Visit georgian museums in Tbilisi
As a tourist, the best way to travel in all parts and epochs of Georgia is by visiting georgian museums. Tbilisi has a lot of them to offer. It’s also a good idea for rainy days. In this article, you can find georgian museums based in Tbilisi for every taste: ancient or contemporary, inside or outside, historic or arts. It is the story behind the subject that matters, so the decision is up to you.
Simon Janashia Museum (Georgian National Museum)
Georgian National Museum is a collective name for a number of museum chains. The oldest and biggest of them all is called Simon Janashia Museum that was established in 1852 and was called The Caucasus museum till 1919. This is the museum that carries most of the history and relics and at the same time is situated on the historical street, in front of the parliament, which has seen a lot of demonstrations as well as revolutions. National treasures, archeological findings, numismatics, paintings, sculptures, embroidery, ceramics, and contemporary Georgian art can be found on different floors of the museum. It is incredible how in the Stone Age Exhibition are exhibited anthropological materials discovered not only in Georgia but in other parts of the world that vividly shows the human evolution process through centuries. The above-mentioned treasures age from the III-II millennium BC till today.
It is worth noting that the museum has A Soviet Occupation section, established in 2006 by Georgia’s third president Mikheil Saakashvili. If you are interested in how Georgia handled being a part of The Soviet Union as well as curious about who fought for Georgian independence in the most repressive times, The Soviet Occupation department displays the archive of the history of the Georgian National Liberation Movement and more than 3,000 exhibits depicting Soviet political repression between 1921 and 1991.
The Georgian National Museum perfectly reflects history, culture, tradition, and people’s being throughout the centuries.
The National Gallery Tbilisi (Georgian National Museum)
Another chain of National Museum worth visiting is The National Gallery. In this georgian museum, you can find the biggest and permanent collection of Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani. In fact, he is called a Georgian Picasso. They both lived in the same epoch but never crossed roads. Though, Picasso painted a portrait of Pirosmani after seeing his paintings at the Paris exhibition. It is also home to Lado Gudiashvili paintings.
It was built by the decision of the Russian emperor in 1888 and housed the Russian military-historical museum, the so-called Temple of Glory. The museum was to display the power of the Russian Empire and become a symbol of the power and glory of Russian weapons. It existed before the First World War because it was evacuated during the war. Finally, The National Gallery of Tbilisi in its present form was established in 1917, after the First World War.
Tbilisi History Museum (Georgian National Museum)
While wandering in the old Tbilisi streets do not forget to visit Tbilisi History Museum. It is easy to notice a former caravansary three-story building, with a rich collection of over fifty thousand artifacts including weapons, musical instruments, textiles, ceramics, and household items dating from the Bronze Age. If you are lucky you can see a contemporary painters exhibition on the third floor.
It was founded in 1910 and named the City Municipal Museum, but some time later it was named after a famous Georgian poet Ioseb Grishashvili. From the very first days of establishing the museum, it represented the historic role of The Silk Road trading business.
Museum of Illusions Tbilisi
The Museum of Illusions was established in 2019 and was able to be in the spotlight of tourists and locals in the shortest time. In the museum, you will find many different types of installations and each of them will have its own informative explanation. You will have the opportunity to learn more than you can see and perceive what your mind cannot perceive. Precisely speaking, the illusion is an exhibit itself. They are generally created with mirrors and upside down scenes.
Additionally, in the museum, you can play games in the Game Room of Wisdom, train your mind and have fun. The museum also has a souvenir shop where you can buy souvenirs.
Museum of Fine Arts
You are welcome to discover more than 3500 artworks created by over 100 Georgian artists created in the past 70 years. The Museum of Fine Arts is very popular among georgian museums and perfect if you love art. They occupy three floors in total and it’s suggested to start the journey from the top one. Georgian culture explorers can enjoy looking at sculptures, paintings, graphic works, drawing-objects, and collages.
Gia Jokhtaberidze and Manana Shevardnadze are the founders and artists at the same time. So their family collections are displayed with the aim of uniting and promoting Georgian soviet and post-soviet art in one art institution. It is worth mentioning that many of the displayed works have never been exhibited to the wider public.
Tbilisi Ethnographic Museum
Tbilisi Ethnographic Museum is the first open-air ethnographic georgian museums in the Caucasus region. This is a museum where there are more than 8 thousand preserved exhibits in one space. It is quite a unique experience as without traveling to other parts of Georgia you can see what their homes look like. There are 11 zones in the museum, out of which, ten zones preserve the monuments of Georgian traditional architecture, and the eleventh zone includes historical-archeological monuments. On the whole, the museum highlights the culture and traditions that the Georgian people respected in ancient times.
Tbilisi’s open-air Ethnographic Museum is named after Giorgi Chitaia, the founder of the Georgian Ethnographic School. The museum was founded in 1966. This is a scientific-educational institution that shares the peculiarities of Georgian ethnic culture.
Additionally, the museum gives the opportunity for young people to explore traditional blacksmithing and dairy technologies at the educational center.
Finally, If you have a low budget or limited days to visit Georiga, exploring museums would make you feel like you have traveled to different cities without going far. All of the listed museums can be reached by public transportation. If you want to be independet we recommend to rent a scooter or hire a private driver.