Comprehensive Kutaisi Batumi transport guide for 2024, with updated timetables, ticket prices and helpful travel tips.
Kutaisi Batumi is one of the most frequently travelled routes in Georgia.
Whether you’re arriving/departing from David the Builder Kutaisi International Airport or you’re just touring around the country, Kutaisi is a convenient place to stop between the capital and the Black Sea coast.
There are multiple ways to move between the two cities depending on your budget, timeframe, and tolerance for bumpy roads! I’ve travelled this route more times than I can count, and now that I live in Kutaisi, I’ve figured out the best transport options available.
Inside this guide, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of the different transport methods including timetables and ticket prices, map pinpoints for all the relevant stations, ideas for where to stop along the way, and other insider tips.
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Distance from Kutaisi to Batumi
Batumi is located south-west of Kutaisi. The distance from Kutaisi to Batumi is roughly 160 kilometres (99 miles).
Kutaisi to Batumi travel time
The fastest way to travel between Kutaisi and Batumi is by road (E60 & E70 Highways). This takes between 2.5-3.5 hours on average depending on the type of vehicle you use and traffic conditions.
Private transfer is the quickest option, taking as little as 2 hours and 30 minutes.
There are no direct trains or flights from Kutaisi to Tbilisi.
How to travel from Kutaisi to Batumi: Transport overview
Travellers currently have 5 options: Private transfer, Georgian Bus (minibus), high-speed train, marshrutka van, or self-drive.
If you’re only going for a day, it’s also possible to join a guided excursion to Batumi from Kutaisi – see here for details.
In the next section, I’ll explore each option (and its pros and cons) in detail. Here is a quick overview:
1. EFFICIENT OPTION
- 24/7 on demand
- 2.5 hrs travel time
- From 185 GEL/car
2. AIRPORT TRANSFER
- 3-6 services daily
- 3 hrs travel time
- 25 GEL/person
3. SCENIC OPTION
- 2-5 train services daily
- 1.75 hrs travel time
- From 31 GEL/person + taxi fare
4. BUDGET OPTION
- 13 vans daily
- 3 hours
- 20 GEL/person
[Buy tickets at the station]
5. DIY OPTION
- On demand
- 3+ hrs travel time
- From 20 USD/day
Option 1: Private transfer from Kutaisi to Batumi
If you’re looking for a fast and fuss-free way to travel between Kutaisi and Batumi and you don’t mind paying a little bit more for extra comfort and convenience, then a private transfer with GoTrip.ge is your best option.
It’s possible to reach Batumi in as little as 2 hours and 30 minutes when travelling by car.
GoTrip is a platform that matches travellers with freelance drivers for intercity trips (sort of like a long-distance Uber). In this guide, I discuss the pros and cons in detail.
As well as observing good road safety standards and only using quality cars with AC and seat belts, another advantage of GoTrip is that you can make unlimited rest and photo stops during your journey.
Or you can use the GoTrip Trip Planner to build a multi-stop itinerary and do you Black Sea sightseeing at the same time. Later, I’ll run through some of my favourite places to stop on the way.
You can start your trip from any address: If you’re flying into Kutaisi, the driver can meet you at the airport or you can get picked up from your hotel.
Prices start from 185 GEL per car. Fares are completely transparent and once you book, the price is fixed and won’t change. Pay in cash directly to the driver when you arrive in Batumi.
Option 2: Kutaisi Batumi bus
If your Georgia itinerary starts at Kutaisi Airport and you want to go directly to the coast, Georgian Bus operates direct airport transfers to Batumi.
Note: Coach buses originate at the airport west of Kutaisi, so it’s not possible to board these buses in Kutaisi city. If coming from the city, you could take a taxi or marshrutka to the airport and meet the bus there.
For this route, Georgian Bus normally uses small minivans rather than the regular 56-seater coaches. It’s not a hugely popular route, so normally you’ll still have room to spread out.
The journey time to Batumi averages 3 hours including one rest stop at the halfway point.
Bus schedule & ticket prices
Buses are timed to depart when flights land at the airport. The bus leaves approximately an hour after the scheduled arrival time – so if your plane gets into Kutaisi at 5am, the bus will depart at 6am. Because this is effectively an airport bus, the driver will wait if the flight is delayed.
