From classic panoramas of the Old Town to alternative perspectives on the sprawling outer ‘burbs, here’s where to find the best views in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Georgia’s capital is one of those cities that just begs to be photographed. If Tbilisi were a woman she’d be the opposite of camera shy – she’d always be striking a pose in her typical nonchalant way, ever ready for her close up.

The mix of old and new architecture gives inner Tbilisi an unusual skyline that’s instantly recognisable from almost any perspective. Venture to Tbilisi’s outer districts and you’ll discover a totally different panorama of Socialist-style housing blocks and urban lakes.

Tbilisi sits in a valley, and there’s no shortage of cable cars, funiculars and walking tracks to whisk you up into the hills for a view. After you’ve admired the city from street level, wandering the best walking streets and seeking out architectural gems, the next best thing to do in Tbilisi is head up up up for an epic panorama – no drone required!

A woman stands atop a rocky outcrop in the hills above Tbilisi.
On top of the world at Tbilisi’s Turtle Lake Viewpoint (January).

On my many visits to Georgia and year-and-a-bit living in Tbilisi, I’ve seen the capital from just about every angle. This list brings together no fewer than 17 of my favourite Tbilisi viewpoints for magical vistas and excellent photo opportunities.

These photographs were taken throughout the year, so as an extra perk, you get to see what Tbilisi looks like in all four seasons – including in her spring glory and under a blanket of snow in winter. You’ll find the month each photo was taken (in parentheses) in the caption.

Note: Some of these viewpoints require an uphill climb while others can be reached by road or cable car/funicular. Not all are accessible or suitable for people with mobility issues. I’ve tried to include as much detail as possible so you know what to expect.


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View of Tbilisi Old Town.
My favourite view of Tbilisi Old Town from Tabor Monastery (July).

Tabor Monastery (best views in Tbilisi Old Town)

When I was planning my first Georgia travel itinerary back in 2017, it was a photo of Tbilisi from this spot that made me fall head over heels in love. This is Tbilisi from her best angle – no doubt about it – so if you only have time to visit one viewpoint, make it this one.

Tabor Monastery is perched high on a rocky outcrop northwest of Narikala Fortress, directly above Abanotubani. You don’t have to go all the way up to the monastery – I actually prefer the view from the flat plateau about halfway up the hill (where this picture was taken). The area is under development so it will probably be covered with apartment buildings in a couple of years. For now, we still get to enjoy these beautiful views, a quick but steep walk up from the Old Town.

From here, you can see the fortress in clear view, with the colourful balconies of the Old Town stretched out below, the minaret of the Juma Mosque and the tops of the domed sulfur baths. In the middle distance, three of Tbilisi’s most distinctive modern landmarks – the Bridge of Peace, Rike Park Concert Hall and the Public Service Hall – are also visible.

One of my favourite ways to spend an evening in Tbilisi is by walking up to this viewpoint at dusk, going for a soak in the sulfur baths then eating dinner at my favourite Georgian restaurant in the Old Town, Shemomechama.

Best time to go: Late afternoon/sunset.

How to get there: Starting from Maspindzelo restaurant on the riverside, take Firdousi Street all the way up the hill. When you come to the dead end, follow the hand-painted signs towards the monastery, up the stairs and around to the right (it looks like someone’s backyard, but it’s abandoned). There are always people around so if in doubt, ask a local to point you the right way.

Important note: I often see syringes scattered around this area so please wear enclosed shoes and watch your step.

View of Tbilisi city at dusk from Mtatsminda.
Sunset in Tbilisi from Mtatsminda Park (September).

Mtatsminda View Point (best Tbilisi sunset view)

Mtatsminda (‘Holy Mountain’) is the highest point in Tbilisi so it’s naturally a great place for panoramic views. The large terrace in front of Restaurant Funicular is a giant balcony over the city and the ideal place for photos.

I love coming up here at sunset, when the sky is painted pink and purple and the river shimmers in the final light of the day. Take a walk around the amusement park then grab a Ponchiki donut from the downstairs part of Restaurant Funicular – you also get nice views from the terrace.

