Aerial view of downtown Tbilisi, Georgia

Remarkable architecture in Tbilisi, Georgia

Maysie Dee

Contributing writer

Planning a trip to Tbilisi? Here are our top picks...

Stay: Penthouse hotel

Walking tour: Tbilisi Old Town

History and architecture: Brutalist Tbilisi

Food tour: 9 Tastings

Day trip: Kakheti wine region

In addition to snow-topped mountains, forests and seascapes, Georgia has a vast amount of fascinating architecture. Starting in the 4th century CE with Persian, Byzantine and Ottoman influences, moving through Medieval and Renaissance periods, and continuing through the Soviet/Stalinist era, structural remnants of Georgia’s past are found throughout the country. 

Even more intriguing, is the juxtaposition of ancient buildings and monuments right alongside Brutalist and Modern architecture, in beautiful incongruity. And that doesn’t even touch upon the incredible, often outlandish, Georgian contemporary architecture.

Tbilisi’s sprawling cityscape is famous for its mix of architectural styles which, even as they contradict each other, manage to create a charming sight for the eyes. The city is huge, so unless you spend a couple of weeks there, you might not have time to uncover all of its mysteries.

There are too many to list, but half the fun of visiting Georgia is taking to the streets and wandering enchanting urban treasures on your own.

 We’ve listed a few of our don’t-miss favorites to look for in Tbilisi - keep an eye out for them as you explore the city and lose yourself to the magical impressions of past and present.

The gold domed building of the Tbilisi Airport Railway Station

1. Tbilisi Airport Railway Station Building

I wish this building had a fancy name, because it really deserves one! Built in 2007, the futuristic semi-spherical, golden, reflective glass building sits about 70 meters from the airport arrivals hall, and connects the Tbilisi Airport with the Tbilisi Central Railway Station in town.

It looks like part of a space city, with trains passing through a golden glass-domed “tunnel” as they enter the station. In addition to the shiny glass exterior, the station terminal has bold black and white flooring and golden glass railings on the stairs. Check it out, even if you don’t ride the train into the city.

A balcony with stained glass windows at the Kaleidoscope House in Tbilisi, Georgia.

2. Oda Style Houses

The Old Tbilisi district is well-known for its historic wooden Oda houses, a style that originated in western Georgia’s Samegrelo region. The pastel-painted buildings, admired for their wide verandas, have intricately carved pillars and lacy scroll-work trim.

You might come across one of these 50-125 year-old homes anywhere in Old Town, or in Samegrelo, but perfect examples to seek out in Tbilisi are:

  • The Blue House on Rustaveli Ave, amid its lush gardens

  • Kaleidoscope House on Betlemi Street, with vintage balconies and stained-glass windows

  • The Writers House on Machabeli Street

  • The traditional blue house on Letim Gurji St No: 4/9

The huge Mother of Georgia statue sits on a hill in the centre of Tbilisi

3. Mother of Georgia Statue (Mother of Kartli)

Also known as Kartlis Deda, the Mother of Georgia monument oversees Tbilisi from the top of Sololaki Hill. Symbolically, Mother Georgia, with a bowl of wine in one hand, shows the world that Georgia welcomes friendly visitors. She also holds a sword in her other hand, to remind enemies that Georgia will fight for her sovereignty.

A 20-30 minute hike will take you to the graceful, yet imposing, 20-meter aluminium statue, or you can ride the Aerial Tram car from Rike Park. The statue lights up at night and from below, her iconic silhouette is an inspiring portrayal of Georgia’s strength and culture.

The Bridge of Peace at twilight in Tbilisi, Georgia.

4. Tbilisi Bridge of Peace

This unique city bridge is a modernistic structure, built over the Mtkvari river in 2010. The undulating canopy, that looks rather like an alien sea creature floating in air, connects Tbilisi’s Old Town with Rike Park. An interactive light display, powered by thousands of LED lights, illuminates the canopy and pedestrian walkway underneath from sunset ‘til daylight.

The construction of an ultra-modern bridge in Tbilisi’s old section caused local controversy, but the views when walking across the bridge are spectacular, and the illuminated bridge at night from afar is also out of this world.

The tubular building of the Rike Concert and Exhibition Hall in Rike Park, Tbilisi, Georgia.

5. Rike Concert and Exhibition Hall

Cross the Bridge of Peace, and you’ll set foot in lovely Rike Park, home to this oddly-shaped building that was started in 2011 and has still not opened for business (another controversy! The talk about town is that the locals objected to the bizarre contemporary design).

