Tbilisi

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Tbilisi (or Tblisi, Tiflis) is the capital of Georgia and the country's largest city.

The M27 motorway goes through the city. Hitchhiking within the city is fairly easy if you don't mind waving away hoards of taxis.

<map lat='41.69' lng='44.802' zoom='10' view='3' float='right' />

Hitching out

Northwest towards Gori, Kutaisi, Samtredia or North towards Gudauri, Russia, Vladikavkaz

The best way out of Tbilisi depends where you currently are in the city. Basically anywhere along the road north from Tbilisi will work well for hitchhiking. Bus routes are on google maps but marshrutkas are not, so if you haven't learned how to read Georgian yet, you might find it easiest to take a bus to the spot. Not far from Tbilisi, the road splits, with one direction going towards Kutaisi and Batumi and the other way towards Gudauri and Russia. Georgian drivers often seem to think that if they're not going all the way to your destination, taking you won't help. Of course, as hitchhikers, we know that any distance helps as long as it gets you to a decent spot to continue hitchhiking. So, if the driver is going the other way at the Russia/Kutaisi intersection, just make it clear that you want them to take you to the intersection before they drive off. Asking "do pa-ve-rot?" (Russian for to the turn) and signaling a cross with your hands usually works.

1. A great hitchhiking spot is about 200 meters after Tbilisi Mall. Look for the hitchwiki sticker on a sign post just before the gas station. There's plenty of space for a car to pull over and everybody driving past that point is going out of the city. It's quite common to encounter other hitchhikers here but even so, it's Georgia, you won't wait long. Several marshrutkas go to Tbilisi Mall and it's even possible to hitchhike there from in the city. Look for marshrutkas 44, 51, 87, 60, 116, 117, or bus 121 to Tbilisi Mall. If you're really in a hurry, taxis to the mall are 10-15 lari from the city center.

2. Another spot is accessible by bus 14 from the center (Rustaveli metro station, among others). The bus is very slow but also very cheap (50 tetri in 2017). Get off at the stop Agmashenebeli Ave #12 (stop ID 1179), continue walking forward across the big intersection, and hitchhike anywhere. There is still some local traffic at this point but nearly everyone going out of the city also drives by here, so you won't wait long. Make sure not to miss the stop or else the bus will turn around and you'll be faced with the choice to walk quite a ways or run across the quite busy highway (well, sometimes standing in the median of the highway with no clear way to the other side is a good way to get cars to stop for you....your choice).

3. One hitchhiking point is about 2km from the Didube metro/bus station, near the statue of David the Builder on horseback. This spot is along the same road as the previous two, just closer to the city (meaning you have more taxis and city traffic, but it's very easy to get to Didube from anywhere in the city).

4. If you're going to Didube anyways, you can reduce the walking distance to 0 by taking a marshrutka towards Mtskheta and tell the driver to let you out when the S1 national road splits off from the Mtshketa road (see photo). Or take marshrutka 11, which goes all the way from Tsereteli metro station to the end of the city, near where the highway joins the Tbilisi Bypass. Get off at the last stop, by the turn to Jvari monastery. Both of these routes also pass spot #1 (above), so it may be easier to get off there if you don't have GPS and/or don't speak Georgian/Russian (just tell the driver to stop when you're passing the Tbilisi Mall, which you can't miss).

File:Tbilisinorth.jpg
Hitchhikers going north from the turn off the Mtskheta road

5. Another option is to get to Metro Station Sarajishvili and walk over the bridge across the highway to one of the petrol stations (you can see both of them from the bridge) and start hitchhiking north from there. This is a slightly less common route out of the city but should also get you to the main motorway out of Tbilisi, and it's a very easy spot to get to from most parts of the city since the metro is quite fast, cheap, and easy.


East towards the airport and Telavi

Take bus or minibus to the 'Lilo' market, from 'Samgori' metro station. From there it's quite easy to hitchhike. Also you can take airport bus from the "Station Square" (main station) and leave it before airport turn (you will see big statue and bridge). Bus turns to the right and if you missed the turn it is no problem, you will walk about 50 m. back to the road.

Second option: Take bus 37 towards the Airport. The bus leaves the city and goes east on the Kakheti highway. After some time on the highway the bus will turn right onto Europe Street (the road to the Airport). At the highway intersection there is a big statue on a column on the left window of the bus. Get out at the first stop and walk back to the Kakheti Highway (about 500 metres). You can hitch there or walk for 5 mins to the traffic light and a gas station. This highway is quite busy with cars. Waiting time could be long, because of the volume of traffic, with many cars not going directly east. The further down the Highway you get/walk the better.

Southeast towards Rustavi, Merneuli, Armenia and Azerbaijan

Hitching out towards the South is easy as pie. Hitch from anywhere in the city center or take a Marshrutka to the Ortachala bus station. You might have to take another short ride to where the roads to Rustavi and Merneuli, Armenia, Azerbaijan split up. Don't listen to anybody who tells you that you cannot hitch out of the city in this direction or out of Merneuli. It's very very easy!

Marshrutka #118 (1 Lari in 2016) is a good option. You can take it in Marjanishvili square or in Baratashvili street. It goes to Ponitchala where the roads to Rustavi (direction to Azerbaijan) and Merneuli (to Armenia) split up. If you head for the armenian border be sure to get out at the tank stop where the roads split!

Sept. 2017 update. There is no bus #118 but another option is bus #102. It leaves at baratashvili street in front of the city wall. It takes about 40 min. until the bus turns right, leaving the main street. The stop is called Gulbani Street (north). Just opposite of it you can start hitchhiking as there is a good spot for cars to stop and you are almost in the next city.

Southwest towards Manglisi, Tsalka

In June 2015, there was a big landslide about 2km down the road from Tskneti, which completely destroyed a part of the road and wiped away the forest around it. As of September 2015, nothing has been repaired.

From Tbilisi, take the road towards Kojori instead. To get out of the city center, you can take any of the buses going to Mtatsminda Park and get off where the road splits to Kojori.

If the Tskneti road is repaired, which should take a long time considering the extent of the destruction, you can get on buses 34 or 82 to get you from the city center to Tskneti.

Resources

Check Nomadwiki for info on visa, accommodation, showers, food, internet access, public transport, busking, places to visit or Trashwiki for dumpsters .. and share your wisdom :)trash:Tbilisi nomad:Tbilisi