To get that bit higher, fork out a couple of GEL to ride the Ferris wheel (I recommend you take a few shots of Chacha in preparation). The cabin windows are too thick and cloudy for photos, but it’s a thrilling ride!

Best time to go: Sunset.

How to get there: Take the Funicular from Vilnius Square or hike up on the Tbilisi TV Tower trail (see here for detailed directions) or via Mtatsminda Pantheon. If you don’t have time to go all the way up, there are nice views from the Pantheon yard.

View of downtown Tbilisi, with Sameba Cathedral standing prominently above the Kura River.
View of Tbilisi city from Narikala Fortress (October).

Narikala Fortress

Most people end up at Narikala Fortress either as part of a walking tour or when wandering around the Old Town. Tbilisi’s iconic hilltop castle is mostly in ruins, but it affords lovely views over the emerald-green Kura river and Metekhi.

Clamber up onto the fortress walls (just watch your footing – there are no guard rails here!) for views of the Old Town. I love this perspective because you can clearly see how the river slices through the city and creates that monumental gorge.

Then walk along the path behind the fortress towards Mother of Georgia and the entrance to the Botanical Gardens for views of Tbilisi TV Tower and Mtatsminda.

Tbilisi TV Tower.
Tbilisi TV Tower from the path behind Narikala Fortress (October).

There is a cable car to Narikala, but the thick windows obscure the view on the way up so I prefer to walk (see here for detailed directions and my visitor’s guide). The path from Sololaki has amazing views all the way up – you’ll find it featured later on this list.

Best time to go: Afternoon.

How to get there: Take the cable car from Rike Park (2 GEL) or walk up from Sololaki.

Old architecture in Tbilisi viewed from Metekhi church.
View from Metekhi Church (March).

Metekhi St. Virgin Church

When you’re up at the fortress, you’ll notice a little slate-topped church with a large paved yard overlooking the river and an equestrian statue out front. This is Metekhi St. Virgin Church, and it’s the ideal spot for close-up views of Tbilisi’s Old Town architecture.

Head into the church yard and stand under the Statue of King Vakhtang Gorgasali to peer squarely at some of Tbilisi’s loveliest balconies on the opposite bank. The turquoise dome of St. George’s Armenian Cathedral dominates the scene. All around, houses cascade down the hillside with Narikala Fortress keeping a watchful eye from above and Mother of Georgia in profile in the distance.

Best time to go: Late afternoon (the church gates close at 6pm or 8pm depending on the season).

How to get there: 10-minute walk from the sulfur baths via Metekhi Bridge.

Tbilisi viewed from a hilltop cafe.
View from 144 Stairs Cafe (July).

Cafes on Gomi Turn

This view is similar to the outlook from Narikala Fortress but instead of awkwardly climbing over the castle walls, you get to soak it up in style with a glass of Georgian wine in hand. You will probably break a sweat getting up here though, especially in summer!

There are several cafes and bars in the highest part of the Old Town, just shy of the fortress walls, that offer outdoor terrace seating. My favourites are along Gomi Turns I & II: 144 Stairs (where this photo was taken) and Amodi. As you walk up the steep streets to reach the cafes, pause to look up and see if you can spot the cable car running between the restored balconies.

A view of Tbilisi with a large church framed by a balcony.
View of Sameba from Betlemi Street (February).

I also love this view from Betlemi Street of the gold-domed Sameba Cathedral perfectly framed by a restaurant balcony.

Best time to go: Any time (most cafes open at 11am).

How to get there: 5-minute steep uphill walk from the Meidan Bazaar.

Tbilisi's Abanotubani sulfur baths.
View of Abanotubani & Tbilisi Mosque (July).

Abanotubani

Though not exactly a ‘viewpoint’, there are plenty of places on street level around Abanotubani where you can photograph the famous Tbilisi sulfur baths. I can never walk through this area without pulling my camera out.

