Guest post by: Anya Sapharova

Any city looks different when the night falls and the muffled lights are sparkling in the yellow rays of lampions. Level of intimacy is at its highest and you just have to dissolve into the dark.

Tbilisi is extremely beautiful at night as all its main attractions’ virtues are highlighted by the strong bright projectors. It really looks like a phantom city with its old castles and ancient churches. Of course I am talking about the city-center and not its outskirts or uptown as the main beauty is concentrated in the heart of the city that embraces Liberty Square, Rustaveli and Marjanishvili Avenues.

When coming to Tbilisi the first rule you should remember is that the gurgling night-life with lots of people in the streets is not a part of Georgian reality as all the locals prefer to stay at home or in the yards and play backgammon and drink beer while talking about football. Night can radically change one’s opinions and desires. Something miraculous happens out there in Tbilisi – suddenly you feel free from the system and as if the second wind opens - you want to live, learn, and even create.

It was mentioned many times by the tourists that Tbilisi holds absolutely different and unprecedented atmosphere which changes your attitude, especially at night. Many people will say that there is no night life in Georgia, and, the truth is that they are partially right, because you yourself create your night party. Georgia loves hosting guests and the thickest partying and entertainment clusters go to individual families or groups of friends.

Previously Tbilisi used to hold an ‘Encounter’ night-game where you were brought to some deserted place and had to fulfill missions, like, taking your rival a hostage and trying to find the so called treasure chest first, though nowadays this enterprise is not popular anymore due to low demand from the citizens. Also Tbilisi arranges ‘Night at the Museum’ event but you have to be lucky to attend it as this occasion is held once a year, in the end of May. Cable-car closes at 10. No transportation is available after 12 except taxis. What can you do in Tbilisi at night, huh?

There is no reason to be upset as long as there are many places to go yet. For example, gamblers and risk-takers should definitely try one of the casinos. Adjara-Bet is situated in Saburtalo near Holiday Inn Hotel. The gaming area is vast with an abundance of slot machines. You can relax at the Prive Club situated at the casino’s territory. It offers two gamin rooms as well. At 7 p.m. Casino Adjara holds daily tournaments and you can participate without registration. There is a lot of positive feedback from many travelers concerning this place but still many people advise to stay vigilant especially if you play alone against purely Georgian players.

Another casino is Iveria attached to the Radisson BLU Iveria Hotel in Rustaveli Avenue. You can find tables for Black Jack, Poker, slot machines and roulette tables. This place is loved by lots of players as it offers both Georgian and European cuisine. Lots of travelers notice that this place is mostly attended by foreigners and Russian is one of the most popular languages spoken there.

The third casino worth visiting is Shangri La near the peace bridge but you cannot proceed to the game room without registration - do not forget to take your passport. The view over the river from the second floor is truly picturesque at any time of the day but at night it is breathe-taking. Unlike other casinos, in Shangri La there is an XO Room for special guests. This place has the best reviews and they say it is impossible to leave the casino dissatisfied.

Near the casino you can find lots of hookah bars that are open throughout the night. If you are lost in choice and have no idea where to go, do not worry. The bar will find you by itself as very polite clickers stand right at the entrance of each café.

Those who are not very much into gambling have a chance to take a walking tour in the calm and quiet streets of Tbilisi without any fear of being robbed. Tbilisi is one of the safest cities on the territory of Europe and you never have that uneasy feeling that someone is following you or wants to do any harm. As you walk through the main streets you can see many markets working 24/7, like Smart, Ioli, and Nikora. You can find a big diversity of products in those markets starting from bread and finishing with alcoholic beverages. Though, it is not a good idea to drink alcohol in the street. Officially it is prohibited to drink even beer outside but it is fine to sip it in your yard.

If you get tired of your walk you can also visit bars and clubs. Among the most popular ones is Magti Club. It is open at night on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The prices are quite reasonable and the menu is really diverse. The main advantage of this club is that you can listen to fine live music and dance all night long.

Dive Bar and Canudos Ethnic Bar are more underground places where you can find new acquaintances and sit right at the door of the bars and talk to random strangers who will gladly start conversation with you. Canudos is extremely popular in summer as you can sit outside at an open place. Dive Bar is also popular for Beer Pong which you can also play with people you have met for the first time in your life.

If you want to contemplate the beauty of the city from above and have no interest in the night-life but still cannot sleep you had better go to Mtatsminda Park by funicular. The place is especially peaceful and calm at night but remember that the station closes at 4 a.m.

Some might say that Tbilisi is not the place where you can have fun at night but better not to listen to others and try to find out it yourself and make adequate decisions. It all depends on your mood set and desire to explore something new all by yourself.