Tbilisi at night, Georgia
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Tbilisi at night, Georgia

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Georgia Travel Guide

Key Facts

69,700 sq km (26,911 sq miles).


3,971,368 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density

70.7 per sq km.




Parliamentary republic.

Head of state

President Salome Zurabishvili since 2018.

Head of government

Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze since February 2024.


220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-style plugs with two round pins are used. The electricity supply can be intermittent between November and March, so it's a good idea to bring a torch with you.

It’s extremely easy to love Georgia. Formerly famed as the holiday haunt of the privileged elite of the Soviet Union, today’s country is an often overlooked but deeply rewarding travel destination.

A location at the historical crossroads of Europe, Asia, Russia and the Middle East means it still draws influences from all four, and the end result is a heady one. From its mountain-perched monasteries to its valley-floor vineyards, and from its Turkish-style food to its remarkable capacity for hospitality to strangers, Georgia represents a very special slice of the Caucasus.

Capital city Tbilisi, spread along the banks of the Mktvari River, is an enjoyable but sometimes jumbled mix of old and new. Incense-fogged churches and traditional bathhouses share the city with broad avenues and gleaming new towers, while crowning the skyline is a huge statue of “Mother Georgia” – holding a sword in one hand to ward off enemies, and a goblet of wine in the other to welcome friends.

It’s a sign of how tumultuous the country’s history has been, although it’s also worth pointing out that travellers and visitors fall firmly into the “friends” camp. Georgia, incidentally, claims to be the birthplace of wine – viticulture has been practiced here for more than 6,000 years.

Elsewhere in the country, highlights include the remote uplands of Svaneti, the relaxed Black Sea resort of Batumi, the spectacular hiking and horse-trekking trails of Tusheti and the tangled historical web of second city Kutaisi. Talking of tangled, the Georgian alphabet at times resembles a thicket of twisted fish-hooks, and its presence on everything from street placards to the endless marshrutkas (minibuses) that ply the roads adds an extra sense of foreignness to travel here.

Georgia is an endlessly absorbing destination, a beautiful and beguiling nation made all the more rewarding by its bottomless hospitality and friendly inhabitants.

Travel Advice

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice.

Areas where FCDO advises against travel

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice. Consular support may be limited where FCDO advises against travel.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia

For security reasons, FCDO advises against all travel to the breakaway regions of:

  • South Ossetia
  • Abkhazia

FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to:

  • areas immediately next to the administrative boundary lines with South Ossetia
  • areas immediately next to the administrative boundary lines with Abkhazia

FCDO cannot provide emergency services to British nationals travelling in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as British government employees are restricted from travelling there.

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel.

Before you travel 

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide as well as support for British nationals abroad which includes:

  • advice on preparing for travel abroad and reducing risks
  • information for women, LGBT+ and disabled travellers

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated.

Travel insurance

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance. Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency.

This advice reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Georgia set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the Embassy of Georgia in the UK.

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering Georgia.

You might be asked to wear masks in hospitals.

Passport validity requirements

If you’re visiting Georgia, your passport should be valid for the length of your visit.

Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.

You will be denied entry if you do not have a valid travel document or try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

Visa requirements

British nationals do not need a visa to visit Georgia for up to one year. To stay longer or to travel for work or study, you must apply for a longer-term visa. Contact the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more information.

If you’re in Georgia for more than 183 days and do any paid employment, you’re automatically liable for income tax and must tell the Revenue Service of Georgia. This applies whether you are on a visitor’s permit or officially resident. You’ll be fined if you do not comply.

Travel insurance

All visitors to Georgia must have adequate travel insurance to cover all healthcare needs during their visit. You may be asked for evidence of this, either by your airline at check-in or by immigration authorities when you arrive in Georgia. You may face difficulties if you do not have this evidence.

Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

Travelling with medicines

Georgia has a very strict anti-drugs policy. This can also cover prescription and non-prescription medicines commonly available in the UK. For example, non-prescription medicines containing codeine are illegal.

