The ultimate guide to Batumi’s best street art, including a free Batumi street art map.
Georgia’s second-largest city, Batumi, is a difficult place to pin down.
Most people think of Batumi as a merely a Black Sea resort. But beyond the beach, it’s a fascinating city with a creative scene that’s fast gaining pace.
Much like in Tbilisi, parts of Batumi have been transformed in recent years into painters’ canvases. Urban regeneration projects and street art festivals alike have made a serious impression on Batumi, turning the downtown area into a living gallery of murals by local and international artists.
There are some really wonderful street art pieces to be found in Batumi, many of them echo the city’s seaside vibes and capture Adjara region’s unique spirit. This post brings together the best Batumi street art and shows you exactly where to find each of the murals.
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Street art culture in Batumi & Georgia
Before I show you my favourite Batumi murals, I first want to provide a bit of context about street art culture in Georgia.
I think it’s fair to say that Georgia has a creative spirit. Lots of different initiatives have been set up to beautify different cities and support emerging creatives in the process. Street art is just one manifestation of this, but it’s a very visible indicator of the artistic undercurrent that runs through modern Georgia.
Tbilisi is of course Georgia’s street art capital – but you can find murals everywhere these days, even in smaller cities and towns such as Kazbegi, Ozurgeti and Rustavi. There are gorgeous murals tucked away in remote villages, including the incredible Cultural Center mural by Dr. Love and Olivier Hölzl in Shuakhevi outside of Batumi.
There are always events and new initiatives happening, which means the street art scene in Georgia is constantly evolving. Wherever you go in the world, street art has the same ephemeral quality. Here in Batumi, where facades get painted over and new building developments spring up at quite a fast pace, you really get a sense that street art is a momentary pleasure.
As with anywhere, street art adds vibrance to Georgia’s urban landscapes. Depending on the artist, street art in Georgia might be an ode to the country’s heroes of music and literature, or it might be a commentary on social and religious norms. Some are subversive and divisive; others are just plain pretty and created with the sole purpose of attracting tourists and selfie-takers.
The development of a street art scene in Batumi has been influenced by many factors, including these two very important actors:
Niko Street Art Movement
You’ll notice that many street art pieces in Batumi (and elsewhere in Georgia) are branded with a black-and-white dog sitting inside a rectangle with the word ‘Niko’ printed underneath in Georgian. This isn’t an artist’s signature, it’s the logo of Street Art Niko, a project that aims to revitalise Georgian cities and towns using street art.
Working with corporate partners such as Bank of Georgia, Street Art Niko supports local and international artists alike to create murals all over the country. They also aim to ‘add cultural value to cities’ and put Georgia on the global street art map. I think they’re doing a pretty good job!
In 2023, Niko celebrates its sixth birthday – they have lots more murals and street art festivals planned throughout the country.
Batumi Grafikart Festival
Another project that’s been vital to building up Batumi’s street art scene is the annual Batumi Grafikart Festival. A lot of murals on this list were created as part of the festival, which first launched in 2013.
Artists from France, Iran, Germany and elsewhere to come to Georgia and work with local artists on a range of murals. I love that most of the murals done through the festival were collaborations between foreign and local artists. When the festival is taking place (usually in August), there are events and live paintings that the public can participate in, too.
In Tbilisi, a similar urban art festival called Fabrikaffiti is organised every year by Fabrika. In 2019, Tbilisi launched another event, Mural Fest, to bring more international artists to the city to create large-scale works.
Batumi street art: 15 must-see murals and where exactly to find them
So now you know a little bit about the history and development of street art in Georgia, it’s time to discover Batumi’s best murals!
This is by no means an exhaustive list of Batumi’s urban art. Rather, it’s a collection of my 15 favourite murals which also happen to be the most prominent and popular pieces of street art in Batumi.
While I was living in Batumi, I spent hours researching artists online then tracking down each mural to photograph it and confirm its location and status. I’ve since been back to document new murals that were painted in 2021 and 2022.