Tickets cost 25 GEL for an adult or 15 GEL for a child under 12 years. Round-trip tickets are discounted at 45 GEL. The buses are accessible, but you need to give staff advance notice if you’re travelling with a wheelchair.
Georgian Bus also offers direct transfers from Kutaisi Airport to Tbilisi.
How to buy tickets
Use the Georgian Bus website to buy your tickets in advance (sales open 10 weeks or so out). Use your flight number and date to reserve, then enter your name and phone number. You can pay using a debit or credit card. The voucher will then be sent to you via email.
Alternatively, you can buy a ticket with cash or card when you land in Kutaisi. Just head to the Georgian Bus kiosk in the airport arrivals hall. There are ATMs nearby in case you need to withdraw GEL.
Unfortunately there is no seat selection available on Georgian Bus. If your flight is cancelled, the bus is cancelled too – in this case they will give you a travel voucher that’s valid for one year (no refunds).
Departing from Kutaisi Airport
Kutaisi Airport is quite small so you won’t have any trouble locating the bus. Once you pass through immigration, exit out the main doors. Buses wait right out front and are clearly marked. Just make sure you board the right one!
If in doubt, ask staff at the Georgian Bus kiosk.
Arriving in Batumi
In Batumi, buses terminate behind the Radisson Blu Hotel, which is centrally located on the boulevard (see the exact location here). You might be able to walk to your accommodation from here or you can book a taxi using the Bolt app.
If it’s very early or very late at night, you might want to consider pre-organising a transfer through your accommodation.
Reverse route: Batumi to Kutaisi Airport bus
Buses back to Kutaisi Airport from Batumi are similarly timed to leave in-line with the flight schedule. It’s recommended to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours early. So if your flight takes off from Kutaisi at 6.30pm for example, the bus will depart from Batumi at 1.30pm (2 hours of travel + 3-hour buffer).
Coaches leave from the same spot behind the Radisson Blu. They suggest you arrive at least 20 minutes early.
Option 3: Kutaisi Batumi train
There are 2 daily trains from Kutaisi I to Batumi – but these are old electro trains that take more than 5 hours to reach the coast. I do not recommend using these trains. They are unnecessarily slow and uncomfortable. Instead, I recommend taking the high-speed Stadler train.
As of 2022, all trains travelling from east to west Georgia now stop at the new Kutaisi International Airport Station located in Kopitnari, around 22km from the Colchis Fountain.
First, you’ll need to take a taxi from the centre of Kutaisi to Kopitnari Railway Station (30-35 minutes; 30-35 GEL when booked through Bolt). Normally there are 2-5 daily trains to Batumi depending on the season (there are more trains during summer).
Second-class tickets cost 31 GEL and the travel time to Batumi is just under 2 hours. Book via the TKT.ge website or app.
In Batumi, trains arrive at Central Station, around 10 minutes north of the centre (see the exact location here). A taxi the rest of the way to the boulevard should cost 10-12 GEL when booked through Bolt.
If you need to go directly to Batumi Airport for a flight, you can use public bus #10 to get there.
Reverse route: Batumi to Kutaisi train
Trains depart from Batumi Central Station and stop at Kutaisi International Airport Station in Kopitnari on their way to Tbilisi.
From Kopitnari, you can either take a shuttle bus to the airport 5 minutes down the road and organise onward transport from there, or you can take a taxi to the centre of Kutaisi.
A taxi should cost 30-35 GEL – but note that Bolt isn’t always available at Kopitnari. I recommend downloading Maxim app as well, or pre-organising your transfer through GoTrip.
Option 4: Kutaisi to Batumi marshrutka van
Marshrutka vans (fixed-route minivans) are a budget-friendly way to get around Georgia. They’re not the most comfortable way to travel, and road safety standards are not always great.
However, because this trip is fairly quick and painless, I think marshrutka is a fine way to travel from Kutaisi to the Black Sea.
Journey time is roughly 3 hours depending on traffic and how many stops the driver makes.
