An up-to-date guide for travelling from Kazbegi to Tbilisi by marshrutka van, shared taxi or private car. Includes schedules, prices, detailed instructions, and everything you need to know about travelling to Tbilisi from Kazbegi.

Visiting Kazbegi and Gergeti Trinity Church is a highlight of any Caucasus travel itinerary – as is the trip up to Kazbegi from Tbilisi via the magnificent Georgian Military Highway.

In my Tbilisi to Kazbegi transport guide, I cover how to travel up to the mountains from the capital. If you’re looking for info about the different options for getting back to Tbilisi, this guide will show you how to do the reverse route with a few important modifications.

I’ll also show you how to efficiently transit through Tbilisi to other destinations across Georgia.

Important note: When making your decision, remember that road safety is a real issue in Georgia. The Military Highway is considered one of the most dangerous roads in the country because of the constant stream of freight trucks, the fast-changing weather and the risk of avalanche/landslide. Personally I have had one too many hairy marshrtuka trips and now prefer to travel with a GoTrip car whenever possible.


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A mountainous landscape in Kazbegi, Georgia.

Kazbegi to Tbilisi distance

The distance between Kazbegi and Tbilisi is 154 kilometres (95.7 miles).

Kazbegi to Tbilisi travel time

It can take anywhere from 2-3 hours to travel from Kazbegi to Tbilisi by road depending on traffic and weather conditions. It always takes a little longer in winter. The journey down the mountain is faster than the trip up.

The fastest way to get back to Tbilisi from Kazbegi is by private vehicle (hire car or shared taxi). Travelling by marshrutka bus, it takes 2.5-3 hours on average to get down to Tbilisi.


How to travel from Kazbegi to Tbilisi

Here is an overview of the 4 different options for travelling from Kazbegi to Tbilisi. In the next section, I’ll go through each option in detail.

1. BEST OVERALL OPTION

GOTRIP TRANSFER

  • 24/7 on demand
  • 2.5-3 hours travel time (without stops)
  • From 180 GEL/car

2. AFFORDABLE OPTION

MARSHRUTKA MINIVAN

  • 11 daily departures
  • 2.5-3 hours travel time
  • 15 GEL/person

[Buy tickets at the station]

3. UPGRADED OPTION

SHARED TAXI

  • Morning departures
  • 2.5-3 hours travel time
  • From 40 GEL/person

[Buy tickets at the station]

4. SCENIC OPTION

TAXI + CABLE CAR + TAXI + MARSHRUTKA

  • ~ 4 vans to Tbilisi from Gudauri per day
  • ~ 4 hours total travel time
  • ~ 120 GEL/person

[Buy tickets at the station]

Note: The company Kazbegi Bus that previously ran tourist coach buses from Didube Station is not operating at present and have not been working for several years now. I will return to update this section if and when services resume.


Option 1: Kazbegi to Tbilisi by private car with GoTrip

A white car on a mountain road in Kazbegi, Georgia.
Our GoTrip car on the way to Kazbegi.

My preferred way to travel from Kazbegi to Tbilisi is with a private car and driver booked through GoTrip. You can travel straight back to Tbilisi or make a day of it and do some sightseeing along the way.

If you’re continuing your Georgia itinerary and you want to travel somewhere else on the same day, you can arrange to get picked up in Kazbegi in the morning and get dropped off anywhere in the country. You can even use GoTrip to book a multi-day transfer with the same driver.

GoTrip is a terrific service that matches professional English-speaking drivers with travellers for routes all around the country. It’s a door-to-door service, you can stop anywhere you want along the way for as long as you like, and all for flat fare that’s set before you travel and paid in cash to the driver. Prices are very fair, and you can save up to 40% compared to hiring a taxi in person.

Book a car from Kazbegi to Tbilisi with GoTrip here. For more information, read my review of GoTrip.


Option 2: Kazbegi to Tbilisi by marshrutka van

A silver van waiting at the bus station in Kazbegi Georgia to take passengers to Tbilisi.
Kazbegi Bus Station, with departure times and fares.

