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Tbilisi Gay Travel

wolfyy’s Tbilisi gay guide based on first-hand experience. Find hotels, gay bars, clubs, restaurants, and things to do.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Tbilisi, Georgia

Did you have any idea that Tbilisi has a buzzing gay scene? In Georgia, LGBT events are not exactly found in plain sight. Tbilisi’s gay community gathers at low-key bars and cafes that are, as well as underground gay nightclubs. In these places, everyone is free to be themselves.

Tbilisi gay travel experience
Tbilisi gay travel experience
tbilisi attractions

In a post-Soviet society, local gay Georgians live with caution…and rightfully so. While attending any LGBT event in Tbilisi, it’s heartwarming to see how the people are genuinely happy expressing themselves in a semi-public space. There is a cautious sense of relief as people hug, kiss, and hold hands.

tbilisi attractions

Georgia wants to join the European Union, so the country has been pressured to alter its laws to conform to the standards of the European Council. Progress has been slow, however.

gay Tbilisi experience

You will frequently see European Union Flags flying alongside the Georgian flag while walking through the streets of Tbilisi, symbolizing Georgia’s strong desire to be accepted into the EU.

gay Tbilisi experience
visiting gay Tbilisi
visiting gay Tbilisi

I visited Tbilisi with my good friend Hassan while we traveled around Georgia, exploring the wonderful culture of the region. I never felt unsafe as a gay traveler in Tbilisi, even being aware of local attitudes toward LGBT people.

Is Georgia Safe for Gay Travelers?

There are a few things you should know before embarking on a journey as a gay tourist. Although Tbilisi is not the most accepting city in the world for gays, it is not the most dangerous place either.

gay travel safe Tbilisi Georgia

You cannot be arrested for being LGBT in Georgia, in contrast to many other countries with anti-LGBT sentiment around the world. Gay travel to Georgia and specifically Tbilisi is quite easy, but I’ll share a few specific safety tips below.

gay travel the world
Tbilisi Skyline
Tbilisi Skyline

Formerly a Soviet territory, many citizens of Georgia possess anti-LGBT sentiment since being gay was illegal under the old regime. Furthermore, the population is heavily Orthodox Christian, which does not mix well with homosexuality. 

Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of Georgians are fiercely against homosexuality.

gay travel to Tbilisi

With this in mind, it is important to keep any public displays of affection to private spaces or places that you know are LGBT-friendly. Public affection between those of the same sex in Georgia can draw negative attention and lewd comments from individuals on the street.

gay travel to Tbilisi
Tbilisi travel safety
Tbilisi travel safety

The government of Georgia has made the country only slightly safer for LGBT citizens. Nevertheless, the gay Georgian community stands strong. In 2019, the community began preparing for its first-ever Tbilisi Gay Pride.

Unfortunately, the event was postponed for reasons political in nature. I’m hoping for a Tbilisi gay pride one year in the near future!

Check out this video from 2019 in preparation for the planned celebration. A local gay Georgian from Tbilisi who I met while visiting Batumi helped produce it in preparation for the event.

Gay Tbilisi: Hotels & Where to Stay

The most vibrant neighborhoods in Tbilisi are the areas around the Rustaveli metro stop and Marjanishvili metro stop. Both parts of the city have beautiful, walkable streets with a friendly feel.

Tbilisi gay hotels

Marjanishvili Hotels

When browsing hotels in Marjanishvili, try to stay closer to the river, away from the immediate Station Square area. The city is a bit dirty over here as it’s close to Tbilisi’s central rail station.

Tiflis boutique hotel

I recommend Tiflis Inn Boutique Hotel in Marjanishvili. I absolutely loved it, mainly for the impeccable interior design. The hotel is quaint and traditionally decorated. As soon as I walked in, I fell in love with how regal, yet homey it felt.

Tbilisi gay hotels
Tiflis boutique hotel
Stamba Tbilisi restaurant

With a budget-friendly price, lively colors, and a great location, I was more than happy with Tiflis Inn. Definitely consider a stay here!

