This article was originally written as a guest post by Ms. Irina Nikolaeva (written back in 2017)
In the article 5 reasons why Batumi is better than Moscow (or other big cities), I specified the low cost of living as the first reason why I moved from Moscow to Batumi. So let’s have a closer look at this topic.
Apartment. The middle price of apartments for 1-2 people (about 50 sq. m., studio with a separate bedroom) is about 300$. That would be a flat not far from the city center (honestly the city is so small as most living areas would be in 15 minutes from the center), with good design, fully equipped with consumer electronics. If you have less money, you can find something lower, from 150$. This price is real if you would search for a flat in the period from October to March and rent a flat for one year or until May or June.
Then closer to the summertime flat rents are growing and becoming extremely high (from 500$ for the same flat). This way every apartment owner tries to earn more money during three months of holiday time.
Utilities. If you rent a flat for a long term you need to pay yourself for electricity, Internet, water and gas. The sum depends on how much you spend on heating in the cold season (3-4 month). If you use hot A/C or under floor heating you will have to pay from 250 GEL (90$) only for electricity. If you use central gas heating it would be from 100 GEL (40$) for gas. So I advice you to look for a flat with central gas heating, that would be more bounce to the ounce. The bill for water is low, about 20 GEL (less than 10$). Summary living alone I pay for utilities about 150-200 GEL per month (55-75$).
Transport. In this city I use only taxi, because it is extremely cheap. The life hack - use Maxim taxi mobile app and never ask drivers for the price. In the app you can see the price before a taxi driver see you. If a taxi driver notice that you are a foreigner the price will grow twice or even more. The costs in Maxim taxi:
- From the city center to the airport - 6 GEL (2.5$)
- From the city center to Batumi Garden - 9 GEL (3.5$)
- Inside the city center and near areas - 2 GEL (0.7$)
You can also use public transport - buses or microbus. One ticket on bus is 0.40 GEL (0.1$), on microbus - 0.60 GEL (0.2$). But be prepared to wait 10-15-20 minutes on the bus stop
Food and drinks. As a solo feamle who doesn’t cook a lot I spend about 100$ per month in supermarket and 50$ in restaurants and fast food cafes. So the cost of my food and drinks is about 150$. The average prices for some products in Georgia:
- Chicken - 7 GEL (2.5$)
- Pork (1k.) - 14 GEL (5$)
- Beef (1k.) - 18 GEL (7$)
- Fish (1k.) - from 15 GEL (5.5$)
- Bread (1 piece) - 0.60 GEL (0.2$)
- Milk (1l.) - 2.5 GEL (1$)
- Cheese (1k.) - 12 GEL (4.5$)
- Eggs (10 pieces) - 2 GEL (0.7$)
- Season fruits (1k.) - 5 GEL (2$)
- Season vegetables (1k.) - 2-3 GEL (0.7$-1.2$)
- Wine (1 bottle 0.75l.) - 12 GEL (4.5$)
- Beer (0.5l) - 3 GEL (1.2$)
Entertainment. Honestly from September to June there are too less entertainment in Batumi - no parties, no clubs, no theaters or concerts. So I go only to the cinema one time per month, it is 8 GEL (3$) for ticket, 3,5 GEL (1,5$) for popcorn and drinks. And the second activity is playing games with friends in a bar. There I spend 20 GEL (8$) for drinks or food per evening. Two evenings with games per week is 160 GEL or 64$ a month
Healthcare. Batumi is the place where I don’t have problems with health. Usually I spend in a pharmacy about 40 GEL (15$) per month, just for common reasons. Be prepared that all doctors for foreigners are paid. But anyway Georgian healthcare (doctors, analysis, medicines) is cheaper than European.
Beauty. The column for girls. I spend on beauty about 100$ per month. It includes:
- Manicure (shellac) - 25 GEL (10$)
- Hair coloring (whole length, long hair) - 70 GEL (25$)
- Eyebrows (coloring and correction) - 15 GEL (5$)
- Wax epil (three areas) - 50 GEL (20$)
- Lenses - 40 GEL (15$)
Sport. Fans of running could feel great in Batumi, because there is a long boulevard for running in the city. The same for bicycles. I like to swim and in cold time need to pay for the swimming pool - it is about 180 GEL (70$) per month
The Bottom Line.
Summary I spend 800$ per month living alone, having fun, taking care of my beauty and health. And that is the great quality of life, not stressful and pleasant.