Discover all the best things to do in Tbilisi in autumn, including special events and celebrations, fall foliage in the city centre, seasonal food and wine, and the best autumn day trips.

While there’s no ‘wrong’ time to visit Tbilisi, I have to admit that summer is my least favourite time of year in the city. The heat is unbearable, the air is thick, and the light is far too harsh for photography.

As soon as September rolls around, the mercury starts to slide and the air clears. That’s my queue to lace up my shoes and grab my camera. By the middle of the month, Tbilisi is absolute paradise!

Fall foliage shrouds the river and Bridge of Peace in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Can you see why fall is my favourite time in Tbilisi?

Autumn in Tbilisi is short but pronounced. The trees along the riverside and in the city’s parks turn shades of bronze and chestnut, while the hills take on a honey-coloured glow. This is the perfect time to get out and explore on foot.

In early fall, there are numerous outdoor events – markets, live music performances and the like – happening almost every weekend. Add to that special festivals, seasonal produce and the Rtveli wine harvest, and there’s no doubt in my mind these are Tbilisi’s golden days.

An orange coloured cafe in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Cafe Leila looking mighty fine in autumn.

Here are 15 of my favourite Tbilisi autumn activities for September, October and November. I’ve also included a bit of information about the weather, what to wear and what to pack, and general fall travel tips.

→ Don’t miss my guide to visiting Georgia in autumn, including the 10 best places around the country for fall colours, festivals and harvest celebrations.

→ Also see my complete month-by-month guide to seasons in Georgia.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Looking for the perfect autumn day trip from Tbilisi? Here are my top 5 recommendations:

  1. Wine tasting in Kakheti with Eat This! Mention me and get 5% off.
  2. Off-road tour to David Gareja Monastery & the rainbow mountains. Perfect for autumn hiking.
  3. Vardzia, Rabati & Borjomi day tour. For fall colours & spectacular scenery.
  4. Private tour of ancient Mtskheta. Autumn is an auspicious time of year as the city celebrates Svetitskhovloba on October 14.
  5. Day trip to Kvemo Kartli region. Canyons & fall foliage near Tbilisi. Use the promo code wanderlush to get 10% off.

Fall trees reflect on the side of a gold coloured building in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Autumn colours in Tbilisi.

15 special things to do in Tbilisi in autumn

→ Discover more quirky and unique things to do in Tbilisi at any time of year in my extensive city guide.

1. Celebrate Tbilisoba, Georgia’s biggest festival

Taking place on the second or third weekend of October every year, Tbilisoba is the biggest event on Georgia’s cultural calendar. The capital’s very own ‘day of’ festival celebrates all things Tbilisi while shining a light on the regions as well. If you’re lucky enough to be in town while it’s on, you can experience the whole of Georgia in an afternoon.

The cornerstone of the festival is food. Farmers and producers from around the country descend on Rike Park for a huge Gastronomic Festival, which showcases the cream of autumn crops, wine, and regional food specialties such as artisanal cheese.

The last time Tbilisoba took place there was also an Autumn Flower Festival and a vintage car show on Metekhi Bridge. Outdoor stages dispersed around the Old Town host folk dance, orchestra, big band and theatre performances, giving the whole city an outdoor music festival vibe (peak levels of public cha cha consumption guaranteed).

Tbilisoba is completely free to attend. Dates are typically announced a few weeks out.

2. Stroll along the riverside

Fall trees on Tbilisi riverside.
Autumn colours on Tbilisi riverside. This photo was taken in early November.

If you want to see some of Tbilisi’s finest fall regalia while taking in the city’s major landmarks, head down to the river.

Both sides of the Kura feature wide pedestrian-only footpaths that are perfect for strolling. Just take care when crossing the busy highway. Go in the early morning or around lunch time when there’s less traffic on the roads.

I particularly love walking down the stretch of riverside between Marjanishvili Bridge and Saarbrucken Bridge. If you stick to the Left Bank, you’ll get a picture-perfect view of both the Public Services Hall, and the gold-topped Sameba Cathedral and Bridge of Peace in the distance, framed by the beautiful Baratashvili Bridge.

