Life and rest in Georgia - prices, climate, wintering

More than once I have already been told about Georgia. Mostly good things: what is cheap there, people are friendly, service is excellent, climate in winter is less. Moreover, I heard from completely different people, so to speak, from completely different strata of society. Here you want it or not, but you will periodically start to think about a trip there. Especially now during the crisis, when some directions have risen quite strongly due to the exchange rate. I watched for a long time how my colleague Mila repeatedly wrote on her blog about this country, and then she offered to tell about Georgia here in the form of a guest post. Of course, I agreed, I myself was interested in reading such an article..

The content of the article

What is the post about

This article is about the peculiarities of recreation and life in Georgia: about prices, food, attractions, transport, housing, climate and other useful things that may be useful to you if you are also inspired to travel to the Caucasus.


My name is Mila, I am in love with Georgia (it seems to be mutual)

A trip to Georgia leaves few people indifferent. Someone likes nature, someone likes food, someone will meet wonderful people here. Everyone has their own reasons to love or not love this country.

I first came to Georgia 2 years ago with a friend. Two girls. Alone. In the Caucasus. How many horror stories I heard before leaving - it is impossible to convey! That trip was the best in my life, so I decided that one day I would definitely return. Two weeks was enough to fall in love with Georgia, like falling in love with an unfamiliar man. You don't know him at all, but you feel something close and dear.

The second trip in February-March 2015, when my boyfriend and I lived in Tbilisi and Kutaisi, helped to remove the veil of mystery. I see the disadvantages of Georgia, but the country has much more advantages both for recreation and for long-term residence, so now we are here again until the end of autumn.

We live in the city of Batumi on the Black Sea coast. This time, the decision to spend the autumn in Georgia was sober and completely rational. We like the climate, prices and general emotional background. Of course, there are also downsides. I'll tell you about them too.


Batumi resort in October

Visa issues

The visa policy for the citizens of the former Soviet Union is more than loyal. If the duration of the trip is less than 1 year, then a visa to Georgia for Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians is not needed. All you need is a passport valid for the entire duration of the trip. You just arrive, at the airport you get a free entry stamp and you can live in peace for a whole year. Sometimes, in addition to a free stamp, a bottle of wine is presented at the airport. Guests are loved here.

If you are planning a trip to Georgia with a child, then he must have his own foreign country, or the child must be entered in the passport of one of the parents.

The only caveat is the presence of Abkhazian stamps in the passport. If, before your trip to Georgia, you traveled to Abkhazia with a passport and have a checkpoint stamp «Adler», then it is better not to go to Georgia with such a passport. It is better to travel to Abkhazia with the internal passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation, and to Georgia - abroad..

How to get to Georgia

There are several options to get from Russia

1. By plane. This is the easiest way. From Moscow, you can fly to Tbilisi (the capital of Georgia), Batumi (a resort on the Black Sea) or Kutaisi (a city in the west of the country). Estimated prices for air tickets in both directions:

Moscow-Tbilisi - from 12,000 rubles (195 $) for a direct flight
Moscow-Batumi - from 16,000 rubles (260 $) for a direct flight.

Even this year, direct flights appeared St. Petersburg - Tbilisi for 13,000 rubles and St. Petersburg - Batumi for 17,500 rubles. round trip.

2. Through Vladikavkaz. With the advent of the airline “Victory” many began to fly from Moscow to Vladikavkaz (2,500 rubles one way), and from Vladikavkaz to get to Tbilisi by land (only 210 km, the fare is 800 rubles per person). Total 7000 rubles. round trip per person.

3. By your car. There is no compulsory insurance in Georgia, so you do not need to take out additional insurance or a green card. You can get into the country in your car from the Russian side only through the border crossing “Upper Lars” (located near Vladikavkaz). Many are interested in whether it is possible to get to Georgia by land through Abkhazia. Here the answer is unequivocal. It is forbidden.


