Tbilisi by Instagram

Ever heard of Tbilisi? If you haven’t, you’re not alone.

It has been a while since I’ve written about – or indeed visited – any of Europe’s lesser-known capital cities, (you may remember Skopje, Pristina, Chisinau – or perhaps Kiev?)

For a long time, I’ve been curious about the Caucasian countries, Europe’s final frontier, as it were. Last month, I decided to finally do something about it, and ended up happily tumbling about in two of them.

Here’s a look at the capital of Georgia as seen through the lense of my iPhone.

Tbilisi by Instagram

Good morning, Tbilisi

View of Tbilisi from Narikala Fortress

Tbilisi – or თბილისი in Georgian – is more than 1 500 years old, and located on the ever-important trade routes between Asia and Europe. As you can see, it’s set in a valley on either side of a river, the Mtkvari – or Kura – River.

I think the medieval Old Town is the most interesting part of Tbilisi: tumbling old buildings, crooked, wooden houses with carved balconies, old caravanserais (now often hostels), quirky little shops, narrow, cobbled, twisting and turning, calf-killingly steep hills.

On the streets of Tbilisi

For sale on the street

At the bottom of the Old Town hills is busy Meidan Square, with several cafes, restaurants and bars. I loved sitting here at night, with Narikala Fortress looming above, all lit up at night – and deliciously spooky.

A medieval castle on top of a hill - lit up at night, amongst my favourite things. So deliciously spooky. So Eastern Europe.

(As you can see, I’ve a thing or two to learn about nighttime iPhonography, but here it is all the same)

At the other end of the architectural spectrum is hyper-modern structures like the pedestrian Bridge of Peace, connecting the old town with the new…

Tbilisi by Instagram

… and a newly constructed theatre-showroom in Rike Park, just across the river from the old town.

Good mornig, Tbilisi. Again. #weather #instaweather #instaweatherpro  #sky #outdoors #nature  #instagood #photooftheday #instamood #picoftheday #instadaily #photo #instacool #instapic #picture #pic @instaweatherpro #place #earth #world #tbilisi #საქართველო #day #summer #clear #skypainters #ge

Toasty Tbilisi

Liberty Square (also called Freedom Square) is imposing, connecting six very busy streets. Don’t even attempt to brave the traffic here – or anywhere in Tbilisi. There are underpasses for pedestrians, many of which are low-ceilinged, full of shops and with a slightly claustrophobic feel. But at least you’ll live.

Liberty Square was formerly known as Lenin Square, and a large statue of the man used to adorn the plaza. At the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 this was torn down, and later replaced by a tall column with a golden St George slaying the dragon.

Liberty Square, Tbilisi

Rustaveli Avenue is one of the streets branching out from Liberty Square. Several museums, churches, theatres and government buildings are located on this thoroughfare, which means heaps of fab architecture. There’s also cafes and shops, many brought out on the pavement in summer.

I liked rambling along tree-lined Rustaveli – lots to see, and just a nice place to walk, day or night.

Tbilisi at night

Night time view of Liberty Square from Rustaveli Avenue

On Rustaveli you’ll also find Prospero’s Books and Caliban’s Coffee House, Tbilisi’s foreign-language book shop – a great place to plug-in and get some work done, if you’re so inclined.

Found a very cool bookshop/cafe/workplace here in Tbilisi. Even a separate vegetarian menu @alredisch

Georgian food – and wine – is excellent, and very inexpensive. These lovely apricots were for sale from the fruit and veg vendors at the bus station for next to nothing:

Lovely apricots everywhere in the Caucasus!

Of course, there’s more to Georgia than Tbilisi. Sadly, my time in Georgia was limited, but I did manage to get to Mtskheta, the country’s even older capital. More about that later.

Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday today. Hop on over for a look at curious places around the world.

42 Responses to “Tbilisi by Instagram”

  1. Salika Jay 31 July 2013 1439 #

    I haven’t heard of Tbilisi but looks like a beautiful place. I love the colorful pots photo. Its so cute.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Top 16 Travel Destinations In Asia [Infographic]

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 31 July 2013 1704 #

      It was an interesting and unusual city, that’s for sure.

  2. Andrea 31 July 2013 1642 #

    I’ve heard of Tblisi but not been there – Georgia intrigues me…
    Andrea recently posted..Travel With Dietary Requirements

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 31 July 2013 1705 #

      The whole region is intriguing, I find. Want to see more.

  3. Mette 31 July 2013 1841 #

    Looks lovely. Enough to warrant a visit for sure.
    Mette recently posted..Cocullo snake festival

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 August 2013 1612 #

      Absolutely worth it.

  4. Gayla 1 August 2013 0842 #

    I think I’d love visiting the old town of Tbilisi. I don’t know much about Georgia, except that the wines there are of historical importance, but I imagine the history of the area is fascinating. What it must have been like in Tbilisi under the various regimes and at the height of trade along the Silk Road when the caravanserais were housing the traders of the day…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 August 2013 1617 #

      It’s a fascinating city indeed; even the more recent Soviet parts are interesting. The wine is very good, too. If you’re ever in e.g. Istanbul, it’s a short flight onwards.

  5. Muza-chan 1 August 2013 1033 #

    So beautiful :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..Uchimizu

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 August 2013 1617 #

      Lots of pretty places in Tbilisi.

