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Beautiful waterfronts, flower-lined gardens, and unique architecture are just some of the highlights of Batumi. Dubbed the “Pearl of the Black Sea”, Batumi is Georgia’s most attractive coastal city and seaside resort.
Nestled on the shores of the Black Sea, Batumi is a popular resort city and the biggest port on the Black Sea. The capital of Adjara, a mountainous region in the southwest of Georgia, Batumi is the third-largest city in the country.
Batumi is built out at the site of an ancient Greek colony in Colchis, known as “Bathus.” As part of the kingdom of Lazica, it was controlled by the Roman-Byzantine armies in the 2nd century but later deserted for Petra fortress in the mid-6th century.
During the 8th century, Lazica was taken over by the kingdom of Abkhazia. Batumi would remain a part of the Abkhazian kingdom for three hundred years until the 11th century when the Georgian kingdom was unified.
From the beginning of the 11th century, the medieval fort was ruled by vassals of the Georgian monarch. Following the disintegration of the Georgian kingdom in the late 15th century, Batumi was taken over by the princes of Guria, on behalf of the kingdom of Imereti.
In the 16th century, Ottoman Turks conquered Batumi, although it was recaptured several times by the Georgians. Batumi again became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1614 and remained as such for two hundred and fifty years. During this period of Ottoman rule, Batumi grew into a major regional port.
Following the Turkish conquest, Islamization began in this previously Christian region. But this was ended and reversed to a great extent after Batumi was re-annexed to Imperial Russia following Russia’s war with the Turks in 1877-78.
In 1883, Batumi’s expansion began with the construction of the Batumi-Tiflis-Baku railway. Following the completion of the Baku-Batumi pipeline, Batumi became Imperial Russia’s main oil port in the Black Sea, as well as its seaside resort capital.
In 1903, Batumi was placed under the control of the Georgian government. In 1918, Russia gave the port back to the Ottoman Empire, which led to protests followed by the return of Turkish forces. British forces then briefly took over Batumi but ceded the region back to Georgia in 1920.
During the Soviet invasion of Georgia, Batumi was briefly occupied by Turkey in 1921. Turkey would then cede Batumi back to the Soviet Union on condition that Adjara is granted autonomy for the sake of its Muslim population.
In 1989, Georgia gained independence from the Soviet Union and Asian Abashidze was appointed leader of Adjara. Abashidze held onto power throughout the 1990s, even amid secessionist unrest. But he was forced to flee to Russia in 2004 following massive protests ignited by the Rose Revolution.
The post-Abashidze government took steps to make Batumi an attractive place. Old Batumi and the Batumi Boulevard were renovated, and spectacular new towers, modern hotels, and casinos were built. This transformed Batumi into one of the Black Sea’s top resorts with a fabulous summer party scene.
While the sea is undoubtedly the main drawcard, there’s much more to Batumi than just beach. The coastal city is perfect for lovers of unique architecture, botanical gardens, and local markets. Each year, tourists flock this seaside resort to enjoy its unique climate and diverse tourist attractions.
Batumi Botanical Garden is the real gem of the city. The gardens are nestled within the picturesque Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape), a green oasis located 12km north of the city. At Mtsvane Kontskhi, you can sunbathe or have a swim before entering the botanical gardens.
Batumi Botanical Garden boasts one of the world’s richest diversities of flora. It is home to over 5,000 varieties of plants from all around the world. Nature lovers can admire trees from Asia, flowers from South America, evergreen gardens, bamboo forests and titanium trees.
For a small fee, ride the small excursion cars around the gardens. Even better, wander the gardens by foot. Follow the main trail to the end of the park and then go back along the tiny paths that wind through the depths of the forests. For the best views, keep to the side closest to the sea.
Old Batumi is the city’s delightful historic center that stretches from the seaport to the boulevard. One of the oldest cities in Georgia, Batumi’s fascinating history has greatly influenced its architectural diversity.
