Name: Republic of Georgia (Sak'art'velo)
Capital City: Tbilisi, Population: 1,225,000
Location: The nation of Georgia is located to the east of the Black Sea, separated by the Caucasus Mountains from Russia. It is north of Turkey and Armenia, and west of Azerbaijan. Tbilisi is in the eastern part of Georgia along both banks of the Mt'k'vari River, at the edge of the foothills of the Trialeti Range.
Geography: The country's highest point, (100% within its borders) is Mt. Kazbek, rising to 16,558 ft. (5,047 m).
Mt. Shkhara, is a few meters higher, and its southern slopes front Georgia, but it's mostly located in Russia, just to the southeast of Mt. Elbrus. It rises to 16,627 ft. (5,068m).
Europe's highest point, (Mt. Elbrus) is located just over Georgia's northern border, and reaches 18,841 ft. (5,633m).
The Kolkhida Lowlands front the Black Sea in the west, and numerous small rivers drain the area. The most significant rivers include the Kura and Rioni.
Georgia Population: 4,477 million (2013 est.)
Currency: Georgian Lari (GEL)
Exchange rate: USD$ 1.00= 2.18 GEL
International country code: + 995 (Georgia);
Area code: 32 (Tbilisi)
Ethnicity: Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5%
GDP total: $26.52 billion (2012 est.)
GDP per capita: $5,900 (2012 est.)
Language: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7% note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia.
Time zone: UTC/GMT +4 hours. No daylight saving time.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. European-type, two-pin plugs are used.
Largest Cities: (by population) Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi, Zugdidi
Name: Georgia's name comes from the Christian martyr Saint George
National Day: May 26
Religion: Christian majority, mainly Georgian Orthodox church. Also Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and other.
Climate: Georgia experiences cold winters with heavy snow in the Caucasus Mountain regions, and milder winters in the southern reaches of the country.
Summers are often hot in the east, with warm and pleasant Mediterranean-like conditions along the Black Sea coastal areas. Temperatures often reach the mid-70's (24°C).
Rain occurs mostly in spring and fall, with annual precipitation ranging anywhere from 15.7–63.0 in (400–1,600 mm) in the eastern portion of the country, and about 177.2 in (4,500 mm) in the west.
Eating and Drinking:
Popular "national" dishes include "khachapuri" (A cheese filled bread, it more resembles cheese pie) and khinkali (minced, spiced meat in a dumpling, served in enormous quantities). While the khachapuri comes with every meal (and it's very possible to get tired of this), khinkali is usually reserved for its own separate meal, where Georgian men will down 15 huge dumplings like it's no big deal.
Alcoholic drinks from Georgia include chacha and Georgian wine. Some of the most well-known Georgian wines include Pirosmani,Alazani, Akhasheni, Saperavi, and Kindzmarauli. Georgia is also home to many beer brands, including Natakhtari, Kazbegi, Argo, Kasri, and Karva.
Lagidze water is a Georgian flavored soda drink, made with a variety of natural syrups, sold bottled or mixed directly in a glass from asoda fountain. Common types of mineral water from Georgia include Borjomi, Nabeghlavi, Likani, and Sairme.
Governmental Type: Presidential, Republic
Coat of Arms: Georgia's coat of arms contains two lions rampant, both of which support a red shield containing the image of Saint George.
Mounted on top of the shield is the royal crown of Georgia, and below is a white ribbon displaying the country motto, "Strength is in Unity," in Mkhedruli script.
This recently adopted flag is a simple white rectangle, with a central red cross connecting all four sides of the flag; in each of the four corners is a small red bolnur-katskhuri cross.
Note that the five-cross flag dates back to the 14th century.
Taxis: Taxis in Georgia are the most convenient method of travel, and they are very cheap. Trips within Tbilisi range from 5-15 lari (GEL5-15), depending on distance. Drivers are known to exaggerate prices for foreigners. You should establish your destination and price before getting in the cab. All official taxis are required to install meters, but the drivers may not use them unless prompted. The vast majority of taxis in Georgia are still unofficial "gypsy cabs" driven by anyone looking to make some money.