After having been impressed with one of Georgia's most beautiful parts, Svaneti, I arrived by train in Tbilisi. It was an overnight train so I arrived in the capital around 5 am. Tbilisi was already bustling that time. By metro I arrived at the city's main boulevard, Rustaveli, where I found a place to unpack. Tbilisi rose from dawn and I had the whole day in front of me.
Georgia is a country of unparalleled beauty and its capital is no exception. Tbilisi is a city with a warm character, colourful buildings and green surroundings. In Georgian, the word 'tbili' means warm and originally the city's name derived from this word. Mtkvari river cuts the center in two and both sides have their own charms. The riverside boasts the interesting Rike Park, which you can reach from the old town with the futuristic glass and steel Bridge of Peace. From the other side, from metro station Avlabari, stairs lead down to the park as well. Under the gaze of the Presidential Palace, many people enjoy this new asset of Tbilisi. It also features a cable car taking you up for a stunning birview of the center, leading to Narikala Fortress above the old town. It's a steep but scenic walk back down to the center. Tbilisi is surrounded by hills that all offer their unique views - it definitely helps orientating yourself in this city as well.
Tbilisi is a relatively large city, with over 1.345.000 inhabitants. Likewise, the center is quite big and there is a lot to explore for several days. One of the city's charms are the small streets winding through the center. Many of these have recently been renovated and look quite modern, even though the city is very old. Arguably, the renovations take away some of the historic charm in the streets but it is absolutely best for their preservation. Dive further into back streets and the old Tbilisi is still all around, with buildings in various styles and many old tries lining the pavements.
The city's main boulevard, Rustaveli, is also a nice place to catch the city's vibe. This is one of Tbilisi's main arteries with many governmental, public and cultural buildings. As one of the city's thoroughfares, it has also been a stage for protests and one that turned very grim in 1989 - before the House of Government many protesters lost their lives when Soviet forces attacked.
Georgia's capital offers exciting destinations for a day trip. Uplistsikhe - the rock-hewn town, the Stalin Museum and other destinations will be on this website soon.