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Kutaisi old town
Downtown Kutaisi

Kutaisi is a city in the Rioni Region of Georgia.

UnderstandEdit

Kutaisi is the traditional rival of Tbilisi for capital status. Since the days of the Golden Fleece, Kutaisi has been considered the capital of Western Georgia (then Ancient Colchis). It is Georgia's second largest city, but, to the irritation of the proud locals, it does not come even close to Tbilisi's present size and wealth. Nevertheless, Kutaisi is more respectful of pedestrians than Tbilisi. Its sidewalks are generally even and flat with very few cars parked on them, whereas in Tbilisi pedestrians are often forced into the streets because of cars sitting on sidewalks. Kutaisi drivers generally stop in front of crosswalks to let pedestrians cross, whereas in Tbilisi pedestrians have to be in the middle of the street to get a car to slow down for them.

Since the Georgian Parliament moved to Kutaisi in 2012, there has been a lot of work on restoring streets, buildings, parks and monuments in the city, and it has become much safer. There seems to be a bit more variety in the materials, facades, and designs of the buildings along Kutaisi's streets. In both Kutaisi and Tbilisi a look up to the second floor can reveal balconies of elaborate ironwork. Kutaisi's central park is a nice (and safe) place to sit and watch people. In addition, a visit to Kutaisi is near mandatory to see the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites and offer views from the mountain slopes over the city and the Rioni River.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

  • 1 King David the Builder International Airport (KUT IATA), Kopitnari, 14 km west of Kutaisi proper on the main S1 highway. Relatively small airport that has second terminal in construction. It has around 160 flights per month during low-season and 240 during high-season. The airport services domestic flights to Tbilisi and several international flights.
    There is a lie down space underneath the inclined windows right after the arrival exit inside the terminal. This can be good for spending the hours (sleeping) before or after an early/late flight.
    There does not seem to be a money exchange at the airport, but the ATM gives small notes down to 5 lari. However, Bank of Georgia charges 2 lari fee.
       

Specific destinations:

  • The Hungary-based, low-cost carrier Wizz Air provides low-cost, low-quality no frills flights to/from Budapest, Hungary; Berlin Dortmund Memmingen, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine; London Luton, England; Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Katowice, Poland; Larnaca, Cyprus; Athens and Thesalloniki, Greece; Bari and Rome and Milan, Italy; Riga, Latvia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Tallinn, Estonia; Prague, Czech Republic; Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and Paris, France; Kopenhagen, Denmark; Vienna, Austria.
  • Ukraine Airlines flies to Kiev and Kharkiv
  • SkyUp Airlines flights to Kharkiv (will operate since June 2019).
  • Ural Airlines flies to Moscow Domodedovo, Russia.
  • There are also occasional flights to Baghdad, Iraq, on Iraqi Airways.

