Georgia is such an amazing country. If you’re looking for an emerging destination to visit then consider this European country. I visited Georgia as a solo in March 2018 and spent 10 days seeing the best of the country.
Listed below is my Georgia itinerary and the total costs of my trip. For a more comprehensive guide visit the Solo Travel in Georgia destination guide.
My first stop was Kutaisi in the west of the country. When you fly into Georgia you either fly into Tbilisi or Kutiasi. Kutasi is the airport for the low-cost carriers. I flew from Milan to Kutaisi with Wizz Air (as I was already on the road)
Kutaisi is the place to see the Bagrati Monastery, an 11th century monastery which is free to enter. It is situated on a hillside with great views of the river below. If you don’t mind walking it’s easily walkable from the city. If you have time, visit the Botanical Gardens that are nearby too.
There is also a State History Museum which was closed during the hours that I was there. It looks small but is one of the must-sees here. The city has some interesting monuments as you walk around. Make sure to see the red-coloured building near the market which stands out from the rest of the city,
You can do day trips from Kutaisi, such as the Okatse Canyon and Kinchkha Waterfall or see the Prometheus Cave, one of the countrys' natural wonders and just 20km from Kutaisi. The Gelati Monastery is a medieval complex a bit further out from the city so you’ll have to take a bus or taxi to get there.
I spent 2 nights here visiting the Bagrati Monastery and wandering around the city (which doesn’t take long). You can visit Kutaisi on a day trip from Tbilisi so you don’t need to stay here if you prefer to just stay in one place.
Accommodation in Kutaisi
I stayed at The Kiev Kutaisi Hotel in the historic centre. It’s walkable to the Bagrati Cathedral and is an easy stroll from the picturesque river. The rooms are big and come with their own private bathroom. There is complimentary tea, coffee, wine and even brandy! As I was due to arrive in the early hours of the morning I requested a transfer with my hotel. My flight was delayed by 2 hours but my transfer was still waiting for me.
- Prices from £19 per night for a double room with a private bathroom
- To book, check prices or availability for Kiev Kutaisi Hotel
This hotel is budget accommodation but has everything you need. If you prefer more comfort click on the link below for all accommodation.
Kutaisi to Tbilisi
From Kutaisi I took the train to Tbilisi. I booked my ticket with Tkt.ge. I was able to walk from my hotel to the train station. There is only one small shop at the train station and the trains leave from upstairs. I recommend buying your food and drink before you go. The train was an old Soviet train but I had the whole carriage to myself. It departed Kutaisi at 12:15 and arrived in Tbilisi at 17:15. The journey was very picturesque and although I felt inspired to write I also felt a bit nauseous at the end from the constant smell of oil.
I spent 3 nights in Tbilisi. I booked tours through World Sightseeing Tour (WST) and used the capital as my base.
On the first day I visited Vardzia, Rabati, and Borjomi. The tours were long but definitely worth it to see all these three places (and they are cheap). I was on a tour with Russian tourists but the guide translated the information to English. The only downside is that most of the tours only operate with a minimum amount of people so book as soon as you can so you don’t miss out.
On day two I explored the city. Buying a metro pass I headed for Freedom Square then walked to Rike Park where I took the cable car up to the Mother of Georgia statue. On the walk back down from the statue I met a local man whose family had been making and selling chicha (the local drink) for years. If you get a chance to buy it, definitely do.
Wanting to experience the Georgian nightlife (which has a big electronic music scene), I booked a bar crawl for $15. This included Georgian wine (which is seriously some of the best wine that I have ever tasted), local cheese, and a ready-made group of party-dwellers with whom to spend the evening with. I met the group at Fabric Hostel at 9pm and was taken around 3 bars before finishing at one of the city’s nightclubs.
With Georgia being known for its sulphur baths, I simply had to experience one. Abanotubani district is where you’ll find all of the egg-smelling baths ranging from budget to the more luxurious spa experience. Opting for the cheapest one, it was definitely an experience and came complete with people smoking inside – the no smoking rule hasn’t yet reached Georgia – so next time I would pay more for a more relaxing sulphur bath.
In the afternoon I took the steep walk to the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. This magnificent church is the third largest Orthodox Cathedral in the world, and the tallest church in Tbilisi.
As a side note – the food in Georgia is delicious and I recommend the eggplant, and peanut sauce which is delicious. I also found food from Yemen which was a first for me.
