Tips on Arranging a Trip to Georgia

Travel throughout Georgia armed with valuable information

Are looking for a new place to go to? Are you tired of the mundane and seeing the same thing over again? Maybe you want to try something different. Well, there is a destination just right for you. It’s Georgia. Georgia is a small country that is located south of Russia and has recently been in the news because of a brief war with Russia last year.

However, don’t let the war scare you. The citadel colors war only lasted five days and everything now is peaceful and safe. Furthermore, the Georgian government makes it very easy for American and European tourists to visit the country which has many magical wonders and ancient places to visit. Georgia has many churches and castles that date back to the 6th Century. The Georgian people also are very hospitable and willing to help you find your way.

How to get to Georgia

Georgia is that it is a small country and there are no direct flights from US cities to Tbilisi, which is the city that you are most likely to fly into as it is capital of the country.

Most flights into Georgia are from Europe or Turkey and fly during the night, so when you arrive in Tbilisi you may want to have an extra day to rest. There are several ways to get from the United States to Georgia and the most common routes are listed below.

1. United Airlines and Lufthansa are the easiest route to Georgia from the United States. Both airlines are members of the Star Alliance and operate each other’s flights. You can fly either Lufthansa or United from Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles to Munich. You will fly out of the United States in either the early afternoon or in the evening and you will arrive in Munich at different times.

The United flights arrive in the morning and the Lufthansa flights arrive in Munich in the early afternoon the next day. You will have a long layover in Munich, then at 9:30 p.m. Munich time, the Lufthansa flight for Tbilisi flies out and arrives in Tbilisi at 3:00 a.m. the next morning.

The flights from Chicago or New York to Munich average about eight to nine hours and the flight from Los Angeles to Munich average about 10 to 12 hours. The flight from Munich to Tbilisi averages about three to four hours.

2. Austrian Airlines flies out of both Chicago and New York to Vienna. These flights last about eight to nine hours. The connecting flight from Vienna to Tbilisi leaves around 10 in the evening and arrives in Tbilisi at 4:00 a.m. the next morning.

3. Turkish Airlines flies out of both Chicago and New York to either Istanbul or Ankara. From there is a flight to Tbilisi also.

These are the most reliable routes to Georgia from the United States and your luggage can be checked through to your final destination, Tbilisi.

What to do, when you arrive at Tbilisi International Airport

When you arrive at Tbilisi International Airport, you will find that the border people are very friendly and are more than willing to help you through the few formalities there are required to enter Georgia. Upon arrival, you will find that passport control is just a stone’s throw away from the jet way where you come off the plane.

If you are a citizen of the United States, Israel, member nations of the EU, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, you are not required to apply for a visa to enter Georgia. If you live in the United States on a green card and are a citizen of another country other than the above-mentioned countries, you might need to apply for a visa.

Applying for a visa in Georgia is not difficult at all. In fact you can apply right at the airport. You should have some passport photos available and visa fees are not expensive.

When crossing the border control at the airport, you will be required to have your passport ready and the border officer will have you look into a face scanning camera and stamp your passport and you then can go on to baggage claim.

Baggage claim and customs at Tbilisi International Airport

After going through passport control, you will need to go on to baggage claim to claim your luggage. You should have your luggage tickets available, because the baggage claim people check those regularly to prevent luggage theft. Customs is practically nonexistent and if you need to go through customs, your bag will have a special sticker on it.

This sticker is only placed on luggage that looks suspicious through an X-ray machine. If you do not have a sticker on your luggage, which you more than likely won’t, you can go on and find busses or taxis to take you to the various hotels.

Other ways to enter Georgia

There are also other ways you can enter Georgia besides by air. For example, if you are touring Turkey, you can take a bus to Trapzon and from there go to Sarpi. Sarpi is the border between Turkey and Georgia and is in a beautiful setting on the Black Sea.

You can drive into Georgia through Sarpi or Kars. You can also cross the border into Georgia on foot in Sarpi. From Sarpi, you can take a micro bus or taxi to Batumi which is five or ten minutes north of Sarpi.


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