WhatsApp +995511105991 (Mon-Fri 11am-6pm | Sat-Sun 11:30am-2pm) [email protected]
WhatsApp +995511105991 (Mon-Fri 11am-6pm | Sat-Sun 11:30am-2pm) [email protected]

Is Georgia a Safe Country? Our Essential Travel Safety Tips

Is Georgia a Safe Country To Visit? This guide, drawing on my experiences since living here since 2019 and travels since 2016, my goal is to give you an honest look at safety, crime rates, and what to expect as an average traveler. I’ll cover regular scams to look out for, travel advisories, and safety precautions (especially for solo female travelers), ensuring you’re well-prepared and secure throughout your stay. So, is Georgia a safe country to visit? Let’s find out

Key Takeaways

  • Georgia is a safe country with low crime rates, ranking 20th in the world for safety, but it’s wise to stay vigilant against petty theft, especially in a crowded tourist area.

  • The Georgian government has enhanced safety through stringent reforms post-2003.

  • While generally safe, road traffic and political demonstrations pose risks; thus, using reputable transport services and avoiding demonstrations are recommended.

Safety Overview in Georgia

is georgia country safe
is Georgia country safe?

Making the decision to visit a new country can feel like stepping into the unknown, and safety is always a top priority. The good news is Georgia is a generally very safe destination, with low crime rates and many tourists visiting and having the best travel experience of their lives! The Georgian government has been proactive in implementing initiatives to enhance safety, making it a safe country and ensuring a safe experience for all travelers.

There is a Georgian saying that says: “A Guest Is a Gift From God” and this is something that many people believe in. Georigan’s genuinely love people visitng their country!

But that doesn’t mean you won’t run into someone trying to make a fast buck out of an unsuspecting tourist.

So, let’s delve deeper into what you need to know about safety in Georgia.

Crime Rates

When it comes to crime rates, Georgia has an impressive track record. In fact, Georgia’s violent crime rates per capita are significantly lower than those of Georgia, USA. Even Tbilisi, the capital city, is considered safer compared to some major Western European cities like London.

According to the 2024 International Crime Index, Georgia ranks 20th in the world in terms of safety. In addition to the 2021 Gallup Law and Order Index reporting a score of 88 out of 100 for Georgia, this places the country among the top 20 safest globally. These rankings show Georgia’s continued commitment to maintaining a safe environment for both its residents and visitors (no wonder we love living here!)

However, it’s important to note that like any other city worldwide, there are areas in Tbilisi where crime rates are slightly higher. These are usually crowded tourist areas where petty crimes such as pickpocketing are a bit more common (often in front of Galleria shopping mall). Yet, these instances shouldn’t taint your overall perception of Georgia’s safety. We walk past there all the time without any issue.

Just remember with a bit of vigilance and common sense, you can navigate these areas without any issues.

Tourist Experiences

safety in georgia

We deal with tourists almost everyday with our tour company and what we hear back from people paints a positive picture of safety in Georgia. Many people often tell us about feeling comfortable exploring the cities, freely soaking up the local culture, architecture, UNESCO Sites, and gastronomy.

And as foreigners living here – we completely agree with this feeling of safety.

This extends beyond the city limits too. You can also explore Georgia’s countryside with a sense of ease and comfort, and not be worried about getting scammed at every turn.

That being said, it’s always important to exercise normal safety precautions. This includes safeguarding personal belongings, watching out for people trying to overcharge for a taxi ride (use apps like Bolt to fix this issue) or sometimes fresh juice on the street, being cautious with financial transactions, and avoiding isolated areas at night.

As long as these normal precautions are taken, you can look forward to an enjoyable and safe travel experience in Georgia.

Government Initiatives

The Georgian government has played a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of its citizens and tourists alike. Following the Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia initiated extensive reforms to tackle corruption and establish the rule of law. This led to a marked enhancement in safety and a significant reduction in crime rates.

Recognizing the growing popularity of adventure tourism, the government has also been proactive in setting safety benchmarks for adventure sports such as skiing, paragliding, and rafting. These regulations set to begin June 1, 2024, are in accordance with international practices and standards, ensuring that all you thrill-seekers can enjoy your adventures in a safe environment. yay!

In fact, new safety protocols have been introduced for paragliding, with Professional Liability Insurance made compulsory for providers of high-risk tourism services, including tour operators.

Potential Hazards and Precautions

While Georgia is generally safe, it’s important to be aware of potential hazards and take necessary precautions. This includes being vigilant against petty theft, being mindful of the political climate, and taking safety measures while on the road.

Petty Theft and Scams

While violent crimes targeting foreigners are relatively rare in Georgia, petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching can occur, especially in crowded areas and public gatherings. But these are also very rare occurances too! Naturally, tourist areas is where these incidents occur the most, so it’s important to exercise some additional caution. But Georgia is never a place where I am hyper vigilant of my things. Just a normal level of caution should be used.

To safeguard your personal effects and ensure personal safety, make sure your valuables are secure at all times and never leave your items unattended. By staying vigilant and taking normal security precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to these petty crimes.

