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Batumi Travel Guide

Batumi: the longest promenade in Europe, murals of the old town, and banana jungles on the Black Sea coast

The Georgian city of Batumi is known as a resort and port. In the summer, it is indeed crowded, but life bustles even off-season. What to see besides sunsets, where in the capital of Adjara they make delicious coffee, what to eat besides khinkali and khachapuri, and which beach in the vicinity is the cleanest? We tell you in our extensive guide.

In Batumi, there is a subtropical climate, so there is green foliage all year round, lush palms, and blooming camellias. It’s the southernmost city on Georgia’s Black Sea coast. Beyond it lies the border and Turkey. But Batumi is not just about the sea, wine, beach, dolphins, and other standard resort attractions. People come here to gamble in casinos, stroll through the old town, and appreciate its unique and kitschy modern architecture. Batumi tries to stand out among Georgian cities not only by its location but also by having the country’s tallest buildings and the longest promenade in Europe – all of this in our extensive guide to Batumi.

Old Town – century-old mansions, cozy courtyards with hanging laundry, and the Turkish quarter

The first settlement in the place of modern Batumi was founded by the Greeks as early as the 7th-8th centuries BC. Over the past centuries, many have left their mark here: Romans, Turks, and Russians.

In the Old Town, you feel as if you’ve been transported 100-150 years back in time (if you ignore the cars and new buildings in the background): cobblestone streets, ancient houses with stucco work and wrought iron balconies, laundry hanging in cozy courtyards. You can simply wander the streets, admiring the old architecture. The Old Town is bordered by Rustaveli Avenue, and Chavchavadze and Melikishvili streets. Baratashvili Street, one of the main streets in the city, bisects Old Batumi.

In the Old Town, you feel as if you've been transported 100-150 years back in time (if you ignore the cars and new buildings in the background): cobblestone streets, ancient houses with stucco work and wrought iron balconies, laundry hanging in cozy courtyards.
In the Old Town, you feel as if you’ve been transported 100-150 years back in time (if you ignore the cars and new buildings in the background): cobblestone streets, ancient houses with stucco work and wrought iron balconies, laundry hanging in cozy courtyards. Photo: Kiryl / Unsplash.com

Piazza Square emulates Venice’s main square with Romanesque-style buildings, stained glass windows, and columns. Here, you can enjoy coffee or gelato on the terrace of one of the cafes, and in the evening, listen to live music. The main tower of the square is adorned with musical clocks, which play a segment of the Georgian anthem every three hours. The center of the square is embellished with a large marble mosaic (106 m²) by Natalia Amirejibi de Pita. She’s also the creator of mosaics in the presidential palace in Tbilisi, another one in Batumi, and is a co-founder of the foundation for the preservation of Soviet mosaics in Georgia – Ribi Rabo.

The center of the square is embellished with a large marble mosaic (106 m²) by Natalia Amirejibi de Pita.
The center of the Piazza Square is embellished with a large marble mosaic (106 m²) by Natalia Amirejibi de Pita. Photo: Martin Cígler / Wikimedia.org

Opposite Piazza Square stands Batumi’s oldest church — the Church of Saint Nicholas. Its construction began in 1865, and in 1878, the first bell was brought, which remains in the church today. The cathedral is a rare example of the neo-Gothic style in this area. It’s a white stone building with rectangular pointed towers and large stained-glass windows, frescoes, and ancient icons inside. House number 23 on Gamsakhurdia Street is the Armenian church from 1885. Beside it grows a magnolia tree planted by Ivan Aivazovsky — the painter visited the city in 1890.

The cathedral is a rare example of the neo-Gothic style in this area. It's a white stone building with rectangular pointed towers and large stained-glass windows, frescoes, and ancient icons inside.
The cathedral is a rare example of the neo-Gothic style in this area. It’s a white stone building with rectangular pointed towers and large stained-glass windows, frescoes, and ancient icons inside

Batumi is only 15 kilometers away from the Turkish border and in earlier times was part of the neighboring Muslim state, so the influence of the East here is very significant. This is also true in terms of religion: about 30% of the Ajarians are Muslims, mainly residents of the rural areas. In the Kutaisi Street area, there’s a Turkish quarter with hookah bars, cats, and the Orta Jame Mosque — it was built during the Turkish rule in 1866.

The merchant Sabashvili’s house is adorned with statues of Atlanteans, moldings, and a tower with a spire on the roof. Diagonally from it, on Memed Abashidze Street, 25, stands the former bank building — with a corner tower and stained glass. Its unique feature is the working astronomical clock, which displays the phases of the Moon and other information about what is happening in the sky. Nearby, there are instructions on how to use it.

The merchant Sabashvili's house is adorned with statues of Atlanteans, moldings, and a tower with a spire on the roof
The merchant Sabashvili’s house is adorned with statues of Atlanteans, moldings, and a tower with a spire on the roof. Photo: George Zvanelli / Unsplash.com
Its unique feature is the working astronomical clock, which displays the phases of the Moon and other information about what is happening in the sky.
The unique feature of the former bank building is the working astronomical clock, which displays the phases of the Moon and other information about what is happening in the sky. Photo: Adam Cohn / Flickr.com

Not far away is the Art Nouveau “Apollo” cinema — the oldest in Batumi. The building, with its massive circular window, was originally constructed as a stable, but it was transformed into a cinema at the beginning of the last century. Today, movies are shown there in both Georgian and English.