The only route connecting Russia and Georgia is a mountain serpentine

People and attitudes towards Russians

People are the main attraction of Georgia and the main reason why we return here again and again. Here you can talk to any person on the street, ask for advice, ask a question. To understand and feel Georgia, you need to communicate with the locals.

Georgians are polite, talkative and benevolent. A guest here is a special person. We are constantly offered discounts at the markets and given vegetables. When you dine in a restaurant, you can get drinks at the expense of the establishment or a gift from Georgians having a rest at the next table. A trifle, but nice.

People who have never been to Georgia, but regularly watch TV, have stereotypes that Russians are not liked here. From experience I can say that everyone in Georgia is loved, regardless of nationality. If a person behaves adequately and does not suit provocations on the basis of politics, the attitude towards him will be good-natured and extremely positive..

You just shouldn't mix ordinary people and politics. People all over the world want the same thing: to keep their homes warm, to have food on the table, to keep children healthy and happy. If you personally do not encroach on these benefits, then your nationality will not play a role for Georgians.

The language of communication

Georgians communicate with each other in Georgian. Those over 30 speak Russian well. Now Russian is not compulsory in schools, so younger children do not speak Russian very well, preferring English.

All films in cinemas are shown exclusively in Russian, there are also a large number of Russian TV channels, so if you wish, you can explain yourself in your native language with a person of any age. You will be understood.

Cafes and restaurants have menus in Georgian, Russian and English. If you have not received a menu in Russian, then the restaurant does not have a menu at all, and the dish of the day is prepared according to the mood of the owner..


Adjarian Khachapuri

Rest in Georgia

Seeing Georgia is best in a complex to capture mountains, sea, antiquity and modernity. Just for the sake of a seaside vacation, I would not go to Georgia - you can underestimate the country, but this is a matter of taste.

It is most logical to travel for 1-2-3 weeks in order to have time to see all the most interesting at a measured pace, and not at a gallop. You can also fly to Tbilisi for the weekend, explore the surroundings and see if you like the country, so that you can return later for a longer period..

You can read more about how best to organize your trip and plan your route in my online travel guide to Georgia


Golden Autumn in Kintrishi National Park

How much does it cost to rest

According to a survey of my readers who were vacationing in Georgia this year, on average, a trip to Georgia in the high season (June-September) costs $ 500-600 per person for 10 days - 2 weeks, taking into account the cost of air tickets, subject to constant movement. You can get both cheaper and many times more expensive..

The cost of rest, as elsewhere, will depend on the desired level of comfort. The main part of the budget is consumed by transport, if you rent a car or hire a car with a driver. If you travel by minibuses, it will turn out slower, but much cheaper..

There are several housing options in Georgia. The cheapest are guesthouses and rooms in the houses of local residents - they are rented for $ 5-10 per person per day. Hotel prices start from $ 20-30 and higher for a double room.

In Georgia, many apartments are listed on Airbnb. If you want to stay for a couple of days, you can search for accommodation through this site so as not to bother. An apartment in the center of Tbilisi or Batumi can be rented for $ 25-35 per day, in summer it is more expensive.

Georgian cuisine and food prices

Georgian cuisine is a special pleasure that ranks second in my personal top attractions. Georgian cuisine is quite varied. The base is sauces, eggplants, beans, chicken, cheese, mushrooms, and most importantly - spices and nuts.

The prices for food in establishments are different. On average, for a dinner for two people (two dishes and lemonade), we pay 20-25 lari (550-700r). You can eat khinkali (large dumplings with meat) for 8 lari (220r) for two, or order a huge khachapuri for 10 lari (270r). Meat dishes are more expensive. Shashlik - 15 lari (400r), Fish - 8 lari (220r), Georgian cuisine (lobio, satsivi, chakhokhbili) - 6-7 lari (160-200r)

Fresh vegetables and fruits are sold here all year round, which smell the way they should. In winter, they are brought from Turkey, in summer and autumn, the local harvest is sold..