Getting there/awayEdit

  • Marshrutka – Many go by the airport towards Kutaisi center (2 lari), but also to Tbilisi, Zugdidi, Batumi, Poti, Samtredia, etc. The prices for the latter are pretty much like from Kutaisi itself, but you are probably better of first going into Kutaisi center. Most will not go into the airport lane, so just head to the highway 100 m from the airport and hail them there.
Those from Kutaisi bus station towards Batumi, Poti, Zugdidi or Samtredia will also drop passengers off at the airport. Of course all marshrutkas coming from the west heading into Kutaisi will also be able to drop you at the airport. From Tbilisi, a marshrutka from the Didube bus terminal to the airport is 20 lari. It is also possible to walk out of the airport onto the highway and hail a marshrutka if headed to a particular destination.
Having said that, at night the options become more sparse and you might have to resort to the shuttle buses. Ask the tourist information or your ho(s)tel beforehand.
  • Shuttle BusGeorgian Bus and Omnibus Express provide bus service between the airport and Kutaisi city center, Tbilisi and Batumi, with bus schedules following flight arrivals. Shuttle buses to Tbilisi (20 lari, 4 hr) terminate at Freedom Square, while shuttle buses to Batumi (18 lari, 3 hr) terminate at the Radisson Blu Hotel. Shuttle buses to Kutaisi city center (5 lari) will stop at any address within the city. Tickets may be purchased online or upon arrival with cash or bank card at the Georgian Bus counter located near the exit, and when returning to the airport, may also be purchased directly from the driver. If you're riding the Georgian Bus service from Kutaisi, you must e-mail them with the name of the hotel from which you will be picked up from.
  • Train:
  1. (several times per day) Kopitnari railway station is 2 km away. Walk east along the main road. Only regional trains stop here (Direct destinations: Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi). The station has a very friendly countryside climate with staff always positively surprised to see foreigners. Expect to be greeted with local stuff. Tickets are very cheap, 2 lari to Batumi as of March 2019. However, the trains are old Soviet trains (worth the experience but as a rule of thumb they're twice as slow as the road). The new station at the airport was expected to be built in 2019 or 2020.
  2. (several times during the day and 1 overnight) A way via Samtredia train station which is 13 km away (or Rioni, which is 30 km away). Hail marshrutka (couple of lari) or taxi (20 lari) to Samtredia. Overnight train to Tbilisi (departs around 01:00, arrives to Tbilisi 06:30), 20 lari. Besides overnight train, there are daytime trains (around 10:00, 13:00, 20:00 and takes 3-4 hr). Be sure to buy train tickets beforehand, because there might be no free beds/seats.

By trainEdit

  • 2 Kutaisi I, Tamar Mepe St (from this station it is a 10-15 min walk along Tamar Mepe to Kutaisi Park in the center of the city). This is the main station in the east of town, but away from the main bus station in the west. It serves Tbilisi, Tkibuli (1 lari no matter where you get on/off, but the marshrutka is faster), and Sachkhere (for Chiatura).
  • Train 633 – Kutaisi I-Sachkhere – 05:30-08:55, return: Train 634 – Sachkhere-Kutaisi I – 10:10-13:30
  • Train 635 – Kutaisi I-Sachkhere – 16:05-19:25, return: Train 636 – Sachkhere-Kutaisi I – 20:05-23:25
  • Train 6323 – Kutaisi I-Tkibuli – 09:25-12:20, return: Train 6324 – Tkibuli-Kutaisi I – 13:05-16:26
  • Train 6325 – Kutaisi I-Tkibuli – 18:15-21:10, return: Train 6326 – Tkibuli-Kutaisi I – 05:30-08:51
  • 3 Kutaisi II station (southwest; from this station getting a cab is an option, 5 lari all over town). Train from Tskaltubo are running to Kutaisi II station.
  • 4 Rioni station, Kutaisi-Baghdati-Abastumani-Benara Road (7.3 km south of Kutaisi, marshrutka #3 connects from the center, plaza and Kutaisi I). This is the preferred train station to get to/from Kutaisi—also the one you should use for searches on the Georgian Railway Webseite or with the app. There are many more trains (day and night) from here than from Kutaisi I, and also the ones from/to Kutaisi I generally stop here.

All trains from and to Tbilisi Station Square (which is next to the Station Square metro station) leave from and arrive at the Kutaisi I station. There are three daily departures to Tbilisi, and the journey takes five-and-a-half hours. All Georgia Rail Timetable A ticket with a reserved seat costs 9 lari (Apr 2016); a passport is required to purchase the ticket and to board the train. From and to Tbilisi the train also stops in Mtskheta (the old capital of Georgia and Orthodox heart of the country), Gori (the birthplace of Stalin and home of the Stalin Museum) and Zestafoni. It is a relatively comfortable journey because passengers can stand and stretch and walk the length of the wagon) but slow due to long, intermediate stops, including one at Rioni, right outside Kutaisi. There are bathrooms on board (but bring tissue, just in case). There is no cafe or dining car, so bring water and snacks, too.

