The traditional Tbilisi to Batumi night train has been replaced by a high speed day time express trains. An alternative is taking the Yerevan – Batumi train service that serves Tbilisi at 00.35 every two days. The journey time is just over six hours which means that you’ll get some sleep, but it would be nothing compared to the slow pace of the old 8 hour service. Nonetheless, the Tbilisi to Batumi night train is slightly cheaper than the day time trains and it will save you the cost of a night accomodation. Plus if you are till tired you can head to Batumi beach and sleep for a few more hours in the morning sunshine!
Slightly more expensive than taking one of the cramped marshrutka minibuses that speed between the two cities, the train is comfortable, friendly and offers extras such as free Wifi. Georgian rail travel is of high standard, and it is possible to book trains up to 40 days in advance online at Georgian Railways.
25GEL (2nd Class) / 61GEL (1st Class)
Tbilisi – Batumi (Daily)
00.12 (Every two days – can only book at Tbilisi station)
Batumi – Tbilisi
00.35 (Every two days – can only book at Batumi station)
It is possible to book tickets up to 40 days in advance on the Georgian Railways website. All types tickets are available, except International tickets. So you cannot book the 00:12 from Tbilisi or the 00.35 from Batumi as these trains serve Armenia and are therefore classified as International services.
The website has been improved but is quite complicated due to the language and the requirement to register a username before proceeding to book tickets. I have done a simple How-To Guide further down the page. Booking online is the easiest way, as it saves the hassle of queuing and speaking to confused train station staff who do not understand English!
Pre Departure in Tbilisi Central Station & Batumi
Tbilisi Central Station is on the superb Tbilisi Metro Line so you should not have any major issues getting there. The entrance is just next to where you emerge from the Metro. The station name is Station Square 1 / Sadguris Moedani.
To access the platform for the train to Batumi, enter the Central Station and walk up the escalator to the second floor above the shopping mall. If in doubt there will most likely be other travellers going the same direction. Ticket desk number 14 is meant to have an English speaking officer, but there no one there when we arrived at 22.00. When boarding the train, you will be asked to present your ticket and ID.
Around Tbilisi and Batumi train stations there are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. Ideally, it’s best to pick up some cheap wine, beer and food for the journey. If you were in a rush and totally forgot, there are elderly women on the station platform selling some last minute food – go go go!
The train arrives at the crack of dawn in Batumi so when we travelled we got some good sleep during the night journey. It may be 07.00 on arrival in Batumi but be WARNED! You must fend off the dozens of old women clawing at you as you depart the train, trying to get you to stay in their guesthouse / shed at the back of their yard. Just keep walking, avoid eye contract and whatever you do, do not get bitten by the zombies.
Since I was in Batumi, a new station has opened closer to the downtown area of Batumi. This new station is more centrally located the town itself is quite compact with a grid street layout so you should have no trouble making your way to your accommodation.
Batumi Waterfront Boulevard
Feeling tired on arrival in the early hours of the morning and can’t check into your hostel/guesthouse anytime soon? The best thing to do is head down to the gorgeous modern seafront boulevard, have a refreshing swim and then catch a morning snooze on the beach. Sounds like paradise eh? Little beach shacks and modern glass bars line the beach, sooooo perhaps a morning cocktail or beer too? Yeahhhh go on!.
From Batumi it is easy to reach Turkey across the border. See my guide to crossing the border here.
Once registered and logged into the Georgian Railway website, you can go ahead an click “Purchase Tickets” on the top menu, which will bring up the form below:
- Departure: Tbilisi-Pass
- End Station: Makhindjauri (This is the only station in Batumi)
- Wagon Class: Soft-Seated Carriage
- Wagon Category: “Non Modernised”
- Click Search and the tickets available should appear just below, the price will be displayed on the far right. Click the little green tick on the left to confirm that they are the tickets you want.
- Next – “Input Passenger Data“
- Document type (Choose Passport, Driving License, National ID)
- ID Number – you MUST provide this (We provided passport number, and put our nationality in the second box).
- Payment and confirmation is next. You will receive an email with the e-ticket and purchase confirmation number. There is no need to print your e-tickets, you can just take the purchase number with you. However we would highly recommend that you do print your tickets so as to avoid confusion when boarding.
Safe travels and as always get in touch if you have any questions!!