What’s On is going to Kutaisi, Georgia

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Hello, Kutaisi…

For many, Tbilisi is synonymous with Georgia – it is the country’s capital, after all. But just 220 kilometers west of this popular town, lies Kutaisi – one of the oldest continuously inhabited towns in the world – just waiting to be discovered. Here is our travel guide…

Things to see and do

Kutaisi city center

As with many towns, the center is the one that needs exploring and here in Kutaisi all you need is half a day (or a few hours if you’re short on time). Start at the ornamental Colchis Fountain in Tsentraluri Moedani Square. Located in the heart of the city, the tiered fountain is adorned with replicas of ancient gold jewelry unearthed at the nearby archaeological site of Vani. The fountain is illuminated every night, so visit it on your after-dinner stroll to see it really come to life.

For culture lovers, head to the Meskhishvili Theater, one of the oldest theaters in Georgia. It was built in 1861 and is named after one of Georgia’s best-known theatrical figures. The huge stage can accommodate up to 830 spectators. Next, head to Kutaisi Park (also called Love Park) to escape the noise and see some sculptures and monuments, as well as a view of Kutaisi City Hall. Nearby is the White Bridge, which crosses the Roni River. Kutaisi is a city of bridges, and this particular footbridge is considered one of the most beautiful.

picasso boy kutaisi georgia

Through the glass floor, peek at some of the white stones of the Rioni River, before soaking up views of the Old Town on either side and snapping a souvenir photo with the Picasso Boy sculpture.

graffiti art kutaisi

Return to Colchis Fountain and spend time exploring the many cafes and restaurants in the area. Shop at the Kutaisi Central Market (Green Bazaar) where you can buy local sweets to take home, including churchkhela, Georgia’s traditional candy. You can spend hours weaving through the alleys, discovering street art and local shops. As for memories, there are plenty in the area; take a look before you make your final decision to see where you get your Georgian Lari in treats.

Bagrati Cathedral

Bagrati Cathedral

Located in the Imereti region on Ukimerioni Hill, one of the oldest temples in Georgia stands out with its impressive teal-roofed domes. Bagrati Cathedral was built in 1003 and sadly has had a hard time due to fires, battles and more over the centuries. Inside the cathedral you will find beautiful frescoes, but head to the south door and you will see the original wall paintings dating from the 11th century. The cathedral was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, but after extensive restorations including the addition of modern elements such as steel and glass, the status was removed. Nevertheless, it is a must visit for tourists and offers one of the best panoramic views in the city.

Cave of Prometheus

Prometheus Cave Georgia

The village of Kumistavi is home to the beautiful Prometheus Caves – one of the
largest underground cave systems in the world. You can walk the full length (1,420 meters) of the cave and gaze at a seemingly endless arrangement of natural stalactites and stalagmites during an hour-long tour. The formations are all highlighted by good lighting so you can take lots of photos, but do it without a flash so you don’t disturb the sleeping bats. By the time you reach the end, you’ll be treated to a beautiful light show with music. The path is well maintained, but we recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.

Martvili Canyon

For a dose of calm and nature, board an inflatable raft at Martvili Canyon. The boat trip takes about 20 minutes and is well worth it to enjoy the turquoise waters, lush greenery, and picturesque views away from the city. You will be provided with a life jacket and the boats are limited to six people, plus a guide. After descending, you can check out the walking trail where you can see even more waterfalls.

Sairme Zipline

kutaisi zip line

For those of you who have tried ziplines in the UAE, you are about to change towns
from skyline views and brown mountain peaks to endless green forests and lush mountains. The 800-meter Sairme zip line – which is the longest in the Caucasus region – takes you from the mountains (700 meters above sea level) to the Sairme Resort. The zipline is split in two, but you can do both for 50 Georgian Lari (Dhs65).

After your adrenaline-pumping experience, stop in the small town of Baghdati for its hot springs. The area is dotted with tiny colored blocks where you will find taps dispensing mineral water which has unique properties believed to help overcome ailments.

Where to stay

Best Western Kutaisi

best western kutaisi

Located near White Bridge, Best Western Kutaisi is a great place to stay close to the city center. On the top floor you will find the Roof Top Grill restaurant where you can dine and have a drink or two before bed. Prices start from 440 Dhs per night.

bwkutaisi.com

Hotel Grand Opera

The Boutique Grand Opera Hotel is just five minutes from the Colchis Fountain. Cozy, eco-friendly rooms are adorned with wooden furniture, and the hotel even has a rooftop restaurant as well as an underground restaurant and wine cellar. Prices start from 420 Dhs per night.

grand-opera-hotel-kutaisi.booked.net

Newport Hotel Kutaisi

Rooms at the four-star Newport Hotel Kutaisi are beautiful in a minimalist way. Previously a courthouse, the building has now been transformed into a modern hotel with rooms in inky blue and gold hues and unique design elements. Prices start from 328 Dhs per night.

nhkutaisi.com

Wizz Air made four trips to Kutaisi, Georgia per week with prices starting at Dhs375 (round trip).

Images: Getty Images and What’s On

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