- Exercise normal safety precautions in Georgia. Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travel conditions.
- Do not travel to the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia or to the Pankisi Gorge north of Akhmeta because of the threat of terrorist and criminal activity, and due to the danger of unexploded ordnance remaining from the conflict in 2008. While military operations in Georgia have ceased, tensions remain.
- There is an ongoing risk of terrorism across the world. See our Terrorist Threat Worldwide bulletin.
- Political demonstrations take place in Georgia, especially in Tbilisi. Avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent.
- Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Georgia. The Australian Embassy in Turkey provides consular assistance to Australians in Georgia.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the Georgian Foreign Ministry, for up-to-date information.
Land and sea borders with Russia remain closed for tourists.
For children (under 18 years of age) travelling alone or with one parent, local immigration authorities, in addition to the child's passport, may require a letter of consent from the non-travelling parent(s) and a copy of the child's birth certificate. Check these requirements with an Embassy or Consulate of Georgia.
See the Laws section for information on travelling with prescription medicines.
Safety and security
Civil unrest/ Political tension
Political demonstrations occur in Georgia, especially in Tbilisi. Avoid all protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia (including adjacent areas): Do not travel to the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia (and adjacent areas) because of unexploded ordnance remaining from the conflict in 2008. While military operations in Georgia have ceased, tensions remain and there continue to be reports of violence, including fatalities, in and around these regions. Some roads in the Abkhazia region may be mined. It is currently illegal under Georgian law to enter Georgia from Russia via Abkhazia or South Ossetia.
Pankisi Gorge: Do not travel to the area of the Pankisi Gorge to the north of Akhmeta. This region has, in recent years, been the scene of periodic fighting between Georgian forces and Chechen militia and criminal elements, including suspected international terrorists.
Serious crimes have decreased in Georgia, particularly in Tbilisi, but instances of violent crime have occurred against foreigners, including robberies, carjackings, sexual assaults, home invasions and assaults throughout Georgia. Be vigilant when walking after dark, including near hotels and in residential areas. Financial, import and export scams have increased in recent years.
In an emergency, Georgian emergency services can be contacted on 112. This number provides access to fire, rescue, police and medical services. English speaking operators are usually available.
Georgia was involved in a military conflict with the Russian Federation in 2008. Following the cessation of military hostilities in August of that year, car bombings have occurred in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
While attacks may target military or security facilities, it is possible that civilians may be affected.
Terrorists have in the past also targeted markets, public transport and commercial and public places where foreigners may be present.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Worldwide bulletin.
Money and valuables
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
According to Georgian law, all goods and services must be paid in local currency (Georgian Lari). Credit cards are widely used in Tbilisi, but less so in the regions. ATMs are available in major towns. Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted.
Avoid entering or leaving the country via the land borders with Russia. The border crossing between Russia and Georgia at Verkhny Lars (North Ossetia) has reopened to citizens of Georgia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), but traffic is strictly regulated and limited. Neither Georgian nor Russian visas are available at the checkpoint.
It is illegal to enter Georgia via Abkhazia or South Ossetia as there is no official border control.
Driving in Georgia may be hazardous as roads and vehicles are often poorly maintained. Roads often lack adequate lighting and signage. Drivers should maintain caution as the standard of driving is erratic and traffic signals and rules are often ignored. Mountainous roads can be dangerous, particularly in winter. For further advice, see our road travel page.
Public transport on buses, trains and taxis can be unsafe due to the road conditions. There have also been reports of robberies and assaults on trains as well as in and around the main station in Tbilisi.
It can be difficult to get accurate information on mountain conditions. If you are considering trekking or mountaineering contact Georgian companies with specialist guides.
If you get into trouble while mountaineering or hiking, the level of emergency response may be limited.
Companies providing extreme sports activities may have poor safety standards and may not have liability insurance cover.
The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Georgia.
Refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Georgia, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
Always declare prescription medication to Georgian customs. Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you'll take and that it's for personal use only. Possession of these medicines, even with a doctor's prescription, if not declared, or if the quantity held exceeds legal limits, can lead to administrative or even criminal proceedings. If you intend to bring prescription or non-prescription medication into Georgia, first contact the closest Georgian Embassy or Consulate to confirm it is legal. See the Georgian Embassy in Canberra for more information.
Penalties for drug offences include heavy fines and long prison sentences. See our Drugs page.
There is a policy of zero tolerance for drink driving in Georgia (i.e. driving with a blood alcohol level greater than zero is an offence).
Photography near military installations and establishments of strategic importance, including airports, is prohibited.
Always carry your passport, registered visa and/or migration card (or copies thereof).
Georgian law has no clear regulations or procedures relating to surrogacy. Carefully consider the risks and potential consequences and seek legal advice before entering into any surrogacy arrangement.
Homosexual activity is legal in Georgia, but not widely accepted.
To export certain artwork, antiques, jewels and items considered to be of national heritage, you need a special licence issued by the Ministry of Culture's Department of Expertise and Evaluation.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Information for dual nationals
The level of consular assistance the Australian Government can provide to Australian/Georgian dual nationals travelling on their Georgian passport who are arrested or detained may be very limited.
Under Georgian law, Australian/Georgian dual nationals may be subject to compulsory military service. Dual nationals should seek advice from the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Georgia well in advance of travel.
Our Dual nationals page provides further information.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. Get vaccinated before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The health page provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
Medical care in Georgia, particularly outside Tbilisi, is limited. While medical supplies, both European and Russian, are available, the quality of medical services and facilities is poor. Medical evacuation, at considerable cost, may be necessary in the event of a serious illness or injury.
Malaria is a risk in the south-eastern part of the country. Consider the need for prophylaxis against malaria, use insect repellent at all times, wear long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Water-borne, food-borne, and other infectious diseases (including tuberculosis, typhoid, hepatitis, brucellosis and rabies) occur with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes, unpasteurised dairy products, and raw and undercooked food.
Where to get help
Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
For fire, rescue, police and medical services, the number is 112. English speaking operators are usually available.
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can't do to assist Australians overseas. Australia does not have an Embassy or Consulate in Georgia. You can contact the Australian Government at the Australian Embassy in Turkey for consular assistance. See contact details below:
Australian Embassy, Ankara
MNG Building, 7th floor
88 Uğur Mumcu Caddesi
Telephone: +90 312 459 9500
Facsimile: +90 312 446 4827
In an emergency, limited consular assistance, which does not include notarial services or the issue of Australian passports, may be obtained from the British Embassy in Tbilisi:
British Embassy, Tbilisi
51 Krtsanisi Street
Telephone: +995 32 227 4747
Facsimile: +995 32 227 4792
In a consular emergency, if you are unable to contact the Embassy, you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
Georgia is located in an active seismic zone. A large flood in Georgia's capital in June 2015 killed 20 people. Information on natural disasters, including earthquakes and volcanic activity, can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
If you are in an area affected by a natural disaster, monitor the media and follow the advice of local authorities.