The very center of the city is Europe Square, with a monument of Medea holding the Golden Fleece and a sculpture of the politician Memed Abashidze, thanks to whom Adjara was annexed to Georgia in the early 20th century. In the middle of the square is a dry fountain, and during winter, the main Christmas tree is placed there.

A bit further towards the sea, at the intersection of Konstantin Gamsakhurdia Street and Rustaveli Avenue is a Theatre Square. The Neptune fountain in the center is an exact replica of a fountain in Bologna, and the water jets shoot from the breasts of sirens.

The very center of the city is Europe Square, with a monument of Medea holding the Golden Fleece and a sculpture of the politician Memed Abashidze, thanks to whom Adjara was annexed to Georgia in the early 20th century. In the middle of the square is a dry fountain, and during winter, the main city Christmas tree is placed there.
The very center of the city is Europe Square. In the middle of the square is a dry fountain, and during winter, the main city Christmas tree is placed there.

New architecture – kitsch for some, a reason to visit Batumi for others

Many approach the city’s contemporary architecture with skepticism or even sarcasm, considering it tacky and ridiculous. However, it has already become a part of Batumi’s identity, so it’s impossible not to mention it. Most of the extravagant buildings are in the new part of the city. Near Lake Ardagan is the Justice House, built in the shape of an upside-down champagne bottle. On Sherif Khimshiashvili Street, there’s a replica of the Roman Colosseum, a restaurant in the shape of a windmill, an upside-down version of the White House, a love tower with a spiral staircase and an observation deck resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Inferno nightclub and restaurant in the form of a mill
Inferno nightclub and restaurant in the form of a mill. Photo: Artem Bryzgalov / Unsplash.com

In general, architects in Batumi really like to emulate European and other landmarks. For instance, the Sheraton hotel building resembles the Lighthouse of Alexandria, and nearby are buildings whose architects were clearly inspired by Gaudí’s creations. The Piazza Square imitates the Venetian one.

Not only the “Sheraton”, but other chain hotels also stand out for their architecture. For example, near the May 6th park, a Marriott is under construction, which is often humorously compared to a giant phallus. Another “Marriott” in the shape of the letter “O” is located near Lake Ardagan. Close to Europe Square, a uniquely shaped Radisson has been built; due to its jagged lines and nighttime illumination, it appears two-dimensional.

Not only the "Sheraton", but other chain hotels also stand out for their architecture. For example, near the May 6th park, a Marriott is under construction, which is often humorously compared to a giant phallus. Another "Marriott" in the shape of the letter "O" is located near Lake Ardagan.
Not only the “Sheraton”, but other chain hotels also stand out for their architecture. For example, near the May 6th park, a Marriott is under construction, which is often humorously compared to a giant phallus. Another “Marriott” in the shape of the letter “O” is located near Lake Ardagan. Photo: Sergio Guardiola Herrador / Unsplash.com

The Batumi Tower residential complex can be seen from any part of the city — it’s the tallest building in Georgia. The tower, standing at a height of 245 meters with a small observation wheel on its spire, was intended to house the Batumi Technological University. However, in 2015, the Georgian-American project was shut down due to a lack of funding.

The Batumi Tower residential complex can be seen from any part of the city — it's the tallest building in Georgia. The tower stands at a height of 245 meters, with its distinctive feature being a small observation wheel on its spire.
The Batumi Tower residential complex can be seen from any part of the city — it’s the tallest building in Georgia. The tower stands at a height of 245 meters, with its distinctive feature being a small observation wheel on its spire. Photo: orientalizing / Flickr.com

The architecture of the “McDonald’s” on Khimshiashvili Street in the new part of the city is considered one of the most unique in the world. It’s a glass building with hanging gardens, a transparent roof, and tables nestled between flowerbeds; part of the building serves as a roof for the neighboring gas station.

The "McDonald's" on Khimshiashvili is a glass building with hanging gardens, a transparent roof, and tables situated between flower beds. Part of the building serves as a roof for the neighboring gas station.
The “McDonald’s” on Khimshiashvili is a glass building with hanging gardens, a transparent roof, and tables situated between flower beds. Part of the building serves as a roof for the neighboring gas station

Opposite “McDonald’s” is the controversial and even eerie “Magnolia”. This residential complex was built in 2010, but it looks about five times older — facades are worn out and stained from high humidity, poor-quality materials, and awkward sculptures in the courtyard. The building was supposed to be upscale, but it became the center of a scandal — five more floors were added to the nine-story structure, and the city council still hasn’t approved the building. Many locals refer to this complex as the main eyesore of the city, especially when contrasted with the tidy promenade.

A long walk along the sea: from the port to the airport, along the promenade and boulevard, with a stop at the main city park

Near the Batumi Bay and port is the lower station of the “Argo” cable car, which is considered one of the longest in Europe at 2,600 meters. The cable car leads to the top of Mount Anuria. There, at an altitude of 260 meters, one can enjoy a strong cup of coffee with a view of Batumi. A round trip ticket costs 30 lari (10.47 euros). For those who love hiking, there is the option to ascend to the viewpoint without the cable car, through authentic villages with mandarin orchards. It is no more than six kilometers from the port.

Near the Batumi Bay and port is the lower station of the "Argo" cable car, which is considered one of the longest in Europe at 2,600 meters
Near the Batumi Bay and port is the lower station of the “Argo” cable car, which is considered one of the longest in Europe at 2,600 meters. Photo: Collab Media / Unsplash.com

Near the lower cable car station, one can view the ships in the port and observe fishermen on the shore. From here, one can begin the walk along the sea – it’s seven kilometers from the sea port to the airport. Here, bicycle, rollerblade, and electric scooter rentals are available. The promenade has a bicycle lane, which is part of the 50-kilometer circular route “Batumi – Mirveti – Batumi”.

