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Getting Around Kutaisi: A Guide to Public Transportation

If you're planning a trip to Kutaisi, Georgia, you're in for a treat. This charming city is full of history, culture, and delicious food. But before you start exploring, you need to figure out how to get around. Luckily, Kutaisi has a reliable and affordable public transportation system that can take you anywhere you want to go. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about getting around Kutaisi by public transportation.

Types of Public Transportation in Kutaisi

Kutaisi has several types of public transportation, including buses, minibusses, and taxis. Let's take a closer look at each one.


Buses are the most common form of public transportation in Kutaisi. They run on a set schedule and have designated stops along their route. You can easily recognize a bus stop by the sign that says "avtobusi" (ავტობუსი) in Georgian.

The buses in Kutaisi are color-coded based on their route. For example, the red buses run on one route, the blue buses run on another, and so on. The fare for a bus ride is 50 tetri (about 15 cents), and you can pay with cash or a transportation card.

Buses are a great option for tourists who want to explore the city's main attractions. They run on popular routes and can take you to places like the Bagrati Cathedral, the Gelati Monastery, and the Kutaisi Market.


Minibusses, also known as marshrutkas, are smaller than buses and can hold up to 15 passengers. They don't have a set schedule and usually run on popular routes. You can flag down a minibus anywhere along its route, and the fare is also 50 tetri.

Minibusses are a popular choice for locals because they're faster than buses and can take you to more remote areas of the city. For example, if you want to visit the Sataplia Nature Reserve or the Prometheus Cave, you'll need to take a minibus.

However, minibusses can be crowded and uncomfortable during peak hours. If you're traveling with a lot of luggage or if you prefer a more comfortable ride, buses or taxis may be a better option.


Taxis are also available in Kutaisi, but they're more expensive than buses and minibusses. The fare for a taxi ride starts at 3 lari (about $1), and the price increases based on the distance traveled.

Taxis are a good option if you're traveling with a group or if you need to get somewhere quickly. For example, if you have a flight to catch at the Kutaisi International Airport, a taxi may be the best option.

However, be sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in the car to avoid being overcharged. Some taxi drivers may try to charge tourists more than the standard fare, so it's important to be aware of the going rate.

How to Use Public Transportation in Kutaisi

Using public transportation in Kutaisi is easy once you know the basics. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Plan Your Route

Before you head out, it's a good idea to plan your route using a map or a transportation app. The Kutaisi Public Transport app is a great resource that shows you the bus and minibus routes, schedules, and real-time locations.

If you're not sure which bus or minibus to take, ask the locals for advice. Most people in Kutaisi are friendly and happy to help tourists.

Buy a Transportation Card

If you plan to use public transportation frequently, it's a good idea to buy a transportation card. The card costs 2 lari (about 60 cents) and can be reloaded with money at any bus station or kiosk.

Using a transportation card is more convenient than paying with cash because you don't have to worry about carrying exact change. You simply tap the card on the reader when you board the bus or minibus.

Know the Bus Routes

As we mentioned earlier, buses in Kutaisi are color-coded based on their route. Before getting on a bus, make sure you know which color corresponds to your destination.

You can ask the driver or other passengers for help if you're unsure. Most locals are friendly and happy to assist tourists.

Flag Down a Minibus

If you want to take a minibus, simply stand on the side of the road and wave your hand when you see one approaching. The driver will stop and let you in.

Minibusses don't have designated stops, so you need to tell the driver where you want to get off. You can say "gamomdzaxebeli" (გამომძახილებლი) in Georgian to indicate that you want to get off.

Negotiate the Fare for a Taxi

If you decide to take a taxi, be sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before getting in the car. The fare should be based on the distance traveled, so make sure you agree on a price before starting the journey.

Tips for Using Public Transportation in Kutaisi

Now that you know the basics of using public transportation in Kutaisi, here are some additional tips to help you get the most out of your experience.

Be Prepared for Crowds

During peak hours, public transportation in Kutaisi can be crowded and uncomfortable. If you're traveling with a lot of luggage or if you prefer a more comfortable ride, consider taking a taxi instead.

Be Patient

Public transportation in Kutaisi can be slow, especially during rush hour. Be patient and allow extra time for your journey, especially if you have a deadline to meet.

Keep Your Belongings Safe

Be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you at all times. Pickpocketing can be a problem on public transportation, especially during peak hours.

Learn Some Georgian

While many people in Kutaisi speak English, knowing some basic Georgian phrases can be helpful when using public transportation. For example, "madloba" (მადლობა) means "thank you," and "gamarjoba" (გამარჯობა) means "hello."


Getting around Kutaisi by public transportation is easy and affordable. Buses, minibusses, and taxis are all available, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

By planning your route, buying a transportation card, and knowing the bus routes, you can navigate Kutaisi with ease. And if you need help, don't be afraid to ask the friendly locals for assistance. With a little bit of preparation and patience, you can explore all that this beautiful city has to offer.




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