23 Things Georgia is Known and Famous For

Nestled between Turkey and Russia, Georgia is a small, mountainous country with a rich culture and history. It is at the intersection of Europe and Asia and carries influences from both.

Georgia is famous for being a food and wine country. The locals are hospitable, proud people that enjoy sharing their culture. Airport personnel sometimes even hand out miniature bottles of wine as welcome gifts.

Welcome wine in Georgia

But Georgia is so much more than cuisine. You can find breathtaking landscapes, unique experiences, and fun cultural quirks everywhere. Here are some of the things Georgia is known for.

1. Tbilisi

Panoramic view of Tbilisi, Georgia.

The capital is an interesting blend of old and new. Tbilisi, as well as the rest of the country, has developed drastically in the past couple of decades. The frequent protests in front of Parliament highlight this ongoing change.    

It’s a city full of hidden gems, with more popping up every day. You can spend days wandering and only scratch the surface.

Explore old-town alleyways. Stumble upon charming wine bars or cafes. Find absolutely anything in the quirky bazaars. Climb steep staircases to see a view of the city or visit Mtatsminda Mountain.

2. Wine

underground cellar for storing wine

Georgia is famous for being the birthplace of wine. They have a unique tradition of making wine in qvevri, large clay vats, buried in the ground.  

Georgia has indigenous grape varieties unique to this region such as saperavi or kisi. My personal favorite is amber wine, a qvevri wine made from white grapes and left to ferment with the skins.

3. Khinkali

National Georgian cuisine. Khinkali with meat. Khinkali on a wooden board close-up.

Georgia is known for khinkali. These large dumplings can be filled with many things including meat, potatoes, mushrooms, or cheese. The most popular option is meat.

According to khinkali etiquette, you must hold the dumpling upside down by the stub to eat it. Bite into it, collecting all the juice along with the meat. Discard the stubs onto your plate to show just how many you can eat.

4. Khachapuri 

ajara Khachapuri with cheese and egg georgian kitchen on old wooden table close up

Khachapuri stems from the Georgian words for curds and bread. This doughy deliciousness is a staple and you can’t visit Georgia without trying it. 

There are different regional variations. My favorite is the Adjarian Khachapuri. This dough boat is filled with the local cheese, a raw egg yolk, and a dollop of butter.

5. Mountains   

Gergeti Trinity Church (Tsminda Sameba), Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti in Caucasian mountains, Georgia

Georgia is known for its mountains. The country lies mostly in the Caucasus Mountains.

It has many opportunities for outdoor adventurers. Trek through the mountains, passing old villages, churches, and fortress towers. Ski the slopes or paraglide in Georgia’s popular ski resort, Guadauri.

For a more relaxing mountain getaway, people post up in one of the newer glamping destinations or hotels. There’s nothing like a stunning view with a cocktail in hand.

6. Caucasian Rugs

Caucasian carpets gallery in Tbilisi

Caucasian rugs are known for their bold colors and intricately woven designs. Originally, it was nomadic tribes that began weaving the rugs as they were a necessary commodity in the mountains. Nowadays, you can see both old and new Caucasian-style rugs all over the country.

7. Fireworks

Beautiful night landscape with salute and fireworks in Tbilisi city, Georgia

When I first arrived in Georgia, I thought it must have been a week-long holiday. Fireworks went off every night around midnight.

Then I learned, Georgians just love fireworks – every single night of the week.

You might also run into kids playing with firecrackers here and there. It truly is a pyro’s paradise and it’s quite easy to get your hands on some. I bought fireworks at a local toy store for my birthday. When in Georgia…

8. Street dogs

Street dogs in Georgia

It is very common to see stray dogs roaming around Georgia. While the occasional dog might be aggressive, the overwhelming majority are unusually friendly. If one runs up to you, they are probably just hoping for some pets or looking to join you on a stroll.      

The community has done a good job of caring for these animals and making sure they’re well-fed. The tags on their ears mean they’ve been vaccinated, fixed, and registered by one of the local organizations.   

One street dog in Batumi, Kupata, is famous for protecting children as they cross the street. He even has his own Instagram account, @lovelykupata.

9. Georgian folk music & dancing

Georgian dancers performing a dance
Editorial credit: SviatlanaLaza / Shutterstock.com

Georgia is famous for its folk music and dance. The polyphonic music can be heard at monasteries, churches, and celebrations.

There are many types of Georgian folk dances stemming from ancient sports, war, and courtship rituals. The women’s role is typically characterized by grace, beauty, and symmetry. The men’s role usually involves impressive leaps, spins, and choreographed battle.

10. Hospitality

Georgian from Tbilisi, a stylish man expressively talks about local hospitality in Georgia

Georgia is famous for its hospitality. If you are invited into one’s home, expect to leave a bit drunk and with a full belly.

When hitchhiking through the wine region, many locals left me with a homemade bottle of wine and refused to accept anything in return.

Most locals might not approach or smile at strangers. However, they are generally curious and happy to engage when given the opportunity.

11. Batumi

Beautiful modern buildings of Batumi. Sea resort in Georgia. Batumi, Georgia
Editorial credit: Try_my_best / Shutterstock.com

Batumi is a beach city on the coast of the Black Sea. It has a long promenade and a beautiful botanical garden. Expect to see some funky architecture along your walks. It’s popular with beach-goers, gamblers, and both tourists and locals.

