Best Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi

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Today I will take you on a Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi  Georgia. Read more on the best things to do near Tbilisi

Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi

Mtskheta – Ancient Capital of Eastern Georgia from 3rd century B.C. to 5th century B.C. houses outstanding medieval religious architectures.  Mtskheta is also known as “Holy City” of Georgia.  Mtskheta is a very small city and is located approximately 25 km(30 minutes drive) from the present capital city of Tbilisi.  

Mtskheta is located at the confluence of Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers, making its location very strategic, and also soil of Mtskheta is very fertile and a suitable place for habitats from ancient times.  Also, Mtskheta was a famous stopover during ancient trade routes. 

Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Ancient lanes of Mtskheta

Now Let’s Explore lanes of the antique 5th century,  during the Mtskheta Day Trip from Tbilisi –We started early from Kazbegi to Tbilisi and, on the way, planned for the Mtskheta trip.  This can be done from Tbilisi on the way to Kazbegi or Uplistsikhe. 

Click here to book a full-day tour from Tbilisi to Mtskheta

The ancient capital of Georgia or a combo trip of Tbilisi and Mtskheta or Mtskheta-Gudauri-Kazbegi or Mtskheta and Gori caves.

Most Sought Attractions during Mtskheta day trip from Tbilisi | Places to visit near Tbilisi | Best of Georgia (country) 

Jvari Monastery (Monastery of Cross)

 Jvari can be translated into “The Monastery of the Cross”.  Jvari is a 6th-century monastery with a cross shape(hence got its name) and located on the highest clifftop of Mtskheta with stunning views of the confluence of rivers Agravi and Mtkvari, as well as Mtskheta town.  Jvari is a UNESCO-listed site. That is why the Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi is really perfect.

Mtksheta Day trip from Tbilisi
View from Jvari Monastery

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (Curing Pillar Cathedral) – Day trips from Tbilisi

 The most famous and most prominent cathedral in Georgia. This 10th-century structure has survived many harsh conditions.  Also, this cathedral is listed as a UNESCO World heritage Site. Svetitskhoveli has been an important religious center for centuries due to one belief associated with it.  There is a legend that a robe of Jesus Christ was buried within the premises.  Also, a pillar inside the cathedral is known for curing diseases upon touching it. 

Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Svetitskhoveli Monastery

Samtavro Monastery (Place of ruler)

It is a spiritual and famous landmark of Mtskheta, which was built in the 4th century but this monastery was severely damaged by earthquakes many times. It was reconstructed in the 15th & 19th centuries.  Also, this is a nunnery of St. Nino. 

Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Samtavro Monastery

Gvinis Plata – Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi

 Georgian traditional theme restaurant offers stunning views of monasteries and scenic landscapes. Also famous among wine enthusiasts.  This restaurant is spread over 4 floors, each with a different theme and décor.  Like the Ground floor is for understanding the making of Georgian wines from grapes, the second floor, with many a variety of wines, offers the chance to learn the process of baking the authentic Georgian bread – Shoti Puri, all with live Georgian music and folk dances. 

From the top floor, breathtaking views of Mtskheta can be enjoyed.  Do not miss this themed restaurant during your Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi.

 Bebris Tsikhe – Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi

It is an ancient castle spread over 1500 sq.m.  located on the mountain top of north Mtskheta.  Though this castle is ruined, the views from the top are amazing.  That is why it is recommended in your Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi.

Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Bebris Tsikhe

There are many more monasteries named Shio Mgvime, Armazi in Mtskheta.  In short, Mtskheta is the religious/spiritual capital of Georgia. 

Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi
Lanes of Holy City Mtksheta

Tips for Mtskheta Day Trip from Tbilisi – Mtskheta Georgia

  1. Adults should not wear shorts or dresses above the knees inside monasteries.
  2. Women must cover their heads when entering Orthodox churches. Scarves can be borrowed(free of cost ) at the entrance and returned only there.
  3. Check for clear weather before heading to Mtskheta, as many monasteries are on mountain tops with stunning views.
  4. Traditional Georgian gifts can be purchased Mtskheta, like handmade dolls or authentic Georgian wines.
  5. Hotel or Guest-House stay in Mtskheta is cheaper than Staying in Tbilisi. Some people prefer to stay in Mtskheta, only 25 km from Tbilisi.
  6. You can take Marshrutka (mini Bus) from Didube – Tbilisi’sBus stand for 2 to 4 USD. Then you have to walk a lot in the city. A taxi is available in Mtskheta city center for visiting all monasteries, and you can pay around 10 GEL for the trip, but it depends on hours and how much you make them wait. 
  7. Many private guided tours run from Tbilisi. A private taxi with a guide can be hired.  I hired a local guide cum driver with a private car to visit all the places.

After Mtskheta, one can return to Tbilisi but can go for Ananuri fort on the Northern side or Uplitsikhe Cave town tour on the western side. 

I covered the Mtskheta day trip while going to Kazbegi city, as Mtskheta lies on the Georgian Military Highway running through the mountains to the Russian border. If you are staying in Mtskheta, then check some stays below on the map –

If you are going to Georgia in October then do not miss Georgian Air Balloon Competition. 

There are many day tours from Tbilisi like – Day trips from Tbilisi 

1.)  Rabati castle tour

2.)  Winery tour

3.)  Explore Caucasus mountain range in Kazbegi

There are many itineraries for Georgia in summers and Georgia in winters. Read these links to know more about Georgia.

