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Help with last minute trip! (Georgia/Armenia)

Help with last minute trip! (Georgia/Armenia)

Old Feb 5, 20, 3:16 pm
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Help with last minute trip! (Georgia/Armenia)

Hello all,

We had to cancel our Taiwan/Japan trip due to Coronovirus, and my wife freaking out a bit so we are now going to Georgia/Armenia and +/- Turkey and Paris. Its 2 adults and a 2.5 year old.

We are landing in Yerevan on Feb 29th and have to be back in Paris on March 13 to fly back home. We were thinking 3 days in Yerevan, 5 in Tbilisi, and the rest in Paris or Istanbul (and just go to Paris to fly out).

How long do you recommend to be in Yerevan and Tbilisi? I read Yerevan is no more than 3 days and to spend about 5 in Tbilisi, would love FT's opinion. Any other cities worth visiting in Georgia and Armenia? Would love an itinerary and things to do, must see. Also, would love recs where to stay in Tbilisi/Armenia. FT have always made the best itineraries and recommendations. Its a bit last minute, so trying to figure this out asap.

Thanks!

Last edited by TravelDoorsOut; Feb 5, 20 at 3:21 pm Reason: info
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Old Feb 5, 20, 6:17 pm
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5 Days for Georgia is right. It will be a little bit chilly that time.

From that five days, three is easily spent in the city itself and there are plenty of things to do. Stay in the old historic part - either close to Metekhi church (Avlabari district) or next to main Rustaveli street (Sololaki district). If you don't mind 20 min hiking uphill/downhill, there are bunch of hotels/airbnbs in Mtasminda area overlooking the city.

Wikivoyage has quite a good article about Tbilisi, start reading it https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Tbilisi also, if there is a chance while there try to see national dance performance.

For day trips - go to Kahketi for wine testing/tour and if weather permits - go and see Gergeti Trinity Church
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Old Feb 5, 20, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
5 Days for Georgia is right. It will be a little bit chilly that time.

From that five days, three is easily spent in the city itself and there are plenty of things to do. Stay in the old historic part - either close to Metekhi church (Avlabari district) or next to main Rustaveli street (Sololaki district). If you don't mind 20 min hiking uphill/downhill, there are bunch of hotels/airbnbs in Mtasminda area overlooking the city.

Wikivoyage has quite a good article about Tbilisi, start reading it https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Tbilisi also, if there is a chance while there try to see national dance performance.

For day trips - go to Kahketi for wine testing/tour and if weather permits - go and see Gergeti Trinity Church
Great, thank you! Any ideas on Yerevan?
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Old Feb 5, 20, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelDoorsOut View Post
Great, thank you! Any ideas on Yerevan?
Can't tell, never been there.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 9:22 pm
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Compared with Tbilisi, Yerevan is dull. The Stalinist architecture and city planning are good for a day, and that's it. In Tbilisi you can endlessly stroll through the old parts of the city, on both sides of the river. And eat very very well.

There are side trips to the mountains from Tbilisi, but I'm not sure about weather this time of year. It's also quite possible Tbilisi itself in winter isn't as charming as in summer!

Baku is interesting because it's a really different place. And being below sea level it will probably be warmer this time of year than the other cities.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
There are side trips to the mountains from Tbilisi, but I'm not sure about weather this time of year. It's also quite possible Tbilisi itself in winter isn't as charming as in summer!
Summer in Tbilisi, especially in August is very hot.

As a day trip, if Gergeti is not an option due to snow on roads, Vardzia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vardzia is a great alternative as well, however round trip would take 6 hours. Not sure if suitable for 2.5 year old.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 10:59 pm
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"Summer in Tbilisi, especially in August is very hot."

I call it very summery! And it's not a humid summery, either. No typhoons to worry about besides.
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Old Feb 13, 20, 9:47 pm
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dump for recs in Georgia and Yerevan!
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Old Feb 13, 20, 10:53 pm
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I think Georgia and Armenia are an excellent choice - both countries are fascinating and Iíd say Tbilisi is one of my favourite destinations in the world.

Yerevan is a nice city to walk around with interesting architecture and an interesting Metro. I stayed in the Ibis which was very Central and I could walk almost everywhere I needed to go.

You could do a day trip to Lake Sevan. The lake is picturesque, thereís the famous Brutalist Writerís House and a Church / Monastery. The scenery en-route is quite nice too.

You could also do a day trip the other way to Jermuk. Itís a Soviet style spa town. The scenery en-route is beautiful (winding mountain roads, a gorge...etc). There is not a huge amount to do when you get there other than view the waterfall and wander around town - the journey is worth it though. Itís also interesting seeing all of the Iranian trucks that have just come across the border (some are very old Macks).

Tbilisi - and Georgia in general - is very interesting. I have always stayed in the Ibis Styles which has a great location (thereís a Crown Plaza nearby too). There are lots of restaurants in the area and Liberty Square). There are traditional touristy things to do in Tbilisi but some companies also offer Brutalist Architecture/ Soviet tours where you can see some of the legacy of the Soviet times - which I find quite interesting.

There are numerous day trips you can do. I hired a car and drove to the Soviet monument in Gudauri stopping at various sites en-route. The drive in the mountain roads is beautiful. Companies offer this tour if you donít want to drive. You could also go to Borjomi (a spa town - quite nice but the drive there is a bit boring), Gori (to see the Stalin museum - although Iíve never managed to do this). You could also do a day trip to Chiatura - a former Soviet mining town for magnesium. This was fascinating although itís not so interesting now the Soviet-era cable cars have stopped working (apparently theyíre dangerous!)
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Old Feb 14, 20, 3:36 am
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There are number of places/things in Georgia, Armenia and pretty much anywhere else in former xSU which are frozen in place, Chiatura is one of them. And if some place is frozen in time than it means there is not much development/modernization going on and with high degree of confidence that place is quite depressing as well...
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Old Feb 14, 20, 3:27 pm
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Thank you all! I have a different perspective since I was born in USSR, but left when I was 10. Soviet stuff would be more interesting to my wife, so I'm sure we will do some. If you had a choice between Uplistsikhe vs Borjomi which one would you recommend? Also, is Khakheti a must see?
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Old Feb 16, 20, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by TravelDoorsOut View Post
If you had a choice between Uplistsikhe vs Borjomi which one would you recommend? Also, is Khakheti a must see?
It really depends on your taste/preferences.

Borjomi is a park and mineral water spring. Not much to go and see expect to see nature.
Uplistsikhe is entirely historical place, not much nature around.
Kakheti is wine region, you go there to enjoy wine and food and some other activities, if you have extra days. For day trip only, it will be just wine tour.
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