Solo Travel in Georgia
Types of GatGs – Nature GatG, Wine GatG, Budget GatG
Being one of the poorest countries in Europe means that there is poverty here. You’ll often see elderly women sitting on the streets begging which pulls at your heart strings. Georgia is so concerned by men looking at women that they are introducing a fine for it. Don’t let this put you off solo travel in Georgia as I travelled through the country and felt completely comfortable.
If you are travelling off the beaten path you do need some Georgian or Russian phrases to get by. Tour companies and hotels and hostels tend to speak English making it easier to travel around solo. If you want to feel more comfortable base yourself in Tbilsi, Kutaisi and Batumi and do day trips from there instead of navigating the lesser-known towns and villages by yourself.
There are also areas of Georgia that are controversial. Not dissimilar to Transnistria in Moldova, the breakaway region of Abkhazia declared independence in 1999. This area on the eastern coast of the Black Sea is under conflict with Georgia and Russia and it’s not advised to travel there. South Ossetia is another disputed region which is recognised by Russia as an independent state but not by Georgia.
Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Georgia as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
- Places to Visit in Georgia
- Where to Stay in Georgia
- Tours in Georgia
- How to Travel in Georgia
- Georgia Itinerary
- When To Go To Georgia
- Airports in Georgia
- Travelling Onwards
- Frequently Asked Questions about Georgia
- Map of Georgia
- Plan a Trip to Georgia
Places To Visit in Georgia
Georgia is such an understated country. Its location is debatable with many believing it is situated in Asia and not Europe. Because the Caucasus Mountains form the border between Europe and Asia it is easy to see the confusion. This adds to Georgia’s uniqueness which offers a blend of the East and West.
As an emerging destination Georgia seems to be growing in popularity. Its draw is not only its wine and cuisine but also its history and nature. As a budget destination it’s easy to travel and stay in comfortable accommodation for a fraction of the price.
The country is steeped in nature and more than 75% of Georgia is mountains. Shkhara is Georgia’s highest peak. There are so many places to visit here. From the Black sea coastal resort of Batumi to the winelands of Kakheti. The country is definitely one for the intrepid explorer.
Tbilisi is the capital and was founded in the 5th century by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. A statue of him on a horse sits above the river, opposite the hot springs which inspired him to built a city here. The city is a blend of old and new with futuristic-looking structures weaved within its landscape.
The city is known for its sulphur baths with their healing mineral qualities. The Abanotubani district is where you’ll find all of the egg-smelling baths ranging from budget to the more luxurious spa experience.
Take a walking tour to get your bearings of the city then spend some time exploring the old town. If you are there on the hour, watch the clock tower which was created by a famous local puppeteer. Every hour a puppet show acts out the circle of life to onlookers; amusement
Opposite the river is the city’s cable car which takes you up to the giant statue of Mother Georgia which looks over the city. The walk back down takes you past the castle and the zip line (great for the adventurous GatG).
The Peace Bridge is the newest bridge in the city and was opened in 2010. Its wavy design joins both sides of the river and connects with Rike Park, a nature spot to relax and watch the world go by. The Narikala Fortress is another great spot to enjoy some nature. You can take the trail along this 4th century ancient fortress which runs near the Mother Georgia statue down to the old town. Or take a stroll around Turtle Lake instead.
If you only see one church here make it the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. This magnificent church is the third largest Orthodox Cathedral in the world, and the tallest church in Tbilisi. It symbolises “New Georgia” and has a golden dome which you can see from nearly everywhere in the city. It is a bit of a climb to get there but the walk is definitely worth it. For the best view of the city head to Mtatsminda Park.
From Tbisili you can take day trips to Borjomi, a quaint little village and the source of the country’s most healing mineral water. The garden area surrounding the springs are so calming. Take your own bottle to try both the warm and cold mineral water straight from the ground.
David Gareja Monastery
David Gareja Monastery complex is close to the border with Azerbaijan (which you can see from the complex). The monastery was founded by a monk in the 6th century which has since been expanded to include hundreds of cells and churches all within the rock face. Within the semi-desert landscape you can wander around the 13 monasteries and monks living quarters all carved out of rock. To get here head to Udabno, which is the nearest village and take the steep climb.
Another impressive complex of rock architecture is Vardzia. This cave city site isn’t as old as David Gareja but it is just as majestic. Vardzia dates back to the 12th century and sits on the bank of the Mtkvari River. Construction of the underground cave fortress was ordered by Queen Tamar and it is thought that there were once 13 levels. You can spend hours exploring the cave system and the little chapels. You can see everything including an old pharmacy and even an old wine cellar as you imagine what life was like back then. Inside the church is one of the only 12 paintings of Queen Tamara.
