Georgia has three major international airports. Tbilisi's is the biggest and most well-connected, but there are many budget airlines that fly to Kutaisi instead, with bus connections easily available to other parts of Georgia. Batumi's airport is the logical choice for those headed to the western regions.
Georgia also shares land borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey, most of which have border crossings usable by travelers. Armenia and Azerbaijan are also connected to Georgia by passenger train.
Ferries are another option, as they run between Batumi and other cities on the Black Sea.
Georgia's intercity transportation network is still a bit rough around the edges, but it's still possible to reach most destinations in Georgia within a few hours. Some aspects of using transportation within Georgian can be quite confusing if you're not used to them, so a tolerance for some chaos and a willingness to ask locals for directions is essential. Basic Georgian reading skills can be a significant help as well, as many destination names and other markings are not in English.
Georgia has a limited rail network, but trains run to and from major destinations like Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi, Gori, and other cities along their routes, as well as the aforementioned international destinations. The rolling stock is a mix of new, high-speed machines and older, slower Soviet ones.
Tickets for seats more modern trains can be bought online and at the stations. The older trains often have no assigned seating, and instead rely on paying cash to a machine on board the train.
Large intercity buses do exist in Georgia, though their routes are somewhat limited and several companies are exclusively focused on routes to and from Kutaisi's airport. Intercity bus tickets are typically available online, and those running to and from the airport will often time their routes to match arriving and departing flights.
The most common method of inter-city travel in Georgia is the marshrutka, or minibus. Most cities, large and small, have an area where these large vans can be found waiting for passengers to arrive. Their destinations are typically identified by a sign in the front passenger-side window. This sign is generally written in Georgian, but popular tourist routes will also have English.
Once you find the correct marshrutka, either by reading signs or with the help of a local, you simply board and wait for the van to depart. This typically only happens when the vehicle is full of passengers, even if there was an approximate departure time listed. Cash payment will be collected before or during the trip.
Georgia's road network is fairly well-developed and maintained, making intercity driving a fairly painless process, especially if the destination is near a highway or other major road. Rental cars and/or hired drivers are fairly easy to find in the larger cities.
There are, however, some very dangerous areas scattered around Georgia's many mountainous areas, such as Tusheti and Svaneti. Be sure you have a good vehicle, capable driver, and favorable weather if you plan to visit these areas.
Most cities in Georgia can be reaching in five or so hours driving or train, so intercity flights are not very common. They may be available, though, and generally run between Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Mestia, and Ambrolauri. As of 2023, only one company runs a small plane between these destinations, and tickets can only be booked directly with them.
One of the primary reasons people sometimes choose to fly in Georgia is travelling to Mestia, which is one of the highest towns in Georgia and a popular ski destination. Due to mountain roads, driving there can take 9+ hours, while the flight is under an hour.
Transportation in Cities
Georgia's larger cities, like Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, etc. have reasonably good public transportation infrastructure in place. Tbilisi is the only city with a metro system, which has two lines and connects large portions of the city quite well. Tbilisi and several other cities also have bus systems, which is becoming fairly modern and is relatively easy to navigate using a smartphone.
In both the bigger and smaller cities, marshrutka (minibuses) are quite common. Large cities may have marshrutkas with scheduled routes and stops, but they are more irregular in the smaller areas and may require you to flag them down on the side of the road and also notify them when you wish to get off. Some may be connected to public transit cards, but it's generally safer to assume that they're cash-only.
Taxis in Georgia's larger cities are common, and most people use an app like Bolt or Yandex to book rides. They are generally quite safe, though basic precautions like safety belts may be missing in some cars.
Hailing taxis off the street is also possible, but these drivers tend to overcharge locals and foreigners alike, and the language barrier may make directions difficult. Using apps whenever possible is generally advised.
Georgia's larger cities can be a challenge, even for experienced drivers, as traffic tends to be heavy and the driving style is somewhat aggressive. Signage is generally available in both Georgian and English, however, so navigating is relatively straightforward.
Georgia's bike-friendliness varies by city, but the hilly nature of the country, lack of designated bike lanes, and aggressive driving make it, as a rule, not a popular mode of transportation.
Georgia's major cities are fairly dense and walkable, though sidewalk quality is not always guaranteed. Most neighborhoods are safe and easy to navigate on foot, though crossing between them can be a challenge if there is a major highway in your path.
The smaller towns typically have walkable cores where most of the services and amenities are located, but travel outside the core area will typically require a car.