Facts of Studying


Most of Georgia is safe for travelers. Scammers and thieves do not usually single out tourists, maybe because there are usually not that many tourists in Georgia. Within cities, usual street-smart caution applies. Corruption, once a big hassle for tourists, has become far less visible since the Rose Revolution. It is now safe and reasonable to trust the Georgian police, as the infamous and corrupt traffic police have been disbanded. (Currently there are no traffic police in Georgia.) The greatest danger to visitors of Georgia by far is the road traffic. Georgian norms of driving are dominated by a macho, chivalric code that disregards the use of seatbelts and, after dark, headlights. Drivers do not give way to pedestrians, so be very careful when crossing the street.


There is a 'Tbilisi Old Town hostel' which is located in the center, next to Freedom Sq. (the Main Square). This hostel is on Khodasheni st. 7 (turn from leselidze st. 27 and 29), they have 24 hours hot and cold shower, beds are comfortable and atmosphere is lovely and friendly there, I wish to go there again Outside of Tbilisi (where there are numerous options for 3 star plus accommodation thanks to the NGO presence in the country) and Batumi, western-style hotels have not made much inroads and crumbling Soviet infrastructure remains the mainstay. Accordingly, throughout much of the country, private homes are the cheapest and most enjoyable option. If you can master a little basic Russian, going to the central square or market will probably land you a lovely big bed and some amazingly fresh home-made food for an agreed price.


When exchanging money in banks is sure to present your ID. With small exchange cabins available almost anywhere in the country, this should not be very necessary. These cabins may also have slightly better exchange rates. When travelling out of Tbilisi and in need of Georgian laris, be sure to exchange money before the trip as exchange rates are more discriminative in rural areas. The Georgian Lari is a closed currency, so be sure to change the remainder of your money back before leaving the country. Most importantly, be aware that some ATMs in Georgia may not accept foreign cards (though this is not usually a problem in Tbilisi). This can be a potentially serious problem if you are caught without cash during non-business hours or on weekends, so have plenty of cash. Also, while prices are generally very reasonable in Georgia, a side effect is that many small establishments and taxis will not have change for large lari notes (especially 50 or higher), so travelers are advised to carry plenty of smaller notes and coins.


Taxis in Georgia are the most convenient method of travel, and they are very cheap. Trips within Tbilisi range from 3 to 5 lari, depending on distance, but you can always negotiate a price with the cab driver. The vast majority of taxis in Georgia are unofficial 'gypsy cabs,' driven by anyone looking to make some money. Unmarked taxi service in Georgia is exceptionally safe and widely used by foreigners living and visiting the country. Drivers will, however, exaggerate the price for foreigners -- it is best to establish your destination and price before getting in the cab.