Gori is a small town on the confluence of the Kura and the Liakhi in the picturesque Kartlia valley, 80km west of Tbilisi.
A day trip to Gori from Tbilisi is easy and cheap but is better to stay overnight to visit the ancient cave city of Uplistsikhe that is located about 10 km from Gori.
Gori is a quiet town where you can wander through the streets and have a great chillout time eating out at one of the many restaurant terraces.
The town is best known for being the birthplace of Stalin the former Soviet leader. While he is not exactly a hero by any means, the town preserves memories of his life and displays them in the Stalin Museum.
The town has two other smaller museums. The War Museum and the Ethnographic Museum.
The Fortress is free and offers some nice views the town and surrounding hills, especially during sunset. This oval citadel stands at the heart of Gori on top of a hill.
There are a few churches to be found around Gori. Mary’s Church is quite impressive.
The main street is called Stalin Avenue. I don’t know how I feel about Gory having so many tributes to Stalin.. but … I believe (and hope) they don’t see him as a national hero but a local famous historic figure.
At the top end of the avenue you have the Stalin museum and the gardens. There is some impressive architecture along the street including the city hall.
How to get to Gori from Tbilisi
From Tbilisi, you can either take a train from the main station or a marshrutka (minibus).
To go bt marshrutka head to Didube bus station and look around for a van labelled ‘Gori’, they leave when full usually every 20-30mins. The journey takes around 1.5 hours.
All trains from Tbilisi going to Kutaisi and/or Batumi stop at Gori.
How to Get from Gori to Uplistsikhe
At the bus station, you can find a minivan heading to Uplistsikhe. The journey takes around 25 minutes.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha