If you want to live like a local in Georgia you should take a few steps. First, you should get to know the culture and cuisine of this country(link to part 1) and after that, the practical stuff begins.
If you are living or visiting Tbilisi you have to know what happens in a specific part of the city.
Where To Buy Things For Cheap?
Of course, there are lots of different shops in different streets of Tbilisi but you will probably have to buy at least one thing near Station Square.
This place has 3 Subway entrances and near them, different shops are located.
You can buy clothing, household things, products to eat, electronics, sim cards, gold, silver and almost everything there.
When you get to Station Square you will see the large area of markets there. But you probably don’t know that there are also shops underground. This place is known for second-hand clothing but you can also find brand new things there.
Basically anything can be found in the bazaar area for a fraction of the price that you might find in commercial shops like Carrefour. Be sure to have your “local” face on, and basic Georgian phrases ready, so you are sure to get the best price (if it is not already listed on a sticker). The Station Square area might take some patience to get through, but here you will find the best deals & hard-to-find items as well as benefit the local economy.
How To Go To Different Regions Of Georgia?
Heading to the West (Batumi, Kutaisi, Svaneti, Kazbegi, etc)
From Station Square, you can take minibus or train to some parts of the country like Batumi, Kutaisi, Svaneti, Kazbegi and others.
There are also many marshrutka options from Didube Station known as Okriba.
There are lots of bus, minibus and taxi drivers waiting for people who want to leave the city. The prices for bus and minibus are typically standard for all passengers, but ensure a local is nearby to make sure you are not paying extra as a foreigner. You will need to negotiate prices with taxi drivers.
*Note: To get to Svaneti and other more remote places in the north west by minibus, you will likely need to stop in Kutaisi and take 2nd minibus to your final destination.
Heading to the East (Signaghi, Lagodekhi, Telavi, Tusheti, etc).
As for the east, where the region of Kakheti is located, you should to go to Isani, Avlabari or Ortachala Stations. At these metro stations, you will find many minibusses and taxis ready to take off.
In the east are some very popular places like Sighnaghi, Lagodekhi and Tusheti.
*Note: For the route to Tusheti you should stop in Telavi or other villages at the edge of the mountains and find a 4×4 taxi to take you the rest of the way.
Where To Have Fun In Tbilisi?
If you are done with the general sightseeing, you may want to start having fun as a local. We will not talk about Cafes and Restaurants near Rustaveli Avenue. We will show something new.
Some of the most exciting bars in Tbilisi are located near Marjanishvili Street.
You should enter the Fabrika Hotel area to find them. These bars are united in the huge yard where lots of different people gather.
From 20 minutes walking distance from Fabrika Hotel is located Dedaena Park. Here, flea markets are usually held. Nearby, there is also a skatepark. So there is some kind of attraction for all kinds of people.
If this is too touristy for you, you can try hanging out in places near your house. That’s what local males usually do. They gather together, have fun and talk about simple topics such as football. They will more than likely be happy to include you! They like to chat with foreigners and practice their non-native language. But as usual, you should use your intuition about the situation as there is usually a lot of alcohol at such gatherings.
For now, that’s all. If you have some good advice about this topic, we will be more than glad to hear from you in the comments.