Georgia Republic travel info
Electrical current is 220 volts, 50 Hz. The 'Type C' Europlug with two round pins is standard.
Georgian is the official language, but Russian and English are also spoken widely. In Abkhazia, a region in west Georgia, the Abkhazian language also has the status of an official language.
The official currency is the lari (GEL), which is divided into 100 tetri. Credit and debit cards are widely used in Tbilisi but less so in regional areas; ATMs are available in major towns. The law requires that all goods and services are paid for in local currency, even though prices are sometimes quoted in US dollars and euros.
Tipping is generally expected in at cafes and restaurants, as well as for taxis. The tip is usually between 10 and 15 percent, but visitors should take note that a service charge is sometimes added to bills.
Travel to Georgia is usually incident free as long as visitors go prepared. There are no required vaccinations but travellers should ask their doctors to recommend some or all of the following jabs, depending on what they are planning to do in the country: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, tetanus-diphtheria, and rabies.
Malaria is not a concern in Tbilisi, but those venturing to the southeastern areas should take medication. Visitors should avoid drinking untreated tap water, as water quality is variable across the country. Fortunately, bottled water is widely available. Medical facilities are available but expensive in Tbilisi, and limited in other parts of the country. Visitors should make sure they have adequate travel health insurance that includes the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
If travellers need prescription medications, it is best to take them along, as well as a copy of a doctor's letter explaining the medical condition in question, and what has been prescribed.
Holidays in Georgia are generally trouble free, though travellers will have to be wary of petty acts of theft and pickpocketing. Visitors should use hotel safes to store valuables, and by divide cards, money and travel documents between various bags. They should also avoid flaunting their wealth and walking alone in quiet areas at night, and should remain vigilant when using public transport.
Travellers should not visit the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as they clash sporadically with the national government. LGBT travellers, as well as their friends and families, have been targets of harassment and violence.
Georgians are generally friendly, hospitable, and gregarious people. They're known to offer complete strangers drinks at bars or restaurants, and routinely invite foreigners into private homes for dinner.
Tourists should wear suitable clothing if visiting churches. (Shorts are inappropriate and women should cover their heads.) Homosexuality is legal in Georgia, though not widely accepted.
Suitable business attire for men is a suit, while dresses or suits are appropriate for women. Business cards are frequently exchanged. Georgians pride themselves on being good hosts, so meetings are often followed by a meal or drinks. If invited into a private home, a small gift of chocolates, flowers, or alcohol is appreciated. Business hours are usually 10am to 6pm, with a short break taken over lunch.
Travellers are allowed 400 cigarettes, 4 litres of any alcohol, and personal, non-commercial goods up to a weight of 100kg.
The international dialling code for Georgia is +995. WiFi is available in cities and at major hotels; visitors can purchase local SIM cards for unlocked phones.
Passport & Visa
Travellers to Georgia require valid passports and may require proof of sufficient funds for their stay, proof of health insurance, and an onward ticket and documentation for the next leg of their journey. It is highly recommended that their passports have at least six months' validity remaining after their intended date of departure. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.
US citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Georgia. No visa is required for a stay of up to a year.
British citizens must have a passport that is valid for the intended period of stay in Georgia. For passports endorsed British Citizen or British Overseas Territories Citizen no visa is required for a stay of up to a year. Those with passports with any other endorsement should confirm entry requirements before travel.
Canadian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Georgia. No visa is required for a stay of up to a year.
Australian citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Georgia. No visa is required for a stay of up to a year.
South African citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Georgia. No visa is required for a stay of up to a year.
Irish citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Georgia. No visa is required for a stay of up to 1 year.
New Zealand citizens must have a passport that is valid for the period of intended stay in Georgia. No visa is required for a stay of up to a year.
Georgian National Tourism Association, Tbilisi: +995 32 243 6999 www.gnta.geEmergencies: 112.
Embassies / consulates in other countries
Embassy of Georgia, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 387 2390.
Embassy of Georgia, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7348 1942.
Embassy of Georgia, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 421 0460.
Embassy of Georgia, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for New Zealand): +61 2 6162 0126.
Georgian Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 12 346 1831
Embassy of Georgia, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1 905 9191
Embassies / consulates in Georgia Republic
United States Embassy, Tbilisi: +995 32 227 7000.
British Embassy, Tbilisi: +995 32 227 4747.
Canadian Embassy, Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Georgia): +90 312 409 2700.
Australian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey (also responsible for Georgia): +90 312 459 9500.
South African Embassy, Kiev, Ukraine (also responsible for Georgia): +380 44 289 8870.