Eco-friendly travel guide to Georgia advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Georgia, Europe / Asia.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Bus connections: 4 / 5
- Train connections: 3.5 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 3.5 / 5
- National parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 3 / 5
- Accommodation: US$80 - $150
- Budget per day: US$200 - $400
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Georgia, a country at the intersection of Asia and Europe. Undoubtedly, the country's beauty is enough to place it at the top of the list of many travelers and explorers. The country has a small population of just under 37.2 lakhs people, and they try not to impact the environment in any major way adversely. Take active measures to ensure that your trip to the country doesn’t impact you in any negative way. In this section of the article, we shall discuss a few such tips that you could follow to travel as responsibly as possible to Georgia.
To begin with, try and use public transportation as much as possible. While there aren’t too many options and the comfort of a private car or a cab is far more superior, you recommend using the waterways. The buses are efficient, cost-effective, and they certainly help you reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to this, Georgia is a country whose beauty is par excellence, and exploring it by foot or on a bicycle shall also serve to be a phenomenal experience.
A big part of responsible traveling includes living in your destination so that you utilize the local resources in the most optimal possible way. One such way for you to do that as a tourist is to stay in an eco-friendly or a green hotel. This shall help you ensure that you reduce your impact on the environment, and choosing a good green hotel shall provide you with all the amenities and facilities in a much more sustainable manner.
The local markets are known to be a treasure trove; here, you will find everything from antiquities to locally produced goods that reflect the fine craftsmanship. Additionally, this shall help the local economy in a major way as you shall put money directly into the pockets of the manufacturers/creators and possibly skip out the middleman. This will further enable you to support these small industries that don’t operate out of greed and carefully utilize the country’s resources.
Similarly, try and explore local food at simple restaurants to enjoy legendary cuisine. Avoid big food chains and global brands at all costs. The smaller bistros, restaurants, and even food carts shall serve you some of the most authentic dishes; more so, if you plan to cook your own local meal, make sure you get the ingredients from local food markets and not supermarkets. The freshest produce, including vegetables, seafood, and all kinds of meats, shall be found at these markets; they shall be priced appropriately and often serve to be the difference between a good home-cooked meal and a great one.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Georgia is good. There are not many heavy industries in the city, so there is less air pollution than in places with many heavy industries. The main roads do have heavy traffic, although air pollution from traffic tends to be minimal as you will not see many old cars in the country. The air pollution from cars does not affect most people unless they have underlying breathing conditions. Water pollution is relatively low in Georgia. It was high for a long time, as there was high pollution caused by various solid waste products, especially plastic and sewage. The city put up an intense fight against water pollution by plastic, especially, and has successfully reduced pollution levels. Ensure that you take something for the family, such as a bottle of wine; going in empty-handed would be a sin. While things may seem uptight early on, as the meal progresses and a few drinks are polished off, you can be assured of good fun with music and dance. Also, specifically in Georgia, it is recommended that you keep things low at night as the locals hate being disturbed and avoid typically touristy mistakes such as standing for too long on bridges, clicking photos without consent and let people pass by you in narrow lanes if you are walking slow and exploring.
Respect the Culture
It is not out of place that one of the first things you would hear when visiting a new place is that you should respect the culture if you want to flow well with the locals. However, some people might be lost if they do not know the traditions of the city. If Georgia is your chosen country for a holiday, have no fear as we would give you some tips on respecting their culture. You should know that the people of Georgia love it when the atmosphere is relaxed. Thus, they would not jump into any business topic. Always talk about something simple and allow the host to start the conversation. If you are having lunch with your friends, then it is proffered if everyone pays for what they ordered or can offer to pay for everyone if you are hosting. Do not wait for others to pay your bill and always offer to pay for your own food. It is also proper for you to maintain eye contact when talking to anyone.
Top 10 Places to Visit
• NARIKALA FORTRESS
Narikala Fortress is a fortress in the city of Tbilisi. It is located in Tbilisi, Georgia. The fortress consists of two walled sections on the hill. The structure was established in the 14th century.
• MOUNT KAZBEK
Mount Kazbek is a stratovolcano and one of the major mountains. It is the third highest peak in Georgia. The elevation of the mountain is about 5054 meters.
• GONIO APSAROS FORTRESS
Gonio Apsaros Fortress is one of the famous fortresses in Georgia. It is located in Gonio, Georgia. The name “Gonio” is first attested in Michael Panaretos.
