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Batumi 2013

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Your reliable and practical guide to the best places around Batumi

Ajara Region

Natural wonders of Georgia’s best seaside area N°1 www.inyourpocket.com


Contents

E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S

Contents Arriving & Transport

5 Getting to town, taxi, car rental & public transport

The Basics

7

All you’d better know while in Georgia

Culture & Events 11 Art galleries, events and history overview

Where to stay

13

Best places to spend the night

Restaurants

16

Georgian restaurants list is on a top. Need a break - choose one of the following

Nightlife

20

A good election of bars, pubs & clubs

Sightseeing Essential Batumi Check out the highlights

21

Activities 22 Where to go with children Parks & Gardens Where to hide from the heat

Batumi Public Velo System is a cool, convenient and affordable. It was launched in 2011 and is popular with both locals and tourists. There are special bike lanes around the city and several points to take and leave the bike. Bicycle lanes run along Batumi coast and the streets of the Old City area. The length of the costal route is about 30 km from Makhinjauri to Kvariati. Street terminals operate 24 hours. Get the Batumvelo card in tourist information centres. It is obligatory to pay minimum 20 Lari to get the card. The bike rental costs 2 Lari per hour.

22

Churches 23 Religious monuments in Batumi Travel Agencies Reliable tour companies

23

Shopping & Directory

24

Books, Souvenirs, WIne and more

Ajara Region

26

All the best Ajara region has to offer

Maps & Index Old town map New Boulevard Street register & Index Country map batumi.inyourpocket.com

32 34 34 35

Georgia is believed to be the birthplace of wine over 7000 years ago. The earliest evidence of wine making has been found here, and the word “wine” is derived from the Georgian word “gvino”. Georgian wine was, and in some cases still is, produced in buried clay fermenting pots called Kvevri.

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Foreword Welcome to the first edition of Batumi In Your Pocket! We hope this guide will be a helpful and handful, giving you all the best insights to the city.

E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S

Batumi was an Ancient Greek colony, a Roman port and was fought over several times in battles between the Georgian Kings and invading Ottoman forces. In 1878 Batumi came under the rule of the Russian Empire and the city soon experienced rapid expansion. Today it is Georgia’s main port and seaside holiday destination.

Publisher

Batumi is blossoming. It is Georgia’s summer playground and has seen much development over recent years, much of it with new building, but some with a sympathetic understanding of the city’s history. Batumi had a previous period of prosperity in the 19th century and a lot of recent renovations of the old town have been carried out with that in mind, using archive documents to preserve authenticity. The result is a charming series of low-level buildings with delicate railings and balconies, moulded facades and quiet cobblestone streets, where the air is filled with the aroma of fresh coffee, the fragrance of citrus plants, and of course the sea breeze. Despite the developments the ongoing construction does have its critics, with some arguing that it is damaging the city’s character. Yet there is no arguing that Batumi has an energetic and growing tourist infrastructure that makes it an easy and enjoyable place to stay. In this guide we also provide you with tourism information on the Ajara region, one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in Georgia.

In Your Pocket Georgia LLC Tabukashvili 15/4 Tbilisi 0108 Georgia tel. (+955) 596 10 72 01 tbilisi@inyourpocket.com www.inyourpocket.com Printed by LTD Favorite Printin Published 10,000 copies once per year

Editorial Editor & Writer Huw Williams Managing Editor Natasha Martisova Research In Your Pocket Georgia team Design Natasha Martisova Photography In Your Pocket unless otherwise stated Cover In Your Pocket

Sales & Circulation Director: Piotr Rząca peter.piter@inyourpocket.com Tbilisi/Batumi Sales Manager: Eka Tsotsoria (+995) 555 43 80 45, eka.tsotsoria@inyourpocket.com

Copyright notice Text, maps and photos copyright In Your Pocket Georgia LLC. Maps copyright Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara A. R. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernardinu 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76).

Maps Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara A. R. Parnavaz Mepe 84/86, Batumi 6010, Georgia info@visitbatumi.travel, www.visitbatumi.travel

Have a happy stay and enjoy the city, the sea and the sun. Gamarjoba!

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Georgia

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Arrival & Transport By Bus

By Train

Buses from Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Kobuleti arrive in Tbilisi Square, next to the port (Gogebashvili St). Some buses arrive at the bus station, which is short walk from the port. If you’re arriving by bus from Sarpi or Kvariati, you may as well just get off anywhere on Chavchavadze Street. Buses from Turkey arrive at the new bus station on Gogoli street. The Old Town area starts from Gogebashvili Street and most of the hotels are located in a one kilometre radius from the bus stop. If you get dropped by the bus driver next to the port, just follow Gogebashvili street to the north. Bus Station Maiakovsky 1. QOpen 07:00 - 00:00. New Bus Station Gogoli 1. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00.

There aren’t any passenger stations named Batumi, Makhinjauri is the name of the train station (named after the village) 8 km North-East to Batumi. All trains from Tbilisi, Ozurgeti, Kutaisi, as well as international ones from Yerevan and Baku stop here. Inside the train station there is a ticket office, though when leaving Batumi it’s better to get ticket in advance in the city office. The timetable is available online at www.railway.ge. Getting to town: To get to the centre you can take a taxi (15 Lari) or public transport - bus #10 or minibus (marshrutka) # 20. A stop for both is located to the right from the train station. Buy a double ticket from the bus driver (0.80 Lari total), and validated it twice as the ride to Batumi costs 0.80 Lari. Bus #10 takes you to Rustaveli Av. Marshrutka # 20 will get you to Chavchavadze Street, pay when getting off (1 Lari). Makhinjauri Train Station Tbilisi Highway, tel. (+995) 422 25 03 03, www.railway.ge.

By Plane Batumi International Airport (TAV) is located seven kilometres south from Batumi on the road from Batumi to the Turkish Border. The new terminal was constructed in 2007 and provides good quality passengers services. There are several ATMs, currency exchange, a gift shop, a bistro, a travel agency, VIP and CIP zones. Both international and domestic flights operate from here. The queues at passport control are usually short and the baggage delivery is often prompt. Getting to town: Taxis are relatively cheap and it will be the quickest option. Be ready to pay about 15Lari to the city centre. The cheapest way to reach Batumi is to take bus # 10. The bus stops is in front of the terminal and it takes 20 minutes to get to the city centre. Tickets cost 0.40Lari. Beware that on Batumi public buses you need to purchase two tickets, printed on one piece of paper. You can buy tickets from the driver. Kutaisi International Airport. Wizz Air operates low cost flights from Poland and Ukraine, as well as from Moscow Domodedovo and Minsk airports. The airport is located about 120 kilometres from Batumi. The airport is very basic, just a simple immigration and customs post, no currency exchange or ATM. On exiting, expect to be surrounded by dozens of drivers touting for buses to any destination around Georgia. The bus costs approximately 15Lari depending on the driver and it is a three-hour journey. Pay 60US$ for a taxi. The cheapest and sometimes the fastest way is simply cross the road in front of the airport and catch a bus to Batumi for 10 Lari. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t have any Lari on you, just ask your driver to stop at the currency exchange on the way. If any questions - there is a tourist information desk to the right from the arrival hall doors. Batumi International Airport Airport Highway 220, tel. (+995) 422 23 51 00, www.batumiairport.com. Q W Kutaisi International Airport Kutaisi, tel. (+995) 431 23 90 03. Q W

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Car Rental For some visitors, driving in Georgia can be a daunting experience. On the face of it, Georgians don’t seem the most disciplined motorists. Driving speeds are often fast and lane changes can be erratic. At rush-hour the experience is further intensified by heavy city traffic. The speed limit is 60 km/h in towns and cities. In other areas it’s 80 km/h unless indicated. Highways speed limit is , unless other is indicated on the screens along the road. All road signs and screens are in English. There is a zero tolerance policy towards drink driving and your seat belt must be locked. Cars4rent Chavchvadze 34, Tbilisi, tel. (+995) 32 247 63 99, www.cars4rent.ge. (+995) 577 44 11 59 (24/7). QOpen 11:00 - 18:00. Gela Rent a Car B-3, Gorgasali 55, tel. (+995) 790 56 96 02, www.gelarentacar.com. Hertz D-2, Baratashvili 6, tel. (+995) 422 29 20 98, www.hertz.ge. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun. A Sixt Batumi International Airport, www.sixt.com. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. A

Taxi Taxis are a cheap and are an easy way to get around the city. Most trips within Batumi range from 3 to 6 Lari. Some taxis carry meters with fixed rates, but not all. Agree the price before you get in. Haggle with them, they will probably start with a high price if you are a foreigner. Taxi-2, tel. (+995) 422 27 05 94. Tariff 1Lari/km.

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arrival & transport departure date and time train #

original

carriage # and seat/berth

# of passangers

total price

from - to stations passport # / name arrival date and time

As there is no information in English on the train tickets, we hope this picture will help you to decode it

Public transport

Buying Train Ticket

Buses Buses are mainly modern and with an electronic display clearly showing its route number on the front. They operate to a schedule, which you can find on electronic boards located on the bus stops. Once on the bus you’ll receive one ticket worth two rides (0.80 Lari total), which needs to be validated each time you ride. Ensure you have the right change to pay, as drivers often refuse big notes. Buses for longer distances (Sarpi and Makhinjauri) cost 0.80Lari, just validate you ticket twice. Below is a list of bus routes you are most likely to need. #8 > T/C “Batumi” - Tabidze str. - Leonidze str. - Javakhishvili str. - Chavchavadze str. - Tsereteli str. - Maiakovski str. - Gogoli str. - Tamar Mepe ave. - Makhinjauri (Railway Station) < Makhinjauri (Railway Station) - Tamar Mepe ave. - Gogoli str. - Maiakovski str. - Bako str. - Chavchavadze str. - Javakhishvili str. - Leonidze str. - T/C “Batumi” #10 > Batumi International Airport - Kachinski str. - Khimshiashvili str - Rustaveli Av. - Gogebashvili str. - Tamar Mepe ave. - Makhinjauri (Railway Station) < The same return route. #13 > Chavchavadze str. (Tbilisi square) - Bako str. - Tamar Mepe ave. - Makhinjauri (Railway Station) - Chakvi - Buknari < The same return route. #15 > Zeda ghele - Varshanidze str. - Gen. A. Abashidze Av. Orbeliani str. - Khimshiashvili str. - Bagrationi str. - Melikishvili str. - Rustaveli Av. - Gogebashvili str. - Shavsheti str. - Maiakovski str. - Gogoli str. - Tamar Mepe ave. - Makhinajauri (Railway Station) - Green cape (Agricultural University) Sakhalvasho < The same route on the way back #16 > Maiakovski str. - Tsereteli str. - Chavchavadze str. - Abuseridze str. - Angisa (Children’s hospital) - Akhalsofeli - Gonio - Kvariati - Sarpi (Turkey Border) < The same return route.

The most efficient way to buy train ticket is to go to the ticket office at Mazniashvili 5. There is usually an English speaking staff member. You should have valid ID or a passport with you. You can also buy tickets online. Go to railway.ge website, click the map on the right. You can check the connections as well as buy ticket. You need to register and then follow their procedure, pretty much the same as any other online booking system. It only accepts Visa or MasterCard. If you are travelling on an electronic ticket, show the conductor the ticket purchase code and the ID you used during the booking process. Beware: the online booking engine sometimes just doesn’t work. Remember that for popular destinations (Tbilisi, Kutaisi) you should buy tickets at least 2 days in advance, especially in high season.

Minibuses Called marshrutkas operate on established routes. Unlike Tbilisi, here they can be painted any colour. The number is usually displayed on the front. Some of them operate city routes while others do the long distance duty. Ask locals or at tourism information centres which number marshrutka you need to take. The fare for a ride within city is usually 0.50 Lari, payable to the driver when you get off. The main stop for long distances marshrutkas is the Central Bus Station.

Batumi In Your Pocket

Arriving by Sea There are several regular passenger lines that connect Batumi with Illichivsk port in Ukraine and Sochi in Russia. All ferries arrive in the passengers terminal, which is located right in the city centre on Batumi Boulevard. Batumi Express (+995) 593 33 39 66. Connects Batumi and Sochi. Run two times a week, on Wed and Sat from Sochi. Boarding 10:00 - 11:00. Depart at 12:00, arrives in Batumi at 18:00. UkrFerry (+995) 422 27 41 19, www.ukrferry.com. Passenger and transport ferries run between Illichivsk and Batumi. Departure from Illichivsk every Thursday. From Batumi to Illichevsk every Sunday. Approximate duration of the trips is about 60 hours.

Tourist Information Centres Batumi City Centre D-2, Ninoshvili 3, main entrance to Batumi Boulevard, tel. (+995) 422 29 44 12/(+ 995) 577 90 90 91. Batumi International Airport Airport Highway 220, tel (+ 995) 422 29 44 14 / (+ 995) 577 14 17 05, ticbatumiair@gmail.com. Sarpi Custom Border Sarpi, tel. (+995) 577 90 90 93. Khulo Municipality Khulo village, tel. (+995) 591 71 78 18. Kobuleti Municipality Agmashenebeli 110, Kobuleti, tel. (+995) 598 52 61 66. batumi.inyourpocket.com


Basics Crime & Safety Batumi is arguably as safe as many European cities. There are pickpockets and theft does occur, but it is not a common happening. Just be streetwise, don’t carry lots of cash and don’t be too obvious with the money you do have on you. In essence, the locals are usually friendly and welcoming. Georgians can be impulsive and loud and you may encounter passionate arguments. Usually they are just barking at each other, but be sensible, and stay clear. Generally, foreigners are seen as a valuable asset and you are unlikely to encounter any problems. If you do have any encounter with crime, the police are usually friendly and helpful. Police corruption in Georgia is incredibly rare. Police Station #3 E-3, Kutaisi Str., tel. 112, www. police.ge. QOpen 24hrs.

Customs You can bring 400 cigarettes, or 50 cigars or 50 cigarillos or 250 grams of other tobacco products as well as 4 litters of alcoholic beverages into Georgia without declaring it at customs. There are allowances for importing without declaration up to 30kg of food, not exceeding 500 Lari, once in a calendar day. Import or export of money up to 30000 Lari or equivalent in other currencies is exempted from duty. Exporting antiques and old works of arts is subject to licensing and permission from the Ministry of Culture. Cats and dogs must be accompanied by veterinarian health certificate. All international regulations on narcotics, guns and explosives apply.