Spectacular river views can also be found from the Peace Bridge, where the vignette includes fall trees in Rike Park. The fall colours linger until at least the start of November.

3. Go leaf peeping in the city centre

The Bridge of Peace framed by autumn leaves.
Rike Park and the Bridge of Peace in fall.

If you visit Tbilisi during spring or summer you’ll no doubt be left with the impression that this is a very green city. In autumn, the many parks and green spaces offer the opportunity to see fall colours right in the centre – not just along the river, but also back in the Old Town and outer suburbs.

Even driving around Tbilisi in autumn is a pleasure. Many of the main streets are lined with deciduous trees that shed their leaves in late October/November. On the outskirts of the city, you’ll find heavily forested hills where fall arrives a little earlier, from late September onwards.

Where to see fall colours in Tbilisi:

  • Rike Park
  • Botanical Garden
  • Lisi Lake
  • Kojori (near Tbilisi)

4. Enjoy Old Tbilisi without the crowds

Autumn foliage clings to a blue balcony in Old Tbilisi.
Old Tbilisi sure looks pretty in autumn.

While Tbilisi remains a popular destination throughout the year, it is significantly quieter in the centre of the city during late autumn especially. From the end of September through to November you can often wander down a quiet backstreet and not see another soul.

As you crisscross the city you’ll see shrivelled grapes still hanging from the vine, golden-coloured creepers, and facades festooned with fall foliage. There’s something about the combination of autumn shades and Tbilisi’s blue balconies and old architecture that is particularly charming.

Meanwhile, popular spots such as the Clocktower and the Dry Bridge Market are far less crowded than in summer, meaning you can have a moment all to yourself.

5. Go for an evening soak in the sulfur baths

Any local will tell you the best time to visit the sulfur baths is when the weather outside is cool and crisp. Brisk autumn evenings are perfect for warming up with a steam, while a traditional kisi scrub is just the thing for detoxing body and soul after a long, sweaty summer!

Abanotubani has a dozen or so sulfur baths to choose from, including the popular Chreli-Abano and the more-authentic Gulo’s. There are several bathhouses in other parts of the city that offer different experiences – see here for my recommended venues plus etiquette tips.

6. Head into the hills for a city view

View of Tbilisi city.
Tbilisi in September.

Because Tbilisi is in a valley, you can literally see autumn approaching as the surrounding mountains gradually change colour. In winter, the first traces of snow in Tbilisi always appear at higher altitudes.

Mtatsminda and Narikala both offer panoramic city views, while lesser-known viewpoints such as Betlemi Rise are a peaceful alternative.

A short hike is the perfect way to while away an autumn afternoon in Tbilisi while treating yourself to amazing vistas of the city in a warm palette of fall colours. For safety, I recommend hiking with a friend. Alternatively, use the city’s network of cable cars and funiculars to get high.

7. Take a day trip to Kakheti for Rtveli

Purple grapes hanging on the vine in Tbilisi.
Grapes on the vine in Tbilisi in October.

If you’re a wine-lover, autumn AKA the ‘fifth season’ is the ultimate time to visit Tbilisi and Georgia in general. In Kakheti and all across the country people start picking and processing grapes from around the second week of September through to November. Known as Rtveli, the harvest season is a joyous occasion deeply tied to Georgian culture, tradition and identity.

A painting by Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani.
Rtveli, as depicted by Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani.

If your trip coincides with the harvest, then Kakheti is simply a must. Ideally you should spend a few nights in the region: Use this transport guide to get there, this accommodation guide for tips on where to stay, and my Kakheti itinerary for things to do.

If you only have time for a day trip from Tbilisi, I highly recommend going as part of an organised private tour. Not all vineyards are open to visitors during Rtveli so you have to plan ahead. See here for a list of Rtveli venues for this year.

