Viva Batumi: The Mini Las Vegas of the Black Sea
The city of Batumi contains the sprawling diversity of charming, historic towns to cosmopolitan waterfront promenades. In recent times, it has become known as the Mini Las Vegas of the Black Sea. Its big city feel comes alive with blazing, colorful lights along the night sky horizon coming from its spectacular and unique buildings.
How did Batumi turn into a Vegas by the sea, anyway?
That’s thanks to the political machinations of Georgia president Mikhail Sakashvili during his term in the early 2000s. He envisioned a city with a fountain that spewed chacha (Georgian moonshine), a tech university shaped like a rocket ship with a Ferris wheel, and the Eiffel-tower homage that became the Alphabetic Tower. While not everything Sakashvili pictured came to pass, remnants of his dreams persist in what is now a gambler’s city.
Look to the Sky
Batumi’s impressive skyline and architecture put it on the map, as well as make it the main reason it’s often compared to Las Vegas. The spiraling helix of the Alphabetic Tower make it a highly sought tourist attraction that gives travelers an incredible vantage-point of the city all the way out to the Black Sea. The Ali and Nino art installment, a statue of the silhouette of a man and woman, tops lists of best views around the world.
The hotels along Rustaveli Avenue that follows the Black Sea’s shore contain many of the casinos. They add to the city’s opulent architecture with decadent designs comparable to palaces of old. Much like Vegas, Batumi casinos hold your attention with dazzling lights, ornate carpets, neon fountains, free-flowing alcohol and enough noise and color to send your senses into overload. But if you’re the gambling type, this is exactly what you’re looking for.
With an ideal locale right along the Black Sea coast, you should see everything Batumi has to offer once you’re done playing in the casinos. Take a stroll along what locals call the Boulevard, a strip between Rustaveli Avenue and the ocean. From relaxing beaches to verdant botanical gardens, the Boulevard offers a respite into nature from the cosmopolitan feel of the city.
Grab a bite to eat when visiting Batumi, which lies in the Adjara region, where they happen to make the best khachapuri. It’s the Georgian take on scrambled egg with toast. The crispy bread topped with cheese and a raw egg that must be stirred with butter is sure to make your mouth water and make your list of most memorable meals.