The New York Times and 36 Hours in Tbilisi

Tbilisi, Georgia is the new it-city in Eurasia.  Tbilisi has been steadily and increasingly gaining press, so much so that the city was recently featured in the New York Times in June of this year.  The article was titled “36 Hours in Tbilisi” and maps out a weekend in this flourishing city.

Writer of the piece Debra Kamin, starts the journey through Tbilisi on a Friday evening with a ride on the cable cars.   The ride provides the ultimate view of the entire city and Mother Georgia, the 66 foot tall statue of Kartlis Deda.  Another venue on the trip is the Abanotubani District, and more specifically, the bathhouses in the district.  Not only are the bathhouses historical monuments, but they still operate.  The night ends with dinner at Barbarestan, a Georgian restaurant offering traditional cuisine such as soup dumplings, cheesy flatbreads, and fresh fruit and herbs, elegantly housed in an old, brick meat cellar.  

Kamin picks back up on Saturday morning with a breakfast of khachapuri, a bread boat filled with melted cheese, butter, and a runny egg.  After, she heads to the Old Town to visit the attic souvenir shop, Gallery 27, and the Rezo Gabriadze Puppet Theater.  The afternoon continues with coffee at colorful Cafe Leila.  Following the relaxed morning, she suggests a trip to Mtasminda Park in the afternoon.  Mtasminda Park is an amusement park and urban playground running up a mountain.  Then, the evening can begin with wine tastings before dinner at the winemaker Zura Natroshvili’s apartment-turned-restaurant, Bina N37.  End the night with (mild) clubbing at Fabrika, a hostel slash bar slash gallery in what used to be a sewing factory.  

Sunday encompasses the last of these 36 hours.  Start with tripe and garlic soup at the restaurant Zakhar Zakharich—a hangover cure for the late night before as well as a traditional food that one ought not to miss.  Kamin finishes the morning and the hours by proposing a stroll through Dry Bridge Flea Market for antiques and handmade goods. 

Tbilisi is a city like no other, full of contrast, beauty, and as Kamin writes, endless things to do.  


By Shirin Mahdavi


12 September 2018 20:29