You can find them all plotted out on my interactive Batumi street art map at the end of the post along with several new 2023 murals in Batumi that I haven’t had a chance to photograph yet.
A lot of these murals were created in the mid-2010s and some haven’t fared very well. One in particular, Welcome to Georgia by Franck Pellegrino, has been defaced with awful symbols (it’s so bad, I actually can’t show it here). I walked past this mural a dozen times before I recognised it, such is the state of destruction.
As I said, I think the ephemeral nature of street art adds a great deal to its meaning, but I still hate to see art defaced like that. I hope that by better documenting street murals people will be more respectful of the time and craftsmanship that’s gone into each piece and the value street art brings to the city.
Most of the murals have an official title but for those that don’t, I’ve given them a simple name for easy reference.
1. ‘Man on a horse’ by Matthias Mross
My favourite mural in Batumi, ‘Man on a horse’ was the first artwork created under Niko Movement and was completed independently without financial support from any sponsors.
I would expect to see street art like this somewhere like Bogota rather than by the seaside. But that’s Batumi for you – it inspires all sorts of off-the-wall architecture and creative responses.
I love this large-scale painting very much. The detailing is exquisite and extremely life-like when viewed up close. The technical skill that’s gone into this mural can’t be overstated.
‘Man on a horse’ was painted in May 2019 by German artist Matthias Mross, one half of Haus 75 Art. You can find it on the western facade of Oto Hotel on Pirosmani Street.
2. ‘Sea selfie’ by Dr. Love
When it was painted in 2015, this was the largest piece of street art in Georgia. The subject matter and colour palette are so perfectly Batumi – it’s no wonder this mural has become a local icon and an Instagram favourite.
The artist behind ‘Sea selfie’ is Georgian painter Dr. Love, who also created the evocative painting of a miner inside an old cable car station in Chiatura.
The mural takes up the entire western wall of the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University building. You can find it on Ninoshvili Street, next to the Hilton Hotel.
I recommend visiting in the early morning (before 9am) for a photo of the mural without too many cars parked underneath.
Update for 2023: This mural was recently replaced with a new mural of the Georgian footballer Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
3. ‘Kupata’ by George Gamez
This local favourite was painted in June 2020 when I was still living in Batumi. I walked past this mural dozens of times in the weeks after it was finished and there were always people around taking photos!
The mural itself is very cute, but it’s the subject matter that people really gravitate towards. It depicts Kupata, a cult figure and Batumi’s unofficial canine mascot. If you don’t know the story, Kupata is a street dog who helps people cross the road at a particular intersection in Batumi by running into traffic and barking down passing cars.
Everyone adores Kupata (whose name means ‘sausage’) and agrees that he was more than deserving of his own mural. You can find it on Abashidze Avenue, adjacent to the pedestrian crossing where the real Kupata ‘works’, right in front of the colonnades and Pioneer Park.
It was painted by George Gamez in collaboration with the Bank of Georgia.
4. ‘Under construction’ by Franck Pellegrino
Another of my favourite pieces of street art in Batumi, ‘Under construction’ is the work of French artist Franck Pellegrino. It was painted during the 2014 Grafikart Festival.
I love this piece because it perfectly captures Batumi’s ever-evolving character and shifting skyline. Positioned right underneath a classic hodgepodge of Batumi architecture – imitation neo-classical facades, towering office blocks, corrugated iron-clad houses – the location couldn’t be more perfect.
You can find the mural on Kostava Street in Batumi Old Town. It’s located inside a gravel car park, but no one seems to mind people crossing the chain barricade to take photos.
Update for 2023: This mural no longer exists because the area has been developed.
5. ‘Pink Lamb’ by LAMB
Mishiko Sulakauri (AKA Lamb) is without a doubt Georgia’s most prolific street artist. You can find his work in almost every city and town around the country and outside of Georgia, too. He’s probably best-known for his murals at Fabrika (where he used to run an art shop) and in the pedestrian underpasses around Tbilisi.
