|Language:||Georgian is the official language. In the west of the country Mengrelian and Svan are also spoken. Abkhazia and South Ossetia each have their own languages. Russian is universally understood except by some of the young, but they usually speak English instead.|
|Currency:||Lari ( GEL )|
|Hitchability:||<rating country='ge' />|
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|<map lat='42.277' lng='43.824' zoom='6' view='3'/>|
Georgia is a country in Western Asia, that borders Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. Two part of Georgia in the North, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are de-facto independent though scarcely recognized states.
Hitching in Georgia is easy most of the time! Short waits and very friendly people. Road conditions in some places are quite bad so it can take some time but in most of cases there are renovated roads. Spots are very easy to find, just head in the right direction and you will find a suitable place to stand. Sometimes if luck isn't on your side though and you may have to wait for a while and the only cars who will stop for you are marshrutkas which expect payment. But remain patient! Eventually someone will stop for you. Few people over forty speak English but can speak Russian. People in their twenties and younger are able to speak more English at least in the bigger cities. In villages even youngsters might only speak Georgian but in the last couple of years many young people from English-speaking countries are being sent to the villages to teach English. A few phrases of Russian will be handy or with a little extra effort people will be amazed if you know some Georgian.
Citizens of EU, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries don't need a visa to enter and stay in the territory of Georgia for 360 days.
- via Turkey
When arriving from the west, your likely point of entry to the country will be Sarp-Sarpi border crossing with Turkey on the Black Sea coast. That border crossing has steady traffic and it's possible to cross the border on foot.
- There is another crossing a bit further east, from Türkgözü to the village of Vale and on to Akhaltsikhe. Although the Turkish border road is large and in good quality, the road from the border to Akhaltsikhe is a really bad dirt-road. We wouldn't recommend this crossing unless you prefer more adventure, but the police there are very friendly and will help you get a ride or find a place to stay if it's getting late.
- via Armenia
If you are going to Armenia you have to cross Sadakhlo border, it's possible to walk over the checkpoint and the border police are nice.
- via Russia
Since July 2011 it is also possible to cross the border to/from Russia for all citizens at the Verkhny Lars-Darial Gorge border crossing.
- via Abkhazia
Foreigners with a valid Entry Permit can enter Abkhazia from Georgia, but have to return to Georgia. Travelling from Russia through Abkhazia towards Georgia is impossible, as you'll then be regarded as having illegally entered Georgia.
Pitching a tent is a normal thing for the local people, forbidden only in city centres and near ruins.
As usual in the former Soviet Union, it is possible to rent private rooms from local people. In any city or small town one need only go into a shop or small restaurant and ask if someone has a room. Prices start from around 10 lari, and sometimes tea and even dinner is included.
It's hard to be hungry in Georgia. There's easy to find delicious and very cheap food in every city, in small villages you will be often invited to eat with locals.
Summer can be pretty hot in Georgia with temperatures around 35°-40°C so you'll need a lot of water and shelter from the sun. Water is easy to find and in fact most Georgians use tap water.
Winter is quite cold and snowy, especially the north parts.
Using police cars
In Georgia it is possible to "hitchhike" with police cars. Due to the country's desire to become more European, a major reform of the police was undertaken, affecting also the way the police work and deal with people. You should not be afraid of asking policeman for information or help. Most probably they will help you and even more.
The police provide a special type of service - they can deliver you to the address you are asking - for people who are in a position to be harmed or injured, for example when you are a foreigner and traveling alone in Georgia. They can bring you to the address you name or to a hotel. Keep in mind that you will have to fill out and sign a form. It is recommended to use this service in the evenings and nights.
- Tbilisi, the capital, also known as Tiflis