Set on a hill overlooking Tbilisi’s Vake District, the Open Air Museum of Ethnography provides examples of folk architecture and crafts from around Georgia. Named after Giorgi Chitaia, a Georgian ethnographer who founded the museum in 1966, it features 70 buildings spread across 52 hectares of land. The exhibits are divided into nearly a dozen areas, each one representing a different part of Georgian ethnology.
Among the buildings that visitors will see are traditional, flat-roofed stone houses from eastern Georgia, watch towers from mountainous regions like Khevsureti and Svaneti, wooden houses with gable roofs from western Georgia, a Kakhetian wintery and a Kartlian water mill. Within many buildings, you will find displays of traditional costumes, ceramics, furniture and other household items specific to the region.
The museum also hosts a folk culture festival each summer and, in addition to the ethnographic exhibits, it offers superb views around Tbilisi. It also features the Rachasubani restaurant, a good place to try traditional Georgian cuisine.
To reach the museum, take bus 59 from the Rustaveli metro station toward Vake and get off at the last stop. From there, it is about a 30-minute walk, or you can catch a taxi for 3 or 4 lari. Alternatively, you can take bus 61 to Vake Park and walk through the park to the museum, or take the bus all the way to the gas station just past the Iranian embassy and then walk just over a kilometer up the road opposite.