If you’re planning on driving in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, as a tourist, there are a few things you should know to help you navigate the city safely and comfortably.
Here are some tips and tricks to make your driving experience in Tbilisi more enjoyable.
Traffic in Tbilisi
Traffic in Tbilisi can be quite congested during peak hours, so it’s important to plan your route in advance and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Be prepared to encounter drivers who may not follow the rules of the road, so it’s essential to remain alert and drive defensively.
Foreign visitors are required to have an International Driving Permit to drive in Tbilisi, which can be obtained by applying for one in your home country before you travel to Georgia. You will also need your home country’s driver’s license.
The road signs in Tbilisi are in both Georgian and English, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the most common ones before you hit the road. Some signs may not be immediately recognizable, so be sure to pay attention to them.
The roads in Tbilisi can be quite challenging, particularly in the older parts of the city. You may encounter potholes and uneven surfaces, so it’s important to drive carefully and watch out for pedestrians.
A GPS navigation system can be helpful when driving in Tbilisi, particularly if you’re not familiar with the city. Google Maps is an excellent option and provides accurate directions and real-time traffic updates.
Finding a parking spot in Tbilisi can be a challenge, particularly in the city center. Street parking is available but can be difficult to come by, and it’s essential to pay attention to parking signs to avoid getting a fine. There are also several parking garages in the city that offer safe and secure parking.
Driving in Tbilisi requires a certain amount of flexibility and patience. Honking is common in the city and may not always indicate anger or frustration. It’s also customary to flash your lights to signal to other drivers that they can proceed. Keep in mind that Georgian drivers are generally quite courteous and will often yield to pedestrians.
Gas stations in Tbilisi are plentiful, and many of them are open 24 hours a day. It’s a good idea to carry cash as not all gas stations accept credit cards. You should also be aware that gas stations may run out of fuel during peak hours, so it’s best to plan ahead and fill up your tank early in the day.
Police checkpoints are a common sight in Tbilisi, particularly during holidays and special events. It’s important to have all of your paperwork in order, including your driver’s license, passport, and car registration documents.
If you run into any problems on the road, such as a flat tire or a mechanical issue, there are several roadside assistance companies in Tbilisi that can help you out. It’s a good idea to carry their contact information with you, just in case.
Driving in Tbilisi can be a bit of a challenge, but with some planning and preparation, it can also be a rewarding experience. By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to navigate the city safely and comfortably and make the most of your time in Georgia’s vibrant capital.