Sightseeing in Varna

The Cathedral in Varna

Hotel in Varna

Varna - The Sea Capital Of Bulgaria !

Varna's origins back to almost five millennia, but it wasn't until seafaring Greeks founded a colony here in 585 BC that the town became a port. The modern city is both a shipyard and port for incoming freighters and the navy, and a riviera town visited by tourists of every nationality. It's a cosmopolitan place and a nice one to scroll through: Baroque, turn-of-the-century and contemporary architecture pleasantly blended with shady promenades and a handsome seaside garden.

This site aims to promote further Varna as famous and popular place and tries to provide you with a virtual catalogue of Varna sights and entertainments.

Some Facts About The City of Varna

  • Near the port of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world (dated from 4,500 BC) was found In 1972; an ancient necropolis with 280 tombs and 3,010 golden objects were found weighing over 6 kg altogether. According to experts it is the oldest processed gold ever found in Europe.
  • Today Varna is the largest city on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast and is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping. Because it is a close neighbor to the popular coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Constantine & Helena, and Albena, Varna has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Varna is also the host city of numerous prestigious cultural events.
  • The city lies in the Bay of Varna, nestled in a deep valley between the Frengen Plareau and the Avren Plateau. Varna is over 110 km long, while its width, including newly erected residential quarters, is nearly 9km. The city’s structure resembles an amphitheatre as it follows the curves of the Bay of Varna. It is surrounded by gardens, vineyards and groves.
  • During occupation by Turkish forces in the last decades of the 14th century, Varna preserved its significance as a port and trade center. As Bulgaria fell under the Ottoman yoke, the only bearers of the Bulgarian cultural tradition remained within the folklore, the people's festivities, and the church paintings.
  • In 1881, after the liberation, the mayor of Varna Mihail Koloni brought up the question about a modern public park. His offer was at first scoffed by the local municipal councilors but a fund for the project was granted. Soon the park enlarged to 26 decares, 130 trees were planted, paths were cleared and ''towards nightfall alleys thronged by a long train of gentlemen and dressed-up ladies''.
  • Varna lies on the same latitude of the famous Atlantic resorts Bayonne and Biarritz in France, on a large, flat and high terrace on the northwestern most curve of the bay which juts some 7 km inland.


Sightseeing at Varna, Bulgaria

 Varna Cathedral

 The 19th century Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin is an imposing landmark at the city center, which contains a finely carved iconostasis and bishop's throne, some interesting murals and stained glass. The cathedral is one of Varna symbols. You can enjoy the splendid view from the bell tower but you have to climb up the narrow and spiral staircase of 133 steps. It was Prince Alexander Battenberg who placed the first stone in the foundations of the construction starting on 22 August 1880. The design was made by Maas, an architect from Odessa. The building was completed in 1886 but its consecration was delayed until 1910.     

 Festival and Congress Center

 Varna is a world famous venue for congresses, conferences, scientific and business forums. There are multifunctional halls and modern hotels is the city and the beach resorts north of Varna. They offer various services and facilities - modern equipment for simultaneous and consecutive translation, highly qualified specialists, catering cocktail parties, hotel accommodation and a package of tourist services.
  The Festival and Congress Center offers one of the most modern facilities in Varna. The big hall seating 1000 is equipped with sophisticated projection, audio equipment and simultaneous interpretation system in several languages. The Festival and Congress Centre also offers a smaller hall seating 250, a cafe-theatre, seating 100 and a modern press-centre. The restaurants and cafes in the complex create extra-comfort for its guests.   


 It is the only dolphinarium on the Balkan Peninsula and it is one of the greatest attractions that Varna can offer to its guests. The show lasts 40 minutes. The visitors will enjoy the incredible intelligence and playfulness of the sea mammals. A curious fact is that in 1992 a baby-dolphin was born in the Dolphinarium in Varna. The event was a sign that the animals feel at home in their surrounding.   
Address: Varna, Sea Garden
Phone: (+359 52) 302 199

 Palace of Culture and Sports

 The Palace of Culture and Sports is another venue for many business and scientific meetings and prestigious international sport events. Its Congress Hall can seat 3000 persons. There are 9 other halls seating from 50 to 800, air-conditioning, 10 cafes, a post office, a recreation centre, shopping area and a parking lot.
The unique architecture of the Palace and the great number of visitors of cultural and sport events make it desirable place for advertising and trade. Anually business forums of national importance are held here such as the fair of "Tourism and Leisure Time", "Made in Bulgaria", "The Three Keys - Home, Office, Villa".   

