It is said that Batumi inhabitants rarely leave Batumi in the summertime so as to be ready to extend a ward welcome to their guests. Batumi city is home to a Christian and Muslim population, living in peace next to each other. Beautiful low houses with stunning facades, where windows open only from outside, narrow cobble streets, green parks, a sea port enlivened with fishermen’s voices and comfy café-bars – this is just a short list of things that make this city a very cozy and picturesque place. Rain is a regular guest of the city, but it is no reason to get bored. Batumi and Adjara is a popular destination for many visitors fleeing the capital in the summer.
The history of Batumi port dates back to the times of the Roman Empire. Today, it is able to receive large cargo ships and works as a connection point on sea routes between Europe and Asia. Due to its geo-strategic importance, the first oil transportation in the world was provided by Batumi port in 1892 by oil tanker “Murex”. Batumi’s maritime gate, with its modern-equipped five terminals, is still of great importance as the main port for the reworking of the oil of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
BOULEVARD – THE SEASIDE PARK
Batumi Boulevard is located along the beach line. At seven kilometers long, it is regarded as the longest in the world. The boulevard puts together attractions, cafes and restaurants, an aqua park, a shell-shaped wedding house, souvenir stands, Batumi’s new lighthouse and a dancing fountain. Chess and backgammon lovers gather on the boulevard in the evening, visitors stroll and take memorable photos near the bamboo, squirrels jump from one branch to another of the trees.
The botanist Resler was the first gardener of this awesome park. The boulevard has unique flora with laurels blooming across 1,300 square meters of land. The new boulevard surrounds Lake Ardagani, near to which you will find restaurants with traditional Georgian cuisine nearby, sport complexes and chic hotels: “Sheraton”, “Radisson”, “Hilton” and the historical “Intourist Palace” located at the entrance of the park.
THE 6 MAY PARK
Located 140 meters from the beach, this is a route of white colonnades heading towards the Nuri-geli lake, an awesome place for fishing and relaxing. There are beautiful flowers and trees in the park: magnolias from Virginia, Japanese lilies, osmanthus from China and cypresses from the Mediterranean seaside. The 6 May Park also contains a zoo corner and show aquarium.
Batumi dolphinarium is located near the 6 May Park, a place full of positive emotions which attracts both adults and children. The dolphinarium offers its guests a new interactive and spectacular show including around 30 performances by dolphins: dances, playing with rings and balls, balancing on tails, the unforgettable Foot Push and more. The entertaining show is performed in three languages: Georgian, English and Russian. There are three shows daily, except Monday.
Buildings with beautiful facades near the seaside were always oriented to the sea. Most streets started from the sea also.
Batumi is a fascinating blend of Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic style motives from the stylistic perspective. From this point of view, Memed Abashidze Street (Marinsky Avenue) is one of the most spectacular venues for its historical buildings of the European style.
The Piazza is one of the most beautiful places in Batumi, distinctly Italian- but in Batumi, when it comes to architecture, it seems anything goes! The Square is surrounded by the Piazza complex, which includes a hotel, a couple of restaurants, a café and a pub. The architecture is distinguished by mosaics and stained glass art. The Piazza usually hosts concerts of world famous musicians visiting Batumi. Placido Domingo, Chriss Botti, Sting, Michel Legrand, Macy Grey are just a few who have already performed on Piazza square.
Bicycles have become a part of Batumi’s urban culture in recent years. It is possible to move around the city by bike without problem: there are special paths for cycling and places to rent bicycles by the hour.
A statue of Kolkhi Medea and the dancing fountain grace Europe Square. This place often hosts large-scale events: open-air concerts and presentations. Nearby is located the oldest pharmacy and a book-store, a famous place where various prominent figures often got together in the early XX century.
In the State Museum named after Khariton Akhvlediani one can view an archaeological collection dating back to the XII-X centuries BC, unique archeological material from the 5th century BC, \ engraved axes, the Gonio treasure – tiles covered with gold from the I – II centuries and more.
A selection of works is on display in Adjara State Art Museum. This collection includes paintings and graphics by distinguished Georgian masters: Niko Pirosmani, David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Elene Akhvlediani and more, totalling 500 objects.
The Batumi Archeological Museum offers a collection of items dating back to the Bronze and Middle ages.
The exposition includes samples of unique coins. There are more than 22 000 exponents kept at the museum fund.
You can visit the Stalin’s House-Museum and the Museum of Religious. It is also a must-to-see venue the Nobel Museum, displaying those technological novelties, which made Batumi a manufacturing city. There is history and a few machinery items and pictures from the development of the oil industry in Batumi with the train and pipelines from Baku and involvement of the Nobel Brothers in these processes.
One can often catch the delicious aroma of coffee in Batumi’s narrow streets. Drinking a cup of so-called Turkish coffee is a kind of tradition and ritual for Batumi inhabitants. There are lots of open-air cafes where Batumi residents and their guests get together to have this encouraging drink. Coffee made in Batumi tastes truely delicious.
CAFES AND RESTAURANTS
There are various open-air or indoor café-restaurants, night clubs, bars and casinos, where, apart from the famous Batumi coffee, one can taste a large variety of delicious – national, European and Asian dishes. Adjarian khachapuri, Achma (khachapuri with boiled layers) and Bakhlava (cake with nuts and honey) are top of the list of scrumptious food from the Adjara region. One can also enjoy live music performed in most venues.
The season in Batumi opens around the end of June and lasts till mid-October. A specially popular and traditional venue, where Batumi inhabitants get together often is seaside café “Beach” in the port. The café, with a view over the sea, is a blend of architectural elements from Stalin’s epoch and modern times. One more picturesque venue is the “Fish Market” café.
CHURCHES AND HOUSES OF WORSHIP
St. Barbare Church on Rustaveli Avenue, next to the hotel “Sheraton,” is surrounded by a pleasant park.
Virgin Mary’s Cathedral church of Gothic style harmonically blends with the city’s architecture. The church is built with stones that change color according to the weather.
The Mosque “Ortajame” was painted by lazian brothers and built with donation money. It is located between two other mosques.
Armenians make up 10 % of Batumi’s population. The Gregorian church “Surbprkitsi” was built in 1890 using the project of Austrian architect Marpheld.
Jews are proud of their synagogue, located next to the State Museum named after Khariton Akhvlediani. This building is an exact analogue of the Haag and Amsterdam synagogues.
WHERE TO STAY
There are lots of boutique, family, middle-class, fashionable and high-class hotels in the city. Batumi residents are very hospitable and always try their best to create a cozy, home-like atmosphere in guest-houses. Renting a flat is also a good option and prices start from 20 GEL per night. Flats near to the boulevard are inevitably more expensive. In the centre of Batumi you’ll find 5-star hotels “Sheraton,” “Radisson Blue,” “Hilton” and “Kempinski.” These hotels have appeared in recent years and offer absolute comfort, with restaurants, open and indoor swimming pools, casinos, conference halls and spa salons.
A 2,650 meter long funicular cable car service connects Batumi with Peria Mountain in Khelvachauri, leaving from Gogebashvili Street. One can enjoy fascinating views of the coastline, night Batumi and Adjara Mountains. Cable cars go up to the multifunctional complex “Argo”, which has the shape of a ship and puts together conference and exhibition halls, an entertainment center for children, a casino, and a restaurant. Tickets should be purchased which are on sale in kiosks throughout the city as well as at the funicular stations themselves.