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An introduction to Tbilisi – 5 places you have to visit!

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Victoria’s feet at the historical boutique Museum Hotel Orbelani in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

So last week was my blog birthday!

Yay!

But before that, I went to Georgia!

To be more specific.

To Tbilisi!

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An introduction to Georgia. Not that one. The other one!

For those of you just catching up, here’s what I’ve been doing:

Gosh!

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WHY GO TO TBILISI?

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Hello Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

Why not?

No seriously.

Why not?

Tbilisi is in Georgia.

In Eastern Europe!

It has a long magnificent history, fascinating culture, and a gastronomy that you have just got to try!

And the prices?

They’re cheap!

Cheap!

Cheeeeap!!

I went to the Caucasus and I was pretty impressed!

LET’S GET A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY!

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Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov – otherwise known as Lenin!

Tbilisi or თბილისი, is the capital city of Georgia and has been around for a very long time as it was founded in the 5th century!

Because of its location on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, and its closeness to the historically lucrative Silk Road, Tbilisi has been attacked and conquered by more nations than you can even imagine such as Russia, Ancient Rome, Iran and Turkey.

Even Mongolia!

All of which you can see absorbed in the mix of medieval, neoclassical, Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau, Stalinist and Modern Art structures reflected in architecture all around the city!

With a multi-cultural, ethnic and religious mix of population of just 1.5 million people, Tbilisi is a city to look out for in the future.

Most people have never heard of it.

Until now!

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Lunch at Cafe Leila in Tbilisi, was delightful! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

In fact, when I first heard mention of Tbilisi, I thought it was in Georgia – the American state – in the USA.

But it isn’t.

It’s in Georgia.

A country in the Caucasus.

A country from the former USSR.

In Europe!

An introduction to Tbilisi – 5 places you have to visit!

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Victoria at the Chronicles of Georgia – Jumping for joy in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

Oh my.

Where to start!

I have a million places that I could highly recommend but since I don’t want to bore you and I want you to see things for yourself, here’s five (5) places you absolutely have to visit!

1. Gasp at the higgledy-piggledy Gabriadze Clock Tower!

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Victoria at the Gabriadze Clock Tower in Tbilisi ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

Wow!

One of the first places I was introduced to was the rather intriguing and quite lovely higgledy-piggledy Gabriadze Clock Tower!

The clock tower has a rather interesting history as it was created by Rezo Gabriadze a famous screenwriter, film and stage director, painter, sculptor and puppeteer.

Frustrated with the lack of intellectual freedom during the era of the USSR in Eastern Europe at the time, he turned to puppets and in 1981, founded The Gabriadze Theatre – a marionette theatre.

It is this puppet theater that not only supports the clock tower that happens to be a leaning one, but is also covered by strange and wonderful objects, pictures, writings, walled tiles and stained glass fragments that evoke an Alice in Wonderland-ish type of fairy tale.

Not only that, but the tower has two clocks which happen to be both the largest and the smallest clock in Tbilisi!

At 12 o’clock, an angel pops out of the window from the top of the tower and strikes the bell with a hammer!

Ding!

2. Climb up Kaleidoscope House at Gallery 27!

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At the Kaleidoscope House in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

Kaleidoscope House is the only house in Tbilisi that is decorated completely and utterly with stained glass window fragments!

This historical building dates back to the 19th century and is one of the city’s main attraction, being that the stained-glass windows are decorated with exquisite carvings and ornaments and have been preserved for over a 100 years!

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Victoria at the Kaleidoscope House in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

It was lucky that my visit was in September and there was only one Instagram photography crew in front of me, ‘cos I’m thinking that during the peak summer months, the queue would probably stretch to the edge of the road!

And while you’re there, don’t just take your photograph and run off, take the time to browse through the art gallery upstairs but please be respectful of the neighbourhood, as people actually live and work there!

3. Take a dip in the Bath District!

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You simply can’t miss the Abanotubani – Bath Quarter in Tbilisi – Georgia ‘cos it smells of sulphur!

You know how I like waterside cities or cities that have rivers and lakes.

Tbilisi was no different, but distinctly better, as there was a waterfall!

Yes, a waterfall, right in the middle of the city!

The Leghvtakhevi Waterfall is not something you expect while going out for a stroll in the middle of the city, but it’s right there.

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Victoria at the Leghvtakhevi Waterfall in Tbilisi ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

You simply can’t miss it ‘cos not only is the Abanotubani or the Bath Quarter packed with Oriental-styled dome-shaped bath houses, timeless architecture and a picturesque setting, but you’ll smell the rawness of the sulphur as you get much closer to the water!

