Kutaisi Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do and see in Kutaisi, Georgia, including cultural attractions, natural wonders, hiking and biking routes, food and drink scene, accommodations, and more.

Introduction to Kutaisi

Kutaisi is a vibrant city located in the Rioni Region of Georgia, a small country in the Caucasus region of Asia. Known for its rich cultural history, stunning natural beauty, and warm hospitality, Kutaisi attracts visitors from all over the world.

The city has a fascinating past, dating back to the 6th century BC when it was the capital of the Kingdom of Colchis. Today, Kutaisi is a bustling metropolis that perfectly blends old-world charm with modern amenities. From exploring ancient ruins to hiking through picturesque forests, Kutaisi has something to offer everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Kutaisi

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Bagrati Cathedral: This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 11th century and boasts a stunning mix of medieval and Georgian architectural styles.
  • Gelati Monastery: Founded in the 12th century by King David IV, this monastery is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features remarkable frescoes and architecture.
  • Kutaisi Historical Museum: The museum showcases the city’s rich cultural history, from the days of the Colchis Kingdom to present-day Kutaisi.
  • Sataplia Nature Reserve: This natural wonder boasts dinosaur footprints, underground caves, and stunning views of the surrounding forest.

Natural Attractions of Kutaisi: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Prometheus Cave: Located just outside the city, the cave system, stretching for 11 kilometers, features dramatic limestone formations and underground lakes that are lit up by enchanting lighting.
  • Okatse Canyon: A natural wonder that is perhaps one of the most stunning places in Georgia, Okatse Canyon offers a scenic hike through a towering canyon, with a glass bridge for a thrilling experience.
  • Martvili Canyon: This natural jewel offers opportunities for swimming and boating through a breathtaking canyon, surrounded by greenery.
  • Katskhi Pillar: An ancient monolith considered sacred by locals that could only be accessed by a narrow, winding staircase. The rotating monks of the historic monasteries on the rock remain one of Kutaisi’s most popular attractions.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kutaisi

Kutaisi offers a plethora of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the natural beauty of the region. Some of the most popular hiking and biking routes include:

  • Sairme Mineral Waters: a picturesque spa town in the Rioni Gorge offers a relaxing hiking trail with scenic views.
  • Nunisi Ridge: offers an adventurous trek through the forest, complete with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Choma Trail: This cycling route covers 46 kilometers of rolling hills, allowing cyclists to discover the hidden beauties of the Imereti region.

Best Things to Do in Kutaisi: Activities and Tours

  • Wine Tasting Tour: Georgia is the birthplace of wine, and Kutaisi is a fantastic place to sample some of the best wines in the region. Visitors can enjoy a wine tasting tour of local wineries like Chateau Mukhrani or Tbilvino, located just outside the city.
  • Traditional Georgian Cooking Classes: A perfect activity for foodies, learn to prepare Khachapuri, Khinkali, and other Georgian specialities with locals in their home.
  • Paragliding: Hold your breath and fly over the hills of Okatse Canyon, take in the mesmerizing view from the top.
  • Rafting: Adventure enthusiasts will enjoy rafting through the Rioni river rapids, available through various operators in the city.

Week-Long Itinerary for Kutaisi

Kutaisi only gets better with time, with a week-long itinerary that offers a unique experience for visitors:

Day Activity
1 Bagrati Cathedral and Kutaisi Old Town
2 Gelati Monastery and Mukhrani Forest Park
3 Prometheus Cave and Okatse Canyon
4 Martvili Canyon and the Katskhi Pillar
5 Sairme Mineral Waters and excursion to Imereti region
6 Choma Trail cycling tour and wine-tasting at local vineries
7 Nunisi Ridge trekking and traditional Georgian cooking class

Food and Drink Scene of Kutaisi

Must-Try Dishes

  • Khachapuri: A warm cheese-filled bread ranging slightly in shapes, spiced according to local traditions.
  • Khinkali: Soup dumplings filled with meat and vegetables – this Georgian delicacy is a must-try for anyone visiting the country.
  • Chakapuli: A stew made with tender lamb, herbs, and sour plums, flavored to perfection with wine and garlic.
  • Mtsvadi: Barbecued pork, traditionally served with vegetables.

