Visitors to Tbilisi have a few options for getting around the city and to other cities around the country with public transportation.

The metro, buses and the cable car is operated by the Tbilisi Transport Company - they have a good website.

There is a metro network that connects most major areas around the city of Tbilisi and operates on two routes, connecting at the central railway station. Trains run approx. every 5 minutes and enable reasonably quick travel around the city.  Improvements have been made and the metro signs are now in both the latin and georgian characters. Announcements inside metro trains are now made in both Georgian and English. You need to know which direction you are travelling by the last station on the route.

TTC, apart from operating the metro operate a large bus network which does actually work reasonably well. Just make sure you work out which routes you need to use in advance and print out one of the route maps to take with you. It is suggested that this MAP is best. Get on a bus at any door and go to one of the ticket validation machines. If you have cash put 0.5 Lari in the machine and take a ticket. If you have a smartcard (better) hold it against the top, press the top button for an adult ticket and take a ticket. Revenue inspectors are very common! When you travel by TTC buses or metro AND you use the MetroMoney smartcard (not cash) you can travel for 90 minutes to finish your journey - not valid on minibuses. 

Tickets for a metro ride are 0.5 Lari flat fare and you need to have a smartcard. These are purchased at metro stations for 2 Lari and can be topped up with money. Smartcards are also used on buses, marshrutka and the cable car.

As an alternative to regular buses, there are about 2000 Ford Transit minibuses, known as Marshrutkas, that follow fixed routes around the city but stop on request anywhere (hail and ride). These charge from 0.3 to 1.0 Lari (pay cash on exit - no ticket) but the central ones mostly charge 0.8 Lari depending on the route. You can also use a MetroMoney smartcard on these buses now. The Marshrutka Management Company also have a good website.

There are also the following methods of transport:

 

  • A funicular up to Mtatsminda Park - this has been completely renovated with reliable western equipment. Ride needs separate smartcard purchased from ticket office - about 2 Lari single. The middle station has a wonderful path to MamaDavit church and then there is a path from there to the bottom.
  • A cable car from Rike Park to the Fortress. Again this is brand new using western technology. You can use the TTC smartcard on this - rides are 2 Lari each way. Again there is a path down through the fortress, the old church to the baths at the bottom.
  • A cable car from Vake Park to Turtle Lake. Unfortunately this magnificant ride is closed and out of order. The old cable cars are swinging in the breeze. You will need to get another means of transport to Turtle lake. As of August 2016, this cable car route is being renovated with opening expected quite soon.

 

Taxis are one of the best ways of getting around the immediate city, as they can be found almost anywhere.  Fares are very affordable, and should never cost more than a few Lari.  Generally, taxis will be waiting outside of major public areas such as airports, train stations, bus stations, and large hotels.  If outside of these areas, the best way to get a taxi is to ask a hotels or restaurants for their help in arranging a ride.

NOTE: None of the taxis in Tbilisi are regulated at all and basically anyone who has a driving licence and owns a car can be a taxi when they want. Additionally most do not know where they need to go. This has implications with safety and maintenance - you have been warned!! However there are some taxis operated by taxi companies (most are owner drivers) where are at least modern - see the link below.

 ALWAYS verify the cost of the trip before you get in the car; some of them are used to ripping off westerners.  Most of the legit taxis are 40-50 tetri ($0.28) a kilometer.  For prearranged pricing, unless you are going 30min or more away you should not have to pay more than 5 lari ($2.85); 3 Lari is average for just heading 5-10min within the city.  Taxis that hang around the pricey hotels like Sheraton and Marriott gouge riders like it's their job.  Taxis are EVERYWHERE on the main streets, so don't be shy about shluffing off a cab for another one - just keep flagging them until the price is right!  Check out some Taxi Info Here