Book a customised day trip to Kakheti or an alternative wine region near Tbilisi with my preferred tour company, Eat This! Mention me to get a discount off your booking.

8. Do a proper Georgian wine tasting at 8000 Vintages

A wine tasting in Tbilisi, with a snack plate featuring churchkhela.
Wine tasting at 8000 Vintages.

To enhance your experience in Kakheti, I highly recommend brushing up on your Georgian wine knowledge with a degustation in Tbilisi. Even if you know nothing about wine (hello, that’s me), you’ll find this is an incredibly rewarding experience. That’s because wine isn’t just wine in Georgia, it’s also a pathway to learning about history and culture.

I highly recommend a formal wine tasting with a sommelier. 8000 Vintages is by far my favourite wine shop-bar in Tbilisi – their wine selection and grazing plates are incredible, and the staff really know their stuff. Don’t be intimidated, though – everything is entry level and prices are extremely fair. Read all about my wine tasting experience here.

For something more laid back, the city’s best bars all serve local wine by the bottle or glass.

9. Go on a side trip to Mtskheta for Svetitskhovloba

Another excellent autumn excursion from Tbilisi is Mtskheta, the old capital. Many of Georgia’s most important religious relics are kept here in a network of captivating churches, monasteries and convents – and it’s only 25 minutes up the road from Freedom Square.

Although I strongly endorse a side trip to Mtskheta at any time of year, there’s one day that’s a particularly auspicious time to go: October 14. This is Svetitskhovloba (or Mtskhetoba), a festival day held in Mtskheta to celebrate the city and its 11th-century cathedral.

Revelries include a mass-baptism event hosted by Georgia’s Catholicos-Patriarch, a food market, and folk music and dance performances on an outdoor stage. Like Tbilisi during Tbilisoba, the whole city comes alive with an upbeat, vibrant atmosphere.

Book a private tour of Mtskheta with my preferred tour provider, Use the promo code wanderlush to save 10%.

10. Seek out Tbilisi’s best street art

Autumn is the best time to meander around Tbilisi with no particular destination in mind. If you prefer to roam with purpose, a fun activity is to embark on a self-guided street art tour.

The soft sunlight in autumn is perfect for photography, so you can capture the city’s murals in their best light. My favourite place to search for murals is around Chugureti, near Fabrika.

11. Crunch down Rustaveli Avenue

Golden leaves on a grey pavement.
Fallen leaves on Rustaveli Avenue.

Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi’s main arterial, is lined with beautiful trees on both sides that start shedding their leaves in October. In the early morning before the street sweepers have had a chance to run their brooms fashioned from tree branches along the sidewalk, you’ll find the whole way covered with a blanket of syrup-coloured foliage.

Crunch along, passing some of Tbilisi’s most impressive buildings as you go. If the weather is chilly, there are plenty of excellent museums and galleries all along the avenue that you can duck into.

12. Browse the street markets

Market stalls line Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi in autumn.
Outdoor markets on Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi.

There are usually plenty of outdoor events on the weekends in early autumn, including regular maker’s fairs on Rustaveli Avenue. These markets are a great place to purchase a handmade souvenir, grab an ice cream cone, or just wander and people-watch.

13. See a show

A ballerina takes a bow on the stage at the Tbilisi Opera House.
The National Ballet performing Don Quixote in autumn 2020.

Fall is one of the best seasons for live music and cultural performances in the city. Tbilisi’s September-October cultural calendar features ballet and opera at the theatre on Rustaveli Avenue, adults-only puppet shows at the Gabriadze Theatre, fashion parades and photography exhibitions, and sometimes recitals by the incredible Sukhishvili Dance Company.

Outside Tbilisi, the annual Tsinandali Festival – a multi-day music event hosted at the incredible Tsinandali Estate in Kakheti – takes place in the first weeks of September.

I use the website to search for events and to buy tickets for sporting matches, festivals and concerts in Georgia.