Near the lower cable car station, one can view the ships in the port and observe fishermen on the shore.
Near the lower cable car station, one can view the ships in the port and observe fishermen on the shore

Wonder Park: Ferris wheel, monument to Georgian women, and a late 19th-century lighthouse

Boat tours depart from Wonder Park (Miracle Park) for sea voyages. Renting an entire boat, which can accommodate a group of ten people, will cost 100 lari (34.90 euros). During the sea tour, you can witness the sunset, see dolphins, and in summer, dive into the clear waters away from the shore.

Wonder Park was established on the site of a former Turkish fortress. It includes:

    • A Ferris wheel. It operates every day from ten in the morning without any days off. From the cabins, you get a view of the city and the bay. A ticket costs ten lari (3.49 euros).
    • A lighthouse built in 1882. It used to stand at the very edge of the cape. However, during the construction of the promenade, a significant portion of the shoreline was filled in, so now it stands close to the pedestrian area.
A Ferris wheel and a lighthouse built in 1882, which used to stand at the very edge of the cape. During the construction of the promenade, a significant portion of the shoreline was filled in, and it ended up in the pedestrian area.
A Ferris wheel and a lighthouse built in 1882, which used to stand at the very edge of the cape. During the construction of the promenade, a significant portion of the shoreline was filled in, and it ended up in the pedestrian area
    • The 130-meter tall Alphabet Tower is a monument to the Georgian alphabet (Georgian script), which the Kartvelians (the self-name for Georgians) take pride in as one of the oldest in the world. The tower is built in the shape of a DNA spiral: the alphabet symbolizes the genetic code. You can ascend it using a panoramic elevator; the ascent is chargeable — 20 lari (6.98 euros). At the top, under a glass dome, there’s a bar, a restaurant, and an observation deck. The dome slowly makes a 360-degree rotation over the course of an hour.
    • The monument of Ali and Nino. Every day at 7 p.m., the figures come to life — approaching each other, merging, and then separating again. Sculptor Tamara Kvesitadze depicted the love story of a Muslim and a Christian — a Georgian princess, as described in the novel “Ali and Nino” by an unknown Azerbaijani writer.
The 130-meter tall Alphabet Tower is a monument to the Georgian alphabet (Georgian script), which the Kartvelians (the self-name for Georgians) take pride in as one of the oldest in the world.
The 130-meter tall Alphabet Tower is a monument to the Georgian alphabet (Georgian script), which the Kartvelians (the self-name for Georgians) take pride in as one of the oldest in the world. Photo: Anthony Surace / Flikckr.com
The monument of Ali and Nino, whose figures come to life every day at 7 p.m., approach each other, merge, and then separate again.
The monument of Ali and Nino, whose figures come to life every day at 7 p.m., approach each other, merge, and then separate again. Photo: Alexandr Voronsky / Unsplash.com

In the park, there are several sculptures, huge sneakers for fun photos by the sea, and stone chairs. There are areas for skateboarding, rollerblading, cycling, and a stage with performances almost every summer day.

On the promenade, there are areas for skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, and a stage where performances take place almost every day during the summer
On the promenade, there are areas for skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, and a stage where performances take place almost every day during the summer. Photo: Gio / Unsplash.com

Promenade and Boulevard

From the Miracle Park along the sea, there’s a bustling stretch with souvenir shops, a shooting range, cafes, and after 800 meters you’ll reach the central pier and beach. It’s usually crowded: both locals and tourists love to watch the sunsets, and in summer they dive from it.

At the beach near the central pier, it's usually crowded: both locals and tourists love to watch the sunsets, and in the summer, they dive into the water from the pier
At the beach near the central pier, it’s usually crowded: both locals and tourists love to watch the sunsets, and in the summer, they dive into the water from the pier. Photo by: Nika Tchokhonelidze / Unsplash.com

Opposite the pier begins the Batumi Boulevard, some of its plants have been preserved since the 19th century. One of the entrances to the boulevard is adorned with a Greek-style colonnade. During Soviet times, it was considered one of the symbols of the city, so it was often depicted on postcards.

Opposite the pier begins the Batumi Boulevard, on which some plants have been preserved from the 19th century. One of the entrances to the boulevard is adorned with a colonnade in the Greek style
Opposite the pier begins the Batumi Boulevard, on which some plants have been preserved from the 19th century. One of the entrances to the boulevard is adorned with a colonnade in the Greek style

At the beginning of the boulevard, there’s a square with light and music fountains, a bamboo grove, and a wedding palace (whose shape reminds many of a pig’s head). In the registry office, you can legalize your relationship 24/7; you just need to find witnesses in advance, translate the documents, get them notarized, and submit a preliminary application to the Justice House. The certificate will be issued in the Georgian language.

In this part of the boulevard, there are many activities: tables for table tennis, tennis courts, billiards, chess, and sports areas. There’s also a bird nursery, home to swans, pelicans, and peacocks.

From the Miracle Park along the sea stretches a very lively area with souvenir shops, shooting ranges, and cafes.
From the Miracle Park along the sea stretches a very lively area with souvenir shops, shooting ranges, and cafes. Photo: Darya Tryfanava / Unsplash.com

May 6th Park and Dolphinarium

May 6th Park is a favorite place for both locals and tourists to stroll. Paths are laid around Lake Nuri Geli, and from the southern side, there is a beautiful view of the mountains.

