How to Travel to Abkhazia from Georgia
The most convenient way to get to the Abkhazian border is to take the night train from Tbilisi to Zugdidi (Georgian city close to the border). Be sure to purchase tickets at the train station in Tbilisi or at the Georgian Railways website in advance. This train departs from Tbilisi at 23:05 and arrives in Zugdidi at around 7:05 (just one hour before the Abkhazian side of the border opens). Once you arrive in Zugdidi, you will find taxi drivers who want you to get to the border for 10 Lari ($4). There is also a marshrutka (minibus) which costs around 3-5 Lari.
Crossing the Georgia-Abkhaz Border
After arriving at the border you will see a Georgian police building. You will be asked to show your passport and might be asked numerous questions about your purpose of travel to Abkhazia. (We do not recommend that you say anything related to Abkhazian independence). Once they take down your information, you are permitted to walk over the Inguri river, which is the actual Georgia-Abkhazia border. There is another small service – horse and buggy carriages that can take you over the bridge. The distance is around one kilometer, and the “ticket” is 5-10 Lari, but you can also easily walk.
On the other side of the river you will see a small metal shack on the right side with an Abkhazian official inside. Have your passport and clearance letter ready for him. He will check it and wave you through. (Keep in mind that the border on the Abkhazian side does not open until 8:00). After you are permitted to go through, you can just walk straight until you see another office on the right-hand side. You’ll have to show them your passport and clearance letter, and wait for them to analyze you for a few moments. Once you’re through, you will continue to a baggage scanner. Send your stuff through and you’re good to go! Take a bus/marshrutka/taxi to Sukhum and don’t forget to pick up your visa at the Consulate department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you are travelling with us, we will take care of the necessary visa procedures and pick-ups, and all the services will be included in your overall tour price.
Back to Georgia
When you are headed back to Georgia, keep in mind that the Abkhazian side of the border closes at 7:00, it is important to be on time. It is necessary that you do not glue the Abkhazian visa into your passport; if you do attach the visa to your passport, you will be fined upon entering back into Georgia.
The best way to return to Tbilisi is to take the night train from Zugdidi, which departs at 22:15 and arrives to Tbilisi at 6:20.
There is also a faster train which leaves Zugdidi at 17:55 and arrive to Tbilisi at 23:25.
Some of our tours of Abkhazia
4-Day Tour to Abkhazia from Georgia