Batumi, Georgia

Batumi, Georgia

Tours, Attractions and Things To Do in Batumi

Batumi is the pearl of Georgia on the Black Sea coast and the largest resort city in the country. It is the best place for a summer beach vacation in Georgia, with a long promenade full of entertainment, an old quarter with bars, restaurants, and souvenir stores, and many beautiful locations in the surrounding area. Batumi is perfect for a fun trip with its warm Georgian charm and tropical climate. In our Batumi travel guide, you will find all the most interesting and useful information about tours and excursions in this paradise corner.

Batumi Travel Guide

Batumi Tours

Europe Square, Batumi

Batumi, like Tbilisi, offers its guests a wide range of entertainment options: wine tours, museum tours, nature tours, and various other recreational activities. The city is filled with beautiful locations, monuments, and squares, making it perfect for arranging a walking tour. On the outskirts and in the neighboring areas, you can visit the Botanical Garden, the fish market, and ancient fortresses, all of which will enhance your experience.

You can spend an entire week in Batumi and organize a marathon of excursions, discovering something new every day. You can alternate between days spent exploring the city and trips to more remote places, and sometimes you might just want to relax on the beach or visit the bars, as Batumi has a vibrant nightlife. Here we have collected several day tours in Batumi and its surroundings, as well as interesting long-distance day tours.

Batumi also has an international airport, making it a great starting point for exploring Georgia and gradually moving eastward. You can find similar tours of Georgia from Batumi here.

History of Batumi

History of Batumi

The first settlement near modern Batumi appeared in the 8th century BC, and archaeologists have found elements of ancient Greek culture on its site, indicating the region's trade links with the Mediterranean. Active development began in the 1st century when the Romans built several fortresses in the vicinity of the future Batumi. In the 6th century, Batumi, as part of the Byzantine Empire, was briefly captured by Persia but soon returned to Christian control. For the next thousand years, the small port city led a quiet, peaceful life and gradually became a stronghold of Georgia on the Black Sea.

In the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire in Turkey began to gain strength, seizing Constantinople (future Istanbul) and eventually aiming to control all the port cities of the Black Sea. Batumi resisted for almost 100 years before surrendering after the major Battle of Sohoist. For three centuries, Batumi became a Turkish outpost in the Caucasus until the Russian Empire intervened. The Russians attempted to enter Batumi in 1829 but failed, and it was only in 1878, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the last Russo-Turkish War, that Batumi came under Russian rule.

The late 19th century marked a new period of development for Batumi. The city was connected to the railway to transport oil from Baku, the port temporarily exempted merchant ships from duties, and the famous Botanical Garden was established along with cultural and educational institutions. In the 20th century, Batumi transformed into a resort with many beautiful beaches, and sanatoriums and summer houses were built along the coast. In the 21st century, following Georgia's independence, a stream of investment transformed Batumi into a modern center of tourism. Read more about the history of Batumi here.

What to Do in Batumi

Landmarks and Attractions in Batumi

Batumi Lighthouse and Alphabetic Tower

Batumi is a city filled with monuments and colorful architecture. Every few minutes during a walk, you'll stumble upon an interesting Batumi attraction. Most of the noteworthy places are located in the coastal zone of the city, but some are in the suburbs, 10-15 km from Batumi.

The most famous attraction in Batumi and the city's iconic landmark is the monument to Ali and Nino, symbolizing true love that knows no boundaries. Seven-meter-tall figures of a man and a woman move towards each other and merge into one. It takes 10 minutes for the sculptures to turn around, and during sunset, the spectacle is especially mesmerizing.

Very close by is the Alphabetic Tower, standing 130 meters high. Two spirals with letters of the Georgian alphabet ascend the tower, and at the top, there is a glass sphere with a restaurant inside, offering a gorgeous view of Batumi.

Neptune Fountain, Batumi

In this tourist part of Batumi, you'll also find Europe Square with a monument to Medea, who holds the golden fleece from the famous Greek myth. Nearby, there is the Neptune Fountain, a replica of the original monument in Bologna, Italy, and Piazza Square, which features a unique mosaic of a million tiles. You can also explore various temples and historical buildings in this area.

