Tbilisi is trending.. actually, Georgia is trending! Tourism is booming in this Caucasus country. And there’s a reason to it, Georgia is absolutely stunning, safe, cheap and very fun to travel. Despite this, it’s still a rather adventure destination, where people sometimes don’t know what to expect. Most people come to Georgia through Tbilisi and the first challenge is to go from Tbilisi Airport to the city center.
In this post, we are going to explore all the alternatives you have to go form the airport to Tbilisi, from the cheapest to the most comfortable. Either way, you should pay close attention to the arrival and departure times of your flights to Tbilisi. Weirdly, there are many flights during the night, which makes this logistics a bit more confusing. We have seen Tbilisi Airport full of people at 4 AM.
The cheapest way of going from Tbilisi Airpor to City Center – BUS
The bus is the cheapest way of traveling between Tbilisi and the Airport. It costs only 0,5 Lari (which is less than 0,15 USD), so it’s basically free. However, the good news don’t stop here, this bus runs every 30 minutes, 24h/day, every day of the week.
This Bus is number 37 and it will take you from Tbilisi Airport to the city – the bus stop is located in front of the Arrivals Hall of the terminal. The journey should take about 45 minutes to the main railway station in Tbilisi.
The modern way of traveling from Tbilisi airport to the center – Taxi Apps
This one may be a little tricky because they aren’t allowed to park in front of the airport. You’ll need to order the taxi when you next to the road, and then wait and find the right one. This should cost about 10 to 15 USD, depending on where you are going.
This option has the upside of getting directly to your hotel but it’s a little more complicated if you aren’t used to doing it.
The option for people who love to bargain
Some people may want to directly approach the taxi drivers on the opposite road of the airport, but note that it may be harder than you think as they hardly speak English. Here everything is possible, from 15 Lari to 150 Lari. Tip: Try to pick a taxi that has just delivered a customer. They will tend to agree on the lower prices than those that are waiting at the entrance.
If you manage to find a driver who just wants to get back to the city you can find an awesome deal, but if you may also find those rip off taxi driver that will want to charge you several times the “normal” price…
Note: You should definitely know some Russian or Georgian to try this option.
The Oficial way of traveling between the Airport and Tbilisi center
The Toyota taxis are the official airport taxis. They have a fixed price of 35 Lari from airport to city center. So, this should make them a good option… Official, fixe prices, no surprises… Well, apparently the definition of city center varies according to the driver, and sometimes they want to charge extra to anything outside their city center. We have also read reports of people complaining they water to charge per person… So be aware of rip-offs here too.
The most comfortable Tbilisi airport transfer
A pre-ordered taxi is probably the most comfortable option to travel between the Airport and the center of Tbilisi, or anywhere you want to go (obviously it’s more expensive). This is a very handy option, and not too expensive. Moreover, the driver will wait for you inside the Airport and he should speak English, making your experience much easier.
You can book one of the many Tbilisi airport transfer available, which should be very reliable, cheap and comfortable.
Hotel / Tbilisi airport transfer
Finally, there are also many hotels offering a Tbilisi airport transfer service. The prices here vary, a lot, but from what we have learned it should vary between 15 and 40 USD. The comfort, quality of the service and price will depend on the level of the hotel.
Useful tips when arriving at Tbilisi Airport
You can buy sim cards in the Airport for a very low price, unfortunately, I can’t remember exactly how much. Though it shouldn’t be more than 15 USD, for both data and minutes. The downside is that it takes up to 30 minutes per client to configure and activate it, so there may be a long queue. The good thing is that they do everything for you, so you’ll be all set for your trip.
You can withdraw money from an ATM in the Airport. I suggest you withdraw an odd amount like 95 GEL, to get some small bills. Many places (particularly taxi drivers) won’t have change for big bills.
We suggest you stay in Tbilisi for at least 2 or 3 days to get the feel of the city, though it’s a city you can easily spend weeks on. You can explore the Narikala fortress, check sulfur baths, the churches, and the mosk. Plus, don’t forget to climb to Mtatsminda Park which offers a great view of the town.
Tbilisi is also a good place for day trips. You can easily visit a big portion of the country only by doing day trips from Tbilisi. You can reach Kazbegi and Georgian Military Road, Gori, Uplistsikhe, Borjomi, Vardzia, etc… Check the best day trips from Tbilisi here.
Enjoy your trip to Georgia, and don’t forget that Tbilisi is only the beginning of the many things Georgia has to offer.
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