In the May 6th Park, paths are laid around Lake Nuri Geli, and from the southern side, there is a beautiful view of the mountains
In the May 6th Park, paths are laid around Lake Nuri Geli, and from the southern side, there is a beautiful view of the mountains. Photo: Kober / Wikimedia.org

Almost opposite the entrance to the May 6th park on a residential building on Abashidze Street, there is a huge graffiti dedicated to the dog Kupata. This is a local landmark. The black and white stray dog, Kupata, lives here and became famous for helping children cross the road.

The Batumi Dolphinarium was once the only one in the entire Soviet Union and was featured in the movie “Love and Doves”. The local zoo has kangaroos, deer, primate sections, and various activities for children: attractions, pedal boats. There are many second-hand stores on the streets near the park.

Opposite the entrance to the May 6th Park, there is a large graffiti dedicated to the dog Kupate. The black and white stray dog Kupate lives here and became famous for helping children cross the road
Opposite the entrance to the May 6th Park, there is a large graffiti dedicated to the dog Kupate. The black and white stray dog Kupate lives here and became famous for helping children cross the road

New Boulevard and Lech and Maria Kaczyński Park

After the May 6th Park begins the new part of Batumi’s boulevard. It starts brightly with musical fountains on Lake Ardagan. The lake has three islands connected by bridges. On the largest island is the Sunset Batumi restaurant, while the smaller ones are populated with willows and nesting birds. Next to the lake is an open-air miniature museum featuring replicas of traditional Adjarian houses.

When walking along the boulevard and promenade, consider bringing dog food with you. Friendly dogs are everywhere, and they love accompanying walkers. If the dog has a tag on its ear, it means the dog has been sterilized and vaccinated against rabies. One of Batumi’s animals even made it to Google Maps as an attraction: the well-fed dog Baton lives near a store on Pirosmani Street, about ten minutes’ walk from Lake Ardagan. Sometimes there’s even a line to pet him.

When walking along the boulevard and promenade, consider bringing dog food with you. Friendly dogs are everywhere, and they love accompanying walkers. If the dog has a tag on its ear, it means the dog has been sterilized and vaccinated against rabies.
When walking along the boulevard and promenade, consider bringing dog food with you. Friendly dogs are everywhere, and they love accompanying walkers. If the dog has a tag on its ear, it means the dog has been sterilized and vaccinated against rabies. Photo: Leo Sokolovsky / Unsplash.com

The next point on the boulevard is the Lech and Maria Kaczyński Park. This is a completely new part of the city; there are fewer tourists and activities here, and the atmosphere is more relaxed. The park has many alleys and flowerbeds, playgrounds, and also unique installations—huge flip-flops on eggs, the words “Where” and “Liberte” against the backdrop of the sea, fountains bursting from beneath the ground, and a stone labyrinth of desires.

The Lech and Maria Kaczyński Park is a completely new part of the city, with fewer tourists and activities, creating a calmer atmosphere. Photo: Formaloi / Wikimedia.org
The Lech and Maria Kaczyński Park is a completely new part of the city, with fewer tourists and activities, creating a calmer atmosphere. Photo: Formaloi / Wikimedia.org

The final point of the promenade and boulevard is a platform near the airport. It’s one of Batumi’s most Instagrammable spots, where you can capture planes taking off or landing in the city. It’s best to go on weekdays for photos and videos, as it’s very crowded on weekends: wedding processions, bikers, and locals all flock here.

Culture

The Adjara Museum of Arts (Gorgiladze Street, 8) is a small two-story gallery with collections featuring works by Niko Pirosmani, Lado Gudiashvili, and David Kakabadze. In addition to paintings, the museum displays statues, sculptures, and engravings.

The Archaeological Museum (Chavchavadze Street, 77) has gathered more than 22,000 exhibits, including household items, jewelry, tools from various eras, dishes, and Colchis-era clay pitchers found in Adjara.

The “Bordjgalo” Ethnographic Museum is located outside the city, in the Kakhabeti village – a ten-minute drive from Batumi. The museum’s creator, Keman Turmanidze, has assembled models of Adjara’s residential houses, with mannequins depicting the lifestyles and folk crafts from various eras.

The creator of "Bordjgalo" has assembled models of Adjara's residential houses, and the mannequins depict the lifestyles and folk crafts from various eras. Photo: "Bordjgalo" Ethnographic Museum
The creator of “Bordjgalo” has assembled models of Adjara’s residential houses, and the mannequins depict the lifestyles and folk crafts from various eras. Photo: “Bordjgalo” Ethnographic Museum

Batumi has several theaters, but all the performances are in the Georgian language.

Summer Theater (Batumi Boulevard). Most events take place in the summer because the building is not heated. Local groups, such as Jazz Big Bang, Geo Planet, and choreographic ensembles, perform here. Some concerts, festivals, and performances occasionally offer free admission.

Puppet Theater (Abashidze Avenue, 49). The performances in the theater are quite short, no more than 45 minutes. All performances are only in Georgian, but the plots are usually familiar to children from fairy tales.

Dramatic Theater (Rustaveli Avenue, 1). Besides plays and symphonic orchestra performances, you can visit the theater museum and see paintings on the ceiling and walls inspired by Rustaveli’s poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”.

