Abkhazia in detail

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Dangers & Annoyances

The UK Foreign Office and US State Department, among many others, advise against travel to Abkhazia, so it's important to ensure your travel insurance covers you (most policies will not and you'll need to buy a special one) while you're here. You're effectively beyond diplomatic assistance while inside Abkhazia, which is the main reason many governments advise against travel here. That said, Abkhazia is for the most part a very safe and straight-forward travel destination, but it's important to check the latest situation on the ground before deciding to travel.

The area around the southern town of Gali, including the Abkhazian side of the Enguri River boundary, has a reputation for lawlessness. It's best to travel through this area by early afternoon, and avoid taking any transport in the area with no other passengers.

Money

Abkhazia’s currency is the Russian rouble (R). You can obtain roubles from ATMs in Sukhumi and Gagra and pay with international credit cards at some hotels and restaurants, and exchange cash US dollars or euros at banks and moneychangers. If possible, bring some roubles with you to ensure you can get to Sukhumi easily once you're across the border, as there are no ATMs there. It's easy to get roubles at any money exchange office in Tbilisi or Batumi.

Telephone

Abkhazia uses the Russian country code 7. At research time it was not possible to call from Georgia to Abkhazia except for the southern Gali district, which is within reach of Georgian mobile networks. It's easy to obtain a local SIM card: the main local network is Aquafon, but SIM cards can be purchased at many shops and supermarkets and then loaded with calling credit.

Time

Abkhazia is on Moscow time (GMT plus three hours), so put your clock back one hour if you enter by the Enguri boundary. There's no daylight saving time.