Georgia’s biggest Black Sea resort city has a reputation for being ‘the Las Vegas of the Caucasus’. But now that Batumi is undergoing something of a renaissance, my perception has totally changed . Living in Batumi showed me a different side of the city and I now consider it one of my favourite places in Georgia.
Batumi still centres on the same old stretch of sand (or should I say, pebbles) that has been attracting summer tourists for centuries. But away from the shoreline, Batumi has a slew of cool cafes, creative spaces and an excellent street art scene.
Love it or hate it, the outlandish modern architecture is a highlight, and the Old Town is full of surprises. Add a wonderful produce market, a scenic aerial cableway, some great urban hikes, and access to some of Western Georgia’s best national parks to the mix, and you have an all-round excellent destination.
Another perk of visiting Batumi is getting acquainted with the distinctive Adjarian culture and cuisine. This is the birthplace of the famous Adjaruli Khachapuri and a range of other indulgent delicacies, including my personal favourite, Borano (melted cheese smothered in hot butter).
Walk or cycle Batumi Boulevard, an idyllic pathway that stretches along the seafront. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can cycle all the way to the Turkish border. Batumi is an ever-evolving city that has so much to offer beyond the beach.