- Park and garden
- Place or Religious Monument
I spent two nights in Batoumi on the last leg of my holiday in Georgia. To be honest, Batoumi is not at all representative of Georgia. It's more of a seaside resort, where partying and hoards of tourists set the tone for the summer.
Turks come here to go to the casino (something that is banned in Turkey) and Russians come to let their hair down in the trendy, beachside nightclubs, where top DJs spin their discs.
If you're after tradition and history then Batoumi is not for you.
Even so, I loved the botanical garden that's a twenty minute minibus ride away from the centre of town. It's a great place to spend an afternoon in stunning scenery, complete with an impressive view over the Black Sea!
Batumi was the first place I visited in Georgia and my feelings about the place were mixed. The city lies on the Black Sea coast and is largely focussed on seaside tourism. What I discovered here was an all to obviously tourist-oriented destination, with the glitzy, brightly-lit luxury hotels that have sprung up along its seafront standing along a panoramic esplanade that has an artificial feel to it. I never felt more like I was visiting the Miami of the Caucasus than I did when I was here.
I spent the last stage of my trip in this city too, and even though it still felt just as lacking in charm, I did actually enjoy walking around its botanic garden. The advantage this large park offers is that with the variety of plants there are there, the city's buildings are hidden from view. It's lovely going for a walk down by the sea in the park, far from the tarmac and concrete of Batumi. It's a nice place to come after all the time spent crossing the border, though there are definitely plenty of better places to see when visiting Georgia.
There's something surreal about the town of Batumi and I can't decide if I enjoyed it or loathed it...The town centre is a bit like Las Vegas meets Disneyland. Modern avenues and pretty, colourful buildings sit next to contemporary glass towers that pop up like mushrooms and are lit with bright colours at night.
A harbour and industrial town, it's tourism that makes things tick over in Batumi, so you'll find new buildings springing up all over the place. The long, pebble beach faces the Black Sea, attracting families from all over the country and making it one of Georgia's most popular destinations.