The cheapest way to travel to Tbilisi from Kazbegi is by marshrutka minivan. Every day, there are 11 vans everyday departing Kazbegi’s bus stop and terminating at Didube Station in Tbilisi. This is the most popular transport method for locals and tourists alike.

Vans generally take 2.5-3.5 hours to get to Tbilisi depending on traffic, road conditions and how many pick ups the driver makes on the way out (and honestly how fast the driver is speeding). You will find the trip down the mountain is faster than going up (thanks, gravity!).

Along the way, vans make one 10-minute rest stop in Sakuriani where there are bathrooms and snack stands.

Kazbegi to Tbilisi marshrutka schedule & ticket prices

Marshrutka vans to Tbilisi run on a set schedule that is signposted at the station. Vans run 7 days a week. The schedule for Kazbegi to Tbilisi is as follows: 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, and 6pm.

Important: Outside of summer there is less demand for this route, so departures might be less frequent. Sometimes the last few vans of the day get cut from the schedule if there are not enough people. If you’re travelling outside of June/July/August/September, your best bet is to take one of the morning vans. Note that on significant holidays such as Orthodox Easter Sunday, New Years Day and Orthodox Christmas Day, vans probably won’t be running.

I highly recommend you take one of the earlier vans and avoid being on the road at night. In winter, that means leaving Kazbegi by 3pm at the latest (this will get you to Tbilisi around dusk).

Marshrutka vans have limited space and only seat 15 or so people. Once they’re full, they leave – so there’s no use arriving at 9am on the dot and expecting to get a seat.

I recommend arriving 30-45 minutes before your intended departure time to make sure you get a seat. Otherwise, you can try reserving a seat through your accommodation in Kazbegi (see the next section for more details).

Tickets for the marshrutka from Kazbegi to Tbilisi cost 15 GEL per person, and are purchased directly from the driver either before you board or once you arrive in Tbilisi. Note that it’s cash only, and drivers always carry change.

A sign at the bus station in Kazbegi with the Kazbegi to Tbilisi bus times.
Marshrutka schedule for Kazbegi to Tbilisi. The fare has since increased to 15 GEL.

Finding the bus station in Kazbegi

Kazbegi’s bus station is an informal road stand located in the centre of town on the eastern side of the river (see the exact location here on Google Maps). You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the signboard mounted on the shelter roof.

There are some lovely Soviet-era bas reliefs on the station building.

Soviet-era sculptures on the bus station in Stepantsminda.
Soviet-era sculptures decorating the bus station in Kazbegi.

Vans wait at the front of the bus station. As soon as you arrive, someone will likely approach you and direct you to the van that’s due to depart next.

As you can see, there is a small snack stand and a currency exchange office next to the bus station. There is a larger grocery store called Market Ska 300m up the road.

If you need to withdraw cash for your bus tickets, there is a Liberty Bank ATM directly across the road from the market.

Can you reserve seats in advance?

The easiest way to reserve a seat for the Kazbegi to Tbilisi bus is by phoning ahead to the driver directly. (It’s not possible to go down and buy tickets a day in advance, for example.) Your guesthouse host may be able to phone ahead on your behalf. Locals usually call ahead to reserve their seats. Travelling on the morning vans particularly, you’ll make lots of stops on the way out of Kazbegi to collect people.

Generally speaking, there are enough departures throughout the day that you don’t need to worry about reserving a seat. Just arrive at the station nice and early and you shouldn’t have any problem.

Arriving in Tbilisi

When you get to Tbilisi, the marshrutka will terminate at Didube Bus Terminal in the northern part of the city (see the exact location here on Google Maps).

Depending on the location of your accommodation and how much luggage you’re carrying, you can either jump on the metro (the First Line runs through Didube Metro Station and stops at Liberty Square), or you can take a taxi.

If you have a Georgian sim card, I highly recommend ordering a car through Bolt rather than picking up a taxi at the station. Didube is chaotic so it’s a good idea to exit the bus area and choose a pick up spot just outside. A Bolt to Liberty Square costs around 10-12 GEL.

If you’re travelling onward and need to go to a different bus or train station, I’ve include more information about transiting to other cities in the next section.


Option 3: Kazbegi to Tbilisi by shared taxi

A car with a sign reading 'Tbilisi' on its dashboard.

