Tbilisi in January: fireworks of emotions in a beautiful city

At the beginning of the month, the Georgian capital is still engulfed in festivities, which will continue until January 2, later turning into family festivities at Christmas. In the middle of the month, the meeting of the New Year gets a second wind: celebration in the old style — these are also New Year's concerts, shopping towns, attractions and familiar fairy-tale characters.

The onset of darkness and bright illuminations make Tbilisi more romantic in January than at any other time of the year. Numerous street fairs and bazaars, entertainment from restaurants and cafes, consisting of live music, folk singing, dancing and long toasts, according to the Kidpassage website, create a soulful atmosphere. Cultural events for children in theaters and squares take them on a journey into a real fairy tale.

Tbilisi in January: fireworks of emotions in a beautiful city

< h2>Holidays in Tbilisi in January: noisy and family friendly

Opening itself to European tourists, Georgia welcomes more and more foreign guests from among those who like to celebrate the New Year in a new place. As a rule, at this time, travelers come to Tbilisi for a short vacation (for 3-4 days) to recharge their good mood for the whole next year.

In addition to external New Year paraphernalia and sights, they are attracted by the fact that the warm heart of the Georgian people accepts each guest as a child — with all kindness and care. In winter, the city is often a transit point on the way to new and inexpensive ski resorts in the country.

Large crowds of people are observed on Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue adjacent to it, Europe Square, Mtatsminda, Dedaena parks. Noisy street concerts and programs do not let anyone get bored. Frozen tourists are warmed up by hot wine in stalls, hot Georgian hospitality, cuisine and chacha in various establishments, and the famous Tiflis sulfur baths.

The advantages of rest make the following list:

  • mild winter;
  • romantic atmosphere, beautiful New Year and Christmas illumination;
  • с 1 to 7 January — a special holiday week (to be continued on the old New Year);
  • start of winter sales.

There are practically no minuses , only the lack of snow interferes with – really enjoy the winter cityscapes. 

Tourists leave nostalgic reviews about holidays in Tbilisi in January. They often want to return to this city alone in order to experience and feel it to the core.  

The weather in Tbilisi in January

Mild Georgian winter after a rare snowfall does not keep the snow cover of the earth for long. Thaws and return frosts replace each other. Weather in January — it is a combination of daytime positive temperatures and cold nights. In February, it gets a little warmer during the day, but the frost does not let go at night.

The weather in early January is usually calm, snowless, with slight frosts, on the roads — ice The temperature in Tbilisi in mid-January rarely drops below 0 °C, it can rain or sleet, and the wind constantly changes direction. 

At the end of January, the weather in Tbilisi is usually characterized by high humidity , cool cloudy days are coming.

Air and water temperature

The temperature in Tbilisi in January during the day changes plus to minus and vice versa: at night, the most severe frost cools the air to & minus 9 °C, during the day the sun heats the atmosphere to +11 °C. The climate of the city is temperate continental, with a transition to the subtropical type in some parameters. 

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Air temperature in Tbilisi in January

The average daily air temperature is +2.5 °C, and night reaches −3 °C. The risk of severe frosts persists throughout the winter. Their historical record was set in 1883 at −24.4°C.

Precipitation

The low winter precipitation (15.4 mm) makes the winter months the driest of the year. 26.6 days pass without precipitation, snowfall occurs on average for 3 days, and the number of rainy days — 1. The streets are very damp and humid without rain for less than a day.

Sunny, cloudy and overcast days

The sun shines in a clear sky 55% of the daytime, or 17 days a month. Cloudy turns to overcast for half of the month. The average daily number of hours of sunshine is a small interval (6.4 hours) with a day length of about 10 hours.

Sightseeing holidays

Tbilisi in January: fireworks of emotions in a beautiful city

According to the number of cultural heritage sites of the city of Tbilisi and Mtskheta — undisputed leaders of the country. Any building is remarkable in itself. Different cultures and religions coexist in the same territory. In one place you can meet both Georgian Orthodox and Armenian churches, and a mosque, and a synagogue.