Rabati Castle in Akhaltsikhe is another complex to see. Originally built by Turks, the castle was invaded and taken back by Georgia with the help of the Russians. Inside the castle grounds are an influence of different cultures and architecture. You’ll find a mosque, synagogue and a church within the 13th century complex.
Kutaisi is in the west of Georgia and is the country’s legislative capital. It is home to three picturesque monasteries and is less developed than Tbilisi. It’s actually one of the world’s oldest inhabited cities and is Georgia’s third largest city.
It’s a great base from which to see Prometheus Cave, one of the countrys' natural wonders. It’s the biggest cave in Georgia and you can take a boat trip to explore its underground rivers and lakes. It’s only 20km away from Kutaisi and although it is one of the most touristy spots it is worth seeing.
If you are a nature GatG then Okatse Canyon and Kinchkha Waterfall are some of natures’ best. The waterfall is nearly 70 metres high and there is a pathway which you can take around the canyon. If you have time add Lomina Lake to your itinerary. It’s a bit of a walk but well worth it.
Both the Bagrati Monastery and Gelati Monastery are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Bagrati Monastery is the green domed 11th century monastery which can be seen on a hillside from anywhere in Kutaisi. It’s free to enter and is walkable from the city with great views of a giant cross and the river below. Afterwards, stop in the nearby botanical gardens.
The Gelati Monastery is a bit further out and reachable by bus or taxi. This medieval monastic complex was founded in the early 12th century and is a complex consisting of three churches. It is free to go inside and see the mosaics and frescoes. Kutaisi is easily walkable so stroll around the city stopping at the State History Museum as you go.
As one of the oldest wine regions in the world Georgia produces great quality wine which has an amazing taste. Most of the wine in Georgia comes from the grapes grown in Kakheti. Each village has their own type of wine with the wine named after the places they were produced. Taste the best wines at one of the wineries, one of which has more than 50,000 bottles – a wine GatG’s dream.
If you are ready for some Black Sea action, Batumi is where it is at. This coastal resort attracts the partygoers during the summer months so it is touristy but it can be a refreshing change from the rest of Georgia. It does have more than casinos and clubs to entertain you. Just walking around this city will show you random things on each corner from peacocks to dancing fountains.
Spend an evening at the top of the Alphabet Tower, a 135 metre structure which looks like a DNA molecule. For another view take the ‘Argo” cable car for a gorgeous panorama of the sea and the mountains. It’s a striking city to walk around with an astronomical clock, a summer theatre (in an Asian style), and the Sea Station – one of the architectural symbols of the Old Batumi.
There are a mix of religious buildings such as a mosque, synagogue and Armenian church. They even have a replica of Bologna’s fountain in Italy called Fountain “Neptune.”
Walk along the promenade at dusk where you can stop in the restaurants for some Georgian cuisine with a sea view. Or watch the old men fishing or playing chess. There are so many quirky statues here, many of which depict love. “My First Love” is a cute architectural piece but the best and most photographs has to be Ali & Nino – an 8-metre moving sculpture symbolising eternal love and understanding amongst nationalities. Yes it’s tacky but Batumi is so much fun. From here you can do day trips to the Gonio-Apsaros Fortress and the Petra Fortress, as well as national parks.
If love is still on your mind, then you should definitely pay a trip to Sighnaghi, the city of love. It’s one of the prettiest towns and has lovely views over the Alazani valley.
If you are a winter sports GatG don some skis and head to one of the ski villages which make up more than 80 kms of slopes. Gudauri is the largest ski resort and sits at 1283 metres. Other popular resorts are Bakuriani, and Mestia. Skiing here is open from December until April and is said to be cheaper than the Alps.
Other Places to See in Georgia
Svaneti is a region in the northwest of Georgia. It is known for its watchtowers and attracts hikers and climbers. If you like history and culture and want to learn more about the Svan people and their traditions it’s worth taking the marshrutka from Kutaisi to this region. A popular route to hike is from here to Mestia and Ushguli (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), staying in local guesthouses on the way.
Other places to see in Georgia are Mtskheta – the religious capital with three of the country’s most important churches. Chiatura – an old-mining town, and Uplistsikhe – an abandoned rock town which was once an inhabited cave city up until the 13th century. If you love hammocks head to Hauschi which is famous for them. Apparently when the factory closed down the locals started making their own.
Whether you like to ski, explore cave cities or just drink wine, travel to Georgia before the secret gets out…
Where to Stay in Georgia
If you stay in the capital there really are plenty of hostels to choose from. The standard of hostels here are great with some even offering female-only dorms. In Kutaisi guesthouses are more the norm but with the country being so economical you can easily afford to book a private room with a bathroom. Some guesthouses include their own Georgian breakfast.