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Facts & Figures

Population Georgia 4 469 200 Batumi 180 000 Ethnic composition Georgians 82%, Armenians 5%, Russians 4.5%, Ukrainians 0,4%, others 8.1%. Territory of Georgia 69,700 sq km Borders Black Sea 330km, The Greater Caucasus Mountain Range forms the 723 km northern border with Russia, Armenia 164km, Azerbaijan 322 km and Turkey 252 km. Longest river Mtkvari 1515 km Largest lake Paravani 37.5 sq km Highest point Shkhara 5,193 m (17,040 ft) Local time Together with all countries of the Caucasus region and Russia, Georgia is in the UTC+4 time zone.

Climate Rainfall, mm

Temperature, °C 30

300

Electricity

20

200

Georgia supplies its residents and visitors alike with electrical current of 220 volts AC, 50Hz. All sockets require two round pins. Adapters for more foreign electrical societies are not easy to find in Batumi, so bring your own.

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Internet

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100 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The climate in Batumi is subtropical, which means mild winters and cold summers. The temperature in summer reaches 22-24 C. Winter low temperatures are 4-6 C.

There is a free public Wi-Fi available along the Ninoshvili street, from the university to Intourist Palace hotel. Also most of the cafés/restaurants/bars have free WiFi. To be sure look for W symbol in our guide. There are a number of internet cafés around Batumi. The one we like is at Melikishvili 23, open 09:00-00:00. 1 hour costs 1.50 Lari.

Exchange rates

Money

Current exchange rates are available at

The Georgian national currency is the Lari (GEL) divided into 100 tetri. It was introduced in 1995, replacing the kupon lari, a transitional currency used after Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union. The Lari is a relatively stable currency. Paper bills are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. Bills for 1 and 2 Lari were replaced by coins. Coins are in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 tetri and 1 and 2 Lari denominations. ATMs are plentiful and the vast majority will accept foreign cards. As always, if you can, try and use ATMs associated with a reputable high street bank. Card fraud is an international problem and taking precautions is as advisable in Tbilisi as any other city. Try and carry small denomination cash as taxi drivers and small shops might not be able to change high value notes. You can also use debit and credit cards in many shops, bars, restaurants and hotels in Batumi. Places that do not accept CC indicated in our guide by N symbol.

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As of June 20, 2013 €1 – 2.20 Lari US$1 – 1.65 Lari

£1 – 2.50 Lari

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Market values How do costs compare to back home? Here’s a handy list of local prices to give you an idea. McDonald’s Big Mac 4.95 Lari €2.25 $3 Loaf of white bread 0.70 Lari €0.32 $0.42 Snickers bar 1.00 Lari €0.45 $0.60 Litre of vodka 17.00 Lari €7.73 $10.30 Bottle of local beer (0.5 litre) 1.50 Lari €0.68 $0.90 Bottle of local wine (from) 7.00 Lari €3.18 $4.24 20 Malboros 2.70 Lari €1.23 $1.64 Public transport ticket 0.40 Lari €0.18 $0.27 1 litre of petrol (euro 3) 2.10 Lari €0.95 $1.27

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Basics National holidays

Language The country’s official language is Georgian, but English is widely used. Russian is also spoken by the majority of Georgians, particularly those over twenty five. See below for a list of some of the most common words and phrases. Hello gamarjoba Goodbye nakhvamdis, kargad Please tu sheidzleba You’re welcome arapris Thank you madlobt Excuse me ukatsravad Yes diakh, ki No ara Enjoy your meal gemrielad miirtvit Cheers! gaumarjos! I don’t understand ar mesmis I don’t know ar vici Help! mishvelet! damekhmaret! Hospital saavdmkofo Ambulance sastsrafo Where is…? sad aris...? Right, left marjvniv, martskhniv Do you speak English? inglisurad laparakobt? How much does … cost? ra ghirs? What’s your name? ra gqviat? One erti Two ori Three sami Four otkhi Five khuti Six ekvsi Seven shvidi Eight rva Nine tskhra Ten ati Hundred asi Thousand atasi Push (on a door) miatsekit Pull (on a door) gamoaghet Open ghiaa Closed daketilia

ა a დ d ზ z კ k’ ნ n ჟ zh ტ t ქ k შ sh ძ dz ხ kh

ბ b ე e თ t ლ l ო o რ r უ u ღ gh ჩ ch წ ts’ ჯ j

გ g ვ v ი i მ m პ p’ ს s ფ p ყ q’ ც ts ჭ ch’ ჰ h

Most city centre streets signs are written in English, but in case you get lost in Old Town are or in the outskirts, here is a list of street signs in Georgian. We hope you to find where you are! Street ქუჩა kucha Square მოედანი moedani Avenue პროსპექტი prospekti Boulevard ბულვარი bulvari Bridge ხიდი khidi Embankment სანაპირო sanapiro Highway გზატკეცილი gzatkets’ili Lane შესახვევი shesakhvevi Descent დაღმართი daghmarti Some streets in Batumi have been renamed recently, but often people will still use the old names. Sometimes maps and street signs do not agree version should be used. We have decided to use which ever seems the most popular name.

Batumi In Your Pocket

January 1 New Year’s Day January 7 Orthodox Christmas January 19 Baptism Day of our Lord Jesus Christ March 3 Mother’s Day March 8 International Women’s Day April 9 Day of National Unity May 5 (2013) E astern Orthodox Sunday May 6 (2013) E astern Orthodox Monday May 9 Day of Victory over Fascism May 12 Saint Andrea the First Day May 26 Independence Day August 28 Saint Mary’s Day October 14 Day of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (in Mtskheta) November 23 Saint George’s Day

Religion The historically Christian Ajara region fell under the control of the Ottoman Empire control in 1614 and went through a long period of Islamization, which lasted until the end of 18th century. Later, under the Russian Empire and later still the Georgian state a lot of people were baptized back into Orthodox Christianity. Today, the influence of the Georgian Orthodox Church is growing fast, so much so that even some Catholics from Ajara are converting to Orthodoxy. The famous Catholic Church on Zubalashvili Street was reopened after Soviet times as the Georgian Cathedral of Saint Mary. The majority of Ajarians now belong to the Orthodox Church (63 per cent), while there is a Sunni Muslim minority (30 per cent), mainly in the Khulo district. Batumi is also a home for Roman Catholic (0.2 per cent), Armenian Apostolic (2.3 per cent) and Jewish and other communities (6 per cent).

Smoking Georgia does not enforce a smoking ban in public places. Very few bars and restaurants even offer nonsmoking sections. So if you can’t stand smoke, look for G symbol in our guide. Smokers enjoy a ridiculously cheap selection of cigarettes hawked by corner kiosks that are located throughout the city.

Visas You do not need a visa to enter and stay in Georgia for up to 360 days if you are a foreign national who permanently resides in the USA, Canada, EU, New Zealand, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Japan, Republic of Korea, Brazil, United Mexican States, State of Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Kuwait (check the full list at www.rs.ge/ en/5418) do not need visa to enter and stay in Georgia for up to 360 days. Citizens of the member states of European Union can enter Georgia merely by producing their national identity card. Russian Federation and Ukraine citizens do not need a visa to enter and stay in Georgia for up to 90 days. If you’re not from one of the above countries, you can get a visa from a Georgian embassy or consulate. An “Ordinary” 90-day, single-entry visa, which covers tourism, is US$50. Visas are also issued at the official road and air entry points, but not if you are arriving by rail or sea. Foreign nationals who have a multiple entry US, EU or Schengen member states visa, valid for one year or more and previously used once at least, can enter or stay in Georgia without visa up to 90 days, within the validity term of the visa. Foreign nationals who are holders of the UNO’s or its specialized agencies’ travel documents (Laissez-Passer), can enter or stay on the territory of Georgia without visa up to 90 days.

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Basics Georgia considers the crossings from Russia into South Ossetia and Abkhazia illegal. Travel from Georgia to Russia is not simple. All foreign visitors, with the exception of citizens from selected countries of the CIS, must obtain a visa. There is no Russian Federation embassy or consulate in Georgia, but you can apply for a visa at the consulate service of the Russia interests section at the Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia in Tbilisi - Chavchavadze Av. 51, tel. (+995) 32 291 24 06. Open Mon, Tue 09:00 - 13:00, Wed, Thu 15:00 - 17:30, Fri 09:00 - 13:30. Upon arrival in Russia you will need to fill in an immigration card. If you are staying more that 72 hours, you will need to register with the local police (hotels are usually willing to aid in this process). Transit visas are also required. Travel to Armenia became much easier in 2013. All citizens of the EU can stay in Armenia up to 180 days without a visa. Citizens of CIS countries and Argentina also do not require visas. Citizens of all other countries must apply for a visa. We recommend you applying to e-visa at evisa.mfa.am. A 21 day visa costs US$10, 120 days is US$40. Contact: Armenian Consulate in Batumi (+995) 422 21 63 02, www. georgia.mfa.am/en. All visitors of Azerbaijan are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Citizens of CIS countries can enter Azerbaijan visa free. Citizens of Turkey can obtain a visa upon arrival. Tourist visas are issued on a single entry basis only. All single entry visas are valid for up to 90 days from the date of issue with the duration of stay up to 30 days. Contact: Azerbaijan Consulate in Batumi (+995) 422 27 67 00, www.azembassy.ge. Entering Turkey is visa free for citizens of most of countries. If you do require a visa many will be able to pay on entry. However citizens of Mexico, Peru, China, India, Pakistan, some other Asian countries and most of Africa are required to get a visa from the consulate. Contact Turkish Consulate in Batumi (+995) 422 27 47 89. For a complete listing of embassy locations and phone numbers see Directory/Foreign representations at batumi. inyourpocket.com.

The breakaway regions The collapse of the Soviet Union re-ignited many centuriesold ethnic disputes in the South Caucasus area. In Georgia, several violent conflicts between 1992 and 2008 led to the loss of Tbilisi’s control over the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whose local authorities declared those territories “independent republics”. Around 300,000 people were uprooted from their homes and relocated to other parts of Georgia, where tens of thousands of them still reside in temporary settlements. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognized as independent states by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and several Pacific island-states, the rest of the international community deeming them an integral part of Georgia. Travel to both regions is at the moment strongly discouraged by most western governments, notably the UK Home Office and the US Department of State. One should bear in mind that consular assistance cannot be normally provided in the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by officials of countries that do not recognize the “republics”, therefore any emergency cases (e.g. loss of passport, accident) will need to be dealt with by the traveller without assistance, and may carry severe consequences. The new Georgian government elected in October 2012 pledged to normalize relations with its breakaway regions, yet as of March 2013 this has not brought about any change on the ground. p. 25

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Mail & Phones

Post Georgian post is expensive and slow. You can only send postcards from post offices and they aren’t always easy to find. We didn’t spot any mailboxes around Batumi, so sending a postcard to your mom will be a real city quest. Postal stamps can be bought only at the post offices. A post card to Europe will cost you 4 Lari, to the USA 4.80Lari. An ordinary letter up to 100g costs 13.20/15.20Lari. A parcel up to 500 g is around 49,90Lari to 66.05 Lari. Exact rates to you country are available at www.georgianpost.ge. Postal Service Centre E-3, Melashvili 4, tel. (+995) 422 27 22 89, w w w.georgianpost.ge. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00, Sat 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun.

Express mail DHL B-3, 26 Maisi 44, tel. (+995) 422 27 46 08, www.dhl.com. QOpen 09:30 - 18:30, Sat 10:00 -

14:00. Closed Sun. TNT C-3, Gorgiladze 40, apt 14, tel. (+995) 422 22 32 75, www.tnt.ge. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. UPS C-3, Tavdadebuli 36, tel. (+995) 422 27 73 58, www.ups.com. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 14:00. Closed Sun.

Using a telephone Fixed line Batumi telephone code is (+995) 422. In our guide all telephone numbers are written including this code. To call from a landline within Batumi to another number in the city just dial last 6 digits of the telephone number we list. If the number starts with 3 digits different from 422 (e.g. 559, etc.), dial 0 and then full 9 digits number. We didn’t spot any payphones around Batumi. Mobile You can get a Georgian SIM-card (sometimes even for free) at the offices listed below. You’ll need to show your passport. Calling from a mobile to a fixed line phone, dial 0, then the city code (422) then the 6 last digits. Calling to other mobiles is tricky. Sometimes it is enough just to dial the last 9 digits of the number. If that doesn’t work, just dial the full number star ting 995. Beeline A-4, Gorgiladze 40, www.beeline.ge. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Geocell D-3, K. Gamsakhurdia 21, www.geocell.ge. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00. Magti D-2, Rustaveli Av. 10, www.magticom.ge. QOpen 09:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 17:00.

Roaming

To call a fixed line or mobile in Georgia you should always dial +995 instead of 00995.

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Culture & Events

Batumi In Your Pocket

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Culture & Events Art Galleries Aksoy Art Gallery C-3, Vaja Pshavela 28, tel. (+995)

422 27 69 26. Collections of masterpieces from different famous artists, Georgian silverware tapestry and felt work. The Gallery hosts different temporary exhibitions and projects. QOpen 11:00 - 19:00. Kemal Turmanidze E-3, Melashvili 5, tel. (+995) 599 95 42 47. The private studio of Kemal Turmanidze - a prominent master of a special woodcarving technique and guardian of the distinctive traditions of Georgian heritage. Q Admission 5Lari. Rusudan Petviashvili Art Gallery & Café E-2, Z. Gamsakhurdia 7, tel. (+995) 599 74 52 23. Most of this venue is given over to a modern gallery exhibiting paintings by the Georgian artist Rusudan Petviashvili. Rarely for Georgia, there is no smoking inside. Q Open 11:00 - 00:00. TBC Gallery C-4, Zubalashvili 37, tel. (+995) 577 12 05 33. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00.

Theatres Batumi Art & Musical Centre Dimitriadi 1, tel. (+995) 422 27 62 40. Box office open 10:00 - 18:00.

Batumi State Drama Theatre D/E-2, Rustaveli Av.1,

tel. (+995) 422 47 42 80, www.batumitheatre.ge. Circus D-3, Baratashvili 6, tel. (+995) 422 27 37 98. Puppet Theatre C-2, Abashidze Av. 49, tel. (+995) 422 27 62 34, www.puppet-show.org/en.

