One of the trends in Eastern Europe is to convert old Soviet buildings into hip hostels (a few years ago I even stayed in a former prison) which is how I ended up at Fabrika in Tbilisi, Georgia. This one-time Soviet sewing factory has not only been transformed into a hostel, but an open-air marketplace with bars, restaurants, shops, and a local community vibe.

Tblisi is known as the “New Berlin” — at least this is what I was told a dozen times during my stay. It boasts a buzz-worthy club scene which I did not get chance to sample, but if my roommates were any indication, it’s well worth the trip. I was here to cover the utterly charming Tblisi Open Air Festival, the largest music festival in the the Caucasus Mountains, held in the fields high above the low-level chaos of Georgia’s capital.

The outside of the building is covered with a variety of street art murals (more on that over here). Out in the courtyard I spent most of time recovering from the festival with food from Shio Ramen or burgers accompanied by fries and beer.

The rooms at Fabrika are basic dorms with huge (and very clean) bathrooms. Another big selling point is the bone chilling air-conditioning which can be difficult to find in a $10 dorm room during summer. Downstairs is a cafe/chill-out area with a full menu of snacks, meals, and drinks.

It’s a huge building so with plenty of sleep options including dorms, apartment, and female-only rooms. Overall, I found this to be a small backpacker oasis and super helpful as a newcomer to both Tbilisi and Georgia. 5 out 5 stars! 

How To Sleep Here
Place: Fabrika Hostel
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia
Cost: $9 USD/per night for a hostel dorm