When you’re traveling in Georgia, keep an eye out for taxi fares and street vendor prices. Taxis here typically don’t use meters, so it’s a good idea to agree on a fare before you set off to avoid being overcharged. Or use an app like Bolt (similar to Uber or Lyft).

As for street vendors, they might quote higher prices for things like fresh juice, especially to tourists. A handy tip is to check the usual prices or stick to shops with clearly displayed rates to ensure you’re paying a fair amount. This way, you can enjoy your trip without the worry of unexpected costs.

Street Dogs

In Georgia, particularly in cities like Tbilisi, street dogs are a common sight. The government has implemented various measures to manage the street dog population, primarily focusing on spaying and neutering, rather than culling. These dogs are generally accustomed to people and roam freely, but interactions vary. While many are friendly and used to humans (some even come along with you for a nice walk), it’s wise to exercise caution as some can be unpredictable, especially if they feel threatened.

Political Unrest

On the political front, it’s important to note that planned and unplanned demonstrations occur regularly in Georgia, notably in Tbilisi around times of international events and election periods. While these demonstrations are often peaceful, they can sometimes escalate into violence unexpectedly when the riot squad are allowed to get involved, leading to reports of casualties and disruptions in traffic and public transportation.

In response to protests, authorities often increase security measures and may employ tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds. As a traveler, it’s best to avoid these gatherings altogether. Stay updated with local media and take advice from local authorities to ensure your safety.

Road Safety

One aspect of safety that requires particular attention in Georgia is road safety. Traffic accidents pose a significant concern due to a combination of aggressive driving styles, high-speed overtaking, and poor pedestrian infrastructure. It’s probably the thing we dislike about living in Gerorgia the most.

As pedestrians we often are not often given the right of way when crossing the streets. Look both ways and then look again when crossing the street, even at zebra pedestrian crossings or traffic lights. People often run red lights in cars and do not give way to anyone walking across the road…but it is getting better (slighty)

So rather than walking, public transport, including buses and trains, is considered a safer way to get around. However, smaller intercity minibusses, known as Marshrutkas, can have more aggressive drivers and rarely have seatbelts. Taxis are widely available, but we highly recommend using rideshare apps like Bolt so you can see/leave a review about the driver and not get stuck with an inflated ‘tourist price’.

Also, it is not law for people to wear seatbelts in the backseat of cars in Georgia and you may find that the taxi driver has removed them, they are fastened out of the way, or they just don’t work. Feel free to get out and book another taxi if you feel unsafe – I often do!

For those hiring a car, remember to drive cautiously, never drink and drive, and always wear a seatbelt.

Health and Medical Concerns

Georgia’s health risks are minimal, but certain precautions are advisable. Exercise normal precautions, such as ensuring routine vaccinations are up-to-date are a good idea.

Let’s delve into the specifics.

Medical Facilities

Tbilisi and Batumi are major cities that provide high-quality medical services and facilities. These cities are known for their advanced healthcare infrastructure. Both cities are equipped with modern hospitals and clinics that provide a range of healthcare services. Here you will often find staff who speak English and if not many facilities will do their best to find someone to help you with translations.

In rural areas, medical facilities may be less equipped and experience shortages of medical supplies and personnel. English is certainly not something you can expect to find in rural areas.

This is why having comprehensive travel insurance is important in Georgia. It’s advisable to obtain insurance that covers emergency medical assistance, evacuation, and repatriation. This makes sure that unexpected medical expenses and transportation to hospitals are covered in case of emergencies.

Is Georgia Safe For Solo Female Travellers?

is georgia safe for solo female travellers
is Georgia safe for a solo female traveler?

For solo female travel, Georgia is of course an exciting destination to visit but like with any destination there are a few extra precautions to keep in mind. It’s advisable to:

  • Avoid walking alone at night

  • Ensure that your accommodation is secure

  • Be on-guard when venturing into remote areas or hiking trails to enhance your safety.

In terms of transportation, using rideshare apps like Bolt is generally a good choice. However, there are occasional instances of drivers behaving inappropriately and trying to make advances (verbally not physically) on solo female passengers. Reporting any sort of verbal or sexual assault to the app support or local police is incredibly difficult and frustrating and many women do give up sadly.

My top tips for traveling in a taxi as a solo female traveler in Georgia:

  • Avoid sitting in the front seat.
  • Should the driver begin asking personal questions such as “How old are you?” or “Are you married?”, just deflect—perhaps mention a spouse and steer the conversation away.
  • While interacting with locals can be a fun part of traveling, it’s wise to limit conversations with taxi drivers to prevent any misunderstandings about your intentions.

Alternatively, marshrutkas and organized tours are considered safe transportation methods. Street harassment in Georgia is relatively low, and means there’s a more friendly rather than uncomfortable environment for solo female travelers.

If you’re planning to go hiking, consider finding a buddy or group to hike with for added safety. Participating in local guided tours can also enhance your personal security during these outdoor activities.

