10 places to visit in Georgia in winter (& travel tips)

Have you ever thought about visiting Georgia in winter? 

Ski slopes without a soul on them. Wine bars and restaurants across the country throwing open their doors, welcoming travellers with their hearty cuisine. A hibernating Black Sea coastline brimming with the promise of Spring. The first rays of sunlight reach the hills around Tbilisi, not quite winter sunshine but definitely warmer than elsewhere on the continent. 

This is Georgia in winter, and while it might not be the first destination you think of for a cooler season break, I’m here to tell you it’s well, well worth your time. 

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What’s Georgia in winter like? 

There’s no denying that Georgia in winter is an entirely different experience to Georgia in summer

While, in summer, wine festivals pulsate in the city and hiking trails crisscross the mountains, in winter, ski slopes open their doors, cities have an abundance of all-season attractions and Georgian spas look all the more welcoming. 

The country certainly doesn’t sleep in winter – and lower prices, fewer crowds and a range of alternative attractions should attract any savvy traveller.

Weather in Georgia in winter

Georgia’s winter weather ranges wildly.

In Tbilisi, you’ll find mild temperatures – often warmer than other European capitals – thanks to its relatively southern location. The official temperatures are 0°C – 8°C in January, although it can be warmer (or colder).

The Black Sea area can see wet winter weather, but also warmer temperatures and blue skies. Expect weather of around 4°C – 11°C in January here.

Head to the mountains, however, and it’s a different story. Snowy, sub-zero weather prevails here. It was around 0°C when we were in Mestia in February, but in the weeks leading up to our trip temperatures dropped to around -15°C.

Places to visit in Georgia in winter

First up:  you can’t visit everywhere in Georgia in winter. 

Some of the most remote areas are completely cut off from Autumn to Spring due to heavy snowfall, but all of the main tourist destinations and those in the lower areas of the city are accessible. 

Here are the top places to visit in Georgia in winter (AND why you should add them to your list!). 

1. Tbilisi

Tbilisi is one of those cities with effervescent energy. It’s lively, no matter the time of year. 

Most of its attractions – from museum-hopping to soaking in the sulfur baths to hiking around its viewpoints – are accessible in the winter months, although sometimes it depends on on what exactly the weather’s like. 

On the last day of our recent winter trip to Tbilisi, it was gloriously sunny, the barometer hit 16°C, and we walked up in the hills (in early February!). 

However, it can also snow in the winter months – although this is rare. Other days when we were in Tbilisi, the weather ranged from around 2°C – 10°C.

Things to do in Tbilisi in winter

  • Explore the Old Town, which dates back to the 5th century, either by a guided tour or independently. 
  • Check out the Tbilisi leaning clock tower
  • Soak in the sulfur baths – perfect when the weather’s chilly outside! 
  • Go museum-hopping – the Museum of Georgia, Museum of Tbilisi and Tbilisi Wine Museum are all worth a visit. 
  • Shop at the Dry Bridge Market
  • Go wine tasting at one of the many wine bars
  • Eat! Tbilisi’s restaurants are all open in the winter and they serve some of the most underrated food in the world.

Where to stay in Tbilisi

I’ve stayed in a few Tbilisi hotels on my trips to the city, but the best by far has to be the five-star Raddison Blu Iveria Hotel. With an incredible infinity pool overlooking the city and huge rooms (way bigger than normal Raddison Blu rooms!), it’s a luxe experience like no other. Click here to read more.

For a slightly cheaper alternative, Moxy Tbilisi is part of the funky Moxy by Marriott Brand, with a busy bar and quirky interior. Click here to read more.

Or, if you’re into boutique hotels, the Georgian-owned brand Rooms has a hotel in Tbilisi. I’ve not stayed here, but I’ve heard good things. Click here for more information.

2. Batumi

“Batumi’s a four-season destination” we were told by the Adjara tourism board on our first day in the city. 

The Las Vegas of the Black Sea is renowned for its casinos, but there’s much more on offer than meets the eye. 

The city’s boasts futuristic architecture – jazzy skyscrapers soaring into the sky. It’s also a popular spot for gastronomy – the famous adjaruli kachapuri hails from here – and viticulture. 

The area’s brimming with thousands of years of history, which you can explore through its museums and sites. 

