Georgia, safe or dangerous country?

Georgia has a dangerous reputation among Westerners, with corrupt police, thieving Georgians and Russia about to go to war overnight. We have noticed that these comments come from people who have never been to Georgia, or from people who came before the 2010s.

What’s the reality today?

In this article, we’ll take a comprehensive look at the country’s actual level of security or insecurity. You’ll see that while not everything is perfect, you’ll be amazed at how well freedom can be combined with security.

security in Georgia: Georgians and weapons

1. Safety in Georgia according to official authorities

According to the French embassy

French diplomacy has placed the whole of Georgia’s visitable territory under “reinforced vigilance”. She adds that there are no “major security problems”, but that theft and burglary can occur.

There are also red zones in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In addition to these two regions, they have added the entire border with Russia.

They then raise the issue of seismic, avalanche, landslide and transport risks.

We can already tell you, having lived in Georgia for several years, that we don’t understand why the whole country has been placed on heightened alert, given that there is much less insecurity than in Western countries such as France, Italy and Germany. Link to the French Embassy website.

Vigilance card for Georgia according to the French Embassy

Vigilance card for Georgia according to the French Embassy

According to other embassies

Canada: no need for special security measures. They also point out areas to be avoided, such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They also talk about the risks for gay communities, potential crime in the city and political demonstrations that can sometimes turn violent (they’re much more “bon enfant” than demonstrations we’ve witnessed in France). Link to the Canadian site.

United Kingdom: very close to the recommendations of the Canadian embassy. One difference to note is that they do specify that the crime rate is low, which is closer to our everyday life in Georgia. Link to English site.

United States: no special precautions for Georgia, as it’s the best mark on their scale. They also list the same 2 regions to avoid. Link to the US site.

As you can see, only French diplomacy communicates about a Georgia dangerous enough to merit a special recommendation. So who’s closer to reality?

2. Insecurity in Georgia’s major cities?

It’s widely acknowledged that the most dangerous places in any country are the cities. The larger they are, the greater the risk of crime (with a few exceptions). These are excellent indicators of a country’s level of safety. So what about Georgia?

Tbilisi, the capital

Tbilisi is Georgia’s main city in every respect. It is the administrative, cultural, economic and demographic capital. With 1.2 million inhabitants, it accounts for around a third of Georgia’s population. In other words, if we were to find delinquency and crime in Georgia, it would surely be here.

Having lived in the city for several years, we can confirm that Tbilisi is a great place to live. We have never heard of or witnessed any acts of delinquency or assault.

Of course, some neighborhoods are more disadvantaged than others, but there’s no risk in entering them. There are no lawless zones, and everyone can go wherever they want, whenever they want.

One problem: scams. Apart from the fact that if the price isn’t displayed, you can be sure you’ll pay a lot more, there’s a recurring scam that affects single (or unfaithful) men. These are appointments or meetings with young girls who will take you to the bar of their choice. You’ll have a few drinks, maybe a snack, and at the end you’ll get a very tasty bill! It can cost several hundred euros (or dollars). Of course, there are strong men on hand to make sure you don’t leave without settling the bill. Be wary of your Tinder encounters and choose the bar yourself.

You can walk around Tbilisi at night, even as a lone woman, and there’s no particular risk of being mugged. There’s no real crime problem in Georgia, so there’s little chance of being bothered by groups of riffraff, unlike in many European cities (among others).

To confirm our claims, presents a ranking of international cities according to their crime index. The first being the most dangerous (Caracas in Venezuela), the last being the safest. Out of 352 cities, Tbilisi ranks 316th, just above Lausanne in Switzerland.

So it’s far less risky to walk around Tbilisi than in the vast majority of the world’s cities.

Other cities? Batumi, Kutaisi, etc.

All Georgian cities are very calm when it comes to crime. These are far from big cities, and most people know each other and either welcome tourists to their homes or ignore them. In any case, they won’t assault or rob tourists. On the contrary, if Georgians witness such an act, they will not hesitate to intervene.

The only town where you could “possibly” feel unsafe is Batumi. With its casinos and reputation as the “Las Vegas of Georgia”, it’s obvious that this sometimes leads to insecurity, especially at night.

Tbilisi by night is safe

3. The shadow of the Russian threat over Georgia

Here’s the most delicate subject of this article: the threat of Russian intervention in Georgia. Should we be worried?

As a reminder, Russia attacked Georgia in 2008, and since that blitzkrieg has occupied 20% of its territory, along with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Of course, there’s an “anti-Russia” feeling among the locals. This feeling has been reinforced since the start of the war in Ukraine, as over 100,000 Russian citizens have come to Georgia in less than a year. In a small country of 3.7 million inhabitants, 100,000 more people in such a short space of time, with a different culture and greater purchasing power than most Georgians, this has created a few minor tensions.

As for the risk of a new Russian intervention, the risk is low at the moment (year 2024). Let’s take stock. For its part, Russia is bogged down in a war in Ukraine and does not have the forces needed to cover 2 conflicts and 2 different fronts. In Georgia, the government is said to be “pro-Russian”, while the people are said to be “pro-Europe”. It’s very clear that Georgia is playing both sides of the fence, and doesn’t want to offend either side at the moment: the Russian camp or the NATO/EU camp.

