A blue 4WD jeep on a mountain road in Georgia with snowy peaks in the background.
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Getting around Georgia

Maysie Dee

Contributing writer

Georgia offers a variety of options for travelling around the country. Some of the more remote areas for hiking and enjoying the incredible views require advance planning, but overall, it’s fairly easy to use Georgia’s transportation system. 

You might take advantage of intercity flights or the limited railway service in Georgia to get into an area, but once there, the most common mode of transport is via taxi or small mini-van marshrutky. Plus, there’s always the option to hire a car and driver, or rent a car and take to the roads yourself.

The country has only a few major cities that function as transport hubs, so if you don’t fancy driving, most of your journeying to out-of-the-way places will require combining more than one method of travel. Rest assured, though, there’s always a way to reach even the most remote and picturesque places in Georgia!

The seasons will also play into your travel plans, as some areas are not accessible during certain times of the year, or require advance reservations during their high seasons.

Internal flights

It’s possible to fly between Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi via local hopper flights. This is the most direct way to get across the country, but when you add in the airport waiting times, you’ll have to weigh the overall value of flying within Georgia. Airline schedules do offer enough flights to be a viable way to travel.

Trains in Georgia

The Georgian Railway services the central/western part of the country, with a few types of train service, from Tbilisi, the capital, to Batumi, via Kutaisi. The trains make stops en route, so it’s very easy to get to smaller towns along the way. 

There are slower commuter trains, basic semi-fast trains, and also the new superfast Swiss-made Stadler trains, which make traveling from Tbilisi to Batumi (or vice-versa) very easy (also popular! So, book in advance during summer months when everyone heads to the coast (you can book all trains online year-round).

Because the various the train routes are serviced by different quality trains,  it might be worth it to upgrade your seat for a longer ride, as some journeys take between 4-8 hours. Regardless, trains in Georgia are fairly economical, with first or business classes not out of reach if you want a better experience.

Example: $39.00 USD business class ticket, one-way from Tbilisi to Batumi on the superfast Stadler train.

Buses in Georgia

There is limited intercity coach bus service in Georgia, so most people opt for the marshrutka (minivan, plural marshrutky) to get from city to city, largely because they’re faster, and there’s almost always one to catch. They’re small (no more than 12-15 seats), so they can also reach areas that large buses can’t manoeuvre easily. 

Most of Georgia is mountainous, so you’ll often find that the fascinating places to visit are remote, over unpaved roads or with unmarked roadways – so marshrutky can more easily get you to those places.

Marshrutky, which leave from bus stations in the cities, can, however, be a challenge for travellers. They don’t always leave on time (they wait until they’re full), they might over-fill the aisles with items and people, so they’re crowded, and the drivers might not drive as responsibly as you’d like. They are very inexpensive (2-5 GEL (76 cents -$1.90 USD) for a short trip, 1-2 hours) though! 

They’re also handy if you are flexible and take it all in stride. You can’t book or pay for tickets in advance; just show up early and hope for a seat – or take the next marshrutka. That said, the drivers will usually help you get where you’re going, and they’ll stop anywhere along a route if you want to get off.

Driving in Georgia

If you like taking your time and making your own schedule – and you also have a sense of adventure – renting a car in Georgia can be a fun and exciting way to see the country. Major car rental companies have kiosks at the airports, although you’ll often get better deals by using a local car rental company. Just be aware that the Georgian drivers sharing the roadways can be aggressive and spontaneous, so it’s always smart to drive defensively. 

Your destination might not be correctly mapped out, and some roads are in disrepair or difficult to negotiate. You’ll find that you may need to detour or back-track to get from one destination to another. As long as you schedule time and try not to drive at night (due to poor lighting), driving gives you much more flexibility to stop where and when you want.

Hiring a car and driver

If you’re not into taking on the Georgian roads and drivers yourself, hiring a car and driver is often the best way to travel through Georgia. Fortunately, hiring a car isn’t costly (3.5 hours drive for roughly $65.00 USD). Your guesthouse or hotel may have a preferred driver to recommend, or you can use a popular service and choose the type of vehicle and the driver. 

