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The Best Things to Do in and Around Kutaisi, Georgia

  • Post last modified:October 25, 2023
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Kutaisi is the second largest city in Georgia, and was for us the first impression we had of the country. We stayed for 4 full days in Kutaisi, Georgia, and experienced beautiful landscapes, delicious food, and super friendly people.


We're here to tell you everything you need to know about visiting the city of Kutaisi, Georgia. We'll dive into the best things to do, how to get around, and some must try foods. Let's jump right in!

Where is Kutaisi , Georgia?

Kutaisi is situated in the central western part of Georgia. It is. great its to reach other popular regions of the country such as Batumi's beach area to the west, and the Svaneti mountain region to the north. 

where is Kutaisi Georgia

Kutaisi is located in the central western area of the country of Georgia.


Getting to Kutaisi, Georgia

Being that this is one of the biggest cities in the country, it is super easy to get to. Kutaisi is located in the central west region of Georgia. It has an airport right outside of the city, as well as a bus station that connects plenty of other cities and regions throughout the country.


Here are a few routes to Kutaisi form other parts of Georgia:

Tbilisi to Kutaisi (bus, train, or private transportation)

Batumi to Kutaisi (cars and buses)

Mestia to Kutaisi (car transfers)


Entry Requirements for Georgia

Before planning your trip to Kutaisi, Georgia, let's make sure that you meet the requirements to enter the country.


Visa Requirements to Visit Georgia in Europe

Georgia is one of the most welcoming countries in the entire world! They allow visa-free travel to 98 different nationalities. While most countries grant 30-90 days access to foreigners, Georgia allows anyone (even without a visa) to study, work, and live in the country for a full year without any paperwork necessary. Pretty awesome right?


Covid Requirements to Visit Georgia in Europe

All Covid-related requirements to enter have now been dropped. Land borders are open again, even the Russian one. However, we don't suggest getting near the border of Russia at this time.

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Local Adjustments

When we travel somewhere new, we love to share some of the things we found in handy about the city or country itself. These "know before you go" tips we like to refer to as "local adjustments".


You can check out everything you need to know about visiting Kutaisi, Georgia, such as language, currency, and electrical outlets by heading to our full guide to visiting Georgia (just click here!).

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

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Kutaisi Georgia Pin
Kutaisi Georgia Pin

Things to Do in Kutaisi, Georgia

Now is for the fun part! Let's check out all of the best things to do in the city of Kutaisi.


Things to Do in Kutaisi, Georgia: Inside the City 

First let's check out the things to do inside the city of Kutaisi, Georgia.


Visit Bagrati Cathedral

This 11th century cathedral was built on high on a hill, overlooking the whole city of Kutaisi. Not only is a great place to enjoy the stunning teal roofed religious site, but the views also make it worth a visit.

Bagrati Cathedral Tower in Kutaisi, Georgia
Bagrati Cathedral view
Bagrati cathedral in Kutaisi, Georgia

Bagrati Cathedral has beautiful views of the city down below.

Browse the Green Bazaar

The Green Bazaar is the largest indoor market in Kutaisi. We'll admit, we did have trouble finding it at first, since the entrances are tucked away and look like they lead to nowhere. However, once you enter, you'll find a ton of stalls of locals selling their goods.


From fruits and vegetables, to churchkelas (a Georgian specialty) you'll love walking around and soaking up the busy vibes of this market, and can definitely find some new foods!

Green Bazaar in Kutaisi, Georgia

The Green Bazaar is the best place to find local goods.

Check Out the Mural Outside the Bazaar

There are a couple of different entrances to the bazaar, but right outside one you can find this beautiful mural. Our favorite part is the depth and texture- just check below to see how unique this piece of art is!

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Green Bazaar mural in Kutaisi, Georgia
mural outside Green Bazaar in Kutaisi, Georgia

This 3D mural can be found right outside the Green Bazaar.


Admire Colchi's Fountain

Another picturesque spot in Kutaisi, Georgia is the famous Colchi's fountain. With its elaborate gold figures, and multiple streams of water, it's definitely worth asking to your list of things to do in Kutaisi.

Colchi's fountain in Kutaisi, Georgia

Walk Across the Chain Bridge

The chain bridge is amongst the city's oldest bridges, which is very apparent as soon as you see it. The large chains hanging over the tiny platform will make you feel as if you just jumped back hundreds of years in time.

Chain bridge in Kutaisi, Georgia

The Chain bridge goes across the main river in town.

Visit the Botanical Gardens

Looking to soak up some of nature's beauty? Just walk 15-20 minutes up the north east side of the river bank to experience Kutaisi's botanical gardens. They are open from 10 am to 6 pm daily, and cost just 1 GEL.


Eat at Toma's Wine Cellar

Our most memorable meal and one of our favorite things to do in Kutaisi, was certainly Toma's Wine Cellar.


Toma and his family have their very own wine cellar right in their home, and invite tourists and locals in to learn all about the art of wine. They serve a fully home cooked Georgian meal with several local specialties, as well as (of course) homemade wine!



