Batumi is often referred to as the European capital of kitsch, which can be clearly seen upon arrival. It is certainly not the most attractive part of Georgia, despite being it second biggest city. However, this architectural mix, full of unrestrained fantasy and downright Byzantine (lack of) taste, stems from its people’s the passion for everything that is unique and original.
After years under the rule of the Turks and Soviets, the city has started reinventing itself around 2010. New buildings and objects are being constructed, old ones are being renovated, and the resort is being heavily invested in. All those efforts have visible effects.
The city combines the old with the new in its own way, like it or not.
It is obvious that Georgia wants to make Batumi a truly European holiday resort. It’s not quite there yet, but this strange mix of different construction styles has its own special charm.
So let’s take a look at Batumi and see for ourselves whether the city is one tenth as spectacular after dark as American Las Vegas or the enormously rich Dubai.
Batumi is a legend you have to face when you are visiting Georgia.
See a video showing tourist attractions that are worth seeing and visiting in Batumi:
Weather in Batumi
Before coming to Batumi, you must know that it has a subtropical climate and although the winters are mild there and in the summer the sun can scour, there may be real downpours during the holidays, so you have to be prepared and have an umbrella or raincoat hidden somewhere in the ready. The weather in the city is variable, but rain and humidity are a constant feature.
What tourist attractions are worth visiting in Batumi?
Let’s start with the fact that the beach in Batumi does not impress – it is rocky and has no sunbeds, so it’s hard to spread out on it. However, some people choose sunbathing anyway, since they are on the coast of the Black Sea anyways.
The most prominent attraction in Batumi is the Botanical Garden, which is located a few kilometers from the center, on a huge area called Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape).
You can get there by bus from the city center. The garden was founded in 1912 by the Russian botanist Andrej Nikolaevich Krasnov. He wanted to gather valuable subtropical plants and trees in one place. The whole area was divided into nine individual geographical zones, on which various specimens were planted. And so, moving from one part to the other, you can quickly move from a tropical jungle to an alpine Himalayan forest.
You have to dedicate the whole day for sightseeing, because the area is huge. It is also good to stock up on water, although edible fruit can be picked up on the way simply from trees such as citrus. You can read about ticket prices on the website of the botanical garden.
Visit in Batumi is best started with a walk along the palm-surrounded promenade. The palms glow in the evenings in the green color, which is the dominant lights color in the area. On the promenade there’s the several meters tall monument of Ali and Nino, celebrating love between Georgian princess Nino and Azerbaijani Muslim Ali, a legend described in the novel by Kurban Said. It is also a monument of Azerbaijani-Georgian friendship, designed by Tamara Kvesitadze. The statue itself is actually a moving installation in which both figures rotate and fuse into each other.
Batumi’s ferris wheel is impossible to overlook. It makes a full circle in about 10 minutes, where the visitors are elevated to a height of 55 meters, from where there is a view of the entire coast.
Next to the carousel there is also a mid-height lighthouse and a very characteristic element of the cityscape – Alphabetic Tower. It definitely dominates the city landscape with its 130 meter height. The aluminum building has an openwork structure, something like the shape of DNA, and contains letters of the Georgian alphabet, unique like the nation itself. Inside, an elevator was installed, and a large, silver ball was placed at the very top. From the tower there is a panoramic view, especially charming at night. There is also a restaurant and a sushi bar.
Chacha Clock Tower
Near the port there is another local attraction, a 25-meter Chacha Clock Tower surrounded by four fountains. The building itself is a copy of the clock tower from Izmir. Rumor has it that in the summer every day at 19:00 grape vodka (chacha) replaces the water in the fountains…
Generally when walking along the promenade, you can come across interesting objects – creations of contemporary artists, such as large monuments of shoes and boots.
In the evening a show of muscial fountains is taking place on the Ardagani lake. The show is a dynamic play of light and water combined with music of various genres, which lasts about half an hour. The show starts every day after sunset.
Visiting Batumi, it is worth going to the representative districts, where, for example, at Europe Square, you can admire an astronomical clock installed on the tower of the former building of the National Bank of Georgia. It not only shows the time, but also the phases of the moon, the position of the sun, the meridian and the horizon. In the same square stands the statue of Medea, which is a symbol of Georgia’s ancient ties with Europe. It is here that occasional concerts of invited great stars of the musical world take place.
No less interesting is Piazza Square, which is modeled on Italian piazzas. It is surrounded by a complex of stylish buildings, housing restaurants and cafes have outside tables for guests. You can also listen to live music on the piazza.
Mosques and churches
When it comes to sacred buildings, it is worth visiting the Turkish Ortajame mosque, the only one remaining in the whole city. They were all closed under Soviet rule, and after 1990 have been slowly returning to function. Saint Nicholas Church’s paintings are also interesting. This church was built of stones imported from Trabzon, and the construction itself began in 1865. It was fully renovated in 2012. The Jewish synagogue built at the beginning of the 20th century is slightly overrated, as its interiors are quite harsh and empty. During the Soviet rule, it was put at the disposal of the communist youth organization. It was again restored for use in 1998.
One more video encouraging to visit Batumi. In it, you will find most of the tourist attractions listed by us:
Attractions for children
Besides a visit to the botanical garden and a show of dancing fountains, a nice place to visit with children is the city dolphinarium, originally opened in 1975, again available to tourists from 2011. The shows take place every day (except Mondays), and in addition to the training of these intelligent mammals, it is possible to swim with dolphins for an additional fee. You can also go for a ride on the city cable car (Argo Cable Car) from which you can admire Batumi from a height. The ride takes about 10 minutes, reaches the Anuria hill (250 meters above sea level), where in addition to the panorama of the city and the Black Sea, there are restaurants, cafes and shops.
In Batumi there are also museums worth visiting, if someone is a fan of this type of entertainment. The most interesting and most often recommended ones include: Adjara National History Museum (showing the history of Adjara and various antique exhibits) and a small Archeological Museum (with prehistoric tools). There is also the Technological Museum of the Nobel Brothers and the Ajaran Art Museum.
A little further trip awaits those who want to see the Gonio fortress, because it is located about 15 kilometers from Batumi. It is a Roman fortification, built where the river Çoruh reaches the Black Sea, and is preserved in quite good condition. The most interesting rumor is that one of the apostles was buried here (Matthias).
Tourist map of Batumi
You can find more about the tourist attractions in Batumi on the official website of the city – we invite you to visit it.
If you know other places in Batumi that should be visited during a stay in the city, we invite you to mention them in the comments. Your opinions are important to us!