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The City of Tbilisi

Tbilisi – formerly Tiflis – is the capital city of Georgia and with around 1.16 million inhabitants also its largest city. It lies in the east of the country and about 30 percent of the Georgian population lives here. Built on terraces, there are places between districts where the difference in altitude is a full 300 meters.

Tbilisi means “hot springs” and the 46.5 degree hot water gushing from Mtabori mountain has been used in bath houses for centuries. The hot springs are still very popular today among locals and visitors.

Although legend states that Tbilisi was founded in the year 485, it first appeared a bit earlier on Roman maps. The city has always been located at the intersection of several European-Asian trade routes and it became very rich in the Middle Ages. But Georgia was not always independent in its subsequent history. Rule over it changed between the Ottomans, Persians, Russians and finally the Soviets. The country has been independent again since 1991. Thus Tbilisi is has many diverse cultures and ways of life to show for.

Because of the very high police presence, Tbilisi is a very safe city. Crime rates are not as high as similar-sized cities in Europe.

Since 1982, Tbilisi has also been a twin partner city of the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck.

Weather in Tbilisi

The climate is moderate in Tbilisi. The most precipitation falls in May. Summers can be quite hot with temperatures over 30 degrees; the coldest it gets in winter is just below zero – the perfect time for a swim in the hot springs.

What’s happening in Tbilisi?

One could say there is always something going on and always something to see in Tbilisi. The Georgian capital has much to offer, especially in the area of culture: there are about 30 theaters and 12 major museums, which are rich in cultural treasures. There is also a puppet and marionette theater for children. The whole city is full of historic buildings, which are being preserved or restored with help from the EU. A large number of churches with different religions are distributed throughout the city: the Georgian Orthodox Church of the Apostles as a quasi “state religion”, and also other Orthodox churches or buildings related to the Jewish religion. The city also boasts a botanical garden well worth seeing and the ruins of the old Nariqala fortress. There is even a small training ski lift on the outskirts of the city. And the large ski area in Gudauri is only 100 kilometers away and can be easily reached in a day trip.

At the end of October, Tbilisoba is held annually – a great festivity to commemorate the city’s founding. This always attracts thousands of visitors from all parts of the country.