Ultimate reassurance tip: rely on US recommendations to their nationals. We’re not sure how, but they’re always one step ahead and are the first to order the repatriation of their citizens in the event of a future conflict.

4. What’s scary about Georgia

Despite the fact that Georgia has very little crime, making it one of the safest countries in the world, there are things that can be dangerous or scary for some people.

Road transport

For us, this is the number 1 danger in Georgia: a Georgian behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Before elaborating on this point, it’s important to keep things in proportion, in the sense that there’s no madness on the roads either. It’s much simpler and less crazy than countries like Iran or India. If you’re used to driving in big cities, you shouldn’t have any particular difficulties.

Many drivers imagine themselves living in the Fast & Furious franchise, will overtake anything that can be overtaken in a dangerous manner, and you may even see some doing drifts in the middle of traffic.

Secondly, they have a very “primitive” way of driving. In other words, they’ll always want to be first, force their way through and won’t drive intelligently. Instead, they’re capable of clogging up a street for 30 minutes, because everyone wants to go before everyone else. What’s more, some people still haven’t found their mirrors, and new lanes are regularly created, so don’t panic if you find a car in front of you around a bend – all you have to do is move aside a little, and everyone passes.

Other hazards may come as a surprise, such as cows and pigs roaming freely on certain roads, flocks of sheep crossing with their shepherds, or roads not always in good condition.

The weapons

Georgians don’t have the same relationship with weapons as most Westerners. It’s not unusual for them to have weapons (Kalashnikovs, revolvers, etc.), and they’re very good at shooting them.

It’s possible that when you’re out in the countryside, you’ll hear shooting not far from you. Don’t worry, they’re probably practicing shooting at targets and have a permit to do so. In fact, it’s not difficult to find places designed for shooting with a stop behind, which greatly limits accidents.

You may come across armed shepherds, or if you make friends with Georgians, they may show you their weapons. What’s more, some large supermarkets sell guns outside their doors, so it’s not a taboo subject.

If you’re not used to guns, or if they make you feel uncomfortable, don’t worry, because there’s never been a mass killing in Georgia, and they don’t have a culture or even a tendency to be aggressive with their weapons. They really are indispensable tools: the shepherd defends his herd faced with wolves and bears, Georgians want to know how to defend themselves against Russia. For some, it’s hunting (yes, they can hunt with a Kalashnikov) and for others, it’s the sporting side of shooting.

Remember, this is a very safe country, so there’s nothing to be afraid of, but at least you’re warned if you hear gunfire nearby. Moreover, according to Georgian law, it’s forbidden to carry a weapon in a public place, and even carrying a knife is forbidden.

Street dogs

There are many street dogs in Georgia, both in the countryside and in the cities. There are associations that try to sterilize them to limit this phenomenon, but they don’t have enough means and some people abandon their dogs in the street.

Generally speaking, they are not at all aggressive towards humans; in fact, they are very affectionate and will be eager for cuddles and food. There are few, if any, dangerous packs of dogs. You’ll need to be more wary of shepherds’ dogs. Some will be kind to you, but others will defend their flock. In the event of a bite, don’t take any chances and go straight to a clinic to get vaccinated against rabies, even though rabies cases are extremely rare.

Night drifting in Georgia

5. Tips for visiting Georgia safely


Always be on the lookout for other drivers, and beware of all moving and stationary vehicles. In case of irritation, never give a long blast on the horn, as this is taken as an insult.

In the event of a fender-bender, don’t be intimidated. Georgians are almost never insured (only 7% of the fleet), so they’ll try to get money out of you for repairs. So you need to be very well insured to avoid finding yourself in a very bad situation. All our vehicles are rented with the best insurance policy in Georgia.

In town

Enjoy yourself without worrying whether someone is following you, or whether you’ll end up in a dangerous neighborhood, or any other reflex you might have had in other countries. In Georgia, you’re clearly far from all these problems, you can just enjoy.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid discontent. First of all, avoid street cabs – you’ll pay far too much – and order your cab on the “Bolt” app. Secondly, it’s in the heart of tourist areas like Sololaki in Tbilisi that you’ll find the highest number of tourist scams, so be on the lookout for these places (example: a parrot on your shoulder and you have to pay).

General safety rules

Don’t criticize God or religion, they’re very orthodox believers and won’t accept the slightest word perceived as disrespectful on this subject. You can, however, discuss religion with most Georgians.

If you’re gay, avoid showing it publicly, especially on the campaign trail. If you decide to “assume” your orientation publicly, you could be in very serious trouble. Likewise, whether you’re a straight or gay couple, avoid overly affectionate demonstrations in public.

Conclusion: Georgia is one of the safest countries in the world

Georgia is an ultra-secure country, where you can go anywhere without fear of being mugged, where you can camp anywhere without fear of being robbed, and where night is not synonymous with danger.

The Georgian people are a tough people, who don’t smile easily, but they are also a people who have kept their principles and their honor. You won’t have to worry about him as long as you respect him, his culture and his beliefs. If you have a problem, it won’t be long before people come to help you.

Visit Georgia and enjoy this little paradise lost between the Caucasus mountains and the Black Sea.

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