Georgia’s two largest cities – Tbilisi and Batumi – are located on opposite ends of the country. This means that travellers looking to travel directly between the two cities have a number of options for how to get from Tbilisi to Batumi or back the other way. Whether you are looking for the cheapest possible option, the most comfortable, the quickest or are looking to stop at places along the way, it is all entirely possible on the Batumi to Tbilisi route.
So without further ado, here’s our complete guide for travelling between Georgia’s two most popular cities for visitors.
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How to Travel from Tbilisi to Batumi
There are five main options (unless you fancy a long-distance walk!) for travelling between Tbilisi and Batumi: bus, train, taxi, car or flight. The total distance from Tbilisi to Batumi is 381km.
Tbilisi to Batumi Bus
There are two main options for travelling between Tbilisi and Batumi by bus: a marshrutka (minibus) or a regular coach.
Marshrutkas leave regularly from Tbilisi’s Didube Bus Station to Batumi and cost 25GEL per ticket. This is one of the main bus stations in Tbilisi and is also where you can get marshrutkas to places like Kutaisi, Borjomi or Kazbegi.
To get to Didube Bus Station, you can either take the metro for 1 GEL (you need to buy a travel card for 2GEL and top it up) or take a taxi from the centre of town which will cost about 5-7GEL. We suggest ordering a taxi through either the Bolt app to ensure you get a fair price.
With marshrutkas in Georgia (and also in Armenia or Azerbaijan) comfort levels can vary significantly. Therefore, as the journey from Tbilisi to Batumi takes over 6 hours, a more comfortable but slightly more expensive option is to buy a ticket on Metro Georgia which operates full-size coaches between the two cities.
Metro Georgia’s buses to Batumi leave from Ortachala bus station which is located in the south of the city and is the same place where many buses to Armenia leave. Tickets cost 36GEL and the buses are extremely comfortable with plenty of leg room and hot drinks and water provided.
There are also TVs on the back of the seat with videos in multiple languages and WiFi on board though we found it to be sporadic when we travelled with them.
Nevertheless, as the ticket prices are only slightly higher than the marshrutka, I think it’s definitely worth to travel with Metro Georgia due to the comfort of their buses. They stop a couple of times throughout the journey where you can use the bathroom and buy food or drinks.
It is advisable to book the Tbilisi to Batumi bus at least a couple of days before you plan on travelling, particularly during peak season. You can also buy tickets from one of their offices or by downloading the Metro Georgia app where you can also see the latest schedules.
Going back the other way, the marshrutkas from Batumi to Tbilisi leave regularly from the station just behind the Railway Station in the centre of town.
The full-size coaches that are operated by Metro Georgia leave from Batumi Bus Station. When you arrive in Tbilisi, they will stop at a few different locations throughout the centre before finishing at Ortachala bus station. Getting out earlier might make more sense if you’re staying in the centre to reduce the price of your taxi.
Tbilisi to Batumi Train
Another option for travellers going between Tbilisi and Batumi is to take the train. The journey only takes around 5 hours, making it a faster option than taking the bus, however, there are currently only two trains per day,
Tbilisi Central Station is located close to the Station Square metro or alternatively you can take a taxi from central Tbilisi. When arriving at Tbilisi Central (it actually looks like a mall!) enter through the main doors and take the elevator to the second floor where you’ll see the platforms.
Train timetables between Tbilisi and Batumi do change regularly so it’s best to check the latest train timetables on the Georgian Railways website. There is typically at least one train that leaves in the early morning and another train that leaves in the afternoon.
Ticket prices start at 25GEL for second class tickets and are 61GEL for first-class tickets. The main difference between the two classes is that the seats in first-class are more comfortable and the whole section is less crowded.
There are plug sockets and WiFi on the train and the train is air-conditioned. In fact, it’s worth bringing a jumper as the air conditioning can be quite strong in the summer months.
There is also a vending machine on the train where you can buy snacks and drinks – it only accepts cash.
You can buy tickets online however need to register an account with Georgian Railways which can be problematic for international travellers. Alternatively, you can head to Station Square (this is also where the Tbilisi to Baku or Yerevan train departs) a couple of days before departure and buy tickets from an attendant.
In Batumi, the train station is a few kilometres away from the central area of Batumi. You can take a taxi for approximately 5-7GEL using a taxi app like Bolt or Yandex or alternatively by negotiating with the taxi drivers waiting outside the station.
Tbilisi to Batumi Car
A great way to travel around Georgia is to rent a car and with the roads from Tbilisi to Batumi being in good condition, driving is an excellent option.
The distance between the two cities is around 380 kilometres with the drive taking just under 6 hours. However, having your own transport gives you the ultimate flexibility to spend a night or two in some of the cities along the way.
To rent a car in Georgia, you can browse RentalCars.Com to find great deals with major companies as they aggregate results across multiple car hire companies.
Alternatively, Localrent is a platform where you can rent cars directly from locals. While in Georgia, you can often see a number of individuals advertising private cars to rent, particularly in the Old Town, Localrent brings that all online, making it easier for foreigners to rent a car.
Tbilisi to Batumi Taxi
If you are travelling with some friends or want the flexibility to stop at a couple of places along the way then a taxi from Tbilisi to Batumi could be a good option. For a direct transfer, I would expect to pay at least 300-350GEL for a taxi though it’s always possible to negotiate in Georgia. You can pre-book drivers here.
You can either try and find a taxi driver at Didube Bus Station to take you (you might also be able to find a seat in a shared taxi here) or ask hotel or guesthouse to recommend somebody.
Tbilisi to Batumi Flight
While we wouldn’t advise taking the plane from Tbilisi to Batumi due to the environmental impact of a journey that is extremely straightforward to do by other means, it was previously possible to fly between the cities if, for some reason, you needed to get there quickly.
The flights were operated by Georgian Airways and you can view the latest schedules on their website to see if they have since restarted.
Where to stay in Tbilisi & Batumi
Now that you know about the best ways to travel between Batumi and Tbilisi, here are some recommended places to stay in each city.
Where to stay in Batumi
Dzveli Batumi — A centrally located boutique hotel that offers a range of rooms suitable for couples or larger families. Breakfast is included in the room rate and it is within walking distance of the beach. Click here to see their latest prices
Light Palace Hotel — An elegant hotel that is also located in the centre of Batumi. They have a couple of different types of rooms, a restaurant on site and breakfast included. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Batumi hotels!
Where to stay in Tbilisi
Marco Polo Hostel — A top rated hostel located in the centre of Tbilisi that is perfect for travellers trying to save money and looking to meet other people. They offer a range of dorm and private rooms. Click here to see their latest prices
Guest House Rampa – A great guesthouse located near the Sulphur Baths making it the perfect place for sightseeing in Tbilisi. They offer a few different private rooms and there is also a kitchen that guests can use. Click here to check their latest prices
Hotel Sololaki — If your budget allows for more than a hostel or guesthouse then this boutique hotel is a great option. Their rooms are clean, modern and comfortable and breakfast is available. Click here to see their latest prices
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Tbilisi hotels
Travelling between Tbilisi and Batumi is reasonably straightforward with a number of options for travellers to choose from!
Are you planning on travelling from Batumi to Tbilisi or the other way around? Have you been recently? Let us know in the comments below!