Tbilisi, T'bilisi Region, Georgia

Economy | Tourist Industry | Landmarks | Culture : Nightlife | World Book Capital | Transport : Air : Metro : Rail | Buses | Transport : Cycling | Tram | Minibus | Aerial tramways | Funicular

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Tbilisi, in some languages still known by its pre-1936 name Tiflis, is the capital and the largest city of Georgia. It is situated on the banks of the Kura River. Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century AD by Vakhtang I of Iberia, and since then has served as the capital of various Georgian kingdoms and republics. Between 1801 and 1917, then part of the Russian Empire, Tiflis was the seat of the Imperial Viceroy, governing both Southern and Northern Caucasus.

Because of its location on the crossroads between Europe and Asia, and its proximity to the lucrative Silk Road, throughout history, Tbilisi was a point of contention among various global powers. The city's location to this day ensures its position as an important transit route for energy and trade projects. Tbilisi's history is reflected in its architecture, which is a mix of medieval, neoclassical, Beaux Arts, Art Nouveau, Stalinist, and Modern structures.

Historically, Tbilisi has been home to people of multiple cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, though it is overwhelmingly Eastern Orthodox Christian. Its notable tourist destinations include cathedrals Sameba and Sioni, Freedom Square, Rustaveli Avenue and Agmashenebeli Avenue, medieval Narikala Fortress, the pseudo-Moorish Opera Theater, and the Georgian National Museum.

Economy With a GDP at basic prices of 12,147ย million Georgian lari (โ‚ฌ4.3ย billion) in 2014, Tbilisi is the economic centre of the country, generating almost 50 percent of Georgia's GDP. The service sector, including government services, is dominating and contributes 88 percent to GDP. Its GDP per capita of 10,336 Georgian lari (โ‚ฌ3,600) is exceeding the national average by more than 50 percent. The service sector itself is dominated by the wholesale and retail trade sector, reflecting the role of Tbilisi as transit and logistics hub for the country and the South Caucasus. The manufacturing sector contributes only 12 percent to Tbilisi's GDP, but is much larger, by employment and total value added, than the manufacturing sectors in any other region of Georgia. The unemployment rate in Tbilisi is โ€“ with 22.5 percent โ€“ significantly higher in Tbilisi than in the regions.

Tourist Industry Georgia's growing popularity as an international tourist destination has put Tbilisi on the global travel map. With the country hosting more than 9 million international visitors in 2019, the capital saw major investments in the hospitality industry. It now is the leading tourist destination in the region, offering exquisite cityscapes, Art Deco, Russian, Eastern and Soviet architecture, national museums and galleries, cultural attractions, festivals, historical landmarks and exceptional, traditional Georgian cuisine along with a wide range of international restaurants. The city is well-known, due to its complicated history, as a melting pot of cultures, a diverse metropolis with a palette of attractions.

Landmarks Tbilisi has important landmarks and sightseeing locations. The Parliament and the government (State Chancellery) buildings of Georgia, the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Sameba Cathedral, the Vorontsov's Palace (also known as the Children's Palace today), the National Public Library of the Parliament of Georgia, the National Bank of Georgia, Tbilisi Circus, The Bridge of Peace, and many state museums are in Tbilisi. During the Soviet times, Tbilisi continuously ranked in the top four cities in the Soviet Union for the number of museums.

Out of the city's historic landmarks, the most notable are the Narikala fortress (4thโ€“17th century), Anchiskhati Basilica (6th century, built up in the 16th century), Sioni Cathedral (8th century, later rebuilt), and Church of Metekhi, Open Air Museum of Ethnography, Sulfur Bath, and Tbilisi Old City.

Culture: Nightlife Beyond traditional attractions, Tbilisi has developed burgeoning nightclub culture which started to attract international media attention in the 2010s. The leading clubs such as Bassiani, Mtkvarze, Khidi, and Cafรฉ Gallery have featured major international DJs as well as local performers. Due to the growing queer nightlife scene the city has also become an LGBTQ+ haven in the Caucasus region.