There are several new bypass roads in Guria that drivers use to make the journey that bit quicker. Travelling down the coast through Kobuleti is painfully slow during summer. There is a new Ureki-Kobuleti bypass being built now, which should make the journey a lot faster in the years to come.
Kutaisi Batumi marshrutka schedule & fares
Vans depart from Kutaisi once an hour on the hour between 8am-3pm, then again at 3.40pm, 4.20pm, 5pm, 5.40pm and 6.20pm.
I strongly advise against travelling after dark. In summer, the latest you would want to depart is 5.40pm.
Vans will leave early if full, so you need to arrive at the station at least 20-30 minutes early to make sure you get a seat.
The fare is 20 GEL (cash only). Buy your ticket at the cashier desk at the entrance to the bus station, left of the McDonalds on the main road.
Departing from Kutaisi
Marshrutka vans leave from Kutaisi’s Central Bus Station near McDonalds and Grand Mall shopping centre (4.5km from the Colchis Fountain). See the exact location here.
To get to the bus station from the centre, take city bus #1 from the Colchis Fountain (60 tetri; see here for bus stop locations). Alternatively, a Bolt taxi should cost no more than 5 GEL.
When you arrive at the station, you will see vans with ‘Batumi’ written on the dashboard parked right at the entrance on the main road. The cashier desk is located on the left. There are toilets at the back (50 tetri) and plenty of grocery shops/takeaway coffee joints/pharmacies nearby.
Tip: If you’re coming straight from Kutaisi Airport, you can usually pick up a Batumi marshrutka from the side of the highway opposite the terminal. If it’s busy, there’s a chance that passing vans will be full and won’t stop for you.
Arriving in Batumi
In Batumi, marshrutka vans terminate at Batumi Intercity Bus Station, 2.5km east of the boulevard. See the exact location here. Sometimes the driver will stop on the road before the bus station.
You will likely be swarmed by taxi drivers as soon as you arrive. Politely decline their offers and walk away – it’s much better to either jump on a city bus from outside Batumi Plaza, or to walk a little way down the road and order a Bolt taxi. It should cost approximately 8-10 GEL to get to the Old Town area or boulevard.
Return trip: Batumi to Kutaisi marshrutka
Marshrutka vans to Kutaisi from Batumi operate on a similar schedule, departing the Intercity Bus Station every hour or so from 8am. Travel time and ticket prices are the same.
Once in Kutaisi, vans terminate at the Central Bus Station.
Option 5: Driving from Kutaisi to Batumi
Hiring a car in Kutaisi and driving to the coast is a great option for complete flexibility. I did this drive last summer and really enjoyed it. The roads are good, and there are plenty of places to stop along the coast – see my suggestions in the next section.
Hiring a car in Kutaisi
I always use Local Rent to find rentals in Georgia. The platform works with local agents, thus prices are much more affordable than if you use a big-name brand. Insurance is often included and there’s usually no deposit required. If you want to drop off your car in Batumi, you’ll need to pay a one-way fee (usually 30-50 USD).
Local Rent offers pick up from Kutaisi Airport or from any address in the city.
Be sure to brush up on my advice for driving in Georgia before you set off.
Kutaisi Batumi FAQ
What is the easiest way to travel from Kutaisi Airport to Batumi?
Remember that Kutaisi Airport is west of the city, so you can travel directly to the coast without having to double back through Kutaisi.
A direct minibus with Georgian Bus is the best option. The fast train is also very convenient, but it costs a little bit extra. Alternatively, you can organise a private transfer with GoTrip (your driver will meet you in the arrivals hall).
What is the road from Kutaisi to Batumi like?
There are several roads you can take to get to the Black Sea coast from Kutaisi: The E60 Highway to Poti; the E692 to Grigoleti; and the old highway to Kobuleti. The former two highways are a lot faster, while the third road is windy but very scenic, taking you deep into Guria region.
Most drivers will take the E60/E692. I recently drove the E692 – it’s pretty flat and straight the entire way. Last summer there were extensive roadworks on the old highway through Guria, making it very slow going.
