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About city Gallery Where to stay

Kutaisi is the centre of the Imereti region, located at the heart of Georgia. In 2012 it also became the capital of this Caucasian state’s parliament. The Kopitnari Airport, recently established near Kutaisi, has revived the whole city. Servicing various cheap flight airlines, the airport attracts thousands of tourists from all around Europe.

For a long time now, Kutaisi was the second-largest, most important and most populated city in Georgia, but during recent years it’s been overtaken by the rapidly-developing seaside resort and harbour city Batumi. According to statistics that came out in January 2015, Kutaisi is home to 149,000 people.

Kutaisi
Photo taken by Eugene Zagidullin flickr.com.  Kutaisi

The city is situated near the River Rioni, 125-300 m above sea level. Since the soil around Kutaisi is rich in limestone and white-coloured rocks, the city is often called the White Rock. Historically, despite being rather small, the city has been considered to be the country’s second capital. Kutaisi’s Old Town has a dense network of medieval streets and many architectural monuments. The ruins of the Bagrati Cathedral and the Gelati Monastery, located a few kilometres south of the city, are now UNESCO-protected world heritage sites.

The Ukimerion Hill is the oldest part of Kutaisi. According to some sources, the first settlement was established here during the Bronze Age or even earlier. Now, the hill is home to the Bagrati Cathedral, built in 1003, which can be seen from many places around the city. At the bottom of the hill you’ll find the Choma bus station and Kutaisi’s botanical garden. Located up high around the cathedral there are also a number of guest houses.

Kutaisi
Photo taken by sunriseOdyssey flickr.com.  Kutaisi

During ancient times, Kutaisi, which used to be called Aea or Aia, was the capital of Chalcis. It has been said that the city used to be the destination of many Argonauts, and the residence of King Aeëtes. Kutaisi was the capital of Georgia all the way until Tbilisi was liberated from the Turks.

Today, Kutaisi is an important transport centre, connected to Tbilisi by a railway line. Located 14 km to the west of the city is the Kopitnari Airport. Kutaisi has well-developed automobile, transport vehicle, chemistry, furniture, construction material and food industries. The city is also home to several higher education institutes such as the University of Law and Economics, the Pedagogical Institute and the Kutaisi State Technical University. Here you’ll also find several opera, ballet and drama theatres, and a philharmonic. For many centuries, Kutaisi has been called the birthplace of Georgian poetry and the national intelligensia. The city is located 220 km from Tbilisi, and more than 150 km from the seaside resort Batumi.

Parliament of Georgia at Sunset in Kutaisi
Photo taken by Berdo Maghularia flickr.com.  Parliament of Georgia at Sunset in Kutaisi

Another impressive attraction in the city is the nearby Sataplia Cave, which has been transformed into a nature and cultural park. Here you can find traces of dinosaurs that remain lodged in the limestone. The name of the cave means the Place of Honey, as this location has long been a mainstay of traditional apiculture. The cave is famous not only for its dinosaur artefacts, but also for the ancient settlement that was discovered here many years ago. The entire underground tunnel is 900 m long, 300 of which are accessible to tourists. These underground caves are illuminated with modern equipment, which is almost as noteworthy as the remains of dinosaurs themselves.

Prometheus cave, Kumistavi, Tskaltubo, Kutaisi-Georgia
Photo taken by Roberto Strauss flickr.com.  Prometheus cave, Kumistavi, Tskaltubo, Kutaisi-Georgia

Arguably, the Kumitsavi Cave, located 20 km from Kutaisi, is even more impressive. It’s a spectacular cave system that stretches for more than 1.5 km underground. Over 1000 m of it can be explored on foot, and the remaining part is traversed by boat navigating an underground river. The cave is notable for its large halls, decorated with stalactites and stalagmites. The light installations and boat ride make it even more charming.

Where to stay

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