Tbilisi

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Tbilisi (or Tblisi, Tiflis) is the capital of Georgia and the country's largest city.

The M27 motorway goes through the city.

<map lat='41.69' lng='44.802' zoom='10' view='3' float='right' />

Hitching out

Northwest towards Gori, Kutaisi, Samtredia or North towards Gudauri, Russia, Vladikavkaz

One hitchhiking point is not far from the Didube bus station, near the statue of David the Builder on horseback.

However, hitchhiking north might be easier if you take a marshrutka from near Didube metro station towards Mtskheta and tell the driver to let you out when the S1 national road splits off from the Mtshketa road (see photo).

The number 11 marshrutka goes all the way from Tsereteli metro station to the end of the city, near where the highway joins the Tbilisi Bypass. Get off at the last stop, by the turning to Jvari monastery.

File:Tbilisinorth.jpg
Hitchhikers going north from the turn off the Mtskheta road

Another option is to get to Metro Station Sarajishvili and walk over the bridge across the highway to one of the petrol stations (you can see both of them from the bridge) and start hitchhiking from there. Expect some weird looks from the guys who work there, and they might even tell you to get the hell out. Most of them don't speak or understand English which will make it hard to make clear what you're doing. But when you're feeling lucky, go for it!

Easy option: An option with little to no walking is to take a bus or marshrutka to the stop Agmashenebeli Alley #13 [2573], which you can find on google maps by typing "tbilisi bus stop 2573". Bus 14 goes from Rustaveli metro station, and you can find other bus routes on google maps. You can hitchhike directly from the bus stop or just walk until you find a clear spot where cars can pull over. Even though it's still in the city, it never took TBF more than 15 minutes to get a ride from this spot even when hitchhiking with ski equipment (10+ times). A guy even picked up a group of 6 hitchhikers here once. Often the buses won't stop here unless you ask the driver, which likely requires some knowledge of Russian or Georgian, so a safer option is to get off one stop earlier (#1179) and walk from there. Make sure to watch the map as you're going, because if you miss the stop, you'll have to walk quite a ways. If you're on a different bus or other means of transport, anywhere on the stretch of road between here to after Carrefour is very easy to hitchhike.

East towards the airport and Telavi

Take bus or minibus to the 'Lilo' market, from 'Samgori' metro station. From there it's quite easy to hitchhike. Also you can take airport bus from the "Station Square" (main station) and leave it before airport turn (you will see big statue and bridge). Bus turns to the right and if you missed the turn it is no problem, you will walk about 50 m. back to the road.

Second option: Take bus 37 (direction airport) from a station in Rustaveli ave. near Mc Donalds. The bus leaves the city and enters the highway after some time. After some time on the highway the bus driver will turn right (at that point you should see a big statue on a big column on the left window of the bus). Get out at the first stop and walk back to the big road (about 500 metres). you can hitch there or walk for 5 mins to the traffic light and a gas station. Good luck! (waiting time: 3 guys - 20 mins.)

Southeast towards Rustavi, Merneuli, Armenia and Azerbaijan

Hitching out towards the South is easy as pie. Hitch from anywhere in the city center or take a Marshrutka to the Ortachala bus station. You might have to take another short ride to where the roads to Rustavi and Merneuli, Armenia, Azerbaijan split up. Don't listen to anybody who tells you that you cannot hitch out of the city in this direction or out of Merneuli. It's very very easy!

Marshrutka #118 (1 Lari in 2016) is a good option. You can take it in Marjanishvili square or in Baratashvili street. It goes to Ponitchala where the roads to Rustavi (direction to Azerbaijan) and Merneuli (to Armenia) split up. If you head for the armenian border be sure to get out at the tank stop where the roads split!

Southwest towards Manglisi, Tsalka

In June 2015, there was a big landslide about 2km down the road from Tskneti, which completely destroyed a part of the road and wiped away the forest around it. As of September 2015, nothing has been repaired.

From Tbilisi, take the road towards Kojori instead. To get out of the city center, you can take any of the buses going to Mtatsminda Park and get off where the road splits to Kojori.

If the Tskneti road is repaired, which should take a long time considering the extent of the destruction, you can get on buses 34 or 82 to get you from the city center to Tskneti.

Public transport

Tbilisi has a metro system with two lines. To enter it, you must first buy a smart card from the ticket office (2 Lari as of August 2012) and then load value onto it. Swipe the smart card at the turnstiles. You can also get the 2 Lari deposit back when you hand the card in again, but you need to give back also the receipt that you got from the ticket office. From metro stations one can reach further parts of the city by city buses or marshrutkas.

You can travel by city bus without buying a ticket, but in this case you must be careful. The bus controllers always wear yellow jackets or t-shirts, or red-blue uniforms. Buy a ticket when you see them on bus stop (in any case they will not give you a fine if you buy a ticket after their request) or just stand next to the ticket buying machine looking through your pockets until they get out.

  • they controlled me almost everytime i took the bus but actually they dont pay too much attention to the ticket. just buy one and show them the same all the time. it worked.

But in Tblisi, you don't necesarily need to rely on public transport. Dominic has hitchhiked inside the city dozens of times, and rarely waited more than 5 minutes. You just have to wave away the constant stream of taxis pulling in.

Sleep

- Under the big antenna and panoramic wheel there is a very good place for wildcamp, if you get lost following next instructions just take antenna and wheel as point of reference, the place is like 40 metres below them. From Rustaveli metro station (very central indeed), just take the direction of the antenna. The road start beside McD's on its left. Continue this road till number 32. more or less, after turn left and follow the stairs. They will lead you up until another car road, and u'll have a little park with benche. There start the jogging path (u can recognize it is very new made) leading you till the spot. going up 10 min walks u will reach a fountain, the path split, on your right (50 m up) you have a perfect spot with also a fountain, on the left (2-300 m up) staying at what joggers said you have another one, more calm but no fountain. (edit 2015): "We haven't found the second upper place, if you try to hike towards the antenna, in 20-30 minutes you will reach only the high fence around antenna and NO sleeping place. Finally, we slept near fountain, but the place is rocky, it's next to impossible to pitch a tent with pegs"

- Other option is move to Mtskheta, 10 km north, easy to hitch but even a minibus should cost very few. The town is very calm, lots of parks and green areas, best spot 300m on the hill, old cemetery, little church a great neighborhood and an amazing view. Water there is only in the downside park. Alternatively u can also sleep on the front hill of Jvari monastery. Lots of car go there for tourism, but u will have no water nor shops for food, might ask the monks. Anyway the sight at sunset is completely worthy to go.

- Balkasus slept in the park of 9th April right behind Saarbruken bridge without any troubles in august 2015. The place is safe, relatively quiet (if you take apart the traffic sound) and central. Ask the security guides they will tell you where to pitch the tent.

  • (oct 2012) I slept under the antenna and had amazing surprises. In the evening I found a group of guys celebrating their birthday, offered me food, wine and lots of good company. In the morning i was woken up by typical georgian men shouting and enjoying their rest after jogging, we had a great time together as well. Though in the night is very peaceful from the early morning u will for sure be wake up by joggers, anyway very good people Fedecicco
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