Kutaisi, the legislative capital and the third largest city in the country of Georgia, is a captivating city known for its historical significance, rich cultural heritage, and picturesque landscapes. It’s also home to Kutaisi airport, which is one of the biggest ones in the country, so many tourists actually arrive here (read about getting from Kutaisi to Batumi and Tbilisi).
Located on the banks of the Rioni River, this charming city is enveloped by the scenic vistas of mountains and lush greenery. With its ancient cathedrals, stunning geological wonders, quaint streets, and a budding food scene, Kutaisi serves as an intriguing destination for history enthusiasts, food lovers, and nature aficionados alike. This guide will help you explore Kutaisi to its fullest.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Bagrati Cathedral, officially known as the Cathedral of the Dormition, is an 11th-century cathedral and one of the most important landmarks of Kutaisi. Although partially ruined, the cathedral offers stunning views of the city and the river below from its hilltop location.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Gelati Monastery, founded in 1106 by King David IV of Georgia, is a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi. Its beautiful frescoes and mosaic work are worth admiring. The monastery also serves as the burial site of its founder, who was a significant figure in Georgian history.
Located a short drive from Kutaisi, the Prometheus Cave (also known as Kumistavi Cave) is a stunning natural wonder featuring an array of stalactites, stalagmites, curtains, petrified waterfalls, cave pearls, and underground rivers. There’s an option to take a boat ride along the subterranean river as well.
Although a bit farther from the city, Okatse Canyon is well worth a visit for nature lovers. The canyon offers breathtaking views of the natural surroundings from a hanging walkway, suspended several hundred feet above the canyon floor.
Kutaisi State Historical Museum
For those interested in history and archaeology, the Kutaisi State Historical Museum, which houses over 150,000 exhibits, offers an opportunity to delve into the rich past of the region.
Kutaisi Central Market
Experience the local life at Kutaisi Central Market, where you can find a variety of local produce, home-made cheeses, spices, and traditional Georgian sweets. This is a great place to engage with the locals and sample some local delicacies.
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