I spent the majority of 2022 living in Tbilisi (I’m in nearby Kutaisi right now, and I plan to keep living in Tbilisi again and again)… so I’ve seen the lovely little place in all seasons.
People (including now you) often ask me ‘Paul, does it snow in Tbilisi? And, also, why are you so cool and handsome?’.
In this speedy guide, I’ve unpacked it all (well, apart from the cool and handsome part).
So does it snow in Tbilisi? Grab your wooly hat, hop in your sleigh, and come find out!
Does It Snow in Tbilisi?
Yes, it does snow in Tbilisi but it doesn’t snow consistently, and it rarely snows very heavily.
Obviously, snowfall is a common occurrence in Tbilisi during the winter months. However, the frequency and amount of snowfall can vary significantly from year to year. Sometimes, it can snow for a few days straight, while at other times, the snowfall can be limited to a few hours. The snowfall in Tbilisi is generally not heavy, but it can lead to some beautiful accumulation, especially in the suburbs and the higher elevations around the city.
The impact of snowfall on Tbilisi can be seen in the daily life of its residents, as it affects transportation, business operations, and social activities. The city has a well-established system for clearing the snow from the roads and sidewalks, which usually takes a few hours after the snowfall has stopped. However, heavy snowfall can cause traffic jams and delays in public transportation, affecting the mobility of the city’s residents.
Nevertheless, snowfall remains a significant aspect of the winter season in Tbilisi, and it adds to the beauty and charm of the city’s winter landscape
When Does It Snow in Tbilisi?
Typically, Tbilisi’s potentially-snowy period is from October until April (source).
But, obviously, it won’t snow for that entire period, and any snow the city does receive is typically pretty sporadic.
The city receives an average of almost 21 snowy days per year, which, compared to some other cities in this part of the world, is a pretty measly amount.
When I was living in Tbilisi in 2022, it didn’t snow much in January or February, but it snowed a lot in March.
Surprisingly, March is often Tbilisi’s snowiest month, while snow in October and November is pretty uncommon, because the last part of the summer sun often creeps into that late-fall period.
So, broadly speaking, snow in Tbilisi is relatively rare.
But snow throughout Georgia really isn’t it. Because (depending on who you ask) up to 85% of the nation is mountainous (source), large parts of the place are covered in snow for almost the entirety of the year. And due to this snow, many parts of Georgia are only accessible from around May until October.
Tbilisi is also surrounded by mountains on all sides—some are technically in Tbilisi, while some technically aren’t in Tbilisi. During the city’s colder months, these mountains are often topped with snow (and you can often see these cute snow-tops from the center of Tbilisi, even during warmer periods).
How Cold Does It Get in Tbilisi?
It gets cold, but it doesn’t get outrageously cold.
In January, average temperatures typically move between highs of 4.2°C and lows of -2.4°C. In December, average temperatures usually deviate between highs of 6.4°C and lows of -0.5°C (source).
But because Tbilisi is a pretty windy city, it often feels chillier than that. Due to these blustery blasts, parts of the city are surprisingly super-cold (especially in the wind-tunnel of the riverside, and in the mountainous parts of the city’s outskirts).
Like lots of this region, Georgia is super seasonal. So even though Tbilisi gets pretty cold in winter, it also becomes searingly hot in summer. In July and August, average high temperatures sit at around 29 or 30°C. But back when I was living in the city, some summer days had peaks of around 40°C. Toasty!
Where to Go (And What to Do) when It’s Snowing in Tbilisi
1. Shelter Indoors
If you’re the sort of big whiny baby who doesn’t like being outside in the snow, you should (obviously!) tackle the city’s indoor stuff.
Another option (of course!) is to hide away in bars, cafes and restaurants. You could either pick your own inns and eateries, or take a guided tour of the city’s tastiest spots.
But if I was going to do only one indoor thing during a snowy Tbilisi day, it would be our next entry…
2. Head to the Inviting Allure of the Sulfur Baths
In one part of Tbilisi’s Old Town area, you’ll find Abanotubani, a dome-roofed district with lots of (very warm) sulfur baths.
If you want to escape the chill of the snow, lazing around in these eggy-smelling steam-centers is the perfect remedy. They’re hot, relaxing, unusual, and a fun cultural experience.
Options include public baths and private baths… along with various treatments and massages. Make sure you definitely get a ‘kisi’ (a rough and vigorous body scrub that’s unique to this part of the world).
If you don’t want to go into the baths, you should still visit this area on a snowy day. Full of cobbled streets, strange buildings, and lots of archaic architecture, the place looks pretty all covered in snow.