A local but "fast" train runs from Kutaisi I to Batumi (listed Makhinjauri in the timetable — the name of the station about 8 km north of Batumi), leaving at 09:00, arriving three hours later. The cost is 4 lari, payable on the train. Trains to Kharagauli leave every day (4-10 lari, 3½ hr). While private drivers and transport from Tbilisi are available (Mtskheta and Gori are day trips from Tbilisi), the Tbilisi-Kutaisi train route offers a good backbone for a tour of Georgia (with a look at its snow-capped mountains even in May) with leisurely overnights in Mtskheta, Gori, Kutaisi, and on to Batumi and the Black Sea.

By marshrutkaEdit

  • 5 Kutaisi central bus station. The official city's website has most correct departure times and prices.
  • 6 Kutaisi I (in front of the train station). Serves nearby destination to the east, like Tkibuli, Tuzi and Oni. Timetable for leaving Kutaisi this way see at the end.
  • 7 Red bridge station (adjacent area of Red bridge from city center cross the bridge and stop is on the left). Regional marshrutkas, marshrutkas to Racha. The official city's website has most correct departure times and prices.

From specific destinations:

  • Tbilisi – Marshrutkas and full 54-passenger buses depart regularly for Kutaisi from 'Didube Bus Station' located at the Didube metro stop in Tbilisi. Marshrutkas (hourly, 3½ hr, 10 lari); large buses (every 3 hours, 4 hr). While marshrutkas get to Kutaisi quicker than the train, they are not as comfortable. The driver may not leave Didube until the mini-bus is full, which could mean as many 20 people sitting with bags and backpacks in five rows of four seats. There is no guarantee of any stops along the way to smoke or go to the toilet. There is no standing, of course, and, really, very little room to wiggle, especially if there are people sitting on the aisle seats. The best seats in marshrutkas are the ones next to the driver; however, he may, if he chooses, ask you to move to the back of the bus and give your seat to someone else.
  • Batumi – The marshrutka will get you to the town centre, or drop you off at the airport on the way, for 15 lari. Usually it takes 2-2½ hr, but give yourself about 3 or so. The bus will wait in Batumi until it is full, which could mean waiting on the bus for an extra 45 min. In Batumi, the buses leave from nearby to the entrance to the cable car, but the port. You will see them all parked there.
  • Borjomi – Several during the day, every hour or so, 8 lari, 2 hr. If you do not find a direct bus, it is said to be easy to change buses in Khashuri—3 lari between Borjomi and Khashuri.
  • Akhaltsikhe – 10:40, 15:00, and 18:10. 3½ hr. 10-12 lari.
  • Kharagauli – Twice a day, 10 lari, 3½ hr.
  • Zugdidi – There are hourly (or so) marshrutkas until 16:00. 1½-2 hr, 7 lari.

Get aroundEdit

The interesting parts of the town are walkable. To visit the monasteries in the mountains nearby booking a day-tour may be a time-saving option.

By busEdit

No. 1 city bus is a useful circular route (both clockwise and anticlockwise direction) linking the main city square, Kutasi I (main train station), and Kutaisi II (bus station). 0.4 lari, pay the driver at exit, change given.

From Kutasi II (bus station), clockwise direction (to the left, cross the road from McDonald's) is the faster route to the city centre. Note each direction takes slightly different route on the centre of the city (east side of the river). The clockwise direction does not go in front of Kutasi I but goes south on Tsereteli St. along the river. The anticlockwise direction stops in front of Kutaisi I then goes uphill on Solomon Piveli Street and downhill on 26 Maisi (May) Street towards the main square.

Local marshrutkas ply the city but it can be difficult to find the route for average tourists. Nonetheless, bother enough locals with a map and some broken Russian, and eventually one will take pity and frog march you to the right bus stop.

By trainEdit

Schedule of Georgian railways is here.