• KUTAISI STATE HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Kutaisi State Historical Museum is a museum in Kutaisi. It is located in Kutaisi, Georgia. The museum was established in the year 1921-22.
Svetitskhoveli is a cathedral in the city of Mtskheta. It is located in Narekvavi-Mtskheta-Railway station, Mtskheta, Georgia. It is the second-largest building in the country.
• GERGETI TRINITY CHURCH
Gergeti Trinity Church is a famous church in the city of Kazbeji. It is located in Kazbegi, Oni, Georgia. This church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri.
• THE BRIDGE OF PEACE
The Bridge of Peace is a Pedestrian bridge in Tbilisi. It is located in Tbilisi, Georgia. The bridge is a bow-shaped pedestrian bridge. It was established in the year 2010.
• BORJOMI CENTRAL PARK
Borjomi Central Park is a park in the city of Borjomi. It is located on April St, Borjomi, Georgia. It is a leafy area around the mineral spring, with a Ferris and riverside walks.
• GELATI MONASTERY
Gelati Monastery is a monastery in the city of Motsameta. It is located in Gelati Monastery, Motsameta, Georgia. It was established in the year 1106.
• HATSVALI SKI LIFT
Hatsvali Ski Lift is a mountain cable car in Georgia. It is one of the famous places to visit in the country of Georgia.
We would not be wrong to describe Georgia as an all-encompassing city as it has many facilities that make it a suitable place for foreigners. Whether you are in the city for business or leisure, there is something to keep you occupied and entertained. People say that all work and no play would make one dull. Georgia ensures that it has places that play roles in calming and relaxing the mind. Thus, it is not surprising that people always want to visit this country. Georgia has many museums, and they give you a better idea of the history of the city and how it evolved to what it is today. There are also parks where you can relax and interact with people. The churches in the city have a gothic appearance, and one can tell that it dates years back. People who love archaeology are usually interested in this as the buildings are unique and outstanding. There is so much to do in Georgia, so tourists should have a schedule plan ready so that activities will not be jumbled.
The city parks are the life of this city, and you can find city parks of all different kinds present all over Georgia. One thing you should know about the country is that it does not lack parks. Here are some of the parks you should visit while you are in the country:
- MASSENGALE CITY PARK
- CENTRAL CITY PARK
- HWY 49 PUBLIC PARK
- GRANT PARK
- CANON, GA CITY PARK
- BUFORD CITY PARK
Georgia gives you plenty of options if you want to see the natural creatures living openly in the wild. If you’re interested in seeing wild animals in this part of the country, there’s this one park that boasts a wide variety of faunas in Georgia.
- ANDERSONVILLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
- APPALACHIAN NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL
- CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
- CHICKAMAUGA AND CHATTANOOGA NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
- FORT FREDERICA NATIONAL MONUMENT
Many people love the idea of soaking up the sun on the beach, enjoying the peacefulness and calm the water brings, and meeting people. If you buy this idea, it means you would want to hang out at the beach if you visit the country of Georgia. The country hosts some of the world's craziest parties; there is always the lack of a good beach. The nearest beach is a few hours’ drive away, and you shall have to wander into territory that doesn’t come within the country limits.
- NORTH BEACH, TYBEE ISLAND
- SEA ISLAND BEACH CLUB, SEA ISLAND
- CUMBERLAND ISLAND NATIONAL SEASHORE
- DRIFTWOOD BEACH, JEKYLL ISLAND
- MAIN BEACH, LITTLE ST. SIMONS ISLAND
- EAST BEACH, ST. SIMONS ISLAND
- GLORY BEACH, JEKYLL ISLAND
In simple terms, we can say that a landmark is a high or long structure that people can quickly locate, helping them keep track of places. When there is a landmark around, it helps with directions and eliminates losing your way. Foreigners are usually happy and gleeful to know of landmarks in the country, and you would see them trying to keep it in mind as no one loves losing their way while exploring.
