Kutaisi, Georgia’s second largest city and formerly its capital, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is believed that the city was founded around 1400 BC and people have been living here since the Old Stone Age. Kutaisi’s name is a combination of three words meaning “stone”, “mountain” and “it”: Kva (“stone”), Mta (“mountain”), and Isi (“it”), meaning “the city between stone and mountain”. As I have been living in Georgia for six years, I now prepared a detailed article for this historical city. Here is Kutaisi Travel Guide, have a nice read.

Kutaisi Travel Guide

First of all, I will explain how to get to Kutaisi, then I will continue with details such as the best time to go, number of days to spend in Kutaisi, where to stay and where to eat.

I have a separate article for attractions in and around Kutaisi, I recommend you to read it as well.

Where is Kutaisi? How to get to Kutaisi? Kutaisi Transportation Guide

Kutaisi is located in the Imereti region of Georgia, west of the capital Tbilisi, on the banks of the Rioni River. I can say that it is right in the center of Georgia.

How to get to Kutaisi from Tbilisi?

For transportation between Kutaisi and Tbilisi, you have three alternatives if you are not going to use a private car.

Train: There is a train from Tbilisi to Kutaisi and from Kutaisi to Tbilisi once a day. This is the cheapest but unfortunately the longest way. It costs only 9 GEL but takes 5.5 hours. There is a second alternative for the train, that is taking the train to Batumi or Zugdidi. There are 3 trains a day from Tbilisi to Batumi and 2 trains a day from Tbilisi to Zugdidi and these trains pass near Kutaisi airport. There is a free shuttle service between the airport and the train station. Depending on the route of the train, it takes around 3.5-4 hours to get to Kutaisi. The cheapest ticket starts from 14 GEL. If you are not using the airport, you can get off at Rioni station which is closer to the center of Kutaisi. However, not all trains pass through Rioni station. You can check the schedules and fares on tkt.ge.

Bus: There are two different bus companies from Kutaisi airport to Tbilisi city center. They leave about 1 hour after the landing time of the plane. When I fly from Europe to Kutaisi Airport, I always use Georgian Bus company, the price is 25 GEL and I have never had any problems so far. Likewise, you can take these buses from Tbilisi to Kutaisi Airport. The buses depart from Tbilisi Pushkin Square and arrive at the airport 3-4 hours before your flight time. You can buy tickets either on the bus, online or at the kiosks at the airport. The buses take 3.5-4.5 hours depending on the traffic and road conditions.

Minibus: If you are not going to the airport, you can also use the minibuses called Marshrutka. To be honest, this is not the most comfortable way. They depart from Kutaisi central bus station and arrive at Didube Bus Station in Tbilisi, and return from the same station. The station in Kutaisi is a bit out of the center, but you can use Bolt to get a taxi. The minibuses leave every hour every day, from morning until evening, but may leave earlier if they are full. The price is 20 GEL and it takes 4-5 hours depending on the traffic.

Personally, when I visit Kutaisi, I always take my own car, but when I go to the airport, I use the train on the way there and the bus on the way back. I have never preferred the minibus.

How to get to Kutaisi from Batumi?

Likewise, you have three alternatives for transportation between Batumi and Kutaisi, if you are not going to use a private car.

Train: There is no train from Batumi to Kutaisi center. There are trains from Batumi to Kutaisi Airport and from Kutaisi Airport to Batumi 3 times a day. There is a free shuttle service between the airport and the train station. Transportation by train takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. The cheapest train starts from 31 GEL.

Bus: There are Georgian Bus buses from Kutaisi airport to Batumi. They leave about 1 hour after the plane landing time. The price is 20 GEL and the journey takes about 2 hours. Similarly, you can take these buses from Batumi to Kutaisi Airport. The buses leave behind the Radisson Blu Hotel to arrive at the airport 3-4 hours before your flight time. You can buy tickets either on the bus, online or at the kiosks at the airport.

Minibus: If you are not going to the airport, you can use the minibuses called Marshrutka. There are minibuses almost every hour from morning to evening. They depart from Kutaisi central bus station and arrive at Intercity Bus Station in Batumi, and return from the same station. The price is 20 GEL and the journey takes around 3 hours depending on the traffic.

