Look it up in a guidebook and the coastal city of Batumi screams neon lights, soviet party central, casinos and strip clubs. Yikes. The sound of it would make me run 10 miles. But our need to apply for visas was greater than our search for picturesque town, and after a week hiking in the Caucasus, it was time to come down to the coast.
In my opinion, the only way to approach the tackiness of Batumi was with an open mind, and spending 2 days there we managed to make the most of it.
*Disclaimer: I took about 2 pictures of this town (included below), so to write this post I took some generic shots from our trusty Google images.
So, best things to do in Batumi (if you have to go, and there’s no other option):
1. Swim in the Black Sea
As a Southern Hemisphere gal who’s lived far too long in Baltic Scotland – where summers don’t exist- seeing the sea makes me overexcited, particularly one I can swim in. The Irishman wasn’t too keen (the sun and sea combination probably came as a shock to him), but the Chilean was loving life.
2. Cycle by the coast
So the only reason we rented bikes was because we messed up our hostel booking and ended up staying in one miles out of town. Oops. But the bikes were great fun, and it even made us wonder why we weren’t cycling across the world instead of hitching. Until we reached a hill and realised why.
3. Understand the difference
…between the glitzy skyscrapers and the way the locals live. This wasn’t a top thing; in fact it was quite depressing to witness how oil money took over one of Georgia’s towns and turned it into the Caucasus “Ibiza”, with glitzy hotels and plans of making a Trump Tower. After a month in Georgia, it was the only place I saw that lacked personality and soul.
4. Get out!!
Guess I wasn’t too impressed by this place. As someone who’s not that into nightlife, it was probably wasted on me. But at least I can say I’ve now swam in the Black Sea.