Black Sea Jazz Festival 18 - 21 July 2013 Annual international Jazz festival, Black Sea is the biggest event this summer in Batumi. Among the participants Al Jarreau, Mike Stern/Victor Wooten Band, Carmen Souza Quartet and Jose James. The event will take place on the territory of Batumi Tennis Club. Tickets can be booked at biletebi.ge. Concerts start at 20:00.Q Tickets 50 - 100 Lari.

Batumi Summer Set 22 - 24 August 2013 The annual event, which takes place in Batumi since 2012. For 2013 confirmed participants are Laid Back, Betoko, Sleep Party People, Giraffage, Max Cooper, Dominic Eulberg, Faithless (Live Pa & DJ Set) and Rone Live. All events will take place around Gogebashvili street. There will be also a lot of other great events in Batumi in 2013, but by the time we go to print there isn’t exact information about time and date. Just check what’s on when you’re in the city. • Nations’ Voices International Folklore Festival. Takes place in July-August. • Night Serenades. Batumi International Festival. Takes place in August. • Batumi Fish Festival. In September • BIAFF Batumi International Art-House Film Festival. 15-22 September 2013 • St Andrew’s Cross Batumi International Festival of Orthodox Films. Scheduled for October. • Golden Eye International Festival of Movie and TV Cameramen. Scheduled for October. • Tofuzi International Festival of Animated Films. Scheduled for October. • Festival of Chveneburebi • Miss Georgia Beauty Contest

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History Overview

Batumi owes its name to the ancient Greeks, a place to stop on the way to their colonies. In those ancient times it was known as Bathys Limen (Deep Harbour). In the 3rd century BC, Aristotle mentioned it as a part of the Colchis Kingdom. In the 2nd century, it was rebuilt and became a fortified Roman port. The city changed hands many times until in the 10th century when it became part of the Kingdom of Georgia. Batumi first came under Ottoman rule in the 15th century, but the Turks did not hold the city for long. Only in the 16th century did the Ottomans return - with a bigger army - and Georgia’s rulers had to surrender the city. For short periods during the next century, Batumi was recaptured by the Georgians, but the city was quickly returned to Ottoman control. During the 19th century, Batumi was a battlefield of Russian and Turkish interests and finally, after the RussoTurkish War of 1877-78, the defeat of the Turks brought Batumi under the control of the Russian Empire (together with a significant part of south-west Georgia). After the Preliminary Treaty of San Stefano, signed between the Russian and Ottoman Empires and the following Treaty of Berlin, Batumi was declared a free port (porto franco) and maintained this status until 1886. By the end of 1870s, the construction of the sea port was finished and the expansion of Batumi began. The Batumi-Tbilisi-Baku railway was completed in 1900, just in time for the completion of the Baku-Batumi oil pipeline: there was a huge oil production centre in Batumi. Around this time, in 1888, Batumi was officially granted city status and the first mayor of Batumi was elected. Moreover, Batumi became the main Russian oil port on the Black Sea. The city was placed under the direct control of the General Government of Georgia only in 1903. After becoming a Soviet State, in 1921, Ajara - with its centre in Batumi - was declared an Autonomous Republic. It retains this status to the present day. During the Soviet era, however, Batumi lost its significance and was a fairly ordinary Soviet town. Since 2000s, Batumi has been a city in search of its past. It is once again becoming an important Black Sea city, this time as a tourist destination.

Editor’s note Georgian culture is unique and vibrant. Georgians treat their culture very seriously. It is not considered something just for museums and tourists but a vital part of their every day identity. It is not just something valued by older generations but young people too. Georgian culture has evolved over thousands of years and has also absorbed influences from many invaders through the millennia, yet making them their own. Their folklore is rich, their dance both beautiful and powerful, their singing is sublime. Literature, fine arts, theatre and music all also have long and strong traditions. If you do nothing else, try and witness some authentic Georgian dancing and listen to a polyphonic choir. You will be moved.

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georgian & Ajarian food Georgians are proud of their national cuisine, and rightly so. There are many distinct dishes, with regional variations. Meat, pastries, dumplings, stews and vegetarian dishes are all represented, though fish features only lightly. Georgian food isn’t hot and spicy, but it is certainly flavoursome. Walnuts, pomegranates and garlic, cheese, beans, aubergine, spinach and plums are all used to devastating effect. In the summer, fresh coriander is used extensively, so this could cut down your options if you don’t like it. The soils of Georgia are very rich and the fresh fruit and vegetables they produce are flavour bombs. Sink your teeth into peaches or plums and the taste explodes. Oh, and the grapes…. One of the main reasons Georgian food is so good is because of these amazing ingredients, much of which is produced by small farmers and sold straight to you at the local fruit and veg market. Just buying some bread, tomatoes and fruit here will be a stunning meal.

Sweets Churchkhela nicknamed “georgian snickers”. String of nuts covered with dry grape syrup. Often found in fruit markets or fruit shops. When buying, pay attention to the texture. A good one should be springy rather than hard. Chiri All the different types of dried fruits. Gozinaki A special traditional New Year desert made with walnuts and honey. Pelamushi “Georgian jelly” grape juice and flour based sweet stew.

Soup & Meat Abhazura Originally from Abkhazia. Spicy meat ball made of mince pork and beef mixed with pieces of pomegranate. Deep fried and sometimes served on French fries. Chkmeruli (or tsitsila chkmerulad) Fried chicken served in a clay dish, dipped in a strong garlic-based sauce. Chikhirtma Chicken soup thickened with egg, and served with large portion of chicken, usually breast meat. Kharcho Beef soup with herbs and rice. Kubdari Meat pie originally from Svanetia region. Try it with a little satsabeli, a sauce made of tomatoes and sweet pepper. Meat khinkali Dumplings filled with meat (the most popular option). There is special way of eating khinkali. The dumpling has bullion inside so you should grab it by it’s pinched top, bite a small hole near the base, suck out the delicious juice and then eat the rest. Any Georgians eating with you will be impressed, especially if you don’t loose a drop of juice onto your plate. Mtsvadi Marinated pieces of pork meat grilled over a wood fire. Perfect with satsebeli sauce. Ojakhuri Grilled meat, fried potatoes onion and garlic. Usually served on clay plate (ketsi) Ostri Tomato and beef spicy stew. Try it with a dry red wine and some bread. Tkemali Sweet and sour sauce made of tart plums. Goes perfectly with roasted meat.

Vegeterian Badrijani Fried slices of aubergine usually toped with a rich walnut paste. Khachapuri Cheese pie, the most popular snack, which you can find almost everywhere. There is also a Megrelian version with two layers of cheese. Lobio A thick stew made from crushed red beans served in a clay pot. Pkhali Spinach or beetroot mixed with walnut sauce and sweet peppers or eggplants stuffed with walnuts. Puri Georgian spindle shaped bread made in unique oven. Visiting a traditional bakery is a must. Vegeterian khinkali Dumplings filled with mushrooms (sokos khinkali), potatoes (kartopili khinkali),cheese (kvelis khinkali). Lobiani Pastry filled with bean paste. Matsoni Thin sour yogurt. Try it with crushed walnuts and fresh honey – everything in life should taste this good!

Batumi In Your Pocket

Ajarian Khachapuri

Ajarian dishes Ajara is famous for its local cuisine, and differs from other Georgian cooking. The climate and lifestyle of these highlands means dairy products are strongly represented in many Ajarian dishes. Ajarian cheese is different from that in other regions of Georgia. Try Borano, Ajarian Khachapuri or Achma. Locals are proud about local sour cream - Kaimaghi, and use it in many dishes. They also use loads of butter. The region has a coastline and lots of mountain rivers, so fish also feature prominently. Our choice is trout baked in walnut leaves. These are some more of the most popular dishes: Ajarian Khachapuri Probably the most popular dish in Ajara. Try it, is a must! Spindle shaped cheese pie with a piece of butter and very often a raw egg on top. There’s a special consumption technique: eat it with your hands, detach small pieces from the side, mix the butter and egg and dip the piece you pulled. Beer is a must accompaniment. Enjoy! Ajarian Kawarma Thin-sliced meat seasoned with chilli, served in a ketsi. Achma It’s dough and cheese. Sounds like Khachapuri? Well yes, but this is shaped like lasagne though. It’s quite fatty and filling. Borano Cheese and butter baked in clay pot called a ketsi. Goes perfectly with bread and local white wine. When called kobuletian style, it come with egg. Chirbuli Usually served at breakfast: scrambled eggs with veggies, usually mainly cauliflower, and of course, an enormous amount of butter. Sinori Thin bread like Armenian lavash rolls, dipped in cottage cheese, kaimaghi and butter. Baklava The Ajari version of this famous dessert: a pastry with honey and walnuts. Oriental (sometimes called Turkish) Coffee In Batumi it is often called Batumian or Batumuri. Made from grounded coffee, traditionally prepared on hot sand.

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Where to stay Cream of the Crop Intourist Palace D-2, Ninoshvili 11, tel. (+995) 422 27 55 25, reservation@intouristpalace.com, www. intouristpalace.com. The oldest hotel in Batumi, it was built in 1939 on the site of the Alexander Nevsky Orthodox church, destroyed during the Soviet era. Though the hotel has five stars the decor and interior are relatively old. Standard rooms come with a pool view or a street view. The rooms aren’t large, but comfortable. There are couple of suites with a big terrace and the premier room also has one. Smoking is allowed in all rooms. Breakfast is served from 07:30 -11:00 in a beautiful and spacious Tbilisi round hall on the 1st floor. There are also two other restaurant on the ground level. Bakuriani Winter Garden serves mainly Georgian food and is open until 03:00. Venezia restaurant serves only Italian food. Renovations were being carried out on the fitness area when we visited but they were scheduled to be finished in July 2013. A large outdoor swimming pool is available to guests during summer season. The Intourist Casino is next door to the hotel, as well as Discorium Disco Club. Both have entrances from the hotel for guests. There’re a currency exchange office and a travel agency in the lobby area. Q146 rooms (standards 140 - 225US$, superiors 170 - 265US$, deluxe 260 - 365US$, terrace suite 320 - 450US$). POALKDXCW hhhhh Radisson Blu Batumi E-2, Ninoshvili 1, tel. (+995) 422 25 55 55, reservations.batumi@radissonblu.com, www.radissonblu.com/hotel-batumi. You’ll either love this glassy 19-storey building or hate it. Built in the best Radisson Blu standard of five star hotels, the rooms have a modern design. They have a sea view through a wall of glass, shaded from the sun with yellow, bright green or orange curtains. Each room, excluding a very few, has a bathtub, shower cabin and a carpeted floor. Suites have an additional steam room. Every level has an ice machine and there are only two floors

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where smoking is allowed. The fitness and spa centre has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a training room and massage services. Clouds Bar & Restaurant, located on the 19th floor, serves international dishes and has spectacular city views. Down at ground level, Medea Restaurant serves breakfasts and drinks during the day. Prices exclude VAT. Q168 rooms (standards 215US$, superior 270US$, business class 315US$, junior suite 385US$, suite 505US$). PiOHAUFLGKDXCwW hhhhh Sheraton Batumi B-2, Rustaveli Av. 28, tel. (+995) 422 22 90 00, info.batumi@sheraton.com, www.sheraton. com/batumi. One of the most impressive buildings in the city, Sheraton Batumi is a top-notch five star hotel. The lounge area has an odd interior; a mix of library, art gallery and open space office area, but somehow it is comfortable and cosy. There are couple of computers for guest use and a non-smoking area. The Sunflower restaurant, next to the lounge, serves breakfasts from 06:30 - 10:30. One of three high-tech lifts takes you to all 21 floors of the hotel, including a 300 sq m Penthouse on the top. Rooms are large and spacious, decorated in dark grey colours, each with a sea view through a glass wall. There is also a bathtub in every room and the amenities you would expect from a five star hotel. Veronica restaurant on the 20th floor has spectacular views over Batumi and serves Georgian and International cuisine. The hotel’s spa centre, located on the 2nd floor it is the best we’ve seen in Georgia. An enormous area with a 11x21 metre swimming pool, a children’s swimming pool, fitness and aerobic rooms, a sauna, Jucuzzis, a resting area and fantastic Turkish bath. There is also an outdoor swimming pool, located in the park area, 25 metres from the hotel. The Sheraton is also the only animal friendly hotel we found in the city. Prices exclude VAT.Q202 rooms (deluxe 225US$, club 243US$, executive 270US$, junior suite 315US$, executive suite 360US$, presidential suite 550US$). PZiOHA6UFLGKDXCwW hhhhh

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Where to stay 180 - 210US$, 9 junior suites 230 - 270US$, 3 suites 300 350US$). PiHAFLGKDXW hhhh Monte Carlo Apart Hotel B-2, Ninoshvili 23A, tel. (+995) 422 21 21 03, hotelmc@redco.ge, w w w. montecarlobatumi.ge. The entrance to this small hotel is located on a narrow path in front of the Sheraton Batumi main doors. Monte Carlo has nine apartments, each with a spacious modern design and a fully equipped kitchen with a big fridge, microwave, oven and grill. If you love to cook or are on a budget that means eating out every night isn’t an option, this is the place for you. Superior rooms come as studio apartments. Suites have a separate bedroom and a living room. An executive suite has two bedrooms, a living room and a nice open-air terrace. The hotel is literally at the seaside park and about a one minute walk from the beach. Q9 rooms (3 superior 100 - 210US$, 5 suite 150 - 260US$, 1 executive suite 280 - 400US$). iAGW hhhh Piazza Boutique Hotel E-3, Parnavaz Mepe 25, tel. +995 (0) 322 61 15 13, fax (+995) 422 22 80 51, info@ piazza.ge, www.piazza.ge. This is definitely one of the most unique hotels in Georgia we’ve seen. Located on the beautiful Piazza square it is rather unusually located in a clock tower. There are only two rooms on each floor and every room has its own unique design. There is no swimming pool or fitness centre and other facilities that you expect to find in 4-star, but this boutique hotel is definitely worth staying at. The views are majestic, overlooking Batumi Old Town so close. An elevator goes to every floor, so no need to climb stairs. The hotel policy is also refreshingly non-smoking, but if you still need to smoke, there are two small balconies in each room. Q16 suites 200 - 340Lari. PiAGKW hhhh

