Clubbing in Tbilisi
Nightlife in Tbilisi is very active, no need to say that Georgians don’t need any occasion to have celebration and drink alcohol. There are different types of clubs that will satisfy customers with various demands and tastes. Of course, the scenario of starting with drinking at someone’s house and continuing the party in the clubs is popular among Georgians. Though the prices for alcohol are quite reasonable everywhere. Below is the list of several clubbing places where you can enjoy good dance music, pleasant company of stylish people and of course cocktails!
Lets start with kind of lost and hidden, but quite famous Laboratorium 13. The formal address is 13 Betlemi street, but don’t be too optimistic that you can easily find it following google maps route. It is in the area that is being renovated, and when you appear in the area nearby which seems like bombed and abandoned, there it is…on a small hill, like an oasis for clubbing people, three-storey cozy house, full of party noise and good music attracting visitors. There are not random people passing by, because if you appear near this place, then you are here specially for visiting this club. The important step is to find Betlemi street, and if you ask people nearby (even policeman nearby) they can help you find the place. Don’t confuse it with Laboratorium which was in city center and is closed currently.
Laboratorium 13 is a small and cozy place, which offers a very nice view of Old Tbilisi from the open air terrace on the 3rd floor. Whoever is annoyed with smoke and crowded 2 floors is welcome to the terrace for fresh air and new acquaintances. Usually, the bar works from 11:00 to 2:00am. But, on Sundays, it is open only until midnight, so you can catch up with your work on Monday. Here you can meet locals and also tourists like you. As for dress code, no need to have the most fancy dress you have, the place is very hospitable for all cool people.
Recommended for: good cocktails, reasonable prices, creative and fun atmosphere, night city view from terrace.
Another place where you will never appear by chance is Mtkvarze Club. “Mtkvarze” in Georgian means “on the river”, so can get the idea. This is two hall club which stands on the river. You can see the river and enjoy the scene which you would hardly ever see out of any other club’s windows. Still, you cannot go out on the balcony or terrace as the doors are locked for people who might get too drunk. There is a phrase among local people “…parties might start at different places, but all of them finish at Mtkvarze”. This club is the final destination basically for all party people, that’s why you can see very different clubbers here: from hipsters to fancy dressed girls, all of them enjoying mainly house (sometimes deep house or trance) music here. The club management tries to invite various famous Georgian DJs regularly to have various parties every week. Very often there are thematic or private parties here, and guards will charge you 10-20 GEL ( $5-10) for the entrance. Don’t come here earlier than 11:30pm or midnight and be prepared for quite humble interior. Here is small illustration of what might be at Mtkvarze. Oh yes, and for reaching here you will definitely need taxi, so remember the address Agladze street #2 or you can just ask the taxi driver to drop you near the former restaurant Abkhazia or just mention former Mtkvarze restaurant.
If all parties end at Mtkvarze, Cafe-Gallery club is usually the starting point. It is hard to mention the reason for this, it might be the good location or some other mysterious local tradition. You are welcome to explore this question and share your findings with us! Gallery is a two-storey club which is impossible not to notice when you are walking on Rustaveli Avenue, the formal address is Rustaveli avenue #48. This place is open 24 hours and is able to change its atmosphere dramatically. Which means that during day time, you can have a good lunch here, enjoy the artistic atmosphere, colorful interior and watch the artworks on the walls, showcasing Georgian and regional artists. You can even buy those, as all of the works shown are for sale. However, from Thursdays to Sundays after midnight, this place becomes a nightclub with sets from local and international DJs and clubbers dancing on the tables and sills. A large hall hosting many retro tables and chairs, becomes a large dance floor at nights. This place is known for being gay friendly, hipster friendly (so forget about classy dresses and ties) and…really very friendly, that’s why you might experience standing in a line for awhile and negotiating with the face control. There is outside terrace open during summer, so if you are fed up with smoke inside, you can go out for fresh air. Despite the fact that this place is considered to be the starting party point, don’t expect too many people here before 10.30pm-11:00pm anyway.
No matter which club you will choose, you’d better pay with cash everywhere. Also take into account that smoking is allowed everywhere in Georgia and people usually drink and smoke a lot. Which in turn means, that, usually, people become very talkative and will ask you for a cigarette. So, be ready.
Still, if you are striving for more fancy clubbing, with expensive cocktails, interior and a strict dress code, you will find useful our next notes about Tbilisi nightlife.