For two weeks now, I’ve been in Borjomi. Let me tell you, it’s one of the best places I’ve ever seen. Everything here is so good that I’m absolutely in love with Borjomi. I swear, I shed tears of delight at the beauty I encounter at every step.
Petr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Borjomi is the birthplace of the well-known mineral water, the one you find on the shelves of almost every supermarket. You’ve probably encountered and tried this mineral water. It’s used not just as table water but for the prevention and treatment of digestive and metabolic disorders.
And do you want to immerse yourself in the world of pure and healing atmosphere? Then you definitely need to go to Georgia, to the city of Borjomi! To make your trip easier to navigate, we suggest familiarizing yourself with transportation, attractions, and hotels.
The city is located in the southeast of Georgia, 152 kilometers west of Tbilisi. Many eco-tourists are interested in this resort not only as a Soviet sanatorium but also as a place with breathtaking nature. No matter how many times you’ve been here, the spirit captures you, as if on the first visit! The location alone is worth a lot – a gorge of high Caucasian mountains, coniferous and broad-leaved forests around. The majestic mountains exude tranquility, majesty, depth.
This place was visited and loved by many famous people. Tchaikovsky was madly in love with these lands. Arriving here by chance for the first time, he stayed for more than two weeks. And when he finally found the strength to leave, he missed it greatly. Doctors diagnosed him with depression: nostalgia for Borjomi. Yes, yes. This is an official diagnosis! Be careful on your trip. Symptoms of this disease are detected in many who have been here.
A great example of beauty is Borjomi National Park. More than 5,000 sq. km of indescribable beauty. Hunting and logging are prohibited here – local authorities have tried to preserve the pristine view. And it must be noted that they have succeeded quite well!
The park is located in a narrow gorge and stretches for a long distance. In summer, there are many attractions, playgrounds, and cafes. In winter, most of the entertainment is closed.
There are outdoor pools where you can bathe in healing mineral water. The water in them is warm, so you can swim even in winter. However, they are located deep in the park. It takes about three kilometers to reach them. Two of them through a forest trail.
At the entrance to the park, in a 19th-century building, there is a museum. Admission is free, but there is not much to see there. Only old photos on the walls.
Once in this building, there was a functioning spring, and the first mineral water bottling plant was located here.
Staying in the park is paid. By the way, there is an information center nearby where you can get a guide to the park, find out about horse rentals, hiking equipment, and find a guide.
And if you want to see Borjomi from above, then take the cable car. It was built in the 60s. It is also noteworthy that the cabins externally resemble bottles of mineral water. It rises 500 m above the ground, allowing you to cover a huge territory. The quiet measured city stays behind, and in the distance, you can see the snow-capped masses of mountain rocks.
In addition, at the top, a small church awaits you, and nearby there is a Ferris wheel and a cafe where you can have a relatively inexpensive snack.
The most famous mineral water spring is located near the entrance, and it’s also the most well-maintained. It’s called Ekaterinskiy.
Strangely enough, the credit for discovering the mineral water goes to Russian military personnel. Although it’s essential to note that it was a rediscovery. Many centuries ago, people built baths here. But for some reason, mankind abandoned these places for a long time.
In 1829, during the Second Russo-Turkish War, fierce battles took place in this area. The military campaign dragged on. The Rabat fortress, which was the main goal of this campaign, remained impregnable. Inopportunely, an epidemic struck the troops.
Russian forces retreated and set up camp in a beautiful gorge. Starting to drink water from local sources, they were surprised to find that the disease receded, and soldiers quickly recovered. Thus, Borjomi was revealed to the world.
In 1841, the viceroy of the Russian tsar in Tbilisi, upon hearing about the healing properties of the water, sent his terminally ill daughter to Borjomi. A miracle happened, and the daughter was healed. This event became symbolic for this place. The popularity and fame of the water spread at a staggering speed not only throughout the empire but also far beyond its borders. The spring from which the viceroy’s daughter drank was named in her honor – Ekaterinskiy.