Mid-Range President Plaza D-2, Baratashvili 17, tel. (+995) 422

27 69 51, info@presidentplaza.ge, www.presidentplaza. ge. Overlooking the beautiful Europe Square, this is one of the prime hotels in Batumi. It has a modern black and grey décor and exclusive Italian furniture. Rooms are unusually large and airy, may be even seeming a little too large at times and the minimalist style could be toned down with a few pictures on the walls to make it feel more, well, homely. The ceramic floors also don���t help to make the rooms feel welcoming. But, hey, that is just our opinion and maybe you will like it. The quality is certainly high. Each room is equipped with massage shower cabins and all the amenities you expect to find in a 5 star. The hotel has a small gym, massage rooms and sauna in the basement and 8x4 m swimming pool on the ground floor overlooking Baratashvili street. Q35 rooms (24 standard 100 - 219US$, 9 suite 150 - 270US$, 1 premier suite 500 - 520US$, 1 presidential suite 700 - 720US$). PZiHAFGKDCW hhhhh

Upmarket Batumi World Palace E-3, Melashvili 1/3, tel. (+995) 422 22 57 90, fax (+995) 422 22 57 92, info@batumiworldpalace.com, www.batumiworldpalace.com. One of the newest hotels to open in Batumi, it is located just a stone’s throw from recently developed Miracle Park and the Old Boulevard. Rooms have a luxurious design and a light colour scheme. Each standard and suite comes with a bathtub, while deluxe suites have beautifully decorated Jacuzzi. On the hotel’s restaurant terrace you’ll see one of the best views over Batumi marina and sea port. The restaurant serves delicious Black Sea fish as well as dishes from Georgia and Turkey as well as international cuisine. The Terrace Bar offers a good selection of alcoholic drinks and cocktails with beautiful nocturnal views over the city. There is a buffet breakfast included in the price. Q 30 rooms (18 standards Batumi In Your Pocket

Brighton D-2, Dumbadze 8, tel. (+995) 422 27 41 35,

www.brighton.ge. Located 50 metres away from Europe Square, this small hotel is nice and quiet. Rooms are well furnished, though not spectacular, and come with air-conditioning, cable TV and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included in the price and is served at the beautiful terrace overlooking the square and Old Town. Brighton is only five minutes walking distance from the beach. Espresso Sinatra Bar and Vinyl Bar are right next-door. Q15 rooms (9 standard 110 - 160Lari, 4 semi-suite 130 180Lari, 2 suite 180 - 220Lari). PiGW hhh Era Palace J-2, Gorgiladze 77, tel. (+995) 422 22 00 00, www.erapalace.ge. Lobby of the hotel looks like a mix of a space ship and eighteen century palace with large paintings of Georgian artists on the walls. Upstairs from the lounge area is a colonial style bar and a business area with couple of computers for common use. Rooms are well designed, painted in nice warm colours. All room amenities of a four star hotel are available. On the top floor there is a restaurant with beautiful and big terrace. Back on the ground floor there is a well equipped fitness centre with couple training machines, sauna and 4 by 6 metres swimming pool. Receptionists are well informed and nice, will always help you. Q39 rooms PiAFGKDCW hhhh O. Galogre E-3, Gorgasali 8, tel./fax (+995) 422 27 48 45, info@hotelgalogre.com, www.hotelgalogre.com. The hotel borrowed its unusual name from its founder – Georgian businessman Oleg Galogre. It is spread over two beautiful buildings just a step from Piazza Square. All rooms are in a classic design and are comfortable for either a business or vacation stay. Room amenities are what you would expect to find in a 4-star hotel and it is one of the few animal friendly places in Batumi. The hotel’s terraces offer beautiful views over the seaside and port. On the top floor there is a restaurant and a bar (with views of course) and a courtyard between the building has its own exit to the Piazza Square. Q18 rooms (9 standard 200Lari, 9 suite 260Lari). PiHALGW hhhh

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Where to stay

Hostels Why Not? Batumi Hostel & Bar B-4, Melikishvili 42,

tel. (+995) 555 48 43 21, www.whynothostels.com. Sister hostel of the Tbilisi and Kiev ones of the same name. Just like them, it has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Located near to Chavchavadze Street, Batumi’s main transportation artery. From here you can catch buses to the train and bus stations as well as to Sarpi, Gonio and Kvariati. The owners are foreigners and know just what travellers need and want. They will give you all the inside information about Batumi and Georgia. One of the great things about this hostel is its huge, social common area in the basement. It has its own bar…. Chill out after a hard day on the beach, sip a 2Lari tap beer, play games or the play guitar, if you can. As the social area is downstairs, upstairs a calm sleep is guaranteed. There are three bathrooms, including the one in the basement. If you want to smoke, there is an outside terrace. Q10bed dorm 20Lari, 6bed dorm 22Lari, doubles - 65Lari. GW

D’Vine C-2, Luka Asatiani 3, tel. (+995) 598 17 81 75. Run by an American-Georgian couple, D’Vine hostel is laid back and offers hospitality and friendship. The place is small, consisting of only two dormitories and one double room, but with a big heart and a bit of a hippy atmosphere. The building is shaded by vines, and has a big garden where you can hang out sipping a beer and share travel tales and tips. The hostel sells cold bottled beer, water or lemonade at the same price as the shops. Old Boulevard and the beach is just a few steps away and the owners know where to find best eating and party places in town. Q9 bed dorm and 5bed dorm 20Lari, double - 60Lari. GW

Editor’s note Whatever type of accommodation you choose around Tbilisi, you can usually expect excellent hospitality. It’s simply the Georgian way. Prices mentioned in the reviews include breakfast i and VAT (18%), unless otherwise stated.

Symbol key P Air-conditioning

L Guarded parking

6 Animal friendly

i Breakfast included

Z Anti-allergy rooms

N No credit cards

T Child friendly

X Smoking allowed

H Conference facilities

G Non-smoking rooms

A Credit cards accepted

K Restaurant

J City centre location

D Sauna

F Fitness centre

C Swimming pool

U Facilities for the disabled W Wi-Fi internet access

Free Downloads There’s far more to In Your Pocket than this print version of our latest guide. We print guides in more than 75 cities across Europe, and In Your Pocket offers the vast majority of them for free download, in PDF, at our website. A number of guides are now also available as post-PDF, iPaper documents. Just visit our website at inyourpocket.com for all our available downloads.

A beach is always an alternative way of accommodation, however we don’t recommend you trying it in Batumi. Here it is safe enough, but the beach is so rocky, that your back will never forgive you this

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Restaurants Georgian Ajarian House G-2, Khimshiashvili 10, tel. (+995)

Symbol key P Air-conditioning

E Live music

6 Animal friendly

M Nearest station

T Child friendly

G Non-smoking areas

A Credit cards accepted

X Smoking section

U Facilities for the disabled S Take away I Fireplace

B Terrace

L Guarded parking

W Wi-Fi internet access

V Home delivery

Editor’s note A variety of cuisine usual for any European capital is presented at Batumi dining scene. Whatever you prefer you MUST try Ajarian. If you don’t know what to choose from so unusual list of dished, start with Acharuli Khachapuri. For further cuisine research use our food decoding tips. The prices we list in brackets denote either average bill or per person if there is just one number. Sometimes we will also list the cost of the cheapest and most expensive main course on the menu. And once again - check our list for non-smoking symbol if you can’t stand smoke, as most of the venues don’t have any non-smoking places. In some restaurants 10-15% will be included in the bill as service charge. Enjoy your meal!

Batumi In Your Pocket

422 21 18 18. Rather unusually, the garden outside the restaurant is dotted with intricate models of old buildings and traditional houses. Inside, it looks like an old tavern and it is often loud and smoke-filled. To escape, sit outside on the terrace. The menu is typical Ajarian cuisine, which is fairly different from Georgian. The most popular dish is Borano cheese and butter baked in a clay pot. Chaqondrili is also interesting - meat with spices prepared with a special recipe. QOpen 09:00 - 01:00. (7-20Lari) PALBXSW Bereg Café E-5, Gogebashvili 9. A huge place for up to 500 people located, as the Russian name says, just next to the water beside Batumi port. There is seating inside, on the terrace and on a pier. It serves a European and Georgian menu with a good selection of fish. Not just for eating at, but perfect for cheap coffee or beer in the afternoon while being cooled down by the breeze from the sea. QOpen 08:00 02:00. PAGBX Bremen C-3, Parnavaz Mepe 61, tel. (+995) 422 27 76 36. Solid, dark wood tables and chairs in a room that feels like could be part of a castle. There is no live music, in fact there is no music at all, and this is why we liked this place. The menu is mainly Georgian, tasty and served in big portions. The speciality here is khinkali. The perfect place if you want to have diner on traditional Georgian way. QOpen 11:00 - 22:00. (15Lari) PXN Darabebi C-4, Gorgasali 53, tel. (+995) 514 31 10 10. A restaurant with two floors and a different look on each. Downstairs it is solid and rustic with heavy wooden tables and benches for eight people. Upstairs is an attic in an 18th century chateau style, painted in stylish grey colours. The menu is mainly Georgian, and the house speciality is rabbit in a wine sauce. QOpen 11:00 - 24:00. (10-27Lari) PIBXW Maspindzelo D-3, Melashvili 31, tel. (+995) 593 78 92 35. Specailising in old Georgian recipes and cooking methods, their cuisine really shines. The atmosphere is homely, with an interior all made of wood. Trout on walnut leaves is our favourite dish, well, so it the Maspindzelo - ground, fried meat covered in sour cream sauce. None of the staff speak English, but they will be warmly welcoming. Asking for the dish of the day could challenge your linguistic skills, but it is worth the attempt! QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. (5-12Lari) PN Mimino E-3, Mazniashvili 27, tel. +995 577 51 01 50, www.piazza.ge. Opened at the end of June 2013, it is one of the restaurants in Piazza complex and is a good example of a well done work. The interior is modern, simple and made with taste. An open kitchen makes it even better. The restaurant is named after famous Soviet comedy, so walls are covered with dozens of pictures from the movie. The menu looks so good, that you become hungry, even if you stop by only for a coffee. It features a mix of traditional and modern Georgian cuisine. Our favourite is Sulguni cheese rolls with cottage cheese and mint, but chicken in blackberry sauce is also a must. Outside seating are located right on the Piazza Square with daily live music concerts. QOpen 12:00 - 02:00. PAEBXW Old Ship D-1, Old Boulevard (Seaside Park), tel. (+995) 558 32 37 87. This place is a bit hidden in between trees, on the Old Boulevard. From the outside it looks like a ship. Go onboard and you will find two terraces and inside, a big restaurant with seating for over 200 people. The bar is where you would expect the wheelhouse to be. The menu is dominated by Georgian cuisine with and fair selection of fish dishes. Wine is available on tap. From 20:00 till 24:00 live music is played, so after enjoying the sunset from the terrace, go on deck to party with your friends. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (9-25Lari) PAEBXW

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Restaurants San Remo I-1, Rustaveli Av. 34, tel. (+995) 790 50

52 70. Unusually and interestingly located on a pier out over the sea, this is a large restaurant with seating for up to 500 people. The menu is a mix of international cuisine and Georgian dishes. There are a good selection of fish and meat dishes. As well as the main dining room there are also a couple of more intimate “VIP” lounges available. On the outside terrace you can sit looking through glass panels in the floor straight down into the water. Live music every day from 20:00 - 01:00. The band plays a mix of international and Georgian covers. Music on request is also available. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. (15-20Lari). PALEXW

Samikitno Machakhela E-4, Gogebashvili (near port), tel. (+995) 577 54 77 66, www.samikitno.ge. This is a fast-food style restaurant in terms of décor and pricing, but serving fresh and really tastefully cooked dishes. Specialising in Georgian cuisine, it has an extensive menu and a long drinks list. We choose it for a variety of unusual khinkali. About 15 different kinds, including khinkali with vagetables and khinkali with crab meat. This is one of a chain, with five restaurants in Tbilisi. QOpen 24hrs. (5-18Lari). PALBSW Up & Down G-2, Khimshiashvili (seaside coastline), tel. (+995) 599 96 63 73. This is a truly weird building by any standards. As the name suggest, it was built upside down. It looks like a small version of the US White House resting on its roof at a jaunty angle. The theme continues inside – even if you don’t feel the need, a visit to the toilets is a must! There are two floors and on both it looks like you are walking on the ceiling. The downstairs has a lot of tables, as well as lounge area and a well stocked bar. House specialty dishes are from the Lazia region, such as Kopeshia - pumpkin with chilli pepper sauce and walnuts. Life music every day from 21:00 until midnight. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00. (35Lari) PLEBXSW Winter Garden D-2, Ninoshvili 11, Intourist Palace,

tel. (+995) 422 27 55 52. The restaurant belongs to the oldest hotel in Batumi, The Intourist Palace. Take a seat at a table, or sink into a big leather sofa. The cuisine is traditional Georgian, but the array of cakes on display is exhibits delicacies from all over Europe, a delight for anyone with a sweet tooth. One of a few restaurants open round a clock.QOpen 24hrs. (25Lari) PAEXW

German Münich E-3, Kutaisi/Kostava 8/5, tel. (+995) 422 22

72 84, www.inmunich.ge. Opened only in spring 2013, Münich brought a freshness to the local restaurant scene. A well-designed interior, with a black ceiling, brick walls, Bavarian paintings bring you to this famous German region. Big bar together with a careful music selection gets the tone just right. The kitchen is partly open, and the fish selection is presented on ice, just next to the bar. Traditional bratwurst, knuckle or even whole pig is a menu feature. Not surprisingly there is an offering of German beers with Paulaner, Bitburger and Weihenstephan available. Outside is a beer garden with eight tables. A big TV broadcasts Bundesliga matches and other sport events. (30Lari)QOpen 09:00 - 01:00. PBXW

Tower Restaurant & Brewery G-2, Khimshiashvili 9/11, tel. (+995) 558 17 76 76. A tower that looks a little like a lighthouse. You can climb the 30 meters to its top for views over the city or simply lounge on the terrace sipping one of its micro-beers, brewed on site and in both blond and dark options. The menu here is partly German, and it is the perfect place for an afternoon lunch or snack with sea views. QOpen 10:00 - 02:00. (15-27Lari). PEBXSW batumi.inyourpocket.com

International Neocca C-2, Vazha Pshavela 1, tel. (+995) 577 77 88

88. A restaurant, café and lounge in one place. It is a round, old wooden and spacious building with a bit of an incoherent design, yet somehow it works. The bar is also round and has a good selection of spirits and other drinks. The cuisine is international and Georgian, with also a lot of BBQ dishes. There are desserts, but for some reason the prices are not mentioned in the menu, so you’ll need to ask. They also serve water pipes. Live, calm music is played on Friday and Saturday. QOpen 09:00 - 01:30, Sat 09:00 - 02:30. (9-19Lari). PTALBXW