SeeEdit

 
Bagrati Cathedral
 
White bridge
  • 1 Bagrati Cathedral (UNESCO World Heritage site), Bagrati Street (on foot, from Kutsaisi Park (Central Garden), cross the river on the Nino Street bridge. Over the bridge, turn right, cross the street, and look for the stairs that go up the hill. At the top of the hill follow Bagrati Street to the right). Ancient church that was built in the 11th century by King Bagrat III, a symbol of a unified Georgia. Foundations of an earlier building have been found. Blown up by marauding Islamic invaders in the 18th century, then carefully restored over the last 100 years; the interior is also almost completed. The difference between original and replacement is clearly obvious. The ongoing reconstruction aimed at returning Bagrati Cathedral back to its original state as a religious space has led ICOMOS to recommend that it should be left as a ruin and added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in danger. Free admission.    
  • 2 Uqimerioni Fortress (adjacent to Bagrati Cathedral, 50 meters behind it).  
  • 3 Synagogue, 57-59 Boris Gaponov St.    
  • 4 St. Thekla church, Daniel Chonkadze St.
  • 5 St Elijah the prophet church., Chekhovi Street I.
  • 6 St. Cyprian and Justina church, David Agmashenebeli Ave,.
  • 7 Parliament of Georgia, Irakli Abashidze St (in the west of the city on the main road to Tskaltubo). Completed in 2012. It was one of the most prestigious projects of President Mikheil Saakashvili to relocate the parliament from Tbilisi to Kutaisi. However, the relocation of Parliament is cancelled by the new government Ivanishvili. In what way this new €50 million building will be used is still unclear.
  • 8 White Bridge. Over the river Rioni, known by the bridge Springer scene in the movie "Neobyknovennaja Vystavka"  
  • 9 Soviet Mural. Amazing.

MuseumsEdit

  • 10 Small Local History museum, Rustaveli Ave. and Tesereteli St. corner. 10:00-18:00. with English signs like "pottery shreds" offering very little in-depth information 3 lari.
  • Kutaisi Museum of Sport.
  • Kutaisi Museum of Martial Art.
  • Museum of Zakaria Paliashvili.
  • David Kakabadze Fine Art Gallery, 8 Shota Rustaveli Street. Houses collections of the 19th and 20th century artists

Further afieldEdit

 
Gelati Monastery
 
Geguti Palace
  • 11 Motsameta Monastery (მოწამეთა) (NE 6 km of Kutaisi. On the way to/from Gelati (see transport options there). The train has the closest stop. Besides, Motsameta is about 5 km from Gelati Monastery, which is about 1 hr walk following the Kutaisi-Tkibuli road.). A 11th-century monastery richly decorated with frescoes. On a ridge in between a impressing mountainous region. Has far less tourists than Gelati, but often considered the more beautiful one, due to its interesting location. From along the train tracks you might be able to get a better picture with the hills around the monastery.    
  • 12 Gelati Monastery (გელათის მონასტერი), 7, Nazarishvili str (NE 11 km of Kutaisi. There is minibus #33 going to the monastery departing from behind Kutaisi's Meskhishvili Theater (Mari Brosse Street), costs 1 lari, leaves at 10:00, 11:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00 and going back 08:00(?), 12:00(?), 15:00, 17:00, 18:20. There is a sign indicating "Gelati" in the wind shield. Alternatively get to Gelati on the Kutaisi-Tkibuli road by train (1 lari) or bus and walk for 2 km from the Gelati stop uphill to the monastery.).    
  • 13 Geguti Palace, Geguti village (S 15 km). One of the few secular monuments of the medieval Georgian kingdom, located on the banks of the River Rioni. It is well preserved and developed for tourism. It's not protected anyhow and thus it's free to enter.    
  • 14 Vani archaeological site (ვანი) (41 km southwest in Imereti region). one of the most important cities of antique Colchi, from 8th-6th century BC have been discovered. The city was destroyed in the 1st century AD.
  • 15 Sataplia Nature Reserve (SW 10 km). Three main attractions of the reserve - a pavilion with well-preserved dinosaur footprints, karst cave and glass balcony - an observation deck on top of the mountain Sataplia (highest point of the reserve). However, the guides are unsatisfactory since they either only speak Russian or give little information. Read the online reviews before heading here. 17 lari.
  • 16 [dead link] Prometheus Cave (პრომეთე მღვიმე), located in village Kumistavi (Buses and minibuses to Tskaltubo 1) from Kutaisi central bus terminal (bus #34), 2) Tskaltubo overpass (bus #44?) and 3) adjacent area of Red bridge from city center cross the bridge and stop is on the left) (minibus #34, bus #30) to Tskaltubo leave every hour (1.20 lari, takes 30 min) and after that from Tskaltubo central market to the cave take minibus #42, leaves every day except Monday (1 lari, 20 min). Taxi from Tsakltubo costs 5 lari. You might consider an overnight option, because Tskaltubo is an interesting place on itself). (May-August) 10:00—18:00, (rest) 10:00—17:00; on rainy days might be closed, admissions only for groups. One of Georgia’s longest natural caves, with fabulous stalactites and stalagmites and underground lake. Take warm clothes.
    Beware, some travellers have complained that it is just an expensive tourist trap. Often you have to go in a large group (30+ people), having to wait for everyone. And also, the tour guide only explains things in Georgian or Russian. If you have seen other caves around the world before, you can probably skip this one.
    23 lari.    
  • 17 Cracked Rock Lake (Gabzaruli cavity) (just northwest of Prometheus). For the descent you need ropes longer than 30 m. Otherwise it is a nice view from the top. Free?.
  • 18 Okatse Canyon. Closed Mondays. Another overhyped tourist destination around Kutaisi. 700 steps to climb, so be aware. Generally, the canyon is beautiful and nice to see, but the prices are a little overdrawn, considering the other prices in this country. You can go in by 4WD, if you have. 17.50 lari (parking 10 lari).

