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Shida Kartli

Museums & exhibitions

Our most recommended Shida Kartli Museums & Exhibitions

Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour

1. Tbilisi: Mtskheta, Jvari, Gori and Uplistsikhe Day Tour

Explore one of the most mysterious regions of Georgia – Kartli and hear a lot about the country's history. First, visit memorable Uplistsikhe cave-town and dive into the antique life of Georgia. Then, find out more interesting facts in Gori, the hometown of the most famous Georgian, Stalin, and see the unique old capital of Georgia – Mtskheta, where you visit two UNESCO heritage sites Jvari Monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Your first stop is Uplistsikhe, an antique rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. It contains multiple structures dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages. It is notable for the unique mixture of various rock-cut cultures from Anatolia and Iran's pagan and Christian architecture coexistence. After exploring Uplistsikhe, you have a chance to have lunch in the region and try delicious local food. After lunch, you have two options, have free time and explore Gori, the hometown of Stalin, or visit Stalin Museum, which is a museum dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, who was born in Gori. The Museum retains its Soviet-era characteristics, Stalin's Original house, and Stalin's railway carriage. The next stop is Jvari Monastery. The name of this monastery is translated as the "Monastery of the Cross." Jvari Monastery is the 6th-century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta. Along with other historic structures of Mtskheta, it is listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountain top at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the kingdom of Iberia. The last site on tour is Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta. UNESCO recognizes Mtskheta as a World Heritage site due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments. It was the capital of the early Georgian Kingdom of Iberia from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. Svetitskhoveli is known as the burial site of Christ's robe and has been one of the principal Georgian Orthodox churches and is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

Tbilisi: Cave Town, Gori, Mtskheta Private Tour

2. Tbilisi: Cave Town, Gori, Mtskheta Private Tour

Explore one of the most mysterious regions of Georgia. Visit the cave town of Uplistsikhe, Stalin's hometown of Gori, and the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Mtskheta. Start at the cave town of Uplistsikhe, an antique rock-hewn town in eastern Georgia. View its unique mixture of cut-out cultures from Anatolia and Iran's pagan and Christian architecture, then pause to purchase a local lunch. Next, visit, Gori, the hometown of Stalin. Explore the town or visit the Stalin Museum, including the dictator's old house and railway carriage. Follow that with a trip to Jvari Monastery. Admire this 6th-century Orthodox structure which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the view from the rocky mountain top down onto the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers. Conclude your tour at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, the old capital of Georgia, another World Heritage Site. Spend some time at a location known as the burial site of Christ's robe, which is among the region's most venerated places of worship.

Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

3. Tbilisi: Guided Mtskheta, Gori, and Uplistsikhe Tour

Your tour will begin in the morning as you are picked up from your hotel, after which you will begin with a drive through the fertile lands of the Kartli region. Your first stop is the 6th-century Jvari Monastery, which is located 19 kilometers away from Tbilisi. Here you will receive an introductory story of the area, whilst enjoying the wonderful panorama of the conjunction of the two rivers Aragvi and Mtkvari, the Armazi Mountains, and the city of Mtskheta. You will then drive 88 kilometers west of Tbilisi to Gori, a city in the Kartli province. Gori was an important military stronghold in the Middle Ages, and at the foot of a sand-stone hill stands the Medieval Gori Fortress Tskhra-kara. You will do a short walk around the area, before then continuing to the Stalin Museum. Excursions in Joseph Stalin's museum will take about 30 minutes, with the museum consisting of 3 sites. Following your museum tour, you will drive to the ancient temple town of Uplistsikhe. Translated as the “Fortress of the Lord“ and dating back to the 6th century B.C., this town is mentioned in the "Chronicles of the 1st Century A.D". Here the echoing halls, long meandering corridor-streets, chambers of pagan worship, and even the remains of the oldest theater in Georgia are all carved into the rocky plateau and waiting to be explored. You will then drive back to Tbilisi passing through the ancient capital Mtskheta, which presents a living museum including the UNESCO Heritage Listed Site of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, as well as other architectural landmarks. You can take a walk through the historical part of town, and enjoy a relaxing evening tasting local sweets at the souvenir shopping rows.

Georgia: Day-Trip to Mtskheta, Stalin Museum & Uplistsikhe

4. Georgia: Day-Trip to Mtskheta, Stalin Museum & Uplistsikhe

Start your tour at your accomodation in Tbilisi where your driver/guide will be waiting to meet you. After a short meet and greet you will set-off to your first location, starting your sightseeing adventure for the day! After a short and scenic drive your first stop will be Jvari Church (6th -7th cc), the most important religious center and an architectural masterpiece of medieval Georgia. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the church that towers over the city of Mtskheta. Continue on to Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, known as the burial site of Christ's robe and the second largest church building in the country. The Cathedral has long been the principal Georgian church and remains one of the most venerated places of worship to this day. Take an excursion to Uplistsikhe Cave Town, an ancient cave town and one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia. The town represents a complex of various structures dating from the 12th-century. BC to the 17th-century. AD. Finish your tour at the Stalin Museum in Gori, dedicated to the life of Joseph Stalin. This museum is the perfect location for any Stalin or politic enthusiasts. End your day in comfort with a relaxing car ride back to your accomodation in Tbilisi. 

