One of the most ancient cities in the world, Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia where you will find stunning panoramas to feast your eyes on and architecture reflecting its somewhat complicated history mix of Medieval, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Soviet and Modernist buildings. Often referred to by its former name "Tiflis", it was founded in the 5th Century on the site of natural hot springs and on the lucrative trade routes.
There are narrow and winding streets of cobblestones that come straight out of a maze, small squares dotted with cozy restaurants and oriental alleyways to explore. From Eastern Orthodox churches, art nouveau buildings with decorative balconies to Soviet Modernist blocks, you can literally soak up the architectural treats. Shadowing the city is the Narikala Fortress, a 4th Century citadel with the iconic state of Mother Georgia. The city is dramatic as it reclines in a deep valley on the fast flowing Mtkvari River (aka Kura River).
The locals are friendly and there are plenty of funky cafes and hip restaurants to chill out in. The old town is reminiscent of an ancient Eurasian crossroads with huge crooked houses built around courtyards and the various neighborhoods retain a village-like vibe of quaint shops and thin laneways clogged with local vendors plying their goods of local cheese, vegetables and nuts. You can meander on foot around landmarks such as the Sameba and Sioni cathedrals, the medieval Narikala Fortress, the Georgian National Opera Theater and stroll along the classical Rustaveli and Agmashenebeli Avenues, the main thoroughfares awash in shops, museums and cafes.
For those into self-pampering there are the thermal baths in Abanotubani and if you want to punish your body, you should head to the trekking trails in the High Caucasus Mountains.
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