Unsurprisingly, this is among the first questions would-be expats tend to ask before deciding on moving to Georgia (or, indeed, any other country!)
It’s no surprise, either. I don’t have a scientific study to back it up, but anecdotal evidence certainly suggests that a better climate is among the top reasons people are moving abroad in the first place.
And who can blame them? Especially if you can replace this:
… with this:
And save money while doing it.
Georgia Isn’t a Year-Round Paradise, Though
While summers are indeed incredibly pretty and also long here, it does get rather nippy in the winter!
You won’t encounter snow or sub-zero temperatures often (unless you venture out to the mountains, that is). But as the below chart, courtesy of Wikipedia, shows, it can and will drop down to 0 (low 30s to our American friends) or even to freezing, between November and March.
But despite this, my personal opinion is that it’s still very pleasant here. If you’re from a country that doesn’t list sunshine as its primary export item, you’re likely to find even the winters here fairly pleasant, compared to back home.
In comparison to the UK and most places in the Northeast of the US, you’ll find the winter temperatures to be similar to what you’re used to back home. The difference is that it’s for a much shorter period and accompanied by less wind and rainfall.
There’s more to it than just the temperature
Wind and rainfall are the two big things.
I don’t know about you, but I, for one, don’t mind slightly colder temperatures. You can get yourself a comfortable coat, and you won’t even notice that it’s 3 degrees outside.
But it’s when it’s pouring down days on end and when the cold is accompanied by hurricane-strength winds when things turn nasty.
Luckily, Tbilisi is very welcoming in both of those areas.
The average yearly rainfall here is just 495mm, with an average number of rainy days of 71. Compare this to London, where the corresponding figures are 601mm and 110 days, respectively.
There’s also much more sunshine than in many other places in Europe, with over 2,000 mean monthly sunshine hours (London stands at 1,632 and Berlin at 1,727, for a comparison).
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any reliable data on wind levels, but my own experience suggests that in this regard, too, Tbilisi is a reasonably pleasant place. And it makes sense – after all, the city lies in a valley.
Tbilisi Is Not the Only Place in Georgia, Though
It pays to keep in mind, especially if you’re originally from a relatively flat country yourself, that being a mountainous country, Georgia has many different climates.
While Tbilisi is relatively calm and dry, other places like Batumi get their fair share of both wind and rainfall. In fact, Batumi has among the most rain in all of Europe and Central Asia – standing at 2,435mm.
But the trade-off is much warmer average temperatures (in the winter, anyway) than you’d encounter in Tbilisi.
And looking beyond big cities, there are plenty of other places with entirely different climates. Up in the mountains, for instance, you can easily find towns that have a steady snow-cover for nearly half a year.
In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that while Georgia’s climate is both pleasant and diverse, it’s no Malaysia or Costa Rica. But you aren’t likely to be disappointed, so long as you know what to expect.
If you’re looking for year-round sun, you’ll likely be better off elsewhere. But if you’re someone who appreciates having distinct four seasons and you don’t mind a little bit of cold, Georgia will be enjoyable!