Tourist’s guide to Gori – the heart of central Georgia

The city of Gori is a place not very famous, but visited. Why so? And what can you see in the ancient city of Gori (Georgia)? You will find the answer in this article.

Photo of the Georgian city of Gori

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General information

Gori is located in the very center of Georgia, at the confluence of the Kura and Big Liakhvi rivers. It is 76 km from Tbilisi, and 33 km from Tskhinvali. Today, the population of Gori is about 48,000. It is worth saying that the number of people living in the city is constantly decreasing: if in 1989 70,000 people lived here, then in 2014 it was already 54,780. Young people move to large cities in search of a better life.

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Gori is one of the oldest cities in Georgia. The first mention of the village of Gori dates back to the third century BC, and the first mention of the city dates back to the 8th century BC

The name Gori is directly related to its appearance – in the very center of the city there are several rocks (hills) on which the remains of the ancient Goristsikhe are located.

Sights and attractions in Gori

Gori in Georgia, like any ancient city, has a lot of attractions, symbolizing different eras. That is why let’s look at all the cultural values ​​of the city, from antiquity to modernity.


Uplistsikhe - a city in the rock
The ancient city of Uplistsikhe

Uplistsikhe is an ancient city carved into the rock. Located 12 km from the city of Gori in Georgia. Its history is amazing: the city arose at the end of II – at the beginning of the first millennium BC. e., survived many ups and downs, and in the 19th century was finally abandoned by people. For almost a hundred years, the village remained forgotten, and only in the early 50s of the 20th century did historians show interest in cultural and historical values.

Today it is an ancient archaeological site, which is a symbol of Georgian culture. Uplistsikhe has something to see – it consists of more than 700 caves, enclosed by moats and walls that protected the city in ancient times. Uplistsikhe, according to the ancient tradition of Georgia, had a secret tunnel, a water supply system, as well as a road to the mountains, created specifically for pedestrians.

Today the cave city has the status of a museum, in which excursions are held daily.

Reception Room of Queen Tamara

Reception Hall in Uplistsikhe

Perhaps it is the “Tamara Hall” – the symbol of the city of Uplistsikhe. This room, resembling a spacious hall in size, always became the place where the famous rulers of the stone city lived and worked. The cave is amazing: there are secret underground tunnels, elegant arched niches and a water supply system. Any tourist will be interested in looking at such a creation.

Ancient theater

Photo: Uplistsikhe Theater

Theater is a cultural symbol of any city, including Uplistsikhe. Despite the fact that there was only one row from the once huge and chic amphitheater, the building still recalls its former greatness: an exquisite pattern on the ceiling, a richly decorated pit on the stage. By the way, it was here that the oldest statue of a musician was found in the world.


Photo: the premises of an old pharmacy

Perhaps this is one of the most interesting places in Uplistsikhe. Here many centuries in a row mixed and boiled herbs that grow in the valley. In the cells located in the wall, archaeologists have found many ready-made potions for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Near the pharmacy is a bathroom, which was used for its intended purpose during the Middle Ages.

  • Location: 12 km from the city of Gori, Georgia;
  • Cost: 3 GEL, with a guide – 15 GEL;
  • Hours: 10:00 – 18:00;
  • Features: to visit Uplistsikhe should be allocated from 4 to 5 hours. Wear comfortable shoes

Stalin’s House Museum

As you know, it was here in Gori that Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was born – one of the most controversial historical figures. By the way, the leader’s museum is located not only in his small homeland, but also in Moscow, Makhachkala, Vologda, Sochi, New Athos and other cities.

Photo: Joseph Stalin Museum

The Museum of the Leader can be found in the very center of the old city, in the house where the future head of the USSR was born and lived. The idea of ​​creating the Stalin Museum was born back in 1937, but was never realized. Only in 1949, the Georgian architect Archil Kurdiani undertook to develop a design for the building in the Stalinist Empire style.

For 6 years, many workers worked on the creation of the museum, and in 1955, after the death of the great leader, the architect’s idea was realized.

Today, oddly enough, this is the most expensive and visited museum in Georgia.

Now the museum consists of 3 sections:

1 – Main building and exhibition part

In this part of the building, you can look at the paintings and photos of Stalin in different periods of his life: in childhood, adolescence, adolescence, maturity and old age. A special place is given to Soviet posters with photographs and calls of the leader. You can also see many busts and statues.

