Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia, is a place that often remains hidden in the shadow of its better-known European counterparts. However, it is slowly gaining recognition as an emerging tourist destination, attracting travelers from around the world. But with the rise in popularity, questions about safety naturally arise. Is Tbilisi, Georgia safe for tourists? No one can tell you any place is 100% guaranteed safe and I am a world traveler myself and not an expert in international security but we will address this question and provide a comprehensive guide to traveling safely in Tbilisi.
Understanding Tbilisi’s Safety
Tbilisi, like any major city, has its share of concerns and safety considerations. It’s important to remember that no place on Earth can guarantee absolute safety, but Tbilisi is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. Here are some key aspects to consider when evaluating the safety of Tbilisi:
Low Crime Rates: Tbilisi has relatively low crime rates compared to many European and North American cities. Violent crimes are rare, and petty crimes such as pickpocketing can occur in crowded areas, as in most urban centers. However, exercising standard precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings, can help mitigate these risks.
Friendly Locals: Georgians are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness. Locals are generally helpful and welcoming to tourists, which enhances the overall feeling of safety in the city.
Political Stability: Georgia has made significant strides in establishing a stable government and political environment over the past few decades. The country is striving to align with European values and is making efforts to improve its image on the global stage.
Safety in Public Transportation: Tbilisi has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro system. Using these modes of transport is generally safe, although it’s recommended to be cautious during late hours, as you would in any city.
Safety at Night: While Tbilisi is generally safe at night, it’s wise to stay in well-lit and busy areas and to avoid walking alone in poorly lit or deserted streets. Be cautious of your surroundings and avoid excessive drinking.
Political Demonstrations: Tbilisi has seen political demonstrations in the past. It’s advisable to stay informed about local events and to avoid areas where protests or rallies are taking place.
Language Barrier: English is not widely spoken in Tbilisi, so having a basic understanding of Georgian or Russian can be helpful. However, many young Georgians and people in the tourism industry do speak English.
While no one can ever guarantee your safety anywhere, Tbilisi, Georgia, is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. Like any city, it has safety considerations, but with some basic precautions, you can have a wonderful and trouble-free visit. The city’s unique charm, rich history, and friendly people make it a compelling place to explore. Remember to stay aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and respect local customs and laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience in Tbilisi.
Staying safe in any big city requires a combination of common sense, preparedness, and awareness. Here are some general safety tips for travelers in big cities, followed by emergency numbers for tourists in Tbilisi, Georgia:
General Safety Tips for Traveling in Big Cities:
- Research Your Destination: Familiarize yourself with the city’s neighborhoods, attractions, and potential safety concerns before you arrive. Or look for a tour that will offer insider tips and guide you through the intricacies of the city and its culture. Let’s Eat Georgia is a culinary tour that dives into the culture of food & wine in Georgia, with local experts making sure your visit is memorable for all the right reasons.
- Stay in Safe Neighborhoods: Choose accommodations in well-established and safe areas of the city. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from trusted sources.
- Use Reputable Transportation: Opt for licensed taxis, rideshare services, or public transportation when getting around the city. Avoid unmarked or unofficial vehicles.
- Stay Aware of Your Surroundings: Pay attention to your environment, especially in crowded areas and public transportation. Be cautious of distractions like smartphones.
- Keep Valuables Secure: Use a money belt or hidden pouch for important documents, like your passport and extra cash. Use anti-theft bags and keep an eye on your belongings.
- Avoid Flashy Displays of Wealth: Dress modestly and avoid wearing expensive jewelry or displaying expensive electronics in public.
- Use ATMs Wisely: Use ATMs located in well-lit, secure areas, and be cautious of your surroundings when withdrawing cash.
- Stay in Groups: If possible, travel with companions, especially at night. There’s safety in numbers.
- Learn Basic Local Phrases: Familiarize yourself with basic greetings and emergency phrases in the local language. This can be helpful in case of communication issues.
- Stay Informed: Keep an eye on local news and advisories. Know the emergency numbers for the area you’re in.
Emergency Numbers for Tourists in Tbilisi, Georgia:
- Police: 112 (general emergency number for police, ambulance, and fire services)
- Medical Emergency/Ambulance: 112
- Fire Department: 112
- Tourist Police (for non-emergencies and assistance): +995 32 250 0944
- Roadside Assistance (if renting a car): 116
In Tbilisi, the general emergency number “112” is widely used for police, medical, and fire emergencies. However, it’s a good idea to have the specific numbers listed above as well, especially the tourist police number for non-emergency assistance and guidance.
Remember that emergency services in different countries may have varying response times and capabilities, so always exercise caution and prioritize prevention to avoid emergencies whenever possible.
So Tbilisi Georgia is overall a safe destination to visit, so long as you practice safe travel! but why visit Georgia? This destination is full of charm, friendly locals and delicious food! Join us for a culinary tour in Georgia if you’re not sure where to start when planning your trip here, we will discover Tbilisi and the surrounding regions under the care of wonderful Georgian guides.
For a taste of Georgia in your home, start by trying out this delectable recipe for a Georgian delicacy, Khachapuri!