The tiled facade of the Chreli-Abano bathhouse is the real star here, and from the right angle, you get a picture-perfect view of the colourful houses above plus the mosque’s minaret.

With the rooftop access point near Gulo’s Spa now cordoned off for construction work, you’ll have to find an alternative spot to stand if you want a photo with the domed roofs. This closely cropped frame was taken from the marked walkway. This area gets very glary in the afternoon and shadowy at dusk so I recommend going early in the morning.

Best time to go: Before midday.

How to get there: 2-minute walk from the Meidan Bazaar.

Old balconied houses in Tbilisi atop a cliff.
Looking up from the foot of the waterfall (March).

Leghvtakhevi Waterfall

Again, this isn’t an official viewpoint – and it requires casting your eyes skyward instead of down – but I just love peering up at the balconies and galleries that hang over the cliff face around Tbilisi’s urban waterfall. The iron stairway is a public thoroughfare so you can go up and around to get back to Betlemi Street.

The waterfall feeds the stream that runs under the sulfur baths. A second, much taller waterfall can be found inside the Botanical Gardens.

Best time to go: Any time.

How to get there: 7-minute walk from the Meidan Bazaar.

Fall foliage in Tbilisi.
Fall foliage on Tbilisi riverside (November).

Left Bank

There are wide sidewalks on both sides of the Kura river that runs through the heart of Tbilisi. This is a lovely spot for a stroll, especially in fall when the trees that line the riverside turn fiery amber.

I particularly enjoy walking on the Left Bank. From this side of the river, you get an excellent view of the Public Service Hall (AKA the Mushroom Building) across the water and of the various bridges that link Tbilisi’s two halves.

This photo shows the arched Saarbrucken Bridge with Sameba Cathedral in the background.

Best time to go: Any time.

How to get there: Start from Marjanishvili and walk all the way down to Rike Park.

Soviet-style buildings in Tbilisi's Saburtalo district.
Saburtalo (April).

Saburtalo/Nutsubidze Plateau

For an up-close look at Tbilisi’s finest Soviet-era architecture, head to Saburtalo district in the city’s north-west. Nutsubidze Plateau is home to a number of Socialist apartment blocks including the iconic ‘Tbilisi Sky Bridge’, three 9-storey and 16-storey housing buildings linked together with iron bridges.

Designed in the 1970s by architects Otar Kalandarishvili and Guizo Potskhishvili, the building itself is fun to photograph, while the view of Saburtalo district from the top is mesmerising. While you’re in the area, grab dinner at Amra, one of my favourite restaurants in the city.

If you’re into concrete and ‘ugly’ architecture, you’ll find Saburtalo is full of great vantage points. This view is from the window of a friend’s apartment on Panaskerteli-Tsitsishvili Street.

Best time to go: Any time.

How to get there: Take the metro to State University Station and continue on foot from there.

Apartment buildings in Tbilisi viewed from the Chronicles of Georgia monument.
View of Didi Dighomi from the Chronicles of Georgia (March).

Chronicles of Georgia

The far-northern districts of Tbilisi and the residential area known as Dighomi Massive is another Soviet-era throwback. Here, the sea of mammoth housing blocks appears to reach almost all the way out to the foothills of the mountains.

This is not your classic view of Tbilisi, but it’s beautiful in its own way. It gives you a feel for the scale of the city and a hint at the philosophy that fuelled urban planning in Soviet times.

For a perfect panorama, head to the Chronicles of Georgia, a large-scale monument perched on a hill on the outskirts of the city. From the western side, you also get a nice view of Tbilisi Sea.

Best time to go: Morning.

How to get there: Take bus 60 from outside the Guramishvili Metro Station then walk up the hill to the monument.

Tbilisi in the snow.
Snowy Tbilisi from the Betelmi Street Stairs (February).

Betlemi Street Stairs & Rise

Back in the Old Town, this viewpoint is lesser-known and a bit trickier to find but absolutely worth the hunt (and the uphill climb it requires). Starting from Asatiani Street in Sololaki, find the Betlemi Street Stairs – an uphill thoroughfare that leads you into the rooftops.