A walking tour of Old Batumi is a fantastic way to discover the coastal city’s distinct architectural style. Visitors can admire the regal balconies of 19th-century merchant mansions, as well as exquisite pastel-colored facades of Soviet-era buildings.
Start from the 6 May Park and walk along tiny paved roads as you admire the street art and lovely installations. Next, head to Mazniashvili Street to browse local fashion designer stores and shops. Be sure to take the small turns and corners that make up the true heart of the city.
Dating back to 1884, Batumi Boulevard is a 7km seaside promenade that stretches from the Batumi port to the Dancing Fountains. Also known as Batumi Bulvari, the wide boulevard is the life and soul of the city.
Wrapped around the city center, the boulevard is dotted with bungalows, cafés, restaurants, family attractions, sculptures, benches and more. All these come together to make it one of the most attractive tourist spots in Batumi.
Cycling through Batumi Boulevard reveals a more peaceful and romantic side of Batumi. Several points of interest are dotted along the way. Check out Ali & Nino, a moving metal sculpture of a man and woman. Also, climb the Alphabet Tower – a monument to the Georgian script, and enjoy stellar views.
Known locally as Evropas Moedani, Europe Square is a broad square surrounded by beautiful belle-époque buildings. Most of the buildings found here are renovations of survivors from Batumi’s heydays, as well as several new buildings in a similar style.
One of the most beautiful squares in Georgia, Batumi’s Piazza Square features hotels, cafes, and restaurants. It is also a popular international entertainment venue having hosted concerts by famous Georgian and foreign artists including Placido Domingo and Sting.
One of the oldest of its kind in Georgia, Batumi Archaeological Museum features a wide collection of Georgian material artifacts from different eras. The collection includes over 22,800 exhibits, the majority of which are finds from excavations carried out in Adjara.
Two kilometers of the cable car link Batumi’s waterfront with the Argo Entertainment Center on Anuria Mountain. The center has shops, cafes, restaurants and roof terraces, and offers stunning views of the city, the Black Sea and surrounding mountains.
The white minaret of the Orta Jame mosque stands out on the Batumi city skyline. The mosque’s interiors feature beautiful woodcarvings painted in vibrant pastels and a ceiling with stunning details. Open to visitors, the mosque is a popular gathering place for Batumi’s 30% Muslim population.
A must-visit cultural center, the Ethnographic Museum Borjghalo offers an experience of the bygone era of Adjara. The museum is the brainchild of Kemal Turmanidze who built and equipped all the buildings. Turmanidze’s creations give visitors the opportunity to get acquainted with a real Adjarian village.
If you want to see Batumi from a local’s perspective you must visit the Fish Market. Located near the port, Batumi’s fish market is an exotic and delicious venue. Here you will find the freshest fish in town, caught that very morning or even just minutes before you buy it.
Sure you can come here just for sightseeing, although the smell is just too tempting. So go ahead and select a fish, pay for it, give it to a lady who will clean it and then take it to a nearby restaurant, where they will fry or grill it for you.
The dish is typically served with tkemali (Georgian sour plum sauce) and a slice of lemon. Add to this some white wine, panoramas over the sea and your evening is perfect. Be sure to try the delicious barabulka (red mullet).
Although it is the central region of Georgia’s Black Sea coast, Adjara is so much more than a seaside destination. Mostly covered in mountains and untouched nature, it is one of Georgia’s most beautiful regions. Beyond Batumi, Adjara’s other districts offer a host of attractions worth visiting.
Kobuleti Sea Resort: The Kobuleti Sea Resort attracts visitors with its pleasant climate, cool ocean breeze and warm seas. It has a unique sandy beach that offers magnificent views of tall and beautiful trees of pine, eucalyptus, bamboo and cypress.
Kintrishi Protected Areas: The Kintrishi Protected Areas were established to preserve the unique flora and fauna of the region, including the famous Colchian willow trees. The protected areas include the Kintrishi Protected Landscape and the Kintrishi Strict Nature Reserve.
