Old Tbilisi Excursion

Code: TE01
3 Hours


Tbilisi has been the capital of Georgia since the 5th century AD, after King of Iberia (Kartli) – Vakhtang Gorgasali established the city and moved the Royal throne from Mtskheta (old capital) here. According to a legend, idea of foundation of the city on the site came to the King when he found out healing features of sulfur springs existing on that area. According to historical chronicles the territory had good strategic location that made the king to come to such a decision and built the city that became very important alongside the Silk Road. Tbilisi is sort of a conglomerate of European and Asian cultures.

Please note: Ladies require scarves in the Georgian orthodox churches, sometimes skirts too, but they can find some in the entrances. Short trousers are forbidden in the church.


Abanotubani (“district of baths”) is the oldest part of Tbilisi. Baths built in the 17th-18th centuries have been preserved and function nowadays. Their utmost merit is so-called “hot without fire” sulfur springs. Baths have existed on this territory already in the 27th-1st centuries BC. At different times the famous baths of Tbilisi were visited by well-known European and Asian writers, poets, and even Kings. Tbilisi baths represent an example of Islamic architecture.

Narikala – the old citadel of the town, main fortress or Kala, has been called Narikala since the end of the 18th century.

Metekhi – Many events of the history of Tbilisi are related to Metekhi Plateau and the Virgin Mary Church on atop. A legend credits King Vakhtang Gorgasali responsible for founding a church here. The religious tradition, however, maintains that the first church was built here in the 7th century after the body of Saint Shushaniki (a Christian martyr) was brought from Tsurtavi and buried here.

Sioni Cathedral: One of the oldest churches in Tbilisi, the foundations of which were laid by Vakhtang Gorgasali. The church has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, adopting its final appearance in 1657, although its restoration took place afterwards on several occasions. It is named after Virgin Mary, and is home to one of the greatest relics of Georgia – the cross of St. Nino, baptizer of Georgians.

Anchiskhati: An oldest basilica type church preserved in Tbilisi, built in the 6th century. It has changed the appearance several times. In the course of a restoration in the 19th century, even a dome was built upon the church, which was removed in the 20th century, returning the church to its original construction.

Rustaveli Avenue: The first avenue in Tbilisi, the construction of which started in the beginning of the 19th century. Parliament, Opera House, Shota Rustaveli Theater, First Gymnasium and Kashveti Church are located here.