Rike Park, Tbilisi
Rike Park lies on the left bank of the Kura (Mtkvari) River, in the very heart of Old Tbilisi. Significant cultural and historical sites surround the area on every side, most notably the Presidential Palace in the north, Metekhi Church and the monument of King Vakhtang I Gorgasali in the south.
Three bridges connect Rike Park with the city's western quarters. The most famous among them is the Bridge of Peace, shaped like a curved bow. The skeleton of the bridge is made of steel and covered with a glass roof. At night the construction is beautifully illuminated by LED lights. The bridge was erected in 2010 as a symbol of the celebration of life and peace.
Tourists crossing the Bridge of Peace will find themselves near the historic Jewish quarter. Here lies the Little Synagogue and the Jewish History Museum of Georgia. The main Jewish religious center, the Great Synagogue, is a bit further to the south, near the Metekhi Bridge.
Metekhi Bridge connects Rike Park with the heart of the Old Town. Here you will find Narikala Fortress, Tbilisi sulfur baths, and Sioni Cathedral. The bridge sits astride of Sharden Street, a well-known restaurant district where you can take a break from sightseeing to relax over a glass of Georgian wine. Or, if you feel the need to buy some souvenirs, Meidan Bazaar is just a few steps away.
From here you can access the spectacular Narikala Fortress via a cable car leaving from the south corner of Rike Park. The ride takes you over the Kura River and up a hill, atop of which is perched the formidable citadel. The aerial panorama of Old Tbilisi from the cable cars is unforgettable, particularly from a glass-floor wagon.
The third crossing connecting Rike Park with the shores of Kura is the Nikoloz Baratashvili Bridge. It is considered the least spectacular among the three bridges. Still, it will take you to the Anchiskhati Basilica and the fairytale-like clock tower of the Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater. It is also the shortest way to get to Freedom Square, the central point of Tbilisi.
But is Rike Park really worth visiting? The answer is yes!
Rike Park is a celebration of modern art. You won't find any traditional alleys or benches here. Instead, the park offers fanciful sculptures, music, and light shows accompanied by a choreographed fountain. There is also an artificial climbing wall, a giant white piano, a life-size chessboard and a maze where children can play hide-and-seek. Several restaurants offer the perfect atmosphere for a coffee or tea break.
The central point of Rike Park is the Music Theater and Exhibition Hall. The complex was designed by Italian architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas. It consists of two tubular, metallic structures that fuse nicely with the futuristic Peace Bridge. On the other hand, the theater contrasts sharply with the classic architecture of the Presidential Palace towering in the background. This rare combination truly conveys the tradition and modernity that blend with each other in Tbilisi at every step.
Currently, Rike Park remains unfinished due to lack of funds. Still, its original design continues to attract the attention of many, inspiring artists and performers who flock here to interact with visitors. Rike Park often hosts concerts, art exhibitions, and festivals such as the 2019 Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre. One recurring event is Tbilisoba, an annual October event celebrating the diversity and history of Tbilisi. The festival, beloved by Georgians and foreigners alike, draws even more crowds than usual to the ever- popular Rike Park.
Rike Park is a vital part of Old Tbilisi. Whether you like music, modern art, local festivals, or just want to enjoy a panoramic view of the Kura River, Rike is the right place for you. In appreciation for its beauty and convenient location, almost every city tour run by Advantour either starts or ends here. We hope you will come to love and enjoy Rike Park as much as we do.