Borjomi (ბორჯომი bohr-joh-mee) is a town in central Georgia as well as the name of a natural reserve and of the famous volcanic salty spring water. The source of this spring water lies in the Borjomi gorge.
Busses leave hourly to Tbilisi from 7:00-14:00 and at 14:45, 15:30, 16:00, 16:45, 17:15, 17:50 (8GEL). Busses leave to Akhaltsikhe at 8:45 and 14:45 (4GEL), Batumi at 9:00 (17GEL), Poti at 6:45 (15GEL), Khashuri every half hour between 9:30 and 18:30 (2GEL), Gori 7:30 and 10:45 (5GEL), Bakuriani 9:00, 10:30, 12:15, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00 (3GEL), Andeziti 16:00 (3.50GEL), Tsikhisjvari 14:00 and 17:00 (3.50GEL), Tsemi 10:30, 14:30, 17:00 every day except Sunday (1GEL), Sakire 12:00, 15:00, 17:00 (2GEL), Chitakhevi hourly from 8:30, 9:30 ... etc to 18:30 (0.8GEL), Kvabiskhevi 12:00 and 14:00 (1GEL), Chobiskevi 8:30, 11:00, 14:00, 17:00 (1GEL), Dviri 10:20, 11:45, 14:30 (1GEL), Tadzrisi 12:00 (bus, 1.50GEL) and 17:00 (minibus, 2GEL), Timotesubani 10:30, 13:30, 17:00 (1.5GEL).
Trains leave from two different train stations. From station nr 1., in the center of town, trains leave to Tbilisi at 7:00 and 16:40 (2GEL). From Tbilisi, trains to Borjomi leave at 6:40 and 16:40, the journey takes between 4 and 5 hours. The slow train to Bakuriani leaves at 7:15 and 10:55 from railway station nr 2, a bit outside of town. In the morning, you could catch the train to Tbilisi at 7 and then change at the next stop, which is station nr 2 - otherwise a taxi is 3GEL. The train to Bakuriani takes 3 hours, so if you make a day trip it's quicker to take the bus back to Borjomi, or you could take the train back at 10:00 and 14:15.
Borjomi is small enough to walk everywhere. The tourist information is staffed by Artur who is super helpful, speaks fluent English and will give you a map of town and an overview of places to go. He can also arrange a guest house from you, and will organize for the host to pick you up at the tourist office.
- The Borjomi Museum of Local Lore is located at Tsminda Nino 5. Admission 3 GEL, tour in English or Hebrew 15 GEL. Opening hours 10am-7pm Jun-Sep, to 5pm Oct-May.
- City park. Stretched along the Borjomula river, city park contains the source of the Borjomi mineral water. First part of park contains park amusements and cafes. Distant part of the park is great for a walk, about 2km to a natural pool that's popular with locals for a picnic. Near the entrance there is an option to use cable car to get up to plateau, where there's a ferris wheel.
Borjomi Kharagauli national park
Hike in this largest national park in Georgia. It covers about 8% of the total territory of Georgia. The diversity of physical, geographical and especially climatical conditions of its has shaped the wealth and variety of its flora and fauna. Apart from the largely untouched nature of Borjom-Kharagauli, there are numerous cultural monuments. In particular, there are two easily accessible churches, built in 9th century. At present eight tourist trails are officially operating in the national park. They vary in length, duration and complexity. Open from Apr until October
Plan your trip by going to the administration of the office, which is a bit to the west of Borjomi (23 Meskheti str.), and get a free access permission and a map of the area with all the routes and shelters as well. There are well-marked hikes of 1, 2 or 3 days, through forests and meadows.
If you want to take a hike in the national park, get enough supplies, water, and some basic sleeping gear with you, as the cabins are very basic. You can rent sleeping bags for 5GEL a day, but no mattresses, and the shelter beds are wooden planks. You pay a small fee for staying in the shelter (10GEL) or camping (5GEL). The permit to the park is free, but make sure to have it on you since rangers might ask for it. It is also to take a one day hike from Borjomi to Qvabiskhevi (or the other way around) and then hitchhike or take a local bus or taxi back to Borjomi. It is also possible to take multiple day hikes. That way you get to go to the higher parts (up to 2600 meters).