World Book Capital Tbilisi was designated as the World Book Capital for 2021 by UNESCO.

Transport The public transport system and the relevant infrastructure in Tbilisi is primarily managed by the Transport and Urban Development Agency. After decades of poor transport services and the prioritisation of private vehicles, the city has since the 2010s, invested heavily in developing a green, extensive and diverse public transit network. Today, the city is served by an international airport, metro and national rail services, municipal buses, minibuses, cabs, cable cars, bike lanes and a funicular.

Transport: Air Shota Rustaveli Tbilisi International Airport is Tbilisi's only international airport, located about 18 km (11 miles) south-east of the city center. Handling 3.69ย million passengers in 2019, it is the busiest airport in Georgia and the seventeenth busiest airport in the former Soviet Union. The airport has been rapidly growing over the past decade, handling more than 3.56ย million passengers in 11 months of 2018. It is a hub for the national carrier Georgian Airways and Georgian-Chinese start-up Myway Airlines. Various international carriers serve routes to major European and Asian hubs, such as London, Munich, Berlin, Amsterdam, Dubai, Brussels, Milan, Vienna, Paris, and Doha. The Irish ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair started operating from the airport in 2019.

Tbilisi International Airport in 2016 started to utilize solar energy and became the first "green airport" in the Caucasus region in 2008.

Natakhtari Airfield, located 33ย km north of Tbilisi in the town of Natakhtari, is a domestic airport serving the capital on routes to Batumi, Mestia and Ambrolauri.

Transport: Metro The Tbilisi Metro serves the city with rapid transit subway services. More than 400 thousand journeys are made on the system every single day. It was the Soviet Union's fourth metro system. Construction began in 1952 and was finished in 1966. The system operates two lines, the Akhmeteli-Varketili Line and the Saburtalo Line. It has 23 stations and 186 metro cars. Most stations, characteristic to Soviet-built metro systems, are extravagantly decorated. Trains run from 6:00ย am to midnight. Due to the uneven ground, the rail lines run above ground in some areas. Two of the stations are above ground.

In 2020 it was announced by the city government that the metro system is set for a major upgrade with the renovation of all stations, targeting more sustainable and modern design, as well as step-free wheelchair accessibility. Moreover, Tbilisi will purchase 40 new, modern train cars, or 10 trains, becoming the first major rolling stock upgrade in the network's more than 50-year-old history.

The third overground line is planned to connect central Tbilisi with suburbs and Tbilisi International Airport with a possible extension to Rustavi, 30ย km east of Tbilisi.

Transport: Rail Tbilisi is the busiest intersection of Georgian Railways services, primarily centred within Tbilisi Central Railway Station. From there, the national rail operator offers inter-city services to Batumi, Zugdidi, Poti, Ozurgeti, Kutaisi and other large cities, as well as several suburban rail services.

Buses Tbilisi's bus network forms a crucial backbone of the city's transit system. For almost a decade, up to 700 outdated buses of various size were serving the city, majority of them were Ukrainian Bogdan A144 and A092 models. Nowadays the city has an extensive network of municipal buses, including a growing number of night bus services. In August 2020, the mayor of Tbilisi Kakha Kaladze announced major changes in the existing public transit system. Notably, the city will introduce 10 Bus Rapid Transit corridors in the nearest future, served by large 18 meters long buses, running with significantly shorter intervals. These services are named TBT(Tbilisi Bus Transit) lines and are indexed numbers from 300 until 310. Besides the TBT lines, the new system includes 44 city and 185 local lines, totalling up to over 240 bus routes within the city.

