Widely popular in the Black See area, Batumi is one of the most admired places, local and foreign tourists love visiting, particularly in late July or mid-September. Even if you are short of time, this gorgeous port city of Georgia could be your perfect getaway destination. In just a couple of days of visiting Batumi, you can collect a bucketful of exciting memories.
WHERE TO STAY
In Batumi, you will find just what you are looking for, no matter if you are a budget traveler wanting to save a bit more money or a generous spender willing to splurge on things, so you can spend more time exploring all the abundance of places to visit. Beware though, if you’re there in the summer, you’ll find the money quickly adding up. But here are a couple of comfortable, affordable places that might tickle your fancy.
Back2Me is typical of what you would expect from hostel-type accommodation, but they are clean and impeccable, and also close to the beach. Accommodation is bunk beds and communal spaces.
Another hostel, Catrin might be old, but it has huge popularity, and the décor inside is magnificent to look at. There are spacious rooms and it has a lovely ambiance.
My Warm Guest House
If you’re traveling as a couple, My Warm Guest House might be just what you two are looking for; spacious rooms that have balconies, giving an excellent view of the center of the city – a very comfortable place to be. Here are plenty more places that you might opt for.
GETTING TO BATUMI
When traveling from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, you are going to cover 375 km or 233 miles to get to Batumi. Just, jump in your car and you can be there in as little as 5 hours. Taxis are also commonly used – for a regular sedan you will pay about 90-100 USD. While you can also hire a car, buses and trains could be great and much more affordable alternatives, not any less comfortable than the former. If you do opt for the bus service, the one that is recommended is Metro and you can buy your tickets online if you like. Several buses are available on a daily basis and some have TVs on them as well as Wi-Fi to keep you connected. If you go by train, you would pay about 10 to 25 USD. Maybe you are anxious to get your weekend started quickly, then you can of course jump on a plane – there are daily flights from Tbilisi operated by the Georgian Airways with prices sitting at about 70 USD. And if you really want to start your adventures in your own natural, exciting way, then hiking makes for an interesting, but safe way of getting to Batumi. Along the way, you will encounter some lovely locations, as you make your way to beautiful Batumi.
Things to do on your first day
A great way to start your day with so much to see and do is with a delicious breakfast. Try the Privet iz Batumi. Doesn’t it sound intriguing? You will find this quaint café and souvenir shop right there in the heart of Batumi, near Europe Square. You will love the character and ambiance of this café. Don’t think it’s just breakfasts though – you can be entertained by the evening gatherings there too and try out some more culinary fare of Georgia; mouthwatering dishes that keep people coming back for more. Go and find them at N39 Memed Abashidze Street; you will probably fork out around 15-20 USD for a delicious start to your day.
Riding around the Boulevard
Fancy a morning at the Boulevard after breakfast? You won’t regret this for a moment; this bit of coastline. It starts right there at the Batumi port we mentioned above and ends at the Dancing Fountains. There is a Tourist Information Center where you can hire bicycles to ride the Boulevard; the closest one will be found at the main entrance of it. It’s easy to rent the bicycles and it’s a great way of exploring and taking all the views – the bicycle track is along the beach way; fun and relaxing. Head towards the dancing fountains and then in the direction of the Ferris wheel. The Ferris wheel for many is more attractive at night – viewing the lit up city from up yonder is stunning, but for many others, the view from up top where you see the mountains, the sea and the city is a highlight! Whatever the choice, it is worth a visit any time of the night or day. While you are in this area, check out the moving statue of Ali and Nino – a couple in love – which separate, and come together again. That will take your attention for a while!
Don’t miss the fish market
Don’t leave here without making your next stop the fish market; it’s by the port. A very good idea is to enter the market to buy some fresh mussels and fish. There you will see a café called café Balagan and they will readily cook up what you bought for you. Maybe it’s not such a good idea to buy shrimps, because often, these have been imported and are not local fare. But bargain for the best prices and enjoy your meal. Once you’ve allowed such a delicious meal to settle, you might want to try out their Turkish coffee prepared in the sand. If you love your coffee thick and strong, this is the one because the finely ground coffee beans aren’t filtered out. They make it using a sand-filled pan – this way evens out the heat, making it possible to control the temperature. The locals know very well how to make sand coffee. Find these places in Gogebashvili Street.