Local Beverages

  • Wine: Considered one of the oldest wine regions, Georgian wine is a specialty with a history of 8000 years. Try the locally made Saperavi or Khvanchkara.
  • Cha-cha: A clear, fruity brandy, made from grapes grown in Georgia.

Where to Stay in Kutaisi: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Kutaisi offers a wide variety of accommodations for travelers, from budget-friendly hostels to high-end hotels. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Boutique Hotel Kutaisi: A stylish boutique hotel located in the heart of the city, featuring handcrafted furniture, spa treatments, and 24-hour room service.
  • Hostel Uliana: A budget-friendly hostel that offers clean, comfortable rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a friendly staff.
  • Guest House Natali: An affordable guest house that provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with complimentary breakfast, fast Wi-Fi, and scenic views of the city.

What to Buy in Kutaisi: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Handmade Crafts: Kutaisi is known for its beautiful, locally made carpets, pottery, and woven baskets. Visit one of the local crafts markets to pick up something special.
  • Local Wine: Take home a bottle of locally produced wine from one of the city’s many wineries.
  • Spices and Sauces: Georgian spices such as Khmeli Suneli spice mix and Ajika hot sauce are the perfect souvenirs for foodies.

Local Culture and Customs of Kutaisi

Kutaisi is famous for its rich tradition and hospitality. Traditional music, dance, and clothing can still be seen in many parts of the city, especially during festivals and events. Some local customs include:

  • Tamada: The traditional Georgian Toastmaster appointed before dinner to guide proceedings and offer toasts throughout the meal.
  • Supra: The Georgian feast, centered around an extraordinary display of Georgian dishes, neatly arranged on the table, accompanied by wine and accompanied with singing and toasting.
  • Churches and Religion: Georgia has a long-standing Christian heritage, and it is very common to see people praying, lighting candles, and singing at local churches.

Best Time to Visit Kutaisi

The best time to visit Kutaisi is during the spring and autumn months (March to May and September to November), when the weather is mild and perfect for outdoor activities. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are generally cold and wet, with occasional snowfall.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kutaisi


  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions
  • Be prepared to take off your shoes when entering homes and religious buildings
  • Try local foods and beverages
  • Explore the city’s cultural history and natural beauty


  • Drink tap water without boiling it first, opt for bottled filtered water
  • Dress provocatively or in shorts and a tank top when visiting religious sites
  • Ignore the opinions and wishes of the elders
  • Litter or disrespect the environment

Safety and Health

Safety in Kutaisi

Kutaisi is generally a safe city to visit, but it is always advisable to take basic safety precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight, especially in crowded places, and travelling in groups at night. The city has a low crime rate, and violent crime is uncommon.

Health in Kutaisi

Visitors should also take necessary health precautions such as applying mosquito repellent and wearing protective clothing if exploring the forest areas. Ensure that you are up-to-date on vaccinations before visiting Georgia.

Getting to Kutaisi: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kutaisi

Kutaisi International Airport (KUT) offers direct flights to several European cities, including Budapest, Berlin, Paris, and London.

Bus Stations Near Kutaisi

The main bus station in Kutaisi offers services to several other Georgian cities, including Tbilisi and Batumi.

Other Options

Taxis and private cars are also widely available for rent, offering a convenient way to explore the surrounding areas of Kutaisi.

How to Get Around in Kutaisi

Walking is a great way to explore the city centre, but visitors can also opt for buses or taxis to get around the city. The public bus network is extensive and covers all parts of the city.

Where to Go Next from Kutaisi: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some of the best nearby destinations from Kutaisi include:

  • Tbilisi: The capital city of Georgia, known for its mix of old and new architecture, vibrant nightlife, and delicious food.
  • Batumi: Located on the Black Sea coast, Batumi is a beautiful seaside resort city with stunning beaches and a lively cultural scene.
  • Svaneti: Known for its stunning mountain views and unique Svanetian defensive towers, this region offers hiking and trekking opportunities.


Kutaisi is much more than a stopover destination, as it has attractions and activities that are unmatched even in the bigger cities of Georgia. Perfectly situated between the capital city and Black Sea coast, Kutaisi has an array of options for travelers. From the historical sites to breathtaking nature, culinary delicacies, wine tasting, outdoor activities, hospitality, and culture, visitors can experience an authentic Georgian tradition in all its glory.