Check out Iren River Side Apartments or the colorful Hotel Art Nebula if you like the idea of staying in Marjanishvili. Both are some of the best-rated modern accommodations in the area. Plus, they’re very affordable.

Rustaveli Hotels

Hotels in Rustaveli are also fantastic, ideally between the Rustaveli metro stop and Liberty Square. There are tons of shops and local life in this part of Tbilisi.

Tbilisi gay friendly hotel

Stamba Hotel offers one of the most classic and authentic ambiances in Tbilisi. It’s one of the most popular in Rustaveli, an iconic 5-star hotel with a well-known restaurant and café that I and many of my traveler friends recommend. 

Tbilisi gay friendly hotel
Tbilisi luxury hotel

The design is grand and stately, which is another reason why everyone loves Stamba. I had breakfast as well as drinks here a few times and everything was divine. I would definitely stay here if I returned!

Tbilisi luxury hotel

Barnovi Boutique Hotel is among the best hotels in the Rustaveli area and it’s captivatingly modern. Every detail of the hotel is so pretty that you feel completely relaxed here, including the floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The hotel also has some stunning rooftop views of the city. Considering how nice Barnovi Boutique is, you really get your money’s worth!

A couple more popular hotels in the area that are worth a look include Tbilisi View Hotel, 3 Rooms Hotel, and the affordable Hotello.

Check out even more Tbilisi hotels on Booking.com.

Tbilisi Gay Travel Experiences

Walk down Loane Shavteli Street in the Tiflis Old City. Musicians sing in the streets and small café’s line the sidewalks in this adorable neighborhood.

Tbilisi clock tower

Stop by the Clock Tower too. It is a precious little marionette theater. The Meidan Bazari is also nearby, a beautiful underground Bazaar. They sell wine, treats, and many hand-made textile products.

mother of Georgia statue
Tbilisi clock tower
mother of Georgia statue

Climbing up to the Mother of Georgia Statue is a great afternoon adventure. You can get some great views of Tbilisi here. I recommend taking the stairs up the mountainside instead of the cable car to avoid the tourist crowds. Close to the cable car areas, it gets quite congested.

Fabrika Tbilisi is an absolute must. Fabrika is a courtyard area with places to take photos, play an outdoor piano, have a drink, or grab a burger.

exploring tbilisi
exploring tbilisi
Tbilisi gay sauna

Summer visitors should check out the pool at the Radisson Blu Iveria Tbilisi, which has fantastic amenities you can use for a daily fee.

Tbilisi gay sauna

Their sauna in the hotel has a striking view, looking over the entire city. If you have a few hours between your arrival and hotel check-in, then this will be a great place to refresh yourself and relax a bit.

Popular Activities

Restaurants in Tbilisi

Café Gallery is a noteworthy gay-friendly café in Tbilisi. It is an excellent place to grab a bite to eat. Dimly lit and not too crowded, Café Gallery makes for a great rest stop while exploring Rustaveli.

144 stairs cafe tbilisi
144 stairs cafe tbilisi
tbilisi best restaurants

144 Stairs Café was one of my favorite cafés in Tbilisi. You can plan to rest here after visiting the Mother of Georgia Statue. I grabbed a couple of beers after a long morning of exploring the city.

tbilisi best cafes

Perched high above the city with scenic views, 144 Stairs café has outdoor seating, friendly staff, and a cute old cat!

authentic restaurant Tbilisi

I had a few meals at Khinkali House in Rustaveli. This Georgian-Russian restaurant has several floors and tons of space for groups. It is quite unique with its large booths.

Stamba Tbilisi restaurant
authentic restaurant Tbilisi

Try some Khinkali here, the dough-wrapped cheese or meat. Don’t call them “dumplings” or you’ll offend a Georgian! I recommend grabbing a table on the better-looking upper floors.

tbilisi best restaurants

Pipes Burger Joint is a gay-friendly restaurant in Tbilisi that serves amazing comfort food. They also have a store in the back of the yard that sells jewelry and knick-knacks.

Georgian Food You Must Try!

