A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Tbilisi vs. Balaton Lake for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Tbilisi or Balaton Lake?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Tbilisi or Balaton Lake? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Tbilisi or Balaton Lake?


Tbilisi is the capital of the country of Georgia. Its cobblestoned old town reflects a long, complicated history, with periods under Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings and Soviet Modernist structures. Looming over it all are Narikala, a reconstructed 4th-century fortress, and Kartlis Deda, an iconic statue of the "Mother of Georgia." Tbilisi’s eternal charms of a dramatic setting in the deep valley of the swift Mtkvari River, picturesque architecture, an ever-lively arts and cultural scene, and the welcoming Georgian lifestyle have been added a whole new 21st-century dimension of inviting cafes and restaurants serving ever better food, up-to-date lodgings from backpacker hostels to international five-stars, interesting bars and clubs, spruced-up museums, galleries, parks, plazas and whole streets, modernized transport and a sprinkling of eye-catching contemporary architecture. The mix of modern and ancient elements makes Tbilisi the beating heart of the South Caucasus and it is well worth a visit.

Balaton Lake

Balaton is a major freshwater lake in Hungary and the largest lake in Central Europe with a shoreline of 197 kilometers. The region around the lake is a popular holiday destination with a great number of resort towns and high-rise hotels to accommodate visitors seeking out lakeside activities, beaches, volcanic hills, and vineyards. Some of the towns are also very historic, offering examples from eighteenth-century art and architecture to castle ruins.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 10-Day Tours from Budapest, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Budapest.

Which place is cheaper, Balaton Lake or Tbilisi?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Tbilisi is $27, while the average daily cost in Balaton Lake is $85. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Tbilisi and Balaton Lake in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Tbilisi $12
    Balaton Lake $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Tbilisi $24
    Balaton Lake $94
Compare Hotels in Tbilisi and Balaton Lake

Looking for a hotel in Tbilisi or Balaton Lake? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Tbilisi

Hotels in Balaton Lake

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Tbilisi $5.77
    Balaton Lake $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tbilisi

Also for Tbilisi, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Tbilisi Airport to Tbilisi city : Private Transfer: $9.81
  • Transfer from Tbilisi Airport to Tbilisi: $10
  • Transfer from Tbilisi City to Tbilisi Airport: $10
  • Airport transfer by Visit-geo: $16
  • Tbilisi International Airport Departure Transfer From Tbilisi: $19
  • Tbilisi Airport Arrival Private Transfer To Accommodation & Hotel: $19
  • Tbilisi Private Arrival Airport Transfer: $19
  • Tbilisi Airport Transfers: Tbilisi Airport TBS to Tbilisi City in Standard Car: $22
  • Tbilisi Airport to Hotel Private Transfer : $23
  • Tbilisi Airport Transfers: Tbilisi Airport TBS to Tbilisi City in Standard Van: $27
  • Private Transfer: Tbilisi International Airport (TBS) to Tbilisi : $29
  • Comfortable,fast and safe private transfer from airport: $30

Is it cheaper to fly into Tbilisi or Balaton Lake?

Prices for flights to both Balaton Lake and Tbilisi change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Tbilisi $7.47
    Balaton Lake $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tbilisi

For Tbilisi, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Small-Group Khinkali and Khachapuri Cooking Class in Tbilisi: $24
  • Georgian traditional dumplings "Khinkali" cooking master class!!: $34
  • Adjarian Khachapuri Making Private Virtual Cooking Class: $40
  • Tbilisi Food Tour in a Local Family: $49
  • Cooking Adventures with Nini : $142
  • Mtskheta: Exploring Heritage and Cuisine through Cooking Classes: $150
  • Kazbegi Adventure - Private Day Trip From Tbilisi with a Dinner + Masterclass: $175
  • Georgian Cooking Class in a Family Wine Cellar : $191
  • Dinner in Funicular Restaurant Complex at Mtatsminda Park from Tbilisi: $225
  • Vardzia - Cave City, Rabati, and Borjomi All Inclusive Tour + Dinner: $233

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Tbilisi $14
    Balaton Lake $20

Tours and Activities in Tbilisi

For Tbilisi, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Rustaveli Avenue: Roam down Tbilisi's historic main street on an audio tour: $5.20
  • Skip the Line: Experimentorium Ticket: $5.45
  • Virtual tour to Georgia: $10
  • Private 4 days Food & Wine and Sightseeing tour to Kakheti, Kazbegi, Mtskheta.: $10
  • Discover Hidden Gems and Iconic Sights Walking Tour: $12
  • Tbilisi City Tour: $15
  • Kazbegi, Ananuri , Gudauri and Zhinvali (Group Tour): $19
  • Tbilisi & Mtskheta bus tour hop on hop off: $19
  • Landscapes of Ananuri Gudauri, Kazbegi and Hotel Rooms Group tour: $19
  • Tbilisi to Kazbegi, Gudauri, and Ananuri Day Tour: $19
  • Daily Tours to Caucasus Mountains-Gudauri,Kazbegi,Jinvali,Ananuri: $20
  • One day Tour in Kazbegi Mountains : $20

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Tbilisi $17
    Balaton Lake $8.66

Sample the Local Flavors in Tbilisi

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Tbilisi:

  • 3 Hours Walk Around Wine Tasting of 12 Different Wines in Tbilisi: $10
  • Guided Walking Tour of Old Tbilisi with Free Wine Tasting: $14
  • Tbilisi Walking Tour with Cable Cars, Wine Tasting and Traditional Bakery: $15
  • Wine Tasting Feel the Difference of Qvevri or Classical Wine: $16
  • Kakheti Wine Tour, Кахетия -Винный Тур: $19
  • Tbilisi.First impression of Tbilisi-evening walking,wine tasting: $19
  • Tbilisi Walking Tour Including Wine Tasting Cable Car and Bakery: $19
  • Whole day Wine Tour to Kakheti from Tbilisi: $20
  • Jewish Heritage Walking Tour with Kosher Wine Tasting: $22
  • Kakheti: Sighnaghi city of love, Bodbe, Telavi, Free wine tasting: $23
  • Tbilisi Walking Tour Including Cable Car and Wine Tasting: $25
  • Very Friendly Tbilisi Walking Tour (wine tasting & cable car): $27

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Tbilisi and Balaton Lake, we can see that Balaton Lake is more expensive. And not only is Tbilisi much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Tbilisi would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Tbilisi and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Balaton Lake would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Balaton Lake than you might in Tbilisi.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Tbilisi Expensive? and Is Balaton Lake Expensive?.

Which is Bigger, Tbilisi or Balaton Lake?

Tbilisi has a larger population, and is about 510 times larger than the population of Balaton Lake. When comparing the sizes of Tbilisi and Balaton Lake, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.