Digital Nomad in Georgia: Everything You Need to Know
This post is sponsored and written by SafetyWing, insurance for nomads.
Seeking an opportunity to live in a beautiful destination that doesn’t break the bank? Georgia might be the perfect fit for you. Boasting affordable housing, a low cost of living, good WiFi speeds, and a rich cultural history, being a digital nomad in Georgia gives you the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of North America.
In 2020, Georgia joined the fast-growing list of countries vying to attract digital nomads from around the world with their new visa. Remotely From Georgia (RFG) grants entry to the country for those who meet the income threshold for a whole year, and the possibility of residency for those willing to start an entrepreneurial venture there.
But it’s not just the easy-access visa and reliable WiFi that make Georgia an attractive destination for digital nomads. The food is par none, the history is rich, and the scenery breathtaking. If you’re looking for an affordable European adventure, this might just be your chance.
What is the Remotely From Georgia visa?
The Remotely From Georgia visa is one way to get a 360-day visa. It’s worth noting, however, that there are a lot of countries approved on a visa-free regime, so it’s worth checking to see if you qualify to enter without the RFG visa. Otherwise, stipulations for the RFG include:
- Be a citizen of one of the eligible countries
- Proof of $2,000 USD monthly income (or savings of $24,000)
- Have travel insurance with Covid-19 coverage
- Meet and adhere to COVID entry requirements
What you need to know about living in Georgia
There’s something to explore in Georgia for everyone. Whether you’re interested in art, culture, or food, it has you covered. However, nomads with a particular love of history might just find their dream destination in Georgia.
Located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, it’s been a place of historical significance since the ancient world. Not to mention, Georgian, formally titled Kartuli, is one of the oldest languages in the world, dating back to at least the 5th Century.
You can find history lurking in every corner of Europe, but Georgia is unique. It’s physical location means that it had a mixture of different influences as it grew. Here you’ll find gorgeous one-of-a-kind churches dotted around the country, ancient fortresses, and middle-age towns carved into hillsides.
- Population: 3.7 million
- Language spoken: Georgian (Kartuli; and younger generations learn English in school)
- Currency: Georgian Lari
- Cost of living: Low
- WiFi: Depends on where you are located in the city, but overall good!
Is Georgia safe?
Georgia touts itself as one of the safest places to travel in the world, and many report that traveling throughout the country is safe.
While the US government does have a travel advisory on specific Russian-occupied regions of the country, crime statistics are comparable to those you’d find in North America — you can find more detailed information in the 2020 Crime and Safety Report.
Georgia COVID-19 requirements (at time of writing)
Georgia is accepting tourists, but you’ll need to meet the requirements before entering the country.
Those who are vaccinated need to provide the following:
- Proof of vaccination OR proof of recovery from COVID within 100 days and an initial vaccination.
- A negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
If you are visiting Georgia but are not vaccinated, you need to:
- Travel directly to Georgia.
- Have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
- A second PCR test taken on day three of them being in the country.
Cost of living in Georgia
While you need to prove a monthly income of at least $2,000 to qualify for the Remotely From Georgia visa, it won’t cost that much to live as a digital nomad in Georgia.
The cost of living in Georgia is much lower than in many Western and European countries, with the average cost of living at $780 a month.
Here’s a specific look at some of the more popular destinations
You’ll find cobblestoned streets lined among the diverse architectural landscape in Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi. Nestled among the historic landmarks, you’ll find natural hot springs in bathhouses and a vibrant nightlife.
This hub city has a wildly affordable cost of living. You can find a one-bedroom apartment for less than $400 USD per month and get a meal for under $7.
With a population around 155,000, the seaside city of Batumi features a historic district that’s nestled between lush mountains and gorgeous plant life.
Apartments are a little cheaper in Batumi with monthly rent around $300 USD. That said, you’re looking at spending roughly the same spending amount for food.
Located in the western part of the country, Kutaisi is the second largest city in Georgia. It’s another vibrant, historic city that even boasts a medieval cathedral that should be on your must-see list. It’s also the place you want to be if outdoor festivals are your thing.
Nestled between the Black Sea and the mountains of the Pshitsenga, Kutaisi’s views are unmatched. Not unlike the rest of the country, this area is known for its fabulous food, some of which boasts a particular Asian inspiration, and it’s unmatched wine.
The cost of housing and food is comparable to other Georgian destinations, but there is some data to indicate commodities might be slightly more expensive in this area.
Working in Georgia
It’s no surprise with its low cost of living, gorgeous scenery, delicious food, and accessible visa, that Georgia is becoming a hot spot destination for digital nomads. But what’s it like to work there?
Wladislav Glad, a product designer working remotely for SafetyWing, decided to spend a year in Tbilisi:
“A wonderful city full of authentic places with all the infrastructure for remote work. Great combination between nature and urban areas. I found the locals friendly and welcoming. Tbilisi is truly a place of flourishing Georgian design, culture, and art.”
There isn’t a Starbucks on every corner in Georgia, but they do have great local cafes that boast decent WiFi and a warm welcoming environment. For those who enjoy co-working, spaces like LOKAL Tbilisi are available for an affordable fee, and are a great way to meet the nomads and remote workers already based there.
You’re sure to find a community in Georgia, especially in the capital of Tbilisi. The Digital Nomad Tbilisi group is a fantastic start – you can ask for any advice for being a digital nomad in Georgia or really any questions about Tbilisi or Georgia in general. They also organize a ton of events in Tbilisi, so you’ll be sure to always have something to do! It’s an active group of friendly, welcoming people, so you won’t feel lonely even if you travel alone.
Another great option is to start your stay at LOKAL CoLiving. CoLiving offers lots of advantages and gives you a quick community of people. LOKAL is awesome in that it focuses a lot of attention of getting local residents involved, so you’ll also be sure to meet Georgians. CoLiving at LOKAL also offers benefits like private or shared workspaces with 100mps WiFi, tons of power outlets, bright lighting, community dinners and other shenanigans, and discounts to paid events. LOKAL has maintained itself as a staple for digital nomads and locals in Tbilisi through the pandemic–despite the openings and closings of businesses, they mustered through and even managed to build and maintain a wonderful community.
Things to do in Georgia
While what you do while you’re there depends on where you’re staying, those looking to explore the whole country would do well to add a few things to their must-see list.
1. Old Town Tbilisi
With postcard-worthy scenery and rich culture, taking a walk through history in Old Town Tbilisi is a must. You’ll find breathtaking architecture, painted houses, plenty of places to eat and shop, and there’s even a waterfall.
2. Bagrati Cathedral
You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the wonder that is Bagrati Cathedral. Built in the 11th Century (you heard that correctly), this historic landmark boasts memorable teal rooftops and orange stone walls. This building has seen some hard times and suffered heavy damage over the years, but restoration and care makes this a must-see on your Georgian tour.
3. Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater
With an outside appearance that looks ripped from a scene of a Disney movie (Alice in Wonderland comes to mind), Gabriadze Theater is a must-visit. Even if you don’t have time for a show (though you probably want to make time), just taking the time to walk by and see it’s unique build will make your trip memorable.
Ready to get packing?
Whether you’re looking for an affordable place that boasts a beautiful view to punch the keys on your laptop or you want to productively avoid work by getting lost in history, Georgia might be the perfect place for you.
You can’t really ask for more than good WiFi, low housing, and wide open (or wildly historic) places to explore. Georgia is primed to be the next big digital nomad destination, so those thinking about going might want to start packing before it gets too popular.