This is a guide to the typical expenses and cost of living in Batumi, including some example budgets.
Whether you are an expat in Batumi and are looking for a new experience, or you have never been here before, this guide will help you to learn about the cost of living in Batumi, Georgia. As the second largest city after Tbilisi, Batumi is definitely to be considered in terms of a possible option for relocation.
Batumi is located in South West Georgia, 370 km from Tbilisi and 15 km from the border with Turkey. While typically promoted as the city of tourism and gambling (although it is also a sea port), it has changed a lot in the last two decades. Several impressive investment projects have been implemented here.
Always busy during the high season (July to September), Batumi tends to be less active for the other months of the year. However, it is slowly growing busier even outside of the tourist season, mostly because of the affordable cost of living, an easier pace of life than Tbilisi, and its proximity to the sea. These factors make it attractive for both locals and an increasing number of expats.
Pros to living in Batumi:
- A relaxed atmosphere for most of the year. Small city feel (population around 155,000). Has relatively modern infrastructure, less traffic & pollution than Tbilisi (though still a significantly annoying amount during the high season), shorter lines in the supermarkets, etc.
- Community and social life. During the high season, you’ll find shops, bars, and restaurants to be a lot busier. In low season, you’ll still have a core group of expats to socialize with.
- City vibes. Despite its size, Batumi still feels like a big city. The Old Town has charming cafes, historical heritage buildings, bars & restaurants, skyscrapers, international hotel chains like Marriott and Sheraton, and of course casinos.
- Climate. Batumi has a humid subtropical climate, so it rains quite often. It is significantly different from Tbilisi in terms of the amount of the rain, but Batumi is also a lot warmer than Tbilisi (around +5/+10C), even in the winter time. It has a comparatively warm and sunny winter and spring (up to 20C in March and April), a hot summer (+38C), and a rainy autumn (+5/+10C).
- The Sea Front Boulevard. Enjoy long walks/bike/scooter rides along the Black Sea coast. The Batumi Boulevard is more than 7km long, starting from the entry to the city and stretching all the way to the International Airport in the south. There are lots of attractions along the way: the Ali and Nino moving statues, the Soviet mosaic café Fantazy, dancing fountains (working all year round!), two artificial lakes with swans and ducks, and many more interesting sights.
- The cost of living is moderately cheaper than in Tbilisi.
- English spoken at a basic level in a lot of places. You will not find great English everywhere, as Batumi has a history with more tourism from Russia, but there will normally be an English speaker available to help in most shops and restaurants. If you speak Russian, then you are sorted almost everywhere.
Cons to living in Batumi:
- If you specifically do not enjoy the rain and humidity, this city might not be right for you.
- Less options to find “western style” amenities. Shops don’t always stock the variety of international products that you would find in Tbilisi.
- Though food and drink options are plentiful, Batumi suffers from “tourist menu” syndrome. There are a lot of very cute restaurants, but with very plain menus offering basic international cuisine. Meaning, while there will always be something to eat, you will find little true creativity or variety.
- The contrast between the low and high seasons is intense. Traffic and prices boom during high season. Long waits on taxis and surge pricing also seem to run most of the day.
- If you are going to settle in the newer area of Batumi, noise from permanent construction projects can be very annoying. The same applies to the houses overlooking the Boulevard, as most of the clubs are located in this area.
How much money do I need to live in Batumi comfortably?
The lifestyle of expats can vary, but an estimate of $1,200-1,300 USD per couple per month is enough for comfortable living in Batumi (except during the months of July to September, when both short term rent and dining out become more expensive).
With $2,000 per couple per month you would be able to live very well all year round, with a stylish apartment in the central part of the city, sea views, and enough leftover spending money to enjoy enjoying some quality activities each month like a spa day or day trips to wineries in the hills.
Reducing the cost of living in Batumi to $800 per couple per month would still be doable, but would require switching to a reasonably-sized studio in an apartment block closer to the end of the city (however, given that Batumi is very small and taxis are cheap, even more affordable locations are never too far from anything).
Batumi Cost of Living: 2 people, sharing a 2-bedroom apartment
$1 USD = ~3 GEL (estimates in USD for convenience). The breakdown of costs for two people sharing 2 bedroom apartment:
- Rent: $300-350 per month (2-bedroom modern apartment, around 75 sq. meters, furnished and within 5-10 mins walking of the Boulevard).
- Utilities: $50 (Water, Gas, Electricity, Garbage).
- Fiber Internet & 4G network: $10 (Home internet 20MB + 2 sim cards for 4G).
- Transport: $60 (~30 taxi rides per month. Less in low season without summer surge pricing).
- Food Shopping: $250.
- Eating out: $230 (Dinner out twice a week, as well as some light lunches).
- Medical insurance: $50.
- Cleaner: $80 (once a week, 4 times per month).
- Entertainment: $150.
- Other: $70.
=$1,200-1,300 USD for two people. A comfortable, mid-level budget.
Additionally: Clothing, imported goods (from Amazon etc.), gym and/or coworking membership, and any other monthly expenditures like Netflix, etc.
If you are on a lower budget, you could spend less and reduce the above budget by:
- Renting a smaller apartment (Small 1 bedroom or studio ~45 sqm floor area, away from the center/boulevard – $200 per month or less during the off season).
- Not eating out very often, and at cheaper places (twice per month, $60).
- Cleaning your own apartment (0).
- Entertaining yourself with free activities (0).
- Taking public transport only @ $0.1 per trip ($10 per month).
- Shopping: Only eating local produce and no expensive imported food ($150 per month).
This would get your monthly budget to below $700 USD per couple.
Detailed Batumi Cost Of Living Information
Some more details on what you get for your money in Batumi, Georgia.
Transport / Getting Around
Basic taxi prices in Batumi are mostly lower than in Tbilisi. It starts from about $0.5 to sit down, and you’ll rarely spend more than $1.5-2 per trip in the off-season unless you go way out of town. During high season, surge pricing can mean you spend about $2 to $5 per trip. Taxis are proper cars (Toyota Prius, Camry, and some older Mercedes sedans are typical).
Taxis for intercity travel are also a good option. Batumi to Tbilisi in a private vehicle (~6 hours) comes in at around $100 USD one way.
Batumi now has some modern electric buses. The fare for buses is as low as $0.1, so it’s really cheap. You can get a transit card which you refill, or you can use the BATUMI CARD as well. Buses now mostly allow you to swipe debit/credit cards too, though some foreign cards may not work.
Buses connect almost everywhere in the city, but the price of taxis makes it unlikely that most foreigners will want to use noisy and crowded public transport when they can go door to door for a couple of dollars.
Fiber Internet & 4G network
3 GB of data and some minutes / SMS texts per month works out at about $5 per month, depending on usage. If you want unlimited calls, it’s about $9 a month. Magti is our preferred provider for reliability. Beeline is ok in urban areas and is a bit cheaper. Geocell is also reliable.
For home internet, $10 per month for the basic 20MB fiber optic internet package is sufficient for most people. But even the 100MB package only comes in at about $35 per month.
Local medical insurance, which is sufficient for most basic medical needs, starts from less than $5 per month, though most expats would choose a more premium package (in the vicinity of $20 to $30 per month). If you want to maintain full expat health insurance with an international provider, $100+ a month is more likely.
A typical salary for a part-time cleaner is $15 to $40 for a full day (Up to 8 hours). You’ll find the rates to be similar for a nanny and other domestic staff.
If you employ someone full-time, you’ll pay between $200 to $400 USD per month as a typical wage. A lot will, of course, depend on the type of work, number of hours, experience level, and if they speak English.
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