Transportation in Tbilisi, Georgia
If you are a tourist, traveling in Tbilisi, Georgia and have no one here, who will help you, you must know things about moving around in the city. That's why I’m going to tell you about transports here, hope it will help you. The first stage is Airports in Georgia. As you know, there are three international airports in Georgia: Tbilisi International Airport, Kutaisi and Batumi Airports. Also, there is Queen Tamar Airport in Mestia, Svaneti, but it’s not international. So, imagine, you do not have a host, who can pick you up from the airport. Well, you will have to pay for the local transport to get to the city centers. For example, Tbilisi International Airport is located 18 km from the city centre and is capable of handling 2 000 passengers per hour and offers railway, bus and private cab. There are taxis and train at the airport to take you into the city properly. You have to pay taxi from 15 $, if you go to the center of Tbilisi and more if you go further into the suburbs. Also, you can reach the city center by bus number 37, which works during the whole day and night (with 12 minute intervals), and it costs only $0.50. Bus line: Railway station - Tamar Mephe Ave. - Hero Sq. - Varaziskhevi - Melikishvili Ave. - Rustaveli Ave. - Baratashvili St. - Tsamebuli Ave. - Black Sea St. - George W. Bush St. - Kakheti highway - Airport.
One more thing which has great experience in Tbilisi, is to be in touch with car rental companies, where you can ask for chauffeurs-drive or order taxi services. I must say, that for a tourist, a car with a driver is safer and more comfortable, because this way you can communicate with him (as usual, drivers are men,) because, all of them know English fluently. Also you are sure, that he knows driving rules, one-way streets, road hazards and those Tbilisi’s cultural intimacies. But these taaxis are more expensive, than just taxis in the street.
So, what about taxis in the street? I must say, that one of the most conveniences for tourists is private cab, which can be found in every step you walk away, and costs really cheap, especially if you travel with your partner. Both of you will pay a maximum $2.00 most any destination in the city center. Taxi is one of the most popular ways to get around Tbilisi. You can catch one either straight from the street, or by calling one of the numbers : +995 32 260-60-60, 995 32 278-78-78, 955 32 201-201 and so on.
If you catch a taxi in the street, you can negotiate the price, as usual, it costs 0.50-0.70 Lari/km. All taxis have yellow lights on the roofs, but car models can be luxurious, as well as minimal. It will be better for you, if you make sure you agree on the price, before you get in the taxi, because, sometimes street taxis drivers like to take advantage on unwary foreigners. Also, make sure you have an exact charge to pay for your ride, because otherwise, the driver will not have any change of larger bills you might present for payment.
Ok, so we have already settled in a hotel and want to see the city sightings. What shall we do? Well, local transport in the cities costs very cheap, about $0.20 (0.50 Lari )- Bus (the best choice for touring) and Metro- $0.20 (0.50 Lari) . The moment you set foot on Georgian ground, especially, in Tbilisi, you’ll notice the minibuses (which are really uncomfortable for tourists, because you can hardly see anything from the windows) and they are driving very fast… but costs just $0.30 (0.80 Lari), it’s also called “Marshutka”. You can use the same Metromani Travel Card in every public transport.
The buses are very popular in Tbilisi, there are Blue and yellow buses, blue is more comfortable, as it’s new and has air-ventilation system, as well as the heating, also is very clean, so you can sit and enjoy the ride. It costs just $0.20 (0.50 Lari). it’s helpful as almost every bus stop has an automated board showing which service is due next and how long (until it arrives)
Oh, how to pay? It’s really easy, you can visit any Metro and open your plastic card. Then, when you pay for your first ride, during half an hour another transfer in any bus or metro station is free! Tbilisi Underground is called the Metro for "Metropolitan". Tbilisi metro has two lines and 21 stations. It operates from 6:00 to 24:00. The cost is set at $0.20 (0.50 Lari) and as I have already mentioned, you will need to buy a Metromani travel card (which costs 2 Lari, and you don't need any documents for it) to use the metro : these can be bought and re-charged at each station. Metro tokens can only be purchased in metro cashiers. One can change the line at Vagzlis moedani station. Metro stations are identified by the red (M) sign. Metro is one of the most used transport from tourist, as it is the fastest way to get to your direction. Also, every Station name is written in both, English and Georgian and even announcements are also bilingual.
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