Official language: Georgian
Time zone: UTC +4
Currency: Lari (GEL)
To the centre of the city from the airport you can get by taxi (around 20 lari), but also ten times cheaper marshrutka. All you need to do is pass through terminal, find the road from Kutaisi to Batumi and wave.
North from the street Paliashvilis there is a market, where you can but local specialties, such as cheese, sweets („churchkhela”), and even wine from home vineyards.
20 km from Kutaisi there is located the cave of Prometheus, where you can admire breath taking cave dripstones. Remember to take jumper – it can be cold.
Kutaisi is nowadays a city regaining its glow, with rich history. It is a perfect place to get to know history of Georgia, try specialties of shore of the Black Sea, as well as to start your journey around this very colourful country.
On the area of modern Kutaisi already in period between the 4th and 1st century B.C. existed a country called Kolchida and an ancient city Aja. Ancient Greeks believed it was there where mythical Golden Fleece was situated. Where this idea came from? In waters of Georgian rivers since centuries there are grains of gold, which are traditionally caught by submerging ram’s skin. While being in Kutaisi between January and March, when level of water is not quite high, it is worth to leave the city and see how modern gold diggers work like.
The city itself is a bit neglected, which doesn’t mean that one should treat it only as a transfer city. It is definitely worth to go to renovated with great care square of Dawid Agmaszenebele, where there is very interesting and richly decorated with gold fountain, remaining about traditions of old Kolchida. The spirit of history can be felt in historical district Mcwane-Kwawila on a left bank of the river Rioni. A must see is also enlisted on UNESCO world heritage list the cathedral Bagrati, which is a typical example of Georgian sacral architecture. Only a half hour’s drive from the city there are situated two widely popular monasteries Gelati and Motsameta. They are not only historical spots of highest class, but also symbols of Georgian attachment to tradition and religion. For sightseeing them it is worth to book a whole day.
Georgian cuisine, also in region of Kutaisi, is famous for excellent dishes, in which easily can be felt eastern influences. What is worth to eat there? For sure chaczapuri, pie made of salty pastry with fried cheese, available in many versions. On specialties’ list there is also chinkali, dumplings in form of pouch with meat filling and mczadi, flat-cakes of corn flour served with tomato sauce or stewed eggplants. Georgia is famous for exquisite drinks – especially wines. We recommend restaurants: Palaty, Eto’s and Sapere.