On the cusp of Europe and Asia, Georgia is a fascinating country, and its capital Tbilisi is packed with intriguing sights. One of the best starting points is also the most striking - the Holy Trinity Cathedral. This is Georgia's Orthodox Cathedral, and its gleaming golden dome dominates the skyline, glinting in the sunlight. You will need to dress modestly to go inside the cathedral, which is decorated with beautiful icons and Orthodox artwork. You can also wander around the grounds, which include manicured gardens and even a swimming pool.
The intricate exterior of the Orbeliani Bathhouse may look like another religious building. However, although it strongly resembles a mosque, it is, in fact, a traditional hammam. The Sulfur Baths in Tbilisi use mineral-rich water drawn from far underground. Soak in the soothing water and let your cares float away, or pamper yourself with a massage or another special treatment.
A quirkier place to visit is the leaning clock tower. This charming monument looks like something from a storybook. Unlike the famous tower in Pisa, its inclination is intentional: it was built as part of a puppet theater. Be sure to visit on the hour, as you'll see a sweet little angel striking a bell to mark the time.
Renting a car in Tbilisi is the best way to get around, allowing you to visit interesting places outside the city. Try driving to the Chronicle of Georgia, a monument designed to tell the history of Georgia. It has 16 enormous pillars, each over 30 m tall. The pillars are decorated with a mixture of historical and religious images. When you've finished examining them, take a walk down to the nearby Tbilisi Sea. Despite the name, this is actually an artificial lake. It is one of the most popular family destinations in the area. This is where you'll find Gino Paradise, a huge water park with slides and other rides for kids and adults alike. There's even a spa center within the water park, so you can relax and unwind while the children play.
You'll find more lakeside fun at Turtle Lake, which is easily reached with a rental car or van in Tbilisi. This lake is a major destination for recreation and sports, especially in the summer months. Locals love to swim in the lake, and you can also try other water sports. While you're here, check out the open-air ethnographic museum on the north side of the lake. You'll be able to see an impressive miniature model of the entire country.
Driving in Tbilisi
Rush hour in Tbilisi can be hectic. For your peace of mind, you might want to avoid driving in the morning or early evening. You'll also find that parking in the city is sometimes a bit chaotic. Traditionally, free street parking was common, and locals would leave their cars anywhere they liked. In an effort to reduce the problems this causes, the city council has introduced paid parking zones around the downtown area. As a result, you'll find plenty of modern parking meters, which accept cash or card payments. The price varies depending on how close you are to the downtown area.
On the outskirts of the city, parking is still usually free and is often a free-for-all. As you search for a parking space, a friendly local might try to help you. They will also offer to look after your car after you've parked. These people, known locally by the word "stayanshik," are unofficial parking attendants. They work for tips. Generally, they are happy with a tip of 20 to 50 tetri (Georgian cents). This is such a small amount that it's usually far easier to give them a tip than to make them go away.
A lot of the historic streets of Tbilisi use a one-way system, which can make navigation difficult. It's a good idea to use a GPS device to find your way, or you may end up taking a very long time to reach your destination.
Georgia has a modern, well-maintained system of highways. If you stick to these main roads, you'll also find plenty of gas stations, making it easy to embark on a long-distance road trip. If you venture off the highways, things are very different. Country roads are often in poor condition and can be very bumpy in mountainous regions.
Farmers' fields in Georgia are often left unfenced. As a result, livestock is a common sight on rural roads. You'll often see large groups of sheep. They are generally timid and will try to avoid your vehicle, but the sheer size of a flock means this can take some time! You're also likely to get stuck behind goats or cows at least once during your trip. Unlike sheep, they don't tend to fear cars, so you may just have to sit patiently and wait for them to finish crossing the road.
Car and van hire in Georgia with Enterprise
Enterprise Georgia offers a range of car and van hire services including one-way, long-term and short-term vehicle hire. Commercial clients can speak to our award-winning business rental team who will tailor a mobility solution for your needs and budget.
We are part of the Enterprise group, the largest transportation solutions provider in the world. Our global network covers more than 90 countries and over 9,500 locations, allowing us to serve your mobility needs, wherever you’re going.
We are committed to providing the best service possible and exceeding our customers’ expectations for quality and value.
Car hire in Tbilisi
If you are travelling with your family or in a big group, you may find a 7-seater or a people carrier will give you more space to travel comfortably with your luggage. For a city trip, a handy hatchback that’s easy to park may suit you better. For business trips or long drives an executive car will combine comfort and performance.
Whether you prefer automatic to manual transmission, no problem. If you want a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine, we’ve got you covered. You may also need GPS, a child seat or want to add another driver to the contract, let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.
Van hire in Tbilisi
Should you need to hire a van while you’re in Tbilisi, all our vans can be driven on a standard licence and are modern, clean and easy to drive. Just ask and one of our branch team will happily show you around your hire van to make sure you are comfortable with it before you head off.