Updated: Jun 7
Somebody, we know asked us recently: Is it safe to travel to Tbilisi? He has been considering traveling to Tbilisi, Georgia but was concerned about the demonstration regarding an anti-Russian type law proposal from the recent events. He seemed a little concerned.
As I was typing this letter, protestors were, what appeared on TV news channels, trashing the streets of Paris protesting against the new proposed pension law, something similar, even deadlier was happening in Israel and another shooting incident took place in the USA. All of these events took place in places of peace, not to count the current Russian-provoked war in Ukraine.
Yet I understand the concerns. Unknown creates fear and doubt. Brand Georgia is lesser known in terms of its track record of safety as opposed to other Western nations.
Of course, you can easily read about how safe it is to travel to Georgia on relevant foreign government websites as well as statistics on crime and corruption. But it is probably helpful to understand the bigger picture and the reasons for the protests (visiting the Museum of the Soviet Occupation is both informative and interesting).
You see the 21st century Georgia is a relatively new Democracy, and as such the need to defend its Democratic foundations is greater. A country such as Georgia does not have the luxury to relax if Democratic reforms appear to be questioned. Because of that, quite rightly, people often take to the streets to express their views and oppose certain governmental proposals. I believe it is both good and essential to hold any government at any time and place accountable for its actions.
So, is it safe to travel to Tbilisi, Georgia? All I can say is if you are considering traveling to Tbilisi, I encourage you to join the millions who visit Tbilisi and Georgia every year!
To help you decide to visit Tbilisi, or even move to Tbilisi as an expat here are 7 reasons to consider why you should visit Tbilisi which has nothing to do about wine and hospitality.
Tbilisi Architecture - Old Tbilisi and Modern Tbilisi
Somebody who is from Tbilisi, I would of course say this, but Tbilisi's architecture is truly unique. Through the centuries, the city endured countless invasions and struggles. Yet, each period brought their own cultural influence and left their identity in some form, you can read them through the buildings and unique blend of architectural mix of Asian, European, Soviet, Brutalist and of course distinctly Georgian. Just grab your camera, or your phone and discover the unique architectural mix of this urban metropolis.
2. A city carving out its own identity
It’s been nearly 30 years since Georgia reclaimed once again its own independence. As the country of Georgia moves forward you can see the city carving out its own identity in every corner. From Tbilisi street art to underground movements you will enjoy discovering the new spirit of the modern Georgians and true Tbilisans.
3. Behind the street Tbilisi
There is nothing like getting lost in the city and even so in Tbilisi. If you really want to discover the city I encourage you to take backstreets of Tbilisi and meet the quirky, the ugly, and the beautiful around every corner of Old Tbilisi as well as modern and contemperary Tbilisi.
4. Tbilisi art culture
Tbilisi has always had a vibrant arts culture. 2023 in Tbilisi is no exception. There is always something new happening. From the innovative new Georgian creative designers and artists to classical cultural themes there is always plenty to enjoy. For the contemporary art in Tbilisi start from Tbilisi Moma or if you are more of a classical type of person check out Jansugh Kakhidze Music Centre.
5. Cost of living in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2023
OK, I must admit, this year, in 2023, I was shocked by the prices in Tbilisi. Everything I touched seemed really expensive. But if you are smart enough you can still enjoy a relatively low cost of living in Tbilisi. So do some budgeting and researching before you travel to Tbilisi and you will find it is still a very liveable city for expats and Tbilisi visitors.
6. Climate in Tbilisi, Georgia
What’s the weather like in Tbilisi? Well, whatever the time of the year you know the sun will be shining. You can enjoy warm weather from the start of spring (although expect a few cold and wet days) all the way until November. If you love the mild climate, hot summer days, and the sun shining through your windows, Tbilisi is your kind of city.
7. Ease of doing business in Georgia as an ex-pat
From 5% taxes in Georgia to ease of registering your business and starting to trade fast, Tbilisi and Georgia are one of the easiest places to do your business. Head over to the Tbilisi Public Service Hall (Mushroom building in Tbilisi) to find out all the details you need about registering your business in Tbilisi, Georgia, getting a business and working visa in Georgia, and everything that concerns about working and living in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Tamara Machavariani Forrest-Smith
PS. Our friend never made it to Tbilisi, it's a shame, because in the same period, he intended to travel and did not, we welcomed in our Old Tbilisi apartments guests from the UK, Spain, Malaysia, Germany, and the USA. They all loved being in Tbilisi :)