When traveling, especially alone, it’s wise to monitor your alcohol intake to avoid putting yourself at risk. Georgia is generally very safe for solo female travelers, but like anywhere else, it’s crucial to observe common-sense safety precautions to ensure a secure and enjoyable trip.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Off-Limits Regions

While Georgia has much to offer, there are regions that are best avoided. These include the Russian-occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The U.S. Department of State’s travel advisory recommends against travel to these regions due to risks of crime and civil unrest.

These regions pose a safety risk due to the presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance. Travelers also need prior authorization from Georgian authorities to enter these regions, as unauthorized entry through administrative boundary lines may result in fines or imprisonment.

It’s best to steer clear of these regions and focus on the many other beautiful and safe areas to visit Georgia has to offer.

Essential Travel Documents

Before setting off on your Georgian adventure, it’s crucial to ensure that all your travel documents are in order. First off, your passport must be valid at the time of entry into Georgia and have one page available for an entry stamp. Depending on your country of origin, you may not require a tourist visa for stays of up to 365 days. However, it’s always important to check the latest visa requirements before traveling.

It’s also recommended to make two copies of all your travel documents in case of emergency. Leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative back home and carry the other with you. This includes copies of important legal and health documents, especially since local laws may differ from those in your home country.

Finally, remember that entry and exit requirements can change, so always check the latest information with the closest foreign representative for your destination. Also, check the passport requirements with your transportation company (plane, train etc), as changes in entry rules may affect your travel.

Travel Insurance for Georgia

Travel insurance is an absolute must when visiting Georgia. You’ll want to find a travel insurance company that offer:

  • Trip cancellation

  • Trip interruption

  • Trip delay

  • Medical emergencies

  • Baggage loss

Medical services in Georgia are generally not considered to be expensive by Western standards. However, they often require immediate upfront cash payment. Ensure that your travel insurance includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays while in Georgia.

Is Georgia a Safe Country for the 2SLGBTQI+ Community and Travelers

For 2SLGBTQI+ travelers, it’s important to be aware of the social climate in Georgia. While same-sex sexual acts or relationships are not criminalized, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics may be encountered.

Georgia is still a deeply religious Orthodox Christian country and there have been instances of violent attacks against 2SLGBTQI+ persons during Pride festivities in Tbilisi. It’s deeply disappointing, but Pride has been canceled for the last 2 years in Tbilisi due to often violent protests. However, attitudes toward the 2SLGBTQI+ community can vary greatly in Georgia, and just because you identify as 2SLGBTQI+ does not mean that you will face any problems as a tourist in Georgia.

Many people still have a wonderful trip to Georgia but as a 2SLGBTQI+ traveler, it’s advisable to exercise caution and be aware of local attitudes. Also, travelers with an ‘X’ gender marker on their passport should be aware that they could face difficulties upon entry in countries that do not recognize this identifier.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette can greatly enhance your travel experience in Georgia. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Georgian society places great importance on hierarchy, with respect for age, position, and power.

  • Initial greetings involve a handshake and saying ‘gamarjoba’.

  • As relationships deepen, greetings often progress to a kiss on the cheek, while more formal settings still require the use of titles and surnames to maintain a sense of respect and formality.

When it comes to dining, Georgia is renowned for its supra’, a traditional Georgian feast where guests are highly regarded. At a ‘supra’, toasts are an integral part of the experience, led by a ‘tamada’ or toastmaster. Here are some dining etiquette tips to keep in mind:

  • Beer is reserved for toasting enemies, while wine is used for all other toasts

  • During meals, it’s polite to keep your hands visible.

  • Avoid putting your elbows on the table.

  • Try all dishes offered out of respect for the host.

Gift-giving is another important aspect of Georgian customs. If you’re giving flowers as a gift, remember to present an odd number of flowers, as an even number is reserved for funerals. In business settings, Georgians value personal connections and consider direct eye contact important as it conveys trust.

Yes! Georgia is a largely safe destination that offers an array of experiences, from vibrant city life to serene countryside. While potential hazards exist, like petty theft and political unrest, taking necessary precautions and staying informed can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Remember to respect local customs and etiquette to fully immerse in the rich Georgian culture. So, pack your bags, get your travel documents in order, and get ready for an unforgettable Georgian adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is Georgia for tourists?

Georgia is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates and positive tourist experiences. It’s important to take normal safety precautions, especially in crowded tourist areas to ensure a safe trip.

What are the potential hazards in Georgia?

It’s important to be mindful of petty theft in crowded urban areas, potential political unrest, and road safety concerns when in Georgia. Stay vigilant and be cautious to ensure your safety during your visit.

Are there any health risks when traveling to Georgia?

Don’t worry, the health risks in Georgia are minimal. Just make sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date and be cautious about what you eat and drink. Stay safe!

Rtveli: Wine Harvest Tours

Pick Grapes & Feast With Artisan Winemakers

Got a Question?

Contact us by email or on WhatsApp.

[email protected]

+995 511105991

Proceed Booking