Some of the landmarks that would help you in Georgia are:
- GEORGIA AQUARIUM
- ROCK CITY GARDENS
- ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN
- LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN
- WORLD OF COCA-COLA
- CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK
People say that it is sometimes impossible to keep count of the number of museums in Georgia as there are many. The country's idea is to preserve adequate information for the coming generations and help foreigners with knowledge about the country. If you love to know about the cities you visit, we know that you will love or desire to pay a visit to any of its museums. Some Georgia museums are:
- NATIONAL INFANTRY MUSEUM AND SOLDIER CENTER
- WORLD OF COCA-COLA
- NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE MIGHTY EIGHTH AIR FORCE
- BOOTH WESTERN ART MUSEUM
- NATIONAL CENTER FOR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS
There are several traditional foods found in Georgia. Georgian food has gained fame and reputation across the world, so it could be interesting to try it while you are in the area of origin to see if it tastes the same. Trying various local dishes is one of the best things about being a tourist as you get to experience multiple dishes that you probably could never come across anywhere else. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later.
The weather in Georgia is divided into seasons that are either hot or cold. In most cases, the beverage of choice is influenced by the temperature at that time. There is an endless variety of non-alcoholic drinks, excluding water, to choose from in the country. In its various types and flavors, tea is loved by most people, and in most cases, they drink it even on a hot day. Other choice beverages include soft drinks, lemonade, milkshake, vegan shakes, and even iced tea or coffee. On the colder days, especially during winter, the beverages of choice are usually hot, with things like tea, coffee, and warm milk being the most sought after drinks. Alcohol consumption is relatively high in Georgia as alcohol is a source of entertainment or a way of cooling down after a long and hard day at work. There are several bars and pubs where people can go for a relaxing drink and hang out with friends, while some people prefer to drink in the comfort of their own home. The local brew of alcohol is known as Sake and is the most popular alcoholic beverage. Several other alcoholic drinks are enjoyed by people depending on their taste in alcohol. These include wine, gin, vodka, and cocktails, to name a few.
Tap water has many uses, but the constraint is determining the water quality, knowing if it will harm you or not. Of course, no one would want to use anything harmful, so tourists are always seeking information on the water state in any country before visiting. You cannot drink the water gushing from the tap or even use it to clean your teeth in some cities. However, Georgia is an exception to such places as its tap water is relatively safe compared to other places. In Georgia, you can drink the water gushing from the taps and some fountains. The country is poised to ensure that its residents are safe, and they would not want foreigners to have a negative perception. Thus, they put effort into ensuring that the water is always clean. There is always a sign on fountains to determine if it is drinkable or not.
It does not matter if you are a professional or novice in these activities. You will find it easy if you are a professional, but beginners will see it as an exciting process as it allows them to learn something new. The locals of the country as always ready to teach people the ropes of these activities, and it paves the way to friendships. If you spend time learning any of these activities, the idea of being bored will be eliminated. Thus, you should engage in them while in the country. It is easy for foreigners to get bored when in a new country as it is not their terrain. However, this will defeat the aim of going on a holiday as you should engage in different activities that would keep you busy. Understandably, it is not every time that new ideas of things will enter your head to do. Allow us to save you the stress and tell you that you can engage in either fishing, canoeing, or kayaking while in the country, as there are available water bodies to help with this.
One thing that everyone would agree with is that accommodation is very crucial in the plans of anyone who plans to visit a new country. When you go to a new place, you would need where to rest, and if you did not make adequate plans for preparation, you would be stranded. It is always challenging to be stranded in a different environment, and the feeling is draining. When such happens, people start having regrets and wishing they did not embark on the journey initially. However, you can avoid all these with proper planning.
One of the first things you should do when deciding to visit a foreign city is to keep a specific amount aside for accommodation. It serves as your budget and would help you determine the type of places you would search. Different accommodation types have different prices, but you would not go astray if you have a budget. If you work with your budget, you will make a decision faster, and it helps you be stranded when you get there as you already have plans in motion.
There are several eco-friendly hotels in the country. They have the same aim of sustainability of the environment. These hotels tend to offer safe, non-toxic, and energy-efficient accommodation. Other characteristics include using renewable energy, organic soaps, energy-efficient light fixtures, and recycling programs. If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in the country to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the country. Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you decide to lodge in a hostel or guesthouse when you visit a new place, it is cheaper than some other accommodation types. The setting may be smaller than an option like the hotel, but it is usually comfortable. It may be that you do not want to stay in a guest house for one reason or the other. Some people believe that it is cheaper to stay in a hostel or guest house, while others feel that you will feel a better sense of warmth at these places. The different reasons why people opt for the option of a hostel or guest house differs.