An upgrade on the marshrutka, a shared taxi certainly doesn’t provide the same flexibility or comfort as GoTrip. It will get you back to the city quicker than a van, though, and it’s cheaper than a private car.

A seat in a shared sedan taxi from Kazbegi to Tbilisi costs approximately 40 GEL depending on the car and the driver. You have to wait until the car fills up, or pay for the empty seats yourself and depart without delay.

In addition, this is not typically a door-to-door service. A shared taxi will drop you at Didube Station in Tbilisi and not at your accommodation – although you may be able to negotiate a different drop off point for an extra fee.

Taxi drivers wait around Kazbegi Bus Station and in front of Stancia Hotel throughout the day. You can easily identify them by the plastic signs sitting on the dashboard (as with the car pictured above).


Option 4: Kazbegi to Tbilisi by taxi, cable car & marshrutka

The Kobi Gudauri cable car in winter.
If you have time, why not take the cable can from Kobi to Gudauri.

If you’re not in a rush and you want to make a day of the return trip, you can travel back to Tbilisi via Kobi and Gudauri. This involves riding the Kobi-Gudauri gondola, which is particularly pretty in the winter months.

First, take a taxi to the village of Kobi, located 17 km south (20 minutes’ drive) from Kazbegi. Prices range from 80-100 GEL depending on the time of year. Try to book using the Bolt app or ask your accommodation in Kazbegi to refer a reputable driver.

From Kobi, you can then ride the cable car (four gondola lines in total) to New Gudauri ski resort. The trip takes around 60 minutes and tickets cost 45 GEL per person. You are free to take luggage with you on the cable car.

From Gudauri, you can then either pick up a taxi or jump in a marshrutka bound for Tbilisi. Gudauri is more touristy (and more pricey) than Kazbegi, so expect to pay more for a taxi from here.

To avoid being overcharged, I recommend booking a car from Gudauri to Tbilisi through GoTrip (prices start from 160 GEL).

Alternatively, there are at least 3-4 scheduled marshrutka vans travelling from Gudauri to Tbilisi throughout the day, mainly during the morning. The drive takes around 2 hours. Double-check times and fares locally.

Sometimes marshrutka vans start from New Gudauri, in which case you can transfer directly to a van from the bottom gondola station. If there is no waiting van, you will need to make your way down to the Gudauri Bus Station (see the exact location here). The distance is around 3.5 kilometres and since it is not safe to walk on the highway, I recommend taking a taxi (expect to pay around 40 GEL).


How to get to Tbilisi Airport from Kazbegi

If you’re flying out and you want to travel directly to the airport from Kazbegi without stopping in the city first, the easiest option is to go by private car. Booked through GoTrip, a private transfer starts from 185 GEL per car.

Check prices for a Kazbegi airport transfer on GoTrip.


Transiting in Tbilisi to another destination in Georgia

GoTrip cars can take you directly from Kazbegi to anywhere in Georgia. But if you’re using vans/shared taxis and you want to travel elsewhere on the same day, you will have to transit through Tbilisi first.

Vans and taxis to Gori, Mtskheta, Kutaisi, Batumi and Zugdidi all depart from Didube Station – the same place where Kazbegi marshrutky terminate. In this case, you can simply transit through the same station.

If you plan on travelling to Kakheti in Eastern Georgia, you’ll need to make your way to Samgori bus station (for marshrutky) or Isani Metro Station (for taxis). For full details, here is my guide for getting from Tbilisi to Sighnaghi or Telavi.

I prefer to travel between Tbilisi and Batumi by train. To get to the railway station from Didube, you can either take the First Line metro 3 stops south to Station Square (1 GEL per person), or call a taxi (approximately 10 GEL when booked through Bolt).


Where to stay in Kazbegi

Budget: Family-run Red Stone Guesthouse is warm and spacious. An incredible home-cooked breakfast comes included in the rate.

Check prices and availability for Red Stone Guest House on Booking.com.

Mid-range: For something more upscale, Hotel Stancia in the centre of town near the bus stop is chic, modern, and still very affordable.