The most famous sights in the vicinity of Batumi are the Botanical Garden and Gonio Fortress. The Botanical Garden is located 9 km northeast of the city, right on the shore of the Black Sea, and covers an area of 110 hectares. It is home to hundreds of plant species and two thousand species of trees from all over the world. The garden is hilly, and a hike through it will take a whole day, but from the highest point, you get a magnificent view of Batumi and the Green Cape. Gonio Fortress, located 13 km south of the city, is an ancient monument that has stood for almost two thousand years, having been occupied by Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and Russians. Gonio is one of the oldest monuments not only in Batumi but in all of Georgia.

Batumi Museums

Adjara Art Museum, Batumi

Batumi boasts several fascinating museums that showcase the unique history and culture of the city. The Batumi Archaeological Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, with a collection that continues to grow thanks to new scientific expeditions. The State Museum of Adjara, also located in Batumi, delves into the history, ethnography, culture, flora, and fauna of the region.

You can learn interesting facts about Batumi's history at the Nobel Brothers Batumi Technological Museum. This museum highlights the contributions of Alfred Nobel, one of the brothers and the founder of the world-famous Nobel Prize, and their involvement in the oil refining industry in Batumi during the late 19th century.

For a taste of local culture, visit the Adjara Art Museum, which features works by Georgian painters from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum also periodically hosts collections of paintings by world-famous artists.

Entertainment, Parks, and Shopping in Batumi

Ali and Nino, Batumi

As a resort city, Batumi offers a wide range of entertainment options and ample space for leisure. There are green parks and alleys, vibrant nightlife neighborhoods, a long promenade, and other interesting locations and activities that provide plenty of bright emotions.

Batumi's promenade, which stretches almost 7 km, comes alive in the evening with souvenir sellers, musicians, and people riding bicycles and scooters. Nearly every hundred meters, you can find stores on wheels selling coffee, ice cream, or fast food. During the day, it’s much quieter, with only a few people heading to the sea for a swim.

At the beginning of the promenade, near the monument to Ali and Nino, there is a pier with boats and pleasure crafts. In the evening, after sunset, a boat trip will give you a carefree feeling as you admire Batumi at night from the sea. During the day, you might spot dolphins or enjoy a swim in the open sea.

Batumi Dolphinarium

While spotting dolphins in the wild is now a rare treat, Batumi has a dolphinarium that offers daily dolphin shows. For a fee, you can even swim with the dolphins, but arrangements must be made in advance.

Another thrilling experience in Batumi is plane spotting. On the southern outskirts of the city, at the end of the promenade, there’s a platform where planes landing at Batumi Airport fly just 15-30 meters overhead. Watching the landings provides an exhilarating experience. Before visiting, it’s worth checking the airport schedule to avoid waiting too long for the next flight to arrive.

Additionally, we recommend strolling along Batumi Boulevard, where you can find a bamboo grove and a small bird zoo. You can also take the Argo funicular up the hill to get a panoramic view of Batumi.

Batumi Beaches

Beach in Batumi

The beaches of Batumi and its surroundings stretch across a total of 70 km of coastline. Most of them are pebble, with the only exception being Magnetiti Beach in Ureki village, which is sandy and features unique black sand.

The city beach of Batumi is 7 km long and varies in quality: some areas are not well-maintained, while others offer sunbeds and additional services. There are also old piers within the city limits from which you can jump into the water.

Heading south from Batumi towards the Turkish border, you’ll find the pebble beaches of Gonio, Kvariati, and Sarpi villages. These beaches are cleaner, less crowded, and feature mountains that approach the shore, adding to the scenic landscape. All of them are located 10-15 km from Batumi, with Sarpi beach situated right on the border with Turkey.

