Tbilisi International Airport (TBS), the main entry into Georgia

Levantar bagagem no Aeroporto Internacional de Tbilisi.
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The Tbilisi International Airport is Georgia’s largest airport and the main gateway to the country.

Located approximately 17 km from downtown Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, it serves both domestic and international flights.

In this article, I’ve gathered the information I believe you need to know before traveling to Georgia, to avoid unnecessary hassles and costs.

Keep reading to find out which airlines fly to Tbilisi, how to get from the airport to the city center, car rental options at the airport, and nearby hotel suggestions.

And to ensure you’re fully prepared, I’ll also recommend the first thing you should do upon arriving at Tbilisi Airport, as well as how to make the most of your flight from the United Kingdom to Georgia.

Can you explore a different country without paying extra? Read on to find out.

Everything you need to know about Tbilisi International Airport

Which airlines operate from Tbilisi International Airport?

Chegadas no Aeroporto de Tbilisi, capital da Geórgia.
Arrivals at Tbilisi Airport, the capital of Georgia.
Painel "Welcome to Tbilisi" e "Emotions Are Georgia" no Aeroporto de Tbilisi.
“Welcome to Tbilisi” and “Emotions Are Georgia” at Tbilisi Airport.
Levantar bagagem no Aeroporto Internacional de Tbilisi.
Baggage claim at Tbilisi International Airport.
Avião da Aegean no Aeroporto de Frankfurt, Alemanha.
Aegean plane at Frankfurt Airport, Germany.
Ver o nascer do sol a bordo de uma avião da Lufthansa.
Watching the sunrise aboard a Lufthansa aircraft.
Voo noturno em classe económica da Lufthansa de Munique para Tbilisi.
Night flight in Lufthansa’s economy class from Munich to Tbilisi.

Here are the airlines that operate flights from Tbilisi Airport, with the most well-known highlighted:

Aegean Airlines, Air Arabia, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, Air Astana, Air Baltic, Air Cairo, Air France, Air Moldova, Ak Air, Arkia Israeli Airlines, Armenia Airways, ATA Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines / Buta Airways, Bees Airlines, Belavia Belarusian Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Condor Airlines, El-Al Israeli Airlines, Eurowings, Fly Arna, Fly Dubai, Fly One Armenia, FlyAdeal, Flynas, Georgian Airways, Gulf Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Israir, Jazeera Airways, Jordan Aviation, Kuwait Airways, Lot Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qeshm Air, Scat Air, Sky Up Airlines, Southwind Airlines, Thai Air Asia, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Uzbekistan Airways, Varesh Airlines, and finally, Zagros Airlines.

I traveled on a Lufthansa flight departing from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport in Porto with a layover at Munich Airport, and everything went very smoothly.

How to get from Tbilisi International Airport to the city center?

Paragem de autocarros no Aeroporto Internacional de Tbilisi.
Bus stop at Tbilisi International Airport.

Upon arriving at the airport, you can travel to the center of Tbilisi by bus, taxi, or Bolt, and to help you make the best choice, here’s everything you need.

Although the bus is the most economical way to go from the airport to the city, you’ll need to take two buses, the 337 and the 346, until you reach the Ortachala Central Bus Station.

With all this, it will take you almost an hour to reach the center, which seems excessive to me. It’s true that the cost is very economical, around €1 per trip, but for a little more, you can have a more comfortable journey.

On the other hand, taxi is the most expensive way to go to the center, with prices ranging from €15 to €20.

I used the Bolt app and paid 25.90 GEL for the trip from Tbilisi Airport to the city center, which corresponds to €9.

It’s worth mentioning that the flight arrived in the early hours of the morning, so there were no buses available at the time I arrived.

Additionally, you can also rent a car at the airport and thus have more freedom to discover Georgia at your own pace.

What are the main car rental companies at Tbilisi International Airport?

Alugar carro na Geórgia.
Car rental in Georgia.

The car rental companies operating at Tbilisi International Airport are as follows:

  • Ace Rent a car;
  • Alamo;
  • Avis;
  • Carwis;
  • Dollar;
  • Enterprise;
  • Europcar;
  • GreenMotion;
  • Hertz;
  • Naniko;
  • SIXT;
  • Surprice and
  • Thrifty.

However, I recommend checking out the prices of Hertz and Carwis, which are usually the cheapest in Georgia.

I usually rent a car through Discovercars, which in my opinion has the best prices on the market.

See how much it costs to rent a car in Georgia.

Hotels near Tbilisi International Airport

Tbilisi Airport is known for receiving early morning flights as well as departures in the early hours, so it makes sense to find a hotel nearby.

There are several accommodation options near the airport, but my suggestion is the Marcos Hotel (3 stars), which is about 2 km from the airport.

What makes this hotel special? It offers an airport shuttle service for 35 GEL, available 24 hours a day.

In other words, even if you arrive in the early morning or if your return flight is outside of regular hours, you don’t need to call a taxi or Bolt.

Truth be told, I stayed in the center of Tbilisi and called a Bolt in the early morning.

What is the first thing you should do upon arriving at Tbilisi Airport?

Controlo de passaportes no Aeroporto de Tbilisi.
Passport control at Tbilisi Airport.
Lojas no Aeroporto de Tbilisi.
Shops at Tbilisi Airport.
Comprar cartão SIM telemóvel no Aeroporto de Tbilisi, Geórgia.
Buying a mobile SIM card at Tbilisi Airport, Georgia.
Comprar cartão SIM no Aeroporto de Tbilisi, para internet na Geórgia.
Buying a SIM card for internet in Georgia at Tbilisi Airport.

This tip is important: the first thing you should do upon arriving at Tbilisi Airport is to buy a SIM card for your mobile phone.

This is because Georgia is not included in the usual tariff plans of British communication companies.

In other words, using your phone and roaming in Georgia can become too expensive. Besides paying for outgoing calls and SMS, you also get charged every time you receive a phone call or SMS.

Believe me, your phone bill can quickly spiral out of control.

Therefore, it’s best to buy a SIM card from one of the airport shops and forget about your Portuguese card while in Georgia.

You can see the prices and what each card includes in the image, but I bought the card with unlimited internet. I made phone calls using WhatsApp and used Google Maps without any issues.

Are there direct flights from the United Kingdom to Georgia?

Aeroporto de Londres - Stansted, Reino Unido.
United Kingdom: London Stansted Airport.

Unfortunately, at the moment, there are no direct flights from the United Kingdom to Georgia, and the alternative is to purchase a flight with a layover.

he most popular flights from the UK to Georgia are those operated by Lufthansa, with a layover at Munich Airport, and Turkish Airlines, with a layover at Istanbul Airport.

It’s worth noting that some Turkish Airlines flights are eligible for a stopover in Istanbul, which includes free accommodation, transportation, and meals.

In other words, it’s an excellent way to visit Istanbul for free if you have a layover of more than 20 hours. So, here’s the tip, and I hope you enjoy it!

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