare your own meals. Not only does this give you more control over your diet, but it can also significantly reduce your dining costs.


Lastly, take advantage of happy hour promotions and daily specials. Many bars and restaurants in Tbilisi offer discounted prices on drinks and meals during specific hours of the day. This is a great opportunity to relax and unwind while enjoying the city’s vibrant nightlife without breaking your budget.


Remember, dining on a budget doesn’t mean compromising on taste or quality. Tbilisi offers a plethora of affordable dining options that showcase the rich flavors of Georgian cuisine, as well as international delights, allowing you to savor your meals without straining your wallet.


Free or Cheap Attractions

Tbilisi offers a wealth of attractions and activities that won’t cost you a fortune. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or art enthusiast, here are some free or inexpensive attractions to explore during your visit to Tbilisi.


The Old Town of Tbilisi is a must-visit destination and offers a charming glimpse into the city’s past. Explore narrow cobblestone streets, admire the traditional architecture, and visit landmarks such as the Anchiskhati Basilica, Sioni Cathedral, and the Metekhi Church. You can spend hours wandering around the Old Town, soaking in the history and atmosphere, completely free of charge.


Head to the iconic Narikala Fortress, located on a hill overlooking the city. The fortress dates back to the 4th century and provides panoramic views of Tbilisi. You can either hike up to the fortress or take a cable car for a small fee. Once there, you can explore the ancient walls, walk along the ramparts, and enjoy breathtaking vistas of the city below.


Take a leisurely stroll along Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Tbilisi. Lined with shops, cafes, and theaters, this bustling avenue is a great place for people-watching and immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Rustaveli Avenue is also home to several museums and galleries, some of which offer discounted or free admission on certain days or times.


Escape the city hustle and bustle at the Mtatsminda Park, located on the slope of Mount Mtatsminda. While there is a small fee to enter the amusement park and enjoy the rides, you can access the park for free and enjoy panoramic views of Tbilisi. Pack a picnic and relax on the hillside while taking in the stunning vistas of the city below.


For nature lovers, the Tbilisi Botanical Garden is a lush oasis in the heart of the city. Entrance to the garden is free, and you can explore its diverse plant collection, relax in peaceful green spaces, and even have a picnic. The garden also offers beautiful views of the nearby Narikala Fortress and the Mtkvari River.


Don’t forget to explore the local markets in Tbilisi, such as the Dezerter Bazaar and the Dry Bridge Market. These markets offer a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, with stalls selling everything from fresh produce to antiques and vintage items. Even if you don’t make a purchase, browsing through the market stalls is an experience in itself.


Lastly, immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Tbilisi by visiting the city’s churches and museums. While some may charge a small entrance fee, many offer discounted or free admission on certain days. Visit the Georgian National Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, or the Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater to learn more about the country’s art, history, and cultural traditions.


With its rich history and diverse attractions, Tbilisi offers a plethora of free or inexpensive experiences for travelers. From exploring the Old Town to enjoying stunning views, and delving into the local markets and cultural institutions, you can have a memorable time in the city without straining your budget.


Local Markets and Souvenirs

Exploring the local markets in Tbilisi is not only a great way to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the city but also a chance to find unique and affordable souvenirs to take home. Here are some popular markets and tips for finding the best souvenirs in Tbilisi.


The Dezerter Bazaar is a bustling market that offers a wide variety of goods, from fresh produce and spices to clothing, household items, and local crafts. Take your time to browse through the stalls and haggle for the best prices. You’ll find an array of traditional Georgian products, including wines, spirits, honey, and handmade textiles.


The Dry Bridge Market is another must-visit market in Tbilisi, known for its antiques and vintage items. Explore the open-air stalls and discover unique treasures such as old books, Soviet-era memorabilia, antique jewelry, and handcrafted items. This is a great place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs with a touch of history.


When shopping for souvenirs in Tbilisi, consider opting for locally-made products to support the local artisans and craftsmen. Look out for hand-painted ceramics, traditional jewelry, and intricately woven textiles. These items not only make for meaningful souvenirs but also contribute to the preservation of Georgian craftsmanship.


If you’re a food lover, don’t miss the chance to purchase traditional Georgian delicacies as souvenirs. Georgian wines, spices, sweets, and preserves are readily available in the markets and make for unique gifts to share with friends and family back home. Pay a visit to the central food market in Tbilisi, where you can find a wide selection of local specialties.


When shopping in the markets, remember that haggling is a common practice in Tbilisi. Feel free to negotiate the price with the vendors, particularly when purchasing multiple items or if you’re buying in bulk. Polite bargaining can often result in lower prices and better deals.


For a more immersive shopping experience, consider visiting Tbilisi’s neighborhood markets. These local markets are frequented by residents and offer an authentic glimpse into daily life in the city. Explore markets such as the Vake Market or the Gldani Market, where you can find fresh produce, spices, and other essentials at reasonable prices.


It’s important to note that when purchasing souvenirs, particularly items made from plants, animals, or minerals, it’s essential to check the regulations and restrictions regarding transportation and customs in your home country. Some countries have restrictions on the import of certain items, such as ivory, exotic plants, or animal products.


By exploring the local markets in Tbilisi and seeking out unique souvenirs, you can bring a piece of Georgia back home with you. From traditional crafts to delicious gastronomic delights, the markets of Tbilisi offer a world of treasures waiting to be discovered.


Day Trips from Tbilisi

While Tbilisi offers plenty to see and do, taking day trips to the surrounding areas allows you to experience even more of Georgia’s diverse landscapes, historical sites, and cultural heritage. Here are some popular day trip destinations from Tbilisi.


