Traveling in Georgia is pretty cheap. Maybe not Southeast Asia cheap, but the cost to travel in Georgia is very decent and you can expect to have a great time for very, very pleasant prices.
Curious to know how much budget you’ll need to travel in Georgia? By sharing the breakdown of our costs for traveling in Georgia with you, I hope to help you with planning your trip to this gorgeous country to understand what kind of budget you should keep in mind. I’ll give you some numbers below as well as a little bit of context about how we spent our money.
A little info on money matters in Georgia
The currency in Georgia is the Lari, abbreviated as GEL. All bigger towns have ATMS where you can take out money in the local currency with your debit or credit card. Not many small scale businesses accept credit cards, so cash is the best way to go. Be mindful that there are no ATMs in the smaller mountain villages; stack up on cash before going on multi-day hikes.
This was our cost to travel in Georgia for two persons (12 days):
We spent GEL 2087 in total for two persons during our 12-day trip which equals €637 or US$ 710. In the below table you can see what that comes down to as the travel cost per day and per person. I have also converted the prices to Euro and US Dollar to give you some data for comparison. Note that I have not included the cost of our international plane tickets in this overview as these can differ greatly depending on where you are flying from and when you are flying. We paid €350 pp to fly from Amsterdam to Tbilisi in the high season (June/July 2019)
|Total cost two persons 12 days||Cost per day for two persons||Cost per person per day|
As you can see, the biggest chunks of our budget went to transportation, meals and accommodation. This is a more detailed breakdown of our spendings during 12 days in Georgia (all prices are totals for two persons):
Transport – Budget for traveling around Georgia
The reason why we spent relatively a lot on transportation is because this part of our budget got blown up on our very first day in the country. It happened because our incoming flight had been severely delayed and we arrived in Tbilisi in the evening, rather than in the early morning as planned. We had originally planned to take public transportation to our next destination Kazbegi, which should have cost us no more than GEL 25 for two persons. However, because we arrived so late, there was no outgoing public transport anymore for the day. We debated whether we should change our plans and sleep in Tbilisi for the night and try to get to Kazbegi the next morning, but it would mean that we’d lose a full hiking day. And as we had come to Georgia especially to hike, we sucked it up and paid GEL 250 (€76) for a private taxi to Kazbegi.
Luckily the transportation costs during the remainder of our trip were super cheap. For example, our three hour bus ride from Kazbegi back to Tbilisi cost only GEL 10 (€3) per person, and the night train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi set us back GEL 21 (€6.50) per person. Without that terribly expensive taxi to Kazbegi our breakdown would have looked significantly different:
And our total cost would have looked even nicer:
|Total cost 10 days||Cost per day for two persons||Cost per person per day|
Sleeping – Budget for accommodation in Georgia
The average price we paid for a night’s sleep during our stay in Georgia was €20 for two persons. We slept in simple but cozy guesthouses, always in private double rooms, mostly with private ensuite bathrooms. There were two homestays during our hike where we had to share the bathroom with other hikers. If you want to cut costs you could do so by sleeping in dorms, which are available in most places we visited in Georgia. Homestays that serve hikers typically include breakfast and sometimes also dinner in their price, which will significantly cut your costs for meals.
Our most expensive night was in Tbilisi where we stayed in a private room in a lovely modern little boutique hotel for GEL 100 (€30) per night (breakfast not included) and our cheapest nights were during our hike in Svaneti where the typical price for a double room with shared bathroom is GEL 50 (€15), including dinner and breakfast for two. We spent two nights of our trip on a night train, the cost of which I have listed under transportation. I love how night trains are money savers in that sense!
Meals – Budget for eating in Georgia
We spent an average of €9 per person per day on meals. Food is pretty cheap in Georgia. We went out for meals every day and typically enjoyed mains and a dessert, often paired with a glass of beer or wine. Our typical cost for a dinner for two was around GEL 35 (€10), so that’s not bad at all! You can have cheap breakfasts and lunches of around €2 per person if you buy a fresh bread from a bakery. What also helped is that several accommodations had breakfast and sometimes even dinner included in the cost of the room. Because we are not heavy drinkers we didn’t spend a whole lot on alcohol, but if you are you’ll be glad to hear that beers can be had for around €1.50 a bottle.
Entrance fees – Budget for sightseeing in Georgia
Total cost: €10. We didn’t spend a lot of money in this category as we came to Georgia mainly to hike in the mountains. There are no national park fees where we went, so this was a free activity. In Tbilisi we spent €3 per person to enter a museum, €1.25 for the botanical gardens and less than €1 to ride the cable car. And what we found most enjoyable about Tbilisi was just to walk around the city and enjoy the architecture, which is of course completely free of cost 🙂
Souvenirs – Budget for shopping in Georgia
This is a category that can differ significantly from person to person but to give you an idea of the general cost of souvenirs: we spent our money on post cards, two bottles of Georgian wine, Georgian tea, and a small framed depiction of St. George. In total we spent €15 on these items.
Other – Anything else
We spent €19 in total on miscellaneous items like toilet fees, laundry and money given to beggars and street musicians.
In short: the cost to travel in Georgia is pretty sweet!
Overall we found Georgia to be a very affordable country to travel in. As a general rule the capital Tbilisi is more expensive than the villages and hiking trails out in the mountains, but even there you can enjoy the pleasures of travel at relatively cheap cost. I would classify ourselves as flashpackers rather than hardcore backpackers: we cash out a little bit more for the comfort of a private bathroom and alternate simple take-out meals with sit-down lunches and dinners in midprice restaurants. So if you are willing to sleep in dorms and cook your own meals, your trip will be even more economical than ours. Who knew that travel in Europe would be possible at these friendly prices! I hope that this post helped you to understand how much it costs to backpack in Georgia – enjoy your adventure!
Want to read more about Georgia? Check out my travel story about hiking in the mountains and valleys of Kazbegi and my practical advice for three spectacular day hikes in the Kazbegi area. Want to know more about the cost to travel in Georgia? See this nice website that shares tips on budget traveling in Georgia