Combining historical heritage, vibrant atmosphere, and a subtropical climate, discover the beauty of Batumi in Georgia
The "Las Vegas of the Black Sea," Batumi is a bustling, architecturally rich port near the Turkish border that cannot be overlooked. While most tourists flock to the nightclub- and museum-rich capital city of Tbilisi, Batumi is just a short train ride away.
Famous for its casinos, luxury hotels, modern architecture, and thriving cuisine, Batumi is a favorite destination for gamblers, spa lovers, and honeymooners. Just 20 miles from the border with Turkey, it accounts for more than 27 percent of annual tourist arrivals," writes Robb Report.
According to the National Tourism Administration of Georgia, this figure could reach more than 40 percent over the next decade, competing with Tbilisi and the surrounding wine regions. One of the reasons for Batumi's growing popularity is the city's year-round appeal. It has a temperate climate, and the Black Sea provides visitors with a beach backdrop throughout spring, summer, and fall.
"We're only seeing the beginning of Batumi's growth," says Dylan Price, WTA member. - "This city is attracting tourists from all over the world looking for a unique destination unlike anything else in Europe. The combination of unique heritage and culture, as well as a future-oriented vision and investment plan in the areas of environment, technology, and hospitality, are playing a significant role in bringing Batumi to the forefront of the hospitality industry."
How to get to Batumi?
It is a bit of a long journey, and the best advice is to enjoy a few stops along the way. From New York or London, the easiest way to get to Tbilisi's Shota Rustaveli International Airport is by plane, with a minimum travel time of about 10 hours. From there, it's a five-hour train ride from Tbilisi to Batumi. Alternatively, you can rent a car and make a few stops at local wineries in neighboring Kakheti outside the capital, such as Chateau Buera.
Batumi has its own international airport with a limited number of flights via Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. If you don't want to spend 10 hours on a round trip on your vacation, you should first visit one of these countries and then make Batumi the final destination of your trip.
What time of year is the best to plan a trip?
Nestled between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, Batumi has a great location for almost year-round travel. Due to its subtropical climate, the sea breeze provides moderate summers, while the Caucasus Mountains retain moisture and give the region a cool effect. Summer temperatures rarely exceed 30°C, while winter temperatures hover around 4°C with minimal risk of snowfall.
Botanical Garden and Old Town
Batumi is famous for its futuristic and historic architecture. Like many port cities, Batumi is an eclectic mix of old and new. With its vibrant architecture and culture, it rivals Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Tel Aviv in terms of personality.
So start simple - just take a walk around the city. Parks dot the city, and their 260 seaside acres of vegetation are known as The Green Cape. Also, visit the Batumi Botanical Garden with subtropical plants - you will be forgiven if you confuse it with a piece of Kauai.
Visit the charming Old Town, which showcases Georgia's characteristic 19th-century architecture. If you want to see something more modern, visit the 130-meter-high Alphabet Tower, a double spiral structure that immortalizes Georgia's history and its unique writing system. For a little relaxation, head to Batumi Square, an Italian-style square created to celebrate the region's cafe culture.
Khachapuri and local wine
For dinner, eat like a local and focus on Georgian wines. Many restaurants cater to tourists, so look for authentic khachapuri or a hearty plate of yakhni. Tbilisi's international fame has also influenced Batumi's gastronomic scene. Worth a visit are restaurants such as the House of Ajarian Khachapuri, G.Garden (which has a Michelin-starred chef), and Pirosmani.
For nighttime relaxation, Chacha Time offers its own menu with the favorite Georgian grape vodka. If you're feeling a little bolder after your second glass of chacha, it might be time to play a few hands at the local casino.
The Eclipse Casino is open 24/7 and has two spacious floors in a lofty, almost Art Deco style. The Batumi International Casino, located in the Hilton Hotel in the city center, is smaller and more intimate, with a European atmosphere that seems to appeal to tourists and locals alike.
Where to stay in Batumi?
Batumi has several excellent hotels. The Hilton is a marvel of architecture and hospitality. The Orbi Aparthotel is located on the beachfront with a rooftop pool and a garden oasis. The most interesting newcomer is Rooms Hotel, a Georgian boutique hotel that celebrates the cosmopolitan culture of the region. It will be fully opened this year.