Cable Car in Tbilisi

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Tbilisi Cable Cars: Exploring the Heights of the Capital

While in Tbilisi, it’s a must to visit the cable cars. They are not only interesting in themselves as a way to see the city in all its glory from a height, but they also lead to other fascinating landmarks. Moreover, you can’t do without them, as they greatly simplify the journey in the mountainous areas of the city.

V kabine kanatnoy dorogi iz Rike

In this article, I’ll tell you about the cable cars:

  • To Narikala Fortress
  • To Turtle Lake
  • To Mtatsminda Park

As well as:

  • The route expected in the near future
  • The funicular to Mtatsminda Park

Tbilisi Park Rike to Narikala Fortress Cable Car

The most famous and visited route is the cable car to Narikala. It is located in the heart of the capital, not far from the Peace Bridge.

The cable car offers enchanting views of Old Tbilisi with its roofs made of red tiles, Freedom Square, and the Kura River. The cabin moves leisurely at only 5 km/h, so you can comfortably take your time to observe the city from a bird’s eye view.

At the same time, 7 cabins carry passengers, each accommodating up to 8 people.

The attraction is popular, and during the peak tourist season, a huge crowd gathers at the entrance. But don’t be alarmed—it disperses very quickly, thanks to the efficient work of the staff and the frequency of arriving cabins.

Safety measures have been implemented for the cable car: it is closed in strong winds, heavy rain, and other adverse conditions! If you find yourself on the mountain, and the weather suddenly changes (a common occurrence in Georgia), you’ll have to descend on foot.

The cable car connects the central part of the city with the historic one, leading to the ancient fortress. It was erected in the 4th century and was considered the most impregnable fortification in the entire city. On the territory, a church of St. Nicholas was built. It replaced a 12th-century temple that was destroyed due to a fire. Inside, frescoes depict the history of Georgia and the faces of saints.

In addition to Narikala Fortress, here you can see:

Mother Georgia (Mother of Kartli) – a 20-meter monument that has become a symbol not only of Tbilisi but also of the entire Georgia.

Мать Грузия

Tbilisi Botanical Garden – 128 hectares of land where 4500 plants from all corners of the world are collected.

Vid na Tbilisi is Botanicheskiy sad

One-way cable car Tbilisi ticket price: 2.5 lari (but you need to purchase a MetroMoney card for 2 lari before boarding. You can get it at any metro station or directly at the ticket office here).

Length of the route: 600 meters.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Tbilisi cable car opening hours: 10:00-22:00 (with good weather conditions).

How to get there: Walk to Rike from the “Freedom Square” and “Avlabari” metro stations, about 15-20 minutes. You can also take public transport, buses No. 341, No. 344, No. 345 to Europe Square.

Useful information about the cable car from Rike Park:

  • You cannot ride the cable car with food in your hands (put it in a backpack) and open metal cans.
  • It is very windy on the mountain, so dress warmly, even if it was warm in the city below.
  • There are no cafes or restaurants, so if you plan to stay here for a long time, bring food with you. Near the lift at the top, you can buy ice cream (in summer), a glass of wine or mulled wine, water, and soda.
  • From Narikala Fortress, near the lift, there is a pedestrian route down the mountain, so you can go down and up without the cable car. But keep in mind that the descent is very steep, and in the rain, the stony path becomes slippery.
  • Bicycles cannot be transported on the cable car.

Cable Car to Turtle Lake in Vake Park, Tbilisi

In the capital, there is a less known but definitely worth visiting cable car to Turtle Lake. It’s a small and shallow lake (only 2.5 meters deep) located on the slope of Mtatsminda. It used to be famous for its numerous turtles, and its shape conveniently resembles a turtle. Currently, swimming is allowed in the lake, but as it is a mountain lake, the water remains quite cold even in hot weather.