DoEdit

  • Do as the locals do: Sit in the city centre park (Central Garden) and watch the world pass by.
  • 1 Torpedo Kutaisi F.C. (Givi Kiladze Stadium), Giorgi Brtskinavale. See the local football team in a match at the Givi Kiladze Stadium. 2 lari.
  • 2 Tskaltubo Spa Resort, 23, Rustaveli ave., Tskaltubo, +995 599-091610, . Besides the decaying old building of the old sanatorium, there is this hotel which offers spa and mineral treatments, sauna and massages. Probably a good option when it's raining in Kutaisi. 30 lari for a full treat.

TheatresEdit

ParksEdit

  • 4 Botanical Garden "Kolchuri" (in the north of the city on the main road towards Zageri). Rather small but still nice botanical garden. Some trees has signs in English. There is also interesting chapel built inside the tree. 1 lari.
  • 5 Park of Culture and Rest (Besik Gabashvili Park), Vazha Pashavela St.
  • 6 Central Garden (ქუთაისის ბულვარი, ბაღის კიდე), Rustaveli Avenue (across from the water fountain with horned animals in the city's main roundabout). A great central location to rejuvinate, observe, meet, and plan.
  • 7 Kharazov Park, Solomon Pirveli Street.
  • 8 Youth Park (Pionerta Park), Tbilisi-Senaki-Leselidze Rd..
  • 9 Kikvidze Park, Zviad Gamsakhurdia St.

BuyEdit

WhatEdit

The homemade wine in the bazaar in Kutaisi is apparently not that good, because more than often they mix with sugar and other stuff. This is at least what some locals are saying.

WhereEdit

  • 1 Bazaar (Village Market), off Zakhira Paliashvili (Paliashvili V Aly) St (From Kutsaisi Park (the Central Garden) walk towards the river in the direction of the Bagrati Cathedral and then follow the people). In addition to fruits, vegetables, and whole chickens, natural, homemade red wine is sold in Kutaisi's market, bottled in re-used plastic soda pop containers (from 2 lari a bottle). Look for a row of sellers in the first floor of a shabby building not far from the sellers on the street; the wine seller is on one end of this building in a walk-up stall.
  • 2 Regular stores, along Tsereteli St..