This can cause serious problems for travellers and in some cases lead to prosecution. Foreign nationals have been detained on arrival for having medicines that would not normally cause problems in the UK.

For more information on the legal status of a specific medicine, contact the Revenue Service of Georgia or the Embassy of Georgia in the UK.

If you plan to travel with prescription medicine, you must carry a doctor’s prescription and ideally the original packaging.

You should also read FCDO’s warnings and regional risks advice for Georgia.


There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out how to reduce your risk from terrorism while abroad.

Terrorism in Georgia

Terrorist attacks in Georgia can’t be ruled out. Attacks could happen anywhere and affect western interests and places visited by foreigners, such as tourist sites and cultural events.

Political situation

The political situation in Georgia is generally calm.


Demonstrations and rallies can occur, particularly:

  • around Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi
  • in large towns

Currently, large-scale rallies are taking place every day in Tbilisi, and frequently in Batumi, Kutaisi and other towns. Crowd numbers tend to increase in the evening and some rallies extend into the night. Those taking place in Tbilisi can begin or end at different locations across the city, halting traffic . The rallies are not affecting hotels, restaurants, shops or other facilities used by residents or visitors.

Demonstrations are usually policed, but tensions can escalate without warning. You should:

  • check local media
  • avoid large gatherings and demonstrations
  • follow the advice of local authorities


Crime levels are low. You should:

  • take sensible precautious to avoid pick-pocketing, particularly in crowded places
  • not leave valuables unattended
  • stay aware of your surroundings
  • keep your mobile phone charged and with you at all times

Georgian law protects everyone’s human rights and equality, but ethnic minorities and LGBT+ people may face discrimination. Harassment and assault based on race and sexuality do take place.

If someone attempts to assault you or you feel threatened, call the emergency number 112 and ask for the police.

Laws and cultural differences

Personal ID

You’re advised to carry a copy of your passport at all times. Keep the original in a safe place.

Cultural differences

Tbilisi is a cosmopolitan city. There can be more conservative attitudes in rural areas. When travelling outside cities, be aware of cultural sensitivities around modest dress (particularly in places of worship) and open displays of affection.


Prices may be quoted in US dollars and euros, but goods and services must be paid for in local currency (lari).

Travellers’ cheques are rarely accepted. Outside major towns, you may not find ATMs or be able to use credit and debit cards. Take enough cash in lari if travelling to rural or remote areas.

Illegal drugs and prison sentences

If you use illegal drugs of any kind, you can get heavy fines or long prison terms. Smuggling even very small amounts of drugs carries a prison term of 5 to 25 years and heavy fines.

Using cameras

Do not photograph sensitive sites like military bases and power installations.

Be aware of cultural sensitivities when photographing churches and other religious sites.

Some visitors have been stopped from photographing the Presidential Palace in Tbilisi.

Check for any signs telling you not to take photographs. Always seek permission if in doubt.

Using Drones for Photos and Filming

Any drone that has a video or audio recording system installed should be registered at the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency before it can be used in a public place.

For registration you need to present your passport and have a valid email address.

Any drone weighing more than 250g (but less than 25kg) requires a special license from the Civil Aviation Authority, whether or not the drone has video or audio capability.

LGBT+ travellers

Homosexuality is legal in Georgia, and there are anti-discrimination laws, but same-sex relationships are still not widely accepted.

Showing affection in public may result in discrimination or harassment. Homophobic harassment and assault take place.

Pride marches in 2019 and 2021 were cancelled because the police did not guarantee security. In 2023, a Pride event was cancelled after a violent protest.

Read more advice for LGBT+ travellers.

Disabled travellers

Accessibility standards in Georgia are below UK standards. Very few public or private facilities are accessible.

Most public transport does not accommodate disabled travellers.

There are few pavements outside of main cities and pavements are generally uneven.

Read our general advice for disabled travellers.


A law banning surrogacy for foreign couples is expected to be adopted by the Georgian Parliament in the near future. Keep up to date by signing up to our Georgia travel advice.

