“Las Vegas of the Black Sea”.
Where is Batumi?
The city of Batumi is located on the coast of the Black Sea at the foot of the Caucasus mountains in the southwest of Georgia.
Consisting of a diverse mix of architecture, classical buildings from the charming 19th century, along with ultra-modern skyscrapers that house hotels and casinos.
Our journey from Uzungol to Batumi was on the bus and in a hire car.
Whilst in Batumi we chose to stay at the Hotel Bloom. Booked as a walk-in. A very nice, clean hotel in a great location in the city. Breakfast here is a foodies paradise.
Places of interest
We started our exploration of Batumi straight after we had eaten. It was late evening, but there was still a warm breeze blowing. Lit up like a Christmas tree, the sea front at night, earning it the title of Las Vegas of the Black Sea.
The boulevard encompasses a waterfront promenade, park and beach. The 130m-high Alphabetic Tower, adorned with Georgian script, has a seaside observation deck. Away from the seafront. The old town district is lined with renovated 19th-century buildings. A host of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops line the short cobblestone streets.
There are an abundance of places and monuments to see in the old town area. All of which are easily walkable. In Miracle Park, there is the ferris wheel, lighthouse and the Alphabet tower. Adjacent to the Red Co Batumi Tower (the tower block with a Ferris wheel on it!) are the dancing fountains. Still within the park area are the Summer Theatre and the Colonnade. Further into town are the Theatre, Medea Sculpture and countless churches.
A 3 min walk from our hotel and we entered the Piazza. A lovely little Italian styled open-air space. A beautiful mosaic floor is the centrepiece of the square. Lined by restaurants, cafes, shops and a clock tower, the square is a nice place to relax.
St Nicholas Church
Leaving the Piazza, we crossed the road to St Nicholas Church. One of the most beautiful architectural and historical buildings. More than 150 years old, making it one of the oldest churches in Batumi. Suffering the same fate as many other religious buildings in the Soviet Union. Closed as a church for almost 20 years, whilst in the possession of the government.
A 5 min walk towards the harbour, brought us to the Chacha Tower. An elaborate Ottoman styled clock tower.
Another 5 min walk along the sea front and we were in Miracle Park, standing below Batumi’s Ferris wheel.
Ali & Nino Statue
150m from the Ferris wheel is the statue of Ali & Nino. Also known as the “Statue of Love”. The giant metal artwork, consists of two segmented figures. At 1900 hrs every day, the two figures glide gently towards each other, eventually merging.
A ten minute illuminated performance bringing the figures to life.
A few hundred metres from the Ali & Nino statue is Batumi Lighthouse. Twenty metres high white, octagonal stone lighthouse. Built in 1882, it is illuminated by red lights in the evening.
A hundred metres from the Lighthouse is Alphabet Tower. A 130-meter-high tower, built to symbolise the uniqueness of the Georgian alphabet. Displayed around the tower are 33, 4m tall aluminium letters of the Georgian alphabet. A restaurant on the third floor offers visitors panoramic views of the city and the Black Sea. On the fourth floor there is an observatory deck offering further panoramic views. The glass observation lift costs 10 GEL per person.
A 7 min, 600m walk through Miracle Park took us to Batumi Boulevard. A lively park with fountains. Running along the coast for approximately 7 km the seafront promenade extends right down the coast, pretty much to Batumi International Airport. Along the way are café-lounges, restaurants and sculptures. Coloured Dancing Fountains can be found in the lake in front of the Batumi Public Service building. Further along the promenade is the water park and Lech & Maria Kachinsky Park, which contains the flip flops on eggs and the Labyrinth Of Desires.
Adjacent to the Batumi Boulevard fountains is the Bamboo Grove. Quite literally as the name says, is a green bamboo grove within the park.
Heading towards the sea from the Bamboo Grove and in less than 100m we were facing the Colonnades. These elegant white Greek-style colonnades are not what you expect to see in Georgia. In our opinion, they look lovely, but out of place here. Built as an entrance to the beach. An concept and idea brought back from Sorrento in Italy in the 1930’s by a local doctor. The sea has receded somewhat now, leaving the Colonnades within the park.
Batumi Summer Theatre
A 3 min stroll through the park and we arrived at the Batumi Summer Theatre. A striking wooden building with large round windows. The building is reminiscent of an Oriental design and as with the Colonnades, in our opinion, looks out of place here.
6 May Park
Strolling through the Boulevard for 15 mins took us to the 6 May Park. The oldest park in Georgia. In the middle of the park is the beautiful Nurigeli Lake and at the far end is a zoo, dolphinarium, and an aquarium.
Taking 15 minutes we walked back into the city to get to Europe Square. With a fountain in the centre and surrounded by stately buildings, cafes and restaurants, this square is home to the following two attractions.
Statue of Medea
A monument to Medea, a Colchian Princess in Greek mythology.
Believed that Medea, who was the daughter of the King, was in love with Jason the Argonaut. Together they stole a guarantee of prosperity and the mascot of her people. Namely the Golden Fleece. The couple fled on the Argo ship, depicted in the statue.
The Medea statue with the Golden Fleece symbolises wealth, prosperity, and connection of Georgia to Europe.
The Astronomical Clock is located on the rebuilt towerof the National Bank of Georgia on the edge of Europe Square.
Equipped to show not only real-time. It also displays astronomical information, such as the position of the sun, moon, zodiac constellation and planets. It also shows the meridian, the horizon, sunrise and sunset. The age of the moon and the actual position of the moon around the earth.
Armenian Apostolic Church
A 3 min walk from Europe Square took us to The Armenian Apostolic Church. Built in 1873, then rebuilt in 1885 after the original church was destroyed. Used as a planetarium during the Soviet times, this saved the building from destruction. Inn 1992 the the Planetarium was moved to Batumi State University and the church was reopened.
Argo Cable Car
The Argo cable car links the city of Batumi with the Argo entertainment complex on Mount Anuria, about 250 meters above sea level. Offering wonderful views over the city, the Black Sea and the surrounding mountains. 2.5 km long and at a height of 256 m, the journey takes about 15 minutes at a cost of 15 GEL per person.