Some consider Georgia to be a part of Europe, others-Asia; however, it should be noted that this country has been a hot spot of cultural and geographic controversies from times immemorial. Local weather and landscape personifies encounter of the east and the West. The country’s history is erratic with ups and downs, incursion of external enemies, violence and battles. Alongside with this, the country has immense cultural heritage.

Georgia keeps the door wide open for the rest of the world and is welcoming the guests.

Georgia is on the juncture of Europe and Asia, which facilitated development of multilateral and tolerant culture. Thanks to its diverse landscape varying from moist seaside subtropics to mountain snows, Georgia gives you an incredible opportunity to observe all four seaside of the year at the same time; one can indulge in heavy snow on the summits, mist and sleet in the mountains, young grass and spring flowers at the foothill and finally, hot summer on the seacoast.

Georgia is a county of contrasts with its palm trees, liana and eucalyptus trees in Kolkheti and snow-covered mountains in Tusheti and Khevsureti; pine and beech forests of major and minor Caucasus and dried plains of Iori highland: fruit orchards of Kartli and vineyards of Alazani valley; alpine meadows of highland and tea plantations…This is consummated by the affectionate warm sea, the sun, crystal clean mountain rivers and mineral and thermal sources.

Official Name: Georgia Local Short form: Sakartvelo / საქართველო

Area: 69,700 sq. km

Population: 3.7million- Among them Georgians -85%, Armenians-6%, Russians-92%, Azeris-7%, Greeks-2%.

Religion:   Christian majority, mainly Greek Orthodox, other confessional groups include Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Armenian Gregorian, Catholics, Baptists, Jewish

Official language: Georgian

Climate: Diverse: Humidity –little amount, air-dry

Main rivers: Mtkvari (Kura) 1515 km (351 km in Georgia), Alazani 407 km (390 km in Georgia), Rioni 333km.

Main lakes: Paravani (38 sq.km. depth-3.3m, 2073m above sea level), Tabatskuri (14 sq.km. depth -40m, 2000m above sea level), Keli (1,3 sq.km. depth -63m, 2900m sea level)

Glaciers: Shkhara (5201m), Janga (5078m), Kazbegi (5054m)

Government type: Republic. Gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 Museums: Opening hours 10:00-17:30 (closed on Mondays)

Capital city: Tbilisi, Population- 1.1 million

Largest cities: Kutaisi (148 000), Batumi (155 000), Rustavi (126 000) Electricity: 220 V, 50 Hz.two round-pin plugs are used

Restaurants: Open daily 11:00-till midnight

Time zone: GMT +4 hours (Winter time), GMT +3 hours (Summer time) Dialing code: Country code +995, Tbilisi city code 32


First settlements on the territory of Georgia date as back as a million and eight thousand years. According to various written sources and archaeological finding traces of statehood in Georgia can be found already in 17th-18th centuries B.C. Georgia has exhibited a tendency towards unification throughout its history. Kingdom of Kartli (Iberia), founded by the king Pharnavaz, was first to unite several states of Eastern and Western Georgia (Capital City –Mtskheta).

In the 10th century most territories of Georgia united into one strong state ruled by the royal dynasty of Bagrations. The capital of Georgia at that time was Kutaisi. The first kings to rule the United Kingdom of Georgia were Bagrat III (975-1014), George I (1014-1027), and Bagrat IV (1027-1172). In the 11th century new fatal danger of being invaded with the help of the King David IV (1089-1125), affectionately named David the ’Builder’. He realized several very important reforms in order to strengthen the central power and organize a powerful army by unifying all forces of Georgia to struggle against the invaders. In 1121 headed by the King the Georgian army won a severe battle at Didgori valley, Tbilisi was liberated and once again became the Capital City of Georgia. His policies were continued during the reign of the king George III (1156-1184) and Queen Tamar (1184-1212). During the reign of the latest an attempt was made to establish a parallel structure of the state similar to those of the European countries.