If you’re visiting Georgia to arrange an international surrogacy, consider the risks and challenges involved. Surrogacy is a complex, lengthy process. You should:

  • make sure you’re aware of the facts and well-prepared before starting the process
  • get specialist legal advice on Georgian and UK laws before making any arrangements
  • read FCDO and Home Office guidance on surrogacy overseas
  • research clinics and hospitals thoroughly to make sure they are safe and reputable

The British Embassy cannot get involved in surrogacy arrangements or recommend hospitals or clinics.

Commissioning a surrogacy will not automatically mean that the child holds British citizenship. To bring your child born through surrogacy from Georgia to the UK, you must apply for a full British passport. You need a Georgian birth certificate for this. Check the Public Service Hall and Service Development Agency websites and research the rules for leaving the country with children (some legal details are in Georgian only). You can stay visa-free in Georgia for a continuous period of up to one year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has more information.

Trade with South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Anyone trading with Abkhazia and South Ossetia needs a licence issued by the Georgia government. This includes buying and selling property and most financial transactions. Anyone trading without a licence may face penalties under Georgian civil and criminal law.

Outdoor activities and adventure tourism

Make sure your travel insurance covers your activities.

If you get into trouble during hiking, skiing, adventure travel or extreme sports, the emergency response may be limited.

Off-piste skiing is very dangerous. It can be difficult to get accurate information on mountain conditions, including avalanche risks. Read our information on staying safe during skiing and winter sports.

If you’re trekking, mountaineering, climbing, off-piste skiing or doing other extreme sports, consider going with specialist guides. Many insurance policies will not cover damage to rental equipment or skiing off-piste without a guide.

Be aware that safety standards in Georgia may not be as high as those in the UK. For example, several people were injured when a ski lift at Gudauri malfunctioned in 2018 and a tourist helicopter crashed near Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) in 2019.

If you plan to hike close to the administrative boundary lines, consider hiring a professional guide.

Transport risks

Take usual precautions after dark in unfamiliar areas.

Street lighting away from main roads can be poor and pavements uneven. There may be occasional short power cuts – consider carrying a torch.


Taxi provision and safety has improved significantly. To stay safe using taxis:

  • do not flag taxis in the street
  • try to pre-book taxis through an app
  • check the taxi has working seatbelts

Road travel

If you’re planning to drive in Georgia, see information on driving abroad and read the RAC Georgia guide.

You can drive in Georgia with a UK driving licence for up to one year (from when you last entered Georgia). To drive for longer, you need a 1949 or 1968 international driving permit (IDP) or Georgian driving licence. If you’re hiring a car, check the rules with the car hire company before you travel. They may require you to have an IDP.

You cannot buy an IDP outside the UK, so get one before you travel.

Drink driving punishments can be severe. Georgia has a lower blood alcohol content limit than the UK, so avoid alcohol if driving.

Driving conditions

Take care when driving, especially at night. Be aware that:

  • roads outside city centres are often badly lit and poor quality
  • stray livestock can be a hazard
  • road markings and the right of way can be confusing
  • many cars are poorly maintained
  • driving can be erratic
  • heavy rain, flooding and snow at higher altitudes can affect roads and bridges making travel difficult or impossible (particularly in remote areas)
  • landslides are common

If you’re travelling outside Tbilisi, particularly in remote areas, make sure your vehicle is equipped and check weather conditions locally.

Rail travel

Take usual precautions with your personal safety and belongings. Compartments on sleeper trains usually have locks.

There is currently no train service between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Extreme weather and natural disasters

There are frequent small earthquakes in Georgia. The most recent significant earthquake took place in 2022 – an earthquake measuring 6.2 struck 104km south-west of Tbilisi. Read the US Federal Emergency Management Agency advice on what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Lightning and wildfires are a risk in summer, particularly in the mountains.

This section has safety advice for regions of Georgia. It only covers regions where FCDO has specific advice.