To this day, you can drink fresh and warm Borjomi water from it. However, it should be known that the water from this spring loses all its healing properties after two hours. Therefore, there’s no need to stock up on it. Take as much as you’ll drink in the next hour.
If you want to take water with you, near the park entrance, by the river, there is a “cold” spring. Even locals collect water from there with containers. It can be stored for about a week.
What to See in the Surroundings of Borjomi
The city has a rich history, so here you can enjoy not only natural but also architectural attractions:
Likani Palace – now the residence of the President of Georgia. You can get there by bus or taxi from Borjomi or by car along Rustaveli Street, which turns into Metskheta Street. It operates around the clock, and you can see the architectural marvel for free.
Mirza-Riza-Khan House – the turquoise symbol of Borjomi, located in the city center on 9 April Street. Now the Golden Tulip Borjomi hotel is here.
This is one of the most stylish and beautiful hotels in the city. Located just twenty meters from the springs and the park entrance.
The hotel building is a stunning 19th-century house that once belonged to the Iranian consul. It was reconstructed in 2016, preserving the internal style and interior. Despite all its luxury and uniqueness, room prices start at $70.
Green Monastery – an interesting landmark! Green because it is hidden in the forest, with red stones nearby as a symbol of the monks’ blood, who fought for their lives during a Turk invasion. Plus, there is a spring here. You can get there by bus that goes through Akhaltsikhe. Six kilometers, and you are there, but you will have to walk to the monastery itself. Bus schedule: 08:45, 14:45, price – 4 lari ($1.5).
Atskuri Fortress – today it is more like fragments that remain, but it’s worth it! From here, there is a stunning view of the Atskuri village, Borjomi gorge, and the Kura River. Entrance (free) to the fortress is now paved through a tunnel that previously served to supply water. You can get there by bus going to Akhaltsikhe.
Hotels and Sanatoriums in Borjomi
Unfortunately, sanatoriums in the form they existed during the Soviet era have not been preserved. Most large hotels call themselves hotel-sanatoriums, although it is conditional to categorize them as such. You can go to the springs and drink healing water from both a private house and an expensive hotel. So, the choice of accommodation class is up to you.
Hotels and sanatoriums in Borjomi
Arriving in Borjomi, you have several options: stay in a hotel or hostel, or choose private houses of local residents. Let’s clarify right away – if you came to relax your soul and body, it’s better to choose hotels.
Hotels with spa centers positioning themselves as sanatoriums:
- Borjomi Palace Health & Spa Center. Borjomi Palace is the most popular sanatorium in the resort. It’s about 400 meters from the park with the springs.
The hotel has an indoor and outdoor pool, a gym. There is a wide range of spa procedures. You will love its luxurious interior and friendly staff. At the same time, the prices are not exorbitant. Rooms with breakfast start from $60.
- Crowne Plaza Borjomi Spa & Wellness Centre. Located in a gorge near the park entrance, it attracts attention with its beautiful appearance and an unusual bridge leading to it. But that’s not the only thing that sets it apart.
This is an excellent luxury option for relaxation.
This hotel, built in the style of a castle, corresponds to its five stars. Luxurious interior, excellent service, pools, numerous spa treatment rooms, and much more await you. Rooms in this luxurious complex cost from $100 to $150 depending on the season.
The most popular budget options:
Guest House Besarioni. A few steps from the mineral water spring, with a view of the mountains and forest, a garden on the territory, and a shared kitchen. There are only two rooms equipped with two beds, a shower, and Wi-Fi.
Guesthouse Valeria. Similar in conditions to the first guest house. Here, you have the opportunity to book triple rooms.
Gio’s Guest House. An excellent option for those who like everything to be nearby. The mountains, river, and city are visible from the window. You can sunbathe on the terrace, and on the ground floor, you can get a hairstyle. The difference from others is family rooms. There is Wi-Fi, free parking, and a transfer to the transportation junction is offered.
Metreveli Guest House. The price includes room service, a kettle, TV, Wi-Fi, and breakfast.
This is not all; there are more than 100 accommodation options, and these are only hotels. You can view detailed descriptions, photos, locations, and travel maps, for example, on the Booking.com website.