 The Roman Baths

 They date back to the time when the region was a part of the Roman Empire and the settlement was called Odessos. The preserved parts of the building give grounds to believe that the roman Baths were one of the largest buildings in the eastern part of the Empire and a proof for the wealth and importance of the town.
The height of the domed construction is supposed to have been no less than 20 m. The building was constructed in the second half of the 2nd century on an area of about 7000 square meters and was in use until the end of the 3rd century. Its thick walls were blocks with 5-6 layers of solid clay bricks.  

Museums at Varna, Bulgaria

 Numerous museums in Varna are waiting to dip you in their atmosphere. All they have theirs "stories" to tell and rich historical heritage to show.
The Varna museums are full of treasures from all periods of the city's history, and will interest both the informed archaeologist and the casual visitor.

 The Archaeological museum

 The Archaeological Museum in Varna is housed in the magnificent building, which is designed by the Bulgarian architect Petko Momchilov. Today it keeps over 55,000 exhibits. They date from the Paleolithic era (the Old Stone Age) to the late Middle ages. The first exhibits making up the two main departments - Art and Archeology were entered in the depository of the museum in 1888 when a group of teachers lead my Karel Shkorpil laid the beginning of the museum collection.
The visitors can see extremely valuable exhibit linked with the ancient Thracian culture, Slav and Proto-Bulgarian pottery, jewelry from the Middle Ages and others. The museum has a rich collection of tomb stones that any European museum would be proud to possess. The collection of icons include some masterpieces of icon painting from the National revival period in Northeastern Bulgaria the oldest of which date back to the 16th century.

 National Maritime Museum

 The history of Bulgarian maritime dates back to the year of 1883. Once the creation of the Bulgarian Marine by Russian naval officers was accomplished in 1879, there was made a collection of ancient marine exhibits. It was founded in Varna in 1923 by a group of enthusiasts and initially it was housed in the Naval School. In 1956 it was moved to Villa Diana in the Sea Garden. The museum displays a collection of marine guns, the old white house and the Sea Port of Varna and one of Bulgarian first minesweepers. The collection is on show 12 halls. It traces the maritime history of the region of the ancient time to the present day. The most valuable exhibit is the Drazki torpedo boat which earned fame for its crew by sinking the Turkish cruiser Hamidie during the First Balkan War in 1912. thing is the only ship of its kind to be preserved till the present day.

 Ethnographic museum

 The Ethnographic museum was opened in 1974 in a restored house from the National Revival period, built around 1860. Due to the initiative of Maria Nikolova - ethnographer, Assen Stoychev - artist and Kamen Goranov - architect, the creation of the exposition was possible. The museum reflects the rich material and cultural heritage of the local population during the second half of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century - catering, crafts, clothes, jewellery, ritual bread, "survachki" (special colour-folded sticks, decorated with popcorns, candies, ribbons, used by children on the first day of the New Year to tap neighbours on the back, wishing them good health, happiness, success in the new year).
  The national customs - Christmas, Kamili(Camels), Petlyovden (Cock's day), Lazaruvane, wedding are presented in a rather interesting way.
A special corner is preserved for a luxurious city home from the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century - a vestibule, drawing room, bedroom, kitchen. The amazing tour ends with a story about the commercial life of old Varna and a panoramic view of the town.

 Vladislav Varnenchik Park - Museum

This museum commemorates a historic event, dating back to the XV century. On November 10, 1444 a mixed Christian army, comprising of Hungarians, Polish, Czechs, papal knights, Bosnians, Croatians, Bulgarians, Romaninas and Routeni (Old Russians) fought a heavy battle near Varna against the Turks. Many lives were lost. More than half of the soldiers from the united army, together with the king of Hungary and Poland Vladislav III Yagelo (Varnenchik) perished.
  In memory of the people, who sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom, on the place of the heroic battle there was built the park-museum Vladislav Varnenchik. The museum is a memorial complex.

Beach resorts near Varna, Bulgaria

 North of Varna there is a cluster of seaside resorts all with fine - sandy beaches but differing in size and style.

 Golden Sands (

 Golden sands is located 17 km north of Varna. It deserves to be called "the pearl" of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast thanks to its unique park, the cool freshness of the woods, the vast stretch of fine golden sand. It combines uniquely calm and clean sea, rich vegetation in a park of 8 000 ha and curative mineral springs. The beach strip is 3,5 km long and up to 100 m wide.
 Golden Sands offers excellent holiday conditions with lots of entertainment, sports and new encounters.
The hotels have been reconstructed and refurbished to create excellent conditions for rest and recreation in the summer. The hotels nestle in the magnificent forest sloping down to the very waterfront and offer excellent conditions.
Golden Sands - breathtaking scenery, superb and picturesque beaches, clean sea, sun and mineral springs. The beach strip is 3.5 km long and up to 100 m wide. Bask in the sun from May through October. Summers are not too hot thanks to the mild sea breeze. The average air temperature in July and August is 27C, water temperature is 24C.