You should also read FCDO’s overall travel advice and safety and security advice.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia

For security reasons, FCDO advises against all travel to the breakaway regions of:

  • South Ossetia
  • Abkhazia

FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to:

  • areas immediately next to the administrative boundary lines with South Ossetia
  • areas immediately next to the administrative boundary lines with Abkhazia

The administrative boundary lines with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are generally unmarked and away from roads. Take care not to cross the lines – you could be arrested by the region’s self-declared authorities.

The Georgia and UK governments do not recognise the unilateral declarations of independence by the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Following international law, the Georgian government claims the right to exercise sovereignty in these territories. The UK government, along with almost all other states, recognises Georgia’s right to do this.

Consular support is not available in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Buying property in South Ossetia and Abkhazia

Ownership of many properties in these regions is disputed. There are thousands of claims to property ownership from people displaced by conflicts following the collapse of the USSR.

Buying these properties could have serious financial and legal implications, including legal proceedings in Georgia’s courts and enforcement of court judgements elsewhere in Europe. If territorial disputes are settled, this could have consequences. For example, property may need to be returned to its original owners (property restitution).

Travel to and from Russia

It is illegal under Georgian law to enter Georgia from Russia through South Ossetia or Abkhazia. If you do this, you could get heavy fines or a prison sentence of up to 4 years. If your passport has entry or exit stamps from the self-declared authorities in these regions, Georgian authorities may see this as illegal entry through an unrecognised border crossing.

If you’re considering travelling to Russia through the land borders with Russia, check FCDO’s Russia travel advice. FCDO advises against all travel to Russia.

Unexploded weapons in border and boundary areas

There is some risk from unexploded weapons:

  • along the administrative boundary lines with South Ossetia and Abkhazia
  • near the border with Azerbaijan (Red Bridge area in particular)

Areas where there might be unexploded weapons are not always marked. Go with a local guide or tour group if visiting these areas.

Border with Azerbaijan

The land border with Azerbaijan has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you visit the Udabno caves at the Davit Gareja monastery site, take care not to cross the Georgia-Azerbaijan border. It is unmarked in this area and disputed. There are border guides in the area – seek their advice if you’re unsure.

Before you travel check that:

  • your destination can provide the healthcare you may need
  • you have appropriate travel insurance for local treatment or unexpected medical evacuation

This is particularly important if you have a health condition or are pregnant.

Emergency medical number

Dial 112 and ask for an ambulance.

Contact your insurance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Vaccinations and health risks

At least 8 weeks before your trip check:

Altitude sickness is a risk in parts of Georgia, including Gudauri ski resort, Mount Kazbegi, and Mount Tetnuldi. Read more about altitude sickness on TravelHealthPro.

Health risks include:

  • rabies – treatment is available in Tbilisi and major towns. If you’re bitten or scratched by a dog, get medical attention immediately.
  • venomous snakes (vipers), particularly in early summer – few medical facilities outside major towns have anti-venom
  • varying water quality – bottled water is widely available


The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries.

Read best practice when travelling with medicines on TravelHealthPro.

The NHS has information on whether you can take your medicine abroad.

For more information on travelling with medicines to Georgia, see Entry requirements. For information on the legal status of a specific medicine, contact the Georgian Embassy in the UK.

Healthcare facilities in Georgia

The UK does not have a reciprocal healthcare agreement with Georgia. You (or your travel insurer) will need to pay for all treatment as it’s provided.

Medical facilities in Tbilisi are available but can be expensive. Outside Tbilisi, medical facilities are limited.

FCDO has a list of English-speaking doctors in Georgia.

There is also guidance on healthcare if you’re living in Georgia.

Travel and mental health

Read FCDO guidance on travel and mental health. There is also mental health guidance on TravelHealthPro.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Georgia

Telephone: 112 (ambulance, fire, police)

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

For refunds or changes to travel, contact your travel provider. You may also be able to make a claim through insurance. However, insurers usually require you to talk to your travel provider first.

Find out more about changing or cancelling travel plans, including:

  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
  • how to access previous versions of travel advice to support a claim##

Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online.

Help abroad in an emergency

If you’re in Georgia and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy Tbilisi.

FCDO in London

You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

Find out about call charges

Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.