Since I live in Tbilisi, I often get questions about living conditions in Georgia. Monthly living expenses in Georgia will of course vary according to your lifestyle and priorities, but I will try to write down all the expense items one by one in order to create a figure in your mind about how much money you need to live in Tbilisi. Here is monthly cost of living in Tbilisi…
Cost of Living in Tbilisi: Monthly Apartment Rent in Tbilisi
I’ll start with the biggest expense item: rent. Before writing about this subject, first I want to clarify something. The rents may seem high for the purchasing power here, but most of the local people have their own houses as they come from communism. Digital nomads and and expats usually pay those rents. People from many countries can stay in Georgia for one year without a visa. Many people from America and Europe, who can do their job online, come and try to live here because life is much cheaper in Georgia than in America and Europe, of course there are people from other countries too.
As in all parts of the world, many factors such as the neighborhood, whether it is furnished, the parking facilities, the size of the house etc. affect the rent. Now let me start talking about the rental prices according to our previous home. Our house was in the area called Ortachala, it is located near Old Tbilisi, the most touristic area. Our house was located 5 minutes by car from that touristic area. It was a spacious house with 3 rooms, one open kitchen, one bathroom, two large balconies. It was furnished and there was a parking space for our car. The apartment was 10-15 years old, but the interior of the apartment was modernly renovated and the furniture was new. We also had a beautiful city view from the balcony of our house. With all these criteria, the house rent was $1000. I know it’s a bit pricey but you have many more options in the city.
If you come to Tbilisi alone, if the neighborhood is not important, and if it’s ok that the house is old and small, then you can find a house between $100-$150 monthly rent. This rental price will increase as each criteria gets better. If we talk about decent houses in a central location, I can say that a minimum of $ 300 is required for a 2 room house, and a minimum of $ 500 for a 3 room house. Of course, you may reduce the rents with your bargaining skills. By the way, I can say that the majority of long term expats prefer Vake, Vera, Saburtalo, Avlabari and Ortachala neighborhoods.
If you want to take a look at the rents, you can check the websites below. Currently, there may be a decrease in rent prices due to the pandemic situation.
Monthly Expenses in Tbilisi: Public Transport in Tbilisi
Public transportation throughout Georgia is quite cheap. One-way transportation varies between 0.5 GEL and 0.8 GEL. If you live in a central location, you can do many things on foot. In addition, taxi fares are very convenient when you use applications such as Yandex Go. For example, you can go to a place 10 km away for 8 GEL. If you are going to use public transportation all the time, you can think of an average transportation cost like 30 GEL per person.
Cost of Living in Tbilisi: Food Prices in Tbilisi
I will divide this part into two, I will talk about grocery shopping in the first part, and about eating out in the second part.
With a weekly shopping of around 150-200 GEL, you can have all your food and drink at home. This includes meat, vegetables, fruits, beverages and basic cleaning products. But if you often have guests, if you consume too much alcohol and cigarettes, etc. of course this price will increase. If your eating habits include gluten or dairy free products then your grocery shopping cost will also increase because these kind of products are really expensive in Georgia.
When it comes to dining out, I can say that a meal for two in an average restaurant is between 40-50 GEL. Of course, prices are higher in luxury restaurants, but one of the things I love about Georgia is that there is not an abnormal price difference between luxury restaurants and average restaurants.
If you do not drink much alcohol and the place you go to does not have an entrance fee, you can spend a nice evening with 50 GEL for two people. Some major nightclubs have entrance fees here, ranging from 20-30 GEL per person. If you are going there, this additional fee should be taken into account.
Cost of Living in Tbilisi: Invoices and General Home Expenses
Let’s take a look at how much bills you will pay while living in a house and whether you will have additional taxes or expenses. First of all, I start with the strata. In our previous home, the fee was 125 GEL and only security and apartment cleaning was included. There was no one taking the garbage and there was no other additional facilities like a playground, pool, gym, etc. However, there were few apartments in the building, so the fee was high. We pay 200 GEL in our current house. We have security, our garbage is taken, there is a gym, sauna, children’s playground and indoor pool. Considering these facilities, the fee here is more appropriate, it’s because there are more apartments here. The fees will generally vary depending on the facilities of the place and the number of apartments. By the way, let me give you a little information, I have never seen it in any country before, but here, in some apartments you need to put some coins to get on the elevator, so there may be such interesting expense items for the apartment. 😉
Let me continue with the bills, first I will talk about heating. We always want our house to be warm, so our combi boiler is always open in high temperatures in winter. Even if we go on vacation for a few days, we don’t close it. Our natural gas bill is around 80 GEL during the winter months, but it can rarely go up to 160 GEL when the weather is extremely cold. I have to state that our house is 120 square meters, as it is an important parameter for heating. Our electricity bill is around 80 GEL per month on average, but we may be using too much electricity, there are too many technological devices in constant use. The water bill is fixed to 3.69 GEL no matter how much you spend water. Our high speed unlimited internet is 40 GEL per month. Also the bill for GSM with unlimited internet, minutes and sms package is 60 GEL per month. Lastly, we pay 2.69 GEL environmental tax.
If you’d like some help for home cleaning then you you usually pay a fee between 30-50 GEL for half-day cleaning. Of course, the size of your house important.
That’s all for now. If you want to know additional information, please feel free to comment below. 😉
By the way, there are some websites that provide current average price information from different cities around the world, you can also check them out. You can see them below, they are more or less compatible with the information I have provided.
You can get the estimated cost of living for you by entering necessary data below.
For example, according to the site above, average monthly expense of a family of four, excluding rent is calculated as 4600 GEL and for a single person, it is 1300 GEL.
Do you live in Georgia or do you plan to live in Georgia? Please feel free to comment below if you have any questions or additions.
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