Tserodena A-2, Melikishvili 4, tel. (+995) 422 27 77 46. A modern utilitarian interior where silver metal pipes dominate. It is a mixture of café, restaurant and fast food joint. The second floor is for smokers. Thankfully, downstairs smoking is banned. It is a really popular place in the mornings for locals to eat their favorite Khachapuri. Burgers, pancakes, and salad are also on the menu. It is cheap, fast, and the food served here is fairly good. Our choice would be pancakes with meat. QOpen 08:00 - 23:00. (5-8Lari). PiGXW Veronica B-2, Rustaveli Av. 28, Sheraton Batumi, tel. (+995) 422 22 90 00, www.sheraton.com/batumi. Located on the 21th floor of the most noticeable building on the Rustaveli Av., Veronica offers some of the best quality food and service in Batumi. There are smoking and nonsmoking zones, each with seating for over 110 people. Each provides outstanding views over the city and the sea. The menu features Georgian and International dishes, and the wine list offers the best Georgian wines as well as some well known European vintages. QOpen 12:00 - 00:30. (35Lari). PAGXW 2013

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Restaurants Restaurants Turkish Arhavi E-4, Khulo 2. One of the dozens Turkish restau-

rants in this area, it is a decent fast food type restaurant. Dishes, and what is more important prices are exposed above the bar. Lahmacun, Kofte, Kababi as well as hamburgers are tasty and in good price. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00. PALS

Grand Grill H-2, Khimshiashvili (Ardagani Lake), tel. (+995) 422 29 33 22, www.grand-grill.net. This is one of the best places to watch the Dancing Fountains at 21:00. Located right over Ardagani lake, Grand Grill offers Turkish cuisine and an impressive selection of BlackSea fish and other seafood. For a big company choose Grand Grill special - Fish in Salt - which is umbra or seabass, and costs 121 Lari per kg. There are also some traditional Georgian dishes on the menu. Special breakfast offer is available from 10:00 - 12:00 for 13.20Lari. Valued customers and members are provided with 10% discount cards. QOpen 10:00 - 24:00, Fri-Sun 10:00 - 01:00. (30Lari) PiALBSW

Ukrainian Kozachok D-2, Rustaveli Av. 7-9, tel. (+995) 557 56

06 06. This is a small restaurant where the interior and the menu are both distinctly Ukrainian. There are only six tables, but even once you have ordered, you could still have a little wait for your food. The reason is that everything is meticulously prepared in a traditional way. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worth the wait: everything is delicious. Our favourite dish is Kiev cutlet and Uha fish soup. There is an economy menu available, a main course with sides starts from 6 Lari. There is no service fee, rather rare for Batumi.QOpen 09:00 - 24:00. (15Lari) PAXSW

European Clouds E-2, Ninoshvili 1, Radisson Blu Batumi, tel.

(+995) 422 25 55 55. One of the most upscale restaurants in the city, it offers a wide selection of European cuisines, from Italian pastas to Swedish meatballs. The views out from its glass walls to the Miracle Park from one side, and the Seaside Boulevard from the other are superb. Total seating is for about 50 persons and there is a small VIP room for 10. DJs usually play on Friday nights and live bands on Saturdays.QOpen 12:00 - 02:00. (40Lari). PAGXW

Marco Polo E-3, Parnavaz Mepe 25, tel. +995 568 77

24 68, www.piazza.ge. Located on the 4th floor of the Piazza complex, this is probably the one and only fully nonsmoking restaurant in the whole of Georgia! Styled like an attic with white painted wood and calm music that makes for a very relaxing mood. It is ideal for lunch or dinner, especially if you want to escape from city bustle. European cuisine with strong French accent dominates the menu. The wine list not only has Georgian vintages, but also French and Italian. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. (30Lari) PAGW

Italian Venezia D-2, Ninoshvili 11, Intourist Palace, tel. (+995)

422 27 55 52. The only restaurant in the city, that offers exceptionally good Italian dishes: traditional pasta, tagliatelle, risotto, pizza and good list of desserts. The interior doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remind us of Italy, but is pleasant and light. Surprisingly, there are no Italian wines on the list.QOpen 09:00 - 22:00. (30Lari) PAXW

Batumi In Your Pocket

Ukrainochka H-2, Khimshiashvili (Ardagani Lake), tel.

(+995) 593 33 02 34, www.restoran-ukrainochka.com. Two floors restaurant for over 200 people with enjoyable view to Ardagani Lake, especially after dark, when dancing fountains show is on. Food here is very tasty, mainly Ukrainian, but some Georgian standards can be found in the menu. Trying Kiev Cutlet, famous Borsh or Okroshka is a must be, our favourite are dumplings filled with cherries, make sure to put some sour cream and sugar on top and you would never forget this dish. If you never try Ukrainian beer, here is good place to do so. All upper level is no smoking and this where live music is performed daily from 20:00 to midnight. Ukrainochka is subjected to move to other location this summer. Better call before you go. QOpen 10:00 - 23:45. PALGBXSW

Fish Fish Market. The Fish Market is the prefect place if

you love to eat fish and seafood as it is good, cheap and fresh. Our favourite fish is Barabulka; pick out four of them for a guaranteed feast. Your selection will be cooked for you right next door to the stall in only a few minutes. Just hand your catch to the chef and let him do the rest. A simple pan-fried dish is 6 Lari. They will also serve beer and vodka as well as bread, tasty tkemali sauce and salad. From the city centre take bus# 10 towards Makhinajauri (where the train station for Batumi is located) and get off on the next bus stop after the Revenue Service. The Fish Market is on the left side of the road. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. NXS

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Cafés Café Rennes D-2, K.Gamsakhurdia 6, entrance from Rustaveli Av., tel. (+995) 422 22 85 23. A newly opened, relax café with an interior that is a mix of modern and classic elements, some table seating but also a lounge room. The menu is European - French dishes, and italian pastas as well as choice of salads are available. The manager’s recommendation is the Rennes salad, - pork, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, sesame and soy sauce. There are also a few deserts, out favourite is the chocolate cake! Wines from Telavi Marani and Mukhrani and good selection of whiskey is big plus. The outside garden is nice, but a bit noisy. QOpen 10:00 - 00:30. PALBXSW Fanfan B-1, Ninoshvili 27, tel. (+995) 591 15 00 51.

Opened only a year ago, the place attracts like a magnet, thanks to a unique, easy-going atmosphere. The café is located in 1905 year building, which was owned by the famous Georgian writer Chabua Amiredjibi. Two rooms were redesigned in an eclectic style, which creates a very friendly atmosphere for meetings, or drinking a pint of beer inside, as well as on the outside terrace. One of a few animal friendly places in the city, with a cat that walks around and sleeps on the sofa. On summer evenings, live music is often played here, mostly jazz. A little pricey menu isn’t long, but interesting and offers European cuisine. For you, dessert lovers, chocolate mousse is a must. QOpen 09:00 - 03:00. PA6EGBXSW

La Brioche E-3, Parnavaz Mepe 25, Piazza Hotel, tel. +995 568 77 24 68, www.piazza.ge. This delightful café has top-location at Piazza Square. There are dozens of tables around the square, and a nice library style hall on the 3rd floor. La Brioche has an extensive menu, which includes salads (11-19Lari), pizza (13-20Lari) and a selections of main dishes usual for European cuisine. Live music plays here each day until late. Q Open 09:00 - 02:00. PAGBXW La Terrasse D-3, K. Gamsakhurdia 21/23, tel. (+995) 593 20 20 06. An Italian café by name rather than cuisine, its menu mainly an offering of international dishes with a selection of pizza and pasta, but there are also a couple Georgian dishes, as well as good choice of fish. The dessert selection includes several types of ice cream, panna cotta and some other usual cakes. The décor inside is a chic black and gold design warmed up by an illuminated orange ceiling. There are also tables outside should you wish to dine al fresco. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00. PAGBXSW Literaturuli D-3, K. Gamsakhurdia 18, tel. (+995) 422 27 20 13. A café that also sells books, mainly Georgian, but also a few titles in English too. Feels like a 1960s family kitchen with its décor, and furnishings, black and white chequered floor tiles and freshly-made cakes stacked under Perspex cake domes. Even more cakes, tarts and strudels sit in a revolving display cabinet. Tea, coffee and desert are the main purpose of Literaturuli, but they also serve alcohol and a selection of snacks. QOpen 10:00 - 23:00. PNBXSW Press Café E-3, Melashvili 2, tel. (+995) 555 95 66

85. Its spacious, modern interior also acts as a gallery for regularly changed photographic exhibitions. Originally founded by a journalist from an independent media NGO who wanted a meeting place for gatherings and discussions. It is a free venue for anybody who wants to organise meetings here. Well, part from politicians, who only get the first twenty minutes free, after that they have to pay! The cuisine here is mainly European, with the only Georgian dish being khachapuri. There are a lot of interesting salads on the menu, as well as pizzas. QOpen 10:00 - 01:00. PAXW

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Grab & Go PitaBoom D-2, Mazniashvili 6, (+995) 568 68 21 28. A small place, standing only, offering tasty pitas for both meat lovers and vegetarians. Delivery is available. QOpen 11:00 - 23:00. NS Privet iz Batuma C-2, Abashidze Av. 39, tel. (+995)

422 27 77 66. One of the best loved cafés in the city and once there, you’ll realise why. A relaxed atmosphere and a décor of old pictures of Batumi hanging on walls painted in pleasing colours. The music is not too loud, and the vibe is chillout, so is a perfect place for a gentle meal, or just coffee. The menu is European, with a French and Italian flavour. The most popular dish is pizza roma classic. Their desserts are varied and tasty. You can also eat in the garden. QOpen 10:00 - 00:30. PALBXSW

Rusudan Petviashvili Gallery & Art Café E-2, Z.

Gamsakhudria 7, tel. (+995) 599 01 03 37. Most of this venue is given over to a modern gallery exhibiting paintings by the Georgian artist Rusudan Petviashvili. The bigger part of the café is outside, serving mainly French and Italian food, especially pasta. Rare for Georgia, the inside seating is a no smoking area. Live jazz is performed every day from 20:00. QOpen 11:00 - 03:00. PGW

€1 = 2.20Lari; US$1 = 1.65Lari; £1 = 2.50Lari (20 June 2013)

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Nightlife Quiet Woman Pub E-3, Mazniashvili 27, tel. (+995)

577 78 65 65, www.piazza.ge. Is there a city anywhere in the world, that doesn’t have an Irish pub? The Quiet Woman is Batumi’s version of this strange global phenomenon. Located in the main tourist attraction - Piazza Square - it offers an impressive beer choice. There is a simple, but tasty food selection. There is the essential Irish pub big screen for showing sports and there is outside seating during the summer season. It is a bit pricy, but certainly a popular place. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. PABXW Vapianno D-2, Abashidze Av. 27, tel. (+995) 557 49 97 97. This little café looks like a rich apartment from the early 20th century. We particularly like the big old ceramic heater in the middle, and the good music. They serve a reasonable array of cocktails, as well as our favorite pancakes in town. There is a selection of European and Georgian standards on the food menu. At 21:00 the free karaoke starts! QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. PAEXW Vinyl D-2, Dumbadze 12/14, tel. (+995) 593 33 14 99. Only five tables inside, and two outside, but what a charming bar it is. The walls are decorated with painted vinyl discs. This place is popular with expats, as well as young Georgians. Perfect for meeting friends to have a couple of pints, or shots. QOpen 12:00 - 03:00.

Lounge Clubs Art-Boulevard B-1, 26 Maisi 2, tel. (+995) 555 95 66

Editor’s note Batumi doesn’t have a wide selection of bars and nightclubs. But there are some really good ones. It is a social city but does not have a big clubbing culture. In summer time beach bars and clubs appear on the seacoast.

Bars Black Buddha D-2, Baratashvili 17, tel. (+995) 422 27 69 51. There aren’t many nightlife spots in Batumi, but Black Buddha is certainly worth mentioning. Located on the ground floor of President Palace Hotel, it has modern black and gold decor including, of course, a Buddha statue in pride of place. The menu features sushi (it may be the only place offering it in Batumi), sandwiches and salads. There is no live music, but there are chill-out lounge tunes played on the speakers. QOpen 09:00 - 04:00. PABXW

Espresso Bar Sinatra D-2, Dumbadze 12, tel. (+995) 557 56 60 50. Located in between Vinyl, and Brighton Hotel, Espresso Bar Sinatra lives up to its name of serving high-class coffee. There are three small rooms, light and full of black and white photos plus two more tables outside. The menu is European, including pasta and pizza, with a couple of Mexican dishes added in. But it is not the food that makes this place stand out from the crowd: it is the coffee. They boast thirty different ways to serve the stuff, from simple espresso to alcoholic coffee drinks and iced coffees. A real paradise for coffee lovers. QOpen 08:00 - 01:00. PX Batumi In Your Pocket

85. A large modern design café, with seating for up to 150, where silver painted metal and glass dominates. The café turns into a night club after dark. The menu is international, with bbq and fish dishes playing a big part. The bar is well equipped with alcohol, especially rums. In the high season music starts at 20:00, usually calm at first, but building the BPM as the night progresses. You can also sit outside during the summer. QOpen 10:00 - 03:00. PAEXSW Rendez-Vous Lounge C-2, Vezha Pshavela 6, tel. (+995) 422 27 48 33. One of the most popular clubs. Downstairs is a bar serving an impressive selection of whiskies and other alcohol temptations – their biggest cocktail is for six people and comes in bucket! The upstairs lounge has black couches separated by white, light curtains where you can sit and see the DJ perform or people-watch the crowd at the bar. During day lounge music is played, while at night it is house and electro. QOpen 11:00 - 02:00. PAEXW

Casinos Ajarabet D-2, Akhmeteli 7A, tel. (+995) 422 27 43 53, www.ajaracasino.com. QOpen 24hrs. POLKXW Iveria Batumi E-2, Ninoshvili 1, tel. (+995) 555 42 21 44, www.casinoiveria.ge. QOpen 24hrs. POLKXW Grand Palace Intourist D-2, Ninoshvili 11, (+995) 422 27 55 25, www.intouristpalace.com. QOpen 24hrs. PALXW Peace B-2, Ninoshvili 21, Sheraton Batumi Hotel, (+995) 422 27 85 85, www.casinopeace.com. QOpen 24hrs. PALXW

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What to see Chacha Tower E-3. This

Essential Batumi Ali & Nino F-2. The statue

depicts eternal love and understanding between nations. It was named after the ‘Ali and Nino’ novel by an Azerbaijani author using the pseudonym Kurban Said. It tells a story of a young Muslim Azerbaijani man and a Georgian Christian princess in time of the First World War. The eight metre statues, of a man and a woman are the work of Georgian sculptor Tamar Kvesitadze. Both statues move, changing their position every 10 minutes, yet the never become one. At night the sculptures are lit with changing colours, a magnetically beautiful sight.