And, while the seawater might be cold, the weather’s prime for brisk Black Sea walks – or turn around, and you’ll see Adjara’s snow-capped mountains. There’s even skiing in Goderdzi a couple of hours away. 

Things to do in Batumi in winter

Where to stay in Batumi

There’s nowhere better than Rooms Hotels Batumi. This boutique hotel has quirky and contemporary interiors, with an excellent on-site restaurant. Plus, it’s only steps from the coastline. Click here to read more.

3. Tskaltubo

Fancy somewhere utterly unique? Tskaltubo’s a spa town like no other!

This town, situated near Kutaisi (Georgia’s second city) is renowned for its spas. But we’re not talking saunas and steam rooms here – instead, you’ll choose from a menu of Soviet-era therapies, including vacuums and electric shocks!

Tskaltubo was the biggest spa town in the USSR in Soviet times, but these days, it’s a shadow of its former self.

Abandoned spas and hotels are dotted around the city – some of these have actually been the home of refugees from Abkhazia, a region of Georgia that’s been occupied by Russia for the last 30 years (more on that here).

Nowadays, the spa scene in Tskaltubo is reviving, and while it’s got a long way to go to become as renowned as the UK’s Bath or Hungary’s Budapest, it’s a fascinating place where you can see old and new traditions merge!

Things to do in Tskaltubo in winter

  • Explore the unique spa treatments such as mineral water baths and radon treatments in a Soviet-era sanatorium setting. You’ll be prescribed your treatments by a doctor and it’ll be completely different to any other spas you’ve ever been to! Only two spas in Tskaltubo are still functioning; I’d recommend heading to Bathhouse Number Six for treatments.
  • Visit the Prometheus Cave near Tskaltubo; a cave with stalactites, stalagmites, and underground rivers.
  • Discover the abandoned sanatoriums; we saw them on a day tour with Budget Georgia or check out Emily Lush’s fantastic guide to Tskaltubo for a self-guided tour.
  • Walk around the relaxed Tskaltubo Mineral Water Park.

Where to stay in Tskaltubo

Legends Resort is very dated, but historically, it’s fascinating. Apparently, Stalin used to stay here! It has vast grounds and looks out over the Mineral Water Park. There is a spa, although its opening hours are limited, and I wasn’t the biggest fan of breakfast. However, there aren’t that many options in Tskaltubo! Read more here.

4. Kutaisi

Kutaisi, often heralded as the heart of Georgia and its second city, welcomes visitors with open arms throughout the year.

Renowned for its historical significance and natural beauty, Kutaisi is steeped in legend and lore.

Here, you’ll find the ancient Bagrati Cathedral and the enigmatic Gelati Monastery; it’s commonly known as the “city of churches” thanks to its abundance of religious buildings.

Of course, this is Georgia, so you can bet there are some excellent restaurants! Imeretian cuisine is typically veg-friendly (my favourite starter, pkhali, comes from the region!) and uses fresh ingredients. The Imeretian wine region is the second largest in the country, too.

Then there’s the museums, culture and architecture that all come from the second city of Georgia!

Things to do in Kutaisi in winter

  • Marvel at the architecture of the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery.
  • Savour the local flavours at Kutaisi’s traditional markets and restaurants.
  • Immerse yourself in history at the State Historical Museum.
  • Enjoy an evening of culture at the Kutaisi Opera House.
  • Explore the natural beauty surrounding the city, from riverside walks to national park excursions.

5. Gudauri

Georgia might be a lesser-known ski destination, but it’s slowly becoming a more-known secret amongst snowsports fans across Europe. 

However, the slopes of Gudari, Georgia’s largest resort, are still quiet and welcoming to skiers of all levels. 

There’s a network of slopes for the daytime, and plenty of apres ski at night!

Things to do in Gudauri in winter

  • Hit the slopes at one of Georgia’s best ski resorts, offering runs for all skill levels and breathtaking mountain views.
  • Experience heli-skiing.
  • Relax in mountain-side spas like Tsar Bani Spa Resort after a day in the cold.
  • Enjoy the buzzing après-ski scene – Gudauri comes alive after the sun goes down!

Where to stay in Gudauri

You don’t need to carry your skis when you stay at Gudauri Lodge, which boasts ski-in, ski-out accommodation! You’ll also find luxury rooms, a glorious hot tub overlooking the mountains and a restaurant with an extensive menu. Click here to read more.

