Gold & Other Jewellery - Gold, silver, handmade & other misc. jewellery, precious stones are very cheap in Georgia and quality of the precious stones, gold and silver is superb. Many foreigners visit Georgia to buy jewellery because of its cost and quality.
Art & Paintings â Georgian artists, such as Pirosmani, Gigo Gabashvili, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Korneli Sanadze, Elene Akhvlediani, Sergo Kobuladze, Simon Virsaladze, Ekaterine Baghdavadze and others, are famous for their work. In Georgia you will find many various art shops, paintings and painters who sell their works on the streets. Their work is high quality and are often very good values.
Antiques & Other Misc. Gifts â in Georgia you will able to find many antiques not only from Georgia, but Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Russian and European as well.
Georgian wine, as much as you can. Georgia is the cradle of wine making, and with 521 original varieties of grape you will be sure to find excellent wines.
Cognac. Georgian cognac is unique as it's made from Georgian wine. Try Saradjishvili 'Tbilisi' cognac.
When heading outside the cities, you might find an original hand-made carpet for sale.
Georgians love to drink, so the country has an seemingly infinite amount of beers, wines, liquors and distilled drinks. To take home, buy a bottle of chacha, a potent grape vodka somewhat similar to Lebanese Arak.
Georgian export commodities especially wine and mineral water used to be widely counterfeited in the domestic and CIS markets. For example, the Borjomi bottling plant used to produce roughly one million bottles of Borjomi per year, but there were three million bottles sold in Russia only!
Recent update Dec 2007: government together with business circles has initiated a wide-scale fight with counterfeit wine and mineral water so the percentage of counterfeit products have almost been eliminated. However when stocking with bottled wine it is best to buy it at large supermarkets which have better control of their procurement compared to smaller stores. Such supermarkets are Goodwill, Big Ben or Populi. Same applies to mineral water.
The quality of wine making improved immensely in recent years following re-orientation of wine exports to EU markets.
Currency: Lari, 100 tetri=1 lari Currency code GELExchange rates: 1 USD = 1.65 GEL March 20121 EUR = 2.15 GEL March 20121 GBP = 2.59 GEL March 2012
When exchanging money in banks be sure to present your ID. With small exchange cabines available almost anywhere in the country this is not necessary. These cabins may also have slightly better exchange rates. When traveling out of Tbilisi and in need of Georgian laris, be sure to exchange money before the trip as exchange rates are more discriminative in rural areas. The Georgian Lari is a closed currency, so be sure to change the remainder of your money back before leaving the country. Most importantly, be aware that some ATMs in Georgia may not accept foreign cards though this is not usually a problem in Tbilisi. This can be a potentially serious problem if you are caught without cash during non-business hours or on weekends, so have some cash. Also, while prices are generally very reasonable in Georgia, a side effect is that many small establishments and taxis will not have change for large lari notes especially 50 or higher, so travelers are advised to carry plenty of smaller notes and coins.
If you visit Georgia for one week, you would have a great time if you bring $700-$800 USD with you. With this amount you will be able to stay in a good hotel, have wonderful sightseeing tours and eat good food. All other items such as gifts & jewellery might require more. For more details try searching and contacting travel & tourist agencies.
A budget traveler would have little difficulty getting by and staying very well fed on less than 150-200$ per week, even in the capital. Allow another 30-50$ for travel and sightseeing. November 2008