There are 3 marshrutka stations.
- The main marshrutka station (in the Southern part, on the top of Alazari avenue).
- Marshrutkas heading to Alaverdi (from the main marshrutka station cross the road, take a narrow street for 20-30 meters, and there is a small parking lots with further marshrutkas).
- Marshrutkas heading to Tbilisi (walk 200-300 meters from the main marshrutka station direction North (i.e., bottom) of Alazari avenue. The station is a bit hidden shortly after the traffic light, on the left).
From Tbilisi, marshrutkas depart more or less hourly (at least 9am and 10am, but there many more throughout the day) from the Ortachalla station (in front of the station). Price: 10 GEL (June 2015) Duration: 2h30 (the high duration compared to the small distance explained by the fact that the marhshrutkas do not use the direct road, but go almost until Sighnaghi before heading to Telavi).
Although Sighnaghi and Telavi are close to each other, there are only 1-2 marshrutkas a day, so check the schedule beforehand.
The city is small enough to be walkable. However, visiting the neighboring sites requires the use of further marshrutkas and/or taxis.
Whereas seeing one or two sites (e.g., castle + Alaverdi cathedral) can be a one-day activity from Tbilisi, it is best to stay several days in Telavi to fully enjoy the surroundings.
- Telavi castle (city center).
- Church of St. George
- Plane tree is a huge old tree that supposedly can make wishes come true.
To get there, take marshrutka bound to Alaverdi from the small marshrutka station in front of the main marshrutka station on Alazari avenue. Price: 1.30 Lari. Duration: about 30 minutes. Departs more or less hourly. To get back, wait in front of the cathedral for the next marshrutka.
- Alaverdi Cathedral. Built in the 11th century this is the second highest cathedral in Georgia. Free entrance..
It's about 8 km eastward from Telavi. To get there take marshrutka from the main marshrutka station (0.5 GEL) or take a taxi (5 GEL).
- Tsinandali Gardens. 10:00 - 19:00 (winter time 10:00 - 17:00). The residential palace of the Chavchavadzes family. It has a charming garden of a medium size. 2 GEL - entrance to the park; 5 GEL - entrance to the park + ticket to the museum (incl. guide service); 7 GEL - the same as previous one + 1 glass of wine; 20 GEL - the same as previous one + 6 wines for tasting..
- Winery "Schumi" (200 m before entrance to Tsinandali Gardens). They offer wine tasting which includes tasting of 3 wines, costs 15 GEL. There also a shop selling their own wine with prices 10 - 35 GEL per bottle.
- Hike to Lagodekhi park into the subtropical forests to find one of most beautiful waterfalls in Georgia. there are some hostel available in the park. Can see bears, dears, leopards if you hike in the early morning.
- The wine route.
Different sorts of wine in the small wineries as well at manufactures, handmade crafts are very beautiful, take some picture in the local gallery. This said, Sighnaghi is (even) more famous for wine.
Several restaurants on the main street, majority of them located on the basement level.
Kakheti is Georgia's most famous wine region, so Telavi is perfect for sampling some. The tourist information (along Erekli 2 street) has an overview of all the wine cellars and companies in and around Telavi, and maps of the region if you have your own car.
A good starting point is the shop close to the big Plane tree and the statue in Telavi itself. The staff speaks fluent English, they sell wines from a number of wineries and they have information and prices for different tastings you can do. They can also organize a driver to take you there.
There are several homestays on Nadakhvari street, and if they are full they can usually organize for you to stay at a neighbours'. 25GEL per person without, and 30GEL with breakfast.