The super-modern building consists of two enormous tubular steel and glass sections, set on angle from each other and connected at the back, designed to be like a “periscope” overlooking the rest of the city.

Strange as it is, it’s an amazing piece of architecture and a great backdrop for photos (for sale at auction, if anyone’s interested?).

Looking across the river at the mushroom-like architecture of Tbilisi Public Service Hall with a sculpture in the foreground

6. Tbilisi Public Service Hall

Although its Italian architects refer to the group of white curved roof sculptures of this famous building as “leaves” or “petals,” everyone else refers to it as the “Mushroom Building.”

The Service Hall sees a lot of traffic for business paperwork, and has oddly become a great tourist attraction for its curious design. 

It’s best viewed from afar via one of the high spots in the city.

The colourful facade of the Orbeliani Baths in Tbilisi, Georgia.

7. Orbeliani Baths

Tbilisi (meaning “warm area”) was founded in the 5th century, when Iberia’s then King Vakhtang Gorgasali came upon sulphuric bubbling healing waters, and founded a city nearby.

Visits to Tbilisi’s Abanotubani (bath house) district continue to be an important part of Georgian culture. The Orbeliani Baths, with a distinctly Islamic colourful mosaic facade, plus detailed interior mosaics, are the most luxurious among the baths in the domed brick spa complex.

Even if you don’t fancy a bath or a scrubbing in the healing waters, it’s worth a visit just to see the fabulous artwork adorning the entranceway

The whimsical Leaning Clock Tower in Old Tbilisi, Georgia

8. The Leaning Clock Tower of Tbilisi

I absolutely adored this whimsical, wacky building when I saw it on my first visit to Tbilisi. Connected to puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze’s puppet theatre in Old Tbilisi, the tilting building, propped up by a single steel beam, perpetually appears ready to keel over at any moment.

The huge clock sounds on the hour, with an angel striking a bell. After a brief musical interlude, below, a “boy-meets-girl life-cycle” themed vignette plays. A truly charming piece of modern (yet not glass and steel) artistry!

The Nutsubidze Skybridge connecting old Soviet buildings in Tbilisi, Georgia.

9. Nutsubidze Skybridge

Tbilisi has numerous examples of architecture from the 1960s through the 80s that are either Soviet-designed or influenced. The last three landmarks on this list of all examples of this style.

First up is the Nutsubidze Skybridge, a perfect specimen of 1970s Brutalist architecture. It was built on a hillside in Tbilisi’s Saburtalo District, as a Soviet “planned housing” concept. The enormous complex comprises three high-rise concrete apartment towers, connected by two 14th-floor (70 metres above-ground) outdoor steel “skybridges.”

Although the buildings have housed residents since opening, today, the public can also access the bridges (there’s a 20 tetri elevator fee) for a great view across Tbilisi. Many occupants have added individual detailing to their apartment facades over the decades, making the buildings even more interesting.

The Bank of Georgia building in Tbilisi, Georgia in summer.

10. Bank of Georgia building

The former Ministry of Highway Construction building is a prime example of Stalinist architecture. Created in 1975 on the Kura River near the edge of Tbilisi, the building is made up of massive interlocking concrete cubes, and looks like a chunk from a giant Lego toy building.

The uneven forested terrain was inspiration for the design that spans three levels of the hillside, and features open-air spaces in between the large blocks that appear to hover in the air.

Originally designed for government use, the building became the Bank of Georgia headquarters in 2010, and was designated as a National Heritage site.

The impressive entrance of the old Archaeological Museum in Tbilisi, Georgia.

11. Tbilisi Archaeological Museum

Completed in 1988, this building housed archaeological findings from the Tbilisi area, including bronze objects and other fascinating relics. The museum, unfortunately, is no longer open, but it's worth a trip to Tbilisi’s Digdomi district, on the Mtvari River, to explore the imposing Soviet Modernist-styled building.

It has a cave-like entrance at the top of a stairway, and an impressive carved relief sculpture headpiece, not to mention a great view of the city below.

Planning a trip to Georgia? Read our travel tips.

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Maysie Dee

Author - Maysie Dee

Maysie Dee is a freelance writer, content editor, and recipe creator. She and her husband have travelled across the world for decades as natural product consultants, collecting stories along the way.

Last Updated 7 May 2024

Colourful buildings and churches in Tbilisi, Georgia


Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia offers a diverse and stunning natural landscape, intriguing history and good food and wine.