5 Must-Visit Museums in Tbilisi, Georgia, for History Lovers

Museus em Tbilisi: Museu Georgiano de Belas Artes (Georgian Museum of Fine Arts).
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2024-04-27

Here’s everything you need to know about the main museums in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

I quite enjoy visiting museums around the world, so I never miss an opportunity to add to my list of must-see museums.

And, of course, in Georgia, it’s no different! After all, the region has a history spanning over 8000 years, worth exploring.

So, in this article, you’ll find detailed information about the museums I visited in Tbilisi, including the Georgian National Gallery, the National Museum of Georgia, the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts, the Tbilisi Academy of Arts, and the Tbilisi National Opera and Ballet Theater.

However, there are more museums in Tbilisi that you might want to visit, so I’ve also included suggestions for museums to add to your itinerary, which I didn’t visit but seem interesting.

5 Must-Visit Museums in Tbilisi

Georgian National Gallery, or Tbilisi Art Gallery

Museus em Tbilisi: Georgian National Gallery, ou Tbilisi Art Gallery.
Museums in Tbilisi: Georgian National Gallery, also known as Tbilisi Art Gallery.
Peças em ouro na Georgian National Gallery.
Gold pieces at the Georgian National Gallery.
Visita guiado em Tbilisi Art Gallery.
Guided tour at Tbilisi Art Gallery.
Espólio na Georgian National Gallery, ou Tbilisi Art Gallery.
Collection at the Georgian National Gallery, or Tbilisi Art Gallery.

The Georgian National Gallery is also known as the Tbilisi Art Gallery.

The gallery building dates back to 1888 and was designed by architect Albert Salzmann, who drew inspiration from the Palazzo Delle Esposizioni in Rome.

Also, the museum boasts a vast collection of Georgian art, ranging from historical artifacts to contemporary artworks.

Located in the heart of Tbilisi, the gallery’s exhibitions encompass painting, sculpture, applied art, and much more.

But most notably, there’s the Treasury, housing a collection of rare and ancient pieces such as gold and silver necklaces and bracelets.

There’s also an important section dedicated to the period of Russian occupation, worth exploring. This area of the museum is named the Museum of Soviet Occupation.

Museu da Ocupação Soviética: de 1921-1991.
Museum of Soviet Occupation in Tbilisi: from 1921-1991.
Museus em Tbilisi: mostra da ocupação soviética.
Museums in Tbilisi: Exhibition on the Soviet occupation.
Conhecer o período da ocupação soviética em Tbilisi com a ajuda dos museus.
Explore the period of Soviet occupation in Tbilisi with the help of museums.
Coleção histórica referente ao período da ocupação soviética em Tbilisi.
Historical collection related to the period of Soviet occupation in Tbilisi.

Additionally, the Georgian National Gallery regularly hosts events, lectures, and educational programs to engage the public and promote Georgian art.

Location: 11 Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi, Georgia.

National Museum of Georgia

Os fósseis no Museu Nacional da Geórgia.
The fossils at the National Museum of Georgia.
Museus em Tbilisi: o Museu ga Geórgia.
Museums in Tbilisi: The Georgian Museum.

In 2004, the National Museum of Georgia was founded, dedicated to preserving, researching, and displaying the country’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

However, the origins of this museum date back to the establishment of the former Museum of the Caucasus Department of the Russian Royal Geographical Society in 1852.

It boasts a wide collection of historical artifacts, archaeological finds, artworks, manuscripts, and ethnographic items, spanning from ancient times to modern periods.

A highlight of a visit to the National Museum of Georgia is often the room showcasing animal fossils dating back 40 million years, as well as the rich collections from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, Iron, and Medieval Ages.

Although I spent less than an hour in this museum, one can easily spend a morning or afternoon wandering through its collections.

Location: 3 Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi 0105, Georgia.