Tsminda Sameba Cathedral with 13 thrones is grandiose, but rebuilt not so long ago. The former fortress and residence of Georgian kings Metekhi Temple stands at the edge of the rocky bank of the Kura River. The oldest surviving temple is Anchiskhati.

The view of the city opens from the top of the holy mountain Mtatsminda, to which the funicular lifts. In winter, Santa Claus lives here, in Georgian — Tovlis Babua. New Year on Mount Mtatsminda — it's a concert, dinner and fireworks after midnight. Street musicians sing outdoors in the summer, and in winter their singing is heard from the underground passages on the Geroev and Pushkin squares, near the Rustaveli metro station, near the Philharmonic.

Bridge of Peace, made of steel and glass by an Italian architect, connects the banks of the Kura from Rike Park to Irakli II Street and is beautifully illuminated in the dark. The townspeople call Narikala Fortress “heart and soul” Tbilisi. This is the most famous and ancient monument. A cable car takes you up to it.

At the beginning of the month in Dedaen Park, next to the famous flea market on the Dry Bridge, there is a New Year's town with a skating rink and children's programs. At the end of the month, its territory is filled with small rollers and skaters. To buy gifts and souvenirs for Christmas, you can go to D. Agmashenebeli Avenue.

In the Griboyedov Theater, all Russian-speaking children of Tbilisi gather for the holidays to listen to the “New Christmas Tale” . Other stages of the city also offer their interactive performances to young viewers. For example, “on the roads of fairy tales” followed by guests in Art Boom Ge on Rustaveli Avenue.

Even one-year-olds are happy to visit the Museum of funny sciences “Experimentorium” — territory open to any experiment. By agreement, magicians show tricks with nitrogen, chemical shows, illusions. In the middle of the month, the New Year's program with gifts, quests and a gambling show is gradually coming to an end.

  • Things to do with children in Tbilisi

< h2>Holidays, events and festivals

The holidays in Tbilisi in January are first secular, and then — religious character.

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Official January holidays in Georgia — they are New Year (January 1), Christmas (January 7) and Epiphany (January 19). The unofficial holiday of January 14th is known as Old New Year.

Meeting the New Year in Tbilisi is as loud as possible. Fireworks are organized not only by local authorities, but by almost every family. The feast is accompanied by multiple changes of dishes, replenishment of wine and chacha in glasses and, of course, the famous Georgian polyphony. Christmas tree «chichilaki» with “antennae” on a wooden stem, imitating the beard of St. Basil, should be burned before Baptism, and her ashes — dispelled to get rid of the troubles and hardships of the past.

The day after the New Year (January 2) and the old New Year (January 15) comes Day of Destiny, known to Georgians as Bedoba. It is this number that determines luck for the coming year. It depends on who is the first to cross the threshold of the house, on the environment, the positive behavior of family members, good mood, thoughts. 

On January 7, on the streets of the city, you can meet the festive Christmas procession “Alilo”. It is attended by clergy, flock, students, schoolchildren and children. Every year they go door-to-door, collecting gifts to give to orphans and children from poor families. Families and young people gather in various establishments to eat and dance national dances that many people know.

The feast of Theophany, or Theophany, has a strong tradition of mass infant baptism. The Georgian Patriarch baptizes every third child from parents who got married in a church. He is the godfather of children, whose number already reaches almost 31 thousand. The event can be observed in the patriarchal temple of Tsminda Sameba. Traditional bathing takes place in certain places of the Kura River.

At the end of the month, International Art Folk Fest — Winter in order to popularize Georgian and world folklore. Participants present folklore and modern dances, songs solo or in ensembles, romances, folklore arts and crafts (exhibitions).

Shopping

Tbilisi in January: fireworks of emotions in a beautiful city

Shopping in Tbilisi involves buying carpets, traditional Georgian souvenirs and jewelry, as well as delicious food and drinks.