Where to Eat Deliciously and Inexpensively in Borjomi
You can enjoy delicious Georgian cuisine in numerous cafes and restaurants while experiencing the authentic local dishes. We’ll tell you about the most budget-friendly and pricier options.
Inka Cafe – European cuisine. Located on 9 April Street. Tasty, clean, friendly. They offer delicious pastries and teas. All food can be ordered for takeout. Prices are moderate.
Bergi Cafe offers international and Georgian cuisine. A wide selection of dishes and wines, good service, and a pleasant atmosphere. The food is exceptionally tasty; it’s a definite feast – make sure to visit not only to eat but also to enjoy. Location: Rustaveli Street, 121.
At Old Borjomi, you’ll find a bar, pub, barbecue, and grill. Cozy, comfortable, with a homely atmosphere, quick service, and quite tasty dishes. You can find the cafe at Kostava Street, 19.
Another top spot to satisfy your appetite is the “Tourist” cafe. The owner often personally welcomes guests, takes orders, cooks, and serves. The menu is small, but the taste is divine. Here, you’ll get a reasonably budget-friendly bill. Believe me, portions in Georgian cafes can be shared by two; they are very generous. Address: Nodar Dumbadze Street, 3.
The Bagrationi Restaurant welcomes you with an excellent interior. It is located on the territory of a 5-star hotel. Mountain views, a terrace, excellent service, and delicious Georgian cuisine. The prices are above average, but it’s worth it!
Want to feel like a real guest? Then head to My House on Kostava Street, 31. Incredibly friendly and attentive staff, top-notch service, a pleasant atmosphere, nothing annoying, quiet music, and a fantastic selection of dishes. Cozy, clean, delicious – that’s all about My House!
A budget option is the Imereti Cafe. Despite the low prices, the food is delicious. Homemade food, similar interior, but if you want to have a snack or have a hearty dinner, this is the place for you! You can find it at Erekli Street, 2.
Getting to Borjomi
Borjomi on the Map of Georgia
You can get to Borjomi from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, and Bakuriani. If you are traveling with a tour company, usually, transfers are provided. For those traveling independently, there are several options.
How to Get to Borjomi from Tbilisi
By train: Departure from Tbilisi at 07:00 and 16:40, arrival in Borjomi at 11:30 and 21:30. Address: Tbilisi, Vokzalnaya Square, 2 – Borjomi, Tori Street, 3.
By bus: From the Didube bus station (near the metro station of the same name). Departures every hour from 7 am to 5 pm. Travel time is about 3 hours.
Minibuses depart from Kutaisi bus station. There is no specific building; the landmark is McDonald’s. The “bus station” is located in the passage on the left side of the restaurant and in the lane going left from the passage. You can get to Borjomi by bus Kutaisi-Akhaltsikhe. Departure times: 08:15, 08:50, 09:30, 11:30, 13:10. Travel time: approximately 3.5-4 hours.
By bus, you can take the Batumi-Akhaltsikhe route: 08:30, 10:30. There is also a direct bus, but it runs irregularly, and the schedule changes. Therefore, it’s better to check at the station.
When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Borjomi is located in a mountain gorge, which contributes to the mild climate and protection from temperature fluctuations and other negative atmospheric phenomena. Therefore, residents and tourists enjoy an ample amount of sunlight and warmth while savoring the pure mountain air and optimal temperature.
The resort season here lasts all year round because the summer is warm, with an average temperature of around +20°C, and the winter is mild with an average temperature of -3°C. However, the most preferable period for vacationers is May-June. During this time, you can fully enjoy the blooming of various plants and their aroma.
Visiting Borjomi in autumn is also very interesting, especially if you coincide with the celebration of the City Day. Concerts, fairs, Georgian music, and cuisine give a special atmosphere to the city. Want to experience the culture? Come during mass celebrations – it will be great.
I am Victor, the founder of this site and its main, but not the only author.
Traveler and photographer. Visited more than 40 countries.
Born and raised in Batumi. I love to travel in Georgia.
More about me here.