Georgian Museum of Fine Arts

Museus em Tbilisi: Museu Georgiano de Belas Artes (Georgian Museum of Fine Arts).
Museums in Tbilisi: Georgian Museum of Fine Arts.
Visita guiado no Museu Georgiano de Belas Artes (Georgian Museum of Fine Arts).
Guided tour at the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts.
Quadro no Museu Georgiano de Belas Artes (Georgian Museum of Fine Arts).
Painting at the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts.
Georgian Museum of Fine Arts. Museums in Tbilisi
Exhibition hall at the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts.

The Georgian Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1920 and boasts a truly fascinating collection of artworks spanning different styles and periods.

Throughout the galleries of the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts, you can admire not only paintings but also sculptures, engravings, drawings, and other forms of art, created by both renowned Georgian artists and foreign artists.

In addition to the permanent collection, the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts also hosts temporary exhibitions.

Obras de Banksy em exposição em Tbilisi.
Banksy’s works on display in Tbilisi.
Exposição temporária de Banksy em Tbilisi.
Temporary exhibition of Banksy in Tbilisi.
Obras icónicas de Banksy.
Iconic works by Banksy.

At the time I visited this museum, there was a collection of Banksy’s works available, but of course, these exhibitions usually only last for a few months.

Location: 7 Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi, Georgia.

Tbilisi State Academy of Arts

Room at Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.
Room at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.
Sala dos espelhos. Museums in Tbilisi.
Hall of Mirrors.
Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. Museums in Tbilisi
Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.
Arte dos mestres Gajar na Academia de Artes de Tbilisi (Tbilisi State Academy of Arts).
Artwork by Qajar masters at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.
Museus em Tbilisi: detalhes da Academia de Artes. Museums in Tbilisi
Museums in Tbilisi: Details of the Academy of Arts.
Teto decorado na Academia de Artes de Tbilisi (Tbilisi State Academy of Arts). Museums in Tbilisi.
Decorated ceiling at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.
Entrada na Academia de Artes de Tbilisi (Tbilisi State Academy of Arts).
Entrance at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.

In the 1950s, the building of the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts was constructed, quickly becoming a unique monument of this country’s cultural heritage.

This is because it showcases the art of Qajar masters, inspired by the monumental palaces of Iran.

Throughout several halls, one can admire the details and richness of decorations typical of these oriental palaces, such as in the mirrored halls.

The Tbilisi State Academy of Arts Museum is not very large, but it is certainly worth dedicating a couple of hours to carefully examine every detail of this intricate work of art.

Location: 22 Alexander Griboedov St, Tbilisi 0108, Georgia.

Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre

Teatro Nacional de Ópera e Ballet da Geórgia. Museums in Tbilisi
Museums in Tbilisi: Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater.
Entrada no Teatro Nacional de Ópera e Ballet da Geórgia de Tbilisi.
Entrance to the Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater in Tbilisi.
Teatro Nacional de Ópera e Ballet da Geórgia de Tbilisi.
Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater in Tbilisi.

The Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater was founded in 1851 and is renowned for its world-class performances of opera, ballet, and classical music.

The theater building itself is an architectural marvel, with a majestic facade.

Moreover, the theater boasts a rich history and has been the venue for many premieres of Georgian operas and ballets, as well as performances by international artists.

As a significant cultural center in Tbilisi, it’s worth purchasing a ticket to attend at least one of the opera, ballet, or classical music concerts.

In the evening, the Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theater is illuminated, providing another reason to explore this area of Tbilisi.

Location: 25 Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi 0108, Georgia.

Other Museums in Tbilisi

Tbilisi, a capital da Geórgia.
Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

In addition to the museums in Tbilisi that I mentioned earlier and had the opportunity to visit, there are others you can include in your itinerary.

So, here are more suggestions of museums to discover in Tbilisi, along with their respective locations:

You May Also Like:

*I visited the Georgian National Gallery, National Museum of Georgia, Georgian Museum of Fine Arts, and Tbilisi State Academy of Arts on a tour offered by the Georgian Tourism Board as part of the Traverse Events.

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