Tbilisi is trending.. actually, Georgia is trending! Tourism is booming in this Caucasus country. And there’s a reason for it, Georgia is absolutely stunning, safe, cheap, and very fun to travel.
Despite this, it’s still an 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.
This post will explore all the alternatives you have to go from 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 doesn’t stop here. This bus runs every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, every day of the week.
This Bus is number 37 and will take you from Tbilisi Airport to the city – the bus stop is in front of the Arrivals Hall of the terminal. The journey should take about 45 minutes to the central 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 a taxi when you are 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.
Tbilisi airport to city centre – 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 more complicated than you think as they hardly speak English. Here everything is possible, from 15 Lari to 150 Lari.
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 drivers 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 official way of traveling between the Airport and the Tbilisi center
The Toyota taxis are the official airport taxis. They have a fixed price of 35 Lari from the airport to the city center. So, this should make them a good option… Official, fixed prices, no surprises…
Well, the definition of a city center varies according to the driver, and sometimes they want to charge extra for anything outside their city center. We have also read reports of people complaining they want 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 convenient option and not too expensive. Moreover, the driver will wait for you inside the Airport, and he should speak English, making your experience much more straightforward.
You can book one of the many Tbilisi airport transfers 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 greatly, but from what we have learned, they should vary between 15 and 40 USD.
The comfort, quality of the service, and the price will depend on the level of the hotel.
Helpful tips when arriving at Tbilisi Airport
You can buy sim cards at the Airport for a very low price. Unfortunately, I can’t remember exactly how much we spent. However, 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 at 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 and check out sulfur baths, churches, and the mosque. Plus, don’t forget to climb to Mtatsminda Park, which offers a great view of the town.
Naturally, Tbilisi is home to many of the best things to do in Georgia.
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, Kutaisi, 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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