The great up-and-coming capital of this up-and-coming country, Tbilisi is the nerve centre of Georgia’s drive towards modernity. It’s also a town steeped in history, making it a great place to explore the republic’s fine balance of the old and the new. The city sprawls out along the ridges that bubble about the banks of the Mtkvari River. The district of Old Tbilisi forms its heart; a medley of mysterious Byzantine churches, timber balconies and the occasional piece of striking modern art (check out Sioni Street). Above, draped over the hills, the mighty precipices, cathedral tops and bulwarks of Narikala stand firm, while well-to-do Vake district babbles with public fountains and pretty parks.