Safety and security

Crime

Crime levels are low. However, you should exercise particular caution in areas frequented by tourists. There have been incidents of pick pocketing and burglary involving foreign nationals.

Take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, remain aware of your surroundings and keep your mobile phone charged and with you at all times.

There have been some reports of sexual assaults by taxi drivers after dark, although these are not thought to be targeted specifically at foreigners.

Ethnic minorities and LGBT+ individuals may face discrimination. There have been some reports of racially and sexuality motivated harassment and assaults. Georgian authorities are working to tackle discrimination and the Georgian parliament recently passed new anti-discrimination laws.

If you’re the victim of an attempted assault or feel threatened, contact the local police emergency number by dialling 112.

Local travel

The Administrative Boundary Lines with Abkhazia and South Ossetia are generally unmarked away from roads. Take care not to cross the lines inadvertently as you risk arrest. You may wish to hire a professional guide if you plan to hike close to the Administrative Boundary Lines.

It is illegal under Georgian law to enter Georgia from Russia via South Ossetia or Abkhazia. If you enter Georgia in this way you may face criminal prosecution, which carries the penalty of potentially heavy fines and/or a prison sentence of up to 4 years. If your passport has entry/exit stamps from the separatist authorities the Georgian authorities may consider this as illegal entry via an unrecognised border crossing.

If you’re considering travelling to Russia via the land borders with the Russian Federation, consult FCO travel advice for Russia. The FCO currently advise against all travel to: Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and the districts of Budyonnovsky, Levokumsky, Neftekumsky, Stepnovsky and Kursky in Stavropol Krai. The FCO also advise against all but essential travel to North Ossetia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria (including the Elbrus area).

There is some risk from unexploded ordnance in areas along the Administrative Boundary Lines with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and near the border with Azerbaijan (Red Bridge area in particular). Areas where unexploded ordnance might be present are not always marked.

Take extra precautions after dark in unfamiliar areas as you would at home.

You should avoid flagging down taxis in the street, and consider sitting in the back seat rather than the front depending on the availability of working seatbelts. Most taxis are not metered. Taxi apps, which offer a metered service, are available.

Street lighting away from main roads can be poor and pavements uneven. There may be occasional short power cuts and you may wish to be prepared by carrying a torch.
If you visit the Udabno caves at the Davit Gareja monastery site, take care not to cross the Georgia-Azerbaijan border, which is unmarked in this area.

If you’re travelling by road from Tbilisi to Yerevan, be aware the route via Vanadzor-Alaverdi-Bagratashen on the Armenian side is expected to be closed for maintenance work until approximately July 2019.

Mountaineering and extreme sports

Take appropriate precautions when skiing and ensure you have valid insurance for skiing/winter sports in Georgia.

If you get into trouble while hiking, skiing, or participating in adventure and/or extreme sports, the level of emergency response may be limited.

It can be difficult to get accurate information on mountain conditions, including avalanche risks when off-piste skiing. If you are considering trekking, mountaineering, climbing off-piste skiing or other extreme sports you might consider contacting companies who can provide specialist guides.

As Georgia’s winter and adventure sports industry develops, the Georgian authorities are working hard to ensure proper safety standards are maintained. However, be aware that, in some instances, safety standards may not be adequately observed. For example, several people were injured when a ski lift at Gudauri malfunctioned in March 2018.

Road travel

You can drive in Georgia using a UK driving licence or an International Driving Permit.

Driving is on the right. The speed limit is 60 km/h in towns and cities. In other areas it’s 80 km/h unless indicated.

There’s a zero tolerance policy towards drink driving.

Take care when driving especially at night. Many roads outside central Tbilisi, and other city centres, are badly lit and of poor quality. Stray livestock pose a hazard in many areas. Road markings and the right of way can be confusing. Many cars are poorly maintained and the standard of driving is erratic.

It’s compulsory to wear seat belts in the front seats in Georgia. Children under 12 years of age must sit in the back of the car. Children under 7 years of age must sit in child safety seats.

Heavy rain, flooding and snow at higher altitudes can affect roads and bridges making travel difficult or impossible (particularly in remote areas). Landslides are also common. If you’re travelling outside of Tbilisi, particularly in remote areas, make sure your vehicle is suitably equipped.

See the RAC guide on driving in Georgia.

Rail travel

Exercise normal caution with your personal safety and belongings when travelling by train. Locks for compartments are usually available on sleeper trains.

Air travel

There are international airports in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi.

A list of incidents and accidents in Georgia can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list does not necessarily mean that it is unsafe.