Georgia is one of those secret places that is slowly coming to light in Europe. They are slowly entering tourists’ “next visit” list. Georgia has some interesting traditions and practices that you would be surprised about. In this article, we have made a comprehensive list of things you should know before visiting Georgia.
1. Some Georgian or Russian would definitely help.
Though English is used almost everywhere, Kutaisi, Tbilisi, Batumi are prevalent too. If you want to explore the deeper parts of the country, the phrases from Georgian can come to your rescue. However, if Georgian is hard to learn, Russian words would also do the trick. This can be a lifesaver and hence one of the crucial things you should know before visiting Georgia.
2. Take your own car if you want to travel to the countryside.
Though Georgia has relatively developed transport connectivity, it would still be a challenge if you want to visit the countryside. The railways connect Georgia’s 9 regions’ main cities and towns. But to reach the deeper and more cosier parts of the country, you would need to take the local buses or even take your own minibus. Like we already said, in those places, Georgian or Russian would help you over English. The bus stations are not very organized and could be confusing or chaotic. Hence a having an own vehicle can prove decisive for a smooth vacation and hence few of the key things you should know before visiting Georgia.
3.Churches and monasteries everywhere.
Georgia is an orthodox Christian country, extremely religious. Because Religion was being practised since the 4th Century in this region, this country hosts 1000s of monasteries and churches of different styles of architecture, different time periods, different eras. In the deeper, more local areas, the churches are usually on a nearby hilltop, so on the hike there, you would be guaranteed beautiful sceneries along the way and some of the most instagrammable spots. Dress appropriately, try to avoid sleeveless and shorts or crop tops as this could result in barring the entry to the church. This is one of the essential things you should know before visiting Georgia, as culture is the utmost priority in this nation.
If you’re a foodie, this place will definitely delight you. If you aren’t, this place takes it as a challenge to please your taste buds. They host many different cuisines. They specialize in meat and pastries. But the vegetarians need not fret. They have a lot of variety in vegetarian dishes as well. Khachapuri, Mchadi and Lobio are few must-try vegetarian dishes. There are exclusively food streets where you can enjoy the local cuisines and at a reasonable cost.
5.Tip as much as you want
Restaurants usually include a service fee on the bill which is around 10%. Some even choose to charge around 15 to 18%, so tipping the waiter is completely your choice and there is absolutely no compulsion.
6. Always take a gift if invited.
In Georgia, similar to Indian traditions, Guests are considered as a “gift from gods” and hence, any family which invites you home for a nice dinner would make sure they do their best in ensuring you feel comfortable and feel at home in their house. So, ensure you return this kind of hospitality by taking a bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers or alcohol of your choice. Chocolates would also be nice. In general, people are welcoming and open, so don’t fret about not getting a proper response or asking for a favour. Having prior knowledge of people and culture is one of the essential things you should know before visiting Georgia
Already iterated above, Georgians treat their guests like royalties. They are made to try every dish made, Men are expected to drink the entire glass of wine in a toast, every time a toast is made on the table. But if you’re not a heavy drinker, take a few sips just to be polite. The way Georgian treat guests will surely amaze you and change your perception about travelling to a foreign land.
Local markets, as usual, have fresh and fruits and vegetables from local farmers and are really economical. Otherwise, exploring the local grocery markets, shops, and fast food centres can be your other option. If you hate cooking, you can always eat out at one of the many local restaurants and cafes without worrying about blowing a hole to your pocket.
9. Car rentals are not cheap
Though Georgia is actually pocket-friendly as compared to most of its European counterparts, Renting a car is still a relatively expensive deal here. You can explore your options at the local car dealers for a driver in case you choose not to drive or if you don’t have an IDP. IDP is necessary if you want to get behind the wheels. The price of, however, depends on the car type, days etc.
10. Museums are pocket friendly
Museums are good to know the culture and history of a nation. but many galleries and reputed museums have a thick entry fee. Though museums are known for being expensive in Europe, Georgia is a lot more pocket friendly. The ticket prices in Tbilisi are as low are GEL$3 for most of the museums.
11.Carry some cash at all times
Most of the major cities accept credit cards, but in the rest of the places in the country, cash is still a pretty prevalent mode of payment. In most of these towns’ restaurants, cafes, BnBs, cash and only cash is accepted. Well, if you want to head out to local markets for souvenir shopping, the cash will come in handy.
12. Internet coverage is great!
Unless you’re in an obscure part of the town where even the cell phone networks hardly work, most of the restaurants, cafes and bars have free wi-fi. Just walk in and ask for the password. You will never feel lost in Georgia as you can find a good internet connection in most of the country.
Georgia is one of the best countries to spend a holiday with your family or even if you are a solo traveller. If you find the above things you should know before visiting Georgia helpful, check out Pickyourtrail.com and reach out to travel consultants from Pickyourtrail for best-customised packages of Georgia. You can also reach out on Whatsapp for a quick turnaround.