Avlabari is a part of the Old Town located in front of Sololaki, on the other side of the river Mtkvari.
Life in Avlabari
The Avlabari district is made of low-rise buildings and old houses, and it’s calmer than the rest of the Old Town. Because the neighborhood hasn’t been renovated yet, there is less car traffic, less pollution and less tourists. Accommodation is also a lot cheaper.
Living in Avlabari is great because it’s only a few minutes away from Sololaki and the rest of the Old Town, but rent is almost as cheap as in Saburtalo. However, unlike in Saburtalo, houses are old and may not always be comfortable. There’s not much happening in Avlabari itself in terms of restaurants, bars or events, but Sololaki is very close so usually it’s not a problem.
The Avlabari metro station is located right in the center of the district. From there, you can reach Sololaki in 10 minutes by foot or go to any other part of the city. There are also several buses leaving from the metro station area, including intercity buses and even mini-buses and taxis to the Armenian capital, Yerevan.
Like in most parts of the Old Town, there aren’t a lot of schools in the Avlabari district.
From Kindergarten to High School
There are a few schools and kindergartens you can access from Avlabari, but in most cases you would have to go to Isani, the neighboring district.
Avlabari has a few noteworthy landmarks.
Holy Trinity Cathedral: the Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral is the biggest Georgian orthodox church in the world. Its golden tower roof can be seen from almost anywhere in Tbilisi and the place attracts a lot of tourists.
Rike Park: located next to Europe square and the Metekhi bridge, Rike park is an original urban park with fancy statues and decorations. The famous pedestrian Peace Bridge starts in the parks and crosses the river to reach the Old Town.
The presidential palace: the huge presidential palace is on a cliff above the river, close to Rike park. It is home to the administration of the president.
Metekhi Church : standing on the Mtkvari river’s cliff, just next to Metekhi bridge and Europe square, Metekhi church is not only a place of worship but also a memorable viewpoint. Right next to it, the statue of the King Vakhtang Gorgasali, legendary founder of Tbilisi, is watching the Old Town. It’s a great place to take pictures.
Avlabari is a safe district. Policemen patrol the area everyday and the metro and underground passages are under camera surveillance, so you can walk alone without problems. The lighting in some smaller non-renovated streets may be minimal, but the larger streets are well-lit and you can walk in the area at night safely. Stray dogs are friendly and harmless.
Restaurants and cafés
Avlabari is not especially known for its cafes and restaurants. Sololaki, which is just a few minutes by foot, is a much better place for going out.
Chain restaurants like Machakhela and Khinkali house have branches in Avlabari. Another good restaurant is Lagidze Water (in the Holy Trinity Church courtyard).
Apart from the few shawarma places in Avlabari (which shouldn’t always be trusted), there aren’t many international restaurants in Avlabari.
Cafes & Bars
There are a few local cafes and bars here and there, but nothing noteworthy. Sololaki is a much better place for that.