Narikala Fortress dominates the Tbilisi skyline and will surely be on the itinerary of anyone who visits the city irrespective of their duration of stay. Before talking about the fortress itself, a word about how to reach the fortress.
Prior to 2012 there was only one way to reach the Narikala fortress – scale the steep hill. I am not sure how much of energy would be left to explore the fortress if you try to climb all the way up. In 2012, a cable car connectivity was established between the Narikala fortress and the Rike Park / Europe Square near the Metekhi Church, across the Mtkvari river.
The cable car is a nice alternative, it costs 2 GEL per person for a one way ride. A metro card is needed and this costs another 2 GEL. You can buy one card for all the members of your group and recharge it as needed. The same card can be used on the metro,Funicular and the rides at the Mtatsminda park. Cable car operates from 11 am to 11 pm. The cars are air conditioned and has tinted high glass doors that give you a wonderful view of the city. The ride is pretty fast and can get you atop the fortress in under 2 minutes.
Once you are at the top, you can turn right to go to the Kartlis Deda or turn left to go to the Narikala Fortress. You can also access the botanical garden from here. More about them in the coming posts.