Make sure to call in advance to make your reservation, and set aside a few hours of your day to eat and drink to the brim. It is truly an experience you will forever cherish.


Toma's wine Cellar, things to do in Kutaisi, Georgia
Toma's wine Cellar, things to do in Kutaisi, Georgia

Toma's Wine Cellar is the perfect place to learn about the art of Georgian wine, and have an amazing meal in Kutaisi.

Things to Do in Kutaisi, Georgia: Outside the City

Here are a few things to do that are outside the center that are worth a visit from the city of Kutaisi, Georgia.


Spend a Day at the Baths

Just outside Kutaisi you can find a small town that is entirely dedicated to thermal baths. Tskaltubo is full of different bath houses, from small local ones, to lavish spas.


Stop at Gelati Monastery

Georgia is full of churches and cathedrals! Another one you should check out just outside the center of Kutaisi is Gelati Monastery. It has quite a similar style to Bagrati Cathedral, with its teal domes. Gelati Monastery is one of Georgia's oldest cathedrals, and is a complex with a couple of buildings on site.

Gelati Monastery in Kutaisi, Georgia

Gelati Monastery can be found right outside the city center.

Take in the Views at Motsameta Monastery

Just a little further up the road from Gelati Monastery (6 km from the center), you'll find a monastery that is a bit more unique to the ones you've already seen.


Unlike the other teal roofed buildings, Motsameta is a complex with orange roofs and stone walls. It is perched up on a cliff with some spectacular views of the nature around it.


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Explore Prometheus Cave

This was definitely one of the most unique things to do in Kutaisi that we experienced. We've seen a lot of caves, but Prometheus Cave will seriously take your breath away.

Prometheus Cave in Georgia
Prometheus Cave in Georgia
Prometheus Cave in Georgia

 Prometheus Caves has one of the most impressive cave systems in the world. 

This whole cave system is an intricate path of stalactites and stalagmites that are seen by the colorful lights shining down upon them. Not only can you explore the cave by foot, but you have the option to take a boat ride at the end to actually sail through the cave!


The ticket to enter the caves is 23 GEL for foreigners, and an extra 17.5 to add the boat ride on (which we definitely think is worth the extra cost). The caves are part of the national park, and are open from 10 am to 5 pm. Tours go out every hour, and there is parking (for 1 GEL) and a restaurant and bathrooms on site as well.

Prometheus Cave boat

For an addition 17.5 GEL you can finish your tour by sailing through the cave!

Want to take a tour to Prometheus caves? Here are some that you can check out:

Connect With Nature at Marvili Canyon

One of the best things to do in Kutaisi, Georgia for nature lovers is to explore Martvili Canyon. Here you can find waterfalls, rivers, and some of the most beautiful hidden gems.


The canyon can be discovered on your own. However, we think going with a local guide is better so that you can really see the best spots. You'll either be able to pick up a local and drive in your own vehicle, or go with them for a little extra. We chose to let the guide drive our own car (4x4 is necessary).


We spent just a few hours and saw so many beautiful spots, but we definitely suggest spending a full day to experience all that Martvili Canyon has to offer.

Martvili Canyon waterfall in Georgia
Martvili Canyon in Georgia
Martvili Canyon waterfall, Georgia

Martvili Canyon is the perfect place to enjoy the nature outside of Kutaisi, Georgia,

Want to prebook a tour to Martvili Canyon and some other great attractions in the area? Here are a few top choices:

Bonus: Stop at the Flower Fields

One of the things we loved most about Georgia was that we constantly found hidden gems on the side of the road. Driving around Kutaisi (in October) we found large fields of yellow flowers. We simply pulled over and flew our drone to get an epic view of the beauty of the area.

travel to Georgia the country- summer

Getting Around Kutaisi, Georgia

Kutaisi is a rather small city, so it's very to walk to most of the highlights within the city. There are also plenty of public buses to connect with the outskirts. 


We rented a car, and found that this was super helpful for allowing us to enjoy all of the great landscapes that surround the city of Kutaisi. Our car rental company came straight to our hotel with the car, and was hassle free. It's more expensive than public transportation, but we really thought it was worth the investment for seeing the surrounding areas.


Local Food & Drink in Kutaisi, Georgia

One of our favorite things to do in Kutaisi was to indulge in the rich cuisine. The food is very carb and meat heavy, with a lot of thick soups, breads, and cheeses. Here are a few dishes we recommend trying:


Wine

Georgia is known for its wine, and Kutaisi is the second largest producer in the country. Grab yourself a glass and let the fun begin.


Chacha

Another specialty when it comes to drinks is chacha. We were welcomed with a shot the moment we arrived to our hostel at 3 am. It's basically a homemade vodka made from the same grapes used for wine. The local ones are extremely strong and can be up to 150% alcohol! 


It's very common for locals to offer chacha as a welcome beverage, so you probably won't have a problem finding a spot to try some.


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Georgian Bread

Georgia has some of the best bread we've ever tried. It's baked the same way it has been for thousands of years- in a clay oven. It is often served to start a meal, and something we could practically live on.