When you reach the coast, you connect to the E70 to go all the way down to Batumi. I recommend following the shoreline and passing through the different beach towns.
As you approach Batumi, there are several tunnels. The traffic starts to build fairly quickly as soon as you pass the railway station. Driving through the centre of Batumi is quite hair-raising, so I recommend avoiding it if you can!
Where to stop on the way from Kutaisi to Batumi?
Poti & Kolkheti National Park
For the Poti Lighthouse, the Kolkheti Culture Museum and Kolkheti National Park.
Ozurgeti & Guria region
If you’re taking the old highway through Guria, there are lots of places to stop along the way, including Ozurgeti (the main city), Shemokmedi, the tea fields in Asureti, and Shekvetili on the coast. I recently road tripped around this part of Georgia and shared my itinerary here.
Black-sand beaches at Ureki, Shekvetili & Kobuleti
The beaches on the northern end of the coast are much nicer than the ones in the centre of Batumi. Kobuleti is a very popular resort town with lots of restaurants (my favourite is Taraghana Fish). Depending on the season, you might like to stop for a swim on the black sand ‘magnetic beaches’ in Ureki and Shekvetili. I am a big of of the Miniatures Museum in Shekvetili too.
Tsikhisdziri Hidden Beach & Petra Fortress
Tsikhisdziri Hidden Beach is a popular local swimming hole. This summer, a new restaurant-bar, Shukura, opened up and a wooden swimmers deck was installed. Petra Fortress is nearby and also worth stopping off for a walk around.
Batumi Botanical Garden
As you approach Batumi city from the north, you’ll pass right by the Botanical Garden. It’s one of my favourite things to do in Batumi and worth the detour for. Budget around 2-3 hours to see the whole garden.
Should you spend a night in Kutaisi before leaving for Batumi?
Yes! Kutaisi is my favourite city in Georgia so I definitely think you should spend a few days here before you take off for the coast.
Use these guides to plan your visit to Kutaisi:
- The best things to do in Kutaisi
- 25 hidden gems in Kutaisi
- Best restaurants & cafes in Kutaisi
- The best bars in Kutaisi
- Kutaisi Airport guide
- Day trip from Kutaisi to Chiatura
- Day trip from Kutaisi to Tskaltubo
- Day trip to Martvili Canyon
Use these guides to plan your visit to Batumi:
- 35 things to do in Batumi
- Batumi street art map
- The best day trips from Batumi
- Glamping Tago, mountain retreat near Batumi
Where to stay in Kutaisi
If it’s your first time visiting Kutaisi, I highly recommend choosing a hotel that’s located in the city centre. See this neighbourhood guide for detailed recommendations, or check out my top Kutaisi accommodation picks below.
TOP CHOICE: Communal Hotel (⭐ 9.7). Launching in autumn 2023, the latest offering from The Communal Company (also of Communal Telavi and Tbilisi) is Kutaisi’s premier boutique hotel. Rooms are cosy and perfectly decorated, and the property has an outdoor pool and onsite restaurant-bar, Doli.
BUDGET-FRIENDLY: Black Tomato (⭐ 9.2). This popular hostel in historic Sapichkhia offers both dorms and private doubles with ensuites. The terrace garden is lovely, and the onsite Georgian-Jewish restaurant serves a delicious breakfast plus meals throughout the day.
MID-RANGE: Newport Hotel (⭐ 9.1). Located on the cusp of Kutaisi’s historic Jewish Quarter, behind the Colchis Fountain, this hotel is located inside the former Kutaisi Courthouse. Rooms are comfortable, the service is friendly, and the onsite bar-restaurant is excellent.
MID-RANGE: Hotel 1887 (⭐ 9.2). This historic 19th-century house is a 10-minute walk from the Colchis Fountain. Rooms pair original wooden panelling and parquet floors with minimal, Scandi-style furnishings. There is a garden, and some rooms have private balconies.
UP-SCALE: Hotel Grand Opera (⭐ 8.7). Situated in the heart of Kutaisi centre, this hotel has a magnificent rooftop bar overlooking the Opera Theatre. Expect well-appointed rooms and a generous breakfast from this hotel with a location that’s impossible to beat.
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.