Plus there’s Airbnb which connects you to unique travel experiences and isn’t just limited to staying in a local’s spare room. You can save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They offer a mix of stays such as a stay in a traditional family Georgian house or an apartment. You can video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here.
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with a Solo Female Friendly endorsement.
Nowhere is Batumi is far but this hotel which feels more like a boutique hostel is walkable to nearly everywhere in Batumi. The well-equipped stylish kitchens are ideal if you prefer to cook your own meals, and there are huge sofas to relax on. You can even wash your own clothes and hang them on the clothes horse outside.
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 hotel is 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! They provide an airport transfer which is ideal with many flights arriving in the early hours of the mornings.
- Prices from £19 per night for a double room with a private bathroom
- To book, check prices or availability for Kiev Kutaisi Hotel
I love 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 seriously huge. Located inside an old sewing factory that was used during the Soviet times, the hostel has several cafes and bars inside, a courtyard, and even a coworking space. It resembles more of a mini village than a hostel which is perfect for those days when you don't want to leave the hostel. It’s easy to meet people in the bar area and a bar crawl runs from here too.
The beds are comfortable and come with a light and your own power socket. You’ll find hairdryers in the bathrooms too. Do take your earplugs though if you decide to stay on a weekend. Choose from a bed in a 3, 4, 6 or 10-bed mixed dormitory room, or a 6-bed female-only dorm. They also have twin and double rooms with your own private bathroom.
- Prices from £8 per night for a bed in a 6-bed dorm room
- To book, check prices or availability for Fabrika Tbilisi
Tours in Georgia
If you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.
They offer an 8 day adventure combining Georgia with Armenia. The tour starts at Yerevan and ends in Tbilisi. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company.
Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over half the people who book their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more than G Adventures. Their tours range from 10 days to an epic 80 days and also include Azerbaijan on your Georgian itinerary.
With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.
Tbilisi Hack Pub Crawl – This tour is great if you want to experience the nightlife of Georgia’s capital with some company. I took this tour as a solo and had the best time. You get to learn more about the Georgian wines and try khachapuri (their flatbread with cheese). It’s a great evening tour.
World Sightseeing Tour – This company offers everything you can possibly do in Georgia. From city sightseeing bus tours to boat trips at night. I took a trip wth them to Vardzia, Rabati and Borjomi which was easier than organising it independently. The trips are really cheap and depart frequently but if you travel low season you may need to pre-book as a minimum amount of people are needed.
How to Travel in Georgia
The trains are a mix of modern and old Soviet-style trains. Travel from Kutaisi to Tbilisi and expect to pay just £4 for the 5.5 hour journey. Railway.ge are the best website to check for train schedules and book online tickets. You can then show your barcode to the guard as you board. Reservations may be required for all trains so pre-book.
Some of the roads are in poor condition so be prepared if you do decide to hire a car, and fill your petrol tank up in the cities if you can. Vanilla Sky flies from Mestia to Tbilisi and Kutaisi. They use small planes and sometimes cancel so plan for any cancellations.
Tbilisi has a good metro system. The trains are really deep underground so expect to be be on an escalator for a while. They also have a bus system where you pay onboard. For a more authentic experience take a mashrutka – a yellow minibus which runs around the city. You may need to write down your destination and ask when to get off. Kutaisi is walkable but instead of taking buses to places outside of the city you may prefer to take a tour instead.
There are so many places in Georgia that a week just isn’t enough. Don’t limit yourself to just one week. To get from place to place can take a few hours so plan your itinerary wisely to save some time.
You can base yourself in Kutaisi to take a day trip to see canyons, and Vardzia. Or choose to stay longer in Tbilisi instead and base yourself there to also see Vardzia, David Gareja, and Sighnaghi.
7 Days = Kutaisi – 3 days, train to Tbilisi, Tbilisi 4 days.
Ten Days = Tbilisi – 4 days, Kutaisi – 3 days, day trip to Vardzia, mini-bus or train to Batumi – 3 days.
Two weeks = Tbilisi – 5 days, Borjomi – 1 night, Kutaisi – 4 days, mini-bus or train to Batumi – 4 days, day trip to Petra Fortress, and Machakhela National Park.
When To Go To Georgia
Georgia gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Depending on whether you are wanting to ski and snowboard, sunbathe on the Black Sea, or sightsee through which areas of the country will determine when is the best time for you to go. The mountains are cooler, whilst the lowlands may be hotter than you’re used to. West Georgia gets humid whilst East Georgia has a drier climate.
May to July are the best times to visit the capital city. If you prefer to sightsee when it’s a more pleasant temperature choose Spring (April and May) instead.
This chart shows the average maximum day temperatures for Tbilisi (from January to December).
Airports in Georgia
Georgia has three main international airports. Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi.
