Mtskheta is located 20 km from the center of Tbilisi, almost immediately outside the northern outskirts of the Georgian capital. How to get to the latter is described in detail on this page. Bus number 37 runs from Tbilisi airport to the city railway station (from 7:00 to 22:00, ticket price 1 GEL) and suburban electric trains (4 times a day. From the railway station, you can take the metro to Didube station “. Here is the bus station from which minibuses leave for Mtskheta (from 7:30 to 20:30). The signs with the names of the final points are written in Georgian, but the locals will help you find the one you need. The minibuses are old white Gazelles or comfortable minibuses “Ford-Transit” of yellow color with a capacity of 16-18 people.Fare 2 GEL, travel time 25 minutes, traffic interval 15-20 minutes. The prices on the page are for October 2021.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Georgia is 10.8 million (2021).
Minibus drivers Tbilisi – Mtskheta do not sell tickets, they must be purchased from the cashier in a small booth next to the bus stop.
Passenger trains and electric trains departing from the Tbilisi railway station in a western direction to Batumi, Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Poti, Nikozi and Borjomi (10-12 trains daily) make a stop at the Mtskheta railway station. The cost of a ticket for an electric train is 2 GEL, for a train – from 7 GEL. From the station “Mtskheta” to the city center 1.5 km along the banks of the Kura – they can be overcome on foot or by taxi.
A taxi from Tbilisi airport to Mtskheta costs 27 GEL, from the center of Tbilisi in one direction – 10-25 GEL, in both directions, taking into account the waiting time in Mtskheta, – 40-55 GEL.
Small Mtskheta does not have its own public transport. Three times a day – at 12:00, 15:00 and 17:00 a mini-bus runs from the Tourist Information Center to the Jvari Monastery hanging over the city (minimum number of passengers is 4 people). A taxi or private trip from Mtskheta to Jvari costs 25 GEL in both directions, taking into account the waiting time at the top. A taxi to the nearby Shio-Mgvime or Zedazen monasteries will be relatively expensive – 35-50 GEL round trip with waiting. And the point here is not even in the distance, but in the poor condition of the roads.
Tariffs of official taxis are quite humane. The minimum cost of the trip is 7 GEL, including 5 km of run. Further – 0.50 GEL / km and 0.50 GEL for 5 minutes of waiting.
Bicycles for rent
There is no bike rental company in Mtskheta. Some hotels, including Old Capital, The Balcony 4 * and Villa Mtskheta, organize paid bike rental for their guests (from 30 GEL per day). You can also rent it in Tbilisi – at Mogzauri Rent (off. site in English) for 35 GEL per day.
The number of hotels in Mtskheta is approaching 40 and continues to grow. All have free Wi-Fi and free parking. The best – Gino Wellness Mtskheta 4 * (the cost of a double room from 240 GEL) and The Balkoni 4 * (from 280 GEL) – attract with designer interiors, spacious comfortable rooms, good cuisine and the presence of a swimming pool.
Most accommodation options are mini-hotels, villas and guesthouses with 2-10 rooms that do not have a “star” classification. The price range is from 50 to 130 GEL. The cost depends on the level of service, the view from the window, the presence of a restaurant, location and size. However, it is small local hotels that help you to better feel the provincial atmosphere of a small Georgian town and have plenty to talk with hospitable hosts over a jug of homemade wine.
Rent a Car
A car is the best way to explore the sights around Mtskheta. There are offices of international companies Avis, Sixt, Europcar and Russian Rent Motors at the Tbilisi airport. Renting an economy class Renault Clio car will cost 120 GEL per day or 550 GEL per week. Delivery of the car to the address – for an additional 50 GEL.
There are no paid parking lots in Mtskheta, parking is also free in all hotels in the city. In the center, next to Svetitskhoveli, there is a large guarded parking lot. Unlike neighboring Tbilisi, there are no traffic jams in Mtskheta. It is worth considering that local drivers tend to disregard the rules of the road, but at the same time they do not show any aggression and behave quite like a gentleman towards each other. This does not apply to pedestrians – they are not allowed to pass even at the marked crossings. Be prepared for the fact that cows, sheep and goats are often found on the roads around Mtskheta.
What to bring
The open-air souvenir stalls and tiny shops in the pedestrian center of Mtskheta are reminiscent of Aladdin’s cave in terms of the abundance and variety of assortment. Women will certainly be interested in jewelry made of gold and silver, made in the unique technique of minakari cloisonné enamel, which came to Georgia from Byzantium. Each such decoration is made by hand and exists in a single copy. Prices do not bite: rings – 20-60 GEL, pendants 30-40 GEL, bracelets from 70 GEL.
Elegant chased jugs, silver-trimmed wine horns, decorative ceramic masks, handmade carpets, watercolors with local landscapes and a whole arsenal of Georgian daggers (from 125 GEL) successfully compete with jewelry. Not only children will like original dolls in national costumes and handmade toys.
Of the gastronomic souvenirs, chestnut honey, homemade suluguni cheese (from 6 GEL per kg), walnut jam and products of the local winery “Chateau Mukhrani” (from 9 GEL per bottle) deserve attention. The top lines in his top list are occupied by dry white “Gorulis Mtsvane” (35 GEL) and red “Reserve do Prince” (62 GEL).