After a short climb you’ll reach Betlemi Rise, a large garden terrace with benches and vine-covered trellises. This is a public area where anyone is welcome to sit with a picnic lunch (save some scraps for the resident kitties). The views towards Avlabari are wonderful.

Because of the way Tbilisi undulates over low hills, the top of the St. George monument in Freedom Square appears level with the rooftops from here.

After admiring the view from the terrace you can continue up the stairs behind the church all the way to Kartlis Deda (Mother of Georgia). The path is a bit rough but the views along the way are gorgeous, especially when the top of Lower Betlemi Church comes into view.

Best time to go: Any time

How to get there: The stairs start at the end of Betlemi Rise, off Asatiani Street in Sololaki.

Wine Rise, a beautiful street in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Mother of Georgia from Wine Rise (October).

Wine Rise

This steep cobbled street links Europe Square at the top of Rike Park with Avlabari district. I love the name (fancy putting that address on your mail!) and there are some lovely facades along the way. The first part takes you directly underneath the blue balcony of Queen Darejan’s Palace.

In summer and fall, the view from the top of Wine Rise is partially obscured by leafy trees, but that only adds to the charm. You can just see Mother of Georgia peeking out over her domain, framed by enclosed balconies.

Best time to go: Afternoon.

How to get there: Follow the street uphill from Europe Square at the end of Metekhi Bridge.

Best view of the Bridge of Peace and Rike Park from Baratashvili Rise in Tbilisi.
Bridge of Peace & Rike Park from Baratashvili Rise (April).

Baratashvili Rise

The high street that runs along the top of Rike Park is a great spot for aerial views of the park and the Bridge of Peace. Grab an outdoor table at Cafe Flowers for a coffee with a view, or make your way to the public ‘terrace’ next door.

There is a steep stone staircase down to Rike Park just after the cafe, or you can follow the sloping street all the way to the bottom. As you walk down, you get an interesting view of the Bridge of Peace and one side of the tubular Rike Park Concert Hall.

Once you reach the bottom of the street, cross over Baratashvili Bridge to enter the Old Town. Walk on the left-hand side because at the halfway point, you get a perfect front-on view of the Bridge of Peace upriver.

When you get to the end, use the underground pedestrian passage – cars whizz down the slip lane and it can be quite dangerous to try and cross.

Best time to go: Afternoon.

How to get there: 7-minute walk from the Median Bazaar via Metekhi Bridge and Wine Rise.

Europe Square viewed from Queen Darejan's Palace.
View of Europe Square from Queen Darejan’s Palace (October).

Queen Darejan’s Palace

Built in 1776 for the wife of King Erekle II, this must be one of the least-visited historical monuments in central Tbilisi. Most people spot the palace from the Old Town-side of the river but neglect to walk over the bridge for a closer look. It’s a short stroll from Wine Rise so if you’ve already done the legwork to get up the hill, it’s well worth popping in.

The most distinctive part of the palace, the round blue balcony that hangs over the cliff face, is located on the grounds of a working convent. The main nunnery, chapel and little churchyard are also very pretty.

The resident nuns welcome visitors to walk out onto the balcony for a view of Old Tbilisi framed by the carved pillars. Just don’t linger too long, and please be respectful (no running or shouting, and it’s a good idea to wear clothes that cover your shoulders and knees).

Best time to go: Afternoon (the convent gates close at 6pm). Another great time to go is Sunday mornings at around 10.30am when mass is on – you can listen to the nuns singing through speakers in the church yard.

How to get there: 10-minute walk from the Median Bazaar via Europe Square and Wine Rise.

Tbilisi's Sameba Cathedral.
Sameba Cathedral (January).

Sameba Cathedral

No doubt the glimmering dome of Tbilisi Sameba (Holy Trinity Cathedral), Georgia’s tallest church, has probably found its way into most of your photos of Tbilisi by now. The church’s elevated location above Avlabari makes it a good viewpoint and photo spot in its own right.

