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Book a flight to Tbilisi and explore all that Georgia's capital city has to offer. The country's economical and cultural hub, Tbilisi has a rich history yet is a distinctly 21st century city. From five-star hotels to shopping malls and world-class restaurants, it's easy to see why visitors are attracted to the city throughout the year. Dig a little deeper and you'll hear the echoes of Georgia's history.
In the heart of the Old Town, the winding alleyways and ancient traveller's inns mingle with vine-draped courtyards. Tbilisi's Mediterranean vibe and balmy climate ensure that any visit here is one that will never be forgotten. You can fly to Tbilisi with Qatar Airways and enjoy a city break in the heart of the Caucasus.
High on Elia Hill overlooking the city you'll find Sameba Cathedral, one of Georgia's grandest churches and a spectacular example of Georgian architecture. The Parliament Building and Nariqala Fortress are also worth visiting. The latter dates back to the 4th century and was once a Persian citadel.
On your trip to Tbilisi, take a stroll through the winding alleyways of the Old Town and head along Kote Abichazi, the main street. Stop off at the Armenian Norasheni Church, which dates back to 1793. The ancient buildings, eclectic shops and traditional cafés of the Old Town are best seen on foot with a map of the city at hand.
Travel to Tbilisi and you'll quickly realise why the city is renowned for its culture. There are plenty of museums here and it's easy to spend a whole day exploring them. The Open-Air Museum of Ethnography is a great place to start, offering something a little different. Around 70 traditional houses from across Georgia are filled with artefacts from the country's history. Why not while away an hour or two at the city's National Gallery, before heading for the Museum of Georgia? The Archaeological Treasury here displays silver and gold from burial sites dating back as far as the 3rd millennium BC.
The city's Sulfur Baths and Royal Baths in the Abanotubani district are a draw for visitors to Tbilisi throughout the year. It's up to you whether you indulge with a relaxing massage or simply relax in one of the baths with friends.
On a hot day, you'll find local families head for Turtle lake on the city's outskirts. Rent a pedal boat, enjoy swimming in the lake or find a sunny picnic spot and enjoy stunning views of the city and the mountains.
Georgian cuisine is heavily influenced by Middle Eastern and European flavours. In Tbilisi, the emphasis is firmly on traditional restaurants offering local specialities. Try Khinkhali (Georgian meat and vegetable dumplings), Kachapuri (bread filled with cheese) and Badrijani Nigvzit (aubergine cooked in garlic and walnut paste).
For those who fancy international flavours, you can choose from American, Italian, French, Chinese or a whole host of other dishes on offer at the city’s restaurants. Yet it's Tbilisi's traditional taverns and subterranean eateries that offer the most authentic Georgian experience. Don't miss out on the opportunity to sample Georgian desserts – Churchxela, made with walnuts and grape juice, is simply divine.
Travel to Tbilisi and you may be inexplicably overcome with the urge to buy anything and everything at the city's Dry Bridge Market! This eclectic open-air market sells everything from art to jewellery, ancient drinking horns and antique swords. If it's unusual souvenirs you're looking for, look no further. Haggling is essential for the best prices – if you don't speak Russian or Georgian, the calculator on your mobile phone will come in handy.
Antiques, local art, jewellery and wine are popular purchases for visitors to Tbilisi. Georgian jewellery is renowned for its superior quality and low cost. Head for Tiflis Avenue Art Centre in the Old Town, where you can buy art by local upcoming and established artists for very reasonable prices.
Tbilisi Mall is the city's only 'western-style' mall. You'll find international stores alongside the usual fast food outlets.
Flights to Tbilisi with Qatar Airways arrive at Tbilisi International Airport, South of the city centre.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Tbilisi please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Georgian Lari (GEL)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C
International dialing code: +995
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