So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING…………………………………………………… 

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  1. Loved going on Mtskheta Day trip from Tbilisi through this post. The place looks so charming. picturesque and historical. “The lanes of antique 5th century” sound romantic. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the curing pillar cathedral looks beautiful and I can only imagine how it would to be present there. Legends associated with a place add to its meaning and give a window to local belief systems. This virtual tour does give a feeling that Mtskheta is going to be a spiritual experience in Georgia and I hope to go there soon. Its a new learning that women must cover their head when entering into Orthodox churches.

    1. Yes Navita, in Orthodox churches women cover their head and bot men and women should cover their knees. Mtskheta is actually a spiritual capital of Georgia and in earlier times played a major role.

  2. Georgia has been calling my name for awhile, and posts like this definitely make me remember why! Mtksheta looks beautiful, and I would love to take a day trip there. Great tips about waiting for the right weather & wearing a long skirt/pants–I pack a few things on every trip just for religious sanctuaries as these issues seem to come up so often in those settings!

  3. Georgia is such an amazing destination and looks so untouched by tourists. Those monasteries and castles are my weaknesses. I was not aware of the Jesus Christ connection.

  4. Those monasteries look out of the world. Being UNESCO sites definitely peaks my interest in those. Love them all. I can possibly spend most of my time here just discovering these. The travel tips at the end are definitely useful for first timers here. Cheers

  5. I had an intern who ran off for a year to visit Georgia. He said he wouldn’t have traded a day there for anything. What made it special to him was the warmth and hospitality of the people. The wide open views and deep history have been calling to me.

  6. I had no idea Georgia was this beautiful! I would love to explore that region! It does very medieval indeed and I can only imagine the wine and the food was amazing. Thanks for all the tips about covering yout head and your legs. I was not aware that some of the churches I visited in Croatia required this and I had to buy a scarf to cover my shoulders.

  7. This looks like a lovely town to explore, and a perfect day trip from Tbilisi too. I never knew there were so many historic sights, especially like the monastery. I’d love to see this for myself, and so would my parents who are very Catholic and would like to see it for herself! If I ever get to Georgia, I will really go here!

  8. I know little about Georgia but I do think that they are the ones that are most exciting to explore. You can experience it with a wide-eyed wonder because everything is new. I love the attractions you listed and they are definitely my kind of tourist destination. The monasteries are beautiful and so is the Curing Pillar Cathedral!

  9. It seems like Georgia is more and more becoming a popular turist destination in the last years. I will admit that I have never heard of this place, but it may be because I have not done my research about this country just yet. in any case, I had no idea you had a UNESCO site! It is awesome too that it is so close from Tbisili!

  10. I haven’t heard of most of these places before but I love that it’s not packed with tourists yet. The ancient buildings look especially beautiful amid the green landscapes. The Air Balloon competition sounds like fun too.

  11. I loved this day trip when I went to Georgia. It’s one of the popular day trips from Tbilisi and I recommend it too because of the lovely Mksheta old town, its cobbled stone streets and charming street market, cathedral and the hilltop monastry in the backdrop. And the best part is that its not too far from Tbilisi!

    1. As Georgia is small country, many things can be covered within day trips from Tbilisi but some parts are far and so for seeing all highlights of Georgia, you need 9 to 10 days maximum.

  12. I am enjoying your Georgia series. Mtksheta seems like an offbeat destination. I had never heard of it despite it being such n ancient place. The river I am sure supported life here since centuries. Jvari Monastery seems to be in a time warp. I am amazed that it is still standing tall even after hundreds of years.

  13. Mtksheta looks amazing. The UNESCO World Heritage site, curing Pillar cathedral, where the robe of Jesus Christ is believed to be buried is new information for me. Thank you very much for writing such an informative article.

  14. Mtksheta looks absolutely stunning. I have a liking for places where rivers meet, so that makes it all the more special. Add to that the historic importance and of course the castle, cathedral, and monastery, makes the history buff inside me jump with joy. Thanks for all the tips and beautiful photos.

  15. I didn’t knew much about Georgia until
    I met my friend from there and she told me how beautiful the country is! Mtksheta seems as lovely as I can image! Wonderful landscape, castles and stunning cathedrals ! I hope I’ll get to visit this place soon! Especially to try a great wine with a view ! 🙂

  16. You know whats funny!! I got a flight notification today for a sale to Georgia. In my mind I kept thinking, what exactly is there to do there if I was to purchase this flight. And then, boom I land on your blog. It was definitely very helpful and convincing although I missed the flight deal, I definitely plan on visiting very soon.

  17. Mtksheta looks quite fascinating with all those old monasteries, ancient castle and breath taking views. Gvinis Plata is doing a great job by providing its visitors an authentic experience of Georgia – an insight into the process of bread making, the live music and folk dances. Thanks for sharing the helpful tips.

  18. Georgia seems like such an amazing destination that isn’t too saturated with tourists yet. I’d love to visit the monasteries and castles on clear days for the view, but I think it would be amazing to visit them also on cloudy/foggy days, since I’m such a hopeless romantic when it comes to stuff like that.

    1. I agree with you as I also love those foggy valley, clouds floating… something dreamy type specially in winters/autumn

  19. I’m fascinated with Tbilisi and Georgia. I have wanted to visit since watching the Levison Wood documentaries about this area. Great post.

  20. Would actually like to go check out the Georgian Air Balloon Competition! Georgia isn’t so far from Dubai, would love to get there soon. Seems like a weekend won’t be enough though! Also hear they have amazing ski! Will for sure check out Mtksheta!

  21. Perfect post, thank you! I will be traveling back to Georgia soon on my way from Europe to Asia over land and loved reading this option from Tbilisi I otherwise had not known about. Also thanks for the wine tour liked that link too! 🙂

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