In the building of the city railway station there is the Gold Exchange — a small market selling new and used jewelry. Minankari jewelry technique is used to make traditional Georgian jewelry. Original samples are several times more expensive than Thai fakes, and they are made by hand.  In terms of euros, a product made of cloisonne enamel is estimated at 10–25 euros.

Handmade lint-free carpets “pardagi” craftsmen knit on simple wooden looms. They are dyed mainly with natural dyes (from partitions of walnut, chamomile, onion peel, etc.). The price of painstaking work — rather big, it starts from 35 euros.

Clay vessels «qvevri» and “ketsi” allow you to repeat the original taste of wine and Georgian cuisine. The cost of a light frying pan «ketsi» for a roast is about 3 euros. Various antiques, sculptures, paintings can be purchased at the flea market, on the Dry Bridge. In souvenir shops there are interesting specimens of daggers, sabers, knives, which are sold at a price of 8 euros, horns for wine cost from 30 euros.  

From products, tourists bring home lemonades, mineral water, wine and chacha, spices and sauces, cheeses, churchkhela.

  • What to bring from Tbilisi as a gift: 21 souvenirs from hospitable Georgians

Vacation prices

Tbilisi in January: fireworks of emotions in a beautiful city

Prices in Tbilisi in January are focused on the possibilities of a wealthy middle-class tourist. Compared to Batumi, housing rent is higher, food in restaurants is more expensive, and food prices in supermarkets, on the contrary, are lower.

Tours

Tours in January tend not to rise in price , but to a reduction in price. Tourists can save from a few percent to half the cost of a December trip. The next month again shows the price increase of tour packages (by 8%).

Hotels

On New Year's and Christmas holidays, hotels expose the highest bills for accommodation, overestimating the cost of a room sometimes three times. Their rise in price is also observed in the penultimate week of the month. In February, the trend towards cheaper prices leads to the lowest average annual prices per room per night.

  • The best hotels in Tbilisi for families with children

< h3>Flight

Air travel in winter is slightly more expensive than in other seasons, but in general, ticket prices remain stable throughout the year. Their level in January is 7% higher than the average annual and several percent higher than the price level in December and February.

Food, transport, excursions

An average lunch for two in a restaurant is relatively inexpensive and costs up to 20 euros, and a cup of cappuccino in a cafe — up to 2 euros.

A public transport ticket costs about 0.2 euros. A taxi ride is charged at a maximum fare of EUR 1.45 (start) plus EUR 0.25 per kilometer.

The cost of city tours varies from EUR 15 to EUR 120.

    < li>What to try in Tbilisi: Georgian traditional dishes and food prices

Recommendations for holidays with children

Going to Georgia in winter, you can set any goals for recreation, except for swimming in open water. Everything you need — these are warm clothes and good waterproof shoes in case of slush underfoot.

When settling in the private sector, it is important to find out what kind of heating system is there. In cafes and restaurants, look for dishes of national Georgian cuisine adapted for children, without the addition of red pepper and other hot spices. Parents and non-smoking adults should also take into account the great passion of Georgians for smoking in public places.

  • Family holidays in Tbilisi: Kidpassage guide

Tbilisi will arouse interest among teenagers because it is well renovated and reconstructed. The buildings and structures embody original design ideas, there are good amusement parks, a skate park, interactive museums, theaters with performances for young viewers.

The squares are paved, which makes it easier to walk with prams in the lowlands, and the tourist infrastructure thought out to the smallest detail. The New Year illumination on Shota Rustaveli Avenue is impressive: it takes the breath away from all the guests of the city.

Kidpassage recommends that families with children over 6 years old devote at least a week of rest to Tbilisi during its brightest festive period, one day — excursions around the city of Mtskheta, and a few more days — entertainment on the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains.

Mild weather and low prices will positively affect the holiday mood. If you are looking for new ideas for winter holidays, then a trip to the capital of Georgia in January — something that will bring spiritual pleasure, gastronomic and bodily pleasure.

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