Fruit on the market in Tbilisi in winter

Food prices

There is no problem with food. In large cities there are several supermarkets, many shops are open around the clock, and you can always buy essential products in small shops or mini markets. Each city has a central market that sells vegetables and fruits at lower prices than in supermarkets.

The only question is buying meat. In Georgia, you need to know exactly where to buy it. Fresh chicken costs 7 GEL / kg (180 rubles) when buying a whole poultry, frozen fillet - 12 GEL / kg (300 rubles), beef - 12-14 GEL / kg (300-360 rubles)

I don't eat meat, but I eat fish. In Batumi, where we live now, there is enough fish. You can buy it at the market or fish farm. A kilogram of trout - 9 GEL (230 rubles), salmon - 30 GEL (800 rubles), dorado - 22 GEL (570 rubles)

Vegetables have doubled this week. Tomatoes now cost 60-80 rubles, cucumbers - 40 rubles, grapes - 60 rubles, eggplants - 50 rubles. per kg. Affects the end of the season. A kilogram of suluguni cheese - 12 GEL (300 rubles). Dairy products at plus minus prices as in Russia.

We spend the same amount on food in Georgia as in Minsk (now the prices for food in Minsk are approximately the same as in Moscow). Something is cheaper here, something is more expensive, but in general, the overall picture of prices is not very different.


Georgian churchkhela

What to see in Georgia

You need to watch Georgia in a complex, in order to understand and feel the country. There are mountains, the sea, and ancient fortresses, monasteries, vineyards and villages where people have kept their traditions for centuries. There are a great many attractions in Georgia, below I will list only a few areas where you should definitely look.

  • Tbilisi. Capital of the country, ancient city on the hills surrounded by mountains

Old Tbilisi


Monument to Mimino in Tbilisi

  • The Georgian Military Road is the most beautiful mountain route in the Caucasus, connecting Tbilisi and North Ossetia.

Zhinvali reservoir on the Georgian Military Highway

  • Kakheti is a region in the Alazani Valley of Georgia where grapes and wine are grown. There are lakes, ancient monasteries, fortresses, castles, the city of love Sighnaghi and large wineries

Alaverdi monastery in Kakheti

  • Svaneti is a magical place in the mountains in northwestern Georgia. Unique nature, breathtaking mountain landscapes, waterfalls, glaciers, hiking trails, horse rides and Svan houses that look exactly the same today as they did 500 years ago.

Fluffy svan cow

  • Ski resorts: Gudauri, Khatsvali, Bakuriani. The season runs from late December to April. Prices for ski holidays are generally lower than in the south of Russia

Ski resort Gudauri

  • Resorts of the Black Sea. On the beaches of Georgia, there are mostly pebbles, or rather large stones. There are a couple of sandy beaches. For example, the unique black magnetic sands at the Ureki resort, where many go to treat diseases of the joints and cardiovascular system.

Beach near Batumi


Pebble beaches of Adjara


Magnetic sands in Ureki


Batumi beaches

  • Fortresses and monasteries, cave cities, cable cars, sulfur baths, mineral springs, churches standing alone on the tops of mountains and other unique structures that are only in Georgia

Trinity Church in Gergeti


Souvenir shop


The main mode of transport is a minibus. On them you can see the key sights. The whole country from west to east can be traveled for $ 25. Frequent, inexpensive.

You need to be prepared for the fact that minibuses in Georgia have an ineradicable passion for smoking and chanson. If in the summer a trip with such citizens seems like a fun adventure, then in winter this eternal smoking and open windows are annoying. Over time, you begin to treat chanson philosophically, perceiving it as an integral part of culture.

There is also a railway that connects Tbilisi with other cities. Train tickets are cheap. We traveled across the country in a sleeping car, paid 700 rubles per person. The difference in price between a reserved seat and a compartment is minimal, so if you are going to travel around Georgia by train, it is better to take tickets in a compartment or in the SV. I once rode in a reserved seat on the route Tbilisi - Batumi and I remembered this trip for years to come..