Center for Arts and Music (Odisea Dimitriadi Street, 1). It is often referred to as the music center, sometimes as the opera and ballet theater. This unique building with a semi-glass facade is located on the outskirts of the city. Mostly folk, opera, and symphonic concerts are held there, as well as performances by local groups.

In the summer, concert venues are spread throughout the city – on the boulevard, near the sea, on Europe Square, near the Alphabet Tower. You can often attend free performances, even by very famous artists, for example, the Mgzavrebi band. Popular artists from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus also come.

Surroundings

Sameba Church

10 kilometers away from Batumi

It’s about ten kilometers from the city center to the top of the mountain where the church stands. It’s best to visit Sameba in the first half of the day or on a cloudy day to avoid the blinding sun. Sunset is, of course, very beautiful, but you should consider that you will have to descend the serpentine in the twilight.

How to get there: You can take public transport for part of the way: buses No. 2 and 2a, minibuses No. 165 and 140 go from the city in that direction, and then you can walk. A taxi from the Old Town will cost between seven and ten lari (2.44–3.49 euros).

It's best to visit Sameba in the first half of the day or on a cloudy day to avoid the blinding sun
It’s best to visit Sameba in the first half of the day or on a cloudy day to avoid the blinding sun

Cross in the Gonio Village

10 kilometers away from Batumi

Another observation deck is located on the opposite side from the city, beyond the airport. Beautiful landscapes open up at sunset. On weekends, there are many wedding processions and tourists. Beneath the cross is the Gonio fortress with towers that are several millennia old. Inside, there is a small but interesting museum featuring items found during excavations in the area. Over the years, the fortress belonged to the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and the Russian Empire.

How to get there: You can approach the observation deck almost directly by taking minibus No. 181, which goes through the entire city via Chavchavadze and Pushkin streets. Alternatively, you can take bus No. 16 from the city towards Sarpi, get off at the “Avgia” stop, and walk from there or call a taxi. From this point, a taxi will cost between three and five lari (1.05–1.74 euros). The walk to the cross is about four kilometers. If you take a taxi directly from the city, the fare will be between 14 and 16 lari (4.89–5.58 euros).

The Gonio fortress with its towers is several millennia old. Over time, the fortress belonged to the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and the Russian Empire
The Gonio fortress with its towers is several millennia old. Over time, the fortress belonged to the Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and the Russian Empire. Photo: DDohler / Wikimedia.org

Botanical Garden

10 kilometers from Batumi

The Botanical Garden is a must-see in Batumi. We advise allocating a whole day for it: the area is vast, and there’s also access to the beach — during the season, you can conclude your walk with a swim. The garden is divided into nine climate zones. It hosts plants from Mexico, Japan, the Himalayas, North America, and New Zealand. The botanical garden is most beautiful in May when everything is in bloom. But in November, kiwi and mandarins hang from the branches. The entrance fee is 20 lari (6.98 euros).

How to get there: Bus No. 10 or minibus No. 31, a taxi from Batumi costs about 10–15 lari (3.49–5.23 euros).

The botanical garden is divided into nine climate zones. It hosts plants from Mexico, Japan, the Himalayas, North America, and New Zealand. The botanical garden is most beautiful in May when everything is in bloom
The botanical garden is divided into nine climate zones. It hosts plants from Mexico, Japan, the Himalayas, North America, and New Zealand. The botanical garden is most beautiful in May when everything is in bloom. Photo: Batumi Botanical Garden

Beaches

15 kilometers from Batumi

Closer to the Turkish border are two resort towns – Sarpi and Kvariati. The only attractions there are clean beaches and the St. Andrew the First Called waterfall near the customs post.

Another clean but very crowded beach in the summer due to its exotic nature is in Tsikhisdziri. A long staircase through banana jungles leads to the sea.

How to get there: You can get to Tsikhisdziri on any minibus that goes to Kobuleti. A landmark on the map where you need to get off is the Castello Mare hotel. A taxi from Batumi to the Tsikhisdziri beach will cost from 20 lari (6.98 euros).

Closer to the Turkish border are two resort towns - Sarpi and Kvariati. The only attractions there are clean beaches and the St. Andrew the First Called waterfall near the customs post
Closer to the Turkish border are two resort towns – Sarpi and Kvariati. The only attractions there are clean beaches and the St. Andrew the First Called waterfall near the customs post. Photo: Giorgi Balakhadze / Wikimedia.org

Mtirala National Park

30 kilometers from Batumi

The “Mtirala” park is located about an hour’s drive from Batumi. Its name translates as “crying mountain” — and indeed, it receives more precipitation, is more humid and cooler than below. The park has two trekking trails. A seven-kilometer one for simple day trips, which has a manual cableway, a lake with icy mountain water, and a waterfall. And a longer route — 15 kilometers, where you can stay overnight in a tent.