Famously quoted as saying ‘Street art without criticism is simply painting’, Lamb’s signature style is deceptively cute, slightly subversive murals that use fuzzy white or blue lamb/s as the protagonist.
There are numerous works of his all over Batumi – two of my favourites are on Gamsakhurdia Street in the Old Town (which I’m dubbing ‘Pink Lamb’). There’s another on Melikishvili Street, painted onto corrugated iron, that I also love.
If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Batumi, my favourite boutique hotel, Kartuli, features original, custom-designed Lamb murals in some of the rooms.
6. ‘Mermaid’ by Tamoonz
Painted by Tbilisi-based artist Tamoonz (Tamuna Tsakhnakia) in October 2020, this large-scale mural of a mermaid looks right at home on the side of an older Batumi apartment building close to the seafront.
One of Tamoonz’s signatures is to paint women with flowing red hair. Protagonists in her other murals (including a beautiful work in Tbilisi’s Chugureti district) have the same striking feature. In this mural, the tones work really well with the brick-coloured building she chose as her canvas.
You can find this mural on Gamsakhurdia Street, just around the corner from ‘Pink lamb’.
7. ‘Flowers’ by Tezi Gabunia
This work is a bit more subdued than the other murals on this list, but it blends in perfectly with the Old Town architecture.
Created by Tbilisi-based artist Tezi Gabunia in 2015, it depicts an abstract vase of flowers (maybe daisies?). The van Gogh vibes aren’t lost on me.
You can find the mural on the facade of Heart of Batumi restaurant in the Old Town.
8. ‘The fox’ by Joseph
The colours used for this mural perfectly complement the hues of the buildings around it. Some of the foamy waves almost resemble dolphins emerging from the surf, perhaps a reference to Batumi’s coastal location.
‘The fox’ was created by local Batumi artist Joseph in May 2019. You can find it on the sidewalk on Parnavaz Mepe Street in the Old Town.
9. ‘The whale’ by Gagosh
Painted by Tbilisi-based Gagosh, the same artist responsible for a wonderful piece of politically charged street art in the city of Gori, this mural stretches three storeys high across a building in Batumi Old Town.
This mural is a bit more lighthearted. I love the imagery: A whale shark dressed in scuba gear nudging a sailing ship with his tongue. I love the sea-blue canvas.
The mural is located at 23 Mazniashvili Street, right around the corner from ‘The fox’.
10. ‘Butterfly woman’ by Mariam Ramishvili
Painted on the front wall of Hotel Elegant, this pretty mural depicts a red-haired woman and her mirror image, surrounded by flowers.
It was created by Georgian artist Mariam Ramishvili in cooperation with TBC Bank in May 2019.
11. ‘Chill Flamingo’ by Masholand
Painted by my favourite Georgian street artist, Masho Margishvili AKA Masholand, ‘Chill flamingo’ is a large-scale work on the side of an apartment block near Central Park.
The bright colours and whimsical patterns are classic Masho, whose aim is to create a parallel universe of “various creatures, each one of them [with] a fantastic imagination.”
12. ‘Girl With the Swan’ by Nina K.
Georgian artist Nina Khurtsilava goes by the street name Nina K. and is known for her graphic design work and commercial murals. She painted the interior of the Rigi Gastroduqan restaurant in Tbilisi and has decorated many other venues and office spaces around the city.
‘Girl with the swan’ was painted in 2020 on the side of a classic apartment complex on the edge of Batumi Central Park. I love the colours of this one. The swan motif is a nice nod to the lake and the characters found in the amusement park just across the road.
13. ‘Vaccine Girl’ by Musya
Batumi-born artist Musya Qeburia (AKA Musya) has a bright and playful style. Her graphic murals can be found inside boutique hotels and on university campusus around Georgia. She also painted the ‘Mother Tongue Day’ mural under the arch in Kutaisi.
This work on the edge of a large apartment courtyard in Batumi was completed with the support of Niko in October 2021.
