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Hot Springs Soaking in Tbilisi

If you're looking for a unique and relaxing experience in Tbilisi, look no further than the city's famous hot springs. Known for their healing properties, these natural hot springs have been popular with locals and tourists alike for centuries.

The History of Tbilisi's Hot Springs

Tbilisi's hot springs have been used for therapeutic purposes since ancient times. The city's name, in fact, is derived from the Georgian word for warm, "tbili." The hot springs were believed to have healing properties for a variety of ailments, from skin conditions to arthritis.

Over the centuries, numerous bathhouses were built around the hot springs to provide a place for people to soak in the healing waters. Today, many of these bathhouses have been restored and are open to the public.

The Benefits of Hot Springs Soaking

Soaking in hot springs has numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. The warm water helps to increase blood flow and circulation, which can relieve muscle tension and reduce inflammation. The minerals in the water, such as sulfur and magnesium, can also help to detoxify the body and improve skin conditions.

But it's not just the physical benefits that make hot springs soaking so appealing. The warm water and relaxing environment can also have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress and promoting feelings of calm and relaxation.

Where to Soak in Tbilisi

There are several bathhouses in Tbilisi where you can soak in the city's famous hot springs. Here are a few of the most popular options:

1. Abanotubani

Located in the heart of Old Tbilisi, Abanotubani is the oldest and most famous of Tbilisi's bathhouses. The bathhouse complex consists of several different bathhouses, each with its own unique design and atmosphere.

One of the most popular bathhouses in Abanotubani is the Orbeliani Bathhouse. Built in the 17th century, this bathhouse features beautiful blue tiles and intricate carvings. It's also known for its excellent massage services.

2. Chreli Abano

Chreli Abano, located in the Avlabari neighborhood, is another popular bathhouse in Tbilisi. This bathhouse is known for its large outdoor pool, which is heated by the natural hot springs. It's a great place to relax and soak in the warm water while enjoying views of the city.

3. Gulo's Thermal Spa

If you're looking for a more modern and luxurious spa experience, Gulo's Thermal Spa is the place to go. This spa, located in the Vake neighborhood, features several different pools and saunas, as well as massage and beauty treatments.

Tips for Hot Springs Soaking in Tbilisi

If you're planning to soak in Tbilisi's hot springs, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear a swimsuit or appropriate swimwear. Most bathhouses require guests to wear swimwear, so be sure to bring a swimsuit with you.
  • Bring a towel and flip-flops. You'll need a towel to dry off after your soak, and flip-flops are a good idea to protect your feet from the hot tiled floors.
  • Be prepared for nudity. In some of the more traditional bathhouses, nudity is the norm. If you're not comfortable with this, look for a bathhouse that allows swimwear.
  • Don't stay in the water too long. While soaking in hot springs can be relaxing, it's important not to overdo it. Limit your soak to 20-30 minutes at a time to avoid dehydration and overheating.

The Best Time to Soak in Tbilisi's Hot Springs

While Tbilisi's hot springs can be enjoyed year-round, the best time to soak in them is during the cooler months of the year. In the summer, temperatures in Tbilisi can soar, making the hot springs less appealing. But in the fall and winter, when temperatures are cooler, soaking in the warm water can be a welcome respite from the cold.

The Cultural Significance of Tbilisi's Hot Springs

Tbilisi's hot springs are not just a place to relax and rejuvenate; they also have significant cultural and historical importance. The bathhouses around the hot springs are an important part of Georgian culture, and have been a gathering place for locals for centuries.

In addition, the hot springs have played a role in shaping the city's architecture. Many of the bathhouses around the hot springs are beautiful examples of traditional Georgian design, with intricate carvings, colorful tiles, and ornate details.

Exploring Tbilisi's Hot Springs Neighborhood

In addition to soaking in the hot springs themselves, a visit to Tbilisi's hot springs neighborhood is a must-do activity. The neighborhood, located in the heart of Old Tbilisi, is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, lined with traditional Georgian houses and bathhouses.

As you wander through the neighborhood, you'll come across a variety of shops and cafes, selling everything from handmade souvenirs to traditional Georgian sweets. Be sure to stop in at one of the local cafes for a cup of strong Georgian coffee or a glass of sweet Georgian wine.

Combining Hot Springs Soaking with Outdoor Activities

While soaking in Tbilisi's hot springs is a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, there are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in and around the city. Here are a few ideas:

  • Hiking: Tbilisi is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and there are numerous hiking trails to explore. Some of the most popular trails include those in the nearby Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.
  • Skiing: During the winter months, skiing is a popular activity in Tbilisi. The nearby ski resorts of Gudauri and Bakuriani offer excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities.
  • Rafting: For a more adventurous activity, consider going rafting on the Mtkvari River, which runs through Tbilisi. There are several companies that offer guided rafting trips.


If you're looking for a unique and relaxing experience in Tbilisi, soaking in the city's hot springs is a must-do activity. With numerous bathhouses to choose from, each with its own unique atmosphere and design, you're sure to find the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate. So pack your swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops, and get ready to soak in the warm, healing waters of Tbilisi's hot springs. And while you're there, be sure to explore the city's rich cultural heritage and enjoy some of the many outdoor activities that the area has to offer.