Cost of Living in Tbilisi: Real Budgets from a Digital Nomad

Mar 28, 2019    /    budgeting + saving

What’s the cost of living in Tbilisi? 

Year-over-year, The Republic of Georgia is becoming a more popular destination for digital nomads and travelers. In fact, over 8 million people will visit the country this year. (And I’m guessing half of them will quickly tire of saying, “no, the country, not the state.”)

It’s one of those places that travel mags and food writers are talking about as the next hidden gem. And while Georgia wasn’t my jam, they may be right that it’s the next big thing.

Which also probably means travelers and digital nomads will be asking the question: What will my trip to Tbilisi cost? 

As usual, I tracked my own spending during my time there. Today, I’m going to share the numbers here. But first, a caveat: We booked a month-long stay in an Airbnb in Tbilisi but ended up staying just 10 days. This means our accommodation costs are a bit skewed (a fact that I’ll try to help remedy by sharing some estimate numbers based on my research).

Alright, then. Into the numbers…

My Cost of Living in Tbilisi


 

Category GEL (local currency) Dollars
Accommodations 1200.40 $451.28
Transportation (national/international) 690.38 $259.54
Transportation (local) 5 $1.88
Groceries 240.73 $90.50
Eating/drinking out 291.59 $109.62
Luna (vet bills, supplies) 186.15 $69.98
Health & wellness 179.63 $67.53
Totals 2793.88 $1050.33

 


Tbilisi Budget Breakdown

As I mentioned above, our accommodation costs are rather skewed for this trip. We rented an apartment on Airbnb for a whole month but only ended up staying for 10 days. Nightly prices for whole apartments (not rented rooms) in the same neighborhood start around $19 and average something like $35. This means a 10-day stay could cost as little as $190 or $350, which is quite a bit less than what we spent.  

(Speaking of Airbnb, if you use my link to sign up, we both get a credit for travel!)

Transportation costs include flights from Bologna, Italy, plus bag fees and dog travel fees (Luna costs about $50). They also include taxis on either end of the journey. Obviously, second only to transportation, this is the big expense here. And if you’re staying longer or living in Tbilisi, it would be less or non-existent.

Local transport was a taxi ride to a dentist appointment.

Groceries were surprisingly pricey here. Not expensive compared to somewhere like Switzerland or the US, but a bit more than we expected them to be. They were on par with or a little more expensive than most places we’ve been in Eastern Europe.

farmers market food Tbilisi

Eating and drinking out includes local cuisine, morning coffees, and sushi runs. 

Health and wellness includes a root canal. But don’t get excited about how cheap it was. The dentist botched it and I’ll be paying elsewhere to get it entirely re-done (thus my trip to the specialist that was a deciding factor in our early departure from Georgia). 

All in all, this is a rather expensive 10 days for me. My typical monthly budget runs somewhere from $1,200 to $2,000, so to see the budget approaching the lower end of that in just 10 days is cringe-worthy.

It’s worth noting that this is largely because we left early (and thus paid a whole month of rent instead of 1/3 a month) and because of how incredibly fast we traveled. Transportation costs are always more doable when they’re spread across multiple months’ budgets. But c’est la vie. Sometimes it makes sense to cut and run and in this case, it did.


Looking for more digital nomad budgets? Here are nearly 7 years’ worth.

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