Fly high with the cable car
Moving away from the seaside, more to the entrance of the city center, you will find the cable car entrance. It’s the exciting Argo Cable Car, situated on Anuria Mountain in Batumi – you will be 250 meters high above sea level then. In the cable car, you will experience spectacular views of Batumi, all the surrounding mountains and also views of the Black sea. At the top, there are restaurants, a wine house, gift shops a podium, and open-air halls. Breathtakingly beautiful photos can be taken from up here – don’t forget to have a look at the gorgeous little church that’s located next to the station building. After all, this sightseeing attraction is one of the most visited in the region. The cable car takes about 10 to 15 minutes one way and there is enough space for 8 people in each cabin.
A sunset drink and some dancing perhaps?
Later in the evening, you can feel the vibes of Batumi nightlife at one of the many local clubs. You will thoroughly enjoy Blow Bar along the Seafront Promenade of Old Boulevard. Relax in the comfortable lounge, or enjoy a drink at the bar – all that open space on the beach will guarantee a fun evening. Another great beach option is Sector 26 beachside bar and pool. Some other great options include Iveria Beach, Boom Boom, and The Gate. However, before visiting any of the recommended places, don’t forget to check out the best pre-club in the city – in Old Boulevard, 26 Maisi Street. It’s Chacha Time; a relaxing place to chill out and try out the Georgian Chacha, a strong alcoholic drink; to take on the nightlife at any of your choice of local clubs, some of which are open 24 hours!.
Ready for day 2
The sea is calling
One of the most highly recommended beaches is Mtsvane Kontskhi. Just wait till you see it; like arriving at an oasis. And it’s only 9 km from Batumi. It’s no wonder the natives of the area call it Green Paradise, its breathtakingly beautiful and there is a botanical garden as well, right next to the beach. You can imagine how the locals and tourists flock there – apart from the swimming and sunbathing opportunities, there are amazing diving opportunities as well. If you want to linger there, there are plenty of guest houses, cafes, and bars. To get there, you can get a taxi or a marshrutka from the city will bring you here in just 15 minutes. The beach area near the entrance of the Botanical garden is called Green Cape in English which is the same as Mtsvane Kontskhi in Georgian. There’s a ticket office and the entrance to the gardens just a few steps from the beach.
Other magnificent beaches come to mind; Makhinjauri Beach, Sarpi Beach, and then there is Kobuleti Beach as well. Near the settlements close to Batumi, are Kvariati and Gonjo beaches – all are gorgeous.
Into the botanical garden
You might not have known it, but these magnificent gardens were started by the Russian botanist Andrey Nikolayevich Krasnov (1862-1914). The gardens lie over 100 ha of land, with over 5,000 varieties of plants from all over the world. It is recommended that to experience the best view, you keep on the sea side. In the garden, you will discover unique collections of subtropical flora. Visitors always look out for the flowering magnolias of which is said to be 125 years old! There are Japanese gardens or bamboo gardens, and waterfalls too. It’s a special garden this so naturally has relationships with botanical gardens from over 140 countries! There is a scientific library, a herbarium, and a seed foundation. Visitors can even enjoy camping or picnicking in the botanical gardens – and of course, it’s a very popular venue to tie the knot. And when you feel like a rest, high up above the Black Sea, you can take in the magnificent scenery under the shade of the beautiful sequoia while gazing at the azure water of the sea below.
Relax at the Fanfan
After the gardens, you might want to go and relax at a local restaurant that everybody loves – the Fanfan. Here you get a combo of both ambiance and delicious flavors. Their homemade lemonades are so refreshing and the mussels are simply not to be missed. Find them on Ninoshvili Street. Whether you are there only for drinks or for the full toot, this cozy joint with its Georgian/Baroque style will enchant.
Saving the best for last
The best, of course, will be the old city of Batumi, where street art will dazzle on your way to Piazza Square, the heart of the city. On your way there, stroll through Europe Square. Did you know that this square got its name at the time Batumi joined the Assembly of European Nations? If you are into exquisite old architecture, you will adore a variety of stately buildings showcasing their different architectural styles. Then there’s an astronomical clock and a big fountain which is really nice for taking photos. The famous statue is there too, Medea, holding the Golden Fleece. At night time, the square is just as colorful as during the day because it gets illuminated.
From here, you can move on to Piazza Square; distinctly Italian, and a wonderful place to wind down after a day of touring around. The Square is surrounded by the Piazza complex, which consists of restaurants, a hotel, a café, and pub. Once again, the magnificent architecture of mosaics and stained glass art will entertain no end. Then you can sit back and relax to some live music – it is not unique to sometimes see a world-famous musician here!
WE’RE SURE YOU WILL BE BACK!
You will be so ‘taken’ with the wonderful weekend you have just experienced in Batumi, that the next thing you will be doing is raising your glass to lovely memories made and a chink-chink promise to be back to continue the journey in Batumi like many people before you!