EatEdit

Kutaisi has quite a number of decent restaurants. They are mainly in the city center, but a bit spread out, so just walk around to find what you're looking for.

  • 1 Chinese Restaurant. True Chinese cuisine. Owners are obviously Chinese. Offer huge variety of national dishes. It's a bit pricey, however tea comes for free. It's a big surprise to find it in Kutaisi. 10-30 lari.
  • Club Almano (Almano), On Alexander Pushkin Street between Tamar Mepe and Tsereteli Sts (on Pushkin, across from Flo/Koton mall). theculturetrip.com says Almano "offers Georgian food in a charming European atmosphere. This is a great place to try ojakhuri, a Georgian dish that often appears on the supra (the special Georgian feast) table. It involves meat and potatoes that are roasted and mixed together. You can’t go wrong with the other options on the menu, however, like shashlik, another form of roasted meat, or, of course, the ubiquitous khachapuri. If you want something green on the table, try their starter salads with the delicious Georgian bread". American favorites like club sandwiches and potato wedges are also served. Salads include lettuce. Not the cheapest.
  • 2 El Paso (at the plaza). Specialising on Khinkali, but also has other Georgian dishes. Does not seem to charge the 10% service fee. Inexpensive, beer 2 lari.
  • 3 El Depo, +995 431244273. Seems to be the same owner as El Paso, hence similar dishes. But more like a pub for the evening though.
  • 4 Khvicha (close to Kutaisi I Railway Station). For an authentic experience, where only locals eat, try to go to this place. Do not expect much — it is a dukkan. There is no menu. You can order a tasty soup or khachapuri. Portions are really big. They speak only Georgian and Russian.
  • 5 Sudarushka (სუდარუშკა, Сударушка), Clinda Nino st. No. 13, +995 598 29 06 95. 09:00 - 02:00. Authentic Russian cuisine from the owners who know how to cook it right. Food tastes good, big portions, nice personal, Russian music as an accompaniment. Note this place doesn't have English sign on the entrance so just look for a wooden sign (saying სუდარუშკა Сударушка) or a window with a Russian girl in a national costume in it. 3-8 lari per meal.
  • 6 Tea House Foe-Foe (Foe-Foe), Rustaveli St. 5 (Across the street from the Kutaisi opera building), +995 577577533, . 10:00-00:00. Free Wi-Fi. Menu: Speciality teas, and Georgian, European, and Mediterranean dishes (main courses, soups, salads, crepes, sweets). This is one of the Althaus-brand tea houses, similar to the two in Tbilisi. It appears that this cafe is in the wide lobby of what was once an office building with multi-tier seating on the steps leading up to the office's main entrance. Floor-to-ceiling windows make watching passer-bys easy. Hip music, hippy vibe, tasty tea, decent food. 5-15 lari, credit cards accepted.

DrinkEdit

Kutaisi does not have a great bar or club culture like Tbilisi, but you can checkout the following:

  • 1 El Galeon (at the Red Bridge). Specialising on Rock Music.
  • 2 Reflector. Saturdays. Associates itself with Bassiani.
  • 3 Bude Records (southeast of Kutaisi II). Opens F 23:45. Hip but not posh, if existent.

