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An update from Evaneos

Mtskheta (Georgia)

Practical information on Mtskheta

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
  • Viewpoint
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Music
  • Museums
  • Castle and fortress
  • Handicraft
  • Place or Historical Monument
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
20 kilometres from Tbilisi by car or bus
When to go
All year round, though it's more pleasant in summer
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Mtskheta

Seasoned Traveller
25 written opinions

Mtskheta is a small town located around 20 kilometres from Tbilisi. It is considered to be one of Georgia's oldest towns and was once the country's capital.

My suggestion:
Visit Mtskheta on a day trip from Tbilisi. There are minibuses known as "marshrutkas" that leave regularly from Didube Market.
My review

I really liked the town of Mtskheta; it's a very pleasant place to walk around.

Svetitskhovli Cathedral stands in the centre of the town and is definitely an essential place to visit. Mtskheta is considered the birthplace of Christianity in Georgia.

I had the opportunity to attend the baptism of a new-born baby during my visit. This gave me the chance to learn a little more about Orthodox Christian traditions.

Be sure to go for a stroll around the town's little streets, where there are many shops (selling local arts and crafts) and typical Georgian restaurants to be found. One thing you absolutely have to do is try the national dish, the famous "adjarian khatchapuri": a hollowed out piece of bread filled with melted cheese and topped with an egg. It's really very good, though it is high in calories!

Mtskheta's Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Timothée D. Seasoned Traveller
285 written opinions

Both the former historic capital of Georgia and the country's spiritual heart, Mtskheta is simply full of must-see religious sites.

My suggestion:
At the city's museum you can learn all about the important historical role Mtskheta has played in the country's history.
My review

Despite its unpronounceable name, the city of Mtskheta is definitely one of the places to see when visiting Georgia, the simple reason being that the history of the city is intrinsically linked to that of the country as a whole, of which it was the capital from the 3rd century BC. Serving also as the religious heart of Georgia, with its cathedral, Svetitskhoveli, still hosting the country's main Orthodox Christian ceremonies today, the pretty, historic streets of Mtskheta are simply overflowing with sites to see and visit.

I had an especially enjoyable time staying in this beautiful city, which sits snugly at the point where the rivers Aragvi and Kuva meet. The city's centre contains little houses with red slate roofs as well as numerous ancient churches, some of which stand right in the very centre itself, whilst others sit atop the hills located in the area immediately around the centre. These are all the reasons why the city has been proudly added to UNESCO's World Heritage Site list.

Bridge in the city of Mtskheta
Seasoned Traveller
75 written opinions

Mtskheta is a small town located close to Tbilisi. Thought it is mainly famous for its cathedral, the architecture in the town's recently restored centre is also worth taking a look at.

My suggestion:
The Georgian government recently had the town renovated in order to make into a top tourist attraction. This explains why there are souvenir shops selling cheaply made items at exorbitant prices to be found here. It's best to avoid these. 
My review

I really didn't know what to expect when I went to Mtskheta. Having missed out on visiting the town on my first trip to Georgia, I was absolutely determined to go there on my second trip. And in the end, I certainly didn't regret it. It doesn't take at all long to get to Mtskheta from Tbilisi, and once you actually arrive in the town you get the sense of having come to somewhere truly exotic and different. Bordered by two rivers and surrounded by hills, the site where Mtskheta stands simply adds to the overall charm of the town . The main reason people come here is to visit and admire Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a veritable jewel of Georgian religious architecture. You need a good hour to look around the cathedral, not because it's particularly large, but rather because there's so much detail dating from different periods to see. With its interesting architecture and its location amidst the vineyards, Samtavro Church, which lies just a short distance away from the cathedral, is also worth a visit.

Though I didn't have the opportunity to see these myself, some of the other places to explore in Mtskheta include Antioki Church, the ruins of Bebris Tsikhe Fortress, and Jvari Church, which lies eight kilometres from the city.

Interior of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
Chapel in Samtavro Church