The country of Georgia is quite expensive. If you are looking to buy an apartment in the country, you need to check all the necessary details and request a reasonable price from the dealer. Living in Georgia could be amazing as you are provided with all the basic services 24 hours a day. The Hotel Zone is the most expensive place to buy an apartment. You can find houses in the Downtown Area of the city where you will get an adequate price. You can find all types of houses like a flat, a condo, a suite, a bungalow, etc.
With Couchsurfing, you do not need to bother about spending your money on accommodation. What you need to think about is how you would adapt to the lifestyle of the locals. If you are confused, Couchsurfing is a system that pairs you with a local willing host during the duration of your holiday. If you do not have the means to pay for accommodation and you desire to travel, you can check if they do Couchsurfing in the desired country. It is a regular thing to see people indicate interest in Couchsurfing in Georgia, and there is a website that assists in getting localhost. Willing locals sign up on it, while foreigners check through and follow steps and instructions on how to get paired. The comfort you will feel during Couchsurfing might not be compared to what you can get from your house, but you should remember that it is only for some time, and it is better than being stranded.
If you a lover of nature and the outdoors, we know that you would wish to experience camping in whatever form when you are in a new country. Campers describe the experience as exciting, and it lures those who have never been camping before. It helps you meet new people, and you get to do things you have never done before. The thing with camping is that there are particular areas for it; else, the whole purpose is defeated. Thus, it is right to know about camping sites in Georgia.
- STONE MOUNTAIN PARK CAMPGROUND
- CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK
- SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK CAMPING AREA
- RIVERS END CAMPGROUND AND RV PARK
- F.D. ROOSEVELT STATE PARK
- GEORGIA RIVER CAMPGROUND
Getting There and Moving Around
One of the things you need to keep in mind while planning a trip to the country is choosing the transportation mode. Based on your location or country, you will need to choose the mode of transportation. From most of the countries, the air is the most convenient way to travel to Georgia. You will get many other transportations to travel to the country and railway, water, road, and others. Upon reaching the country, there are plenty of local transportations that are available to move around. From fueled cars to eco-friendly ways, you can choose any of them in the different price ranges. However, try to use eco-friendly transportation as much as you can to keep the country safe from pollution.
The country is served by the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the newer airport in the country, and manages all the international flights and some domestic flights coming into Georgia. The airport is one of the busiest airports globally and has flights operating to and from all the major destinations. The airport is well connected to the city, so you don’t have to worry about eco-friendly travel.
The bus terminuses are chaotic, and you may have to take some local help to determine which bus to choose for your requirements. This is because the intercity bus terminus is located around one hour from the city. The country has reasonably advanced local bus transport services, but intercity bus services are not very comfortable. These buses provide an accessible transportation mode for locals and tourists to places inside and outside the country. You can meet many fellow travelers and locals on these buses, and by interacting with them, you can get some tips and advice for your stay in Georgia. There are many bus services in the country that are under public or private ownership. You can easily find these buses in all areas of the country and can take a ride on them by paying a small but reasonable ticket charge.
This public mode of transport is quite popular amongst the locals as a cheap and convenient mode. The railway station also includes a train line used daily by locals and tourists to reach different country areas. Some people love using buses because it views the landscape while traveling, and they find it exciting. However, others would not like to use a bus because it takes long hours, and there is no adequate space. When this occurs, people tend to get cranky, affecting their mood when they get to their destination.
The idea of hitchhiking is to stay on the road and flag down a vehicle going your direction. Some drivers might not want to stop for strangers, but you would get a ride as someone would be compelled to stop. It may be that you can hitchhike for free in some other places, but it does not work that way in European cities. If a driver stops for you and agrees to carry you, they will ask you for payments. So, your money should be ready, or you will be stranded on the road. Hitchhiking is also amongst the means of transportation you can get to the country. However, the clause of it happening is if you are within surrounding cities. Some people love the idea of hitchhiking because they think it is a way of getting a free ride and saves the cost. However, we would say that hitchhiking is a means of getting fast transportation as it saves you the stress of queuing up at bus and train stations or trying to get a ticket.
Some of these transports use only natural resources like petrol, diesel, and gas, and these resources emit a lot of carbon while operating, which is the leading cause of air pollution in most cities of the world. Other modes of traveling to the country like rental car services, boats, and private planes can help you conveniently reach the country, but not all of them are the best choices. Although such transports are very comfortable and convenient, if you want the best experience without any guilt, you should prefer vehicles that are less harmful to the environment.
