Capital of several historical kingdoms within Georgia, Kutaisi is today being revitalised after years of post-Soviet decline. Georgia’s parliament was transferred from Tbilisi to brand-new quarters here in 2012, and Kutaisi's airport has become a destination for international budget airlines. There are several interesting natural, historical and architectural attractions within day-trip reach of the city.
Kutaisi is built around the Rioni River, with the city centre, first developed in the 17th century, on its left bank. To its north, the right bank rises up to an older area where the landmark Bagrati Cathedral overlooks the city.