SleepEdit

BudgetEdit

  • 1 Hostel Bavaria, 108 Tbilisi street, +995 598 36 26 36, . Meet the small family that runs the hostel. Spacious and quiet house. Residential area near a park and a shop. Accessible on foot from the main square. Minibus 34 passes close to the hostel. 15 lari.
  • 2 Hostel FORREST (თბილისის ქუჩა), 92 Tbilisi St. (1 km southeast of the plaza), +995 591031030, +995 593442611. Inexpensive hostel with great reviews. Near the center, colors bridges and just 25 min to the Bagrati Cathedral. Try Whatsapp for the best rates.
  • 3 Hostel Kutaisi, 14 Solomon I (Solomon Pirveli St) Street (next to main square in the historical part of the city), +995 431 253873, +995 551 471100 (mobile), . In the hostel Kutaisi you will be served by experienced people (English spoken). Amenities include free Wi-Fi, internet, linen, towels, shampoo, coffee, tea, cable TV, maps, different guide books, advice about Kutaisi and Georgia in general. 20 to 30 lari per night.
  • 4 Medico & Suliko Guest House, Tbilisi Street 3rd Lane #6 (#6 on the alley running between #83 Tbilisi St. and #72 26 May St.(26 Maisi St.) ) From the main city square (fountain), Tbilisi street runs towards southeast. Walk uphill until 81 Tbilisi St. and turn left, you see a house with green metal gate at No. 6 of the alley.), +995 431 243007. Run by a retired couple, a large room of their house serves as a dorm, two smaller private rooms are available. Theoretically one may stay to sleep only, alas one is very likely to be treated to the excellent fare the lady of the house serves up as well as the homemade wine the husband produces, i.e., if they like you, you are likely to be treated to one of those infamous Georgian welcomes, heavy on your liver. They will give you as much chacha, Georgian wine and Georgian food as you can handle. The food is all hand-made and freshly prepared. It is amazing, the hospitality is unparalleled and only the modesty of the facilities leaves anything to be desired. The beds are clean and the house is good by local standards, and the new bathroom was completed by summer 2011 in this friendly homestay. Free WiFi Internet is available, and there is a computer available for use.To get there from the main bus station (Kutaisi II Railway Station), take a #1 city bus traveling to the right (from McD walk right the same side of street to find the bus stop). The bus pass the Kutaisi I station and go uphill to 26 Maisi Street. Get off at #72 (there is a cross on sidewalk) and you walk into the alley, which is Tbilisi St. 3rd Lane. From Kutaisi I station, take #1 bus or walk out to the right uphill on Solomon Pirveli St. for th 6-7 min up the hill to Tbilisi St. Taxis from the bus station is 5 lari, but they tend to take you to similarly named guesthouse to get commission. Give them the street address rather than ask for "Suliko's." Dorm: 15 lari. Double Room: 20 lari. Dinner: 10 lari. Breakfast: 5 lari.
  • 5 Temi Hostel, Tamar The Queen Street 60, II floor (On the main street near the station. There is a sign above the door and from there, the hostel is on the second floor on the right), +995 551 44 47 74. Check-in: from 14:00, check-out: until 12:00. Small, social hostel in a great location in the city. The owner is friendly and helpful. The hostel has a kitten (May 2018) and a balcony which is great for relaxing and meeting other guests. All facilities are kept very clean. Book in advance! A year on since it opened it is now very popular. From 15/10 lari high/low season.

GuesthousesEdit

  • Gelati Guest House (საოჯახო სასტუმრო „გელათი“), 26 May Street, (Vtoraya Liniya 4), Second Turn., +995 597 986222. 5 rooms, 12 people. incl. breakfast 35 lari (2013?).
  • Guesthouse Zelimkhani, +995 431 222441. 14 comfortable rooms for 28 people. 50 lari per night incl. breakfast.
  • Guesthouse Beka, 26 Debi Ishkhnelebi Street, +995 431 246923. 16 comfortable rooms for 30 people. 40 lari incl. breakfast.
  • Guesthouse Gora, 22 Debi Ishkhnelebi Street, +995 431 252170, +995 599 574625. 43 comfortable rooms for 100 people. 40 lari incl. breakfast.

