What to do in Batumi with Kids
Batumi sits on the coast of the Black Sea in the western part of Georgia. It is a great summer destination and feels very lush in comparison with Tbilisi. Going from Tbilisi to Batumi is easy, and makes a great additional stop when visiting Georgia.
Batumi tourism is largely based on gambling and nightlife, but it can be a very fun family vacation as well. We have been to Batumi twice, once in March and once in August. While both were enjoyable, Batumi is best enjoyed in the summer. Here are our favorite ideas for what to do in Batumi with kids.
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WHAT TO DO IN BATUMI
You can’t visit Batumi in the summer and not go to the beach! I was surprised by how pretty the water actually was. I think I was expecting gray but it was actually a pretty blue. The beach is rocky (as most in Europe are) but there were several paths down to the water that made the beach more accessible with a stroller. Don’t forget to bring your water shoes!
We didn’t go swimming in the sea because I was on my own with the 3 kids. and I didn’t feel comfortable watching my big kids in the waves while I still had to take care of the baby. So instead we just walked down the path and I let the big kids play in the rocks for a bit while the baby took a nap.
If you want to sunbathe here, you can rent chairs and umbrellas. There will be some guys posted along the beach who will ask you for money if you sit in a chair. Make sure to have some lari on you!
Another great place to visit from Georgia is Baku, Azerbaijan! Read about it here!
The boulevard in Batumi is full of entertainment! No matter which direction you walk, you can do the bulk of your Batumi sightseeing from here. We spent a whole day just walking up and down it exploring. We found playgrounds, pelicans, fountains, a Japanese garden, plenty of ice cream stands, and souvenir stalls.
The boulevard is very wide. You can rent family bikes and bike along the water. You will find restaurants and a lot of manicured green spaces! You can also find private pools where you can pay an entrance fee to access the pools and cabanas.
One thing you won’t find much of is bathrooms. Make sure to take your little ones (and yourself) to the bathroom whenever you are leaving your hotel or a restaurant. We found one to use in a pinch, but it wasn’t a nice facility. It was the famous “squatty potty” AKA a hole in the ground. Worked fine for my son, but it would’ve been harder with my daughter.
MAY 6 PARK
Set back behind the boulevard is May 6 Park. This little park has a lake in the middle and a nice walking path around it. You can rent small boats to take out on the water. There are also rides set up along one side. Buy tickets for rides from the ticket booths, not at the actual ride. Check height and age restrictions with the ride operator before buying your tickets. One ride operator was hesitant to let my 4-year-old on the carousel by himself but eventually gave in.
This park is near the zoo, dolphinarium, and an aquarium. The zoo did not look up to modern standards. It looked like the enclosures were small and sparse. I have heard the aquarium is not very nice either. I would not put them on your list for places to visit in Batumi.
EAT AJARIAN KHACHAPURI
Georgia is famous for its khachapuri (baked cheesy bread) and the most recognizable variety comes from Adjara, the region Batumi is in. Make sure you try this local specialty before you leave Batumi. Cafe Retro is one of the best restaurants in Batumi to get it.
We went there and were lucky enough to snag a table. This is a popular spot, so expect it to be crowded. You can order different sizes of khachapuri. I recommend getting a medium-sized one to share.
It will come with a raw egg yolk in the middle. You should break off the end of the bread and stir the egg into the hot cheese. Once the egg and cheese are mixed, use the bread to dip into the mixture and enjoy!
ENJOY THE POOL
When you visit Batumi in the summer, you will definitely want to enjoy an outdoor pool! The Sheraton has a pool that is free for guests and a small charge for non-guests. There are also some private pools along the beach. Each one has chairs, music, and a bar. So even if your hotel does not have a pool, you can still find a pool to enjoy.
The restaurant next to the Sheraton pool has delicious food. You can order it to your pool chair or eat in the restaurant.
VISIT EUROPE SQUARE
Europe Square is a beautiful plaza just off the waterfront boulevard. In the middle, you will see a statue of Medea holding a golden fleece. Also in the square is an astronomical clock that may remind you of Prague. The story we were told is that the architects tried to imitate architecture from all over the continent of Europe. So if some of the buildings look familiar or remind you of somewhere else, that may be why.
MEAL WITH A VIEW
Most of the big hotels have a rooftop restaurant where you can dine with a great view of Batumi. We ate at the Hilton a couple of years ago with the kids and thought the food was good. The Sheraton also has a rooftop restaurant. If visiting in the summer, you will want to make a reservation.
If you are visiting with kids, make a lunch reservation instead of dinner. You won’t want to miss the view when you visit Batumi.
MORE BATUMI ATTRACTIONS
-Go to the top of the Alphabet Tower.
-Take a ride in the cable car and check out the view.
-Get outside the city and see the Botanical Gardens.
-If you are going without kids, there are plenty of casinos and clubs where you can hang out until the wee hours of the morning.
Batumi has several recognizable hotel chains along the boulevard and more are being built! Here are some suggestions on Batumi Hotels:
Sheraton Batumi we stayed here this summer and loved the pool, location, buffet breakfast, and the delicious food at the restaurant. The hotel has an indoor pool and spa as well just in case the weather isn’t great during your visit.
Hilton Batumi we have personally stayed here and were very happy with the accommodations. The hotel is very near the boulevard and walkable to many places. Don’t forget to dine in the rooftop restaurant.
Paragraph Hotel is a highly recommended resort with everything on site. It has indoor and outdoor pools, waterslides, a black sand beach, a small aquarium, and a kids’ club. It is a little outside of the city but it is supposed to be one of the best hotels in Batumi.
HOW TO GET FROM TBILISI TO BATUMI
There are several options to get from Tbilisi to Batumi.
Batumi has an airport and would be a quick one hour flight from Tbilisi. Batumi Airport is about 2 km south of the city. There are also direct flights from Tel Aviv, Istanbul, Moscow, Kyiv, Warsaw, Amman, Baku, and more.
You can also rent a car and drive or hire a private driver. The drive will take about six hours. Driving in Georgia can be challenging if you are not comfortable driving in places where the driving rules are loosely followed, it’s best to leave the driving to someone else. You can easily book a private transfer.
The third option is to take the train from Tbilisi to Batumi. The train is very modern and up to Western European standards. The train ride takes about 5.5 hours. Bring snacks and some entertainment for the kids.
When you get to the Batumi train station, you will be greeted by a flood of taxi drivers eager for your business. Negotiate the price before you get in. We paid 25 lari for a van for the 5 of us, and we were probably getting overcharged. We liked the Tbilisi-Batumi train and would recommend it instead of driving.