After my cruise from Barcelona to Rome I needed some time off from traveling and to catch up with work. I was able to choose a flight from Rome to somewhere and came up with Tbilisi. Last year I had been visiting Batumi, Georgia and really loved the vibe, the people and the value for money in Georgia and therefore decided to come back. Upon arrival I obviously wanted to be connected to the internet straight away and looked for buying a sim card at Tbilisi Airport. This is what I found out…
The biggest international airport in Georgia is located about 17 kilometers away from the city center of Tbilisi. There are arrivals and departures all night long and the airport is open 24 hours. I arrived around 4am local time and it was busy. All the car rental shops, cafe’s and mobile operator shops were open. The airport is fairly small for international standards and it is easy to buy a Georgia sim card. There is fast and reliable free wifi at Tbilisi Airport.
Looking for recommendations and Tbilisi travel tips? Check out my Tbilisi travel blog with cool bars, wine tours, day trips and more. Not arriving at Tbilisi airport? Have a look at my best Georgia sim card for tourists blog and find out where to buy your prepaid sim card for traveling in Georgia.
Where to buy a Georgia sim card at Tbilisi Airport
As soon as you walk out of arrival you will find all the shops right in front of you. There are three mobile operators in Georgia and all three have a shop at the the airport. Right in front of arrivals you will see Beeline, on your right there is Magti and next to the exit on the left and the right there is Geocell.
Best Georgia sim card at Tbilisi Airport
As a tourist coming traveling to Georgia I can understand that you want to get connected to the internet straight away. Buying a sim card at Tbilisi Airport is also the first thing I did. But what is the best sim card available.
To make it easy: 5 GEL is approximately $2.
Geocell sim card Georgia
Next to both exits there is a Geocell kiosk selling Georgia sim cards for tourists. The following packages are available and very easy to understand.
Call and sms in Georgia are always unlimited
- 1GB data = 25 GEL = $10
- 5GB data = 35 GEL = $13
- 7GB data = 40 GEL = $15
- 20GB data = 65 GEL = $25
- 35GB data = 95 GEL = $36
All the above sim card packages are valid for 30 days, only within Georgia.
Coming from a western country I am sure these prices are very good. Compared to tourist sim cards in Germany these are amazing deals. But let’s have a look at the other available Georgia sim cards for tourists at Tbilisi Airport.
Magti sim card Georgia
On your right hand side when walking out of arrivals there is Magti Georgia. The two ladies at the booth seemed a little tired this early in the morning but gave me a sheet with all the available tourist sim card for Georgia.
Calling within Georgia and 30 minutes of international calls are included in every Magti sim card for tourists, but only valid for 14 days.
- 3GB data = 30 GEL = $11
- 7GB data = 40 GEL = $15
- 10GB data = 50 GEL = $19
- 33GB data = 90 GEL = $34
- Unlimited internet = 180 GEL = $69
All the above data packages are valid for 30 days, only within Georgia.
Compared to the Geocell sim card, a Magti sim card for tourists is about the same. You get 30 minutes of international calls included, but the calling privileges are only valid for 14 days. These sim card packages look a bit like the sim card for tourists in France.
Beeline sim card Georgia
Last but not least a Georgia sim card for tourists from Beeline. In december 2017 I took a trip to Batumi and used Beeline as well.
When approaching the Beeline shop I saw the following Georgia sim card for tourists promotion:
20 GEL = $7,5
- Unlimited calls/sms in Georgia
- 2GB data
- 50 minutes international calls
- Valid 15 days
I was like nah that does not sound appealing. The Magti sim card offer was better, but then I saw there were more data packages available.
- 1GB data = 4 GEL = $1,5
- 4GB data = 9 GEL = $3,5
- 8GB data = 16 GEL = $6
- 30GB data = 25 GEL = $9,5
The above data packages are valid for 30 days, calls and sms are not included.
Wow! These Beeline data packages are really good value comparing them with the Magti and Geocell.
Best Georgia sim card at Tbilisi Airport
Comparing all the Georgia sim cards for tourists available at Tbilisi Airport I can come to the conclusion that:
A Beeline data sim card is the best Georgia sim card for tourists at Tbilisi Airport!
As a fan of data I chose the 30GB data package of Beeline, not sure why I did not choose the 8GB package but because it was only $3,5 more I didn’t want to take the risk of running out. LOL
Note: I hardly ever make a phone call and when I do I use WhatsApp, Viber or Skype. Therefore I only need a data connection. If you want to make phone calls as well, you might want to consider buying a sim card of Magti. Their network is better than Geocell and prices are kind of the same.
I also quickly checked the 4G coverage maps for all 3 the mobile internet providers and came to the conclusion that Beeline has the second biggest 4G network in Georgia. For more info see my article about best Georgia sim card for tourists.
Georgia is striving to be one of the most tourist friendly countries in the world and has opened its borders to a many international visitors. There is a big chance your country is also listed to stay up to 365 days in the country. Yes the stamp in your passport is valid for 1 year! That said Tbilisi tourism is picking up for a lot of nomadic travelers and this city has a lot to offer. Not only is traveling around the city easy and cheap, there are many things to do and places to see in Tbilisi.
To catch up with work I lived a little more than 2 weeks in Tbilisi. Have a look at my travel blog about Tbilisi here.
Take for example the ferris wheel on top of the hill with magnificent views or the cosy Davit Aghmashenebeli Avenue with its many bars and restaurants. Eat out for just a couple dollars and drink a good coffee for 1 euro! There are many reasons to visit Tbilisi, Georgia.
In December 2017 I visited Batumi, the vibrant city on the Black Sea and a popular tourist spot in Georgia. These are all my Batumi travel tips.
How to get from the airport to the city
There are 3 ways to get to Tbilisi City Center: bus, train, taxi.
The bus runs 24/7 and cost only 0,50 GEL = $0,20. It takes around 30-40 minutes to reach the center. Busses are modern. Look for bus route nr. 37.
The train does not run that often and stops running at night, but is very comfortable. The train also cost 0,50 GEL = $0,20 only and take only 20 minutes. So this would be my advised form of transportation if you want to get from the airport to Tbilisi by public transport.
There are of course many taxi drivers waiting for you to hop in their taxi when you arrive. Within 20 minutes depending on traffic they will drop you in front of your hotel. These guys ask between 25-60 GEL. As a modern traveler I would like to suggest to download the Yandex app, this is the Uber for Georgia. I arranged a taxi through Yandex and paid 20 GEL, where the taxi drivers at the airport were asking 30 GEL.
I hope all the above tips for traveling to Tbilisi were helpful. If you liked my article please Pin it on Pinterest, tweet it on Twitter or share it on Facebook. A small thing for you to do, which can make a huge difference for me. Thank you very much in advance!