14. Hop between Tbilisi’s cosiest cafes

Two glasses of coffee.
Coffee for two at Chaduna, one of my favourite cafes in Tbilisi.

Like everywhere in the northern hemisphere, autumn is the right time to cosy up at your favourite cafe. You won’t find pumpkin spice lattes in Tbilisi, though – just specialty coffee and delicious locally grown tea.

Cafe Leila is an autumn favourite; its pumpkin-coloured facade and snug interior are made for fall (and they do a mean pumpkin soup in autumn too). I also like Chaduna in Sololaki for coffee (or wine) and breakfast, and Aristaeus Tea House for waffles and chai.

15. Savour pomegranates, mushrooms & other fall produce

Close-up of orange persimmons at a market stall.
Persimmons come into season in fall.

Pumpkins, potatoes, pomegranates, persimmons and plenty of other produce that doesn’t start with the letter ‘p’ all come into season in Georgia in autumn. Head to the Dezerter Bazaar, the city’s liveliest food market, to see elegant displays of dried persimmons and marigold flowers the colour of sunbeams.

If you know anything about Georgian cuisine, you’ll know it’s hearty and wholesome – made for munching on brisk autumn eves. Restaurants in Tbilisi take full advantage of nature’s bounty and often add special seasonal meals to their menus.

A plate of orange mushrooms on a blue bench at a restaurant in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Caesar’s mushrooms in Tbilisi.

The ultimate autumn delicacy in Georgia is Caesar’s mushrooms, which are foraged in the west of the country (especially around Upper Imereti) from late August or early September. These big amber-coloured beauties were beloved by the Ancient Romans and they certainly are delicious!

Chanterelles also grow wild in Georgia. If you want to try your hand at mushrooming, popular spots near Tbilisi include Forest Sabaduri and the Gombori Pass near Telavi.

Weather in Tbilisi in autumn

Weather in Tbilisi in September

September is often called the ‘fourth month of summer’ because it remains warm and balmy. Temperatures start to drop into the mid-20s from the second week of the month.

The end of the month brings breezy nights, perfect for sitting outside with a blanket over your shoulders and a glass of wine in hand.

Weather in Tbilisi in October

October is one of the nicest times of year in Tbilisi weather-wise, with temperatures around 15-20 degrees during the day, dropping below 10 degrees at night. It’s still quite dry, but slightly more humid.

Weather in Tbilisi in November

Tbilisi is dry in November and the hills around the city start to turn grey. The sky clouds over towards the end of November as winter creeps in.

Temperatures hover around 8-10 degrees (5 degrees overnight), so it’s still quite pleasant outdoors. November brings some of the shortest days of the year so wake up early and make the most of it!

What to wear in Tbilisi in autumn + things to pack

The start of September is still warm enough for summer attire, but by the end of the month, you’ll need a jacket or scarf for the evenings. My jeans usually come out at the start of October and by November, I’m wearing at least two layers.

If you feel the cold, I would recommend bringing a warm outer layer for travel in October or November. Autumn can be quite windy as the seasons change, which adds to the chill factor – especially at night. Rain is not uncommon in the first part of autumn so definitely pack a travel umbrella and a rain jacket.

Since autumn is prime wine time, you’ll want to pack your Wine Wings for transporting bottles of Georgian vino home with you. I also recommend bringing silicone bags like these for packaging any spices/dried fruit/churchkhela you buy at the market.

Essential reading: My Georgia packing guide for all seasons.

See my other seasonal guides for Georgia

You might also be interested in…

The ultimate Georgia itinerary: Four detailed & custom designed itineraries

Georgia Travel Guide: All of my 50+ posts plus my top travel tips

Georgia travel tips: 23 things to know before you go

Places to visit in Georgia: 35+ unique destinations around the country

The best things to do in Tbilisi: Favourites, hidden gems & local picks

35+ best restaurants in Tbilisi: Where to eat Georgian food

15 best day trips from Tbilisi: Includes detailed transport instructions

The best time to visit Georgia: Month by month guide to weather, festivals & events

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