Churchkhela

This sweet is typical of Georgia, and can be found all over the streets and in markets. They look like long colorful hanging candlesticks, and can be found in many flavors. Different types of nuts are strung on a string and then dipped into a type of thickened fruit juice, and hung to dry.


Churchkhela are sold for super cheap, and make a great snack to take on the go.


Tklapi

If you're from the US, chances are you loved fruit roll ups as a kid. Well think of Tklapi as a natural fruit roll up. Different types of fruits are flattened into super thin layers and then dried into large sheets of dried fruits.


We first stumbled upon these at the green bazar, but also saw them sold pretty much all over.


Imeruli Khachapuri

Khachapuri is one of the most beloved foods in Georgia, and is actually made in different ways all throughout the country! While the most well known version is the Adjarian Kachapuri, they do it a bit different in the region of Imereti.


Khachapuri is like super cheesy cheesy-bread. The bread is baked and then stuffed with local cheese. It's baked in a big round circle, looking just like a pizza pie. Actually, you can think of it as basically a pizza with no sauce.

Imeruli Khachapuri

Khachapuri is a cheese stuffed bread that is very popular in Georgia.

Khinkali

This is Fede's favorite. Khinkali are essentially Georgian dumplings. A good khinkali is said to be measured by the amount of folds it has, and it has a special way of being eaten.


The first time we ordered khinkali we saw a local eating with his hands, and realized that it's part of the technique! To eat these soup dumplings you have to hold the khinkali by its stem and bite a small hole in the side. Suck the broth out, and then continue eating the rest until you reach the stem, which you can discard.

Georgian Khinkali

Khinkali is a must try in Georgia, and has a specific technique to eating it.

We'll admit- we hate wasting and quite enjoyed dipping the stem into the leftover juice that spilled out, so we actually ate them.


Satsivi

Georgian's love walnuts, and you'll find it to be a staple, especially in the wintertime. Satsivi is a dish with chicken in a thick and creamy walnut sauce.


Walnut Salad

Georgian salads typically come with tomato and cucumber (and aren't lettuce based). The only difference with the walnut salad is that is that the salad is drenched in a thick walnut sauce, which is super delicious, filling, and healthy! (This is one of the only healthy foods you'll really find).


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Jonjoli

Jonjoli is a dish truly unique to Georgia, and used more as a side dish. Local wildflowers are picked and pickled with other vegetables like onions and garlic.


Tkemali

Tkemali isn't a dish, but it's a very popular sauce of the region. It is thick, sweet, and made from plums.


Best Restaurants in Kutaisi, Georgia

If you're going to eat at just one place in Kutaisi, we really suggest Toma's Wine Cellar. It's not just a meal, but a whole experience. 


Another spot that we liked due to its quirky decor was Tea House Foe Foe. It's located right in the center, and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. Grab a cup of tea and enjoy the unique atmosphere.

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Where to Stay in Kutaisi, Georgia

Being that it is pretty cheap and easy to get around, we actually stayed about 10 minutes outside of the center. Our hostel was Mandaria Hostel, and we actually decided to stay there the entire time.


This is the most budget friendly option you can find in the city, and we loved it because of the owner there. It isn't by any means luxurious, but with all the exploring we did outside, for us it was perfect.


The owner welcomed us with chacha, and kept homemade wine and chacha in the fridge in case we wanted any. He had an adorable bull dog that he brought to the hostel, and we were able to message or call him via WhatsApp to help us calling places, making reservations, and giving us general recommendations. If you'd like to book here, you can simply click the link below:


Mandaria Hotel on Booking.com


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Is Kutaisi Safe?

When you walk through the streets of Kutaisi you may feel these odd communist vibes from the architecture, and because locals generally won't make an effort to smile at a stranger.


At first, we were a little worried- but then we started to meet more and more locals and realize that they were some of the friendliest people we had ever met! The city (and the country of Georgia) are extremely safe, and have a very low crime rate.


It's like they say- don't judge a book by its cover, because the inside can be truly beautiful. We can definitely resonate with this when it came to safety in Kutaisi, Georgia.


Other Things to Know While Visiting Kutaisi, Georgia

Here are some other things to keep in mind while visiting Kutaisi.


The Best Time to Visit Kutaisi, Georgia

We visited Kutaisi in October, and absolutely loved it. Being able to have mild temperatures, and experience the colors of the leaves changing, made our stay even more amazing.


We believe that both spring and fall are great seasons to visit Kutaisi, as the summer is better for heading to the beaches of Batumi, or the mountains of Svaneti or Kazbegi.


Packing for Kutaisi

We would say that you should definitely make sure to bring a jacket, as nights can get pretty chilly. If you plan on visiting the baths of Tskaltubo make sure to bring a swimsuit, and if you plan on visiting Martivili Canyon bring a pair of sneakers.


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We had the pleasure of visiting Kutaisi, Georgia for 4 days, and still didn't feel like it was enough! This city has a beautiful mix of culture, history, food, and surrounding nature.


Want to explore other parts of Georgia? Make sure to check out our full guide for visiting Georgia to learn more. We also have a full blog article about the capital, Tbilisi, one of our favorite capitals in the world!


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