How to Travel from Tbilisi to Batumi by Bus, Train, Taxi or Car

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by Michael Rozenblit

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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 travel options.

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.

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 or driving.

By 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.

With marshrutkas in Georgia (and also in Armenia or Azerbaijan) comfort levels can vary significantly. Therefore, as the journey 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 40GEL and the buses are extremely comfortable with plenty of leg room and hot drinks and water provided.

Metro Georgia Bus
Metro Georgia Bus

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 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.

Back seats of Metro Georgia Bus
Back seats of Metro Georgia Bus

By 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.

Waiting for our trains at Tbilisi Central
Waiting for our trains at Tbilisi Central

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.

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 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 7GEL using a taxi app like Bolt or Yandex or alternatively by negotiating with the taxi drivers waiting outside the station.

Waiting from the Tbilisi to Batumi train
Waiting from the train

By Car

A great way to travel around Georgia is to rent a car and with the roads to Batumi being in decent 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 Localrent which 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.

Central Batumi
Central Batumi

By 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 could be a good option. You can pre-book drivers here to ensure you get a reasonable price.

If you want to include some stops on your way then places like Mtskheta, Gori or Kutaisi (though Kutaisi really deserves more time than a brief stop!) make the most sense.

Batumi Boulevard
Batumi Boulevard

Travelling between Tbilisi and Batumi is reasonably straightforward with a number of options for travellers to choose from!

Are you planning on travelling around Georgia? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael


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