In recent years, tours to Georgia have become increasingly popular. The mild climate, beautiful nature, delicious cuisine, an abundance of attractions – all this attracts guests from other countries. And, of course, one cannot fail to visit the capital of the country – Tbilisi. When planning an acquaintance with this city, remember – you need to try to see as much as possible. Museums in Tbilisi will give this opportunity, which will introduce you to the past and present of Georgia.
National Museum of Georgia named after Simone Janashia
The basis of it was the collection of the Caucasian Museum, which was housed in this building back in 1825. In 1921, in order to save historical values from the Bolsheviks, they were taken to Europe. When the Second World War died out, they returned back to Tbilisi. In 1991, power changed in Georgia, the building was damaged. After some time, the building had to survive the fire. So the history of this cultural institution is very complicated.
Also in the early 2000s, a reorganization took place, the purpose of which was to optimize the work of a number of museums. In 2004, the network was founded: it included 13 cultural institutions, including the one in question
There is something to see at the National Museum. Its main treasure is gold objects. These are coins, jewelry and minting, which date back to the 2nd century BC. Also presented here are ancient weapons and utensils.
Guests can see the remains of the oldest representative of the human race, who lived about 2 million years ago. Of great interest are stones with Urartian inscriptions. In general, it is here that you can get the most complete picture of the ancient culture of the Caucasus. Address: Shota Rustaveli Ave 3. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 18 hours, on Mondays it does not work.
Museum of Soviet Occupation
A very interesting cultural institution and, in addition, very tolerant. Here you will not find accusations against Russia – only a visual story about the crimes of the Communists. But it is interesting that during the period of the most severe repressions in the USSR, Georgian Stalin was in power. Meanwhile, his house in Gori remains a place of pilgrimage for tourists. This cultural center is located in the building, which is occupied by the Georgian National Museum, only a separate entrance. They opened it in 2006, then immediately closed it for repair, and again it opened its doors only in 2011.
Here you can get a lot of interesting information about how Georgia’s independence was proclaimed in 1921, and the country’s national liberation forces fought against the Bolshevik regime. Particularly vividly demonstrates the fact of how acute this struggle was, one of the exhibits is the wall of the carriage riddled with bullets: by order of the Communists, participants in the 1924 uprising were shot. You can see the desktop of the Chekist investigator (and even sit behind him), look at thematic photographs, get acquainted with documents from the KGB archives, and there are interactive exhibitions.
Address: Shota Rustaveli Ave 3. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 to 18 hours, closed on Mondays.
Museum of Georgian Emigration
It is located in the building of the State University, as the exhibits are truly scientific value. Here are collected archives of those outstanding sons and daughters of the Georgian people who, for one reason or another, were forced to leave their homeland. These are handwritten and printed documents, photographs. All this allows you to get the most reliable information about the life and work of emigrants. Many names for tourists from Russia will be a revelation, but after listening to the story about these people, you will not forget them.
Equity Takaishvili moved to France with the goal of preserving the national treasure. 39 boxes, in which there was a treasury and cultural objects, found a reliable haven in Paris. The collection was returned to its homeland only at the end of World War II. Equity, returning to Georgia, died under house arrest. Left their mark in the history of Noah Zhordania, Grigol Robakidze and others. The photographs that are stored in this scientific and cultural center are truly unique.
Address: Chavchavadze Ave. 1. Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – a day off.
National Center for Manuscripts
A very interesting center, which was founded back in 1958. Today, the most valuable written documents are kept here. These are directly the manuscripts themselves, as well as the archives of famous people, the rarest printed books, microfilms or copies of those manuscript works in Georgian that now remain abroad.
There are currently more than 10 thousand books, documents – over 40 thousand. In addition, the center presents numerous works performed in European languages, as well as in the languages of peoples living in the countries of the East. Here you can not only come on an excursion, but also get invaluable help in writing scientific papers.
Address: st. Aleksidze 1/3. Hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 11 to 17 hours, Monday is a traditional weekend.
Ethnographic Open Air Museum
A very interesting cultural center, the inspection of which can be devoted all day. It is located in Vake Park near Turtle Lake. It was founded by ethnographer George Reading. His dream was – to show in a relatively small area – different types of dwellings. Having been here, you will visualize how the representatives of different layers of society lived in different centuries.
