Tbilisi City Guide

Old Town

23 Nov 2019
Sitting at the foot of the imposing hill capped by the Narikala Fortress and climbing the slopes is Tbilisi Old Town, a labyrinth of narrow streets where wooden balconies look down from old brick-build homes. Doorways lead to hidden courtyards an ancient vines climb to the skies using anything vertical for support.

Parts have been comprehensively renovated, arguably a little too enthusiastically, so that some streets look like a Disney film set, though far more of these twisting alleys are untouched. They are ramshackle, cracked and crumbling but delightful, enchanting, picturesque and real.

The style is a mix of two influences, the tight winding streets of an Asian or Arabic town interwoven with European, classical Russian and Art Nouveau architecture. The northern edge is the recently renovated Abanotubani area, famous for its Sulphur Baths and Meidani square with its many restaurants. Old Town’s main artery is Kote Abkhazi Street (formerly Leselidze) which connect Meidani with Freedom Square.

In the North East corner, between Leselidze and the river, is Chardeni, a small area backed with bars, restaurants, nightclubs and cafes, shoulder to shoulder along a series of pedestrian streets. To the west, Old Town melts into Sololaki area, a lovely and fascinating place to wander around, take photographs and explore Tbilisi.

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