Not only that, but the blue-tile facade of the extremely impressive Orbeniani Baths – Chreli Abano will have you thinking that you somehow dropped into Turkey without noticing.

And indeed, Istanbul is but a mere 2 hours and 15 minutes, flight away!

I mean, OMG!

4. Glide through the former Hotel London (Entrance Hall)!

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Victoria at the former Hotel London (Entrance Hall) in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

The best thing about historical towns and cities is that you can simply wander around and explore.

Why not explore the architecture of a variety of secret doors and entrance halls?

You can start off by observing the Art Nouveau style of the Entrance Hall of the former London Hotel and other staircases, walls of art, courtyards and other hidden gems.

This glorious hotel used to welcome distinguished guests such as the Russian composer – Tchaikovsky and the Norwegian writer – Kurt Hamsun

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Let me entertain you at the former Hotel London (Entrance Hall) in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

See how the staircase gives you a feeling of gliding and “sweeping” across the floor?

And even though the paint has peeled off, the floorboards are creaky and the bricks are crumbling, this century old hotel is charming.

In fact, one or two local families still live on the top floor!

Is it any wonder that once again, a photo-shoot was taking place as we entered!

We weren’t in any hurry so watched and hung around as I know how these things go, and you want to get the best light possible!

5. Explore the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnology

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Explore the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnology ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

I adore museums.

So much so, that I actually have an annual museum membership card which I use as often as I can!

I particularly like Open Air Museums and museums that create a Living History, as they tend to have the land mass necessary for you to really get your teeth into how local people used to live, and don’t mind if you touch and poke things!

So it was hardly surprising that I specifically requested that the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnology be added to my itinerary!

It didn’t disappoint.

I got to learn and reflect over the 4,000+ year history of Tbilisi, folk architecture, craftwork and traditions, as well as utilise my historical inner child!

I even got to watch a play that was put on just for me.

In English!

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Folk craftwork at the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnology ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

Even though the young girl reciting the family saga was extremely difficult to understand, the 60+ year old actress who took on the roles of all the characters, was impressively, as clear as day!

I really had a good time.

And you will too.

If you’re interested in finding out what else you can do in Tbilisi, click here!

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Cool!

This trip was a media visit and will showcase the best that Tbilisi has to offer.

In fact, I went there as a guest of the city of Tbilisi.

I was there for five (5) days in September getting to grips with the fact that I was in the historical city with links to the history of the Silk Road, trade, and a diverse mix of fascinating architecture coupled, with absolutely beautiful weather, and really interesting food!

Gasp!

Georgia was awesome!

Obviously!

I flew from Berlin to Tbilisi – via Turkish Airlines ‘cos even though I went to Ukraine, I wasn’t yet ready to experiment with Ukraine International Airlines!

I took the train instead!

I was in Istanbul for just a couple of hours.

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Victoria outside the historical boutique Museum Hotel Orbelani in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

It’s been years since I’ve been to Turkey, but this was not the time!

Not only that, but I stayed at the historical and yet lovely boutique Museum Hotel Orbelani!

Tbilisi is the place to be in 2019/2020 ‘cos everyone I know is rushing over, so you’d better get out there before the hordes come!

But don’t take my word for it.

Hurry Up!

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AN INTRODUCTION TO TBILISI – 5 PLACES YOU HAVE TO VISIT!

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Take the bridge to Tbilisi. In Georgia!

This article is possible thanks to the support of Tbilisi City Hall who invited me to discover the city of Tbilisi nevertheless, all views and climbs up staircases represented here, are my very own!

For travelling across Europe, or from Germany, please take a look at the tabs at the top of the article, my country destination page and book your hotel here!

It’s Autumn!

If you’re not in Berlin, I really don’t know what to say!

Watch this space!

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Stand Up Comedy in Tbilisi! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Georgia – September 2019

DISCLOSURE!

Please note that there are two affiliate link companies connected to this post! Every time one of these services is used, booked, and paid for via my link, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

So what are you waiting for?

Thanks a million!

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An introduction to Tbilisi – 5 places you have to visit!

Does Tbilisi sound like a place that you would visit? If not, why not? Comment away!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions, send me a Tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on LinkedIn, make a comment below or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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5 Comments on “An introduction to Tbilisi – 5 places you have to visit!

  1. I went to Tbilisi for the first time this summer and absolutely fell in love! And I didnt even get to do half of what you did! SUCH a gem.

    • Hi Anna!
      No way! I didn’t know that you went to Georgia too. How cool is that!

      Isn’t Tbilisi gorgeous? I mean, I went in the Autumn but I knew that it wouuld really stand out in the summer months. Wow! 😀

  2. Pingback: Georgia - a basic guide to food! - The British Berliner

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