The ancient capital of Georgia is located close to Tbilisi, so a wonderful idea would be a one-day or even half-day walk in Mtskheta
. You can start the tour of Mtskheta during the day time and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the beautiful Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
and the Jvari Monastery
built in the sixth century, from which you can see the panoramic view of the city at the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi. Historical monuments of Mtskheta are obvious examples of Georgian architecture of the medieval era. They emphasize the high level of culture of the ancient Georgian kingdom, the value of religious figures such as St. Nino. Her merits are preserved by Georgian, Armenian, Greek and Roman historians. In 1994, the historical sites of Mtskheta were included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
, which makes your one-day trip to Mtskheta even more interesting and valuable.
is located 25 kilometers from Tbilisi. It will take you about 30-40 minutes by car from the center of Tbilisi. The monastery overlooks the confluence of the Mtkvari and Argvi and the beautiful view of the city. This ancient monastery dates back to the VI century and is a symbol of the entry and spread of Christianity in Georgia. The compatibility of the amazing view of the temple and its surroundings indicates the taste and intuition of the architect. It is difficult to imagine what this place would have looked like before the construction of the Monastery of the Jvari, without it.
It is a 15-minute drive from Jvari Monastery to Svetitskhoveli
. When you enter the city, you can take a walk, this will allow you to see Georgian antiques, traditional clothes, taste famous Georgian wine, Churchkhela sweets made from walnuts or hazelnuts and grape juice. Various local souvenirs are on display on the shops on both sides of the street. After a while, you will see the beautiful Svetitskhoveli temple
. It is the second largest church in Georgia, after the Holy Trinity Cathedral, which can be seen in Tbilisi. Svetitskhoveli was built in the eleventh century by the architect Konstantine Arsukidze, although the church, first built on this site, dates back to the fourth century. Svetitskhoveli is one of the most beautiful churches in the world.
monastery complex is so close to the city center that it is only a 5-minute walk from Svetitskhoveli. The small church of the 4th century is the place where St. Nino lived and worked. In the big church are burried, the first Christian monarchs of Georgia, King Mirian and Queen Nana.
It is 9 kilometers from Mtskheta to Shio-Mghvime Monastery
, it is located at 750 meters above sea level. The monastery was built in the 6th century by the Assyrian father, Shio. The complex consists of several structures dating back to the VI-XII centuries. Among them is cave, where Monk Shio himself lived for 15 years, and was buried here after his death.
What to eat?
Mtskheta is famous for its delicious, local Khinkali. It is a kind of bag made of dough, in which the meat mixed with spices is placed. Khinkali is recognized as one of the best traditional dishes in Georgia. Mtskheta is a place where you can share the best beans in the world in addition to UNESCO monuments. You will be able to taste it in any restaurant in Mtskheta, but "Salobie" is the best among them. The name of the restaurant comes from "Beans". The restaurant is located at the entrance (exit) of the city and is the best place to taste traditional dishes. If you already know which is your favorite Georgian dish, you can choose from a varied menu, but if you are a novice, then you should start with Khachapuri (Georgian bread, cheese stuffing), barbecue or Khinkali. And since you are in Salobie, then you should definitely try the beans made in a clay pot with Georgian corn flour bread, Mchadi. You can enter the saloon for lunch or dinner, or even just to enjoy it.
To see Mtskheta and its surroundings, we recommend various personal transport, with or without a guide / driver service. Any brand of car can take you from Tbilisi to see the old capital.