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I didn’t plan to go to Batumi. The original plan was to go to Caucasus, starting with Georgia and its capital, Tbilisi. And from there go straight to Armenia. But I had been hearing about all the things to do in Batumi, how great the city was. “Are you going to Georgia? Go to Batumi!” “Batumi is awesome!” “Where are you going in Georgia? Tbilisi and probably Batumi right?” It started in Moldova, but I kept hearing about this city in Ukraine, especially in Odessa. That’s why before getting there, I already knew going to Batumi was one of the best things to do in Georgia.
Description of Batumi
All right all right, let’s go to Batumi to see how it is! That’s the advantage of traveling solo, you go wherever you want to go, you just follow your desires. No compromises, no concessions, you do what you want to do, no time constraints. After Odessa, here I am on the other side of the Black Sea, in Georgia. I was told later that there is a ferry going to Batumi from Odessa, and the ride takes two days. If I only knew earlier, I would have probably taken the ferry…
So here I am, again on the seaside, and I have to say it feels really good. There’s a long pedestrianized road, 7 kilometers long (4.5 miles), alongside the beach. It’s very enjoyable to walk along the beach on this road. People savor their ice cream there, others are jogging along, or just taking a walk. There are also some outdoor nightclubs for the party animals.
Batumi is sometimes rightly called ” The Las Vegas of Georgia“. There are a lot (I mean… a LOT!) of casinos in the city. And those casinos are full of Turkish guys. It’s because gambling is forbidden in Turkey, and the Turkish border is only 15 kilometers away (10 miles). People from Turkey go to Batumi with a lot of money to spend in the evening, make it rain in the casinos, and then go back home during the night or early in the morning. Since the demand from the Turkish guys is really high, more and more casinos are being built. It’s a vicious/virtuous circle.
With the casinos, you can also add in this landscape hotels all over the place, and I don’t even count all those under construction (literally everywhere!). Now you understand why Batumi is compared to Las Vegas. A guy from Georgia told me “Man, if you want to invest money, you have to do it now! Prices are going to skyrocket in a few years! I already bought five apartments, two of them last year for almost nothing. They already gained an important added value.” A few days to relax yeah. Buy an apartment I don’t know…
As usual in the cities on the seaside and where the weather is nice, people are relaxed. People greet me again in the street, with “Yo!” and also some “How are you bro?“. Some kids point at me, say hi! Some children 7-8 years old, come talk to me in a perfect English. Some girls, 14-15 years old, also come to me… Every five minutes, a taxi slows down alongside me, honks at me and asks “Where do you want to go?” “I’m walking, thanks.” I’m clearly not from the area…
I think I ran into two or three black guys, who all came to talk to me when they saw me. Mostly from West Africa. We’ve all been through the same things. Some kids who all came to us to beg for money as soon as they catch sight of us. Damn they are taught in the cradle who they have to harass “You can see this guy comes from far away! That means he has money! Don’t let him go!“. Also in bars, someone from the staff who pretends to be interested in your story. Asking you where you’re from, what are you doing, if you’re alone, if you have a wife, kids… And then proudly repeats everything to his/her workmates. I tend to stare at the person while he/she repeats everything (usually in your blind spot, but looking at you), it makes them feel uncomfortable.
Admittedly, there are not that many things to do in Batumi, but let’s find out more about this city!
What to do in Batumi
The alphabetic tower
The iconic tower of Batumi is the alphabetic tower. Construction began in 2010, and the tower was completed in December 2011. It’s a 130-meter high tower, emblematic of the city. It’s also a point of reference, because you can see it from far away. On the tower, you can see the 33 letters of the Georgian alphabet. An elevator gets you on top of the tower, to have a nice view of the city. There’s also a restaurant in the tower.
The botanical garden
One of the places Batumi is really proud of is the botanical garden. I’m not gonna lie, this is not really the kind of places I enjoy going, but for those who are interested, this garden is tremendous, and you’ll see plants and trees from all over the world. You can get there for 8 lari (a little bit less than 3 euros).
Other things to do in Batumi
Take some time to have a walk in the old town and admire Europe Square. The architecture is so unusual, you’re gonna love it! You can also visit Orta Jame mosque, it’s open to visitors. It’s quite small but beautiful. Needless to say, have a walk on Batumi Boulevard along the beach. And you shouldn’t miss the Batumi Fish market!
And of course, take your time to wander around downtown Batumi, really charming! Enjoy the long road alongside the beach, and don’t forget to listen to this song by Filipinki, a Polish girls band from the 1960s! If you spend some time in the country, check out this list of places to visit in Georgia!
How to get to Batumi
You can get to Batumi by plane. Click here to check the latest flight prices. If you’re in Odessa in Ukraine, there are ferries going to Batumi. If you’re in Tbilisi or Yerevan, there are marchoutkas (vans) going to Batumi.
How to get around in Batumi
If you’re in the city center, you can visit Batumi by foot. Otherwise there are also marchoutkas.
Where to stay in Batumi
If you’re traveling on a budget, the Hostel in Batumi is for you. So cheap! Click here to book your stay. If you’re looking for a mid-range hotel, the Boutique Hotel 32 is clean, well-located, and the staff is awesome! Click here to book your stay. If you’re into luxury hotels, the Wyndham Batumi is the place to be. Click here to book your stay. Otherwise click here to check what are the hotels available in Batumi.
Finally, if you prefer to stay in an apartment, click here to check the apartments available on Airbnb.
Batumi travel tips
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page! This list of travel accessories can also be useful!
- Do not leave home without a travel insurance! Here’s why buy travel insurance!
- Want a tailor-made trip to Georgia? Get a free quote here!
- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it. Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.
- Georgia is an affordable travel destination!
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