Old Tbilisi – the labyrinth of narrow streets and wooden houses

Old Tbilisi

Old Tbilisi city wooden houses 

Old Tbilisi ’s traditional houses, with their wooden and wrought iron balconies, are undeniably beautiful and one of the city’s best known historical features. Many of the houses date from the 19th century as much of the city was destroyed by the devastating Persian invasion of 1795.

Old Tbilisi ’s real soul can be explored in a diversity of wooden balconies. You can often come across houses built in Baroque and Rococo style, but here I will focus on the wooden “hanging” balconies.

Old Tbilisi

The houses in this district are characterized by deep, elaborately carved, wooden balconies painted white, ochre, pale blue, and cinnamon. Sometimes the balconies are cantilevered from the front of the facade; sometimes they wrap around three sides.

Balconies, usually taking the form of glassed-in verandas, are also found facing the inner courtyard. Exterior spiral staircases-often of metal, with the treads worn paper thin-join one story to another.

Both balcony and courtyard reflect the Georgian love of company, of sharing one’s life with friends and neighbors.

They also bespeak a deep attachment to the outdoors and a repugnance at being shut in. Many courtyards boast large mulberry trees or a pergola of tightly woven grape vines beneath which sits a picnic table or two. Many a citizen’s sense of well-being is directly linked to these spaces.

The area known today as the Tbilisi Old Town  is also called Kala.

It is the original settlement on the right bank of the Mtkvari River that developed below the walls of the Narikala Fortress when Vakhtang Gorgasali established his capital in Tbilisi in the fifth century.

The architecture in the old Tbilisi is a mixture of Georgian with strong influences of Byzantine, European and Middle Eastern architectural styles. The oldest parts of town, including the Abanot-Ubani, Avlabari, and to a certain extent the Sololaki districts clearly have a traditional Georgian architectural look with Middle Eastern influences.

Address Beliashvili 88
Phone Number +995 514 18 99 88
Working Hours Monday-Sunday: 10:00 – 23:30
Cuisine Georgian
Features Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Buffet, Seating, Waitstaff, Full Bar, Wine and Beer,  Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Free Wifi
Average Price 15 $ – 30 $

Why to visit Restaurant Tashre?

The restaurant Tashre is a place, where the best, natural ingredient dishes of Megrelian cuisine, prepared by high-class cooks, meet the true spirit of feast.

Georgia is country of delicious food and unique cuisine. Our cousin is diverse and the flavors differ from region to region.

For example, in Guria you can taste mouthwatering Chkinis Kveli and Mchadi (sort of cheese and corn cake), at Racha you can enjoy famous Lobiani Lorit (Lobiani with Hun) with a glass of unique red wine – Khvanchkara.

In Adjara, the most delicious food is Adjarain Khachapuri, Borano and Sinori and in the evenings you can drink Georgian black tea with the most amazing Ajaruli Pakhlava and Shakarlama (Sugar Cake).

But in Georgia, the most famous cousin is Megrelian. So if you want to taste unusual food which you can never find anywhere in this world and at any spot of the universe, you should definitely taste Megrelian Chvishtari, Khachapuri, Ghomi, Elarji, Sulguni and Gebjalia.

The restaurant “Tashre” is a place, where the best, natural ingredient dishes of Megrelian cuisine, prepared by high-class cooks, meet the true spirit of feast.

So, enjoy life with authentic taste of Samegrelo.

Find on Google and TripAdvisor

Address Tsabadze street N2
Phone Number +995591930011; +995591930012
Working Hours Monday-Sunday: 10:00 – 23:30
Cuisine Russian, European, Eastern European, Georgian food, Vegetarian Friendly
Features Highchairs Available, Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining,  Accepts American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Free Wifi
Average Price 15 $ – 25 $

Why to visit Georgian House?

The restaurant Georgian House is the place of old Georgian traditions with cozy design and atmosphere.

The music ensemble play the best Georgian folk songs and perform traditional Georgian dances. “Georgian House” is high class complex restaurant.

The restaurant is located on Tsabadze Street, on the left side of river Mtkvari which is the historical place of the old city.

The restaurant has a high quality style of hosting guests and delicious Georgian and European dishes.

At Georgian House you can listen to the Georgian and European film music playing by musician Tamila Chiradze and the popular Ucha Kordzaia’s band the songs by Elene Pochkhua, George Mepisashvili and Boka Kvekveskiri.

Find on Google and TripAdvisor


Ethnodesign is the brand of “Georgian Heritage Crafts Association, which brings together unique pieces of Georgian handmade ethnic chic products. By purchasing these object you support safeguarding of local heritage craft traditions and employments of Georgian Craftsmakers.

Akhvlediani Str. 23
+995 593906848
  Monday-Sunday: 11:00 – 21:00


This extraordinary flea market will keep you entertained for hours. There is a mesmerizing assortment of antiques, jewelry and bric-a-brac on sale. In the tough days of Perestroika and the early years of independence, the Dry Bridge is where hard-up citizens of Tbilisi would come to sell their possessions in order to make a little cash. For some people that is still the case today, though for others this is their main business. Everything is laid out on the ground, often carefully arranged on sheets of material, other times it is a haphazard collection. One person might be trying to sell you twenty-year-old batteries or an old toothbrush, while their neighbor will be touting antique amber and silver jewelry. If you want to buy anything remember to haggle. Prices may be inflated, especially for tourists. Open daily if the weather is good, from 10:00 – 17:00. At weekends there are usually more sellers, but more tourists too.

Dry Bridge
  Monday-Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00


“White Studio” is offering Georgians and foreigner’s high quality modern works of ceramics and contemporary shapes with traditional Georgian elements. The works are created through world-renowned technologies and trends of Georgian porcelain, faience and red clay. The Studio tries to promote creative potential of modern ceramics as one of the most popular branches of art, to refine artistic level of traditional and modern ceramic works and to improve the quality of Georgian souvenirs.
Each piece presented at the gallery is exclusive and does not repeat. All works are charged with special and positive energy, warmth and love. Wide range of prices on items at the gallery makes it possible for anyone willing to buy a ceramics piece, select exclusive work for the price affordable for him/her
The White Studio finds it very important to trigger interest of younger generation in the ceramic art, which will support the development of this branch in the country and the popularization of Georgian art and culture abroad.

Vera area, 22/26 Janashia St.
+995 595011770; +995599919893
  Monday-Sunday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 AM

ESTIA – Handmade Arts

Estia – handmade souvenirs, gifts and art craft workshop/studio and store. Masterclasses in various art techniques are available and conducted by professional artists. Here you can watch the creation/working process, take part in it, order personalized gifts or purchase unique Georgian souvenirs and household accessories.

Lermontovi st. 3
+995 322 43 20 06
  Monday-Sunday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 AM

Store Funduki

The Funduki store is located in one of the old districts of Tbilisi, where tourists can also find interesting buildings of cultural heritage. In the store you can purchase very special, creative souvenirs, as well as designer accessories: bags, clothes, brooches, posters. The store displays also designer furniture, easy to dismantle and transport with a special handbag. The store creates atmosphere of European space, which contributes to positive attitude of the tourists towards the country.

8 Ninoshvili Str.
+995 597 71 21 46
  Monday-Sunday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 AM