Can all 4 seasons be popular in the seaside city? In case of Batumi, they, definitely, can. Warm climate, modern and old architecture, amazing botanical garden and evergreen boulevard make Batumi equally attractive at all times.
The history of the city goes back to ancient times and the first records of it can be found in the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. Though, Batumi’s transformation into city started in XVIII-XIX centuries.
Imagine the gulf cut into the sea, with small, gable-roof houses by the coast, narrow streets, fairs and fishmongers… sailing ships, swaying on the waves and sailors, calling out to one another. That’s what Batumi was like in the middle of the 19th century. Convenient sea port attracted many Georgian and foreign people to this place and the small settlement started to turn into the fastest growing city.
In 1876, the British newspaper “Daily News” wrote that Batumi Port was the only safest port on the Black sea, as strong winds never strike this place.
Batumi obtained special significance in the period of the development of oil industry. At the end of the XIXth century, 26 percent of oil was transported to Europe via Batumi port. Such prominent traders as Alphonse Rothschild and the Noble brothers got interested in Batumi. The old sea port extended together with the number of ships entering the gulf. The place magnetized people from different parts of the world and gradually, Batumi became the city of various cultures and religions, that created its tolerant, multicultural character.
Right up to this day in Batumi you will see the Orthodox, Catholic and Gregorian churches, mosques and synagogues, meet Armenians, Greeks, Azerbaijanis, Russians, Ukrainians, Jews and Yezidis who have lived in Batumi over the centuries and maintained their cultural originality.
Modern Batumi is a progressive city with the best seaside beaches, museums, parks, various hotels and casinos.
If you are interested in the city history, you should walk to the old Batumi. Here you will enjoy the charm of the XIX-XX centuries European architecture, peculiar to Batumi. Exquisite houses with ornamented balconies are mostly two and three-storied. Balconies are full of pot plants and the doors are painted in different colors. In the evenings, when the street lights are on, old Batumi becomes even more enchanting.
You will never get lost in the old part of the city, if you know one little secret of the Old Batumi – all main streets lead to the sea and the sea port, which historically is the most important place in the city. That’s why Batumi is called the city fronting the sea.
Right in the heart of the old city there is a Piazza - the square with café-bars and restaurants. At the weekends, this is the most popular place to take pictures for newly married couples.
One more memorable and the most visited place in Batumi is Europe Square. Not far from it, there is an old cinema “Apollo”, which has a centuries-long history and works up to this day.
In 1899, while visiting Batumi, the Norwegian writer and the Noble prize winner Knut Hamsun was highly impressed by architecture and the roaring life of the city. In his book “In Wonderland” he writes that inhabitants of Batumi live a European lifestyle and in the evenings, you can watch the locals and foreigners being dressed in the latest fashion trends. Hamsun writes that it was in Batumi, where he met a dandy, wearing the most sharply pointed shoes, who drew his attention.
Nowadays Batumi Boulevard is even more attractive and crowded than it was a century ago. Its construction was started at the end of the XIXth century by German, French and Georgian gardeners. In the daytime, you can stroll here between the pine-tree alleys, try famous Batumi coffee, local cuisine and enjoy the sea views.
Not far from the boulevard, there is a central park with a beautiful lake. Everybody loves to rest here on the green grass, in the shade of the trees.
The oldest tree in the central park – cypress is 130 years old. It was planted in 1888.
If you decide to visit museums, start with archeological one. Here you will find the old golden jewels discovered in Ajara. Their refinement is astonishing even in modern times. Each item has its history connected with Colchians and Hellenes who inhabited Ajara 20 or more centuries ago. Besides the gold collection, the museum preserves archeological materials of the ancient Greek necropolis (V-VI B.C.), Colchian graveyard and the Hellinizm ancient period. In the parlor of the museum you can even purchase copies of some items.
12 kilometers away from Batumi, there is another interesting place – the Gonio-Apsaros museum-reserve, a historical fortress which had long been a subject of interest for Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.
Another great place to visit is the Batumi Botanical Garden. 111 hectare area of land contains countless species of plants, including 107 types of roses and 67 species of camellia. Blooming roses and camellias among the alleys of the century-old, parks and panoramic sea views make this place unforgettable. Looking down from the place, you can observe Batumi’s famous gulf and new outlines of the city with its skyscrapers and towers.
Batumi has its own rhythm and it can be felt both in the historical streets and in the newer part of the city, where modern architecture shows us a novel face of Batumi. Glass skyscrapers reflect the sun setting in the Black sea and due to exquisite shapes some of the buildings are called “the future of architecture”.
Near the coastline there is a 130-meter –high tower, holding the letters of the Georgian alphabet. The territory close to the Alphabetic tower is a “Miracle park”, one of the most romantic places in Batumi with a moving sculpture of a loving couple.
There is a big choice of activities for the night-life lovers. Some of them like walking in Batumi boulevard, where illuminated, dancing fountain performances are all night long, the others prefer night clubs and casinos or having a good time in seaside bungalows.
Don’t forget to look down at Batumi from the height. Near the old sea port, there is a funicular which takes you up to 256 meters above sea level. Here, you can enjoy Batumi view from panoramic deck.
Batumi is waiting for you!