Alphabet Tower E-1. The Georgian alphabet is unique and is believed to date from around the 5th century. It underwent numerous changes before the modern version emerged. In 2012 a 130 metre tall tower with a twisting DNA helix shape was constructed, dedicated to the Georgian alphabet. There were plans for a restaurant and an observatory, but sadly it has closed and its future is uncertain. Astronomic Clock D-2.

Reminiscent of the historic examples in Pra gue and Venice, Batumi has recently acquired its own astronomic clock, installed on the tower of the former building of the National Bank of Georgia. A melodically chime indicates the full hour, a single ring the half-hour. Apart from the time of day, the clock also shows astronomical information – the placement of the sun and the moon, the moon phase, the meridian and the horizon.

Batumi Lighthouse F-1. The first lighthouse was built in Batumi in 1863 during Ottoman rule, while the Russians erected the second in 1878. French engineers built the present 21-metre stone construction in 1882. It sits on the edge of Burun-tabie cape. In past, the lighthouse had white lights, but today they are red.

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strong Georgian alcohol!

fountain tower, widely known as ‘chacha tower’ is an exact copy of a building standing in Batumi at the beginning of 20th century. The 25-metre clock tower is surrounded by four fountain pools. Rather unusually, yet quintessentially Georgian, each day at 19:00 for ten minutes the fountains spout Chacha,

Colonnades D-1, Seaside Boulevard. Th e elegant whi te Greek-st yle colonnades where initially built as an entrance to the beach. The initial concept came from Ivane Mchedlidze, a local doctor, who fell in love wi th Sorrento’s classical colonnades while on a trip to Italy in the early 1930s. Over the last 80 years, the sea retreated considerably and the water’s edge is now far from this historical monument. Similar colonnades were also built as the entrance to 6th May Park. Dancing Fountains H-2.

Installed back in 2009, in Ardagani Lake, these French musical fountains are worth long walk here. The daily show usually starts after sunset. The fountains ‘dance’ to the a musical soundtrack of modern pop, rock and classical music. We were treated to the particular pleasure of the fountains dancing to AC/DC‘s “Highway to Hell”! There is a laser show, telling the history of Batumi and Georgia. Take a seat either on the sea side of the Lake or on the special places set out along the opposite lake shore.

Europe Square D-2. You

will probably pass here dozens of times during your stay in Batumi. Its name comes from the fact of joining Batumi to the Assembly of European Regions. The statue of Medea was placed in the centre of the square as a symbol of ancient Georgian connections with the European world. Concerts of Jose Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Bueno Vistas Social Club and many others have been held here - 50,000 people crammed in for the Enrique Iglesias gig back in 2011! Just next to Medea statue there is a useful bike rental point.

Panoramic Wheel F-2. Definitely the most noticeable attraction in the city, the Panoramic Wheel is located right next to the Ali & Nino statues and close to both the Alphabetic and Chacha towers. A single cycle will last 10 minutes, taking you to a height of 55 metres and giving views all over the city height. The wheel was constructed by Italian company and can hold 240 people at once. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. Admission 2Lari. 2013

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What to see Activities

Piazza Square E-3. It is one of the most beautiful places in Batumi, yet as i ts name sug gests, i t is distinctly Italian and so a little incongruous for Georgia, but in Batumi, when it comes to architecture, it seems anything goes! The Square covers about 5700 square metres and is surrounded by the Piazza complex, which includes a hotel, a couple of restaurants, a café and a pub. The architecture is distinguished by mosaics and stained glass art. Live music is performed here daily in café La Brioche and the square usually hosts concerts of world famous musicians visiting Batumi.

Parks & Gardens Batumi Boulevard (Seaside Park) A/F-1,

Aqua Park G-2, Khimshiashvili 12, tel. (+995) 422

21 01 01. Entertainment for children and adults, the Aquapark is located on the New Boulevard, next to the sea. It is rather small, but has everything to keep you, and your kids happy. There are two big pools and one children’s. Aquarium J-1, Rustaveli Av. 51, tel. (+995) 422 22 17 30, www.parkbatumi.ge. Opened in 1966, it initially housed North Pacific pinnipeds, fur otters and Caspian seals. There were also 60 species of fish from both freshwaters and seas around the world. Today it houses around 100 species of fish from the Black Sea, Georgia’s freshwaters and also a number of exotic and decorative species. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. Admission 2Lari. Dolphinarium J-1, Rustaveli Av. 51, tel. (+995) 422 22 17 30, www.parkbatumi.ge. The first dolphinarium was open in Batumi in 1975 and was re-opened in 2011. Dolphinariums are increasingly controversial, with some pressure groups pushing for them to be banned in the EU. The Batumi Dolphinarium provides a show for up to 700 spectators and offers visitors the opportunity at trying their hand as dolphin trainers. The show is performed in Georgian, English and Russian. There are three shows per day at 14:00, 17:00 and 21:00. There are special facilities for disabled people. QTickets: day show 12Lari, night show 16Lari. Swimming with dolphins is available. Rates: 3-12 years – 60Lari, 12-18 years – 100 Lari, adults 150 Lari. Free bar is included. Zoo Corner J-2, Rustaveli Av. 51, tel. (+995) 422 22 17 30, www.parkbatumi.ge. The history of this small zoo dates back to 1898, when Batumi animal defence society founded enclosures for animals. In 1971 the wooden pens were replaced with more modern enclosures and the number of captive species was increased. The focus was to represent the Georgian endemic species: Caucasian brown bear, wolf, jackal, badger, fox and deer. Additionally different exotic animals and birds, such as monkeys, eagles, parrots and peacocks were added. Today the site spreads over two hectares. Another small zoo corner is located on Ninoshvili Street, not far from Sheraton Batumi Hotel. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. Admission 2Lari.

Batumi In Your Pocket

F-1/5, H/J-1, Probably the oldest attraction in Batumi, construction of the boulevard began in 1881, when the Governor of the Batumi District assigned the German gardener, Reseller, to create a park alongside the sea shore of Batumi Old Town. Nowadays, Batumi Boulevard has reached a length of around 7 kilometres and is approximately divided into ‘new’ and ‘old’ boulevards. The original and beautiful park is still here, with the addition of modern sculptures, benches and fountains. During the height of the summer season the seashore is busy with cafés, restaurants, beach bars and clubs. In the off-season it’s simply a beautiful sea-side boulevard. Stroll along at any time of the day, a quiet morning or hot afternoon, but you must come here just before sunset. Seeing the sun sink into the sea is sublime and unforgettable.

Botanical Garden Mtsvane Kontskhi, Makhinjauri www. bbg.ge. This is one the biggest and richest botanical gardens in the world. Located near Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape) resort, it was the brainchild of the prominent Russian botanist and physical geographer Andrey Krasnov. The plants species displayed come from many utterly different climatic and landscape zones. To get to the Garden take marchrutka #31 or 150 from Parnavaz Mepe Street or Tbilisi square. QOpen 08:00-21:00. Admission 6.00 lari, free entrance for children under 10. 6 May Park A/B-2. As

we mentioned previously, the city’s first garden was established in 1881 by the German garden designer, Reseller. Further work on Batumi Boulevard and the park was continued by the French gardener, D’Alphonse. In 1888, the Russian Emperor Alexander III visited Batumi and was fascinated by the gardener’s work. With his family, he planted several trees and it was subsequently named Alexander’s Garden. Since then, the name has changed periodically and is today 6 May Park. At its far end is a zoological corner, a dolphinarium, and an aquarium. The beautiful Nurigeli Lake is located in the middle of the park.

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What to see Churches Most of the churches will be open during the day with the Georgian liturgy ceremony usually held at 16:00 on Saturday and 09:00 on Sunday.

Armenian Apostolic Church D-3, K.Gamsa-

khurdia 25. Ori ginall y a wooden church built in 1873. Destroyed in the 1880s, a new stone church was built with local donations and the works was carried out under the supervision of an Austrian architect. It was used as a planetarium during the Soviet times, which saved the building from destruction. In 1992 the Planetarium was moved to Batumi State University and the church was re-opened.

Batumi Catholic

Church E-4, Gogebashvili 54. The newest in the city, the Church of Holy Spirit was built in 2000 and consecrated by Giuseppe Pasotto, the Ordinar y of Apostolic administration of Caucasus. The Church is really impressive, has a modern design and is located not far from the port. Arriving in Batumi from Tbilisi you’ll notice it on the left side of the road. Ortajame E-4, Chkalova 6. The Mosque got its name due to its position between two other Muslim temples (‘orta’ is middle in Turkish). It was built in 1880s and is the only surviving Mosque in Batumi. As with all other religious monuments, it was closed during the Soviet era. In 1990s renovation works were carried out and the Mosque resumed its spiritual and cultural services.

St Barbara’s Church

C-2, Rustaveli Av. This small church is located on the site of a former military hospital. Its construction began in 1888 under direction and sponsorship of the Emperor Alexander III. The Church was closed durin g th e Soviet tim es and re-opened again only in 1997.

St Nickolas Church E-3, Parnavaz Mepe 24. Located next to Piazza Square, it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Batumi. The Greeks initiated the construction of the church, while Batumi was under the rule of the Ottoman’s Empire. The Sultan allowed the church to be built under one condition: batumi.inyourpocket.com

that it there wouldn’t be any bells installed. The stones were brought from Trabzon and construction works started in 1865. It was completely renovated in 2012. Synagogue C-3, Vazha Pshavela 33. In 1899 the Jewish population of Batumi got permission from the Russian Emperor to build a synagogue in the city and it opened in 1904. During Soviet times it housed several sport organisations. It was reopened as a synagogue in 1998 and renovated.

The Virgin Nativity Cathedral C-4, Chav-

chavadze 25. At the end of 19th century, Batumi’s Catholics, along with the European consulates in the city, requested the building of a church. It was constructed in 1897 in a Neo-Gothic style, with three domes. In Soviet times it was used as an archive and a high-voltage laboratory. Today it is the main Cathedral of Batumi.

Travel Agencies Ajara Tour B-4, Chavchavadze 48, tel. (+995) 422 27 87 78, www.Ajaratour.com/en. Calypso Travel D-2, Ninoshvili 11, Intourist Palace Hotel, tel. (+995) 422 276556, batumi@calypso.ge, www.calypso.ge. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. Wonderland D-3, K. Gamsakhurdia 36, tel. (+995) 422 27 69 84, www.wonderland.ge. QOpen 10:30 - 19:00, Sat 10:30 - 16:00. Closed Sun.

Gonio Fortress Gonio-Apsaros Fortress is located 12 kilometres south of Batumi, on the left bank of the river Chorokhi. It is the site of one of the oldest G eorgian set tl e ments that was located around the fortress, and a location with unique strategic importance. It protected the entrances to Chorokhi and Acharistskali Gorges, which connected inland regions of south-western Georgia with the Black Sea. Due to this fact Gonio was a citadel first for the Romans and later for Byzantium and the Ottomans. The Fortress consists of several layers – the Roman (4th-3rd century BC), the Byzantine (6th-7th century) and the Ottoman (16th century). The history of Gonio is closely connected with the legend of the Argonauts. According to the legend, it is here that the King Aeetes buried his son Apsaros, killed by Jason. It is believed that Mathias, one of the 12 Apostles is also buried here, making a significant Christian site. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission 2 Lari.

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Shopping

Books

Souvenirs

Books in Batumi B-2, Abashidze Av. 60, tel. (+995)

There are a few items that are distinctly Georgian. Traditional drinking horns often tipped with silver or metal called Kantsi, hand made knives, large fluffy wool hats called Papakhi, Teka, felt textile goods, and of course Georgian wine. In addition, antiques and bric-a-brac are often relatively cheap and interesting. Georgia House E-3, Gorgasali. Essential stop next to Piazza Square if you have some souvenir shopping plans. A wide range of traditional Georgian souvenirs, as well as some wine in beautiful packages. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. A

422 22 84 44. Newly open bookstore, offers big selection of Georgian books and several dozen english ones. Coffee and tea can be served on the outside terrace. You can also rent book and read it there. Good selection of postcard available. Q A

Food & Drinks There are dozens of small food shops around Batumi. In each you’ll find fruits, vegetables, alcohol, drinks, and almost everything you might need. But here’s a list of more or less big supermarkets in the city. Goodwill E-4, Chavchavadze 3 QOpen 24hrs. A Georgita B-2, Abashidze Av. (next to 6 May Park) QOpen 24hrs. A Populi D-4, Baratashvili 25, tel. (+995) 422 43 11 22. QOpen 24 hrs. A

Jewellery & Accessory There is a number of jewellery shops around K. Gamsakhurdia street, most off them are tax free. But here is the one, unique, we highly advise you to visit if you are interesting in jewellery. Zarapxana C-2, Rustaveli Av. 35, tel. (+995) 599 22 97 60, www.zarapxana.ge. This company has also 7 shops in Tbilisi and produces unique jewellery with Georgian history flavour. QOpen 11:00-20:00. A

Sport & Outdoor Equipment Elite Sports E-3, Z. Gamsakhurdia 16B. There is everything

you might need for sports in this small shop, from backpack to swimming suite or swimming googles. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. A

Batumi In Your Pocket

Wine Winary Khareba D-3, K. Gamsakhurdia/Melashvili

28/30, tel. (+995) 422 27 00 27, www.winerykhareba. com. Probably the best wine shop in Batumi, Winery Khareba is located in beautifully designed building. There is a small wine shop upstairs, and an unexpectedly huge wine aging cellar downstairs. There are 30 types of bottled wine available, including the latest Mondial award winners: Saperavi Premium 2010 (Grand Gold Medal) and Rkatseteli 2012 (Silver Medal). They also sell two types of the wine by litter – a mix of Rkatseteli and Mtsvanefor 3.50Lari and Kindzmarauli for 7Lari. Each wine can be tasted. A great place to buy wine but also perfect to meet friends and share a Georgian wine experience. QOpen 10:30 - 19:30. A Kindzmarauli Marani C-2, Abashidze Av. 45, tel. (+995) 599 92 09 96. All wines here are produced by Kindzmarauli Marani winery from Kakhetia region, presented in 22 types of bottled wine. There are also 4 types of draft wine - Rkatseteli, Mtsvane, Saperavi and Kindzmarauli from 4Lari to 9Lari per litre. Nice sets of wine in wooden package are good for presents. QOpen 10:30 - 21:00. A

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directory Old Wine House V.Danelia & Co. E-4, Z. Gamsakhurdia 43, tel. (+995) 422 27 38 25. The history of the shop might be traced back to 1907. Daniela’s - the owner - family was running a wine store on the very same place before the soviets confiscated it. Al wine presented here is made from Kakhetian wine yards in Eastern Georgia with a traditional technology of Danelia’s family. Both bottled and draft wines are available. QOpen 10:00-21:00.

