South Ossetia is a rebel provice of the Republic of Georgia recognized and supported by Russia as an independent state since 2008 but recognized by most countries in the world as part of the Republic of Georgia.

Last I heard the situation was a bit different to that in Abkhazia which I believe can be visited somehow.

I heard that in the case of South Ossetia you cannot visit from Russia (North Ossetia) unless you are a citizen of a CIS country, and that you cannot visit from Georgia at all.

Is this still the case in November 2011? Can I visit as foreign tourist either from Georgia or Russia and if so what visas/permits/paperwork will I need? If I can visit from Russia but not from Georgia will I have trouble subsequently visiting Georgia with a South Ossetia passport stamp?


I'm not asking about whether any western country issues travel advisories asking me not to visit. I'm aware it's unstable to some degree or other. If there are documented killings or kidnappings of western tourists in the last year that may be relevant however.

  • My answers are quite similar. Maybe we can join these questions.
    – VMAtm
    Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 10:11
  • Also see my answer for your old question
    – VMAtm
    Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 10:31
  • VMAtm: I decided to ask as separate questions because it seems Abkhazia is a lot more visitable than South Ossetia and also since they are separately run they are bound to have different paperwork. But I'm finding lots of fuzzy, conflicting, and changing information so I thought asking the experts here might get more definitive answers. Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 10:42

2 Answers 2


The situation is very complicated. Georgia says that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are Georgian territories, and you can go there from Georgia by this border crossing:

  • to South Ossetia from Gori - my friends from Germany made a trip this year.

If you get into these territories not by these points, you would get problems (fee from $1200 or jail up to 5 years!) during next visit to Georgia, according to Georgian law (sorry, only in russian), because you'll get stamps from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
You can only try to get new passport before visiting the Georgia.

From Russia you can visit these territories by this border crossing:

There is not much problem to get a visa from South Ossetia consulate in Moscow

  • When you say "you can go there from Georgia by this border crossing" and "you can visit these territories by this border crossing" are you saying you know for a fact that foreign tourists will be permitted to cross at these points? I believe I have heard different. Commented Nov 6, 2011 at 10:12
  • I know the foreigners who traveled this way this year.
    – VMAtm
    Commented Nov 6, 2011 at 20:48
  • Wow really? I had heard that this one was really uncrossable on other forums before my trip so this is major news for me - thanks! Commented Nov 6, 2011 at 20:53
  • @hippietrail May be my friends were extremely lucky - I do not live in Georgia and can't check the information by myself.
    – VMAtm
    Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 6:12
  • No it's still great information but maybe you can edit your answer to include the nationality(s) of your friends. Oh and whether they entered via Georgia or Russia of course! Commented Nov 7, 2011 at 7:42

I tried to get into South Ossetia from Gori, in May 2008. Less than 3 months Before the 5-day-war. When I got to the checkpoint on the Georgian side, the military asked me what I was doing there "Do you know there is a war going on here" he said. Well he was right - 2 month later.

So I would like to say. No way you can get into Soth Ossetia from Gori today. You have to go from North, take the Roki tunnel. If you get a visa from the South Ossetian embassy in Moscow.

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