Kutaisi is Georgia’s second largest city and its legislative capital (the new parliament is such a cool building!). Since the introduction of low cost flights from all over Europe, Kutaisi has become a common first stop for many tourists. No wonder, considering the city is sent amongst beautiful nature and boasts several architectural marvels such as old stone houses with wooden balconies and two important monasteries from the 11th and 12th centuries. We arrived late at night and starving. Luckily for us, a couple of small restaurant were still open, so we tried Georgian food for the first time. It was love at first bite.
Our next day was spent walking about the charming Old Town. Life in Kutaisi revolves around the pretty Main Square dominated by the unusual Colkhis Fountain, the Lado Meskhishvili State Drama Theatre and Kutaisi Park. From the square, we walked up north on cobbled Varlamishvili Street all the way to the neo-baroque Kharoba Church. Then we went back to the center to check the street market. Be sure to cross the bridge to get to the monumental albeit heavily reconstructed Bagrati Cathedral. It offers breathtaking views.
Other sights and places to stay
For coffee and a cake try the fabulous Tea House Foe-Foe, across the Opera Theater. Once you are done eating, stroll along Alexander Pushkin Street and admire the beautifully restored historical architecture. A great spot for pictures is the Tetri Bridge and its little boy sculpture. We briefly crossed to the other side, but realized there wasn’t much to see there. Exhausted we went back to sleep in our hotel. Kutaisi had just a handful of guesthouses back when we visited. Nowadays there seems to be many more options, such as the Best Western Kutaisi and Hotel King David.
Kutaisi offers great day trips
Too bad we spent such a short time in this beautiful city. As you can see there are plenty of things to do in Kutaisi! Next time we have to explore some of the nearby attractions including the famous Gelati Monastery. But we had to leave, so we hopped early in the morning on an authentic marshrutka and off we went to the magical Svaneti Mountains.