T’bilisi Warnings and Dangers
T’bilisi is the capital and largest city in the country of Georgia, with over 1.5 million people living within the city limits. Like most urban environments, it’s important to use common sense and big-city awareness to stay safe when you visit.
Traffic and Road Conditions
Most of the streets are congested and cars have very little regard for pedestrians. Most streets are six to eight lanes, so it is difficult to get all the way across within one turn of the traffic light. But the center medians are safe and spacious, just be sure to look before you cross. A good alternative to walking is to take the metro buses, but make sure you get a card first. The main bus terminal, Didube Bus Station, is is quite hectic but well-marked, and there are tourist kiosks where local experts can answer your questions.
Crowded Markets and Streets
At street markets, public parks and squares, be vigilant about guarding your valuables, pocket electronics, and money. The police have cracked down on children and adults that beg on the street and follow tourists, but there are still places where you may encounter begging and following. In the street market there are pickpockets, so be sure to secure your money is either inside your jacket. Women should carry purses with the openings turned inward. Cell phones are a big target item as they can be flipped and sold quickly, running up your cell bill. Before traveling, carry a written list of contacts in case this happens so you can reach friends and family as well as turn off the service.
Most larger hotels take credit cards; but stores, restaurants, and clubs run on a cash basis. There are readily available ATMs, but use caution when taking money from them at night or in deserted areas. To avoid evening trips to the ATM, simply take cash out during banking hours and then secure it in your room safe, only taking what you might need for any given night.
In any city, there are always going to be people who want to take advantage of tourists. Some of the things to watch out for are being approached by women offering their services. The best approach would be to just continue on your way. If you engage with them, even in an emphatic “No, thank you” way, you open the door for their “guardian” to intervene with more persuasive ways. In clubs, make sure you pay attention to those around you striking up a conversation, otherwise you might find at the end of the night their drinks are on your bill.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in T’bilisi.
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