One of the joys of living in a foreign country is the opportunity to immerse yourself in a new culture and collect little keepsakes from your time away from home. We are closing out our tour in Tbilisi, so I thought now was the perfect time to post my Top 10 Georgian Souvinier Guide. However, I should mention these are in no particular order. Asking me to definitively rank my favorite Georgian souvenirs would be impossible!
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
One of the most popular – and most beautiful – Georgian souvenirs is enamel. It seems everywhere you turn in Tbilisi there’s another shop showing off these vibrant and intricate works of art. I know by looking at these pieces that a great deal of time and effort goes into making them; I was actually lucky enough to attend a jewelry making class while I was here. You can find all different kinds of enamel art, from pictures to statues to all sorts of jewelry.
Where to Buy: Elsani Jewelry (Tbilisi picture); Hand Art by Maia Meskhi; Enamel House; Bakmy Georgian Enamel Workroom
I have a weak spot for pottery. Within a week or so of landing in Tbilisi, I had already purchased several pieces, and there truly is no shortage of beautiful ceramics in this city. We only have a few weeks left and I have a feeling my collection will only grow until packout. Seriously. I have a problem.
Where to Buy: Estia Art (vase); White Studio (pomegranate bowl); Saini Studio
Tablecloths are a centerpiece for Georgian entertaining, particularly the supra, or large dinners with lots of toasting and more food than anyone can ever eat. The tablecloths usually depict traditional Georgian motifs including mythology and traditional symbols. These come in all shapes and sizes so if runners or accent pillows are more your style you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
Where to Buy: Blue Tabla (all three above); Gallery 27
Georgian Knife (Khanjali)
These decorative (and dangerous!) knives are everywhere. Khanjali are also part of the national dress of Georgia and make for excellent souvenirs. The shape of the weapon is similar to the ancient Roman Gladius, the Scottish dirk, and the ancient Greek Xiphos, and has been used as a secondary weapon in Georgia and the Caucasus since ancient times.
Where to Buy: Dry Bridge is a good starting point, but these are literally everywhere. The one above was a gift so I can’t say for sure where it was picked up.
This is another Georgian staple. Drinking horns are typically made from ram or goat horns, though sometimes you can find them made from bull horns. It can be a bit of a rite of passage to drink from one of these, particularly when someone calls out bolomde! (To the end!)
Where to Buy: Again, literally anywhere. We found this one at the Ananuri Fortress for 100 GEL
I’m a carpet convert. Before living on the Silk Road in Tajikistan I was convinced I didn’t like carpets, but once I arrived in Tbilisi I was addicted. I think part of it was learning about how much work goes into these beautiful works of art. I attended a tour of reWoven’s project last year, and absolutely love the two purchases we’ve made from them. Many of the shops in town have new and old Caucasian carpets, as well as pieces from all over the world.
Where to Buy: reWoven; Caucasian Carpets Gallery
The Georgian alphabet is just begging to be used in creative ways. The loopy letters are so gorgeous, and my favorite piece of art I’ve purchased using them is this name pendant. The artist, Maria, is so talented and easy to work with. Aside from custom pieces she also sells individual letters, mother’s necklaces, and a few other staples.
Where to Buy: Maria Zurita Jewellry
This is one of the silliest souvenirs I’ve purchased, but I love it so much! It’s hard to get wine to and from Georgia, so how about an awesome wine coozy? These come in many different colors and sit at many different price points.
Where to Buy: Dry Bridge. The tricky part here is the vendors aren’t always in the same place each day. This particular piece was 60 GEL which is pricey for these, but I love it.
Felt Ornaments and Animal Figures
These are so cute! Perfect for any little kids you’re shopping for. These little figurines are very well made and an easy price point if you’re a bit more strapped for cash. They also weigh next to nothing so they are perfect for traveling.
Where to Buy: Gallery 27, but these are everywhere.
It wouldn’t be a Georgian Souvenir Top 10 without mentioning Kvevris, the large clay pots used for fermentation in Georgian winemaking. I’m still not sure what we are going to do with these two, but I don’t think there was any way of escaping Georgia without one. If a full-size kvevri is not an option for you, check out Estia Art or Gallery 27 for small decorative options.
Where to Buy: If you’re able to get there, Shrosha is everyone’s favorite pottery town. If not, you can find large kvevri at Dry Bridge.
I hope this guide was useful! If you have any suggestions for souvenirs I’ve missed or shop recommendations, please leave them in the comments below. Happy shopping!