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In Georgia’s west, Kutaisi is a lovely natural vibe area and home to the centuries-old Bagrati Cathedral. It’s one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities. Kutaisi is the third-most dense city in Georgia and the next most vital city after the capital Tbilisi. When we visited Kutaisi, it felt like we were transported back to the Soviet era or the middle ages in Europe. It was so much fun exploring the old city and learning about its people, food, and culture.
A Travel Guide to Kutaisi, Georgia.
If you are traveling from Tbilisi, Georgia, you can hire a private car to take you to Kutaisi. The transport service will only cost you about 195-220 Lari (GEL) including tip. I recommend using GoTrip.ge to book good and trusted drivers.
Although less expensive modes of transportation are available, such as buses, minivans, or trains, I would strongly advise you to use a private car for convenience, especially if you have a lot of luggage or are traveling with a child. Travel time is approximately 3.5 hours, but it may take longer if it is raining or there is heavy traffics.
I believe it is best to travel from Tbilisi to Kutaisi first thing in the morning, around 9 or 10 a.m., and arrive in Kutaisi around 1 or 2 p.m. The roads are zigzag and have sharp turns. Parts of the road are currently under construction, and we were told they will likely be finished by 2025. I also noticed that there were no proper street lights, which resulted in the road being extremely dark at night. My hubby and I were highly thankful because our driver was professional and drove us from Tbilisi to Kutaisi safely. We were in Kutaisi for three nights and four days.
There is an international airport in Kutaisi, Georgia. Therefore, you can fly directly from your country to Kutaisi International Airport, also known as David the Builder International Airport. Kutaisi International Airport is located 14 kilometers west of Kutaisi.
Must-Visit Place when in Kutaisi, Georgia.
Colchis Fountain. This lovely fountain can be found in Kutaisi’s central main square. It’s a landmark that features gold animal figures. The animals sculpted in the fountain are native to Georgia.
Kutaisi Park. This densely packed tree park is only a few minutes walk from Colchis Fountain. This park attracts people of all ages who come to relax and socialize. Seniors enjoy playing Nardi, a board game. In addition, park vendors sell snacks, fruits, cigarettes, and candies. For less than one lari, they provide a weight scale service.
Meskhishvili Theatre. If you enjoy drama and theatre, this is for you. Its area is also a free walking area where you can take beautiful selfies and groupies.
White Bridge. You will find this fantastic bridge over the Rioni river in the central part of Kutaisi, Georgia. When we visited, the river was so rough that you could feel the vibration on the bridge and the splashes of water. It was super adventurous! If the river is in its quiet mood, you will see its stunning white stones beneath it.
Kutaisi State Historical Museum. This museum was also known as the Niko Berdzenishvili Kutaisi State History Museum. To view the artifacts inside, you must pay a fee of 3 Lari (GEL) per person. It houses incredible collections of Georgia’s archaeological, bullion coins, paleographical, ethnographic, and spiritual heritage.
Central Agricultural Market of Kutaisi. Suppose you enjoy markets and would love to encounter excellent products that are unique in Georgia. In that case, you must visit Central Agricultural Market. They sell fruits, veggies, potatoes, onions, and so on. There are also a few stalls selling clothing, books, and handmade items like souvenirs!
Bagrati Cathedral. Sad to say, we were unable to visit this majestic cathedral. But I strongly advise you to go because it is a visual feast of medieval Georgian architecture. A fantastic spot for photography and reflection.
Restaurants to Try in Kutaisi, Georgia.
Not only did we have a visual feast, but we also had an incredible food hunting experience in Kutaisi, Georgia. Here are some restaurants where we dined and had a good time.
- Hacker-Pschorr Kutaisi. Try the Ojakhuri Calf, which was exceptionally tender and flavorful. They also serve iced cold beers and a variety of wines.
- White Stones. It’s a cozy cafe-bar close to White Bridge. We relaxed with coffee, tiramisu, and strudel after we walked around the neighborhood.
- Siam Thai Restaurant Kutaisi. If you like Thai foods and are craving them while in Kutaisi, Georgia, this is the place to go.
Where to Stay in Kutaisi, Georgia.
There are various hotel and transient homes in Kutaisi, Georgia. Depending on your budget, you can rent a hotel from 180-250 Lari per night. You can also find cheaper transient homes that could start at 40 Lari per day.
In our case, we stayed in Gala Boutique Hotel because it’s nearby the tourist spots. From the hotel, we could walk from the main attractions I mentioned above, even the restaurants. It was a nice hotel that would meet your basic lodging needs while on vacation in Kutaisi, Georgia. The best part is that the staffs were courteous, kind, and knowledgeable about customer service.
As soon as we came, we were greeted and given fantastic recommendations for places to visit in Kutaisi, Georgia, and a map with information on it!. As I said, this hotel has the advantage of being close to Colchis Fountain, Kutaisi Park, Meskhishvili Theatre, White Bridge, Rustaveli Bridge, restaurants, and other attractions.
Things to Remember when in Kutaisi, Georgia.
- When planning your day, remember to check the weather forecast to ensure your safety and comfortable journey. It was summer during our visit in June 2022, but it rained a couple of times for some reason. Since we checked the weather forecast, we were glad we had brought umbrellas.
- Be watchful of dog poop because, in general, there are a lot of stray dogs in Georgia.
- Bring small bills with you for payments, tips, and donations.
- There are many money exchange shops. Therefore, exchanging in Lari (GEL) for USD, Euro, or GBP is not a problem. They also accept Dirhams, Rubles, Rupees, and Renminbi.
- Type C and F electrical sockets are used in Kutaisi, Georgia. They operate on a 220V supply voltage and a 50Hz frequency.
- When Georgians spoke aloud, they sounded angry, but they weren’t.
- Because Georgia is known for its wines, there are many home wineries and industrial wineries.
- Georgian traditional food includes bread, sulguni Georgian cheese, lobio, dolmas, khinkali and more.
- Use the Bolt app to hire a taxi. It was super cheap.
- Always leave a tip!
- Clean as you go.
- Always be careful when crossing the roads.
Basic Conversational Phrases you can use when in Kutaisi, Georgia.
Georgians are the most fluent in Kartvelian languages. They also have their own set of captivating letters. Here are a few casual phrases and words to learn and practice while visiting Kutaisi, Georgia.
- Hello – Gamarjoba
- Yes – Ki
- Ara – No
- Thank you – Madloba
- Thank you very much – Didi Madloba
- How much? (Price) – Ra Ghirs?
- Excuse me – Ukatsravad (u-kats-ra-vad)
- Sorry – Bodishi
- Please – Tu Sheidzleba (tu she-id-zle-ba)
- Cheers – Gaumardjos
- Wine – Ghvino
To Wrap Up
Kutaisi, Georgia, is a beautiful place to visit and wander. It has a rich history would take you back in time by merely observing its landscapes, sceneries, and architecture. Georgians are humble, kind, and welcoming! During our visit, we felt safe because police officers were stationed throughout the area to ensure everything was in peace and controlled. I’d like to return to Kutaisi, Georgia, and experience its various seasons, including winter and autumn. I’m pretty sure there’s more to discover!
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