  6. jenny@atasteoftravel 1 August 2013 1100 #

    Georgia fascinates me too and your photos from Tbilsi look so interesting. I’m sure I’d love wandering through the old town. It’s very tempting to visit in September as we’re driving along the Black Sea.
    jenny@atasteoftravel recently posted..Budva: It’s all about Boats, Bars and Bags!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 August 2013 1621 #

      I’d like to do a full circuit of the Black Sea. Look forward to reading about your experience there.

  7. I’ve heard about it, but it was too out of the way for me to visit when I was in Europe last year. Would definitely go there next time I’m back. It looks beautiful.
    Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com recently posted..Springtime in the Old Town Square in Prague

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 August 2013 1621 #

      Yes, it’s not exactly centrally located.

  8. Life Images by Jill 1 August 2013 1700 #

    I have only been to Europe once – to France and the UK – but I yearn to go back and travel and explore some more. So many interesting places.
    Thanks for sharing another one with us – more to add to my list!
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead. I am linking up to you through Travel Photo Thursday.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1504 #

      Thanks for stopping by.

  9. noel 1 August 2013 2002 #

    This place is so distant and foreign to me, I would love to go and its so far away, one of these days will make it to this capital, thanks for sharing

    I’m inviting you to join us for Travel Photo Mondays it runs a whole week starting on Mondays, come link up with us :)
    noel recently posted..Along the Puna coastline, wordless Wednesday

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1505 #

      I think Tbilisi is quite foreign to most of us.

  10. Lisa Goodmurphy 1 August 2013 2043 #

    What a fascinating city to visit! Your description of the traffic surprised me – for some reason I didn’t think of Tbilisi as a large or busy city. Love the pic of the pedestrian bridge – great angle for the shot!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..An Instagram Tour of Niagara-on-the-Lake

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1506 #

      If there’s one drawback to Tbilisi, it’s definitely the traffic.

  11. Gabriel 1 August 2013 2119 #

    I love iphone pictures. Especially seeing how lightweight and easy they are to snap some good shots with. Can you send me some mangos please =P
    Gabriel recently posted..Wallpaper Wednesday – July 31st – Go Play

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1507 #

      Me too. Love iPhonography, that is :)

  12. I love learning about places that you don’t often hear about. It’s a reminder that people are thriving and living well in lesser known places. I’d like to invite you to link up for Wanderlust Wednesdays which I’m hosting on my blog each Wednesday!
    Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans recently posted..Cappadocia: Selime Monastery

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1508 #

      WIll hop over and take a look.

  13. Marcia 2 August 2013 0326 #

    I have heard of Tbilisi, it was in the news a lot sometime ago though I can’t remember why now. Looks beautiful, would be great to visit.
    Interesting that they replace Lenin’s statue with St. George.
    Marcia recently posted..Everald Brown Dove Harp – Jamaica

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1509 #

      St George is the patron saint of Georgia. Makes sense, I suppose.

  14. I like the mix of the old and new in your pictures. The contrast between the Old Town and the Bridge of Peace is fascinating.
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted..The Early Days of American Roadtrips: Part 1

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1511 #

      It really is. So very modern and so quirkily ancient, just by crossing the bridge.

  15. A 2 August 2013 0601 #

    Ahh I like the photos. Tbilisi is on my list of places to visit. I’ve been wanting to visit that region and talking with a friend about doing a trip through a few of the places over there (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan). Hopefully sometime soon I hope :)
    A recently posted..Chasing Trains in Amman

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1512 #

      It was easier than I had expected, actually, visiting both Georgia and Armenia. (Azerbaijan requires a visa that takes a bit of time to get).

  16. budget jan 2 August 2013 0625 #

    I am glad you have tumbled around in Tbilisi. I know nothing about Georgia so look forward to more posts.
    budget jan recently posted..Happy Travels with a Partner

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1513 #

      Happy to introduce you :)

  17. Lisa Wood 3 August 2013 0822 #

    very freaky about the streets being too dangerous to cross! How funny to have shops in the tunnels – guess they can get travelers to buy as they are walking in them!
    Love the cheaper fruit, our boys are fruit bats so it would be great to visit Tbilisi for the fruit alone!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1514 #

      So abundant and so inexpensive. Especially apricits were popular. Taxi drivers often had a basket of them in their front seats and gave me a few to munch on the way.

  18. Jackie Smith 3 August 2013 2040 #

    Good friends of ours who’ve never visited anywhere in Europe were convinced by another friend to visit Tbilisi several years ago. They still describe the visit as much like Dorothy visiting Oz. Enjoyed your post on this interesting city.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..WAWeekend: On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 7 August 2013 1515 #

      Not a bad description that.

  19. Christoffer Moen 25 August 2013 0945 #

    What a lovely fairytale-like place :)
    Christoffer Moen recently posted..Any Traveler Should Love Timelapse, We Know We Do!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 2058 #

      It is, kinda :)

  20. jill 26 August 2013 2130 #

    I’ll be there in a few weeks – thankful for the sneak peek. I can’t wait!
    jill recently posted..Selected Stories and Pictures from Climbing Bugaboos

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 28 August 2013 1451 #

      How exciting. You’ll enjoy it, I’m sure :)

  21. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs 2 January 2014 1806 #

    I really loved my time in Tbilisi, great pictures! Love your Instagram series :)
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted..Friday Lens Affair #46

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 2059 #

      Glad to hear it. I want to see much more of Georgia.

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