Road

One of the most notable aspects of driving in Georgia is the traffic rules. Drivers frequently weave in and out of other cars, drive in-between lanes, drive on shoulders, or even in oncoming traffic lanes. It is not uncommon to see more lanes of cars than lanes lined on the road. All of this is considered normal here, and will frequently be done even in the presence of police. Speeding is also not generally a concern, assuming it is not exceptionally excessive.

City roads vary wildly. Even in the capital of Tbilisi, the roads range from wide, paved, and motorway-like to cobblestone or dirt. With that being said, most main roads in major cities are paved. Cobblestone roads are quite common, especially in residential and/or hilly areas.

In Tbilisi, there are many roads on which you cannot make a left turn. This tends to be the case on main roads and is remedied by U-turn lanes, which are sometimes made part of a roundabout. This system of no left turns can frequently make navigating the city by car seem really confusing, sometimes forcing you (or a taxi) to go a fair bit out of the way just to turn around. This is especially prevalent in Historic and Central Tbilisi.

Stop lights are not necessarily a given at all intersections, even major ones, and "stop" signs are very rare. 

Pedestrians

The vast majority of Tbilisi is extremely pedestrian-friendly. There are underground passages throughout the entire city, especially around main and busy roads. Nearly all roads have sidewalks, and crosswalks are commonplace on the main roads. However, gaining access to areas such as the sidewalks along the Mtkvari River can be quite difficult. 

Jaywalking is very normal in Georgia. While caution should always be exercised, it is acceptable and not uncommon to cross a road lane by lane if it is busy and there is no crosswalk nearby (although this is NOT recommended). Jaywalking is permissible even in front of police:  it is very common.

By the Regions

Georgia's equivalent of an M___ motorway in the UK/Australia or an I-___ interstate in the US is the ს-___ (S-___). Tbilisi has the ს-1, the ს-4, Kakheti Highway which turns into the ს-5, the ს-6, and the ს-9

Georgia only has two European/US-grade motorways:  the ს-1 (S-1) and ს-4 (S-4). Furthermore, large portions are still being upgraded. The ს-1 is by far the more major of the two, bisecting the country from Tbilisi to Zugdidi (in Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti). However, the motorway portion only runs from Tbilisi to Agarebi (just before Khashuri in Shida Kartli). The ს-4 runs from Tbilisi to the border of Azerbaijan, however, it is only a motorway between Tbilisi and Rustavi (in Kvemo Kartli) with even some of that short distance not yet upgraded. Outside of these motorways, cross-country roads are generally one lane each direction and vary in condition.

ს1

The ს-1 and E-60 share the same road from north Tbilisi to Senaki, giving access to places such as Kaspi, Gori, and Khashuri (in Shida Kartli), Zestaponi, Kutaisi, and Samtredia (in Imereti), and Abasha and Senaki (in Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti). The ს-1 then continues through Zugdidi to the Abkhazian border, concurrent with the E-97.

E60

The E-60 splits from the ს-1 at Senaki in Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, running concurrent with the ს-2 to Poti. The E-60 ends in Poti, and the ს-2/E-70 runs south alongside the Black Sea coast through Ureki and Shekvetili (in Guria), Kobuleti and Batumi (in Adjara), and to the Turkish border in Sarpi (also in Adjara). 

ს3

The ს-3/E-117 runs from the Russia Border just outside of Stepantsminda/Kazbegi in Mtskheta-Mtianeti, south through Gudauri, Pasanauri, Ananuri, and Natakhtari, and ends at an interchange with the ს-1/E-60 just north of Mtskheta. The E-117 continues as part of the ს-9 and then ს-6.

The ს-8 begins in Khashuri (in Shida Kartli) at a roundabout with the ს-1/E-60, running southwest into Samtskhe-Javakheti, through Borjomi and Akhaltsikhe, at which point it becomes concurrent with the E-691, to the Turkish border.

ს8

The ს-11/E-691 begins in Akhaltsikhe in Samtskhe-Javakheti and runs southeast, through Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda to the Armenian Border.

ს11

The ს-12/E-692 runs from the ს-1/E-60 in Samtredia (in Imereti) to Grigoleti (in Guria, just north of Ureki), where it connects to the ს-2/E-70.

ს12

The Kutaisi-Tkibuli-Ambrolauri Road branches off of the ს-1/E-60 just west of Zestaponi in Imereti, going north through Tiqbuli (in Imereti) and Nikortsminda (in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti), ending in Ambrolauri. The only other way to access Racha by road is via the Kutaisi-Tsqaltubo-Tsageri-Lentekhi-Lasdili Road which originates in Kutaisi (in Imereti).

ს4

The ს-4 begins in south Tbilisi, continues south into Kvemo Kartli, joins the E-60 just before Rustavi (at which point the ს-9 and E-117 end), and then continues as the ს-4/E-60 to the Azerbaijani border.

At the north end of Rustavi, the Rustavi-Gardabani-Vakhtangisi Road connects to the ს-4, running through Rustavi and Gardabani to the Armenian Border in Vakhtangisi.

ს5

The ს-5 leaves Tbilisi from the east, going into Kakheti and giving access to town such as Sagarejo. At Bakurtsikhe, it takes a turn south, giving access to Sighnaghi and Tsnori, at which point it turns back east and continues through Lagodekhi to the Azerbaijani border. The ს-5 and ს-9 intersect at Lilo Bazaar on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

The შ-38 starts in Kvemo Kartli (in the little bit east of Tbilisi) near the beginning of the ს-5 and runs to Telavi.

The შ-42 begins in Bakurtsikhe in Kakheti at the ს-5 and runs north through Telavi, ending in Akhmeta.

ს6

The ს-6/E-117 begins in south Tbilisi alongside the ს-4, running a bit more west in Kvemo Kartli, through Marneuli. It then goes west through Bolnisi, then southwest through Dmanisi to the Armenian border.

ს7

The ს-7 intersects the ს-6/E-117 in Marneuli and runs south to the Armenian Border.

ს9

The ს-9/E-60/E-117, or the Tbilisi Bypass Road, runs from north Tbilisi at an interchange with the ს-1/E-60/E-117,  east and south of Tbilisi concurrent with the E-60 and E-117, to an interchange with the ს-4. The ს-9 and ს-5 intersect at Lilo Bazaar on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

Visiting Georgia

We are here to help you learn about the beautiful country of Georgia and what to do once you are here! Learn more and contact us here.

 

Unless otherwise noted below the photograph, all photographs have been taken by us. Any graphics were created by us or have been significantly altered from their original form. 

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