How to get there: The easiest way is by taxi, heading to the village of Chakvistavi, where the park’s visitor center is located. The trip will cost 30 lari (10.47 euros) if coming from Batumi. You can also reach Chakvi by minibus or bus, and then the taxi from there will cost about 20 lari (6.98 euros). A direct minibus to Chakvistavi only runs twice a week – on Mondays and Fridays at 10:20. The fare is five lari (1.74 euros).In the "Mtirala" park, there are two trekking trails. One is seven kilometers long for simple day trips, featuring a manual cableway, a lake with icy mountain water, and a waterfall. The longer route is 15 kilometers, where you can stay overnight in a tent

In the "Mtirala" park, there are two trekking trails. One is seven kilometers long for simple day trips, featuring a manual cableway, a lake with icy mountain water, and a waterfall. The longer route is 15 kilometers, where you can stay overnight in a tent
In the “Mtirala” park, there are two trekking trails. One is seven kilometers long for simple day trips, featuring a manual cableway, a lake with icy mountain water, and a waterfall. The longer route is 15 kilometers, where you can stay overnight in a tent. Photo: Paata vardanashvili / Wikimedia.org

Ispani Marshlands

30 kilometers from Batumi

A unique natural monument is located near Kobuleti – the Ispani marshlands. They are special because marshlands in a subtropical climate are a rarity. These are sphagnum bogs, covered with peat moss that effectively absorbs carbon dioxide, leading to the formation of peat. Additionally, the Ispani marshes are home to sedges, sundews, rhododendrons, and a rare species of fern. Migratory birds also favor these areas. For visitors, a two-kilometer trail has been laid out across the marsh, complete with an observation tower.

How to get there: To get to the marshlands, you need to reach Kobuleti – either by a direct minibus or a passing one from the city or by taxi, which costs from 20 lari (6.98 euros).

For visitors, a two-kilometer trail has been laid out across the Ispani marshland, complete with an observation tower
For visitors, a two-kilometer trail has been laid out across the Ispani marshland, complete with an observation tower. Photo: Lasha Zubashvili / Wikimedia.org

Parks

50 kilometers from Batumi

Near the village of Shekvetili, there are several parks. They are all within walking distance of each other.

Musicians’ Park. Admission is free, and it’s open 24/7. The area consists of an eucalyptus grove, where 37 statues of Georgian and globally famous singers are placed. These statues are equipped with motion sensors: as soon as you approach a sculpture, music from the artist begins to play through the speakers.

“Georgia in Miniature” Park. This park showcases around 50 miniatures of famous Georgian landmarks — palaces, fortresses, temples, cave cities. The entrance fee to the park is six lari (2.09 euros).

In the "Georgia in Miniatures" park, there are around 50 miniatures of famous Georgian landmarks - palaces, fortresses, temples, and cave cities
In the “Georgia in Miniatures” park, there are around 50 miniatures of famous Georgian landmarks – palaces, fortresses, temples, and cave cities. Photo: Kober / Wikimedia.org

Dendropark. Admission is free. Various birds live on the premises — pink flamingos, parrots, herons, peacocks, and even lemurs, which visitors can feed. The park features a bamboo grove and rare trees brought from all over Georgia.

How to get there. You can reach Shekvetili by taking any minibus (marshrutka) that goes to Kutaisi, Poti, Tbilisi, or Ureki. The journey takes about an hour, and it costs seven lari (2.44 euros). Alternatively, you can take a taxi, which would cost around 40 lari (13.96 euros).

Transadjar Highway

If you’re looking for beautiful road landscapes, it’s worth taking a ride on the 160-kilometer Transadjar Highway. It connects Batumi with Akhaltsikhe and is considered one of the most scenic roads in the Caucasus. However, in winter and the off-season, the section after the village of Khulo is almost impassable because the road is rarely cleared. Even during the summer, it’s best to travel in a vehicle with high clearance, as the most challenging part of the road is unpaved.

Along the way, you can make several stops, for instance, at the waterfalls in Makhuntseti and Mirveti, near the 900-year-old stone bridge of Queen Tamar over the Adjaristsqali River, or visit the Green Lake.

On the way from Batumi to Akhaltsikhe, you can make several stops, for example, at the waterfalls in Makhuntseti and Mirveti, near the 900-year-old stone bridge of Queen Tamar over the Adjaristsqali River.
On the way from Batumi to Akhaltsikhe, you can make several stops, for example, at the waterfalls in Makhuntseti and Mirveti, near the 900-year-old stone bridge of Queen Tamar over the Adjaristsqali River. Photo: Yasuhiro Kojima / Wikimedia.org

Winter sports enthusiasts can head to the Goderdzi ski resort, which is 110 kilometers from Batumi on the Transadjar Highway. The road up to Khulo is good, but beyond that, it’s an unpaved road, and the travel speed depends on the weather.

Eating and Drinking

With the arrival of Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians in Batumi, the food service has changed quite significantly. Visitors opened many new establishments. Traditional Georgian restaurants have been complemented by craft bars, third-wave coffee shops, and fast food. But let’s start with the traditional — where to eat khinkali and khachapuri.

There are many Georgian cuisine restaurants in the Old Town and on Pushkin Street. The menu is roughly the same everywhere.

Pirosmani — sometimes during the season, people even queue to get in. In the evening, you can have dinner with live music from local performers.There are many restaurants with Georgian cuisine in the Old Town and on Pushkin Street. One of the most popular is Pirosmani. Sometimes during the season, people even queue to get in. Photo: Pirosmani

There are many restaurants with Georgian cuisine in the Old Town and on Pushkin Street. One of the most popular is Pirosmani. Sometimes during the season, people even queue to get in
There are many restaurants with Georgian cuisine in the Old Town and on Pushkin Street. One of the most popular is Pirosmani. Sometimes during the season, people even queue to get in. Photo: Pirosmani

Both tourists and locals give good reviews to restaurants Lurji Sufra, Retro, Kiziki, Tangerine Mangal. Porto Franko serves tasty khachapuri of different types, while Sisa-Tura offers Mingrelian cuisine. The Mingrelians love spicy food; there’s even a joke that they have breakfast with ajika sandwiches. Some of the most famous Mingrelian dishes are gomi, a cornmeal porridge with suluguni cheese, and a thick Mingrelian kharcho with walnuts.

