Georgia: currency & languages
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jan 27, 2012 8:55 AM Last Post By: materina
Jan 26, 2012 3:19 AM
Georgia: currency & languagesHi everyone,
I'm going to Georgia for a couple of days in February and I've got two questions:
1) Do they accept any currency in restaurants/hostels/railway stations apart from GEL (e.g. EUR or USD)?
2) Which language should we speak to the Georgians: English? Russian maybe? No time to learn Georgian, I'm afraid.
Edited by: materina
Edited by: materina
Jan 26, 2012 3:58 AM
1Hi - and welcome to Thorn Tree.
I hope you have a very long and pleasant stay with all of us.
It will be most practical for you take $US or €uros and change them locally. You'll get a much better rate than anything out of the country.
It's always nice to learn a few phrases of the local language.
Once the people hear you say something like 'Excuse me, can you help please, how much, thank you' etc. (you'll have time to learn those - it'll only take 5 minutes or so), they'll do their best to help you. Eastern Europe is one of the most friendliest regions on the planet.
After all - you'd find it quite inconvenient if you only spoke English and a person started speaking to you, in your home country in Georgian - yes?
Good luck with all the planning and eventual trip.
Georgia is a little gem of a place.
Jan 26, 2012 5:09 AM
2I was in Georgia two years ago, then it was impossible to change the currency outside Georgia (I am from Switzerland and tried here and in Istanbul). This is insofar important as you should change all the money back before leaving Georgia. We were flying to Batumi and changed at the airport there, but the easiest way imho is simply to withdraw money at an ATM, we always found one when needed and that way you're not travelling with too much cash on you...
As for the language; I speak a little russian and it helped in situations were nobody could speak english, but you're not really making friends that way...English was a bit different because mostly young people were really keen to speak English.
Jan 26, 2012 11:04 PM
3It is always best to use the local currency in any country you travel to. Besides, i always thought it was half the fun using "play money:)
As for languages, there has been a major shift in Georgia over the last few years. They are no longer teaching Russian in schools as a second language, but have switched to English. That said, it is a new switch. As #1 said, try to learn a couple simple phrases to be courteous, then switch to English to get the point across, then try Russian if the English isn't working, then hand signals, then pictionary.
Jan 27, 2012 8:55 AM
4Thank You all.
I found out yesterday that it is impossible to buy lari here, in Warsaw, so I'm taking some euros with me.
The reason why I asked about the currency is that my friends and I don't have any hostels booked and we're going to travel around the country; I was wondering whether talking to people about accommodation and marshrutka tickets would be much of a linguistic challenge - glad to here English will do. As for body language - I am the master.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$380.38 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$132.38 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$1085.76 per night