6. Signaghi

Signaghi, affectionately known as the “City of Love” in Georgia, is ever-popular in the summer – but int he winter, you might just have these streets all to yourself!

Located on a hilltop with stunning views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains, Signaghi’s cobblestone streets and quaint houses are even more enchanting with a dusting of snow – while the white stuff’s never guaranteed, it snows more here than in Tbilisi.

Despite the chill, Signaghi’s heartwarming hospitality remains undimmed.

Cosy wine cellars invite you to taste the local vintages, which are an integral part of Georgia’s winemaking heritage.

Signaghi is in the heart of the Kakheti wine region, and winter is an ideal time to delve into this aspect of its culture without the crowds of the peak seasons.

Then there are city walls and museums to explore – it’s the perfect day trip from Tbilisi!

Eat This! Tours offer winter wine tours to the Kakheti region, including a stop in Signagi – check them out here.

Things to do in Signaghi in winter

  • Wander the snow-laden streets of the town.
  • Explore the Signaghi City Walls for panoramic views of the snow-capped Caucasus.
  • Delve into Georgia’s winemaking tradition with cellar tours and tastings.
  • Visit the Signaghi Museum to explore Georgian art and history.

7. Kazbegi

Kazbegi assumes a surreal beauty in winter. This region, also known as Stepantsminda, is renowned for its dramatic mountain scenery, epitomized by the iconic Mount Kazbek looming majestically over the town.

Thanks to its high-altitude location, Kazbegi is blanketed in snow throughout much of the winter months. The town is close to Gudauri for skiing, although some winter sports opportunities are avaliable from the town itself.

One of Kazbegi’s most revered sights is the Gergeti Trinity Church, situated high above the town against the backdrop of the towering Caucasus. It’s harder to get here in the winter, thanks to the snow, but it looks even more stunning!

Though the temperatures may be chilly, the warmth of Georgian hospitality is ever-present in Kazbegi!

Things to do in Kazbegi in winter

  • Go snowshoeing in the surrounding mountains.
  • Visit the Gergeti Trinity Church, an iconic symbol of Georgia.
  • Warm up at Rooms Hotel, which has a glorious balcony looking over the mountains.
  • Stop on the way at places like the Ananuri Fortress and Russian-Georgian Friendship Monument.

Where to stay in Kazbegi

There’s nowhere better than Rooms Hotels Kazbegi. I’ve only been here for a drink, but the hotel is gorgeous and the pictures of the inside look incredible. Click here to see what I mean!

8. Svaneti

A woman in a knit hat enjoys a drink while relaxing in an outdoor wooden hot tub amid a snowy pine forest.

The region of Svaneti is a winter paradise, there’s no doubt about it.

The streets of Mestia and Ushguli are covered in snow for six months out of the year, the ski slopes are all but abandoned and Papas Qel Sauna is particularly magical in colder weather.

Plus, despite the heavy snow, life goes on as normal in Svaneti and the museums and cultural activities are still accessible (due to the region’s isolation from the rest of Georgia, it has a unique culture, customs and language). 

However, after our trip to Svaneti in the winter, I do have to put a disclaimer about the weather. We were unlucky on the Mestia to Jvari mountain road and experienced the worst snowstorm in 20 years, and ended up caught in avalanches!

It’s not usually that bad, but from my experience, I’d strongly advise against travelling on this road in snowstorms or poor weather.

You can read more about my experience visiting Mestia in winter in this post.

Things to do in Svaneti in winter

  • Venture to the Hatsvali Ski Resort, offers fantastic skiing with fewer crowds than other Georgian resorts.
  • Explore ancient Svan towers and villages blanketed in snow, providing a glimpse into the region’s rich history and traditions.
  • Visit the Svaneti Museum of History and Ethnography in Mestia to learn about the unique cultural heritage of this remote region.
  • Relax in Papa’s Qel Sauna (close to Hatsvali).
  • Take a culinary masterclass at Lali’s Guesthouse in Latali.

Where to stay in Svaneti

Mestia is the largest town in the region, and we stayed at Hotel Paliani.

It was friendly, with comfortable rooms and helpful staff, although didn’t have the spa facilities that Hotel Posta in town had. Click here to read more about Hotel Paliani and here to read more about Hotel Posta.

