Packs of stray dogs, lack of heating and paid elevators: a review about moving to Batumi

Packs of stray dogs, lack of heating and paid elevators: a review about moving to Batumi

Alena, a reader of The Subtleties of Tourism, moved to Georgia following her relocated husband. But they chose to live not in the capital of the country, Tbilisi, but in the Black Sea resort of Batumi – sunny, welcoming, and which, as the tourist writes, in terms of infrastructure development, “is in the initial stages of formation.”

Our move

In November 2022, my child and I flew to Batumi, Georgia, where our husband was already waiting for us. We flew with the Belavia airline from Yekaterinburg to Minsk, made a transfer there and then flew from Minsk to Batumi.

The most important question was: where to rent a house?

How to search for it? We watched ads in telegram channels. By the way, in Georgia there is just a huge number of chats on a huge number of topics. In one of the chats, the husband wrote that he wanted to rent an apartment, the owner answered him and offered to look at a couple of options. We signed a lease agreement with the owner of the apartment and paid 800 USD for the first and last month of living. The contract also stipulated that the monthly rental price would not change for one year.

Utilities and Internet – another 40 USD per month. We rented a studio, 30 sq. m with a balcony, in the apartment house Orbi Residence Volna.

I would like to note one of the features of Georgia

In Georgia, paid elevators. Yes, yes, paid. In our elevator, you need to apply a special plastic card, which should be replenished periodically. And there are houses where you need to throw a coin, enter a special code or attach a special key. But the quality of the elevators leaves much to be desired. During the six months of my life in Georgia, the news was written about at least two falls of elevators, unfortunately, there were some victims. Considering the size of the country and the population, I think these statistics are very bad.

Vizaran: how long can one legally stay in Georgia?

A citizen of the Russian Federation can stay in Georgia without leaving for 360 days. Next, you need to leave the country for at least a day. Upon return, the period will be reset to zero, you can live another year. This is very convenient if you do not have the opportunity or desire to obtain a residence permit. You can go to neighboring Turkey, it is literally 30 minutes by minibus. In general, there is nothing difficult, except for a little stress that you may not be allowed back. Such cases do occur, but are extremely rare.


The currency of Georgia is the lari. On November 19, 2022, the ruble/lari exchange rate was such that for about 10,000 RUB we received 450 GEL (that is, for 1 GEL – about 22 RUB). Gradually, the lari grew and grew, now for 1 GEL you already pay 35 RUB, which is very expensive if you receive a salary in rubles.

As for the prices for taxis and transport, everything here is cheap. Public transport for 1 person costs 0.30 GEL, a taxi around the city 2–5 GEL.


There are a lot of shops in Batumi. There are shopping centers Batumi Mall, Metro City, there are network grocery stores Agrohub, Villmart, Carrefour, Spar, Magnit. There are private large and small shops, the choice is always wide.

You can try mulberry, chestnuts, medlar, dried persimmon and much more. In December, a kilogram of tangerines cost from 1 to 4 GEL. There are many different shops with pastries, here it is very tasty. 1/1

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The climate in Batumi is quite pleasant, but there are some nuances. The weather here can change at the speed of light: now the sun is shining, and literally in 2 minutes a hurricane wind can begin. The amount of precipitation is comparable to London, as there, in Batumi there are often fogs.

The winter months in Batumi are February and March. Frequent rains, sometimes snow, strong winds. Very unpleasant weather due to high humidity. With me, snow fell in February, but just for a couple of hours.

While temperatures can sometimes drop below zero, not all homes have central heating.

We just had such an apartment, we had to buy an additional heater. They warmed themselves and dried clothes in parallel. Due to the high humidity, laundry here can dry for several days. And if it suddenly turned out to be a sunny day – wait for a big wash. The locals are very fond of drying their clothes outside, on a clothesline, like our parents did in the 90s.

As for the central heating, it is gas, and all gas water heaters are placed on the balconies. It's very unsafe, but no one cares. 1/1

A little about Batumi

  • Pedestrians are not respected at all in Batumi: here you let all the cars through, and only then cross the road.
  • No one uses child seats in taxis. A child often drives with dad or two children in the front passenger seat.
  • There are no online marketplaces we are used to and love in Batumi. You can order from Russia through an intermediary, but with a surcharge.
  • In Batumi, the housing stock looks very colorful: new modern houses contrast with typical old five-story buildings of Stalin's times.

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The main minus of Batumi

I think that this is a huge number of stray dogs. Having played enough with a puppy, locals can throw an adult dog out into the street. Residents of Batumi always feed them, do not kick them out of cafes or shops – in general, they treat them well. But dogs can stray into packs, which is very unsafe. 1/1

Georgians love children very much

On the street, any passer-by can come up to touch your child by the hand or cheek. Not every mother will appreciate such close contact: I am not always happy with such meetings.

What else to read on the topic

  • Many people leave toys and clothes in boxes on the street – this is how we got things: a review of moving to Israel
  • I moved to Moscow and I don’t like it: 9 reasons why new Muscovites regret their decision
  • Lightness and optimism appeared: the story of moving to Turkey

Summing up

Georgia is a very colorful and interesting country with a mild subtropical climate, rich history and delicious cuisine. In social terms, it is at the initial stages of its formation, because according to official data, unemployment here reaches 18-20%, pensions are low, as is the average wage. In the banking sector, the penetration of online banking is also at the initial stage, a large amount of cash is in use, which is unusual for a native of Russia.

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