Every single meal I had while traveling Georgia included the amazing “walnut and eggplant dish.”  It is a walnut paste wrapped in eggplant with pomegranate seeds on top. It was my friend Hassan and my favorite starter dish.

Georgian food to try
Khachapuri Georgian Food
Georgian food to try

Khachapuri is the mother of all traditional foods. This stuff will warm your soul. It is a cheese-bread topped with a slab of butter that is not fully melted and usually a raw egg.

Some restaurants make it quite salty, while others make it less so. Without a doubt, it can be found anywhere you go!

Khachapuri Georgian Food

Fried Sulguni cheese is also a must. It is simple, yet delicious. You can get this heap of cheese either plain or with some type of meat or mushrooms. Most restaurants will serve the delicious Sulguni dish.

Tbilisi Gay Bars & Nightlife

Tbilisi has a thriving gay nightlife scene. While there are only a couple of large gay clubs, there are many smaller gay bars with quieter vibes.

Here are some Tbilisi nightlife options where you can count on meeting some new gay friends!

tbilisi gay nightlife
tbilisi gay nightlife

Success Bar Tbilisi

Success Bar is the unofficial Tbilisi gay bar. Tucked away on a side street in Rustaveli, it is clustered with a bunch of other lounge-like bars. The space is dimly lit and relaxing; it’s perfect for a few cocktails either alone or with a friend. 

Tbilisi Gay Bars

The gay Georgians are friendly so don’t be shy to go alone! Note that Success bar opens quite late at 11 PM. It’s more of a late-night place. 

Success Bar has proudly reopened following a long closure over the pandemic’s peak. Earlier this year, a GoFundMe was created to save Success Bar. Even though they’re now open, and you can still donate if you’d like to support this LGBT space that’s crucial to Tbilisi’s gay life!

Khidi Gay Nightclub

Khidi Nightclub is the go-to gay club for late-night dancing and meeting locals in Tbilisi. Their scheduled events are always posted on their Facebook page. When I visited, there was a fun party called KIKI.

gay clubs Tbilisi
Tbilisi Gay Bars
gay clubs Tbilisi

As you enter Khidi, the friendly staff will hand you a sticker to place over your phone’s camera lens. Privacy amongst the LGBT community is very important in Georgia. LGBT individuals can face repercussions if someone shares personal information about their sexuality publicly.

The place was full of friendly people from many different countries. I had a fun time talking to people here!

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Relaxed Tbilisi Gay Bars

If you prefer a more subdued vibe, you’ll still have plenty of gay bars to choose from. 

Ambavi Bar has a mixture of a lounge-like feel, but you’ll still find dancing! It’s a smaller, informal venue popular with locals.

gender equality tbilisi

Mosaic Bar and DRAMA Bar are some other gay bar options. Since I didn’t have time to explore all of these, please share your opinion if you visit!

tbilisi local lgbt events

Remember that while these smaller gay bars are definitely different from the more traditional gay bars you’ll find around the world. Some spaces are quite small, which could be intimidating for solo travelers.

tbilisi local lgbt events
nightlife Tbilisi
nightlife Tbilisi

4GB Music Festival Tbilisi

The 4GB Music Festival outside the city of Tbilisi was definitely one of the best electronic festivals I’ve ever been to. It is held during the month of May in the wide-open countryside in an old warehouse compound outside bustling Tbilisi.

4GB festival tbilisi

Even though a bit of rain that afternoon, Hassan and I had a blast enjoying the different stages, people watching and getting a few too many Jägermeister shots (they were only $2 USD each)!

tbilisi music festival
4GB festival tbilisi
tbilisi music festival

I definitely recommend you attend a 4GB event if you can make it. Even if you are not the biggest fan of electronic music, there’s food, awesome art and of course the bar! 

Tbilisi Gay Travel Tips

Need some inexpensive snacks, beer or wine? Head to Spar, a Dutch-operated international mini-grocery store. They will have everything you’ll need. There are many stores around the city, so you probably won’t ever be too far from one.