If you want to try some eco-friendly fashions that will help you stay healthy in the country and make the country safe, you can try many options available here. These shops promote zero waste and recycling that helps to keep the environment safe. A tour of a place is never complete without having good shopping. Eco-friendly sustainable stores that promote zero-waste are increasing rapidly in the country, and many locals are tying hearse products. It helps to give you the best experience and witness the culture up close. As an eco-friendly traveler, try eco-friendly shops such as recycled or send hand items. You will be able to get many different local shops that sell traditional items. Make sure to buy from the local shops to support them and help them make a living.
Residents pay handsomely without really knowing where the waste will end up. The government has also provided multiple incentives to people following various recycling waste measures and saving natural resources. The country has a marvelous recycling method with everything, from cans to bottles to even batteries and toys being systematically recycled. There are categories for every kind of waste, and efficiency is quite good. You will find many recycling stores in various districts where you can take your recyclable waste and get it appropriately recycled. These stores offer various monetary or store voucher services that you can use for buying other recyclable items and services.
Georgia's country faces many pollution-related problems, mainly because of the improper disposal of household and industrial waste. With the local municipality's help, you will find that the government has set up various garbage disposal places such as dustbins, dumpsters, trucks, etc. As a tourist, you must follow the proper wastage disposal measures to avoid creating any adverse effect on the local environment. These people strive to have a city conducive to living and know that it is impossible without an adequate waste management organization. The locals are always happy when foreigners visit and commend the pristine state of the city. You will also notice that people have excellent health due to proper waste care.
Work and Study Abroad
These universities and colleges offer good courses to students, and they have different offers for international students that attract students from all over the world. Apart from that, these students also have a permit to work in the country while studying to earn pocket money and fess. There are many available jobs in the country that these students can take and earn a good amount of money. Taking the help of online job finders also helps very much to find the best available jobs easily. The country has better options for education and career advancements than any other city. You will find that all major companies, local and international, are present in the country. You can also find various educational institutes that offer education to international students as well. You can apply for a job or admission at these places and get the chance to learn about the Georgian culture, traditions, history, and livelihood in depth.
Many universities in Georgia partner with schools in other countries to have a student exchange program. Thus, you should check if your school partners with anyone in Georgia if you desire to visit the city. During the student exchange program, you can learn the local language thoroughly and is a plus as you also get to explore the city. Many students usually jump on this opportunity, and you can do so as well. Since the country is amongst the best in Europe, tales of ye quality of their universities and colleges spread, and students in other schools will want to do exchange programs in the city. Many surrounding cities are striving to attain the popularity of universities and colleges in Georgia.
Exchange student study is getting more and more popular in Georgia, as many students are deciding to go for higher study. Many other countries do not have this opportunity and study options like this one. Shortly, the exchange student concept is set to grow more and have an outstanding impact on the educational system. There are many exchange student opportunities that are there in the country for students to choose from. There is a specific semester in the country that is getting famous and inviting students from other countries.
If you are studying in Georgia, it is understandable if you want to get a job to argue your finds. We also understand that it is not always easy to find these jobs, and this is where the idea of au pair comes to play. For cities that subscribe to the au pair idea, there is usually a website or forum where people can register and get paired with localhost whom they can work for. This exists in Georgia, so you should jump on the opportunity. It is an excellent way of helping out a family by assisting them in taking care of their children and household. In return for the services, the family is bound to provide the au pair some financial benefit that they can use for personal use. You can also become an au pair by registering yourself on the website by meeting the various educational and professional requirements.
There are hundreds of organizations in Georgia that provide volunteering options. Suppose you wish to indulge in a volunteering act while you would not have difficulty getting any in the country. Volunteering is a way of you helping and giving back to society. It is not done out of force, but because you are passionate about the cause. It is common to see people desire to be volunteers in Georgia, and it is best to attach yourself to an organization to make the process easier. Engaging in volunteering activities while in Georgia shows that you are a responsible tourist. Several voluntary organizations across many cities are always looking for volunteers. You can volunteer to work with animals, children, and older people or even in the city's agricultural sector. Voluntary programs tend to run for anything between one week going up. Also, if you are interested in volunteering while visiting the country, several places are open to the idea. You can participate in the volunteering activities of these organizations and provide your valuable assistance as a tourist. By taking part in such activities, you will get a sense of satisfaction that will make your Georgian trip memorable.