Driving in Georgia
Tips for the Road
- Georgia follows the right-hand driving system.
- At junctions or crossroads, the priority is typically given to vehicles approaching from the right, unless marked otherwise by traffic signs.
- In Georgia you are allowed to make a right turn after coming to a full stop at a red light, provided there’s no sign prohibiting it.
- Headlights are required at night and in poor weather conditions or when visibility is less than 500 feet.
- Using mobile phones without a hands-free system is strictly prohibited.
Road Types and Speed Limits
- Speed Limit: Generally 110 km/h (68 mph), with some areas like the S4 motorway section reduced to 90 km/h (56 mph).
- Characteristics: Integral for international travel and trade, connecting key Georgian cities to neighboring countries. These highways are typically two-laned, and have undergone upgrades to include expressway sections, contributing to the E60/E70 East-West Highway project.
- Speed Limit: Generally around 90 km/h (56 mph), with adjustments for vehicle type and road conditions.
- Characteristics: A network weaving through Georgia, these expressways play a pivotal role in domestic connectivity, with ongoing development and enhancement projects.
- Speed Limit: Varies, typically 60-80 km/h (37-50 mph).
- Characteristics: Serving as connectors to smaller towns and rural areas, these roads are essential for local access and can vary in maintenance levels
In Georgia, certain areas are particularly suited for off-road vehicles due to challenging terrain and road conditions. Regions like Tusheti and Shatili are known for their mountainous landscapes with narrow, winding, and often unpaved roads, needing sturdy vehicles for rough conditions. Omalo, nestled in Tusheti, is particularly notable for its steep and rugged paths. While these locations offer breathtaking scenery and a peek into Georgia's natural beauty, they necessitate a robust 4x4 vehicle to ensure safe and effective navigation.
- S1 Highway (Tbilisi - Senaki - Leselidze): Connects Tbilisi to the Black Sea, and is vital for commerce and long-distance travel.
- Kobuleti Bypass (S2): This bypass not only alleviates traffic around the coastal region but also offers passengers delightful views of the Adjara coastline.
- S4 Highway (Ponichala - Rustavi): A key connector near the capital, this highway enhances access to Eastern Georgia, serving as an important link for regional connectivity.
- S12 Highway (Japana - Lanchkhuti): This road significantly improves travel in Western Georgia, essential for regional commuting and access to remote areas.
- Tbilisi Bypass (S9): Circumventing the bustling capital, this bypass is a strategic route for avoiding urban traffic, especially beneficial for long-haul travelers.
- Mtskheta - Stepantsminda - Larsi (S3): A road that offers a historical journey from ancient Mtskheta up to the breathtaking Caucasus mountains, perfect for those seeking scenic beauty and historical exploration.
Top City Destinations
Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia, is a delightful city characterized by its old-world charm. Stroll down the cobbled streets in the old town, leading to contemporary art galleries and buzzing cafes. It’s a city where ancient fortresses like Narikala stand proudly, offering breathtaking views of the Mtkvari River winding below. Foodies will love the city’s culinary scene with must-try dishes like khinkali (juicy dumplings) and khachapuri (cheese-filled bread). The Georgian National Museum and the stunning Holy Trinity Cathedral are not to be missed. And for one of the most unique and exciting experiences in Tbilisi, try the famous historic sulfur baths. These baths, with their distinctive domed roofs, sulfur-rich waters and therapeutic properties, are not only a treat for the senses but also a deep dive into the city’s cultural tapestry.
Batumi, often nicknamed the “Las Vegas of the Black Sea,” dazzles with its vibrant nightlife, luxurious casinos, and grand, illuminated buildings that light up the night sky. The city’s skyline, with its architecturally striking buildings, complements the bustling atmosphere of the seaside promenade. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along this scenic waterfront, lined with lush greenery, modern sculptures, and welcoming cafes. For a panoramic view of Batumi and its surroundings, take the Argo Cable Car up to the Argo Entertainment Center. Also, a visit to the Batumi Dolphinarium is a must, where engaging and educational dolphin shows delight audiences of all ages.
Kutaisi, a captivating city in Georgia, is a treasure trove of history and natural wonders. At its heart, the majestic Bagrati Cathedral and the revered Gelati Monastery stand as testaments to the city’s rich spiritual and architectural heritage. Venture underground to explore the spellbinding Prometheus Cave, where a subterranean world of stalactites and stalagmites awaits. Then, head to Okatse Canyon for an adrenaline-pumping walk on the glass bridge, suspended high above the gorge for breathtaking views. Don’t miss the chance to trace the steps of prehistoric creatures at Sataplia Nature Reserve, and be sure to wander through the bustling local markets for a taste of Georgian culture.