There’s tons to see and do on your trip to Georgia. This Eurasian country, a former Soviet republic, is home to the Caucasus Mountain Villages, the Black Sea Beaches and the 12th-century cave monastery of Vardzia. Here are more fascinating facts before you go:
- The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi. It boasts an ancient old town with cobblestone streets and a wide variety of architectural styles, from 4th-century fortresses to Soviet structures. Highlights to visit include the Eastern Orthodox cathedral.
- The local currency is the Georgian lari (currency code: GEL). Georgian law requires that all goods and services are denominated in lari, so you’ll likely need to exchange currencies before or after you arrive.
- Georgia is one of the safest countries in the world, according to a recent International Crime Index ranking. That said, it’s best to avoid the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia near the Russian border.
- The official language of this country is Georgian. Fortunately, many members of the younger generations are taught English from an early age and are fluent. Also, English is typically spoken in hotels and tourist areas.
- The Georgian word for Georgia is ‘Sakartvelo’! It’s thought that the country is called ‘Georgia’ in English in part because the local patron saint is St. George. A big statue of him slaying the dragon stands in Tbilisi’s central square.
- Georgian culinary delights include ‘khinkali’ (steamed or boiled dumplings), ‘lobio’ (bean soup), ‘mtsvadi’ (meat skewers) and ‘khachapuri’ (cheese bread). Be sure to try the local dishes!
You can find out more about this country before you go in our articles below.