9. Uplistsikhe

Uplistsikhe is an easy day trip from Tbilisi. This ancient city carved from rock dates back more than 3,000 years!

Uplistsikhe is a sprawling complex of caves, tunnels and halls, telling tales of a time when it stood as a bustling hub on the Silk Road.

Dive deep into history as you wander through more than 700 caves.

From grand halls that once echoed with royal gatherings to intimate pagan temples hidden within the earth, every corner of Uplistsikhe holds a story.

As you explore, you’ll notice a fascinating blend of Pagan and Christian symbols which shows how the city adapted over time.

The highlight? The 10th century church, standing proud at the complex’s highest point, with views that stretch on for miles.

The easiest way to see Uplistsikhe is on a guided tour from Tbilisi, which will also go to Mtskheta and Gori (Stalin’s home town). Click here to see a highly-rated tour.

10. Mtskheta

A short drive from Tbilisi, you’ll find Mtskheta, which is known as the “Jerusalem of Georgia”.

Situated at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers, Mtskheta is a living museum.

As you wander through this UNESCO World Heritage site, you’ll be surrounded by stunning examples of early Christian architecture.

The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral stands tall, a beacon of Georgian faith, where legend has it the Christ’s robe is buried!

Then there’s the Jvari Monastery, which is perched on a hilltop and boasts panoramic views of Mtskheta below.

Things to do in Mtskheta in winter

  • Visit Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
  • Tour Jvari Monastery
  • Wander the charming streets of Mtskheta’s Old Town.
  • Visit the local Mtskheta Museum to learn more about the region’s history and cultural significance, an ideal indoor activity for colder days.

The easiest way to see Mtskheta is on a guided tour from Tbilisi, which will also go to Uplistsikhe and Gori (Stalin’s home town). Click here to see a highly-rated tour.

What to pack for Georgia in winter

A smiling woman in winter clothing with a picturesque backdrop of snow-covered mountains in Mestia, Georgia.

Your Georgia winter packing list largely depends on where you’re going!

If you’re sticking to Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and surrounding areas I’d recommend the following (along with all your usual clothes and personal items):

  • a few pairs of long pants/ trousers
  • waterproof jacket
  • 2-3 jumpers for layering
  • comfortable shoes
  • hat, scarf and gloves for cooler days

Basically, anything that you’d pack for say, Paris or London in winter.

If you’re venturing into the mountains, you’ll need a bit more gear.

I’d recommend packing the following (along with your usual clothes and personal items):

  • Waterproof trousers and jacket. A ski jacket and salopettes is probably your best bet.
  • Thermal leggings and tops
  • Warm jumpers
  • Thick socks
  • Shoes with good grip
  • Waterproof gloves and a thermal hat
  • Battery pack (I’d recommend this anywhere, but in the cold, you might find your phone battery drains quicker)

Georgia in winter FAQs

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Georgia in the winter.

Is Georgia nice to visit in winter?

Yes! However, your experience in Georgia can vary wildly.

Places like Tbilisi and Batumi are mild, whereas Signaghi, which is busy in the summer months, is much quieter.

In the mountains, you’ll be faced with plenty of snow!

What is the best time to go to Georgia?

It depends!

For warm weather and vibrant festivals, aim for late spring or early summer.

However, for a calmer trip with fewer tourists and snowsports in the mountains, choose winter!

Is Tbilisi worth visiting in January?

Absolutley! I visited Tbilisi in January and loved the crisp winter weather and lack of crowds. I warmed up in the sulfur baths, too!

Does it snow a lot in Georgia?

It does in the mountains! Svaneti, in particular, sees up to six months of snow per year.

However, it snows much less in Tbilisi and Batumi.

Is Tbilisi worth visiting in winter?

Absolutely! Tbilisi retains its charm in winter and it’s a more relaxed time to visit.

How cold is winter in Georgia?

Winter in Georgia sees temperatures that can range broadly, depending on the area.

Tbilisi and other lowland regions generally experience mild winters, while mountainous areas brace for colder conditions, often spending months below freezing and being covered in snow.

So, are you ready to visit Georgia in winter?

There’s so much to love about Georgia in winter! Take a look at the rest of my Georgia posts for more inspiration and feel free to connect with me on Instagram if you have any questions about visiting the country.

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