Mid-rangeEdit

  • 6 Hotel Kolkha, Axalgazrdoba Avenue 38, +995 597 731056.
  • 7 Hotel Oazis, Mari Brosse St. (behind the large round theatre in the city centre). Small hotel in the center. Clean, cozy rooms with narrow beds; wifi, A/C, heating. One of the few budget options in central Kutaisi.
  • 8 Hotel Tirifiholiday (tirifebi), Zviad Gamsakhurdia Str.45 (Between McDonald's and Patrol police), +995 592 961515, . 31 air-conditioned guestrooms with separate bathrooms. Room service 24 hr. Complimentary full breakfast in the breakfast area. Multilingual staff, laundry facilities, free car parking, free wireless Internet access in all areas of the hotel. 20-120 lari.
  • Hotel Rcheuli Palace, 21b Gr. Khandzteli St, +995 431 292900. 28 comfortable rooms, 50 people. 115 lari incl. breakfast.
  • Hotel Imperiali (სასტუმრო „იმპერიალი“), 28 Mchedlidze St, +995 579 191939. 9 comfortable rooms, 18 people. 100 lsri.
  • Hotel Aieti’s Sasakhle (ასტუმრო „აიეტის სასახლე“. Aeetes Palace), 34 G. Tabidze St., +995 431 253533. 13 rooms, 26 people 100 lari.
  • Hotel Dzveli Kalaki, 3/4 Ioseb Grishashvili St., +995 431 251451, +995 599 51 60 56. 10 rooms for 24 people. 100 lari incl. breakfast.
  • Hotel Bagrati, 2a Tsereteli St, +995 431 25 55 55. 16 comfortable rooms with a maximum capacity of 32 people. 140 lari incl. breakfast.

ConnectEdit

The tourist office kiosk between the two main bridges is staffed during the summer season only. Rest of the year it is located in the annex building left to the city hall at the ground floor. (It is a bit hard to find since the mayor don't want to have signs to it. Ask in the city hall if you cannot find it.)

Dingy post office on Tamar Mepe St. Previously existing Internet cafés have closed due to numerous freely available hotspots.

Go nextEdit

  • Batumi – The capital of Ajara and Georgia's third largest city is a pleasant Black Sea port with great Ajaruli cuisine
  • Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park (for details see Borjomi) – The largest national park in Georgia. The diversity of physical, geographical and especially climatical conditions of its has shaped the wealth and variety of its flora and fauna. Apart from the largely untouched nature of Borjom-Kharagauli, there are numerous cultural monuments. In particular, there are two easily accessible churches, built in 9th century. Eight tourist trails are operating in the national park. They vary in length, duration and complexity. Open from Apr until October.
  • Jvari – A small town with a couple of great attractions nearby, namely Enguri Dam and Silver Lake. The latter is one of the most impressive alpine treks that you can do in Georgia. The marshrutka to Zugdidi leaves from the main marshrutka station behind the central McDonald's. The journey is 133 km. In Zugdidi connect with the Jvari marshrutka just over the bridge and a minute's walk away.
  • Mestia – The "capital" of Svaneti and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Oni – A very pretty, rustic town on the Rioni River up in the mountains that was for millennia a center of Georgian Jewish culture. Today it is becoming a major tourist destination for domestic travelers as well as attracting adventurous foreign travelers attracted to its natural beauty, remote setting and a local culture that has not seen the effects of tourism yet.
  • Tbilisi – The beautiful and interesting capital, Georgia's largest and most cosmopolitan city.
  • Tskhaltubo – A balneological ex-resort that was very popular during Soviet times (8 km away from Kutaisi). Many sanatoria are populated with refugees since war with Abkhazia. Destroyed luxury Soviet-time hotels are very interesting places to see.
  • Zugdidi – A not very popular city with tourists for itself, however many of them pass through it on their way up to Mestia in Svaneti.

From Kutaisi I station by marshrutka to the eastEdit

  • Tkibuli (ტყიბული) – 08:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 16:40, 17:40. 3½ lari.
  • Chkhari (ჩხარი) – 08:00, 12:10, 16:25. 2½ lari.
  • Tuzi (თუზი) – 10:25, 17:30. 3½ lari.
  • Zeda Alisubani (ზედა ალისუბანი) – 13:40. 2.70 lari.
  • Tavasa (თავასა) – 10;00, 15:20. 3 lari.
  • Oni (ონი) – 16:25. 10 lari.


This city travel guide to Kutaisi is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.