24 Hours in Tbilisi, Georgia

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As you enter Tbilisi from the west, the utterly captivating capital of Georgia. You will pass a statue of King David the Builder. He reigned from 1089 until his death in 1125. Also he looks poised and gallant on his horse from his elevated perch on the motorway. Beyond which the old Soviet style buildings give way to a more picturesque setting.

It’s a great spot for him to witness the renewal of this beautiful, peaceful and inclusive city as tourism. That in another Golden Age it casts a spotlight on the Tbilisi’s gorgeous terrain. The city makes for a wonderful short break. If you’re only there for 24 hours, you might like to take a half-day tour of the city.

The old cobbled streets of the Old Town twist. And turn churning out colourful buildings alongside renovated brick-built homes with their iconic balconies. First you should go to Freedom Square as it looks grand with it’s neo-classical buildings. Also it is where the statue of Lenin was symbolically torn down in 1991 to mark the end of Soviet Rule. Look up to see glinting St George statue in gold at the top of a tall column that rises up from the roundabout.

There’s also a bizarre looking puppet theatre with a rather higgledy piggledy clock tower in the heart of the centre. It is part of Gabriadze puppet theatre and someone built it just a few years ago to look like it had come out of a story book.

Look up towards the peak of Sololaki Hill and you can see a 65-foot tall statue of the Mother of Georgia wearing the national Georgian dress. She was created in 1958 to celebrate the city’s 1500th birthday. Also she is holding wine in one hand for her friends and a sword in the other to deter foes. Trek up the hill or catch a cable car to join her and enjoy a panoramic view over the city.