Beach at the Resort Village of Kobuleti

To the north of Batumi, there are several beaches. First, there is a beach near the village of Makhinjauri, followed by a small beach at the foot of the Botanical Garden. Further north, about 20 km from Batumi, is the large 10-kilometer beach at the resort village of Kobuleti. This beach has a central landscaped part and a wild section on the outskirts. The wild part of Kobuleti beach is ideal for those who want to camp, with pine groves 50 meters from the shore providing shade and a pleasant pine aroma.

The farthest beach from Batumi is Magnetiti in Ureki, located 50 km north of the capital of Adjara. This is the only sandy beach in the region, with unusual black, magnetic sand that is considered curative. Despite its distance from the big city, Ureki village has good infrastructure, including many cafes and a camping area. Thanks to the smooth descent of the seabed and the sandy shore, Magnetiti beach is perfect for family vacations with children.

Food in Batumi

Adjarian-style Khachapuri

In this resort town, you can find restaurants and cafes to suit every taste. Batumi offers a variety of Georgian cuisine, with its own unique dishes - most famously, Adjarian-style khachapuri. As a city by the sea, it also boasts a wide selection of seafood dishes.

At the entrance to Batumi, there's a small fish market, which is considered one of the city's attractions. Here, you can check out the catches of Georgian fishermen and even buy some fresh fish. Right behind the market is a small restaurant where, for a fee, they will cook the fish you bought.

Batumi also features establishments offering cuisines from around the world, mostly European and Asian dishes. If you're in the mood for something a bit exotic, an international street food camp opens on the seafront near the Alphabetic Tower during the tourist season. In small stalls, dishes and cocktails are prepared right in front of you. This culinary paradise, featuring Chinese, Thai, Indian, Uzbek, Ukrainian, Italian, and other world cuisines, is open every evening from June to September.

City Transport in Batumi

Batumi is a small city, just 2 km wide and 6 km long. You can walk from one end to the other in about 1.5 hours. Batumi has 16 bus routes that cover the whole city and even extend beyond its borders, with buses going north to the Botanical Garden (9 km) and south to the border with Turkey (15 km). Payment is made using Batumi Card plastic cards, which can be purchased at the company's office at Gorgasali 55 or in some supermarkets. The fare costs 30 tetri (11 cents as of 2024), and one card can be used to pay for several passengers.

There are also many shuttle buses in Batumi, but their routes can be unpredictable—you'll need to check with the driver to see if the shuttle is going to your desired destination. Payment is made in cash.

Taxis in Batumi can be ordered through the Yandex.Taxi and Bolt apps. Depending on the class, the cost of a trip starts from 1 GEL per kilometer (37 cents as of 2024).

How to Get to Batumi

Batumi Street

Batumi has an international airport that receives daily flights from CIS cities, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, and other major cities within a 2000 km radius. However, some flights operate only during the tourist season from May to September.

You can reach Batumi by train from Tbilisi. The Stadler train makes four trips daily, and the journey takes 5 hours and 8 minutes. It's advisable to buy tickets a few days in advance, as there may be no seats available on the day of departure.

You can also travel to Batumi by car, taxi, or bus. The distance from Tbilisi to Batumi is 360 km, and from Kutaisi to Batumi is 150 km.

Languages Spoken in Batumi

Local residents of Batumi speak Georgian. The older generation knows Russian, and young people often speak English, which is now taught in the city's schools. In banks, hotels, and restaurants, staff can usually communicate with guests in Georgian, English, and Russian. Due to its proximity to Turkey, Turkish speakers can also be found in Batumi.

Currency in Batumi

The Georgian lari is used to pay for goods and services in Batumi. Some establishments accept Visa and Mastercard for payment. You can exchange currency at one of the banks or exchange offices. Most exchange offices are concentrated at the entrance to the city, at the beginning of Chavchavadze Street, near the Batumi Plaza shopping center. You can exchange US dollars, euros, Russian rubles, and at some exchange offices, Turkish lira and Armenian drams as well.

Safety in Batumi

As a tourist city, Batumi prioritizes the safety of its guests. The city police ensure public safety, and locals are always willing to help lost tourists. You can move around the city safely at any time of the day. However, be cautious when crossing the bicycle lane on the seafront and avoid swimming far from the shore on Batumi's beaches.