Private car travel is great for day trips as well as for travelling between cities, especially if you have lots of luggage or a large party. Drivers will stop when you want/need to, are experienced with Georgian driving, and can manage the traffic while you relax and take in the scenery.

Getting around Tbilisi

Tbilisi is a sprawling city with lots of options for getting around. The Old Town and central areas are easily walkable, but be aware that some neighbourhoods and districts have very steep hills, so you’ll get a workout without going to the gym! 

Taxis are inexpensive, and you can either hail one from the side of the road or use a ride-sharing app. There is no Uber in Georgia, so Bolt is the most commonly used app. If you want to rent a car and cruise around on your own, Localrent, a local rental car company, offers better deals than the major international car rental companies.

Pubic transport in Tbilisi

Tbilisi has great public transportation for traveling around: city buses, minibuses, and the underground Tbilisi Metro. These systems are all coinless; you’ll need a MetroMoney card or a Travel Card, or you can use your own microchipped debit/credit card (but the per-trip fee is a bit more).

Buy a card at any Metro station or at the cable ropeway at Rike Park ($1-2 USD). You’ll need to add additional money right away in order to use the card for riding around town. You can continue to top-off the card as you use it down. 

The newer Travel Card is by subscription for all public transport, and you can reuse the card by adding more money. 

With either card, the cost per ride is 1 GEL (38 cents USD) for all public transportation as per below:

City Buses run throughout the city from 7am-midnight, daily. With regular service, it’s easy to get around the city via these large, bright blue buses.

Marshrutky, (plural of marshrutka) as mentioned above, are also a preferred way to travel throughout Tbilisi. These greyish-blue minivans are accessible all over the city, inexpensive and fast (traffic apart). The downside is they might be overcrowded, and don’t always arrive (or leave) exactly according to schedule.

You can also take the Tbilisi Metro, a Soviet-built citywide system with very steep and fast escalators (hold on!) taking you notably deep down below the surface of the city. The metro operates from 6am-midnight, with only two lines. Signage is in Georgian and English, so it’s fairly easy to figure out. 

The metro can be crowded during busy hours, but is a comfortable and inexpensive way to tour Tbilisi’s attractions. 

Point of Interest: Some stations have distinctive floor inlays and color accents, while others have bas-relief sculptures as interesting decorations.

Getting around Batumi

Batumi, the most popular city on the Black Sea coast of Georgia, is easy to wander. Much smaller than Tbilisi, Batumi is relatively level, and you can walk from end to end in around 30-45 minutes.

If you’re only going to be in the area for a few days, local taxis are the best way to get around and are readily accessible on the streets, at reasonable rates. They’re mostly private and not metered, so agree on a price before heading off. Example: a 5 mile (8km) trip on a weekday could cost around 16 GEL ($6.00 USD)

Public transportation includes a well-connected bus system and minivan (marshrutka) network. You’ll pay for public transport with a prepaid Batumi Transort Card, obtained, free of charge, at the Metro Center (#55 Vakhtang Gorgasali Street, Batumi) or at one of the Bank of Georgia Kiosks and (select the “order the Transport Card”).

You can also buy a tourist Batumi Discount card, for 15 GEL, (good for 10 days from activation) that includes 10 free bus rides, a free SIM card with 1G of data, plus discounts for attractions, accommodation, and restaurants in the Adjara District.

Getting around Kutaisi

Getting around Kutaisi is also easy, with the use of taxis, minibuses, and buses. The main bus station is outside of town (by a few km) so you’ll probably need a taxi into town if you have luggage. 

Again, be sure to negotiate a fee before heading off in a taxi. Once in town, the city is relatively small, and it’s easy to walk around. If you want to hop on a bus, they are color-coded according to route.

For Uber-type taxi service, Maxim has the most active fleet in Kutaisi.

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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 9 March 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.