There are 70 buildings here. These are houses of the poor and rich, inhabitants of mountains and plains, hunters, cattle breeders, farmers. Also presented farm buildings, tools, household utensils. The impression is made by mills and forges, wine cellars, traditional carts, handmade carpets and much more. Here you can not only take a walk and take beautiful photos. It is allowed to go inside the dwellings to look at furniture, clothes, dishes, looms and other exhibits.
In the Kakheti house at the weekend they bake bread and treat guests. They also offer delicious cheese. Often, master classes are held in the complex, during which you can master the basics of ancient Georgian crafts. It is best to come here in the warm season. It should be noted that the ethnographic complex is located at a certain distance from the center of Tbilisi, so you need to take time to examine it.
Address, Kustba pile 1. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 20 hours, does not work on Mondays.
Museum of History and Ethnography of Georgian Jews named after Baazov
Georgians believe that their friendship with the Jews has been going on for more than one millennium. Moreover, it is not overshadowed by any anti-Semitism. And a museum dedicated to Georgian Jews in this Caucasian country, of course, also exists. After all, a community of representatives of the most ancient people exists in Georgia from the 6th century BC. This cultural center is located in the building of the old synagogue, closed at the beginning of the last century. It is named after David Baazov, who did a lot for the formation of the community. Here you can see documents testifying to the friendship of the two peoples, ancient photographs, memorabilia.
Address: st. Anton Katalikoshi 3. Opening hours: Monday – Friday from 11 to 18 hours, closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Museum of Money
Its other name is “Coin Museum”. It was opened in 2001, has long been in the capital of Georgia, and recently moved from Tbilisi to the city of Kvareli. It is of interest, both for numismatists, and for all history buffs. It houses collections of exhibits, the oldest of which date back to the 6th century BC. There are coins that were used by Alexander the Great, you can see the money of Ancient Rome, Byzantium, Venice, and the countries of the East. Coins of today are also represented. Including – the currency of different countries of the world. During the tour you will learn many interesting facts.
Address: Kvareli, st. Shota Rustaveli 10. Opening hours: Monday – Friday from 9 to 18 hours, Saturday and Sunday – days off.
Tbilisi Historical Museum of Carvasla
An idea of the cultural heritage of the country can be obtained in this center. It bears the name of the outstanding son of the Georgian people, the poet Yoseb Grishashvili. It was opened in 1910. Another name that has taken root, namely “Karvasla”, means “Caravanserai”. It was he who was previously in this ancient building. About 50 thousand interesting exhibits are stored here, dating back to the 4th century BC. You can see the things that ancient people used, their weapons and jewelry, dishes and household utensils. Following the halls, you will follow the further path of development of the Georgian people.
Address: st. Seoni, 8. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 to 18 hours.
The museum will make a great impression on children and adults. Back in 1887, N. Shavrov, by order of the authorities, founded a silk-growing station in Tiflis, which he subsequently directed for 2 decades. Of interest is the building itself, where this station was located. A. Shimkevich, who graduated from the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, became his architect. The structure looks very unusual and stylish. Today, cocoon samples are presented here, and guests can get an idea of all the stages of the process – how silkworm caterpillars are grown, how silk threads are born, how amazing fabrics are made of them.
You will see alcoholized silkworms. You will learn that truly high-quality silk can be obtained only if you feed the caterpillars with mulberry leaves. Otherwise, the threads will be coarse, and the fabric will come out of them of poor quality. There is also a scientific library, tools related to the production of silk, thematic photographs, magnificent silk products. For several months of the year, during excursions, you can feed the caterpillars with mulberry leaves. This process will especially appeal to children.
Address: st. G. Tsabadze 6. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 11 to 17 hours, closed on Mondays.
Museum of Theater, Music, Cinema and Choreography
It is located in one of the most beautiful buildings in the country – in the Palace of Arts, the project of which was carried out by the famous German architect Paul Stern. Today, more than 200 thousand different exhibits are stored here. During the tour you will learn how theater and music, cinema and choreography developed in Georgia. Here thousands of photographs are collected – scenes from performances, rehearsal moments, pictures from the tour, tape recordings, Georgian films, costumes of artists, playbills, manuscripts and private archives are presented.
