The Georgian seaside resort par excellence. Batumi (ბათუმი) is the country’s second largest city, located on the Black Sea, near the border with Turkey. We don’t want to call this city charming in the first place, in our humble opinion there are a little too many casinos and chacha spouting fountains for that. Pearl of the Black Sea goes a bit too far for us, but beware, Batumi also has surprising sides. Sometimes you just have to search.
If you explore the city for a while, you will also come across botanical gardens and avant-garde architectural highlights. Over the past 10 years, there has been a huge construction boom in Batumi. The Batumi Boulevard extends over 7km and offers all the entertainment you could wish for. Beach bars, theme parks, viewing towers, cycle paths and of course wide pebble beaches. Just outside the city is the unique border crossing at Sarpi Border Checkpoint. The customs building is one of a kind.
In the late 19th century, Batumi flourished as a port city. European architects and other important lords (the Nobels and Rothschilds, for example) (re) built the old town and fought for supremacy. After all, the city was the perfect hub to transport Azerbaijani oil to Europe.
What to see?
- Argo cable car: de Argo Cable Car takes you high above the city. Nice view, nice sunset photos for social media.
- Botanical garden: Batumi Botanical Garden is actually located in Mtsvane Kontskhi, a town about 10 kilometers outside the city. It is one of the largest gardens in all of the former Soviet Union. Lovely to stroll around.
- Chacha Tower: here you can drink chacha from a fountain. Maybe a bit college-oriented for some, but hey, you would also want to check out a champagne fountain, wouldn’t you?