Tbilisi audio tour: Rustaveli Avenue: Roam down Tbilisi's historic main street into the Old Town

Rustaveli Avenue: Roam down Tbilisi's historic main street into the Old Town

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

Humor and history, what more can you ask for in a walking tour? Discover how Tbilisi's main street, Rustaveli, was shaped by the tsars, Stalin, and the modern era. You'll find the first new-wave coffee shop in Tbilisi, the best beer garden in town, and the building that started the renaissance of revamping worn-out Soviet edifices.

This tour is a priceless introduction to Tbilisi and is great whether you're a fresh arrival or even a long-term resident, as you'll no doubt discover something new. Some of the highlights include:

• Find out where the Soviets crushed a democratic protest
• How Stalin robbed a bank to fund the Communist revolution
• Where Stalin went to seminary
• See a modern hotel built from the gravestones of an Armenian cemetery
• Find out what the area around Freedom Square was first famous for

I've lived in Tbilisi off-and-on for 10 years, and know its ins and outs. And as a traveler myself, I know exactly what's of interest when getting to know a city.

The tour follows the street, so there's not much turning. However, there are quite a few cafes along the way, so it might take longer than the 40 minutes I've recommended.

Tour Producer


Shawn Basey

Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, I've been on the road for over 10 years, and acting as a tour guide for the last 3 of those. Living in Prague and Tbilisi, I've traveled across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, and am always looking for the historical insight on any location and the weird anecdote that only locals ever seem to know. Now I'm sharing with you those stories and doing the best to connect the past with the present as we stroll down these streets together.

Major Landmarks

  • Philharmonia

  • Parliament

  • Freedom Square

  • Rustaveli Theatre

  • Kashueti Church

  • Opera House

Directions to Starting Point

Exit Rustaveli metro, turn left until you see the big oval Philharmonia building where Rustaveli Avenue forks. If you're arriving by taxi, just tell them "Pilharmoniastan".

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Prosperos Coffee, Vera Park beergarden, Blue Gallery, Rustaveli Theatre, Skola Coffee

Best time of day

Morning/midday. There's some coffee shops along the way, and a couple of great museums to see.


There are stairs beneath the streets that are not wheelchair accessible.


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Rustaveli Avenue: Roam down Tbilisi's historic main street into the Old Town