Tbilisi – Line number 37 operates from Tbilisi Airport into Tbilisi. The bus takes 30 minutes and only costs £1. There is a train from the airport into Tbilisi Central Railway Station where you can then take a taxi or a bus. The train takes 35 minutes and costs approximately £3. There is also the option of taxis which cost £11 and take approx 20 minutes depending where in the city you are travelling to.
Kutaisi – Low cost airlines such as Wizz fly into Kutaisi International Airport, generally arriving in the early hours of the morning. You can either arrange a transfer with your accommodation or there are minibuses waiting outside of the airport to connect with the flights. The minibuses also operate to and from Tbilisi and Batumi to Kutaisi. Taxis cost approx £8 and take 25 minutes into Kutaisi. To book a shuttle (minibus) to and from Kutaisi Airport book through Georgian Bus which times the transport for the flights.
Batumi – From Batumi airport there are taxis to take you the short distance to Batumi (only 5 minutes away). Taxis cost £2 and are the easier and quickest option. The Line 10 bus also runs from there to Ardagani Lake and takes 17 minutes. If you feel like walking, the walk is only an hour.
Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Travel onwards (check visas before you travel)
Georgia to Azerbaijan – There are minibuses which will take you across the Georgian border into Azerbaijan. The overnight train is the best option if you want to head straight to Baku. It departs from Tbilisi Central Railway Station daily at 20.35 and arrives at approximately 09.00 in the morning. The cost differs depending on what class you book and whether you request a lower bunk bed or an upper one. Tickets cost from £10 to £33. Carriages fit 4 people and you have to make your own bed with the sheets and pillows provided. Buy your ticket from the train station before you travel to ensure you have a seat/bed. Take your passport and cash with you to book the ticket.
Georgia to Armenia – Overnight trains run from Tbilisi in Georgia to Yerevan in Armenia. Buy your ticket at Tbilisi Central Railway Station and check which evenings the train departs. They should depart daily. They take 9 hours and cost approx £12 – £23 depending on your carriage. A second class ticket costs 65 Lari. You can also take minibuses from outside Tbilisi Central Station. They leave every 2 hours from 9am and take approximately 6 hours with the van stopping for the border crossing. The minibuses are slightly cheaper than the train.
Georgia to Turkey – From Sarp in Georgia you can cross into Hopa. If you are not hiring a car you can take a bus from Batumi to the border. The border from Cildir to Arktas-Kartsakhi is another border crossing but you may need to take a taxi to the border. There are minibuses from the border to Cildir.
Georgia to Russia – The border between Kazbegi and Vladikavkav is open to cross but you usually have to take a taxi from Tbilisi.
Where can I go from here?
Azerbaijan – 1 hour 10 mins
Armenia – 30 mins
Turkey – 2.5 hours
- Can I drink the water? Yes but you may want to drink their bottled mineral water called Borjomi instead.
- Is tipping expected? No but a tip of 10-15% can be given if you received good service.
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price.
- Any ATMs? In the cities yes. Some restaurants accept credit cards.
- Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
- Good for vegetarians? Georgian cuisine is delicious. They do have vegetarian options such as eggplant rolls, Lobio, risottos and beetroot salads.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No.
Map of Georgia
Plan a Trip to Georgia
If you are ready to plan a trip to Georgia here are some useful links to help you plan your trip including airlines which fly there, vaccinations required and events and festivals.
Budget – £15 a day
Capital – Tbilisi
Population – 3.7 million
Language spoken – Georgian, Russian
Local Currency – Georgian Lari
Do I need a visa? You can stay for up to a year, visa free on a British passport
Did you know? Georgia is one of the oldest wine producing regions of the world. Georgia is the birthplace of wine.
Valodia's Cottage Guest House is a charming eco guesthouse by the river. Located 2km from Vardzia, the guesthouse is near the Vardzia gorge and Vardzia Monastery. The rooms are simple and made out of stone or wood. If you are looking for an eco stay with homemade organic food, this guest house is a great option.
Volunteer in Georgia with agencies listed on Go Overseas.
Visit an artisan community of women jewellery makers and learn how to make enamel jewellery whilst learning about the culture and cuisine of South Ossetia.
Join a Borjomi farm tour to help develop organic farming in the region. Learn how to reintroduce ancient indigenous crops, and bake bread with local wheat, all whilst tasting famous Georgian cheese.Local Projects
Mind Body & Soul
Georgia is known for its sulphur baths with their rich, healing properties. If you visit Tbilisi, there are several sulphur baths within the Abanotubani district to choose from. The bathhouses are located underground and you can choose from different packages including a massage too. Find out more here
Issues in the Country
Street kids of Georgia. Although Georgia has initiated reforms of its child protection system, many children can still be found living or working on the streets.