24 hour Pharmacies Aversi B-4, Chavchavadze 39, tel. (+995) 422 22 20 36. Also at P. Bagrationi 140, tel. (+995) 422 24 80 28. PSP B-4, Chavchavadze 46, tel. (+995) 422 22 45 88. GPC A-4, Chavchavadze 113, tel. (+995) 422 22 03 69. Also at Chavchavadze 4, Gamsakhurdia 49, Gorgiladze 30.

Beauty Salons A-Salon A-4, Chavchavadze 97, tel. (+995) 422 22 40 46. QOpen 10:00 - 19:00. African Queen D-4, Zubalashvili 14/25A, tel. (+995) 422 22 59 48. Afro-America Hairdressing. QOpen 09:00until late night. Schwazkopf C-3, Gorgiladze 25, tel. (+995) 422 27 04 55. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00.

Billiards Piramida D-3, Melashvili 37, tel. (+995) 555 45 30 50.

There are 5 pool tables and 2 Russian billiards in Piramida. 1 hour of the game costs 10 Lari. QOpen 24hrs. Batumi Boulevard D-1, Old Boulevard. There are 4 billiard and 4 ping pong tables available from the morning until late hours right on the seaside park alleys. Located behind Veteran’s Club. 1 hour for both billiard and ping pong costs 6 Lari.

Fitness Centres Fitness centres in Batumi are mostly located inside the hotels and are open to all visitors outside the hotel. We recommend visiting fitness centres in Sheraton Batumi, Radisson Blu Batumi, Prezident Plaza and Georgian Palace in Kobuleti. Another good option is Marina Tourism Centre. Marina Tourism Centre G-2, Khimshiashvili 10, tel. (+995) 422 24 44 00, www.marigroup.ge. The centre is located right on the seashore. The facilities include a 3-star hotel, 25m swimming pool, basketball yard, football playground, billiards, sauna, two tennis courts and several cafes and restaurants, beach club and bungalows.

Swimming Pools Marina Tourism Centre G-2, Khimshiashvili 10,

tel. (+995) 422 24 44 00, www.marigroup.ge. 25x10 m closed indoor pool. Admission 10 Lari per hour. QOpen 11:30 - 14:30, 20:00 - 22:00. Sheraton Batumi B-2, Rustaveli Av. 28, tel. (+995) 422 22 90 00. Open air swimming pool, admission 30 Lari per person for a whole day in the hotel’s fitness centre. QOpen 07:00 - 23:00.

Tennis Courts Batumi Tennis Club C-1, Ninoshvili 4, tel. (+995) 422

22 19 91. 20Lari per hour per one court, including racquets and balls. QOpen 08:00 - 21:00.

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Abkhazia and South Ossetia The breakaway regions p.9

Abkhazia

Enclosed between Russia, Georgia and the Black Sea coastline, Abkhazia was one of the top tourist destinations in the Soviet Union. Fabulous scenery and natural wonders (subtropical beaches, alpine lakes and gorges, some of the deepest mountain caves on earth), historical monuments (New Athos monastery, the cities of Sukhumi and Gagra, and other ancient religious sites) made it a huge draw. All travellers should log on to Abkhaz Foreign Ministry website (http://mfaapsny.org/en/council/visa.php) to check the latest immigration requirements. Most foreigners will need to fill out a downloadable electronic visa application form and forward it to the provided Abkhaz Consular Service e-mail address. Normally, a free-of-charge entry permit will be issued within five working days and emailed back to the applicant to print out. From Georgia, Abkhazia can only be entered through the “Enguri” checkpoint on the administrative border, 10 kilometres north-west of Zugdidi and as of 2013, operated by the Russian military. The print out of the entry permit must be produced, together with a valid passport upon reaching the checkpoint control. Within three days of arrival in Abkhazia, the traveller is required to visit the Sukhumi branch of SberBank of Abkhazia (not to be confused with the SberBank of Russia), to pay the visa fee of 20 US dollars and proceed with the receipt to the office of Consular Service in Sukhumi to receive a visa. The visa will be handed to the traveller as a loose sheet of paper, not to be attached to the passport, as it will be collected upon departure through the checkpoint control, serving as an exit permit. From Russia, Abkhazia can be entered through the “Psou” checkpoint. Departing back to Russia will require the traveller to hold a Russian multi-entry visa. Note: entering Abkhazia through the “Psou” checkpoint is as of 2013 deemed a criminal offence under Georgian law, therefore visiting Abkhazia from Russia may result in the traveller not being subsequently admitted into Georgia or being prosecuted by Georgian authorities, as Russian border guards are likely to stamp the individual’s passport upon crossing “Psou”. Compared to Georgia proper, Abkhazia is a considerably less travel-friendly environment. The level of security is low and especially in Sukhumi one should refrain from sightseeing after dark. The currency in use is the Russian Ruble. Expect ATMs not to work with foreign bank cards and foreign mobile phones/SIM cards may not be compatible with local cellular networks. At least having a “survival” knowledge of Russian is a must. In general, travel to Abkhazia is not advisable especially to travellers without prior experience of travelling in Ukraine and Russia. The situation remains volatile and one should obtain a thorough update immediately before embarking on travel to Abkhazia.

South Ossetia

Landlocked between Russia and Georgia, South Ossetia is currently off-limits to foreign visitors from either country. Crossing the region’s administrative border from Georgia might result in an individual’s arrest or direct physical danger from local military groups. Travellers should exercise caution not to enter South Ossetia inadvertently while trekking in eastern Imereti and Racha-Lechkhumi or western Mtskheta-Mtianeti (west of Georgian Military Highway, particularly the Truso valley).

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Ajara map

Batumi In Your Pocket

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Ajara map

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Kobuleti Sights & Historical Monuments Kobuleti Municipality is rich in historical and religious monuments. There are numerous medieval fortresses, churches as well as ancient arched bridges. The most important historical monuments are Petra Fortress in the village of Tsikisdziri, Achi Church of St. George’s Church in Achi, Tetrosani (White) St. George’s Church found in the area of the Gvara and Khutsubani villages, Khinotsminda Episcopal Church in Kintrishi Valley, St. Helen and Constantine Church in Kvirike, Kvirike Mosque also in Kvirike. Kobuleti Museum is also certainly worth visiting. (Agmashenebeli 100).

Natural Resources Kobuleti Kobuleti has a distinct microclimate, different from the other coastal resorts of Ajara. The resort sits on the Kolkheti lowland, 25 kilometres from Batumi. The mild and humid subtropical climate of the Black Sea, ionized sea air, gentle sun and warm sea provide this spa town with its distinctive medicinal properties, said to have a favourable effect on both chronic and cardiovascular pathologies. The hospitality is equally warm and invigorating. Kobuleti also has its own distinct traditions and historical sites. The Hellenistic site of Pichvnari has artefacts dating from the first and second millennia BC and is one of the most distinguished archaeological monuments of the Georgian Black Sea region. Kobuleti City Museum has over 3,500 exhibits representing archaeological, historical and ethnographic treasures of the region. Getting there From Batumi Kobuleti can be reached by train, public transport (marshrutka # 123), or a taxi. For getting around Kobuleti use public transport (Bus, Minibus/ Marshutka) or a taxi.

Where to stay Chveni Ezo Agmashenebeli 492, tel. (+995) 599 79 19 07, chveniezo@mail.ru, www.chveni-ezo.ge. Q9

rooms (doubles 55US$, triples 60US$, family suites 100US$). PLXW hhh

Condori Agmashenebeli 280, tel. (+995) 577 44 88 82, info@condori.ge, www.condori.ge. Q 32 rooms (doubles 70US$, suites 120US$). PNLX hhh Georgia Palace Agmashenebeli 275, tel. (+995) 32 224 24 00, fax (+995) 32 224 24 02, info@gph.ge, www.gph.ge. Q156 rooms (standards 250-300US$, suites 300-350US$). PiAFLGKDXW hhhhh Kobuleti Beach Club Agmashenebeli 373A, tel.

(+995) 599 56 96 77, kbchotel@gol.ge, www.kbchotel. com. Q9 rooms (single 120US$, double 210US$). Pi� ALGXW hhh

Sanapiro Tamar Mepe Av. 1, tel. (+995) 599 50 63 83, hotelsanapiro.wordpress.com. Q16 rooms (2 single 20-35US$, 4 double 25-70US$, 1 triple 30-50US$, 1 quad 30-50US$, 3 junior suites 30-60US$, 2 suites 45-80US$, 3 superior suites 60-100US$). PiNLXW hh Savane Agmashenebeli 362, tel. (+995) 5599 56 86 65, info@savane.ge, www.savane.ge. Q 25 rooms (doubles 70-90US$, suites 90-110US$). PNLXW hh

Batumi In Your Pocket

The majority of the protected areas in Ajara are located within the municipality of Kobuleti. They have a notable biodiversity of flora and fauna. Kobuleti Protected Areas (Ispani 2) Aghmashenebeli 645 (end of Bagrationi str. so called Chapaevka), tel. (+995) 577 10 18 97. Lies approximately 30 km from Batumi. Its area stretches over 770 hectares in a strip less than 300 metres from the sea coast. Ispani is a unique sphagnum peaty bog with rare species of flora. It is also an excellent place for birdwatching. Administration: Leselidze 44, Kobuleti. Kintrishi Protected Areas village Tskhemvani, tel. (+995) 577 59 21 12. The beautiful Kintrishi Valley lies 55 kilometres from Batumi. The valley lies between the Tskhemlovani and Khino mountains, at 2,500 metres above sea level and comprises 13,893 hectares. Most of the territory is occupied by mountains and gorges. The main area is covered with forest. The rivers Kintrishi and Kheknara flow through the reserve. It is rich in species of the Colchis flora. There is a visitor centre with six beds for overnight accommodation. There is a ranger service providing, picnics, camping facilities and horse riding. Administration: Leselidze 4, Kobuleti. Mtirala National Park Chakvi district, village Chakvistavi, tel. (+995) 577 10 18 89. Mtirala National Park is located in the most western part of the Ajara-Imereti range, on the Kobuleti-Chakvi ridge, covering 15,306 hectares. At 1381 metres above sea level, it is the rainiest territory in Georgia, hence the name “mtirala” meaning “weeping.” The park remains a protected site for Colchis flora and fauna including rare and endangered endemic and relict species. The following are included in on the Red List of Georgia: lynx, brown bear, Caucasian squirrel, Caucasian salamander, Caucasian adder and the butterflies – Apollo and Caucasian festoon. Among the relatively bigger fowl there are small eagles, kites, hawks, etc. Visitor centre offers eight beds and a kitchen. Another option to stay overnight is a shelter eight kilometres from the visitor centre. Mtirala National Park offers guide services, picnic and camping facilities and horse riding. Administration: Tchavtchavadze 13, Chakvi.

Kobuleti Basics Area 7118 sq/km, located 10 m above sea level Population 94,602 Average annual temperature 13-15 C Average precipitation 2,500 – 3,000 mm Climate subtropical Telephone code +995 426 Tourist Information Centre Agmashenebeli 642, Kobuleti, tel. (+995) 577 90 91 31.

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Ajara The Tsikhisdziri Resort is located 17 kilometres north of Batumi, 60-90 metres above sea level. Its particular attraction lies in the fact that it is a mixture of sea and mountain climates. Summers are rather cool, whereas winters are relatively warm compared to Batumi or Makhinjauri. The territory has been settled since ancient times. It used to be a historical city-fortress of Western Georgia, namely of the Egrisi Kingdom, due to its military strategic and economically favourable location. As early as in the sixth century, Byzantine Emperor Justinian built a city here named Petra. Chakvi is located 13 kilometres from Batumi. This resort is the historical birthplace of Georgian tea. It was here that the Chinese scientist Lao Jun Jiao first introduced and cultivated tea. Hotels and summer cottages located in the bright greenery of the Chakvi coastline enjoy great popularity among tourists.

Tskarostvali village Gobroneti, Keda Municipality, 56 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 599 94 46 42. Number of beds: 10-12. Host: Amiran Bolkvadze. Zebo village Gobroneti, Keda Municipality, 56 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 593 93 34 03. Number of beds: 10-12. Host: Zebur Bolkvadze. Lado Shavishvili’s village Vaio, Keda Municipality, 45 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 599 78 36 59. Number of beds: 10. Host: Lado Shavishvili. Mtsvane Sakhli village Nigazeuli, Shuakhevi Municipality, 78 km. from Batumi, 800 m. above the sea level. tel. (+995) 558 79 33 07. Number of beds: 6. Host: Beglar Kekelidze. Imedi village Nigazeuli, Shuakhevi Municipality, 78 km. from Batumi, 800 m. above the sea level. tel. (+995) 577 20 34 68. Number of beds: 6. Host: Amiran Khimshiashvili. Avto village Nigazeuli, Shuakhevi Municipality, 78 km. from Batumi, 800 m. above the sea level. tel. (+995) 593 62 83 78. Number of beds: 6. Host: Malkhaz Khimshiashvili. Kvemourebi village Nigazeuli, Shuakhevi Municipality, 78 km. from Batumi, 800 m. above the sea level. tel. (+995) 577 29 08 48. Number of beds: 5. Host: Bitchiko Khimshiashvili.