Climb up the main stairs to look back over the church yard, the lofty gates and low-lying Avlabari beyond. But my favourite ‘view’ is gazing up at the church itself, which succeeds in its objective to make you feel small.

It’s very glary here before midday so it’s best to come later in the day for better light.

Best time to go: Late afternoon/evening.

How to get there: 20-minute uphill walk from Queen Darejan’s Palace.

Tbilisi city viewed from the grounds of the Botanical Gardens.
View of Tbilisi from the Botanical Gardens (February).

Botanical Gardens

Though not as impressive as the gardens in Batumi, Tbilisi’s Botanical Garden offers inner-city hiking tracks, a bike path and a towering waterfall. From the upper part of the gardens you can view Mother of Georgia from the back.

Head to the small Japanese Garden for great views of the Narikala Fortress watch towers that you can’t see when you’re inside the main part of the castle.

This is the only Tbilisi viewpoint that requires a ticket. Entrance to the National Botanical Garden costs 4 GEL.

Best time to go: Opening hours are from 9am-6.30pm.

How to get there: 10-minute walk from the top of Narikala Fortress.

Turtle Lake in Tbilisi.
Turtle Lake (January).

Turtle Lake Viewpoint

If you’re keen on experiencing an urban hike in Tbilisi you’ll want to head for the hills around Turtle Lake. The Turtle Lake Viewpoint is a marked lookout above the lake’s edge, accessed via a short marked walking trail.

Vistas of the lake itself and the craggy part of Tbilisi city (pictured at the very top of the post) are lovely, especially in the early morning when it’s a bit hazy. You can spot the stone Svan Tower and the Open Air Museum of Ethnography from up here too.

From the lookout, you can continue hiking along the ridge all the way to Mtatsminda.

Best time to go: Early morning or late afternoon.

How to get there: Take the cable car to Turtle Lake from Vake Park or walk up from Turtle Lake. There is an alternative access point at the back of St. George Church on Maradba Street.

Tbilisi city, viewed from the road to Lisi Lake, with the Tbilisi TV tower on a hill above.
View of Saburtalo from the road up to Lisi Lake (July).

Beritashvili Street

Beritashvili Street zig-zags its way up another of Tbilisi’s many hills to another of Tbilisi’s urban lakes, Lisi Lake. I’ve only ever done this trip by bus, but it’s possible to go by foot. The unmarked viewpoints along the way reveal a sea of housing blocks in the Vake and Saburtalo districts.

There are lots of new developments in this area which makes getting a photo between construction sites a bit tricky. Once you get to the top, I recommend visiting the thermal baths on the lake’s edge.

Best time to go: Evening.

How to get there: Take bus 29 or 89 from one of the streets behind Medical University (use Google Maps to locate the stops).


More Tbilisi posts you’ll love

For even more inspiration and resources, check out my new Georgia Travel Guide and my Georgia itinerary.

Georgia essentials

Here are some of the websites and services I use when I’m planning a trip to Georgia and the Caucasus. Remember to check out my full list of travel resources for more tips.

– Find affordable flights to Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi on Kiwi.com, a booking site that mixes and matches airlines to find the best route (there’s a money back guarantee if you miss a connection).

– Use iVisa to check if you need a tourist visa for Georgia and apply for an expedited visa online.

– Pre-book a private transfer from Tbilisi Airport to your hotel or from Kutaisi Airport to Tbilisi with my preferred partners at Friendly.ge.

– Get a great deal on a rental car in Georgia by using MyRentACar to find a local agent.

– Buy your tickets for the Tbilisi to Baku or Yerevan sleeper train online in advance through my partners at Geotrend (get a discount when you use the code in this post).

– Find the best Georgia hotel deals on Booking.com, book a Georgia hostel, or find a unique Airbnb.

– Find the best city tours and day excursions in Georgia.

– Compare mobile providers and pick up a local Georgian sim card.

– Order a copy of the new Lonely Planet Caucasus guidebook (published July 2020).

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