Tips for organizing a trip to Georgia
Travel all over Georgia with valuable information
Are you looking for a new place to go? Are you tired of everyday life and see the same thing again? Maybe you want to try something else. Well, there is a destination for you. It’s Georgia. Georgia is a small country in the south of Russia and recently made headlines due to a short war with Russia last year.
However, don’t let the war put you off. The war only lasted five days and everything is now peaceful and secure. In addition, the Georgian government allows American and European tourists to easily visit the country, which is full of magic wonders and ancient places to visit. Georgia has many churches and castles dating back to the 6th century. The Georgian people are also very hospitable and ready to help you find your way.
How do you get to Georgia?
Georgia is that it is a small country and that there are no direct flights from American cities to Tbilisi, the city where you probably fly because it is the capital of the country.
Most flights to Georgia come from Europe or Turkey and fly at night, so when you arrive in Tbilisi, you may want an extra day to rest. There are several ways to get from Georgia to the United States and the most common routes are listed below.
1. United Airlines and Lufthansa are the easiest routes to Georgia from the United States. Both airlines are members of the Star Alliance and operate their respective flights. You can fly Lufthansa or United from Chicago, New York or Los Angeles to Munich. You fly from the United States in the early afternoon or evening and arrive in Munich at different times.
United flights arrive in the morning and Lufthansa flights arrive in Munich in the early afternoon the next day. You have a long stopover in Munich then at 9:30 p.m. The time in Munich flies the Lufthansa flight to Tbilisi and arrives in Tbilisi the next morning at 3 p.m.
Flights from Chicago or New York to Munich last on average about eight to nine hours and a flight from Los Angeles to Munich takes approximately 10 to 12 hours. The flight from Munich to Tbilisi takes an average of three to four hours.
2. Austrian Airlines flies from Chicago and New York to Vienna. These flights last approximately eight to nine hours. The connecting flight from Vienna to Tbilisi leaves around 10 a.m. and arrives in Tbilisi the next morning at 4 a.m.
3. Turkish Airlines flies from Chicago and New York to Istanbul or Ankara. From there, there is also a flight to Tbilisi.
These are the most reliable routes to Georgia from the United States and your luggage can be checked in to your final destination, Tbilisi.
What to do upon arrival at Tbilisi International Airport
When you arrive at Tbilisi International Airport, you will find that the border residents are very friendly and more than willing to help you with the few formalities you need to enter Georgia. Upon arrival, you will find that passport control is only a short walk from the jet route where you are leaving the plane.
If you are a citizen of the United States, Israel, EU member states, Switzerland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, you do not need to apply for a visa to enter Georgia. If you live in the United States with a green card and are a citizen of a country other than those listed above, you may need to apply for a visa.
Applying for a Georgia visa is not at all difficult. In fact, you can apply directly to the airport. You must have passport photos available and visa fees are not expensive.
When going through border control at the airport, you need to have your passport in hand and the border officer allows you to look into a front camera and stamp your passport and then you can continue claiming your luggage.
Baggage claim and customs at Tbilisi International Airport
After passing passport control, you must continue to claim your luggage. You must have your baggage tickets available as baggage claimants check them regularly to prevent baggage theft. Customs is virtually non-existent and if you have to go through customs, your bag has a special sticker.
This sticker is only placed on luggage that looks suspicious via an X-ray machine. If you don’t have a sticker on your luggage, which you are more than likely, you can look for buses or taxis to take you to different hotels.
Other ways to enter Georgia
There are also other ways to enter Georgia by air. For example, if you are travelling through Turkey, you can take a bus to Trabzon and go to Sarpi from there. Sarpi is the border between Turkey and Georgia and is in a beautiful setting on the Black Sea.
You can enter Georgia via Sarpi or Kars. You can also cross the Georgia border on foot at Sarpi. From Sarpi, you can take a microbus or a taxi to Batumi, five or ten minutes north of Sarpi.
Kars is a border town in Turkey, directly on the Georgian border. If you choose to travel by train from Georgia to Georgia, the train stops at Kars and you have to get off and cross the border on foot. On the Georgian side of the border is the town of Vale, from where you can take a train or bus to Tbilisi.
