Backpacking Georgia

Hello to all seasoned and aspiring backpackers!

Are you dreaming of stunning mountain ranges, spectacular lakes, green forests, and idyllic valleys as well as caves, vineyards, and plains?

Backpacking in Georgia is an absolute must for everyone who wants to explore an exciting country within a short period of time on a backpacker-friendly budget.

Sounds good, right? We’ll show you the best itinerary through Georgia.


Important Basics

Official Language ( Georgian )
EnglishGeorgian
HelloGamarjoba
GoodbyeNakhvamdis
Thank youMadloba
YesDiakh
NoAra
Capital City

Tbilisi

Form of government

Parliamentary republic

Best Time to Visit

May to September

Fun Facts
  • Krubera Cave is located in Georgia and is 2,191 meters deep, which makes it the second-deepest cave on Earth.
  • Georgian is one of the oldest languages in the world as well as one of the most difficult to learn.
  • The word for “hello” in Georgian literally means “Be victorious!”
  • There are three mountains higher than the Mont Blanc in Georgia.
  • October 14th is the day of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and a national holiday in Georgia.

Cities

Kutaisi

Your first destination is Georgia's third-largest city, Kutaisi, the perfect place to ease into your trip without experiencing much culture shock. Stop by the beautiful city centre and visit the Bagrati Cathedral, the Kutaisi Cable Car, and the Colchis Fountain with its elaborate golden figures. Stroll along the Rioni River, which flows right through the city, and hang out at hip bars and traditional restaurants on the riverbanks.

Discover the traditional market, the old amusement park, and the cool party scene of Kutaisi. Several sites outside the city are also worth a visit, especially the beautiful Motsameta and Gelati monasteries and Prometheus Cave. Where else can you take a boat trip on an underground lake in a 15 km long cave? Make sure to check out Sataplia Nature Reserve with its glass viewing platform and fantastic view over Kutaisi and Martvili and Okatse canyons.

The city's hostels and hotels are quite inexpensive, and you can find a double room for just 10 euros per night.

Akhaltsikhe

Catch a bus (for only five euros!) to your next stop: Akhaltsikhe. Located at the foot of the huge Rabati fortress, this small village may not seem impressive, but is a great place to get to know the country’s unique charm and local hospitality – something all travellers in Georgia rave about. Make sure to visit the fortress and marvel at its distinctive architectural beauty, complete with arcades, mosaics, and golden domes. Akhaltsikhe is also the perfect starting point for a trip to Vardzia and its extraordinary cave monasteries.

Stay overnight in Akhaltsikhe’s centre – a double room costs as little as 18 euros per night.

Tbilisi

A three-euro bus trip will get you to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. The city is colourful, lively, and full of contrasts – futuristic buildings are lined up next to grey Soviet-era buildings and playful Art Nouveau houses. Take a free walking tour and check out the vibrant old town, the traditional bath district, and the Betlemi Street Stairs. Have brunch in a trendy hipster café, visit a farmers' market or get a massage in the traditional sulphur bath of Bathhouse No. 5, and rest assured that you won’t run out of things to do in Tbilisi.

Take a cable car up to Narikala Fortress for amazing views of the city. Head a bit outside of Tbilisi to visit the rock-hewn Davit Gareja Monastery Complex, which is located near the Georgian-Azerbaijani border and still inhabited by monks. The most interesting thing isn’t the monastery itself, but the mystical and peaceful desert-like landscape surrounding the complex.

Stay in Tbilisi’s old town in a six-bed dorm for 10 euros per night.

Stepantsminda

Continue into the Caucasus to Stepantsminda via bus for about four euros. Make sure to stay awake because there’s plenty see and do on the way to this small mountain village. Plan a stop at the Ananuri Fortress on the shores of the turquoise blue Zhinvali Reservoir and check out the viewing platform at the Jvari Pass.

Once you arrive in Stepantsminda, go hiking or trekking and enjoy Georgia’s beautiful mountain landscapes. We particularly recommend a day trip to the Gergeti Trinity Church underneath the impressive 5,033-metre-high Mount Kazbek. Hike up the mountain to get a good view of the Gergeti Glacier.

