Georgia hitch-hiker essentials

The old fortress gate on Tamar Mephe street - Sighnaghi, Georgia (18)

Georgia hitch-hiker essentials

Types of Road

The road network in Georgia consists of 1,474 km of highways that are considered to be in good condition and 18,821 km of secondary and local roads that are, generally, in poor condition. Only 7,854 km, of over 20,000 km of Georgian roads, are paved. Hitch-hiking is not a problem on all types of road.

Road Map

Georgia road map, Georgia hitch-hiker essentials

source: ezilon.com

Speed limit on Georgian roads

Georgia hitch-hiker essentials

Absolutely essential hitch-hikers phrasebook

Georgian

hello – გამარჯობათ. (gah-mahr-joh-baht)
→ People love it when you address them in their mother tongue, even if you don’t speak the language.
thank you – მადლობა (mahd-loh-bah)
goodbye – ნახვამდის. (nakh-vahm-dees)
yes – კი (k’ee)
no – არა (ah-rah)

Russian

– hello – Здравствуйте (ZDRAHST-vooy-tyeh)
– thank you – Спасибо. (spuh-SEE-bah)
– yes – Да. (dah)
– no – Нет. (nyeht)
– please/here you are – Пожалуйста. (pah-ZHAH-luh-stuh)
– you’re welcome – Не за что. (NYEH-zuh-shtoh)
– excuse me – Извините. (eez-vee-NEET-yeh)
– what’s your name? – Как Вас зовут? (kahk vahs zah-VOOT?)
→ always good to know the name of your driver
– my name is … – Меня зовут … (mee-NYAH zah-VOOT…)
– I don’t understand – Я не понимаю (ya nee puh-nee-MIGH-yoo)
– I don’t know – Я не знаю. (ya nee ZNAH-yoo)
– where is…? – Где …? (gdyeh …?)
– train station – вокзал (vah-GZAHL)
→ You should know this word and listen out for it to avoid situations when your driver, in their best intentions, takes you off the road and drives you to a station
– bus station – автовокзала (ahf-tuh-vah-GZAHL)
– I don’t have money – У меня нет денег (oo-mee-NYAH nyet DYEH-neg)
→ useful in any language
– we don’t have money – У нас нет денег (oo nah-s nyet DYEH-neg)
– money – деньги (dyehn-gee)
– now – сейчас (see-CHAHS)
– today – сегодня (see-VOHD-nyuh)
– yesterday – вчера (fcheeh-RAH)
– tomorrow – завтра (ZAHF-truh)
 friend –  друг (droogh)
→ Very useful when they ask you where you’re staying. The concept of Couchsurfing is often too difficult to explain, so just say you’re staying with a friend. You can also use this word to express the relationship between you and your fellow travellers.

Main border crossings

The old fortress gate on Tamar Mephe street - Sighnaghi, Georgia (18), Georgia hitch-hiker essentials

Georgia – Turkey

→ Sarp/Sarpi – is the main land border crossing between Turkey and Georgia, located about 12 km south of Batumi, Georgia and about 20 km northeast of Hopa, Turkey. It’s possible to cross on foot, however it’s rather difficult due to the total chaos and lack of information, signs, organization. For more information about this border crossing read our story. There is no public transport going from the border crossing to Hopa (Turkey), however it’s possible to get a cheap local bus going the other way to/from Batumi (Georgia).

Vale/Türkgözü – is located a further inland in south-western Georgia and closer to Tbilisi.

Georgia – Armenia

→ Sadakhlo/Bagratashen – is a pretty pleasant and hitchhiker-friendly border crossing. Crossing on foot is problem-free and the border is located on the European route E001.

→ Zhdanovakani/Bavra  – It’s the second border crossing with Armenia we used on our way back and it was also hassle-free. It’s located on the European route E691.

Georgia – Azerbaijan

→ Matsimi – This border crossing is located on the road M5 between Telavi (Georgia) and Şəki (Azerbaijan). It was pretty easy to cross on foot especially after meeting an Azeri customs officer who had done his training in Poland and therefore spoke a bit of Polish. Speaking the same language always breaks ice between people, even during such scary experiences as crossing borders.

→The Shikhly II / Rustavi crossing is located further along the border to the south-west, Böyük Kǝsik, located a short distance to the north-east is a rail border crossing, which you will use if you are travelling on a train between Tbilisi and Baku.

Caution! If you want to enter Azerbaijan, you have to organize your visa in advance.

Georgia – Russia

→ Lars-Kazbegi – This border crossing is located on the Georgian Military Road. It’s possible to cross on foot but you need a Russian visa in order to leave Georgia.
“It was difficult to hitchhike there though in the winter months for free. There is no public transport on this route and the traffic is not that big, there are taxis going regularly from Vladikavkaz to Tbilisi and back. We used it and paid about 500 roubles (17 dollars) per head for the route Vladikavkaz – Kazbegi.” (Shajara)

written by: Ania

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