Near the entry to the city park, locals sell home-made jam from pine tree cones. It is claimed that the jam is useful when curing upper respiratory tract infections and is good for improving immunity.
- Old Borjomi: excellent quality food, nice interior, wifi. They make perhaps the best khachapuri in Georgia. According to the tourist information their chicken in garlic sauce (Chkmeruli) has turned many away from vegetarianism.
- Taverna: Restaurant near the entrance of the main bridge (Silamazis Khidi) and the small park (patara parki), Taverna has a wide selection of traditional Georgian dishes. Taverna enjoys a reputation for its mushrooms cooked in clayware.
- Inka Cafe: some Western-style dishes and pastries.
- 1+2 bar: by the entrance of the mineral water park, with nice wines and slow service.
- Hotel Borjomis Kheoba. 28 comfortable rooms, mineral water spas, outdoor swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Prices from 65 to 250 Georgian lari including all meals.
- Borjomi Hostel - NOT RECCOMMENDED. This place has a nice sign out the front and location. However as of March 2016 the dorm has no electricty. If you don't mind spending the night in a pitch black room with no heating or electricity, the rate is 15GEL a night.
- Hotel Meidani - Very nice clean rooms with good heating, a nice on-suite with a hot shower, comfortable twin/double beds, tv, and wifi. Excellent location in the middle of Borjomi. 40GEL a night (Mar 2016).
- Marina's Guesthouse: Cozy guesthouse near the center of town and a popular way station for expats, backpackers and tourists. Marina's son and daughter both speak fluent English.
- Hotel Borjomi. Elegant, wooden Tsarist-era house located in central Borjomi, next to the Museum of Local Lore. Bed and breakfast available. Prices start from 70 Georgian lari. English and Russian spoken.
- Leo's Homestay, 18 Pirosmani (turn right onto the street after the Borjomi museum of local lore - the home is on the left side of the street.), ☎ +995 574861516, +995 593981595, +995 551414422, e-mail: email@example.com. Leo and his mother have 2 rooms that can accommodate 7-8 or so people. The price for the night is 20 GEL a person, and for 5 GEL more Leo's mother will make breakfast, which often features a substantial number of pancakes. Leo is also a great source of information about Borjomi and the surrounding area, and regularly arranges excursions for his guests, such as trips to Vardzia and horseback riding in the Borjomi-Kharagauli national park. He also speaks excellent English.
- Hillside Guesthouse, gogia,s tsikhe 4 (turn right onto the street after the Borjomi museum than strait and you can see borjomi tv station and than you can see hillside guesthouse sine), ☎ +995568737361, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hillside Guest House, Gogias Tsikhe St 4 (The house is located 5 minutes up the hill from the center), ☎ +995568737361, . Excellent central location only approx. 400 m from the bus station (Direction towards the Museum). Still very quiet, due to location at the end of a dead end street. Sitting in front of the guesthouse can be very relaxing, especially when Nick's two cats are around. Nick and his mother are very friendly, helpful and socialising. Nick speaks English quite well. The local breakfast prepared by Nick's mother was always very yummy and filling. Also it was easy to get in contact with other travellers here, which added to the traveller friendly atmosphere. WiFi worked very well and washing service can be provided. A good viewpoint for the city near the Gogia Fortress is situated only a 15 minutes hike behind the guesthouse. Everything in town can be reached on foot. Many side trips by public transport can be done from Borjomi. 20 Gel and up. 20.
- The tourist information offers a 30GEL day trip to Vardzia, stopping at the Green Monastery, Akhaltsikhe fortress with a very nice museum (7GEL), and a natural sulphur spring where you can bathe in 45deg water.
- There are several bus connections to other places in Georgia. The timetable in the image gives an overview. Note that the prices can be different while the departure times are quite stable even for years (according to the Marshrutka drivers).
- The sightseeing train to Bakuriani ski resort (1 or 2 gel, 38 km) which leaves from railway station #2 is nice for sightseeing and takes 2 hours. It leaves Borjomi for Bakuriani every day at 7:15 and 10:55. Trains in the opposite direction leave Bakuriani at 10:00 and 14:15.