Try on-site restaurant for lunch or dinner – it serves some of the best Georgian food I’ve eaten anywhere in the country. Breakfast, however, is underwhelming and not worth the extra change in my opinion.

Check prices and availability for Hotel Stancia on Booking.com.

Luxury: For a truly memorable Georgian mountain experience, don’t look past Rooms Kazbegi. Housed in a converted sanatorium, this is one of the coolest boutique hotels in the whole country. The front deck commands incredible views of the mountains, there’s a great restaurant inside, and there’s a spa complete with outdoor hot tub.

Check prices and availability for Rooms Kazbegi on Booking.com.

Find more Kazbegi recommendations in my comprehensive accommodation guide.


What to do in Kazbegi


Where to stay in Tbilisi

Check out my guides to the best hostels in Tbilisi, top guesthouses, and best boutique hotels.


Tbilisi travel resources

If it’s your first time visiting Georgia’s capital city, here are my favourite things to do in Tbilisi, including the sulfur baths, the Dezerter Bazaar and the Dry Bridge Market.

For more inspiration, check out these guides…

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


Kazbegi to Tbilisi: Final thoughts

For convenience and affordability, the best all-round transport option is to travel with GoTrip. If you’re on a tight budget, a marshrutka van is perfectly adequate provided you don’t have large luggage items.

A shared taxi is a nice compromise, but just be aware that it doesn’t offer the same flexibility as a private car.

I hope this transport guide proves helpful! If you have any questions about travelling to Tbilisi from Kazbegi (or if you’ve made the trip recently and have something else to add), please consider leaving a comment below to help other travellers.

When planning the first part of your journey, remember check out my guide for travelling from Tbilisi to Kazbegi.


Georgia essentials

Here are the websites and services I personally use and recommend for Georgia. Check out my full list of travel resources for more tips.

FLIGHTS: Search for affordable flights to Tbilisi, Batumi or Kutaisi on Skyscanner.

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Insure your trip with HeyMondo, my preferred provider for single-trip and annual travel insurance (get 5% off when you book with my link).

SIM CARD: Magti is my preferred provider, with prices starting from 9 GEL/week for unlimited data. See this guide for all the details about buying a Georgian SIM card.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Most flights into Georgia arrive in the early hours. For ease, pre-book a private transfer from Tbilisi Airport to your hotel (from $17) or from Kutaisi Airport to Tbilisi (from $90) with my partners at GoTrip.ge.

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is the most widely used platform in Georgia. Use it to find family guesthouses, private apartments, hostels and hotels around the country.

CAR HIRE: Find a great deal on a rental car in Georgia – use the Local Rent website to book through a local agent (prices start from $20/day).

DAY TRIPS & CITY TOURS: Use Viator or Get Your Guide to browse a range of day trips and city tours. For off-beat programs, I recommend Friendly.ge (use the promocode wanderlush for 10% off). For in-depth day trips to Georgia’s wine regions, I recommend Eat This! Tours (use the promo code wanderlush for 5% off).

PRIVATE TRANSFERS: GoTrip.ge is a terrific service for booking a private professional driver and car for the day. Use it for A-to-B transfers, a customised round-trip itinerary, or a multi-day trip. You can stop wherever you like for as long as you like without the fixed price going up.

NEED SOME HELP?: Need feedback on your itinerary or personalised travel tips? I offer a one-on-one consultation call service for Tbilisi and Georgia. More information and bookings here.


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4 Comments

  1. We just took the scenic route from Kazbegi to Tbilisi. The Kobi cable car was incredible, definitely worth it if you’re not in a hurry. Plus there were still plenty of skiers in early April, so pretty cool to fly over them (and stop for a hot chocolate en route).

    However to get from the New Guduari ski resort to the centre of Guduari where vans stop, it’s about 4km on twisty roads. I’m not sure if we missed a ski lift/step in the guide? We hopped in a taxi for 40 lari for that part (well, tipped him extra as he chased down a marshrutka that had just left Guduari)

    1. Hi Sam, oh yes, usually the vans start from New Gudauri but perhaps your timing was just off, or the driver didn’t go up to the resort that day because of road conditions. I have added a note to the guide – thank you for your feedback and tips!

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