Day Tour to Gori, Uplistsikhe and Mtskheta from Tbilisi

5. Day Tour to Gori, Uplistsikhe and Mtskheta from Tbilisi

In the morning your driver meets you at the place of your stay in Tbilisi from where your trip to Central Georgia starts. First stop on the way is Jvari monastery that overlooks the ancient capital Mtskheta. From Jvari there is a nice panoramic view of the confluence of two rivers, Mtkavri and Aragvi. Then, continue your way for Uplistsikhe, an ancient cave city in Central Georgia 110 kilometers away from Tbilisi. Uplistsikhe complex is considered as one of the oldest urban settlements in Georgia by archeologists. After exploring Uplistsikhe, drive to Gori where the museum of Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union, is located. At the museum you can see items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, documents and photos. Outside of the museum you can find his personal train carriage which weighs 83 tons. He used that carriage to attend the post-war conferences at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam. At last, drive back for Tbilisi and on the way visit Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Nowadays Mtskheta is a UNESCO site and serves as the center of the Georgian orthodox church. 

Gori: Guided Walking Tour

6. Gori: Guided Walking Tour

Walk along streets full of history on a guided tour of Gori. Enjoy its beautiful architecture and let your guide teach you about the city. Explore the Old Town of this vibrant city and immerse yourself in the rich history of the Caucasus. Visit the fascinating Joseph Stalin Museum, hike to Gori Fortress, and learn about the Soviet history of Georgia.

Uplistsikhe and Stalin's Museum in Gori: Full-Day Tour

7. Uplistsikhe and Stalin's Museum in Gori: Full-Day Tour

Spend a day exploring some of the most fascinating attractions in Georgia, starting with the ancient town of Uplistsikhe, considered one of the oldest urban settlements in all of George and dating back to 200 B.C. The ancient rock-hewn town, on the list for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage program, contains a bulk of rock-cut structures and is connected to the southern part via a narrow rock-cut pass and a tunnel. Narrow alleys and sometimes staircases radiate from the central "street" to its various structures, making it a fascinating place to explore. After exploring Uplistsikhe, continue the tour to Joseph Stalin's Museum in Gori, established as a local history museum but clearly intended to become a memorial to Stalin. The main building of the complex is a large palace in Stalinist Gothic style. Enshrined within a Greco-Italianate pavilion is a small wooden hut, in which Stalin was born in 1878 and spent his first four years.

Tbilisi: Gori and Upliscikhe Private Tour

8. Tbilisi: Gori and Upliscikhe Private Tour

In Gori-Uplistsikhe, visit several sites from different periods of Georgian history, including Uplistsikhe cave town, Joseph Stalin’s home museum, and Gori fortress. Uplistsikhe, translated to Fortress of the Lord, is a cave town fortress situated on a rocky massif on the bank of the river Mtkvari. Dating back to the first and second millennium BC, Uplistsikhe was an important religious, political, and cultural center in the Hellenistic and the late Antique periods. Take a walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved theatre, royal halls, pharmacy, pagan temples, and Christian churches, while the remains of granaries and large clay wine vessels give clues as to the daily life of the inhabitants.  Continue to the Joseph Stalin Museum in Gori. Stalin was originally Georgian and the secretary general of the Communist Party during the second world war. He is one of the most influential dictators of modern times. The museum features Stalin’s home, a hut where he was born, his armour plated railway carriage, and a statue that controversially stood in the main square of Gori until 2010. In addition, see many items owned by Stalin, including some of his office furniture, his personal belongings, and gifts given to him over the years. Gori Fortress is a medi citadel in Georgia. It stands above the city of Gori on a rocky hill. Archaeological evidence shows that the area was already inhabited in the final centuries BC. The fortress controlled major strategic and economic routes and accommodated a large garrison.

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What people are saying about Shida Kartli

This was our third tour with Gamarjoba Georgia Tours and once again without fail they were on top of their game and did a splendid job. Once again the tour guide was really cheerful and full of energy. She was really down to earth and explained every single place we visited with all the details required for anyone to understand and appreciate the place. The tour group was again nice and friendly so me and my friend had a good time getting to know other travelers from other countries which was really great. I would again stress to anyone visiting Georgia to go for this tour also and ensure you guys go with this travel agency.

Excellent trip. Megrela was a fantastic guide who was very enthusiastic and informed. We went to the cave city first and this was lots better than I expected. It was very interesting to see and nice to take lots of photos. Then we had lunch in Gori. Then the Stalin museum where Megrela told us what really happened in great detail. Then the two cathedrals with amazing views. A nice day out and not too much travelling.

We had a super nice experience with the guide and the group. Very nice people that set the mood of the trip. We got to know a lot about the Georgian history. Uplistsikhe required a bit more effort - especially for elderly and people who may be afraid of highs. Jvari and Mtskheta are a must see and Gori was super interesting. The lunch and wine tasting worth it. Highly recommend tour!

Both May & our driver were competent & knowledgeable. May knew all the important details of the many places we visited & was always open to questions.

This tour was great! Super interesting and our guide Shoti was amazing!