In some regions of Georgia, it is better to rent a car with a driver in order to inspect everything in a short time. Prices depending on distance and driver's waiting time - from 35 to 100 $ per day.


In winter, it is better to drive an SUV to the mountains.


Traveling faster in Adjara by car


There is nothing wrong with security in Georgia. They don't steal, they don't attack, they don't take girls to the mountains. If you follow basic precautions, nothing will happen. Civilized people live here. Now I am traveling with a young man, before that I came with a friend, I went alone. There is no sense of danger.

If you are planning to travel with your child, but are afraid, then you do not need to worry. They love children in Georgia, and sometimes they even love them too much. It happens that you stand alone at the crossing, waiting for at least someone to stop. A man with a child approaches, and all the drivers who were in such a hurry to somewhere sharply press on the brake. The child should not wait!

A girl with a child will always be given a place in transport (a girl without it is also inferior). Thus, if your kid normally tolerates the road (a mountain serpentine leads to most of Georgia's sights), then you can safely travel together.

When is the best time to go on vacation

In my opinion, the ideal time to visit Georgia is spring and autumn, when there are few tourists, housing prices are lower, and the weather is comfortable. If you are interested in a ski vacation, then you can come in winter from the end of December to March.

The best time for a seaside holiday is July-August, but I don't really like these months - I don't like it when it's too hot and there are a lot of people. September is perfect. The sea is warm, the weather is +27, there are almost no people, housing prices are falling.

In early October, we also went swimming. Autumn is golden in the mountains, and grapes are harvested in Kakheti, so I also consider the first half of October an excellent time to explore the country. Further - how lucky. The sun may shine or it may rain.


Storm in Batumi in October

Winter in Georgia

If you have an idea to live in Georgia for several months, then it is better to choose spring or autumn for this purpose. Summer is also good, but too hot (up to +38). Winters in Georgia are relatively warm. For example, there was practically no snow in Tbilisi last winter. In December it can be either +10 or +20, in February the temperature was + 5 + 10, it often rained. Gardens have been blooming in western Georgia since the beginning of March, since mid-March it was possible to walk with short sleeves.

It's always colder in the mountains. Snow can start in November and lie there until April. Batumi has a warm January (sometimes up to +25, but not lower than + 13 + 20), but since February Batumi is flooded with rains. The climate is subtropical, so the humidity is hellish.

As for wintering, there is one nuance that you don't even think about until you find yourself here in winter. It's about heating. There are always heaters in hotels and guest houses, so if you are passing here for a week, you will not be lost. However, you will not stay in a hotel for a long time. I need to rent an apartment.

If you are accustomed to walking at home in shorts and a T-shirt in 20-degree Russian frosts, then in Georgian homes in winter you can be pretty cool. When we lived in Tbilisi in February, we rented an apartment heated with a gas boiler. In each of the 3 rooms, radiator batteries were installed on the entire wall, while the room had a maximum of +22. For Georgia, this is more a luxury than a norm.

If your trip is planned for the period from December to March, then you should always find out how the house is heated. There is no central heating, so everyone heats up their house as best they can. For example, there may be batteries in the living room and not in the bathroom. It is clear that all this is not critical, but as for me, -10 on the street and +25 in an apartment in Minsk is better than +10 on the street and +16 in an apartment in Tbilisi.


Winter in the mountains


Ski resort Gudauri

Life in Georgia

For living in Georgia, it is more logical to choose more or less large cities. Then there is a guarantee of good internet, convenient transport links and entertainment. If you need the sea, you can settle in Batumi. In summer, life in Batumi is in full swing, but calms down from mid-September. In February-April, it is too humid in Batumi, so it is better to choose other regions for living..

The center of culture and entertainment in Georgia is Tbilisi. The city is moving. There are traffic jams, and people are somewhat more nervous, as in most capitals, but Tbilisi is good as a base for sightseeing. An extremely pleasant climate is observed in the Alazani Valley, but we have not lived there yet.