Mtirala National Park: This is a protected area in Adjara that covers the municipalities of Kobuleti, Khelvachauri, and Keda. Flora includes broad-leaved and mixed forests of chestnut and beech. Common fauna includes the Brown bear, Roe deer, and Wild boar, along with a diversity of bird species.
Goderdzi Ski Resort: The highest and most mountainous area in Adjara, Khulo is home to the Goderdzi Ski Resort. A winter wonderland, the resort boasts impressive nature and beautiful landscapes. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy some amazing skiing and snowboarding on the well-equipped snow runs
Beshumi Resort: Like something out of a summer dream Beshumi is a mountain resort located 30km from Khulo. It’s a unique place dotted by little houses and café-bars, with the fresh breeze bringing in the scent of nearby spruces. Time your visit in summer to attend the colorful Shuamtoba Festival.
Mtsvane Tba: Don’t leave Beshumi without visiting Mtsvane Tba (Green Lake). Surrounded by pine forest and majestic mountains, Mtsvane Tba is a gorgeous lake distinct for its emerald green waters. Nature lovers can enjoy picturesque treks on hiking trails around the lake.
Khikhani Fortress: History buffs can explore the 13th-century Khikhani Fortress, which is one of the important Georgian monuments of Adjara. Located 2,200m above sea level, the fortress offers a real challenge to those who want to reach it.
Skhalta Cathedral: This is a monastery complex whose main building is the Skhalta Church of the Virgin. Due to its artistic and stylistic peculiarities, it is believed to date from the mid-13th century. Notable frescoes in the church were painted between the 14th and 15th centuries.
Gonio Sea Resort: Batumi’s beach is rocky and not the best for swimming. But Adjara has other amazing beaches in the nearby settlements of Gonio, Kvariati and Sarpi. At Gonio Sea Resort, the sea is amazing and the beaches much cleaner and calmer than Batumi.
Gonio Fortress: Gonio Fortress is located on the site of one of the most ancient settlements in Georgia. Thanks to its strategic location, the fortress became a supporting citadel for the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans and has architectural layers to prove it.
Kvariati: Kvariati is an Adjarian village with a beautiful seaside resort. In summer, tourists flock the picturesque beaches of Kvariati Sea Resort to enjoy the fresh air, ocean breeze and incredible scenery. The beaches rest on a coast surrounded by mountains, beautiful nature and clear warm waters.
Machakhela National Park: 95% of Machakhela Park is covered in forest with interesting fauna and flora. Unique plants include the Colchic boxwood, Georgian walnut, and chestnut. Common mammals include deer, wild boar, wolves, and jackals. Two hiking trails lead up the mountains for beautiful views.
Makhuntseti: Located close to the town of Keda, Makhuntseti has a pretty waterfall with several picnic sites nearby. Visitors can also explore nearby tourist attractions such as the ancient arched-stone Makhuntseti Bridge.
Wine Tourism: Adjara is one of Georgia’s oldest winemaking regions, and Keda is the region’s center of winemaking. Wine houses and private cellars are scattered throughout Keda, offering connoisseurs the chance to sample exquisite Georgian wine.
A mix of gorgeous Georgian nature, sports and adventure opportunities make Batumi the perfect seaside getaway. Diving in magical underworlds and watching spectacular bird migrations are just some of the reasons to add this fantastic resort town to your itinerary. Here are more tourist activities to enjoy in Batumi.
Biking in Batumi is a fantastic way to get around the coastal city and see the sights. Rent a bicycle and go biking on marked lanes across Batumi Boulevard. Head towards the Dancing Fountains and back to the Ferris wheel. Stop by the splendid Ali & Nino statue and have a rest as you take in the views.
Batumi is one of the prime bird watching destinations in Georgia. Time your visit in September to attend the Batumi Bird Watching Festival. Attracting birders from around the world, the festival is held every autumn when the mass migration of birds has begun.
Scuba diving in Batumi gives you the chance to observe spectacular underwater scenery. With the help of professional divers, visitors can discover the magical underwater world of the Black Sea. Instructors are available to provide training to beginners.