Kanatnaya doroga na Cherepashie Ozero

Near Turtle Lake is the Tbilisi Ethnographic Museum, consisting of 14 authentic old houses brought from different regions of Georgia. Inside, historical exhibits are displayed, including various decorations, weapons, utensils, furniture, and decorative items. It’s recommended to visit the Ethnographic Museum in good weather.

The cable car starts in Vake Park, featuring beautiful shaded alleys with benches, neatly trimmed greenery of bushes, playgrounds, and cafes. The park is ideal for family leisure.

Stancia kanatki na Cherepashie ozero

The cable car to Turtle Lake is the longest in Tbilisi. During the 7-minute journey, you can enjoy the views of new city districts and the greenery of the park. The cabins accommodate up to 12 people each, and passengers will have to stand as there are no seating places. A staff member accompanies passengers, ensuring safety in the gondola.

Important: Cabin capacity: up to 12 people (officially), but in practice, they allow 8-9 people to avoid overloading the mechanism.

Although it is officially stated that gondolas depart every 10 minutes, in reality, they run much more frequently, every 5-8 minutes.

Kanatka na cherepashye ozero

One-way ticket price: 1 lari (with MetroMoney card).

Bicycle transport: 1 lari.

Altitude: 700 meters.

Duration: 7 minutes.

Working hours: from 8:00 to 00:00 in the summer season and from 8:00 to 22:00 in winter. Departs every 10 minutes.

How to get there: from the “Delisi” metro station or take buses No. 345, 359, 301, 388 from Rustaveli station to Chavchavadze Avenue, Vake Park.

From Turtle Lake down to the park, there is the longest zip line in Georgia (1.2 kilometers long). It operates daily from 11:00 to 21:00. The cost is 100 lari per person.

Maglivi – Bagebi

The last, third branch connects the Bagebi district with the building of Tbilisi State University. One cabin at a time accommodates 40 people, meaning it can transport 600 people in both directions per hour. This cable car is mainly used by students and university staff, and there is not much for tourists to see. It often undergoes maintenance and reconstruction.

Vhod na kanatnuyu dorogu k universitetu Kanatka Bagebi Kanatka na Universitet

One-way ticket price: 1 lari (with MetroMoney card), students travel for free.

Located in Vake-Saburtalo.

Route length: 300 meters.

Duration: 4-5 minutes.

Working hours: 08:00-20:00.

Expected in the Near Future

By the end of 2023, they promise to complete the construction of a cable car connecting the central Shota Rustaveli Avenue and Mtatsminda. There used to be a cable car here, but it was closed in the 90s due to a terrible accident that claimed the lives of 20 people. The new lift will safely and comfortably transport passengers to the park on Mtatsminda in just 4 minutes. It will be able to serve more than 1000 people per hour.

Funicular to Mtatsminda Park, Tbilisi

While the mountain cable car is not yet completed, visitors are transported to the mountain by a funicular. It is a very well-known and visited place, so queues can be quite substantial.

The funicular carriage takes visitors up the forested mountain, offering breathtaking views. You can get off halfway and visit the pantheon of famous figures: artists Pirosmani and Gudiashvili, poet and prose writer Griboedov, and other outstanding personalities.

Нижняя станция фуникулёра

At the top, there is the famous “Funicular” restaurant and a large amusement park for both children and adults. I highly recommend visiting the Ferris wheel, from the cabin of which you can see the city of Tbilisi in the palm of your hand.

The structure of the funicular resembles a metro: two cars moving in opposite directions along the rails. Each car accommodates 60 passengers.

Фуникулёр. Тбилиси

One-way ticket price: 10 lari (plus you need to make a park card for two lari. It is required to pay for the funicular and ride on the attractions at the top).

Route length: 500 meters.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Working hours: 9:45-22:30, after 19:00 it stops near the pantheon.

Runs every 10-20 minutes.

How to get there: by buses No. 388, No. 358, No. 301, No. 345, No. 383 from the “Rustaveli” metro or a 20-minute walk from “Liberty Square,” at Daniel Chonkadze Street 20.

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