Tbilisi at a Glance
Living in Tbilisi
Healthcare in Tbilisi
While some local hospitals and health centers occasionally lack equipment, healthcare reform is high on the agenda, and 1993 saw the Ministry of Health implement this reform just as the country was transitioning to a market economy. Nowadays, local healthcare is improving, like most things in Tbilisi, and can boast to be of a comparably high standard.
There are many examples of the healthcare improvements in Tbilisi, such as the In Vitro Clinic, which is one of the best fertility hospitals in the Middle East. At this center, world class doctors use the latest technology to aid families in their bid to conceive. Other notable hospitals include the R. Gudushauri Hospital and the Center of Clinical Medicine.
To cover the costs of any treatments or doctor visits, expatriates are advised to obtain a private health insurance policy before arriving in Tbilisi.
Transportation in Tbilisi
The main areas of Tbilisi are connected by a fairly extensive metro network, with fine marble architecture giving the underground stations a stylish feel. Station announcements are made in Georgian and English. Mini buses can also be encountered on a regular basis around Tbilisi, and this form of transport is an extremely easy way of seeing the sights.
Those wishing to jump in a taxi can do so for no more than a few US dollars, but be sure to agree on the cost of the journey before getting into the taxi as many drivers will try to take advantage of tourists — 0.30 USD per km is the going rate.
Finally, Tbilisi has recently introduced a number of Western-style yellow buses. Although the destinations are in Georgian, a translated list of the stops can be obtained from a number of places, including hotels. These buses are extremely safe and clean, with a price of 0.5 GEL (0.22 USD) per journey. Hop on at the back and pay the driver as you leave the bus.
A rechargeable Metromoney card can also be purchased for 2 GEL (0.88 USD), allowing the user to switch between bus and metro for 90 minutes for the price of single ticket. This card is also required for any rides on the sky tramway, as cash payments are not accepted here.
Culture and Leisure
With a host of religious monuments and unique geographical phenomena, Tbilisi offers those new to the city a host of activities in which to emerge themselves. The 4th century Narikala Fortress provides an insight into Georgia's past conflicts, while the Bridge of Peace is an example of the country's less turbulent modern-day situation. To get to Narikala, there is no better option than the sky tramway. This trip is extraordinarily cheap at 1 GEL each way (0.44 USD), and once at the top the panoramic views on offer are truly stunning.
Tbilisi is also synonymous with religion, and there is no finer example of this than the city's many cathedrals, including the Tsminda Sameba Cathedral, the Sioni Cathedral Church, and the Metekhi Cathedral. Any expatriates living in Tbilisi who want to delve deeper into the city’s history can head to the Georgian National Museum.