Sated enough with gastronomic wonders and wonderful Georgian wines, it’s time to think about the food for the soul! The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, once was called “Small Paris”. Indeed, the spiritual and cultural life is rich and varied: in the city, there are always held interesting festivals, cultural events, theatre performances, and concerts. We want to introduce you to the places where you can spend an unforgettable time and plunge into the cultural life of Tbilisi with some Georgian flavour.
Cultural life in Tbilisi: Opera and Ballet Theatre after Paliashvili
Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater, formerly known as Tiflis Imperial Theater, was founded in 1851. Tbilisi Opera House is the main opera house of Georgia and one of the oldest of such kind of institutions in Eastern Europe. The theatre was built in 1896 by a famous architect of German origin. The interior and exterior of the building were originally designed in exotic neo-Moorish style, but the layout of the building, the foyer, and the main hall are typically maintained in common European style of the opera house.
In 2016 theatre after six years of reconstruction, the grand opening of the theatre took place, the final result of which did not disappoint the audience: the work was carried out carefully over every meter of the building, maintaining the original oriental style.
Tbilisi Opera is located on the cultural artery of the city – Rustaveli Avenue. The main architectural monuments of the country and a large number of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and art cafe are concentrated within the avenue. The Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theatre performs annually with programs in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, as well as in several European countries. In recent years, the theatre featured such world-famous opera stars like Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras. The opera house also serves as a venue for the traditional national holidays and presidential inaugurations.
Address: 25, Rustaveli Avenue
Теl: +995(32)214 32 03
Cultural life in Tbilisi: Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater
This unique Marionette Theatre has been created by the Georgian multi-talented Artist, painter, filmmaker and stage director, writer and sculptor Rezo Gabriadze. The master comes from Kutaisi. Gabriadze is the co-author of such famous Soviet movies like “Mimino”, “Kin-Dza-Dza”, “Three on the Road”, etc. Rezo Gabriadze is the pride and national heritage of Georgia, whose contribution to the country’s culture is invaluable.
Disappointed with the lack of intellectual freedom during the Soviet times, Gabriadze turned to the puppet theatre as a way to express his dramatic stories and feelings. In 1981 he founded Gabriadze dramatic puppet theatre in the old part of Tbilisi. His performances “Alfred and Violetta”, “The Autumn of Our Spring”, “The Emperor of Trebizond’s Daughter” and “The Battle of Stalingrad” brought international recognition to the theatre. Puppet shows, full of depth and meaning, won the respect and recognition of international audiences and critics. Since then, the theatre of Gabriadze tours around the world. Despite its modest size, designed only for 80 spectators, the theatre is the leading cultural institution in the country.
The building is located in the centre of the old town. At the entrance to the theatre, there is a small cosy art-cafe Gabriadze created by the master himself. Currently, you can enjoy the most famous and beloved by the audience performances: “Stalingrad”, “Autumn of Our Spring”, “Ramona” and “Brilliant Marshal de Phantom”.
Address: Shavteli Street 13
Working hours: daily 12:00-19:00
Tel: +995 (32) 298 65 90
Cultural life in Tbilisi: Rustaveli Cinema
Rustaveli Cinema is the main cinema in the capital. The Cinema is located on Rustaveli Avenue in front of the Georgian parliament. The Cinema was opened in 1939 and was calculated for the audience as big as 1200 seats. It was designed by architect Nicholas Severov in the Stalin-era architecture style. In 1999, Rustaveli Cinema has been renovated and re-opened on July 11, 1999, with the double capacity and 5 cinema halls. The Cinema meets international standards and is equipped with 3D and Dolby Digital technologies. The building houses a family entertainment centre “Madagascar”, shops, cafés and a snack bar. Ticket price for day sessions is 5 GEL, and for evening sessions – 10-15 GEL.
Address: 5, Rustaveli Avenue
Tel: +995 (32) 255 50 00;
Ticket window: open daily
Ticket price: 5-15 GEL
Cultural life in Tbilisi: Art Cafés
Want to get the most complete picture of Tbilisi? Then imagine any Italian town under the influence oriental culture, lost in the depths of the Caucasus Mountains! For travellers, a great way to learn, to experience the full flavour of the capital and the true essence of Georgia is best done by visiting the small, cosy art-cafes. These sites illustrate the culture better than any other museum. Hidden in the yards and streets, far from the main tourist destinations, they are difficult to find.
We are presenting information on some of them.
Art- Café HOME
Art Café HOME is located in the old part of Tbilisi in a converted three-story house. The interior is quite original with a large library littered with books exclusively in the Georgian language. The Café, in fact, resembles a real home, each room of which is decorated in a unique style. In a word, here you will feel like at sweet home. The café offers a wide selection of cocktails, wine, hookah, as well as dishes of Georgian and European cuisine. And on weekends, you can enjoy live music on the terrace and admire the magnificent views of the old town!
Address: 13, Betlemi street
Tel:+995 599 70 80 79
Art-Café Pur Pur
Everyone who has ever visited this extremely atmospheric place falls in love with it. Thanks to the vintage design a real creative spirit is hovering within the walls of the cafe. Pur Pur is situated on the 2nd floor of a house in a small courtyard with a fountain and is reminiscent of an old antique house in the bohemian style. The restaurant provides live music mainly jazz and blues from 21:00 until late at night. It serves European cuisine, excellent desserts, and of course, the classics of the genre – the wine! Bill is above average, but the restaurant is worth all the money spent.
Address: 1, Abo Tbileli (Gudiashvili Park), 2 floor
Working hours: 12:00 – 2:00
Tel: (+995 32) 247 77 76;
Mob: (+995 551) 47 77 30;
Art-Café 144 Stairs
If someday you ended up by chance in the Armenian district of Tbilisi, Avlabari, on the street of Betlemi 27, do not hurry to leave, but simply climb exactly 144 steps up the steep stairs, and voila, you’re in one of the most bohemian and favoured spots of the city! The cafe is located on a small hill, to which exactly 144 stairs lead, hence, the name has been created. The 144 Stairs offers an excellent combination of food for both the body and the mind. The restaurant is owned by an art curator, who turned part of the cafe into a gallery, which exhibits the works of young Georgian artists and their more senior teachers from the famous “Generation 90”. With the advent of warm days, you can enjoy live music and a hookah on the terrace, which offers breathtaking views over the night Tbilisi.
Address: 27, Betlemi street (upstairs)
Tel: +995 596 44 41 44
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