- For more things to do in Georgia’s capital read Things To Do in Tbilisi
Getting Around Tbilisi
Georgia’s capital has a good metro system. You pay at the station for a token which allows you one single journey so buy a few in one go if you are planning on taking a few routes. Taxis are cheap and will cost you approx £1 from Marjanishvili Central to the Old Town. They also have minibuses called mashrutkas which are incredibly cheap. Just say the name of your destination to the driver or the other passengers as it’s not clear when to get off.
Accommodation in Tbilisi
I stayed at Hostel “Your Home” and I loved this hostel. It’s called Hostel “Your Home” because it literally feels like a home away from home. The manager is so friendly and will help you with tours or transfers. There is a communal lounge where you can hang out and watch TV with the other guests on the comfy sofas. They often share meals too.
The hostel is near a metro station meaning that it’s easy to get around the city and is close to many restaurants with different types of cuisine. The female-only dorm is really spacious with a large drawer under the beds to lock away all of your things. They provide towels for an extra charge and have a female-only bathroom too.
- Prices from £7 per night for a bed in a 6-bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Hostel “Your Home”
This hostel is great if you are travelling on a budget but if you prefer more comfort or to be located in the old town instead, click on the link below for all accommodation.
My trip in Georgia was split into two parts. From Tbilisi I took the overnight train to Azerbaijan then back to Georgia for one night before taking a minivan to Armenia then return back to Tbilisi by another overnight train. You can read these posts below.
Tbilisi to Batumi
From Tbilisi I took the new train to Batumi. It departed at 8:00 and arrived at Batumi at 13:00 and was busy with families. The train station is just outside the Batumi marina so I needed to take a taxi from here to my hostel. I did pay over the odds so prepare to barter.
Batumi is so unlike any other region that I have seen in Georgia. It’s tacky, vibrant and fun and I call it Georgia’s mini Dubai as it has such a mix of buildings. The most impressive is the Alphabet Tower, a 135 metre building that resembles a DNA molecule. I spent an afternoon at the restaurant at the top admiring the views as daylight turned to dusk. The food and wine here was amazing.
I spent 2 nights here wandering around Batumi and along the palm-lined promenade passing by old men playing chess in the open, fishermen fishing in the early hours of the morning and some unique monuments. My absolute favourite is “Ali & Nino,” an 8-metre high sculpture symbolising eternal love. There’s also a small sculpture along the promenade called “My First Love.”
This city is so surprising with a peacock park, dancing fountain, and summer palace. They even have a replica of Bologna’s fountain in Italy called “Fountain Neptune.” If you visit in the summer months you may even see a music concert. I loved this Georgian city.
Accommodation in Batumi
I stayed at Hostel Medusa in a female-only dorm room. I had the whole 6-bed dorm to myself. There was a kitchen to make tea and coffee and a lounge/dining area. I could also wash my clothes and hang them outside on the clothes horse. The rooms are clean and they have a female-only dorm room (which is pink). There is a 24 hour front desk and they provide a free breakfast to set you up for the day. Choose from a double room with a sea view or a bed in a 6-bed dorm room.
- Prices from £6 per night for a bed in a 6-bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Boutique Hotel Medusa
This hostel is ideal if you are on a budget but if you prefer more comfort click on the link below for all accommodation.
Costs For My Georgia Itinerary
Total costs (in order of the itinerary)
- Flight from Milan to Kutaisi = £99
- Transfer from Kutaisi airport to Kutaisi = £9
- Kiev Kutaisi Hotel (2 nights) = £20
- Self-guided walking tour of Kutaisi = £0
- Train from Kutaisi to Tbilisi = £3
- Hostel “Your Home” (5 nights) = £20
- Tour of Vardzia – Rabat – Borjomi – $38 = £29
- Metro card / taxis / buses – $10 = £7.50
- Tbilisi bar crawl – $15 = £11.50
- Sulphur baths in Tbilisi – $20 = £15
- Train from Tbilisi to Batumi = £7
- Taxi from Batumi station to Batumi = £2.50 (10 Lari)
- Hostel Medusa (2 nights) = £15
- Self-guided walking tour of Batumi = £0
- Alphabet Tower entrance fee = £3
- Taxi from Batumi to Kutaisi Airport = £4.50
- Food = £10 a day x 10 = £100
Total Costs for 10 Day Georgia Itinerary = £346
N.b. I flew from Kutaisi to Cyprus and haven't included my ongoing flight.
Is Georgia good for solos? Yes. It's safe and there are lots of tours you can do with a guide. The cities are walkable and both the local buses and metro system help you to navigate your way around. There is a language barrier which makes this destination more for the intrepid traveller if you do it all solo.
I hope that this post makes solo travel easier for you for Georgia. For more info check out the two related posts below. Happy travelling!