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Georgia (Caucasus) Travel Guide

Georgia (Caucasus) — Transportation

Georgia Taxis and Car Rental

Taxis are the most convenient means of transportation around Georgia. They are economical and easy to spot in the cities, especially Tbilisi. The flock of gypsy cabs (vehicles driven by anyone who wishes to make some extra cash) is thinning and there are now many official taxis with installed meters and fixed rates. Some reliable taxi providers in Tbilisi include Nostalgia (+995-32-291-1414), Service Luxe (+995-32-253-5535) and 118 09 Tbilisi Taxi (+995-32-209 or +995-32-237-5087).

You can also rent a car or motorbike to explore the country and take advantage of the scenic roads. Many tour operators double as car rental agencies and can provide good quality vehicles with or without a driver. Info-Tbilisi Cars (+995-32-218-2244 to 55) is based in the Vera district and offers excellent deals on sedans, jeeps and minivans, with or without a chauffeur. Concord Motors (+995-32-222-5151) is also a good option, offering car and motorbike rental, and other services like airport transfers, luxury vehicles or bus service. Caucasus Travel Ltd. (+995-32-298-7400) offers both excellent tour packages and good rental rates.

Georgia Water Taxis

Internal water taxis are nonexistent in Georgia, but there are boat services from outside the country to the ports in Poti and Batumi which originate from Odessa and Istanbul in Turkey. Sukhumi Port is closed to passenger and cargo boats, except those used for humanitarian purposes. Vessels that dock in Sukhumi are subject to border checks in the port of Poti so don't forget your passport if arriving via water.

Georgia Trains and Buses

Georgia has a developed rail system with over 987 miles of tracks. It has suffered set backs due to fuel shortages and other problems, but operation has recently been restored. The rail system is not advisable for long distance travel as the trains are very slow (although cheap). It is more practical to take a sleeper train from Tbilisi to destinations like the Black Sea coast than to spend long hours on a bus.

Buses are the cheapest means to get around town in Georgia, and modern Dutch buses operate in big cities like Tbilisi. While they don’t have air conditioning, they are relatively comfortable. However, the same cannot be said for the old and run-down buses operating in the Georgia countryside. Minibuses, or marshrutkas, are also a popular means of transportation which travel on fixed routes and can be hailed almost anywhere. Between cities, most of the stops are at local bus stations and city markets. If you wish to explore remote regions, it is best to contact a tour company that offers tours or jeep trips. Car rental can also be used to access the more off-the-beaten path locations.

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