Azerbaijan is another country from which you can travel by land to Georgia. If you are visiting Baku, you can take a train or bus from Baku to Tbilisi. There is also a flight from Baku to Tbilisi which takes about 30 minutes.
Armenia is in the south of Georgia and if you are visiting Yerevan, you can take a train or bus from Yerevan to Tbilisi.
Russia is the only country from which you cannot legally pass to Georgia. It is possible to go to Russia from South Ossetia or Abkhazia, but it is not recommended. These two areas and the border with Georgia are dangerous.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are actually two regions of Georgia where tourists are not allowed to visit. Stay away from the Gali region near Abkhazia. If you plan to travel from Russia to Georgia, you must go through a third country.
The Black Sea is another way to enter Georgia through Georgia’s two ports on the Black Sea, namely Poti and Batumi. Poti is the most important commercial port in Georgia and many cargo ships enter Poti with all kinds of durable goods from around the world. Batumi is above all a seaside resort, but also has an oil terminal and a small port.
Both ports have passports and customs controls. There are ferries that sail from both Poti and Batumi to other parts of the Black Sea. These ferries also carry trucks and cars, as well as a limited number of passengers.
Batumi is the smallest port in Georgia and mainly has ferries that leave for Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria or Turkey.
Travelling by train to and from Georgia is affordable and you pay for your meals and tickets when you travel with Ukrferry Shipping Services. This shipping company is the most reliable and its vessels are clean and have good service.
Here you can find information on Ukrferry fares for passenger services of state chambers and transform your trip to Georgia into an interesting trip around the Black Sea. You will find that the conditions on board the ships are comfortable but simple. Ukrferry has two ships travelling from Georgia to Ilyichievsk, in Ukraine, near Odesa. You can sail from Ilyichevsk to Poti aboard the MS Greifswald.
The MS Greifswald is a train-equipped ferry which was built in East Germany in the early 1980s as a simple ferry to transport wagons from Rostock across the Baltic Sea to the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union fell and Germany was reunited, the MS Greifswald was sold to the Ukrainian Ukrferry Shipping Company to operate the Ilyichievsk-Poti route.
The ship has been redesigned for passengers, passenger cars, trucks and train cars. The MS Greifswald accommodates 75 passengers and has a crew of more than 30 people.
If you choose to sail on the Greifswald, you must share the ship’s cafeteria with the crew so that passenger meal times are announced on the ship’s calling system. You can take a car tour of Europe in Ukraine and take your car on the Greifswald to enter Georgia in Poti.
The Greifswald must cover ferries which can transport 1000 train cars, 1500 semi-trucks and 2000 private cars. For passengers, the MS Greifswald has a cafeteria serving simple Ukrainian meals such as borsch and Kasha, a bar with payment services and a number of open decks for passengers to enjoy the air fresh from the Black Sea. The journey time from Ilyichievsk to Poti takes about two and a half days.
La Geroitie na Sevastopolia is a Bulgarian rail ferry which is twice the size of MS Greifswald and serves the Ilyichievsk-Batumi route. La Geroitie na Sevastopolia is equipped with three ferry bridges that can transport more than 1,500 train cars, 2,000 semi-trucks and 2,500 passenger cars. The ship can also accommodate more than 150 passengers and offers the same services on board as the MS Greifswald on the Poti route.
The emergency services on board the two ships comply with Western standards with a clearly defined escape route and each passenger cabin is equipped with life jackets sufficient for all the people who can sleep in this cabin.
In addition, both ships have a doctor on board with a clinic that meets Western standards with all the up-to-date medical equipment required in the event of a medical emergency at sea.
The policies that passengers should follow when sailing from and to Georgia on Ukrferry vessels to and from Poti or Batumi are fairly straightforward. Upon boarding, you must go to the first passenger deck and you will see a service counter, just like the one you would see when checking in to a country hotel. When boarding, you must hand your passport over to the service desk for border control purposes.
The crew uses your documents for the ship’s logbook to keep track of all passengers in an emergency. Just like when checking in to a hotel, you will receive a key for your passenger cabin and a number on the key ring. This number is your seat number assigned to the cafeteria before the meal. Avoid being late for meals as the meal lasts about an hour, after which the ship’s cafeteria is handed over to the crew.