12. Chacha

A bunch of chacha, traditional vodka, on the street
Editorial credit: Samatha.L / Shutterstock.com

Georgia is known for its brandy, more commonly referred to as chacha. This national liquor is made from grapes and is between 40-65% alcohol. Other fruits and herbs such as tarragon, pears, or figs may be added for flavor.

While you can find it just about anywhere, locals also make their own. Don’t be surprised if you are offered a bottle of homebrewed chacha in a plastic bottle.

I once told my neighbor I had a cold. He gave me a bottle of his homemade chacha as a remedy. I was not immediately cured but appreciated the gesture!  

13. Bassiani

Night club music instrument DJ controller and DJ hands, playing music scene.

Bassiani is a famous nightclub that sits in the basement of the Dinamo sports complex. Its dance floor is an unused swimming pool.

The establishment is known for its outspoken stance on politics and being LGBTQ-friendly.

To keep the right vibe, you’ll have to be cleared by face control to get in. You stand in front of a camera while a behind-the-scenes bouncer decides whether or not you can enter.  

14. Sulfur baths

Ancient sulfuric Baths in Abanotubani

Tbilisi’s historic bathhouses are full of sulfur-rich water and are said to have significant health benefits. Most of the baths are built in the Abanotubani district. The city was originally built here because of these waters. 

They are characterized by their brick domes with windows on top for light and air. You can opt to go for the public pool or rent a private room. Take a plunge in the cold bath, soak in the hot sulfuric bath, or sit in the sauna. For an extra fee, you can also get a massage or the less relaxing but effective scrub down. 

15. Ancient monasteries

Jvary monastery near Mtskheta, Georgia.

Georgia is famous for its monasteries. It was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity. Some date back to the 4th century, with many more from the medieval period.

Many monasteries sit atop hills providing beautiful views. Vardzia is an ancient cave-town built into a hillside with its own monastery.  

16. Churchkhela

Churchkhela. Traditional Georgian homemade sweets with hazelnuts, walnuts, grape juice, honey (sugar), wheat flour (corn flour). Dessert sold in local food market in Georgia, Tbilisi or Batumi.

Churchkhela is slightly sweet and slightly chewy with a crunchy center. These colorful creations are dangling on strings all over the country.   

They were originally made as a byproduct of wine-making. The leftover grape juice is mixed with flour and heated into a paste. Dip a string of nuts into it, hang it to dry, and voilĂ ! You’ve got churchkhela!  

17. Marshrutkas

Urban taxis Minibuses are on the station Didube in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Marshrutkas are a carry-over from the soviet era. It’s an abbreviated form of the Russian word meaning “routed taxi”.

These minibuses run all over the country, between cities, and to more remote towns. They are a no-frills, public transportation system. You can pick one up at a designated station or simply hail one along the side of the road. 

18. Abandoned buildings

Detail of the abandoned Soviet Sanatorium Iveria in Tskaltubo, Georgia. Tskaltubo was the important spa resort during the Soviet times.

After the Soviet occupation, many industries and half-built buildings were left to collect dust. This makes Georgia the perfect playground for urbexers.

Tskaltubo is a town with many abandoned soviet-era sanitariums and hotels. With minimal security, you can walk right in and explore these giant, ornate buildings.

If you do come across a security guard, they are usually just looking to collect the customary 5 lari (about $1.50) and be on their way.

19. Street art

Street art in Georgia

Tbilisi is sometimes dubbed the next Berlin. With a growing graffiti and art scene, you can see why.

While technically illegal, you’ll still see graffiti all over the major cities. The tall, concrete walls of Soviet-era buildings make the perfect canvas for giant murals.

20. Mineral springs

Close up of steaming hot springs in a sunny summer day in picturesque georgian landscape in background

Georgia is known for its many mineral springs. Many regions have medical resorts that use these waters for balneotherapy.

The water is also bottled and sold. There are several brands selling still or carbonated mineral water. My personal favorite is the slightly salty, very bubbly Borjomi.

21. Tusheti

Georgia Tusheti

Tusheti is a historic mountain region in the northeastern Caucasus. Popular amongst trekkers, it is one of the most remote and ecologically unspoiled regions in Georgia.

The steep, precarious dirt road to Tusheti is accessible only during the warmer months. You can observe many vigils along the cliff-sides dedicated to those who did not make the journey.

Most visitors and seasonal residents head up in the summer months. Fewer residents chose to prep and remain for the long, snowed-in season.  

22. Courtyards

Old vintage courtyard with stairs in Tbilisi

One of the architectural gems of Tbilisi is its courtyards, known locally as Italian courtyards. You might see spiraled staircases, glass windows, and detailed balcony designs.

The windows and doorways face into the courtyard. This makes it the perfect place for families and neighbors to congregate, share a meal, or gossip.

23. Supras

A group of friends arranged a feast on the table in a restaurant with Georgian cuisine. Khinkali, tobacco chicken and wine in a clay jug

Georgia is famous for its feasts, or supras. These are held for any special occasion such as a holiday, birthday, or wedding. People expect to consume copious amounts of food and wine.

A supra will have a toastmaster, or tamada. The tamada gives long, sentimental speeches several times throughout the meal. Be prepared to say cheers, or gaumarjos!

Tourist woman in hat with backpack at the street of Signagi town in Georgia

If Georgia wasn’t on your list of destinations, it should be. Although it is an underrated country in the travel world, it’s sure to explode in the near future.

Georgia has something to offer everyone and different attractions depending on the season. Bring your appetite, camera, and a sense of adventure.  

You won’t truly know its beauty until you experience it for yourself. Do yourself a favor and explore Georgia!

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