Sleep in a hostel in Stepantsminda’s centre – a three-bed dorm costs only 10 euros per night.

Gori

Another five-euro bus trip will take you to your last stop: Gori – the birthplace of Stalin. Visit the house where Stalin was born, check out the informative Stalin Museum, and see his personal train car in which he travelled to the famous Yalta Conference in 1945.

Gori is above all the starting point for an excursion to the town of Uplistsikhe, one of the first settlements in Georgia, carved into the rocks on a mountain edge. About 10 kilometres away from the city, Uplistsikhe offers wonderful views of the Kura Valley and spectacular insights into the Bronze Age. Take a tour and discover sixth-century ruins, including a church, an assembly hall, and a storage cellar.

Stay overnight in Gori for only 5 euros a night in an eight-bed dorm. The next morning, take the train back from Gori to Kutaisi for about 6 euros. From there, you can catch a flight back home.


Kutaisi

Kutaisi

Your first destination is Georgia's third-largest city, Kutaisi, the perfect place to ease into your trip without experiencing much culture shock. Stop by the beautiful city centre and visit the Bagrati Cathedral, the Kutaisi Cable Car, and the Colchis Fountain with its elaborate golden figures. Stroll along the Rioni River, which flows right through the city, and hang out at hip bars and traditional restaurants on the riverbanks.

Discover the traditional market, the old amusement park, and the cool party scene of Kutaisi. Several sites outside the city are also worth a visit, especially the beautiful Motsameta and Gelati monasteries and Prometheus Cave. Where else can you take a boat trip on an underground lake in a 15 km long cave? Make sure to check out Sataplia Nature Reserve with its glass viewing platform and fantastic view over Kutaisi and Martvili and Okatse canyons.

The city's hostels and hotels are quite inexpensive, and you can find a double room for just 10 euros per night.

Akhaltsikhe

Akhaltsikhe

Catch a bus (for only five euros!) to your next stop: Akhaltsikhe. Located at the foot of the huge Rabati fortress, this small village may not seem impressive, but is a great place to get to know the country’s unique charm and local hospitality – something all travellers in Georgia rave about. Make sure to visit the fortress and marvel at its distinctive architectural beauty, complete with arcades, mosaics, and golden domes. Akhaltsikhe is also the perfect starting point for a trip to Vardzia and its extraordinary cave monasteries.

Stay overnight in Akhaltsikhe’s centre – a double room costs as little as 18 euros per night.

Tbilisi

Tbilisi

A three-euro bus trip will get you to Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. The city is colourful, lively, and full of contrasts – futuristic buildings are lined up next to grey Soviet-era buildings and playful Art Nouveau houses. Take a free walking tour and check out the vibrant old town, the traditional bath district, and the Betlemi Street Stairs. Have brunch in a trendy hipster café, visit a farmers' market or get a massage in the traditional sulphur bath of Bathhouse No. 5, and rest assured that you won’t run out of things to do in Tbilisi.

Take a cable car up to Narikala Fortress for amazing views of the city. Head a bit outside of Tbilisi to visit the rock-hewn Davit Gareja Monastery Complex, which is located near the Georgian-Azerbaijani border and still inhabited by monks. The most interesting thing isn’t the monastery itself, but the mystical and peaceful desert-like landscape surrounding the complex.

Stay in Tbilisi’s old town in a six-bed dorm for 10 euros per night.

Stepantsminda

Stepantsminda

Continue into the Caucasus to Stepantsminda via bus for about four euros. Make sure to stay awake because there’s plenty see and do on the way to this small mountain village. Plan a stop at the Ananuri Fortress on the shores of the turquoise blue Zhinvali Reservoir and check out the viewing platform at the Jvari Pass.

Once you arrive in Stepantsminda, go hiking or trekking and enjoy Georgia’s beautiful mountain landscapes. We particularly recommend a day trip to the Gergeti Trinity Church underneath the impressive 5,033-metre-high Mount Kazbek. Hike up the mountain to get a good view of the Gergeti Glacier.

Sleep in a hostel in Stepantsminda’s centre – a three-bed dorm costs only 10 euros per night.

