Expo 55: Tbilisi— Tbilisi


Chaotically beautiful, brimming with optimism and inhabited by friendly, fun-loving people, the capital of Georgia is a lesson in transformation.

Architecture, Cities, Culture, Streets, Tourism, travel

There is no rulebook for how long a city should take to throw off the cloak of misery following occupation or civil war. But the Georgian capital of Tbilisi is a lesson in how quickly wounds can heal. In the two decades since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 it’s suffered civil war, the far-from-peaceful secession of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, rampant mafia corruption and the frequent goading by its neighbour Russia – “the dragon on our shoulder” as one city official puts it. In the heart of the Caucasus, bordered between its…

  1. Meals in Tbilisi can last for days with feasts of aubergines, walnuts and slow-cooked meat.
  2. Crime has all but vanished – residents don’t even lock their cars at night.
  3. The city is full of charm, awash with rich patinas and elegant vignettes.
  4. The younger generations that studied abroad are returning, armed with experience.
  5. There are no meters in the taxis – fares are done on trust.
  1. A dust-down of the airport and more direct international flights.
  2. Better public transport – gridlocked traffic is not fun.
  3. The riverbank is prime for redevelopment.
  4. A clever tourism campaign aimed further afield than the neighbours.
  5. Development of the wine industry – it should be Georgia’s world class export.

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