You have lots of bath-based options for lazing around in this area. For a hyper-local adventure, I recommend Bathhouse No. 5. For a slightly more upmarket experience, I recommended Chreli Abano
3. Have a Romantic Stroll in the Botanical Gardens
No matter which time of year you visit, Tbilisi’s Botanical Gardens have the potential to be a pretty romantic place. But when they’re coated in a lovely little blanket of powdery fluff, that’s even truer.
I’m not usually interested in botanical gardens (boring, aren’t they?), but even I think this place is nice. So even garden-hating cynics like me can enjoy a cute stroll around the place.
Measuring in at a hefty 161 hectares (that’s 398 acres), the area is home to a load of varied stuff… including hiking trails, a waterfall, a pretty Japanese Garden, a couple of bridges, lofty viewpoints, and some tucked-away picnic spots.
All the hiking paths are accessible, well-paved, and relatively flat. So take someone you like, and enjoy a lovey-dovey stroll in the snow.
4. Grab a Panorama
Because Tbilisi is surrounded by mountains, and because even its central parts are made up of super-steep alleys, the city is packed with viewpoints.
Year-round, loads of these viewpoints are beautiful. But they’re even better when the city is snowy.
The best viewpoints in the city center are from Mother Georgia, Narikala Fortress (those two are very close to one another) and Mtatsminda Park. I recommend all three.
Massive Mtatsminda Park is a particularly good option for when it’s all snowy. From up here, you get endlessly-varied views of the city and its outskirts, and there’s a nice restaurant when it all gets too cold. This restaurant serves the tastiest hot chocolate I’ve ever slurped on—and I can’t imagine anything more lovely than chugging a hot chocolate in the snow.
For an under-the-radar viewpoint, head to Tabor Monastery—the views from the ascent are some of the city’s best.
5. Go on a Walking Tour
Okay, this might seem like a strange suggestion… but hear me out.
Wandering around a snowy city can be annoying if you’re trying to clutch a soggy map while hail fires into your eyes. Trying to follow your phone’s GPS is terrifying when you’re afraid the falling snow is gonna break it.
But on a walking tour, you don’t need to worry about navigating or finding your way through the snowy streets… because someone else will do it for you!
So a wintery walking tour is a great way (and a great time!) to see the city in a unique way. You’ll find lots of varied walking tours on offer (some terrible, some brilliant, and it’s often hard to know which ones are good and which aren’t). But this walking tour and this walking tour are both great.
6. Hit the Slopes
Just to be clear, you can’t ski in Tbilisi. But you can ski close to Tbilisi.
If it’s snowing in Tbilisi, it’ll definitely be snowing in some of the city’s nearby ski spots (and even if it isn’t snowing in Tbilisi, there’s a good chance it’ll be snowing in those places anyway).
Tbilisi’s most well-known skiing escape is Gudauri. Sitting halfway along the scenic road leading to Stepantsminda (more on that road next), this place is an alluring balance between retro and modern. It offers good facilities, lots of cute homestays, some hefty high-end hotels, and many varied slopes.
Your other accessible option is the small town of Bakuriani. It’s not as well-known as Gudauri, and it’s a little more rustic and rural. So it’s much more charming, but it’s also a little less organized.
7. Take a Trip to Kazbegi
Home to the popular town of Stepantsminda, Kazbegi is the most well-known and accessible of the (very-)big mountain regions surrounding Tbilisi.
And coated in snow, it looks incredible.
As we’ve covered, many of Georgia’s most remote mountainous areas are completely inaccessible during snowy periods. But because a big modern major road runs directly from here to Tbilisi, you can reach Kazbegi in all weather.
It offers hikes, peaks, glaciers, charming homestays, friendly faces, some surprising splashes of modernity, and… most importantly… Gergeti Trinity Church. You’ve probably seen pictures of the towering church—but you haven’t seen anything as good as the place in snowy weather.
If you’re short on time (or if you understandably don’t want to navigate the treachery of a mountain region in the snow), this tour can easily and affordably take you to all the highlights.
Does It Snow in Tbilisi? Final Thoughts
Now you know! Yes, it does snow in Tbilisi, but not very often… and usually not very heavily.
For more information on action and adventures in one of my favorite cities on the planet, check out our guides to what Tbilisi is famous for, all my favorite reasons you should see the place, and whether or not it’s safe to visit.
Thanks for reading, thanks for choosing Travelness, and thanks for being you. See you next time!