Guest post by: Anya Sapharova

Georgia has already gained an extremely popular reputation among densely-visited tourist countries. Days spent in Georgia no matter what time of the year it is will never fade away from your memory. The name of the country itself sounds as the title of a song but in this case it is a rock ballad that takes you on an exotic journey.

The most convenient part about Georgian cities is that you choose yourself whether you want to stay in the crowded center or move a little bit farther from noisy parties and events. You can be in the main streets but hide in calm places where nothing and no one will disturb you. It is true that chord of different colors and even emotions will strike you right in the country so be ready to miss Georgia a lot and see it in your best and the most cheerful dreams. In order not to languish after a great trip it is better to purchase interesting souvenirs but be careful – don’t go too far, otherwise you will find yourself without a single coin in your pocket!

When buying souvenirs in Georgia the only threat you might be facing is the extra charge and ripping off from the locals. Shop assistants and vendors in the streets might look innocent but make sure the souvenir is worth paying that precise amount of money you are asked for. Don’t forget to bargain if you are purchasing anything from the streets though it might not be possible to bring down the price in the shops. Still, don’t be suspicious and keep calm, however, after buying presents for your nearest and dearest it is difficult to restrain emotions. So, let’s make an overview what traditional, and not only, present you could buy in Georgia.

Georgia is famous for its handmade crafts and you can find colorful scarves, toys, bags and many other accessories made of felt. It is very popular in Georgia and it takes a lot of time to create the felt masterpiece. That’s why the prices might be high on the felt crafts but it is totally worth it. Just imagine how beautiful would a delicate fiber look on you or your friends’ shoulders! The recommended place with a great choice is Gallery 27, situated in2, Betlemi st., in Meidan Square. You can find not only felt manufacture but many other interesting typically Georgian souvenirs including Georgian National Costumes, blades, drinking horns and other numerous Georgian gifts.

Another prominent Georgian gift is enamel. It varies in colors and shapes. You can find all kinds of fineries of different sizes that will suit women of different ages. Caucasus Decoroom situated in Shardeni street 3 (formerly Caucasus Nature Jewels situated in 8, Sioni St.) offers a great diversity of cloisonne enamel manufactured by talented artisans. You can make interesting discoveries and even an experienced visitor gets astonished by the assortment of the manufactures. In addition, the owner of the store donates portion of the profit to Nature Conservation Funds in Caucasus Range and this really deserves respect. A place similar to this is Ornament Gallery in 7, Erekle II St. It is a small place but you can purchase icons of Georgian saints in beautiful silver frames. The choice is so immense that you will definitely find something there and it really is an essential place to go in case if you are going to bring present home from Georgia.  

Caucasian Carpet’s Gallery is an exotic and somehow an oriental place where you can choose a nice carpet of high quality. The staff is really very knowledgeable and helpful, don’t hesitate to ask them to roll and unroll the carpets unless you find the one that will satisfy your aesthetic. They are more than happy to spread out and show their collection even if it takes 2 hours and you will get a chance to look at 50 patterns in a row. Still, if you are not planning to buy a carpet pay that place a visit in order to have look at the wonderful textile of carpets and their colorful palette. The shop can be found in 8/10, Erekle II Street.

You can make a great shopping tour in Tbilisi in Tbilisi Mall – the biggest shopping center in the city. Lots of popular and famous brands can be found in the stores and what really pleases is the quality and prices of the goods. Recently Georgian production of socks (Altersocks) has gained great popularity due to its good quality and interesting patterns of famous artists like Van Gogh and Gustav Klimt. You can find the stands in big shopping centers like Tbilisi Mall and Pixel Center. Another place connected to purely Georgian production is a concept shop known as Flying Painter. Almost all pieces are handmade and unique. You will not find any doubles because they merely don’t exist. This shop is situated in Marjanishvili district, 8, Ninoshvili Street. You will like the place a lot as it is on the grounds of one of the most famous bars in Tbilisi – Fabrika.

How about wine and sweets? It is impossible to live Georgia without a bottle of wine. Amy’s Winehouse organic wine shop in 9, Dadiani St. can match up to anyone’s taste. When tasting wine you are offered home-made cheese and Georgian sweets. Despite being very popular and successful the prices are very reasonable and affordable. You can ask the consultants for a piece of advice which wine to buy and they will broadly tell you and give a chance to degust wine. You will notice that wine cellars are almost everywhere in Tbilisi so it is mostly up to you where to buy fine wine. You can also find home-made wine and chacha (Georgian vodka) in ‘bazaar’. Don’t worry if you get the drinks in plastic bottles. The design won’t matter when you taste wine, it will definitely be exceptional!

Churchkhela – traditional Georgian candy made from thickened grape juice with walnuts inside. Grab as many as possible as you will definitely miss the taste of sweet churckhela. You can purchase them in the so called ‘bazaar’ or chain of shops known as Badagi or Nugbari. Another interesting thing to bring from Tbilisi is tklapi– pureed fruit sheet. You can pick different flavors beginning from sour to sweet.

No one has ever left Georgia without bringing something back to their homeland so choose wisely what to buy and be sure you don’t spend all your money on presents!