One thing many of us look for from our holidays is a beautiful backdrop. Tbilisi, situated in a valley between the North and South Caucasus Mountain ranges, certainly provides one of those. The Mtkvari River flows through the city, which is a mixture of cobblestoned old town and contemporary architecture. You can take in the whole of this beautiful city from the top of the Narikala Fortress or Mt Mtatsminda via the Funicular. Meanwhile the Holy Cathedral of Tbilisi, a church only completed in 2004 and the third tallest Eastern Orthodox church in the world, can be seen from anywhere in the city.
Tbilisi is ever changing and modernising, but there is still plenty of history to explore, with reminders of the past scattered across the city. Alongside the atmospheric churches and Narikala Fortress – a castle that combines 4th-century Persian and 8th-century Arab fortifications, you can also take a journey through the country’s past at the Museum of Georgia.
Sitting at the foot of the hill and heading up the slopes beneath Narikala Fortress, you will find Tbilisi Old Town. Meander round the winding narrow streets and you’ll discover buildings adorned with wooden balconies. You’ll marvel at doorways that lead to hidden courtyards, covered in a blanket of vines that stretch up high. This whole area of Tbilisi is steeped in history.
Step out of the old town and across the Mtkvari River on the modern Peace Bridge and you will find eye-catching contemporary architecture. This part of Tbilisi is worlds away from what you have just seen. The most prominent of this is Rike Park Concert Hall and Exhibition Centre. This tube shaped building comprised of steel and glass, is a futuristic masterpiece of design.
Georgia is surrounded by many different cultures with Russia to the north, Turkey to the west, Armenia and Iran to the south, and Azerbaijan to the east. In Tbilisi, which blends European and Asian influences, you will find the best of each.
The Georgian café culture means you are never far from great food. Don't miss one of the city’s newest restaurants, Café Littéra. This is located in the palatial mansion that once housed the Soviet Writer’s Union and is owned by celebrity chef Tekuna Gachechiladze. The food here – such as Chakapuli stew made with mussels and pomegranate-dusted trout – reflects the best of the city’s fusion culture.
This compact city is the perfect place for a break and is easily explored in just a few days. So book a flight with flydubai and visit somewhere a little different this year - you might be pleasantly surprised.