Tbilisi gay travel tip
Tbilisi gay travel tip
gender equality tbilisi

It could be helpful to work on some basic Russian skills before setting off to Georgia! Many people do not speak English. Given Georgia is a post-Soviet country, Russian is the default language when someone does not speak the local Georgian language.

Learning some basic commands and a few numbers helps with taxi rides and at restaurants.

Getting Around Tbilisi

Station Square is the main train station in Tbilisi. You will arrive here if you come by train. It is not the most beautiful area, so don’t let the streets around the station give you a poor first impression of the city!

tbilisi LGBT traveler

If you plan to visit other destinations by train, you can walk up to the counter on the uppermost floor of the train station to buy tickets. Likely you will buy tickets for international destinations such as Baku, Azerbaijan in person upon arrival in Tbilisi. Buy them one or two days in advance of your journey.

tbilisi LGBT traveler
using Tbilisi metro subway

Tbilisi’s underground metro is extremely convenient, fast, and costs next to nothing! I found myself consistently traveling back and forth from Rustaveli to Station Square via metro.

Trains are frequent and the reliable system runs from 6 AM to midnight. Go to an attendant inside the metro station to buy tickets. The touchscreen machines are not so helpful.

using Tbilisi metro subway

Taxi rides are inexpensive as well. However, due to heavy traffic in the city during rush hour, taking the metro may serve you much better. Be prepared, however…Tbilisi taxi drivers can drive a little crazily!

Tbilisi Airport Lounge Access

Tbilisi’s main airport lounge is super cozy. It’s definitely worth relaxing here before your flight, especially if you have lots of time between your airport transfer and departure like I did.

Priority Pass is offering 10% off annual memberships, which you can use in so many airports worldwide. I have a membership and it’s more than worth it if you take a few international trips yearly.

Consider Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance coverage before visiting Tbilisi can come in extremely handy. Trip cancellation protection, lost-baggage coverage, travel delay reimbursements and medical coverage abroad are just a few reasons why you should always have some sort of insurance policy.

Travelex Insurance is one of the easiest providers to use. Their website gives you an immediate quote based on your age, trip cost and a few other factors. They then offer plans in several price tiers.

Alternatively, you can shop among the quotes from a whole bunch of different providers using a travel insurance marketplace service like Aardy.

Georgia Gay Rights

Georgia is one of the few post-Soviet countries that have protections for LGBT citizens. These LGBT protections were enacted as Georgia prepares to submit their EU member state application, for which basic gay rights are a prerequisite.

Although anti-LGBT sentiment is high in Georgia, the LGBT community technically has support. The government enacted discrimination protections back in 2006. Those protections now include both orientation and gender expression. 

Local streets Kutaisi Georgia

Georgia has faced very recent battles regarding marriage equality. In 2016, there was a movement to redefine the current gender-neutral constitutional language to instead expressly state that marriage should exist between a man and a woman.

This crisis received extreme backlash from the international community. However, the parliament went on to pass the proposal, a large defeat to the LGBT population.

batumi skyline
Local streets Kutaisi Georgia
batumi skyline

Gay travelers must remain guarded in Georgia since these attitudes are so negative. For example, Polls in recent years showed that more than 90% of Georgians think homosexuality is completely unacceptable

Many individuals in the public eye have suffered negative repercussions, including physical violence, after making pro-LGBT statements. 

mother of Georgia statue

In my opinion, it is a bit unfortunate that the government only advances protections for the LGBT community because it is a prerequisite to aligning politically with the advanced states of Europe.

Nevertheless, progress is progress. Let’s hope that the overall sentiment regarding LGBT lives will change with time.

Georgia LGBT Resources

I gladly stumbled upon an advertisement in the Khidi Nightclub in Tbilisi for an organization working on HIV/AIDS prevention in post-Soviet countries. Armenian Caritas works with people in Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine. 

Their mission is to support the practice of safe behaviors, increase awareness and provide access to needed resources. Here’s some more information about Armenian Caritas.

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Don’t forget to check out wolfyy’s gay travel guide to the quaint Georgian town of Kutaisi.

See wolfyy’s complete collection of gay travel guides for more gay destination ideas around the world. 

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