Adjara is the birthplace of the most famous khachapuri, known as "Adjarian" or "boat", as tourists often call it. In 2019, khachapuri was granted the status of an intangible cultural heritage of Georgia
Adjara is the birthplace of the most famous khachapuri, known as “Adjarian” or “boat”, as tourists often call it. In 2019, khachapuri was granted the status of an intangible cultural heritage of Georgia. Photo: Retro

Batumi also has several Ukrainian restaurants with home-cooked meals: “Yak vdoma”, “U sester”, Bez Mezh, and “Ukraine”. For delicious pizza with Italian ingredients, try Aromi Italiani.

For breakfast, you can visit Provence, Place, Moloko, or Freeduchio.

To grab a coffee to-go or sit down with a cup of Americano and dessert, you can head to Nova, Greejeen.coffee, Oriental, Coffeetopia, or Mr. Niko.

In Batumi coffee shops, as befits third-wave coffee shops, in addition to regular drinks, they brew specialty coffee using alternative methods
In Batumi coffee shops, as befits third-wave coffee shops, in addition to regular drinks, they brew specialty coffee using alternative methods. Photo: Nova

A wide variety of desserts are available at the Dona café, and delicious natural ice cream can be found at the Luca Polare chain.

Bars are primarily concentrated in the Old Town. We recommend checking out the tinctures at Popey Craft Bar or the Stopka bar, having a chacha-based cocktail at Chacha Time, a traditional White Russian or Long Island at Meow Bar, experiencing the atmosphere of an Irish bar at Mary’s Pub, and for juicy burgers, head to Smoke Burgers & Bar.

Bars are primarily located in the Old Town. We recommend trying a cocktail based on chacha at Chacha Time
Bars are primarily located in the Old Town. We recommend trying a cocktail based on chacha at Chacha Time. Photo: Chacha Time

You can enjoy a glass of wine or buy a bottle of “Kindzmarauli” as a gift at 8000 Vintages, Symposium, or Midi Wine. You’ll find craft beer from local and Russian breweries at Sami Ludi and Bar Gosty. At the Batumuri brewery in Batumi, you can purchase fresh, locally brewed beer. It’s sold in containers starting from three liters.

You can have a glass of wine or buy a bottle of "Kindzmarauli" as a gift at 8000 Vintages, Symposium, Midi Wine
You can have a glass of wine or buy a bottle of “Kindzmarauli” as a gift at 8000 Vintages, Symposium, Midi Wine. Photo: Kiryl / Unsplash.com

For seafood, head to the fish market. In local restaurants, for a small extra charge of five to ten lari (1.74–3.49 euros) per kilogram, they will prepare anything you choose from the stalls for you. Here, you can also dine with a sea view, ordering additional dishes or drinks from the menu.

For seafood, head to the fish market. In local restaurants, for a small surcharge of five to ten lari per kilogram, they will prepare everything you choose from the counters
For seafood, head to the fish market. In local restaurants, for a small surcharge of five to ten lari per kilogram, they will prepare everything you choose from the counters. Photo: Tbel Abuseridze / Unsplash.com

The map

Where to stay

The best areas for tourists are closer to the sea: the vicinity of the boulevard, May 6 Park, Rustaveli Avenue. The most atmospheric place to stay is in the Old Town. Here there are many apartments and hotels for any budget. Tourists have given good reviews about the five-star Divan hotel with its own spa center on Zhordania Street. A room for two here will cost from 160 lari (55.83 euros). Tourists also praise the Boutique Hotel 32 on Gogebashvili Street near the port. A room for two here will cost 110 lari (38.39 euros).

Slightly lower prices for housing can be found in the area of Chavchavadze, Pushkin Streets, and Tbilisi Square. There are no particular attractions here, it’s a bit noisy, further from the sea, but it’s almost the Old Town area, so you can stay here and save a bit. Staying in a hostel is the most budget-friendly option: from 18 lari per night (6.28 euros). For example, hostels Retro or Masala.

The best areas for tourists are closer to the sea: the surroundings of the boulevard, May 6 park, and Rustaveli Avenue. The most atmospheric place to stay is in the Old Town
The best areas for tourists are closer to the sea: the surroundings of the boulevard, May 6 park, and Rustaveli Avenue. The most atmospheric place to stay is in the Old Town. Photo: Kiryl / Unsplash.com

The liveliest, noisiest street is Rustaveli Avenue. It runs through the entire central part of the city – from the port, past May 6 Park, to the New Boulevard. Everything is nearby here – the sea, bars and restaurants, and attractions. On Rustaveli Avenue, there are chain hotels – Sheraton, Radisson, and Hilton. At Sheraton, a room for two costs 365 lari (127.37 euros).

There are five-star hotels – for example, Intourist. It is located right next to Europe Square. Here, two guests can rent a room with breakfast for 120 lari (41.88 euros).

Many daily rentals can be found in the area of the new boulevard and Khimshiashvili Street, where Rustaveli Avenue ends. There, apartments are rented in skyscrapers like Orbi, Alliance Palace, and other new buildings. The prices are quite reasonable – from 100 lari (34.90 euros) for a room with all amenities, there’s a large selection, most apartments have sea views, but it’s about a half-hour walk to the center.