WIne Tourism

Guest House

Rural Tourism Rural tourism is one of the most popular options in Ajara. Want to escape from daily routine, have an adventure or rest and relax from the whole world? Ajara is where to come. It will offer you a quiet and peaceful holiday, fresh air and fascinating ancient traditions. There are dozens of hunting and fishing places around the region, and the woods are full with different berries. Georgian hosts in all guest houses are generous and hospitable and you can join in their everyday lives and take part in their farming tasks. Here is a full list of activities available around the region: cattle breeding, poultry farming, horticulture, viticulture, bee keeping, learning traditional cooking, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, visiting historical monuments, learning local handicraft: knitting, embroidery, wickerwork, plaiting, winemaking/degustation, Chacha (Georgian Vodka) distillation, getting acquainted with local folklore and ethnography. Getting acquainted with the tradition of making Matchakhela guns and rafting (only in Khelvachauri village). Learning about traditional Tobacco processing (only in Keda and Shuakhevi villages). Rock climbing, skiing, sledging (only in Shuakhevi).

Georgia is believed to be the birthplace of wine. The earliest evidence of wine making, over 7000 years ago, has been found here and the word “wine” is derived from the Georgian word “gvino”. Georgian wine was, and in some cases still is, produced in buried clay fermenting pots called Kvevri. Over 500 varieties of grape are found in Georgia, a greater diversity than anywhere else in the world. Around 40 of these different grapes are used in wine production. Natural mineral spring water from the Caucasus mountains, mild winters and warm summers combine to provide ideal conditions for wine making. Among western regions of Georgia, Ajara is one of the oldest centres of winemaking, with its historical heart in the Keda Municipality. “Tsolikauri” and “Chkhaveri” wines are produced here are very popular among Georgian as well as foreign consumers. The following winemakers offer the opportunity for visitors to become familiar with ancient Georgian winemaking traditions. They all offer wine tasting, Georgian dishes and wine for sale. Ajarian Wine House village Acharistkali, Khelvachauri Municipality, 20 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 577 21 40 02. Wines produced: Porto-Franco (dry rose wine), Tsolikauri. Lado Shavishvili’s village Vaio, Keda Municipality, 45 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 599 78 36 59. A family wine hous, known for producing Chkhaveri and Tsolikauri wines. Accommodation is available.

Guest Houses Gela Kontselidze’s village Chakvistavi, Mtirala national park, Kobuleti Municipality, 25 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 557 65 17 64. Number of beds: 7-8. Host: Gela Kontselidze. Gurami village Chakvistavi, Mtirala national park, Kobuleti Municipality, 25 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 558 46 68 28. Number of beds: 7-8. Host: Guram Kontselidze. Malkhaz Salvaridze’s village Tskhemlara, Khelvachauri Municipality, 27 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 557 60 56 72. Number of beds: 7-8. Host: Malkhaz Salvaridze. batumi.inyourpocket.com

Ajarian WIne House

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Ajara region Nodar Shervashidze’s village Saghoreti, Keda

Municipality, 36 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 593 07 00 88. A family wine house produces Chkhaveri and Ojaleshi wines and offers accommodation for overnight stay. Nuri Sirabidze’s village Gegelidzeebi, Keda Municipality, 49 km from Batumi, tel. (+995) 593 51 91 28. A family wine house, which produces Tsolicauri wine and offers accommodation.

BRC Homestay village Sakhalvasho, 15 km.

from Batumi, tel. (+995) 599 21 65 80, visit@ batumiraptorcount.org, www.batumiraptorcount.org. Batumi Raptor Count, or BRC, is a nature conservation NGO that works to monitor and conserve the 850,000+ birds of prey that migrate every autumn through the Batumi Bottleneck. The BRC organises accommodation with a full board around the region. You will be offered comfortable private rooms in a family’s house with shared bathroom. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared at the desired time and it is also possible to ask for a food package to take away. Q Room price 60Lari, including 35Lari for accommodation, 5Lari for booking service and 20Lari as a contribution to BRC Project.

Skiing Tourism

Birdwatching tour

Birdwatching Just outside the city of Batumi, in the foothills of the Lesser Caucasus, on the eastern shoreline of the Black Sea is one of the best places to watch the migration raptors in the whole western Palearctic area. Here, it is possible to witness a migration spectacle rarely paralleled anywhere in the world: over 1,000,000 raptors belonging to 35 species are recorded here each autumn, as they make their annual journey south from Scandinavia, the forests of Russia and the steppes of Central Asia to their wintering grounds in Africa. Strong movements of storks, cranes, bee-eaters, swifts, swallows, and a diverse assemblage of other “songbirds” are also seen here. The unique topography and climate in the region set the stage for bringing together so many birds at one time, at one place, guaranteeing a totally unique natural history experience that will leave you with memories for a lifetime! Of the 35 raptors that can be possibly seen in Batumi, several really stand out. The Honey Buzzard migration begins in earnest during late August, with peak movements of birds continuing into the first week of September. Some of the highest counts of Honey Buzzard anywhere in the world have been recorded right here in Batumi, with nearly 650,000 Honey Buzzards recorded in Autumn 2012. And every now and then, the rare Oriental Honey-buzzard can be spotted among these flocks. No fewer than four species of Harrier can be seen in Batumi: (Western) Marsh Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Pallid Harrier, and Hen Harrier. Of these four, peak movements for Marsh, Montagu’s, and Pallid Harrier beginning typically late August and tapering noticeably by the second or third week of September also have racked up some of the highest counts anywhere in the western Palearctic. Eagle migration is as interesting in Batumi as it is diverse, with good possibilities for seeing Booted Eagle, Short-toed (Snake) Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle, Steppe Eagle, and even (Eastern) Imperial Eagle from the third week of September through the first weeks of October. Falcons are also well-represented in the Batumi bottleneck. By mid to late September, it is possible to see Common Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Hobby, Merlin, and Peregrine on the same day! Saker Falcon is also recorded on occasion.

Batumi In Your Pocket

Ajara, the south-western region of Georgia, has great potential as a snow sports destination. The climate is humid in the Ajara highlands, winter is relatively cold and long while the average mountain height is 2000-2500 metres. Several resorts have benefited from recent development investment, namely Gomarduli and Gomis Mta in Shuakhevi and Kedlebi, Goderdzi and Beshumi in Khulo municipality. Beshumi Summer Resort Many residents of the Ajara region go to the mountainous region of Beshumi for summer holidays. Beshumi lies on the eastern slope of the Arsiani Range, 7 kilometres from the Goderdzi Pass, and nearly 2000 metres above sea level. The region is covered by sub-alpine forests and is distinguished by especially clear and fresh air. Since a dense coniferous forest contributes to the healthy ionization of the air, Beshumi is a particularly good place for those with chronic respiratory tract diseases. The resort is open from mid June until early September. There are many cottages and summer houses available there for visitors. The traditional public festival of “Shuamtoba” described above is observed here in mid-August during which horse-racing takes place along with various other events. Goderdzi Resort Located in Khulo municipality 2025 meters above sea level. It is a hospitable romantic place throughout the four seasons and an ideal retreat. Gomarduli Resort The resort is located 1250 metres above sea level. It comprises five hotel-type cottages, each with four rooms and 12 beds. There is a 300 metre long skiing track with a lift.

Beshumi summer resort

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Fanfan Monte Carlo

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Veronica Sheraton Batumi

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Old Ship

Venezia Winter Garden

Clouds Radisson Blu Batumi

Intourist Palace

Kozachok

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Press Cafe R. Petriashvili Art Cafe

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Munich Sea Port

Literaturuli

Piazza Bremen

La Terrasse

Mimino

Marco Polo La Brioche O. Galogre

Arhavi

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OLD TOWN scale 1:9160 Samikitno Machakhela

Š Map provided by Ajara Tourism Office Š Batumi In Your Pocket, 2013


StrEet Register & Index

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26 Maisi B-1/4 Abashidze Av. A/E-2 Akhmeteli D-2 Akhvlediani B/C-3 Baratashvili D-3/4 Charmikli I-1/2 Chavchavadze A/E-4,J-3 Dumbadze D-2 Eliava E-3 Eurpoe Sq D-2 Gamsakhurdia E-2/4 Gamsakhurdia D-2/4

Gogebashvili E-2/4 Gorgasali A/E-3, I/J-2 Gorgiladze A/D-3, I/J-2 Griboedov I-2/3, J-3 H. Abashidze A-3/4 I. Abashidze D-3 Javakhishvili I-1/3 Kakhiani C/D-2 Kazbegi B-3/4 Khimshiasvili A-3/4 Khimshiasvili J-2/3 Khinkadze I/J-2

Khulo E-3/4 Kldiashvili B/C-2 Komakhidze D/E-4 Kostava D/E-3 Kutaisi E-3/4 Lermontov J-2/3 Luka Astiani C-2/4 Marjanashvili C-3 Melashvili D/E-3 Melikishvili B-1/4 Metaksa A-3/4 Ninoshvili B/C-1, C/D-2

Noe Zhordana D/E-3 Old Boulevard A/E-1 Paliashvili A/B-3 Parnavaz Mepe A/E-3, J-2 Pirosmani H-2/3, I-2 Rustaveli Av. A/E-2, I/J-1 Sheikhi H-2/3 Sherif Khimshiashvili G/I-2 Tavdadebuli C-2/4 Tbilisi Sq. D-4 Vazha Pshavela C-2/4 Zubalashvili B/E-4

Adjarabet 20 Adjara Tour 23 African Queen 25 Ajarian House 16 Aksoy Art Galler 11 Ali & Nino 21 Alphabet Tower 21 Aqua Park 22 Aquarium 22 Arhavi 18 Armenian Apostolic Church 23 Art-Boulevard 20 A-Salon 25 Astronomic Clock 21 Aversi 25 Batumi Boulevard 25 Batumi Boulevard (Seaside Park) 22 Batumi Catholic Church 23 Batumi City Centre 6 Batumi International Airport 5 Batumi Lighthouse 21 Batumi Opera and Ballet Centre 11 Batumi State Drama Theatre 11 Batumi Tennis Club 25 Batumi World Palace 14 Beeline 9 Bereg Café 16 Black Buddha 20 Books in Batumi 24 Botanical Garden 22 Bremen 16 Brighton 14

Bus Station 5 Café Rennes 19 Calypso Travel 23 Cars4rent 5 Chacha Tower 21 Circus 11 Clouds 18 Colonnades 21 Dancing Fountains 21 Daraberi 16 DHL 9 Dolphinarium 22 D’Vine 15 Elite Sports 24 Era Palace 14 Espresso Sinatra Bar 20 Europe Square 21 Fan Fan 19 Fish Market 18 Gela Rent a Car 5 Geocell 9 Georgia House 24 Georgita 24 Goodwill 24 GPC 25 Grand Grill 18 Grand Palace Intourist 20 Hertz 5 Intourist Palace 13 Iveria Batumi 20 Kemal Turmanidze 11 Kindzmarauli Marani 24

Kozachok 18 Kutaisi International Airport 5 La Brioche 19 La Terrasse 19 Literaturili 19 Magti 9 Makhinjauri Train Station 5 Marco Polo 18 Marina Tourism Centre 25 Masmidzelo 16 Mimino 16 Monte Carlo Apart Hotel 14 Münich 17 Neocca 17 New Bus Station 5 O. Galogre 14 Old Ship 16 Old Wine House 25 Ortajame 23 Panoramic Wheel 21 Peace 20 Piazza Boutique Hotel 14 Piazza Square 22 Piramida 25 PitaBoom 19 Populi 24 Postal Service Centre 9 President Plaza 14 Press Café 19 Privet iz Batuma 19 PSP 25 Puppet Theatre 11

Quiet Woman Pub 20 Radisson Blu Batumi 13 Rendez-Vous Lounge 20 Rusudan Petviashvili Art Gallery & Café 11, 19 Samikitno Machakhela 17 San Remo 17 Schwazkopf 25 Sheraton Batumi 13, 25 Sixt 5 St Barbara’s Church 23 St Nickolas Church 23 Synagogue 23 Taxi-2 5 TBC Gallery 11 The Virgin Nativity Cathedral 23 TNT 9 Tower Restaurant & Brewery 17 Tserodena 17 Ukrainochka 18 Up & Down 17 UPS 9 Vapianno 20 Venezia 18 Veronica 17 Vinyl 20 Why Not? Batumi 15 Winary Khareba 24 Winter Garden 17 Wonderland 23 Zarapxana 24 Zoo Corner 22

G

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NEW BOULEVARD scale 1:15 000

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San Remo

Ukrainochka Ajarian House Grand Grill

2 Up & Down

Era Palace

3

Batumi In Your Pocket

batumi.inyourpocket.com


41 °

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Gudauta

ABKHAZIA

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Otap

Batumi

Kobuleti

National capital Autonomous repub lic capital Town, village Major air port International boundar y Autonomous repub lic boundar y Main road Secondar y road Railroad

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El'brus 5642 m

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Dykh-Tau 5203 m

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Kutaisi

Chiatura

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AZERBAIJAN

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GEORGIA

Lagodekhi

46 °

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KAKHETI

Lake Sevan

Telavi

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a

Archilo

Akhmeta Ala

Tbilisi

Mtskheta

Vanadzor

Kazreti

ARMENIA

Gyumri

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Vladikavkaz

Marneuli Bolnisi

Kvemo Kartli

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Dusheti

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Ninotsminda

Akhalkalaki

Mleta

Akhalgori

Shida Kartli

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Bakuriani Atskuri Lake Samtskhe Tabatskuri

Vale -javakheti

75 km

45 °

Mtskheta-Mtianeti

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Mqinvartsveri (Kazbek) o 5047 m

SOUTH OSSETIA Tskhinvali

Kvaisi

Borjomi

Khashuri

Abastumani

Baghdati

Zestaponi

ila vir

Ambrolauri Tqibuli

T U R K E Y

Khulo

Bakhmaro

Chokhatauri Supsa

Ozurgeti

Khvanchkara

Rioni

IMERETI

Tskhaltubo Senaki Rion i Samtredia

Tsalenjhikha Zugdidi

Terek

Mozdok

F E D E R A T I O N

44 °

Prokhladnyy

Samegrelo-zemo Svaneti Lentekhi Racha-Lechkhumi M Jvari and Kvemo Svaneti

Khaishi

Lanchkhuti

Khobi

Gali

43 °

R U S S I A N

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42 °

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Tqvarcheli

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Anaklia

Pichori

GEORGIA

BLACK SEA

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Gulripsh

Sukhumi

Novyy Afon

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Batumi In Your Pocket