A wonderful puppet theatre for adults in the heart of Tbilisi's Old Town which artist, writer and film-maker Reza Gabriadze's theatre opened over 30 years ago. Choose between two powerful and imaginative long-running shows (in Russian with English surtitles), The Battle of Stalingrad and The Autumn of my Sunshine, both of which have toured the world to great acclaim. Don't miss it if you are in Tbilisi - buy tickets online (www.biletebi.ge) and follow the show with dinner in the theatre cafe next door.
13 Shavteli Street, Tbilisi, Georgia
+0995 298 6593
The Rustaveli Theatre is a stately, grand building set on one of the main tree-lined avenues that run through the centre of Tbilisi. The corner stones still bear a couple of bullet holes, remnants of the independence struggles of the early 90s. I was at the inaugural Georgian International Festival of Theatre in 1996, and remember jamming into the back of the circle, peering between the numerous decorative pillars, straining to see Vanessa Redgrave performing a one woman show. There is a huge tradition of theatre in Georgia, and the visual, imaginative productions of Shakespeare created during the Soviet Era made a huge impact at the Edinburgh Festivals of the 80s. The International Theatre festival's still going, now renamed the Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre, and you can still see international stars (such as John Malkovich) as well at the top national companies performing on the Rustaveli stage.
A museum in the basement of the former school/college that Stalin went to as a young student. Get a guide who speaks English, and see the amazing items worked in metal (including gold) and painted wood from two millenia of Georgian art. It is cool, as the objects require aircon for their conservation - a blessing on a hot day. Small entry fee.
Near the city centre, and signed from main streets
An outdoor museum of rural culture. Even better is their restaurant, perched on a cliff with lovely views and a cool breeze in hot weather. There is often live music too.
Get a marshroot bus and ask for it, they will know how to get you there. It is a longish walk above the city
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