Hookahs in Georgia: where to go, where to buy, hookah smoking traditions
Hookahs in Georgia are quite popular. Most establishments provide this service. Rather, it was provided until May 2018. Then came into force a law prohibiting smoking hookah indoors. Today you can enjoy aromatic smoke in the open air or in your home. Therefore, many Georgian smoke connoisseurs got devices in their homes, and the hookah industry began to develop rapidly.
The history of the emergence of a hookah in Georgia
The history of Georgia is quite rich. The peak of prosperity falls on the reign of Queen Tamara, it is 11-12 centuries. But before that, for a long time Georgia was under the yoke of the Persians, Mongols and Turks. It was during this period that the first masters of hookah craft appeared on the territory of modern Georgia and the population learns what hookah is.
The first mention of hookah culture in Georgia dates back to the 7th century. Part of the state was part of the Byzantine Empire, the other part belonged to the Persians. But the Arabs conquered the modern territory of Georgia in 645. Georgia receives a kind of independence, but is obliged to pay tribute. At the same time, the territory is densely populated by Arabs, bringing with them hookahs. For a while, the country even became Muslim, but still the Christian culture was superior.
As a result, almost nothing remained of Islam and Arabs in Georgia. With the exception of hookahs. These devices were so liked by local residents that their own masters appeared who made hookahs for senior officials.
In modern Georgia, hookah is respected. It can be found at weddings, many establishments offer good hookahs for tourists. Often used classic Egyptian and Syrian models. Georgia does not have its own hookah production, but this does not prevent them from honoring the culture and using hookah.
Features of the hookah culture in Georgia
Georgia is famous for its color, of course, they relate to the hookah in their own way. In general terms, the tradition of hookah smoking is not very different from Russian. But still in the East, some features would not have clearly understood. So, let's look at how smoking a hookah in Georgia:
- Hookah in Georgia is not something special, so it can be ordered on a table with a mass of food, and not even touch. This is normal.
- In Georgia, it is customary to drink wine under a hookah.
- The pulls are not too deep, more like cigarette smoking. In Georgia, the fact of having a hookah at the table is much more important than the smoking process itself.
- Often use classic models of hookahs, old, tall. Sometimes it seems that the institutions of the owners from Egypt or Turkey.
- There can be several hookahs on the table, but in this country it is customary to smoke one hookah per company. Therefore, in restaurants you will be offered one-time mouthpieces, and no one will be surprised if you order one hookah on the table.
- It is customary to serve a large number of dishes under the hookah, so do not be surprised if it seems to you that the cafe is having a wedding. This is just a small company decided to order a hookah.
- By the way, at weddings, hookah is a frequent guest, a large number of hookahs are served on tables. But they are not particularly watched, as we have said, hookah is more like an ornament, and not a way to enjoy the smoke.
- Previously, almost every institution had a hookah, but due to the ban and new laws, now you can smoke a hookah in an open area or at home. Therefore, stores are increasingly opening up on the streets of Tbilisi and other cities of Georgia.
- Smoking a hookah is accompanied by loud gatherings in the company. It is rare to meet a person who will smoke alone. Rather, they will approach you and ask you if everything is fine with you.
These are the main features of hookah smoking in Georgia. In general, if you want to enjoy fragrant smoke in this country, then there will be no problems. The main thing is to find a fun company that will support you.
Famous brands of hookahs
In Georgia there are no craftsmen who make hookahs. Yes, and there is no need for this, any institution acquires inexpensive models directly in Egypt and Turkey. Increasingly, German Amy hookahs began to appear, you can meet American models.
Despite the lack of own production of hookahs and brands, a large number of models are sold in Georgia, so picking up a hookah is not difficult. You just need to go to local shops and find a suitable hookah.
Famous Tobacco Brands in Georgia
Like hookahs, there is no tobacco production in Georgia. But in any institution you will be offered a good assortment. It is worth noting that the local population prefers strong tobacco, so here you can buy Tangiers, even Dark Side is found.
Also among the tobaccos is an unchanging classic: Shcherbetli, Al Faker, Starbaz. In cheaper establishments, the assortment of tastes is not too extensive. Tourists often ask for apple, watermelon, melon, grapes. Approximately such a set is waiting for you. But if you go to the hookah, then there the choice will be much better. Buying tobacco in Georgia will be a little more difficult. The law prohibits displaying it on display windows, so you have to ask. But where hookahs are sold, tobacco and coal are often sold.
On May 1, 2018, a law banning smoking in public places came into force. This is due to the fact that the country has a high rate of passive smoking. Popularization is banned in the first place, so it will be difficult to find tobacco on the windows. Smoking is prohibited in all buildings except residential buildings.
Moreover, if the institution has an open area, then it is allowed to smoke hookah on it. However, such sites have increased requirements. Nevertheless, in some establishments it is allowed to smoke hookah, for example, in casinos and cigar bars. Therefore, finding where to smoke a hookah in Georgia is not difficult.
Under the law, no one forbids you to bring a hookah with you. Of course, there are certain restrictions on the amount of tobacco, it is better to check with customs. However, there will be no complaints about the hookah, and you can enjoy the thick smoke in the place where you live.
Where to smoke a hookah in Georgia
In this country there are enough places where you can smoke a hookah. Let's look at the most popular establishments where you can cook delicious hookah:
- 144 STEPS. This is a gallery of modern art in Tbilisi and an art cafe all rolled into one. It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the city. The cozy atmosphere is relaxing and live music is played on Fridays. Ask the waiter for a hookah card, there is a large assortment of tobaccos and various flavors. The menu is European cuisine.
- Hookah Place is a hookah, known throughout the world. It is also located in Tbilisi. In addition to the hookah, which costs 25 GEL (absolutely any), you will be offered a large selection of wines, cheese and snacks. The institution works at any time of the day.
- Thousand and One Nights. This is a Persian restaurant located in the old Tbilisi district. Almost all dishes here are made from rice, there is also a large selection of oriental sweets. Tea ceremonies are held here, live music and atmosphere that immerses you in the ancient East. Naturally, this place serves delicious hookah.
- Hookah "By Beauty" in Batumi. It has a very pleasant atmosphere, helpful staff and delicious cuisine. The place is cozy, welcoming, a large selection of drinks, both with alcohol and without. It is worth noting that this is a hookah, so there is a huge selection of tobaccos and hookahs themselves.
- Cafe La Brioche, Batumi. Large establishment with prices above average. But the atmosphere is worth it. Here, delicious cuisine, live music plays, especially delicious coffee is worth noting. Of course, they offer hookah as an additional service, and surprisingly, it is very worthy. The assortment of tastes is not too large, but for sure you will pick up something from the classics.
- In Georgia you will find many more places where you can smoke hookah. Going even to small towns, you are very likely to find an institution where you will be offered a smoky hookah. Therefore, boldly embark on a journey and do not worry that you will not be able to enjoy the thick smoke.
Where to buy hookah in Georgia
Buying a hookah in Georgia is not difficult. You can do this in almost every major city, and in small ones there will be shops with devices. You can find a hookah in such places:
- Nargile House in Batumi;
- Chilim Shop in Batumi;
- HOOKAH baza in Tbilisi.
But one peculiarity is worth understanding: Georgia does not make hookahs, but only resells them. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to prices, for tourists they may be different. It is also worth noting that souvenir hookahs not intended for smoking can be sold.
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