Tbilisi will always be a special place for me. After a crazy few months of non-stop travel, it was the first place I lived as I slowed down. Living in Tbilisi turned out to be great in more ways than one. As well as giving me the routine I was craving, it turned out to be a fantastic digital nomad destination.
Tbilisi at a glance
Cost of living: 4/5 – WiFi: 4/5 – Safety: 5/5
Connections: 3/5 – Health & Fitness: 4/5 – Things to do: 3/5
Tbilisi as a digital nomad destination
The thing about Tbilisi is that it’s still relatively unknown. Georgia is quickly making its way onto the tourist radar, though, and it probably won’t be long before digital nomads start flocking in, too.
Tbilisi has pretty much everything digital nomads need. The WiFi is fast, the cost of living is affordable and it’s relatively easy to get your hands on anything you need. The food in Tbilisi is also fairly healthy (if you want it to be!) and affordable enough to eat every day, but the supermarket salad bars are also fantastic. Most importantly of all, it’s an incredibly safe city, even if it does feel a little rough around the edges.
Connections to the rest of the world are still pretty tricky, but Tbilisi is a great place to spend some time if you only plan to travel locally. Georgia has loads of sites and attractions for every kind of traveller, so there’s a good chance you’ll want to stay a while.
Even though coworking spaces are few and far between in Tbilisi, there are plenty of cool places to set up shop for the day. Tbilisi has no shortage of cool coffee shops with great WiFi speeds and owners who won’t chase you out. And from the well-known Fabrika to the lesser-known Art House, there are plenty of work spaces aside from the city’s many coffee shops.
The cost of living in Tbilisi
Tbilisi prices are, generally speaking, about the same as most eastern European countries. The rent prices are reasonable, food is fresh and affordable, but luxuries will still set you back a fair amount.
Still, it must be one of the most affordable capital cities around and it’s well-equipped for the digital age. Something I really love about Tbilisi is that it still has the kind of charm that comes from an untouched city, but you’ll have no problem getting connected. It’s a rare combination and one that – like the affordable prices – I don’t expect will stick around for too long.
Apartments in Tbilisi
Airbnb is going to be your best if you don’t plan to stay in Tbilisi long-term. Apartments vary from modern studios to traditional Georgian houses, and won’t set you back a fortune. Monthly rent for an apartment in Tbilisi can be as low as around £250 for a nice studio. If you’re sharing with a partner, budget around £200 each for a nice apartment in a good area.
Tbilisi is a very safe city – the locals even leave their cars unlocked! – so you don’t really need to worry about where you stay. Most accommodation in Tbilisi will be an apartment of some kind, and 1-bedroom flats are the easiest to find. If you stay in the old town area, your place may even come with a crooked staircase or wooden entrance, which only adds to the charm.
Tbilisi food prices
The food in Tbilisi is very affordable, but prices will depend on where you go. Eating out in the main tourist area will cost around 3-4 times the price of the average Tbilisi restaurant, but it’s still not particularly expensive. A group sharing small plates – the typical way to dine in Tbilisi – can expect to pay around $10-12 per person. Outside the tourist area, you can easily eat for around $3-5 per person.
Supermarket prices aren’t as cheap as you might expect, but the fresh food counters are a real gem. Here, you can pick up fresh salads and hot meals for less than it would cost to prepare it yourself. The food is delicious and you can try plenty of traditional dishes. Expect to pay around $1-3 per meal to eat from the takeaway counter.
Although I like to spend sensibly, I’ve never been a budget traveller. If I didn’t have a few home comforts and the financial stability to enjoy the things I enjoy, I wouldn’t be able to stick with the digital nomad lifestyle. Aside from rent, food and travel insurance, my essentials usually include an office space of some kind, a gym and the occasional shopping day.
We had all three of those within a 10-minute walk of our apartment in Tbilisi. Since there was no co-working space nearby, I joined a local gym called Art House. As well as a brand new gym, it has a members’ only pool and bar area. That meant I could sit there all day, take a break to go to the gym, and then go back to the lighting fast WiFi after.
The one catch was that it wasn’t cheap. Art House membership set me back £99 for the month, but it was totally worth it for my situation. The WiFi was incredible, the gym was super modern and always empty, and we also had a rooftop pool thrown in. Given that I treated it as both a coworking space and gym in one, £99 really wasn’t a lot.
Tbilisi budget for one month
If you’re planning to live in Tbilisi and wondering how much to budget, £850 (around $1,085) would let you live very comfortably. That doesn’t mean a lower budget will hold you back, though. You could easily get by on about £550 (around $700), especially if you bought food from the supermarkets.
If you plan to travel a lot or like to eat out or shop, your budget will likely be higher. Car hire, hotels and clothing stores aren’t cheap in Georgia, but the essential living costs are. That means Tbilisi is a fantastic place to enjoy a European lifestyle and epic travel moments on a South East Asia budget.
Want to see what a day in my life as a digital nomad in Tbilisi looked like? I shared all of the above and more in this video:
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