One of the most famous day trip destinations is Mtskheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located just a short drive from Tbilisi. This ancient city was the capital of Georgia for over eight centuries and is home to significant religious and historical landmarks, such as the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and the Jvari Monastery. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit the centuries-old churches, and soak in the rich history and spirituality of this charming town.


The ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe is another fascinating day trip option. Located approximately 80 kilometers from Tbilisi, this archaeological site offers a glimpse into Georgia’s pre-Christian history. Explore the rock-cut structures, secret tunnels, and ancient cave dwellings that date back to the 1st millennium BC. The panoramic views from the top of the site are also worth the visit.


If you’re a wine enthusiast, consider a day trip to the Kakheti region, Georgia’s renowned wine-producing area. You can join organized wine tours or hire a driver to explore the picturesque vineyards, visit traditional wineries, and sample some of the country’s finest wines. Kakheti is also home to charming towns and historic sites, including the Alaverdi Monastery and the Sighnaghi fortress.


Nearby to Tbilisi lies the stunning Jvari Monastery, perched on a hilltop overlooking the confluence of two rivers. The monastery offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and is an important religious site in Georgia. Combine a visit to Jvari with a trip to Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, where you can explore the Stalin Museum and see the famous Uplistsikhe cave town.


If you’re seeking nature and outdoor adventure, consider a day trip to the Kazbegi region. Located in the high Caucasus mountains, this area offers magnificent alpine landscapes and the iconic Gergeti Trinity Church. Hike to the church for panoramic views or venture further to explore the stunning mountain trails and waterfalls of the region.


When planning your day trips from Tbilisi, consider joining organized tours or hiring a driver to make the most of your time. These tours often include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and visits to multiple attractions, providing you with a hassle-free and informative experience.


With its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural heritage, Georgia offers a plethora of day trip opportunities from Tbilisi. Whether you’re interested in ancient sites, wine tasting, or exploring the breathtaking landscapes, venturing beyond the city limits will reward you with unforgettable experiences and a deeper understanding of Georgia’s diverse offerings.


Budget Tips for Tbilisi

Traveling on a budget in Tbilisi doesn’t mean compromising on experiencing the city’s rich culture and attractions. Here are some budget tips to help you make the most of your trip while keeping costs in check.


1. Take advantage of free or discounted activities: Tbilisi offers a range of free or inexpensive attractions, such as exploring the Old Town, visiting parks and gardens, and enjoying panoramic views from various viewpoints. Many museums and galleries also offer discounted or free entry on specific days or times.


2. Use public transportation: Utilize the affordable and efficient public transportation system in Tbilisi, including the metro, buses, and trams, to get around the city. Purchase a rechargeable transportation card to access discounted fares and save money on multiple rides.


3. Dine at local eateries and street food stalls: Sample Georgian cuisine at local cafes, stolovayas, and street food stalls, where you can find inexpensive and delicious traditional dishes. Avoid restaurants in touristy areas, as they tend to be pricier.


4. Stay in budget-friendly accommodations: Choose from a range of budget accommodations, including hostels, guesthouses, and rented apartments. Booking in advance and considering accommodations outside of the city center can help you find affordable options.


5. Cook your meals: Select accommodations with kitchen facilities and buy groceries from local markets and supermarkets to prepare your own meals. This not only saves money but also allows you to experience local ingredients and flavors.


6. Take advantage of happy hour and lunch specials: Many restaurants and bars offer discounted prices during happy hour or lunchtime. Take advantage of these promotions to enjoy great food and drinks at lower prices.


7. Explore local markets for souvenirs: Visit markets like the Dezerter Bazaar and the Dry Bridge Market to find unique and affordable souvenirs, including traditional crafts, local products, and antique treasures. Don’t forget to haggle for the best prices.


8. Consider free walking tours: Joining a free walking tour is a great way to explore the city and learn about its history and culture from knowledgeable local guides. You can tip the guides at the end of the tour based on your budget and satisfaction.


9. Travel during the shoulder season: Consider visiting Tbilisi during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) when the weather is still pleasant, but accommodation and flight prices are lower compared to the peak summer season.


10. Stay hydrated and carry a water bottle: Tap water is safe to drink in Tbilisi, so bring a reusable water bottle and refill it from fountains or public taps to save money on buying bottled water.


By following these budget tips, you can enjoy a fulfilling and affordable trip to Tbilisi without sacrificing your experiences. With careful planning and smart spending, you can make the most of your time in the city while staying within your travel budget.



Tbilisi, the vibrant capital city of Georgia, offers a wealth of budget-friendly opportunities for travelers. From exploring historical sites and indulging in delicious cuisine to venturing on day trips to enchanting destinations, Tbilisi has something to offer every traveler, even those on a tight budget.


By following the budget tips provided in this guide, you can make the most of your visit to Tbilisi without breaking the bank. Take advantage of the affordable public transportation system, dine at local eateries and street food stalls, and explore free or cheap attractions throughout the city.


Accommodation options in Tbilisi cater to all budgets, with hostels, guesthouses, and rented apartments providing comfortable and affordable lodging. Consider staying in accommodations with kitchen facilities to save on dining expenses by cooking your own meals.


Don’t forget to explore the local markets for unique and budget-friendly souvenirs. Take day trips to nearby destinations such as Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe, and Kakheti to further enrich your cultural experience without straining your budget.


Remember, traveling on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing the quality or richness of your experience. Tbilisi offers a blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and mouthwatering cuisine that can be enjoyed without spending a fortune.


So, pack your bags, plan your budget, and get ready to embark on a memorable journey in Tbilisi. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, Tbilisi has a charm that will leave a lasting impression without breaking your travel budget.


Discover the rich tapestry of Tbilisi, meet friendly locals, explore hidden gems, and create lasting memories without the burden of overspending. With careful planning and an adventurous spirit, you can savor all that Tbilisi has to offer while staying within your budget constraints.