The initial reorganization of the bus network started in 2016 when back then-mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania started an ambitious project in efforts to revamp the outdated fleet. Under his city government, 143 energy-efficient MAN Lion's City buses were purchased and delivered in 2017. New MAN Lion's City Later in 2018, the tender was announced to order 90 new buses. Tegeta trucks&Buses won the tender and delivered 90 Man Lion's City low floor buses to the city in early 2019. Later on, the city purchased more than 400 new buses from two different manufacturers, including 12-meter long, low floor BMC vehicles and shorter 8.5 meters long Isuzu city buses. It was also announced that the city will be buying 200 18 meter long articulated buses in the nearest future in hopes of further expanding the city's bus network and decreasing intervals.

Transport: Cycling Cycling has been becoming increasingly popular among the residents of Tbilisi over the past few years. For decades, this green mode of transport was seen unfit for the mountainous and uneven terrain of the city. However, as the city's government started introducing new bike lanes across the city, a rising number of people turned towards bikes for regular use. One of the first major central Tbilisi bike lanes opened along Pekini Avenue in 2017, following the long rehabilitation process. The 2.8 meter wide lane failed to attract regular users amid the lack of a greater, city-wide network. Soon the city unveiled more bike lanes, including within recreational areas, such as the National Botanical Garden of Georgia and Lisi Lake.

The expansion of the city's cycling infrastructure network was significantly accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic as cities across the globe started organising pop-up bike lanes. Tbilisi joined the global trend, unveiling cycling lanes in city's central areas, such as Vake, Vera and the bank of the Kura River. Following these changes, the total length of Tbilisi's bike lanes increased from 2ย km in 2019 to over 20ย km in 2020. The head of the city's transport department told Euronews Georgia that Tbilisi is working on a 20-year long urban mobility development strategy. According to the plan, the total length of the bike lane network will eventually reach 350ย km across the capital.

Tram Main article: Trams in Tbilisi

Tbilisi had a tram network, since 1883 starting from horse-driven trams and from 25 December 1904 electric tramway. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, electric transport went to a degradation state within the years and finally the only tram line left was closed on 4 December 2006 together with two trolleybus lines which were left. There are plans to construct a modern tram network.

Minibus For a long time, the most dominant form of transport was the minibus network. An elaborate minibus system grew in Tbilisi over the early 2000s. Amid the lack of public funding and rundown infrastructure, minibuses emerged as a private initiative and a short-term resolution to the city transportation problem. In 2019, the company operating yellow minibuses in Tbilisi was asked to replace the entire fleet by the end of 2020. However, the process was slowed down and only 300 minibuses were replaced. The mayor of Tbilisi announced that the number of minibuses in Tbilisi will gradually decrease, eventually vanishing from Tbilisi's streets.

In addition to the city, several lines also serve the surrounding countryside of Tbilisi. Throughout the city, a fixed price is paid regardless of the distance (80 or 50 tetri in 2018). For longer trips outside the city, higher fares are common. As of April 2018, there are no predefined stops for the minibus lines, except 14 streets, they are hailed from the streets like taxis and each passenger can exit whenever he likes.

Aerial tramways Since 2012, Tbilisi has a modern, high-capacity gondola lift which operates between Rike Park and the Narikala fortress; each gondola can carry up to 8 persons. The system was built by the Italian manufacturer Leitner Ropeways.

Since October 12, 2016, Turtle Lake aerial tramway (originally opened in 1965) reopened after seven years out of service. It underwent major reconstruction but kept the old designs of gondolas and stations. This tramway connects Vake Park with Turtle Lake.

Since October 2016, another Soviet-era aerial tramway between State University (Maglivi) and University Campus (Bagebi) in Saburtalo District (originally opened in 1982) is being reconstructed after 13 years of abandonment and is due for opening in April 2018. The original Italian-produced cabins produced by Lovisolo and provided by Ceretti & Tanfani, with a capacity of 40 passengers each, are being kept as well as the stations.

Since October 2017, the aerial tram has been under reconstruction, keeping the old culturally significant lower station but with plans for new gondolas, masts, upper station and other infrastructure. The project is carried out by Doppelmayr Garaventa Group.