Adventurous travelers shouldn’t leave Batumi without paragliding. Flights will afford you spectacular birds-eye views over the gorgeous Adjara region. Soar like an eagle and then land smoothly on a gorgeous seaside beach or valley.
Lace up and have some fun with friends in a game of bowling in Batumi. Climb up the leaderboard as you compete on professional bowling lanes. Beginners can get some training from professional instructors.
Satisfy your hunger for thrill and adventure with a game of paintball. Hit opponents with paintballs to eliminate them and ensure victory for your team. Play indoors or outdoors while taking tactical cover in natural or artificial terrain.
Batumi has a vibrant shopping scene with first-rate malls, vintage bazaars and local fashion designer shops stocking diverse brands. Shop around and you are certain to find the perfect Georgia keepsake to take home.
Batumi weather is characterized by a humid subtropical climate influenced largely by its proximity to the Black Sea. This results in significant rainfall throughout most of the year, making Batumi the wettest city in both Georgia and the entire Caucasus. Summer (July/ September) is the best time to visit Batumi.
The season of spring in Batumi covers the months of March through May. By mid-April, the weather is mostly overcast. The month of May experiences the least amount of rain in Batumi. Towards the end of the season, temperatures begin to rise, thereby attracting tourists.
Summers in Batumi can be warm but not too hot, which is great for sunbathing. August is the hottest month with an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. The summer months are the peak season for tourism in Batumi.
Late September through October is the “Velvet Season” in Batumi. If you decide to visit during this time of year, you will find ideal Batumi weather conditions. Travelers will be rewarded with clear skies and pleasant sunshine.
If you’re not a fan of rainy weather, avoid the month of December which is the wettest month in Batumi. With an average temperature of 7 degrees Celsius, January is the coldest and driest month in this coastal city.
In recent years, the construction of new apartment buildings in Batumi has given rise to many affordable vacation rentals. There are also many Batumi hotels and hostels around town, as well as several family-run guesthouses.
In addition to serving up traditional Adjarian food and fresh seafood, Batumi also has Georgia’s best international eateries outside Tbilisi. An array of Batumi restaurants enable food lovers to sample unique Adjarian cuisine.
Regional specialties are available on the menus of most Batumi restaurants. Be sure to try Adjaruli Khachapuri – the king of Georgian cuisine, which just happens to originate from Adjara. Adjaruli Khachapuri is a boat-shaped bread served with egg yolk, butter and lots of melting cheese.
Feel the vibes of the Batumi nightlife at one of the many local clubs. An array of excellent beachfront bars guarantee a fun evening. And don’t leave town without tasting chacha (Georgian brandy). Amazingly, despite containing between 45 and 60% alcohol, Georgians manage to down it like water!
The fastest way to travel to Batumi is by plane. Georgia Airways operates daily flights from Tbilisi landing at the Alexander Kartveli Batumi International Airport. Batumi airport connects the country with major cities in Europe and beyond.
Batumi is also accessible by road from Tbilisi and other Georgian cities such as Kutaisi and Mestia. Our travel agency offers modern cars for hire if you prefer to drive yourself to Batumi. We also provide private roundtrip transfers to this seaside resort.
With its wonderful medley of nature and cityscape, Batumi is one of Georgia’s popular summer destinations. From panoramic skyscrapers to blossoming botanical gardens, this charming seaside town offers plenty to the discerning traveler. And all this is what makes Batumi a truly unforgettable city.
Book Batumi hotels in advance with our travel agency, especially if traveling during the peak season. If you prefer to drive to Batumi, we have a modern fleet of rental cars available for hire. We also offer Georgia tour packages from Batumi with private transfers to and from Batumi airport.
Even better, create your very own custom vacation package that includes the specific places you want to see and things you want to do in Batumi. Craving a holiday at a stunning seaside resort? Order your custom tour to Batumi today and enjoy the beach vacation of a lifetime!