The capital of Georgia, the city of Tbilisi


Streets of Batumi are empty since October

Housing prices

If we are talking about a long stay (several months), then it makes sense to rent an apartment. The price depends on the lease term. In Tbilisi, many landlords rent housing for only half a year, but options for a month or two can always be found.

If you rent an apartment on a monthly basis, then for a one-room apartment in Tbilisi far from the center you will have to pay $ 300, for a two-room apartment with a normal repair in the center - $ 450-500 per month. In other cities of Georgia, rental prices are lower. For example, in autumn in Batumi you can rent an apartment for $ 300.

Now we live in a spacious two-bed house near the sea in a new house with a new renovation for $ 500 per month (electricity and internet are included in the price). This is a high price for October. I booked an apartment through Airbnb because I wanted to spend my bonuses. If you look for housing on the spot, you can rent something similar for $ 350-400.

It is possible to rent a whole house for $ 250 (I saw such offers), but the furniture there will be old, the water is not a fact that it is hot. There are cheap options, but you have to pay more for quality.

You need to look for housing in Georgia on airbnb, on local Georgian sites through a translator, you can also in social. networks to find a realtor who will help with finding an apartment. It is convenient that the landlord pays for the services of a realtor (partly for this reason, Georgians do not particularly like to rent housing for a month or two). If you are already in Georgia, then you can look for housing through people. Start with a survey of taxi drivers and continue along the chain. Principle «word of mouth» works here better than any internet.


The Internet is almost everywhere. In hotels, guesthouses, apartments, cafes and restaurants. The speed depends on the provider and the tariff. The only nuance is observed in Batumi. Here electricity is periodically cut off for 5-10 minutes (not every day), so there may be no internet at home for half an hour a week.

Bad signal occurs in remote mountainous areas such as Svaneti or Tusheti. If you are traveling in that area, this is not critical, but for life, most people choose other regions of Georgia where there are no interruptions in communication and electricity..


Internet speed in our apartment in Batumi

Average monthly budget

Now our budget is $ 1000 per month for two. The apartment pulled $ 500, the rest is groceries, trips to cafes every other day and trips to nearby attractions.

I ask you not to be guided by our budget, because your expenses can be both significantly lower and higher than ours. Any taxi ride to a national park or to those mountains where transport does not go is immediately minus $ 50-100. You can sit in one place, or you can ride every day. You can eat pork with onions, or you can eat salmon with nuts. Naturally, the costs will be different.


A three-day trip to Svaneti by taxi cost us $ 200


Thus, there are many reasons to come to Georgia on vacation or live here for several months. A year without a visa, a comfortable climate in spring and autumn, delicious food, an unimaginable number of natural and historical attractions, hospitable people, sea, mountains and much more.

My main reason is that Georgia is inspiring. There is an elusive energy in the air here that makes you want to live. You yourself do not notice how this happens. Three times I have had this that I come to Georgia loaded with work, thoughts, stress. Tired, overwhelmed. I don't want to do anything, my hands are down, my nose looks down. But the day passes, the second, the third, and I come to life again.

Here I work no less than at home, and even more, but everything turns out somehow faster and more harmoniously. There is enthusiasm. It can be assumed that such a charge of cheerfulness would arise in any journey, but, unfortunately, this is not the case..

I'm not the only one. Many people who have visited Georgia talk about special magic, fondly remember the country lying behind the seven mountains of the Caucasus Range, and dream of returning here again.

But this is all lyrics. From a practical point of view, in October-November in Batumi +20. Yes, it does rain, but I am now sitting on an open balcony in a summer dress, and it is snowing in Moscow at this time. If you, like me, want to extend the summer or escape from the cold in spring, it is quite possible to choose Georgia for these purposes. Still, air tickets and vacations will be cheaper than in Asia or Europe..

P.S. You can read more about life and rest in Georgia at the link: Mila Demenkova's blog


Batumi outskirts in autumn