At first I thought the character was a space cadet – I later learned that the mural was inspired by world events. It shows a young girl brandishing a shield with a bandaid on her upper arm.
14. Abstract by Gamze Yalcin
This is the first of two abstract murals painted in downtown Batumi in 2021.
Berlin-based, Istanbul-born Gamze Yalcin is the brains behind this first design, which features fluid shapes and bright tones inspired by the colours of Batumi’s apartment buildings and laundry lines.
15. Abstract by Roberto Rivadeneira
A few blocks away, this second abstract work was created by Ecuadorian artist Roberto Rivadeneira.
I love the water-inspired mottled effect in the blue sections, and the way the artist embraced the strange architectural features of the building to give his mural extra dimension.
More street art in Batumi
You can find more Niko Movement murals and smaller paintings by local artists at these three locations.
Batumi street art near Miracle Park
At the end of Batumi Boulevard, close to Alphabetic Tower, you’ll find a small concrete building covered in artworks. It was used as a canvas for the 2014 Batumi Grafikart Festival, which drew nearly 30 artists to the city.
When the murals were painted, this area was a grassy piece of vacant land. A new hotel development is underway here now, so I guess the concrete building will eventually be demolished.
Street art at Batumi Sea Port
Also part of the 2014 festival, artists painted the concrete wall around the Batumi Sea Port complex, bringing some much-needed colour to this industrial corner of the city.
I spotted a few works by Lamb and some other recognisable artists’ signatures as part of the gallery that stretches on for quite a ways along the waterfront.
Note: Most of these murals have since been removed or covered with fencing.
Street art near Batumi State Maritime Academy
This collection of murals is done in a very different style, but I quite like some of the designs. The painterly quality of the portraits in particular is unique to Batumi.
If you’re passing by the State Maritime Academy on your way down to Batumi beach, you can’t miss this wall of colour! I couldn’t find any information about the artist/s online – if you have any clues, please leave me a comment below so that I can provide proper credit.
Batumi street art map
Click here to open the interactive map. The map also includes locations for 9 new murals painted in 2022-23.
There are new murals popping in Batumi up every few months, so I’ll be sure to add more to the list when I next visit. Which of these Batumi street art creations is your favourite?
Where to stay in Batumi
I recommend staying close to the waterfront and Batumi Old Town. Nice accommodations can also be found at the opposite end of the seafront on the New Boulevard. For more information, see my detailed guide to the best areas to stay in Batumi.
Here are my top picks:
TOP CHOICE: Kartuli Hotel (⭐ 9.1). Located on the 37-38th floors of a skyscraper on the New Boulevard, Kartuli commands spectacular views of the sea and city. Rooms are minimal and beautifully designed. Kartuli is one of the coolest hotels in Georgia!
BOUTIQUE: Mariinsky Boutique Hotel (⭐ 9.0). This cute apart-hotel has spacious rooms, modern ensuites, and an outstanding rooftop terrace. The location three blocks back from the Boulevard, close to Batumi Old Town, is perfect for getting around on foot.
SELF-CONTAINED: Banana Apartments (⭐ 9.7). Banana Apartments offers three stylish, self-contained studio flats that sleep up to three people. Each one has a full kitchen, new bathroom, and water views.
BUDGET: Hostel 47 (⭐ 9.8). Located near the museum, this popular hostel is walking distance from both the beach and the Old Town. There are three dorms to choose from (mixed or female-only) plus a shared kitchen-laundry and several outdoor common spaces.
- My complete guide to Batumi – the best things to do, see, eat & drink
- How to get from Batumi Airport to the city centre
- The best day trips from Batumi
- Guide to visiting the Batumi Botanical Garden
- Guide to the Gonio Cross trail, Batumi’s best hike
- Cycling from Batumi to Sarpi and the Turkish border
- Guide to visiting Machakhela National Park from Batumi
- Where to stay in Batumi: Kartuli Hotel