Visiting Georgia in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Visiting Georgia in 2024

Georgia, a country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is a land of stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. As the world continues to recover from the global pandemic, Georgia has opened its doors to travelers with a set of updated rules and guidelines to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors. Whether you are drawn by the ancient cities, the breathtaking Caucasus mountains, or the famous Georgian hospitality, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information for a smooth and memorable trip to Georgia in 2024.

Entry Requirements

1. Visa Regulations:

  • Visa-Free Travel: Citizens of over 90 countries, including the United States, Canada, the European Union, and several others, can enter Georgia without a visa for short stays (up to one year). A full list of visa-exempt countries can be found on the official Georgian consulate website.
  • E-Visa: Travelers from countries not eligible for visa-free entry can apply for an e-visa through Georgia’s electronic visa portal. The e-visa process is straightforward, typically requiring a passport valid for at least six months, a recent photo, and payment of the visa fee.
  • Visa on Arrival: Currently, Georgia does not offer visas on arrival, so it is essential for travelers from non-visa-exempt countries to secure their visa before traveling.

2. Health and Safety Protocols:

  • COVID-19 Measures: As of 2024, Georgia has lifted many of its strictest COVID-19 restrictions, but travelers should still check for any requirements regarding vaccination certificates or negative test results. Masks are recommended in crowded indoor spaces.
  • Health Insurance: While not mandatory, it is highly advisable to have travel insurance that covers health expenses, including COVID-19 related costs.

3. Customs Regulations:

  • Prohibited Items: Travelers are prohibited from bringing in narcotics, firearms, and certain types of plants and animals.
  • Duty-Free Allowances: Visitors can bring in up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 3 liters of alcoholic beverages, and gifts up to a value of 500 GEL (approximately $160 USD) without incurring customs duties.
Visiting Georgia in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Getting Around Georgia

1. Transportation:

  • Air Travel: Tbilisi International Airport is the main gateway, with flights from major international carriers. Kutaisi and Batumi also have international airports with increasing connectivity.
  • Rail and Bus Services: The Georgian Railway offers services between major cities like Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi. Buses and marshrutkas (minibuses) are a common mode of transportation for both short and long-distance travel within the country.
  • Car Rentals: Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring Georgia’s scenic countryside. Major car rental companies operate in the cities and at the airports.

    Best car rental service with driver — follow the link!
    Self-drive car rentals — follow the link!
  • 2. Driving Rules:
  • License Requirements: Foreign visitors can drive with a valid international driving permit (IDP) or a driving license from their home country for up to one year.
  • Traffic Regulations: Georgians drive on the right side of the road. Seat belts are mandatory, and using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless using a hands-free system.
  • Speed Limits: Generally, speed limits are 60 km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on secondary roads, and 110 km/h on highways. Always look out for specific road signs.


1. Types of Lodging:

  • Hotels and Resorts: From luxury hotels in Tbilisi and Batumi to ski resorts in Gudauri and Bakuriani, there are numerous options catering to different budgets and preferences.
  • Guesthouses and Hostels: For a more intimate and often more affordable experience, consider staying in a local guesthouse or hostel.
  • Airbnb and Vacation Rentals: Apartments and vacation homes are widely available through platforms like Airbnb, offering flexibility and the comfort of home.

2. Booking Tips:

  • Peak Seasons: To avoid high prices and fully booked accommodations, plan your trip outside the peak tourist seasons (June to August and December to February).
  • Reviews and Ratings: Always check recent reviews and ratings on booking websites to ensure the quality and reliability of your accommodation.

Cultural Etiquette and Local Customs

1. Social Etiquette:

  • Greetings: A handshake is the most common form of greeting. In social settings, it’s customary to greet with a kiss on the cheek among friends.
  • Dress Code: Dress modestly when visiting religious sites. While casual wear is acceptable in most settings, conservative clothing is appreciated in rural areas.

2. Dining Etiquette:

  • Toasting: Georgians are famous for their toasts, especially during a supra (traditional feast). The tamada (toastmaster) leads the toasts, and guests are expected to participate.
  • Cuisine: Do try local dishes like khachapuri (cheese bread), khinkali (dumplings), and pkhali (vegetable pâté). Sharing food is a common practice, and it’s polite to try a bit of everything offered.

Must-See Destinations

1. Tbilisi:

  • Old Town: Wander through the narrow streets, visit the sulfur baths, and explore the diverse architecture.
  • Narikala Fortress: Offers stunning views over the city and the Mtkvari River.
  • Georgian National Museum: Learn about Georgia’s rich history and culture.

2. Batumi:

  • Seaside Boulevard: A beautiful promenade along the Black Sea coast.
  • Botanical Garden: Home to a vast collection of plants from different climatic regions.

3. Kazbegi National Park:

  • Gergeti Trinity Church: Located at an elevation of 2,170 meters, offering breathtaking views of Mount Kazbek.
  • Hiking Trails: Numerous trails suitable for all levels of hikers.

4. Wine Region of Kakheti:

  • Wine Tours: Visit vineyards and wine cellars to taste the renowned Georgian wine.
  • Sighnaghi: A charming town known as the “City of Love” with stunning views over the Alazani Valley.

Practical Tips

1. Currency:

  • Georgian Lari (GEL): The official currency. ATMs are widely available, and credit cards are accepted in most establishments in cities.
  • Exchange Rates: It’s advisable to exchange money at official exchange offices or banks for the best rates.

2. Language:

  • Georgian Language: The official language. English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, but learning a few basic phrases in Georgian can be very helpful.
  • Signs and Menus: Many signs and menus in tourist areas are available in English.

3. Emergency Contacts:

  • Emergency Services: Dial 112 for police, fire, or medical emergencies.
  • Embassies: Keep the contact information of your country’s embassy in Georgia handy in case of emergencies.

By following these guidelines and being mindful of local customs and regulations, your visit to Georgia in 2024 is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the diverse landscapes, the rich cultural heritage, and the warm hospitality that Georgia has to offer. Safe travels!

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