Borjomi is a city in the south-west of Georgia, which became famous in the days of the USSR for its mineral water. In terms of export, this healing water occupied the first place in Georgia and is still very popular in the CIS countries.
Today, about 14,000 people live in the city. This is a small and very picturesque low-mountain resort in the gorge of the Kura River, located at a distance of 152 km to Tbilisi. You should come here to admire the beautiful nature and look at historical monuments, among which there is also the palace of the Russian royal family of the Romanovs.
Tourist infrastructure is developed in the resort of Borjomi: there are many cafes and street stalls with Georgian dishes, grocery stores, several internet cafes in the center.
Where to stay in Borjoni
As for accommodation, more than ten hotels, several resorts, a budget hostel and many guest houses have been built in Borjomi. The upscale Borjomi Palace Resort & Spa recently opened. You can find a suitable place to stay at different prices: from 12 to 150 euros per night.
Be careful when choosing guest houses in Borjomi! Among them there are decent housing options, and apartments, leaving much to be desired. Tourists do not recommend contacting the barkers who offer guest accommodation on the streets. It is better to use booking services in advance: so you can find discount offers and choose accommodation in the city at a bargain price. The cost of a night in guesthouses is from $ 12.
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The most interesting sights of Borjomi
Having visited Borjomi, you will see that this Georgian city is interesting not only for its famous mineral water. One of the main advantages of Borjomi is the sights. There are many historical and cultural sites, ancient Georgian temples and natural beauties of the Caucasus.
Museum of Local Lore
Be sure to visit the city Museum of Local Lore on St. Nino. In the museum you can familiarize yourself with the history of the Borjomi resort, you will find out what famous people rested here. It also collected a lot of interesting everyday life of local residents, Georgia as a whole. You can see rare exhibits, including items from the Romanov’s summer palace.
House of Mirza-Riza Khan
This is an amazing mansion in the very center of the city, which is included in the list of important sights of Borjomi and Georgia. The house was built in 1892 by order of the Persian consul and general. It is perfectly preserved and now admires tourists with its unusual architecture with many delicate elements and patterns. This wonderful house is located on April 9th Street.
Today, from the unique ancient fortress of Petra in the Borjomi Gorge, there are only ruins. However, the lower tiers and the upper fortification are partially preserved: and they are made of an unusual material – coarse pebbles.
Who exactly built this fortress is unknown. At one time it was a large defensive structure, and then it was captured by the Turks and made the headquarters of their army. Climbing here is worth at least to look at the magnificent panorama that opens from the mountain and take a photo as a keepsake.
To get to the fortress of Petra, go along the right bank of the Kura to the railway tracks. Then turn left and climb the mountain along the trail.
The cable car, which is considered one of the most interesting sights of the city of Borjomi, was built in the 60s of the last century. Recently, she underwent a comprehensive restoration. Riding in the cable car on the cable car should be combined with a visit to the city park. It is here that the lower road station called “Park” is located.
The funicular will lift you to a height of 1000 meters above sea level, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the city of Borjomi and the surrounding nature. At the upper station “Plateau” you will see the modest church of St. Seraphim of Sarov in 2008. You can go into this church: it operates and is very popular among the townspeople.
The cable car runs only in the warm season, from mid-May. The rise on it costs one and a half lari.
If you ask locals what to see in Borjomi, they will definitely advise you to visit the Green Monastery. This is the oldest functioning monastery in all of Georgia, which still regularly attracts pilgrims.
The building was built in the 9-10 centuries in the form of a typical basilica for that period. A bell tower of the 14th century was erected nearby, completing the architectural appearance of the monastery complex. Be sure to go inside the temple to feel the spirit of antiquity and imbue it with a calm atmosphere. Behind the basilica you can visit another interesting place – a spring with holy water, to which pilgrims come from all over the country.
The monastery is located in the State Reserve, which in itself is an important attraction of Borjomi. You can get to it by taxi or minibus.
Likanskiy Palace – the summer residence of the Romanovs
The Likan Palace was built in the village of Likani near Borjomi on the orders of Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich Romanov in the late 19th century. This beautiful palace complex, made in the Moorish style, served the royal family as a summer residence. Interestingly, the view of the palace during the Romanovs was captured by color photographer Borjomi (Georgia) by Prokudin-Gorsky.
It is noteworthy that in 1898 the first power station on the territory of the Russian Empire was built near the palace: specifically to conduct electricity to the palace. For that time it was a huge progress.
In Georgia, the Lycan Palace until recently served as the summer residence of the president. Entrance here was forbidden: one could only admire the facade of the complex. But in 2016, the Georgian authorities decided to change the situation and turn the attraction into a museum open to the public. Three years were taken for restoration.
At the moment, the palace is closed for visits, but it’s still worth coming and looking at it. From Borjomi to Likani can be reached by bus and taxi.
Spa and rehabilitation in Borjomi
The miraculous properties of local mineral water were first discovered by military doctors of the Kherson regiment. This happened in 1816. The resort gained wide fame in 1841, when a well-known general by the name of Golovin cured his daughter with local waters. After that, noble people from all over the Russian Empire began to come here for treatment.
The chemical composition of the mineral water in Borjomi is sodium bicarbonate. It is mineralized naturally in nature. There are many ways to recover with Borjomi water: they drink, take baths, inhale vapors and carry out inhalations. Drinking water is useful for people with diseases of the stomach and digestive system, metabolic disorders.
Mineral water baths are recommended for people with nervous disorders, heart and vascular diseases, and problems with the reproductive system. Inhalation is good for respiratory diseases.
Sources of mineral water and resorts
Two famous sources of mineral water in the city of Borjomi in Georgia are located near the central park. Of these, you can collect and drink water for free.
You can undergo treatment in one of several local sanatoriums, dispensaries and health centers that offer diagnostics and numerous procedures. The resort’s sanatoriums use not only Borjomi water, but also mineral sulfur baths.
The most famous resorts are Rixos Borjomi (5 stars) and Borjomi Palace (4 stars). Accommodation in them is quite expensive (in the region of 85 euros and above), but it also includes medical procedures, and food, consisting of dietary dishes, as well as visits to swimming pools and other guest infrastructure.
Borjomi is not the only health resort city in the country; pay attention also to treatment at the Abastumani health resort in Georgia , it is less developed, but more affordable.
Weather and climate
You can come to rest and treatment in Borjomi at any time of the year. It is cool in winter, but there is no severe cold. The average temperature in January l during the day is 1 degree frost, and at night -6 ° C.Borjomi has a mild climate. The city is protected by mountains, so there are no unpleasant phenomena such as temperature changes and gusty winds.
The rainiest month in Borjomi is May. The rest of the year it rains regularly, but not often – 4-7 days a month.
It is worth noting that housing prices in the city practically do not change depending on the season.Due to its location in a mountain gorge, summer at the resort is warm, but not hot. In July, the average air temperature reaches +25 degrees. May is considered the most favorable month for visiting the city. At this time, trees and shrubs bloom here, the day becomes longer, and the weather is already mild and pleasant. It is in May that they make the most beautiful photos of the city of Borjomi.
How to get to Borjomi from Tbilisi
Buses and electric trains regularly travel from Tbilisi to Borjomi. The latter depart from Tbilisi Railway Station and stop in the city center. Electric trains leave twice a day: at 6:30 (No. 618/617) and at 16:15 (No. 686/685). On the way you will need to spend 4 hours. Tickets can be purchased online at www.railway.ge.
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Buses to the city of Borjomi leave every hour from 7 am to 6 pm. The place of departure of minibuses is the bus station at the Didube metro station. The fare is about $ 3, and the travel time is about 2 hours.