From the beginning of 13th c Georgia became a victim of a devastating power of Mongol Empire; found itself surrounded by the hostile Muslim world and as a consequence lost all connections with the co-religionist countries of the west. The country experienced political as well as economic crisis, which resulted in strengthening the separatist forces and breaking up the state into four independent kingdoms of Kartli, Kakheti, Imereti and Samtskhe. On July 24, 1783 so called “Giorgievski Treaty” was signed between the united kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti and Russia. Later, after the death of King George XII the royal power of the kingdom was abolished and it was overtaken by Russian Empire. Thus, Georgia with 2,500 years history of statehood ceased to exist and was declared as a province of Russia. In the beginning of 20th c on May 26, 1918 Georgia once again returned the status of an independent state but for a very short period of time. In 1921 a Socialist Republic of Russia has annexed it again and established a military totalitarian regime, which lasted for the next 70 years. On April 9, 1991 the state independence of George was restored.

On July 31, 1992 Georgia became the 179th member of the United Nations. It is the member of a number of international and regional organizations. An agreement of partnership and cooperation between Georgia and European Union is in force since April 22, 1996.


National currency of Georgia is the Georgian lari, which consists of 100 tetri. Coins are issued in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 tetri as well as bank notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 laris.

All payments are made in Lari on the territory of Georgia. Lots of shops, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards and cheques.

The most popular foreign currencies US dollars, Euros or Rubles can be exchanged at banks and special exchange shops, while other currencies must be exchanged in banks.

Banks: Opening hours 10:00-18:00 (10:00-14:00 on Saturdays)


Immunizations are not required for travel to Georgia. Medical care in general is not up to western standards, especially in villages. It is recommended to have all-inclusive travelers’ medical insurance that covers medical evacuation, if you require hospitalization. However you don’t need to have with you common drugs, you can easily buy them in Georgia if necessary.

Emergency: 112 (Police, Fire Rescue, Amnulance)


a)    Intra-city

Tbilisi is the only city in Georgia with a metro (underground) and tram systems, while all towns have some form of public transport: buses, trolleybuses, minibus taxis and taxis.

Tbilisi underground called the metro for “Metropolitan”. Tbilisi metro has two lines and 21 stations. It operates from 6 AM to 24 PM. The cost is set at 1.00 Lari. Metro stations are identified by the red (M) sign.

Buses run around the entire city and cost 1.00 Lari. They only stop at specified bus stops.

The most popular transport means in Tbilisi is minibus taxi. If you’d like to travel by this popular transport, you can catch it at specified bus stops. They operate from 7 AM to 11 PM. Minibus taxis usually cost 1.00 Lari.

Public transport in Georgia usually is cheap. After midnight one can only hail taxi either straight in the street or by calling one on the telephone numbers.

With the others better to agree on the price to your destination before you get in.

b)    Inter-city

Airports are located in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Mestia, Senaki and Telavi. Plane and helicopter service between cities is inexpensive but irregular. Bus, mini-bus and train service links the major towns of Georgia in a reasonably efficient way. Before leaving the towns, make sure you get exact route and schedule, especially if you don’t know Georgian or Russian languages.


GSM 900 MHz and 1800MHz

Main operators include Geocell (www.geocell.ge), Magti (www.magticom.com) and Beeline (www.beeline.ge). Magti and Geocell have UMTS/3G service including video call and high speed date.


Please note that, citizens permanently residing in the following countries, such as member states of the European Union, Australia, Japan, Australia, Canada, Thailand, New Zealand, Korea, Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Lebanese, Malaysia, Turkey, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Ukrine, UAE, UK, USA, Swiss Confederation may enter and stay in Georgia without a visa for 90 days in any 180-day period. Aliens who are holders of valid visas or residence permits of UK, EU member states, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Kuwait, U.A.E may enter and stay in Georgia for 90 days in and any 180-day period. To enter and stay in Georgia, appropriate visa or residence permit should be valid at the moment of crossing the Georgian border. This should be verified with the travel document or/and other relevant document. Travelers can obtain Georgian Visa at the Georgian Embassy/Consulate office or apply for electronic visa.

Also, it should be taken into account that persons, who possess ordinary visas, in case of staying on the territory of Georgia longer than the period determined by the visa, should apply to the Ministry of justice (www.cra.gov.ge) to receive temporary or permanent residence, before the expiration of their visas.

For more information about visa, kindly ask you to visit web site:  www.mfa.gov.ge

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