Gori

Gori

Another five-euro bus trip will take you to your last stop: Gori – the birthplace of Stalin. Visit the house where Stalin was born, check out the informative Stalin Museum, and see his personal train car in which he travelled to the famous Yalta Conference in 1945.

Gori is above all the starting point for an excursion to the town of Uplistsikhe, one of the first settlements in Georgia, carved into the rocks on a mountain edge. About 10 kilometres away from the city, Uplistsikhe offers wonderful views of the Kura Valley and spectacular insights into the Bronze Age. Take a tour and discover sixth-century ruins, including a church, an assembly hall, and a storage cellar.

Stay overnight in Gori for only 5 euros a night in an eight-bed dorm. The next morning, take the train back from Gori to Kutaisi for about 6 euros. From there, you can catch a flight back home.

Georgia Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home – Kutaisi
Home – Kutaisi
Flight
50
Double room
10
2. Kutaisi - Akhaltsikhe
Kutaisi - Akhaltsikhe
Bus
38
Double room
18
3. Akhaltsikhe
Akhaltsikhe
-
Double room
18
4. Akhaltsikhe
Akhaltsikhe
-
Double room
18
5. Akhaltsikhe - Tbilisi
Akhaltsikhe - Tbilisi
Bus
3
6-person dorm
10
6. Tbilisi
Tbilisi
-
6-person dorm
10
7. Tbilisi
Tbilisi
-
6-person dorm
10
8. Tbilisi - Stepantsminda
Tbilisi - Stepantsminda
Bus
4
3-person dorm
10
9. Stepantsminda
Stepantsminda
-
3-person dorm
10
10. Stepanzminda
Stepanzminda
-
3-person dorm
10
11. Stepantsminda - Gori
Stepantsminda - Gori
Bus
5
8-person dorm
5
12. Gori
Gori
-
8-person dorm
5
13. Gori - Kutaisi
Gori - Kutaisi
Train
6
Double room
10
14. Kutaisi – Home
Kutaisi – Home
Flight
50

Total price.

Flights 100,00
Transportation 23,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 144,00
Total267,00

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deine eigene

Reise erstellen?

Du möchtest deine

eigene Reise erstellen?

Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

A hearty start:  Breakfast with lots of fruit, sausage, eggs, and bread or pastries is popular in Georgia.

Soups

Kharcho:  This soup is a highlight, and consists of meat, rice, cherry plum purée, fried onions, ground walnuts, and loads of spices.

Main courses

Chanakhi: This lamb stew with eggplant and herbs is traditionally cooked in small clay pots called chanakhi, which is where this dish gets its name.

Shashlik: These skewers made with vegetables and different kinds of meat are often served with various sauces and salad.

Chakhokhbili: This well-known stew is made with chicken or pheasant, tomatoes, onions, and herbs.

Pheasant: This meat is very popular, especially in rural areas, and is prepared over several days and often cooked with spices.

Basturma:   This air-dried, cured beef can be served as a side dish or enjoyed as an appetizer.

Drinks

Wine: Georgian wine is well-known and of course, tastes better there.

Khashi: This is a traditional drink or soup made of tripe, garlic, and a lot of spices. It’s said to be a secret recipe for hangovers.

Georgia

The exchange rate for 1 Georgian Lari is around 0.32 euros (as of May 2022). See prices for certain products and the cost of living below:

Cost of living

Food

Free time

Personal Hygiene

Dos

Get a guide: If you travel to remote rural areas, a guide will be great for your safety and to learn more about the country.

Be open: Locals are happy to receive tourists from all over the world. Try to be open with them!

Accept gifts: You may very well receive a gift from the locals. Accept it with pleasure but open it later.

Don'ts

Don’t talk politics: It’s a delicate issue in Georgia. It's best if you don't mention it at all.

Don't be surprised by stares: You might get stared at, especially if you travel alone as a woman, but it’s only because solo female travellers are unusual in Georgia.

Don’t go topless: Cover yourself as much as possible while swimming and on the beach.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert-Koch-Instituts

Additional Remarks.

Travel documents must be valid for the whole duration of the trip. Please also inform yourself on the current entry regulations regarding the Corona virus. Current information about this can be found at the your country’s Foreign Office.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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