Many prominent artists have presented their awards here. The marble mask of antiquity is also stored here. This is the oldest exhibit that is of great interest. The collection is constantly updated. After all, art does not stand still. Many exhibits were handed over here by the inhabitants of Georgia.
Address: st. Kargareteli 6. Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday from 10 to 17 hours, Sunday and Monday – days off.
Its creator is a true enthusiast, businessman Gia Mamulashvili. He began to collect his collection of retro cars several years ago. First there was the old Moskvich, which had to be restored for a long time, then other exhibits began to be added to it: Volga, Zhiguli, Zaporozhets. For those who lived during the years of the USSR, one of their appearance will cause a bright nostalgia. Interestingly, they are all beautifully restored (this process takes up to 9 months) and are on the go. With the acquisition of almost every exhibit is associated some kind of funny story that you will be told during the tour.
For example, one of the cars was simply dug out of the ground. Funny colors of cars were familiar to the Soviet era. It is now people are trying to buy vehicles in strict shades. There are especially interesting cars here, for example, an armored car, which was used to carry General Secretary Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko. Gia wants to put in his museum the same “Mercedes” in which Eduard Shevarnadze was sitting, during the assassination attempt on him. Great photos can be taken next to old convertibles.
Address: Varketili, st. Cairo 79. Opening hours: every day from 10 to 20 hours.
Museum of the Underground Printing House
It will be interesting to visit those who are loyal to Stalin and the Communists. When Lenin was in exile, he continued to engage in the dissemination of revolutionary ideas. And he suggested that his Georgian followers build an underground printing press to print leaflets. They built it in a very complicated way. They bought a place, built a house, equipped a spacious basement, into which they put a printing press, and the descent into the basement was carried out through a well.
If the danger was in danger, the landlady called — and the work in the basement ceased when the threat passed — the conditional bell rang again, and the workers again began to print leaflets. In 1906, the printing house was declassified, the house was destroyed. But Joseph Vissarionovich retained fond memories of him. By the order of Stalin in the 30s, the house was rebuilt again, and a museum was opened here. You will see not only a lot of interesting exhibits, but you can also go down to the basement, where the same machine stands. True, pretty rusted.
Address: st. Kaspi 7, there is no specific work schedule, tours are conducted by representatives of the Communist Party.
Museum of Art. Sh. Amiranashvili
Located in a historic building next to Freedom Square. Previously, there was a theological seminary where young Joseph Dzhugashvili (Stalin) studied. The museum bears the name of Shalva Amiranashvili, who headed it for more than 3 decades, and did a lot to replenish the fund. In total, the exposition includes approximately 140 thousand exhibits.
Here you can see the ancient coinage of the Middle Ages, admire the golden cross that belonged to that same fatal queen Tamara, see the ancient icon of the country – the face of the Holy Savior. Also presented here are paintings and other works of art made by masters of East and West. Of great interest is the collection of paintings by the great Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani.
Address: st. Gudiashvili 1. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 11 to 16 hours, Monday – day off.
National Art Gallery of Georgia
Another name for it is the “Blue Gallery”. The building where it is located was built at the end of the 19th century; the gallery itself was opened in 1917. A great merit in this is the artist Dmitry Shevarnadze. After restoration work, which took place relatively recently, the gallery received his name. Today, about 3 tens of thousands of paintings, sculptures, works of decorative art and photographs are collected here. Most of the work belongs to 20th-century artists. Two halls occupy permanent expositions, the rest regularly host new exhibitions. Here you can listen to tours in several languages, including, of course, in Russian.
Address: Rustaveli Ave. 11. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 to 18 hours, Monday – day off.
Museum of the Theater. Shota Rustaveli
The name of the outstanding Georgian poet, who lived in the 12th century, is given to many cultural objects in the country. The Rustaveli Theater Museum was opened back in 1932. During the tour you can get acquainted with the history of the development of the creative team. It stores personal belongings and costumes of actors, numerous photographs, manuscripts, sketches of scenery, posters, programs. Of course, publications are also collected here – books and newspapers that tell about the theater, about directors and artists. Having been here, you will receive very interesting information, because Georgia is the birthplace of many prominent actors.
