24 hours in Batumi, Georgia
After the capital Tbilisi, Batumi has become the second biggest city in Georgia thanks to its location bordering the Black Sea and drastic investments in recent years. Today, visitors can enjoy many attractions, international hotels, a great dining scene and busy nightlife. With casinos and replicas of many famous landmarks, it’s often called the Las Vegas of the Black Sea. On top of that, Batumi is a bustling summer destination for locals, too.
You can start your visit with Seafront Boulevard that is home to many attractions. See Chacha Tower, a replica of İzmir Clock Tower; Ferris Wheel modeling London Eye, Lighthouse but pay closer attention to:
Statue of Ali and Nino: Inspired by the book of the same name by Kurban Said, Georgian artist Tamara Kvesitadze has built this 7 meter statue, depicting two lovers moving towards each other but never converging. He has depicted an impossible love of a muslim & christian like no other, don’t you think?
Alphabet Tower: Expressing the uniqueness of the Georgian alphabet and people, the 130-meter-tall building combines the design of a DNA strand holding 33 letters of the Georgian alphabet. The elevator shaft leads to the very top of the structure, which provides panoramic views.
Theatre Square owes its name obviously to the State Drama Theatre. Neptune Fountain adorns the square just like its Italian brother does on the main square of Bologna. Ilia Chavchavadze’s statue sits in front of the theatre.
Batumi Tower features a unique eight-cabin carousel wheel on the 27th floor of Le Meridien Hotel, another replica, this time of NY’s Empire State.
The Astronomical Clock: It is on the building of National Bank of Georgia which is a Unesco heritage building.
The Medea Monument: Medea is a Georgian woman from the Argonauts myth, who helped Jason steal the Golden Fleece from the Georgian state of Colchis to take to ancient Greece. Medea, holding a sheep skin, has costed Georgians a million laris, by the way.
Inspired by Italian piazzas, the square designed by Georgian architect Vazha Orbeladze, perfectly mixes different styles and trends. Piazza Square features boutique hotels & cafés; great spot to grab a drink or something to eat.
St. Nicholas Church: During Ottoman era, Greeks have built the church with stones brought from Trabzon. They gifted the church to the sultan, who let it, on the condition that the bells would not ring. The bells started ringing, the day Ottomans lost Batumi.
Orta Mosque is the only mosque in the city. Its name (meaning middle in turkish) derives from the fact that it once stood in between two other mosques which have not survived. Wooden carvings are well worth a look.
Armenian Apostolic Church: Built as wooden originally in 1873 , the church was destroyed later and the restorated one ceased existence during the Soviet rule, even became a planetarium. In 1992 with the request of the Armenian Diaspora, the church regained its previous functions.
Eat “khachapuri”, a traditional Georgian dish (similar to turkish pide), cheese filled bread topped with an egg or “khinkali”, a bigger ravioli; “tabaka”, chicken in pan. Drink “chacha”, grape vodka, before or after meal. Or try pear juice if you don’t wanna go for alcohol. All in all, remember this is a wine country, don’t forget to try or bring along some.
I prepared a guide for 24 hours but if you have more time, do see Cathedral Church of Virgin Mary, add Botanical Gardens and Sputnik Hill on your itinerary. Gonio Castle, Ardagani Lake, Makhuntseti Waterfall, Zvare Church and Vaio Village are good if you have a car. Even more time? Goderdzi Ski Center on Mount Elbrus, is an excellent choice if you’re up for winter sports, too.
Did you know
- Georgia is the first country in the world that ever produced wine?
- You can make your own Khachapuri at Grill Town Restaurant?
- Marijuana is decriminalized very recently?
- In June & July at 7pm, the fountain of Chacha Tower runs chacha for 10 minutes instead of water?
- Batumi tourism generates a lot of income from its neighbour Turkey (that is only about 20 kilometers away) where gambling is forbidden?
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