Funicular Tbilisi funicular reopened 2012 after a multi-year closure. It is a ropeway railway first built 1905, connecting Chonkadze street and Mtatsminda Park, and covering almost 300ย m (980ย ft) in altitude difference. The top of the hill is the highest point of the city, offering many different views of Tbilisi, and is home to the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower as well as some amusement rides, including a roller-coaster and a ferris wheel.

The half-way station of the funicular is just a short way away from Mtatsminda Pantheon, providing easy access to the necropolis.

Image: Adobe Stock Tracy Ben #131131395

Tbilisi is rated Gamma + by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) which evaluates and ranks the relationships between world cities in the context of globalisation. Gamma level cities are cities that link smaller economic regions into the world economy.

Tbilisi is rated D+ by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. D+ cities are strong regional hub cities. Tbilisi was ranked #7 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Tbilisi has a population of over 1,178,100 people. Tbilisi also forms the centre of the wider Tbilisi metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,485,293 people. Tbilisi is ranked #407 for startups with a score of 0.535.

To set up a UBI Lab for Tbilisi see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Tbilisi is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Media Arts see: https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Tbilisi has links with:

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Alpharetta, USA ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Ankara, Turkey ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Astana, Kazakhstan ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Athens, Greece ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Atlanta, USA ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท BaฤŸcฤฑlar, Turkey ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Baku, Azerbaijan ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Bilbao, Spain ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Bristol, England ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Bucharest, Romania ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Budapest, Hungary ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Cairo, Egypt ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Cava de' Tirreni, Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Chiศ™inฤƒu, Moldova ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Denizli, Turkey ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Doha, Qatar ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Dublin, Ireland ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Esenyurt, Turkey ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Grozny, Russia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guangzhou, China ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Innsbruck, Austria ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Istanbul, Turkey ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Jerusalem, Israel ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Kharkiv, Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Krakรณw, Poland ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Kyiv, Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Lima, Perรบ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Lincoln, USA ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Ljubljana, Slovenia ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Lviv, Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ Minsk, Belarus ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Nantes, France ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Odesa, Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Palermo, Italy ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท Paris, France ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Prague, Czech Republic ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Riga, Latvia ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Saarbrรผcken, Germany ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Sofia, Bulgaria ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Tehran, Iran ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Tomsk, Russia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Vilnius, Lithuania ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Warsaw, Poland ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Yerevan, Armenia
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GaWC | GUCR | Nomad | StartupBlink

  • Berthold Lubetkin |

    ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ Architect Berthold Lubetkin is associated with Tbilisi. He was awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal in 1982.

Antipodal to Tbilisi is: -135.198,-41.693

Locations Near: Tbilisi 44.8016,41.6934

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Vake-Saburtalo 44.75,41.7 d: 4.3  

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Mtskheta 44.717,41.85 d: 18.8  

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Rustavi 45,41.533 d: 24.3  

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Telavi 45.483,41.917 d: 61.7  

๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Gori 44.11,41.981 d: 65.7  

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Qazax 45.35,41.086 d: 81.6  

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ AฤŸstafa 45.45,41.117 d: 83.9  

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Ijevan 45.133,40.867 d: 96  

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Vanadzor 44.499,40.803 d: 102.2  

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Tovuz 45.617,40.983 d: 104.2  

Antipodal to: Tbilisi -135.198,-41.693

๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ซ Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 17001  

๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ธ Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 15441.2  

๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 15639.1  

๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 15328.4  

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Valdivia -73.233,-39.8 d: 14906.7  

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Osorno -73.133,-40.567 d: 14932.4  

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Coronel -73.217,-37.017 d: 14776.1  

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Port Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 14955.2  

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Puerto Montt -72.933,-41.467 d: 14955.2  

๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Talcahuano -73.117,-36.717 d: 14753.5  

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