Whenever you visit a foreign country I am sure that you always look for the ways of transporting from one place to another, that is why I think an article about how to travel by train in Georgia might be really interesting if you plan on visiting our beautiful country; Especially if you want to visit more than just one city.
I think train is the best transport as it makes me feel the safest; Even if we do not talk about comfort and time-saving factors then I want you to imagine mesmerizing view from your seat- mountains, lakes, rivers and cities from your window- This view is even better if it takes place in Georgia.
Georgian Railway Counts More Than A Hundred Years
Yes, it is absolutely right. The story started in 1871, when the first train ran between the cities Zestafoni and Poti; Since then, the history only got bigger and better.
In 1872 Tbilisi got connected to the western Georgia, In 1897 the “Eiffel bridge” was built over Tskhenistskali river by very well-known architect and civil engineer- Gustave Eiffel.
In 1967 the whole process of railway electrification was done and today we are in 2020, when Swiss double-decker trains take care of passenger’s comfort.
Here are my tips on how to travel by train in Georgia:
Check The Train Running Schedule
Well, duh, you knew that before too, but in Georgia things could get complicated: For example, if you want to go to Ureki, you will be given Tbilisi–Batumi ticket and don’t think that it was a mistake, before the train arrives in Batumi, it has 2 other stops . That might be the case for other destinations as well.
So, check the train running schedule before you plan your trip and make sure that your wanted place is connected to the railway.
Fortunately train network of Georgia not only connects cities within the country but it also connects to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey.
Book Your Seats Beforehand
It is very important when it comes to the topic of how to travel by train in Georgia. In Georgia, 10 months a year trains are half-empty but when it comes to summer, you need to book the seats beforehand.
I would recommend doing it 1-2 weeks in advance, as almost all of the seats are sold out and you might miss your chance of visiting other cities.
You can book your tickets online on Georgian Railway Website or Biletebi.ge as well as offline at the train station. International services(Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia) can not be booked online when it comes to Georgian websites, but you could book your tickets to Yerevan through Armenian Railways and to Baku on Azerbaijan Railways.
Prepare your ID
If you want to know how to travel by train in Georgia, then this is the major one to possibly save your money. Without your ID you will not be able to first- buy the ticket, and then enter the train without it.
There are special discounts to the kids and students. Children aged 5-10 need their child ticket that costs half the price (12.5 Lari); If you are a student and can prove it with your student ID, then you get the ticket in half the price as well.
You might ask-but what does it have to do with the topic of how to travel by train in Georgia?
Well let me tell you that some of the trips by train could last up to 5 hours, which depends on your destination, and the last thing you want to do is stay hungry for hours!
There are food machines in the train as well, but they can be pricey, so always pack some snacks if you are planning on travelling by train in Georgia.
Be On Time!
This is the major one if you want to know how to travel by train in Georgia.
Trains are never immune to being delayed, so always plan on getting at the platform at least 30 minutes earlier.
Unfortunately, it has happened to me before when I missed my train and learnt my lesson, so always take time seriously! Your trip could be delayed for weeks, especially in summer, because all of the tickets are pretty much sold out at the time.
Also check out our article about how to get around – public transportation in Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital.