Just to make things clear – this is not a review of a holiday package. This budget includes tickets, accommodation, travel and lifestyle.
To be honest this was my second solo trip for three days and I couldn’t be more happier with the way I managed my expenses. When I travel solo, I make sure to make the most of my time and budget my expenses so that I can relax, sight see and explore at my own pace.
If you’re thinking of your next trip then I highly recommend Georgia; it has a great nightlife and it’s filled with some of the most breathtaking views. This post is perfect for young couples, backpackers and well just about anyone who wants to travel on a budget.
Let’s get started!
- Visa: If you have a UAE, US, UK residence visa then you’re good for visa on arrival. However, do cross check if you need to apply.
- Language: There’s no language barrier, almost everyone there speaks fluent English
- Currency: 1 Georgian Lari = 1.52 AED | 0.41 USD
- Food: It’s very much like Arabic food. Personally, I found the food quite average.
- SIM: I got my GEOCELL SIM card with 1 GB data package for 10 Laris. I get charged a lot for roaming so I suggest you pick up a SIM card at the airport. They’ll even suggest which package you should take according to the number of days.
- Sunset/Sunrise: Sunrise is usually at 6 am and the sun sets at about 9:30-10pm which means you can hike/trek all you want!
- Transport: You can take the train but I usually walked it or took a cab. The taxis from the airport might charge you more but the ones in and around the city charge less.
- Safety: Tbilisi is super safe, especially in the night. Like I mentioned, I travelled solo and I didn’t face any difficulties.
Places to Visit
- Tbilisi – Nightlife, Street art and Old Town
- Gaduari – Mountains, churches, dam
- Qazbegi – Scenic view, monasteries
- Kakheti – Wineries
- Signagi – City of Love
- Freedom Square- Shopping
- The Great Wall – History, Scenic view
- Shardeni Street – Bars, pubs, restaurants
- Sulphur Bath – It runs 24 hours and you can opt for a shared or private bath. It’s about 30 Laris.
- Wine Tasting – Need I say more?
- Strip clubs/Pubs – Make sure you pub-hop
- Chacha Shots- Georgian Vodka
Travel in AED 1500
Accommodation: Let’s just say that I wanted to be close to the city centre and I wanted to meet other backpackers or solo travellers that’s why I picked Fabrika Tbilisi. It’s probably one of the coolest, hippest spots I’ve ever lived in and it’s a couple of minutes away from Shardeni Street and Old Town. The hostel has a bar, a cafe, amazing breakfast and a courtyard where there’s lots of live music, gigs and street fares. I’ll be doing a review on Fabrika soon, so I’ll plug that in when it’s done. The hostel is filled with interesting graffiti and I met some really cool people from all around the world. I shared a dorm with a Ian, a tutor from LA and Anna a pharmacist from Russia. We would have breakfast together and give each other tips on where to go next. This was my first time in a hostel and it BLEW. MY. MIND.
Price for three nights: GEL 104 (AED 160) (USD 44)
Travel Tip: Find a hotel/hostel that’s about 10 minutes from Old Tbilisi.
Tickets: This trip was so random. I didn’t plan anything and I literally booked the tickets two days before travelling. I did notice that the flights that landed on a Friday were more expensive than the ones that landed on a weekday.
Travel Tip: Pick a weekday to travel
Ticket Fare: AED 960 (return + tax = USD 260)
Tours: This is when it gets really interesting. Like I said, I didn’t book a tour package from Dubai, however, my friend did pass me Kakha’s number (I hope I got his spelling right). Kakha is a tour guide for holiday factory and he hooked me up with their tours. I paid USD 90 for all three tours to Gaudauri, Qazbegi, Kakheti and Old Town. This price included lunch, any overhead charges and the tour fare.
Travel Tour Price: AED 330 (USD 90)
My Tour Experience: Kakha, Maya and Tamo were my tour guides for all three days and they are rockstars. They took care of me throughout and were super nice to me even though I didn’t book the package from Dubai. Kakha especially is so chilled out and makes you feel super comfortable. What I would suggest to solo travellers or small groups is that you can get in touch with these tour guides directly and they’ll hook you up with one of their tours. That way you get to go on tours and you can live at your own expense.
Travel Trip: If you’re a couple or a family of three or four then just opt for the Holiday Factory tour. Solo travellers and small groups can get a hold on Kakha at +49 1573 4725631. This is a Georgian number so I’d say get a sim and then contact him.
Transportation: There are cabs available round-the-clock and with that being said, there’s so much room to dupe you. The key here is to bargain. If you’re in Old Town and you want to get back to your hotel then you shouldn’t go above 15 GELs. The max a taxi driver can charge you is about 10 GELs. The best part about living in a hostel and talking to locals is that they share some inside tips on where to get taxis and how much you should pay.
Travel Tip: The best way to travel around is by dialling this number: 03 22 60 60 60. Be patient, stay on the line and make sure you ask them what the fare charges will be. You will be surprised to know how cheap taxis really are. I remember paying 10 GELs from Shardeni to Fabrika which is in Ninoschivli and after calling up the number the fare price turned out to be 3 GELs.
Food & Lifestyle: The only thing that didn’t really appeal to me was the food. It’s probably cause the standards of food is just higher in Dubai. When it comes to taste even, there’s nothing that really drew me back. The pork dishes are fine; I still prefer the bacon I had in Amsterdam.
Price of food & transport: AED 305 (USD 82)
Tax Refunds: If you’ve been following my expenses, you would’ve noticed that I exceeded my budget by about 300 AED. Here’s what I did next – I made sure to collect a receipt from all the restaurants, bars or pubs just to keep a tab on my expense. Now at the airport, you can claim all the VAT money back by showing these receipts at the Tax Refund counter. Make sure you’re there a bit early to stand in line.
Tax Refund: AED 200 (USD 54)
And so my total bill was about AED 1555. I know this sounds like heavy budgeting but honestly, I had a blast. I was out most of the time, I had my fare share of wine and beer, I made sure to get on board all tours and I ate like a possum. Trust me, if you probably stick to the travel tips, you won’t end up spending more than AED 2000.
That’s it guys! I hope this post helps you out. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to put them down in the box below. If there are more experiences and places that I haven’t visited/listed then do let me know cause I’m planning to go back. And most importantly, if you know friends or family who want to go on a holiday to Georgia and need some direction then please share!
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