If you thought this would be a guide to the U.S. state of Georgia, then think again. This is a guide to the country of Georgia, which is located northeast of Turkey and south of Russia. If you know nothing about it, then you’re in the same boat we were before we visited.
But let me tell you: Georgia is a fantastic place to visit. Between the friendly people, beautiful scenery, delicious wine, and rich history, Georgia has something for everyone. Read on to learn about our favorite places to eat, drink, see, and stay in Georgia.
Note: We’ve organized this guide according to the different regions we visited during our trip.
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, and it’s most likely where you’ll fly into when visiting the country.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Sofia Melnikova’s Fantastic Douqan – This restaurant serves traditional Georgian food and offers outdoor seating, though it can be a bit difficult to find.
- Abajuri – The cheesy bread, chicken kebab, and all the other food were fantastic (and cheap). Plus lots of great Georgian wine.
- Mukhatsakatukha – A more upscale restaurant serving a mix of international and Georgian cuisine.
- Barbarestan – A traditional Georgian restaurant serving recipes created by pioneering Georgian feminist Barbare Eristavi-Jorjadze. They also have their own wine cellar of entirely Georgian wines.
- Vino Underground – This subterranean bar serves all-organic Georgian wines. The service is fantastic, and it’s also a good place to meet other English-speaking travelers.
- Gamarjoba – Don’t let the touristy exterior fool you — this is another traditional Georgian restaurant that’s worth a visit.
- Bottle Shock Wine Bar – This intimate, hip bar features live music along with local wine and craft beer.
Where to Stay
- The Terrace – Located in the heart of Tbilisi, this boutique hotel offers a great experience at a reasonable price.
Things to Do
- Wander around the alleys and historic streets.
- Take the funicular up to Mtatsminda Amusement Park.
Sighnaghi & Kakheti Region
Kakheti is the Georgian wine region, and Sighnaghi is the largest town in the area. Sighnaghi is a popular destination for weddings due to the quaint architecture and beautiful scenery.
Where to Stay
- Burji Guest House – Located in Sighnaghi, this guest house has fantastic food.
- Kabadoni – This luxury hotel is located right in the center of Sighnaghi, and the spa offers all the services you’d expect (Heather got a very affordable massage).
- Twins Hotel and Wine Cellar – Located in a vineyard in the town of Napareuli, this is a lovely place to stay if you’re on your way to the mountainous Tusheti region of Georgia.
Things to Do
- Nekresi Monastery – A famous monastery that’s been in operation since the 6th century C.E.
- Winery Khareba – This winery is one of the largest in Georgia, and it’s located in the side of a mountain. The tour is absolutely worth doing to learn about the ancient Georgian winemaking process.
Omalo & Tusheti Region
Omalo is a tiny village in the mountainous Tusheti region of northeast Georgia. The drive through the mountains to get there is harrowing, but totally worth it (we recommend hiring a driver who’s experienced in navigating the winding mountain roads).
- Shina Guesthouse – This was one of the best guesthouses we stayed at in all of Georgia. It’s located against a backdrop of mountains in the tiny village of Omalo.
Kazbegi is the other mountainous region we visited while in Georgia. It’s a bit more touristy than Omalo, but still quite tranquil.
- Rooms Kazbegi – The eclectic decor of this hotel makes you feel like you’re staying in a high-end, hipster living room. Even if you aren’t staying there, we recommend going there to enjoy a drink on the deck.
- Gergeti Monastery – This monastery is located against the backdrop of Kazbegi Mountain (a massive, snow-capped peak). The photo opportunities are unbelievable. We recommend taking one of the walking paths to the top if you can (it takes around 45 minutes).
Want to see all of our favorite Georgia destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:
Georgia exceeded all of our expectations and is now one of our favorite places in the world. Our trip barely scratched the surface of all this country has to offer, and we can’t wait to return for more adventures.
We hope this guide inspires you to consider Georgia for your next trip, and we’re excited to see what you discover.
Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.