2 – Stalin’s House

Stalin's House in Georgia 


Leader’s House

It was in this house that Joseph Vissarionovich was born and lived the first years of his life. A number of photos taken in Gori are also stored here.

3 – Stalin’s car

The armored car of Stalin is an interesting exhibit in which the leader traveled to conferences in Yalta and Tehran.

  • Location: Stalin Avenue, 32. The very center of the city.
  • Price: 4 GEL, with a guided tour – 15 GEL; a separate fee of 5 GEL is charged for entry into the car.
  • Hours: 10.00 – 18.00.
  • Features: the Stalin Museum is almost the only attraction of Gori, so be prepared for the fact that there will be very, very many people.

Goristsikhe Fortress

Photo: Goristsikhe Fortress

The fortress is located on a high hill and is located in the north of Gori. It can be considered a “guiding star” for tourists, because this attraction can be seen from any part of the city.

Unfortunately, in 1920, during one of the strong earthquakes, the fortress was badly damaged, and if it is not restored in the next 20-30 years, it will completely disappear from the face of the Earth.

It is not possible to determine the exact time of the construction of the fortress, however, scientists suggest that construction began around the 16th century.

Fortress walls

The fortress holds many secrets: archaeologists suggest that there used to be a church here, and nearby was a dungeon in which prisoners were kept.

However, the Goristsikhe fortress should be visited not only by history buffs, but also by those who admire the local nature and architecture. Photos of the city of Gori delight: from a high hill the city lies in the palm of your hand, and you can see everything, even the smallest, streets, houses and picturesque valleys near Gori – it’s worth a look.

  • Location: 10 km to the sights from the city of Gori.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Hours: around the clock.
  • Features: the fortress is worth visiting not only during the day, but also in the evening (in the dark it is effectively highlighted).

Atena Zion

Athena Zion is an ancient monastery located 10 km from the Georgian city of Gori. Previously, the temple stood in the middle of the large city of Ateni in the Tana gorge, but in the 19th century people left this place. Scientists are sure that the monastery was built in the 7th century, and since then many believers and tourists flock to it daily. Inside the temple, you can see many frescoes and inscriptions made in the font mhedruli and hutsuri.

Monastery Athena Zion

The monastery experienced many troubles: it was repeatedly attacked and burned by enemies, but, fortunately, this did not prevent the ancient drawings on the walls of the temple from being preserved.

Ateni is also worth a visit in order to admire the nature of the city, which is not yet “clogged” with modern technology, but remains in its original form.

  • Where is the attraction: 10 km from Gori, the ruined city of Ateni.
  • How much: free.
  • Opening hours: 9.00 – 18.00.
  • Features: in order to make the tour really interesting, hire a guide in advance, because in the dead city of Ateni you will not meet a soul.

Weather at Gori

Gori is located in the tropical zone and has a mild climate, so it is rarely cold here. The average January temperature is -3 ° C, July – 25 ° C. The most favorable months to visit are May, June, September. It is in late spring and early autumn that the best weather is for long walks in Gori: the sun does not bake so much already, but there is no snow and rain yet.

But the least favorable months for a vacation in the city of Stalin are: January, February, November, December. This time of year in Georgia, like ours, is quite cold.

How to get to Gori

The city is located 76 to the capital of Georgia. You can get from Tbilisi to Gori in the following ways:

1 – On the minibus

Minibuses to Gori run every 30 minutes from the Didube metro station in Tbilisi. Travel time is more than an hour. Ticket price – 5 GEL.

2 – By taxi

Taxis go along the same route as the rest of the transport. Travel time is about an hour.

Cost – from 90 GEL.

3 – By train

There is another option: a ride on a passing train. For example, from Tbilisi to Kutaisi or from Tbilisi to Tskhinval. Travel time is more than an hour. Ticket price – from 1 to 11 GEL (depending on the class of train).

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From Kutaisi to Gori you can get:

  1. Bus – from the central bus station to Gori station. Travel time is 2 hours. The fare is 4 GEL.
  2. Train – From the central station to Gori station. Travel time is 2 hours. You will have to pay for the fare from 4 to 8 GEL (depending on the class of the train).

All prices on the page are for June 2019.



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