Cost of Living in Tbilisi, Georgia: A Cheaper Life

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Tbilisi Georgia is not only a safe city to live in but it also offers plenty of things to do ranging from museums to a great outdoor summer activities in the Tbilisi reservoir. In this article we will discuss how much you will need to make this dream a reality and some other common questions regarding living in Tbilisi.

There are a few things you might want to know before moving here:

  • Is Tbilisi a good place to live?
  • How much do you need to live in Tbilisi?
  • Is food cheap in Tbilisi?
  • Can foreigners buy a house in Georgia?
  • Is Tbilisi safe to live in?
  • What visa is available in Georgia? 
  • What to do in Tbilisi?

Now let’s answer these questions to determine whether Tbilisi is the right city for you

Is Tbilisi a good place to live?

Tbilisi is Georgia’s ancient and bustling capital city, which stretches along both banks of the Mtkvari River and is bounded by mountains on three sides. The climate in Tbilisi is humid subtropical. Summers are warm and humid and winters are somewhat cold. So if you like countries and cities that show the full four seasons then this could definitely be for you.

Tbilisi is just like the rest of Georgia; it receives a lot of rain all year round with no clear dry season. Tbilisi’s average yearly temperature is 13°C or 56°F. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 2.3°C or 36°F and July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 25 °C or 77°F. In the summer daytime high temperatures reach around 32°C or 90 °F on an average for around 22 days.

These rainy climates mean that it is a very lush green country most of the year and there is snow in the winter. Tbilisi itself is in a valley so only gets 1 or 2 snowy days a year.  This means that while cold in winter you won’t have any of the problems you typically get with having to shovel or drive in the snow. It does however mean you get to have internal heating or a log fire going all the time.

How much do you need to live in Tbilisi?

Tbilisi is a fraction of the price of what you would spend in the United States. Tbilisi is 71 percent cheaper than New York or any other major city in the United States (without rent). Rent in Tbilisi is 90% less than in New York. The monthly expenses of living in Tbilisi is 600 USD for a 1 bedroom apartment. Based on your lifestyle, this is an estimation as to how much you can spend every month.

Here’s a step by step breakdown of the retirement cost for Tbilisi:

Rent for a 3 Bedroom House$615 USD / 1,940 GEL
Rent for a 1 Bedroom Flat or Apartment$305 USD / 962 GEL
Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Rates)$52 USD / 163 GEL
Internet$15 USD / 46 GEL
Maid Service $124 USD / 390 GEL
Groceries$14 USD / 44 GEL
Dining Out (2 people) For 4 times$51 USD / 161 GEL
Fitness or Social Club Membership$39 USD / 122 GEL

NOTE: These rental costs are based on the city center in Tbilisi. You can save a lot more if you prefer to stay outside the city center.

What Is Healthcare Like In Georgia?

The majority of hospitals are privatized and sponsored by the state and healthcare is delivered through a large-scale public and private collaboration. Georgian healthcare falls short of international standards particularly outside of Tbilisi in the public run hospitals. 

There are few regulations in place to guarantee that care is of high quality. Georgia has a large number of doctors but a shortage of nurses when contrasted to other European nations. Private facilities employ physicians in big cities whereas the state employs physicians in rural regions.

Private medical facilities provide much higher quality care including advanced equipment and well-trained staff. As a result the majority of expats in Georgia prefer to use private clinics and hospitals for care more in line with what they are used to.

If you want peace of mind that medical expenditures for you and your family will be covered in the event of an accident or sickness while visiting Georgia you should obtain travel insurance or an international medical insurance plan is the best option. 

This will cover any medical expenses incurred when traveling outside of the United States including medical evacuation in the case of a major sickness or accident. Private medical insurance in Georgia will start from $199 USD a month with a $1,000 USD deductible for any major surgeries for an individual on average depending on age.

You can check to the following websites of several pricing of International health insurance:

Can foreigners buy a house in Georgia?

Yes you can. When it comes to purchasing residential real estate foreigners enjoy the same rights as Georgian residents. There are no additional restrictions nor are there any additional taxes. A copy of your passport is the sole document necessary when acquiring real estate.

The same goes to the acquisition of commercial real estate such as hotels, stores, restaurants and offices. There are no limitations in this area as well.

Agricultural land is the only kind of property investment that is not available to international investors. Outsiders are no longer allowed to buy or possess agricultural land as of May 2017.

Here are some real estate websites you can look at for prices:

Is Tbilisi safe to live in?

Tbilisi is Georgia’s capital and largest city with very low crime rates and of this robbery and petty crime almost none is against tourists or expats. You will feel safe walking around both at day and night in most parts of the city. It is ranked as the 11th safest country in the world.

Pickpocketing does occur but it is not a major problem. There are several locations to be mindful of your possessions like the subway, buses and crowded squares which are renowned for pickpockets. This is a good general safety practice in any city in the world.

LINK: US State Department Georgia Travel Advisory

Is food cheap in Tbilisi?

Tbilisi’s cuisine is inexpensive however costs vary depending on where you get it. Eating out in the major tourist district will set you back about 3-4 times the price of a typical Tbilisi restaurant but it’s still not overly outrageous in price.  In the most expensive restaurants in town you will look to pay about 10 USD for a main meal.

The prices in supermarkets aren’t as low as you might think but the fresh produce is great. Healthy salads and prepared meals are available for less than what it would cost to make them yourself.

Here is the overview of the average monthly groceries:

Milk1 Liter / 1 quart$1.30 USD
Bread1 Loaf$0.4 USD
Eggs1 Dozen$1.6 USD
Beef1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$7 USD
Chicken Breasts1 kg/ 2.2 pounds$3.7 USD
BeerCan$1 USD
Wine1 Liter / 1 quart$5 USD

Here is some common local supermarket you can look at for current prices:

NOTE: some of these websites are in georgian. Enable your auto translation feature to get the result in English in your browser

TIP: If you are planning to stay in Tbilisi for the long run, it is better to apply for a membership program so you would get more discounts while shopping in the big supermarkets.

What to do in Tbilisi?

Tbilisi is a historic city with plenty of sights to see. Since 1801 it has served as Georgia’s capital and it was formerly renowned as “the Paris of the Caucasus”. This city might be the perfect destination for you if you are looking to deepen your sense of art, culture and history of the region.

Here are a few places you can see in Tbilisi:

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