The Ambassador's Choice Of Winter Must-Sees

Arad Benkö, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Georgia, was kind enough to share with his top choices for places to visit in 2020. Check them out below.



This restaurant is well hidden behind the Literature Museum and offers not only a wide variety of Georgian but also international food. If the weather allows, take a seat under a roof of vine-leaves and enjoy the quiet atmosphere in the center of Tbilisi, just a few meters from the busy Rustaveli avenue.

Beyond the yard is not only a shop with beautifully crafted Georgian art but also a small theater that you can even rent for staging plays or having a party.


When I first visited Batumi, it was refreshing to feel the humid breeze of the sea. The sea always opens your mind and broadens your horizon. Ajara is a beautiful gem in the Georgian crown. Batumi combines a certain Middle Eastern/Las Vegas touch due to the postmodern building activities and the calmness of its people. And all that against the background of lots of green. Travel eastward to Khulo and you will enjoy the stunning landscape of a region where autumn is the ideal time to see the mixed colors of blue sky and trees in change.



No Austrian can miss Gudauri. Not only is Marco Polo the first western-style hotel opened by Austrians in the 1980s but you even find an Austrian hut at 2700 m altitude where you can stay overnight, enjoy the stars and be the first on the slopes at 8.00 am! Most ski-lifts are from Austria and the logistics company that brought them to Georgia is Austrian too. My personal highlight is to go up Mt Sadzele (roughly 3300m), take a 360-degree look over the mountain ranges, including Kazbegi, and ski slowly down to have a snack at Vitamin restaurant at the Soliko lift. On the drive up to Gudauri, take a look at Austrian built hydropower station Aragvi. It is located after the second turn on the left when you start the serpentines towards Gudauri: An elegant symbiosis how to do business in an environmental-friendly way.


The Austrian government is very active in helping Georgian regions to develop in agriculture and tourism. One of the regions is Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti. When I first visited Oni, I was surprised by the different unexpected attractions it offers visitors: You have an impressive synagogue which shows that Oni used to have a sizable Jewish community and Shovi is a Balneological-climatic resort with sanatoriums that look like they have been beamed from the Austrian Alps! Not far from there is the town of Tsageri, the center of historical Lechkhumi since ancient times and residence of the rulers of this region hosting a highly interesting museum about the traces ancient invaders left – from the Arabs to the Mongols and many other relics even of prehistoric times. And don’t miss the mysterious Khvamli Mountain where Georgian mythological hero Amirani was chained in one of the pits.


Kutaisi is not only perfectly located to make excursions to Chiatura, the once-in-a-lifetime experience of riding a 1950s-era cable car built on the orders of Stalin himself or the spa resort at Tskaltubo. Bertha von Suttner, the Austrian Peace Noble Prize winner of 1905 used to leave in this city some 140 years ago. The capital of western Georgia is a pretty city wrapped in a constant autumnal glow boasting lots of charming cafes such as the Palaty next to White bridge. And don’t miss Gelati Monastery, a medieval cathedral with elaborate frescoes in the outskirts of Kutaisi.

13 January 2020 17:01