Kutaisi city transportation

Kutaisi city center is 30-40 minutes from the airport. If you didn’t rent a car or arrange a transfer from the hotel, you can use minibuses as public transportation. But these only run during the day. Georgian Bus used to have buses going to the city center all the time but they are no longer there, I will write if they come back. At night you have to use a taxi. FlyTaxi has set a fixed price at the airport, 35 GEL for regular taxis and 70 GEL for minivans. But the taxi issue is a bit problematic in Georgia in general, so I recommend you to clarify the price with the taxi driver before you get on the road. You can use the Bolt app, but it is not easy to find from the airport, you can find a car more easily on your way back from the city. As for transportation in the city, you can usually walk to most places. For some places you may need a bus or Bolt app. Unfortunately there is no subway or tram, the bus fare is 0.6 GEL.

If you are going to buy a sim card, I can recommend Magti, which I use. For internet, I have been using e-sim for my last trips abroad. You can download the app from this link to use internet abroad without having to physically change the card. I have used it in 9 countries so far and had no problems. If you sign up with the code DENIZ9333 you get a 3$ discount.

What is the best month to visit Kutaisi?

I have always visited Kutaisi in spring and autumn. These are the times when you can easily visit Kutaisi without getting too hot during the day and wearing a thin coat in the evening. Based on my own experience, I would recommend you to go in April-May and September-October. I also think that you will visit the places around Kutaisi and the colours of nature will make your trip more beautiful in these months.

How many days is enough for Kutaisi?

I think you need at least 2 nights to visit Kutaisi and nearby areas on a day trip. You can guess how much you need more or less if you read my guide”Things to do in Kutaisi” .

Where to stay in Kutaisi? Kutaisi accommodation guide

First I would like to tell you about the best areas to stay in Kutaisi. Then I will make some hotel recommendations.

City Centre – Old Town: Kutaisi does not have an Old Town concept as in other European cities or Tbilisi, but it has a centre where many attractions are together. As a landmark, I can say the places around Colchis Fountain.

Bzholebi: This is the part where our hotel is located, right at the foot of the White Bridge. It is on the opposite bank of the river from the city centre and 10 minutes walking distance.

Balakhvani: This is the area around Kutaisi I railway station. There is also a university here. The streets are pretty decent and the area is safe. 15-20 minutes walking distance to the city centre.

Gora: This place is located on a hill far from the centre but within walking distance to Bagrati Cathedral and Botanical Garden. Honestly, it is not a region I would recommend if you don’t have a car.

Now I will move on to hotel recommendations. First of all, I will mention our hotel where we stay every time and are very pleased. We are staying at Best Western Kutaisi. You can easily reach most places on foot. I also like its wonderful river view, nice breakfast, lovely restaurant and elegant design. I will give some of my favourite hotel recommendations for those who want to explore different alternatives, suitable for every budget. The hotels are not very expensive anyway, so there are not big price differences between them.

Budget Friendly Hotels in Kutaisi: Hotel Ticiani 13Hotel History

Middle Class Hotels in Kutaisi: Hotel MemoireSolomonNewport Hotel Kutaisi

Best Hostels in Kutaisi: Black Tomato HostelBao Hostel

Click here for all available accommodation options in Kutaisi.

Where to eat in Kutaisi? Kutaisi Food Guide

Traditional Georgian cuisine is mainly based on meat and pastry. I recommend you to read my article about Georgian cuisine in more detail: Georgian Cuisine: Must-Try Georgian Dishes

So let’s continue with the most beautiful restaurants and cafes in Kutaisi.

Sisters: I can say that this is by far the best place in Kutaisi. I am sure you will love both the food and the place itself, which stands out with its vintage decoration. There are both Georgian dishes and classic foods such as pizza, pasta, etc. on the menu.

Lilestan: Again, it is a place with a great atmosphere and great food. You can find options from Georgian and international cuisines.

Palaty: This place is one of the oldest restaurants in Kutaisi. We had a meal here when we first visited Kutaisi and loved it. It still maintains the same quality, and I would definitely recommend it for Georgian food.

At Home: A good place to try Georgian wines. You can also have a cheese plate or small appetisers with your wine. Prices are also reasonable.

Tea House Foe-Foe and Piatto are good options for tea, coffee and dessert breaks.

I haven’t been to WILD Bar, which opened this year, but is recommended by expats living in Kutaisi. New places are opening in Kutaisi every single day, I’m sure you can discover a lot of places other than these.

I hope my Kutaisi Travel Guide article will be useful and you have a wonderful trip to Kutaisi. If you have any questions, please write them in the comments. Don’t forget to follow me to stay updated on my upcoming posts and for more photos!

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