Another good option not far from the center is Gorgiladze Street, or Gorky Street. It is located between the two noisiest central streets – Chavchavadze and Rustaveli Avenue. It’s relatively quiet, close to the sea, the park, and the Old Town, with average housing prices. You can find an apartment ranging from 75–125 lari per day (26.17–43.62 euros).

Transportation in the City

Batumi is a small city, and often it’s faster to get around on foot than by public transport or taxi, especially during the tourist season. Georgians love to drive even for short distances, resulting in traffic jams that sometimes seem endless.

Public transportation in Batumi consists of buses and minibuses (marshrutkas). You pay for buses using a transport card, which you can get at the cashier’s desk in certain stores, at Bank of Georgia terminals, or at the office on Gorgasali, 55. You can top up the card at any white-orange terminal – there are many of them around the city. You can also pay for your ride with a Georgian bank card. A ride costs 30 tetri (0.10 euros).

For minibuses (marshrutkas), you pay the driver in cash, with the fare ranging from 70 tetri to 1.5 lari (0.24–0.52 euros) depending on the distance.

You can check the bus arrival time using the Moovit app. Also, most bus stops have information displays.

Public transportation in Batumi consists of buses and minibuses (marshrutkas). You pay for buses using a transport card, which you can get at the cashier's desk in certain stores, at Bank of Georgia terminals, or at the office on Gorgasali, 55
Public transportation in Batumi consists of buses and minibuses (marshrutkas). You pay for buses using a transport card, which you can get at the cashier’s desk in certain stores, at Bank of Georgia terminals, or at the office on Gorgasali, 55. Photo: Kiryl / Unsplash.com

Taxis. For short distances within the city center, the fare is usually between one and a half to two lari (0.52–0.70 euros). It’s rare for a ride within the city to cost more than five lari (1.74 euros), unless it’s during rush hour or in bad weather. Popular taxi services are “Yandex.Taxi”, “Maxim”, and Bolt.

Out of the city. If you need to travel outside of Batumi, minibuses to Kobuleti depart from the Holy Spirit Church; for Tbilisi, they leave from Tbilisi Square on Chavchavadze; for Kutaisi, Khulo, and other destinations, they depart from the bus station; and for Ureki and Poti, they leave from the parking lot opposite the lower cable car station.

How to get there

By plane. Batumi, a gem on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, is increasingly on the radar of international travelers. For those in Europe, airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Wizz Air, Belavia, Pegasus offer direct connections to Batumi International Airport (BUS) from cities like Istanbul, Budapest, Minsk. If you’re traveling from the USA, there aren’t direct flights to Batumi. However, a common route is to fly major carriers like Delta or American Airlines to European transit hubs such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or Istanbul, and then catch a connecting flight with an airline like Turkish Airlines to Batumi. It’s worth noting that while some flights are available year-round, others might be seasonal, so always check the latest schedules.

From Kutaisi. Kutaisi sees many more flights than Batumi, especially from low-cost carriers originating from European cities. You don’t necessarily have to enter the city itself; direct buses go from the airport to Batumi, and their schedule is aligned with flight arrivals. A ticket costs 20 lari (6.98 euros).

From Tbilisi, the train is a convenient mode of transportation — it takes five hours and departs at 8:00, 10:25, and 17:05. A ticket starts at 35 lari (12.21 euros), which you can purchase on the Georgian Railways website if you have a foreign bank card, or at the train station. Additionally, minibuses to Batumi depart every hour from Tbilisi’s Didube station. The cost is the same as the train — 35 lari (12.21 euros). The journey is longer, around six to seven hours, depending on weather conditions and road situations. There are also several daily departures of large buses from the Turkish company Metro at the Ortachala station.

From Natakhari airport (30 kilometers from Tbilisi), 16-seat L-410 aircraft from the airline Vanilla Sky fly every day except Saturday. The departure from Natakhari is at 9:15, and the journey takes just over an hour. A ticket costs 125 lari (43.62 euro). The return flight from Batumi departs at 17:30.

From Tbilisi to Batumi, it's convenient to travel by train — it takes five hours and departs at 8:00, 10:25, and 17:05. A ticket costs from 35 lari.
From Tbilisi to Batumi, it’s convenient to travel by train — it takes five hours and departs at 8:00, 10:25, and 17:05. A ticket costs from 35 lari. Photo: Kiryl / Unsplash.com

From Turkey, one can also reach Batumi by bus. From Istanbul, there are buses that continue to Tbilisi; the journey takes 18 hours, and a ticket costs from 100 lari (34.90 euro). If you’re flying into Trabzon Airport (a city 200 kilometers from Batumi) or Rize, minibuses depart every hour to the border crossing at Sarpi. The cost is 130 lari (45.36 euros).

When to Visit

Batumi is located in a subtropical climate, so the comfort of staying here depends on the rainy season. In subtropics, torrential rains can last for several weeks; in the winter, snow occasionally falls but quickly melts as the daytime temperature never drops below zero. The most unpleasant month is usually March. Locals call it “ghiji marti,” which means “crazy March”. It often rains, storms are frequent at sea, and strong winds blow.

In winter, Batumi sometimes gets snow, but it melts quickly — the temperature doesn't drop below zero during the day. Photo: Ivars Utināns / Unsplash.com
In winter, Batumi sometimes gets snow, but it melts quickly — the temperature doesn’t drop below zero during the day. Photo: Ivars Utināns / Unsplash.com

The beach season lasts for a long time — from late April to early October. In mid-summer, it can get very hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching 35 degrees Celsius. If you prefer to wander around the city more, it’s better to plan your trip in the spring or autumn.

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