Address: Rustaveli Ave. 17. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 11 to 18 hours, Sunday and Monday are days off.
Museum of Opera and Ballet Theater Zakaria Paliashvili
The opera house in Tbilisi appeared in the middle of the 19th century. Outwardly, it resembles a Moorish palace. Here are classical works such as The Nutcracker or The Sleeping Beauty, as well as the creations of Georgian authors. For example, the play “Abesalom and Eteri”, which is based on an ancient legend, opens every theater season. Near the theater building, in the square, is the grave of Zakaria Paliashvili. There is also a house-museum of this great composer in Tbilisi. It opened in 1959. Here, the atmosphere in which Paliashvili lived was recreated, his things, manuscripts, notes, books are presented. Also here you can see many paintings and sculptures.
Address: st. Bakrazde 10. Opening hours: Wednesday – Saturday from 11 to 17 hours, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – days off.
Museum of the Tbilisi State Conservatory
The residents of Tbilisi are very fond of their conservatory. In 1997, her museum was opened. One can rightfully say that the musical heritage of the great people is stored here. Private collections, manuscripts, sheet music, photographs and documents are presented here. All of them talk about what kind of creative path the conservatory, its creative team, have traveled. But here you can come not only on excursions. The museum constantly hosts various events. Musical evenings, creative meetings and lively communication with famous artists – all this becomes a real holiday for residents and guests of Tbilisi.
Address: st. Griboedova 8. Opening hours: Monday – Friday from 11 to 17 hours, Saturday and Sunday – days off.
Museum of Musical Instruments
Created on the basis of the Museum of Theater, Music, Cinema and Choreography. Here you can see very interesting musical instruments, and not only Georgian, but also Russian, and European, in total more than 5 thousand exhibits. Ancient flutes, accordions, bagpipes and their cases, decorated with precious metals and stones, are real works of art. It also contains the rarest audio recordings made back in the early 20th century. You can see gramophones and sound recorders here. The national instruments of the East are also represented in the collections, among which there are many very unusual ones.
Address: st. Samgebro 6. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 to 17 hours, Monday – day off.
House-Museum of Titian Tabidze
It is located in the house of poets Galaktion and Titian Tabidze. Here you can see both personal belongings and furnishings preserved from that time. As well as paintings and sculptures by famous artists. Galaction is the author of famous poems; his works are read all over the world. Titian, in addition to poetry, wrote essays and miniatures. He was friends with the poet Paolo Yashvili, who was considered disgraced during the period of the Stalinist repressions, and committed suicide in anticipation of his arrest.
Beria himself invited Titian to recognize his friend as a spy, and in return guaranteed his protection and a comfortable life for him. Tabidze refused, was arrested and soon shot. Great help to the Titian family was provided by Boris Pasternak. He repeatedly came to Tbilisi. Nina Tabidze was his faithful friend, she was next to the great poet in the last days of his life.
Located in the village of Chkvishi. Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 17 hours, Monday – day off.
House-Museum of M. Javakhishvili
Mikhail Javakhishvili is another Georgian writer with a tragic fate. In his youth, he was forced to drop out of school because robbers killed his family. He worked at a smelter, at the beginning of the 20th century he took up journalism. Since in his articles he criticized tsarism, he had to go to emigration. Michael traveled all over Europe, traveled to the United States. After the revolution he returned to Georgia, wrote books. But he did not agree with the new government either, he was a member of the National Democratic Party.
In the 1920s, he was arrested and sentenced to be shot; the intercession of Ordzhonikidze helped to escape. In the 30s, the writer’s books came out, but were severely criticized by the ruling authorities. In 1937, Mikhail was arrested by order of Beria; he was tortured until he was forced to “confess” to criminal activity. Very soon he was shot. The writer was acquitted after the death of Stalin in the 50s. Then his books began to come out again. The house presents things, manuscripts, books and photographs of the writer.
Address: st. M. Javakhishvili 21. Opening hours: Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday are days off.
It tells only about the most famous and interesting museums. In fact, there are many more in Tbilisi. Therefore, before traveling to the capital of Georgia, it is worth making a plan that you must visit where these cultural centers are located, what hours they work. The more you have time to see, the more complete impression you will have about Georgia, and the rich history of its wonderful people.