 St.St.Constantine and Helena

Bulgaria's oldest seaside resort - St.Constantine and Helena is only 8 km north of Varna. It is small and secluded and offers excellent opportunities to rest and relax in peace and quiet.The little base and fine beaches of fine sand are ideal for underwater diving and fishing. Today there exists many reasons to visit this resort; the specific microclimate with a high concentration of soothing lightweight negative ions; the perfect harmony of the sea breeze at an altitude of 25 meters, cool, bracing air, the scent of century old fig, cypress and lime trees, and the abundance of mineral springs. The winter comes but what of it – the sea is charming even during this season.


 Situated 17 km north-east from Varna right on the shore. Peace and quiet reign over the beautiful parkland with rare plant species, calm bays with fine sand contribute to the atmosphere of coziness and immaculate luxury. The six hotels at the Riviera Holiday Club (Imperial, Oasis, Lotos, Nimpha, Rousalka and Romantica) can accommodate a total of 550 guests. The "pearl" of the complex is the 5-star Imperial hotel which is fully air-conditioned and open all the year round.Riviera offers ideal conditions for water sports, diverse touring events, animation events of mirth and laughter.
 Riviera is a renowned exclusive center of business tourism, which offers excellent environment for convention - and business meetings and enjoys an array of technical support and room facilities.

 The Sunny Day Complex

 Ten kilometers north of Varna, a quiet bay in the resort of St.St.Constantine and Helena has given shelter to the Sunny Day Complex. It meets all the requirements of the club type of tourism: luxury hotels, a wide beach strip of fine golden sand, a yachting marina, playgrounds, a tennis court, facilities for spa treatment and preventive medicine.
  Away from the hustle and bustle of large beach resorts, the Sunny Day Complex offers the best conditions for holiday makers to rest, relax and enjoy the sun and the sea. Sunny Day is a posh place for holiday and relaxation located at the far end of a secluded scenic bay with fine sand beaches just 10 km away from the Bulgarian town of Varna.  

 Albena (

Albena is located in a picturesque bay in the north part of Bulgarian Black Sea Riviera. It is a fairy tale place where you will be in a full harmony with nature. The sea water here is crystal clean. The sea is with shallow bottom and the beach strip is 7 km long and 150 m wide.
Albena is surrounded by the deep vegetation of Baltata hill Preservation. The nature here has been preserved from the encroachments of the civilization and treasures some very rare plants and animals.One of Albena's latest acquisitions is the Maastricht Hotel, which houses the Dutch Hotel Management School.
Albena is a Blue Flag winning resort, located in a picturesque and ecologically clean gulf on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, famous for its flower gardens.

Sightseeing out of Varna, Bulgaria

  Aladja Monastery

 It is the most famous rock monastery along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, 14 km away from Varna. The cells of the monks and the chapel were carved into the soft sandstone forming a group of caves. The predominating opinion of scholars is that the monastery was under the influence of a religious teaching that was in circulation in Byzantium and Bulgaria at that time. It taught about the energy of God - "isichasm" or "hesychasm".
Visitors today can see in the high rock (40 metres) separate rooms of the monastery complex - the place of workshops, the chapel, a special church for requiescat (mass for the dead), tombs, the kitchen, the dining room, the cells of the monks and workrooms. They are all situated on two natural terraces, one above the other. In the past the church was richly decorated with wall paintings. Probably that is why the monastery was called Aladzha meaning "motley, multicoloured" .In 17th - 18th century the monastery was abandoned by the monks. 

 Pobiti Kamani ("The Stone Forest")

The natural attraction Pobiti Kamuni (The Stone Forest) is located in the western part of Varna lowland and it consists of cylindrical stone columns fixed in a small desert. The stone columns have porous surface and rise to an altitude of 5 - 6 m.
They are built of limy sandstones, containing many fossils - nummulites, mussels, snails. The majority have a smaller or bigger cavity, some are horizontally cracked. The cylindrical stone columns form several groups somewhere between the town Beloslav and the villages Strashimirovo, Slunchevo, Banovo and Povelyanovo with a total area of 50 km2.
  The first impression is of a ruined temple but scientists have discovered that it is a geological formation of stalagmites some fifty million years old.

 Balchik-Botanical Garden

 All tours of Balchik inevitably include a visit to the Quiet Nook Palace and its magnificent park sprawling on an area of 35 hectars. Over 3000 plants grow here and this is a proove that the climate in this part of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is suitable not only for the flora of Mediterranian plants but also for rear plant species from all corners of the world. Among the masterpieces of the art of park design is the rose garden and the garden of cactuses which is the second largest collection of castuses of Europe. It number of over 250 different species.
The former summer residence of the Romaniam Queen Maria has a striking effect of the vistor for its unique romantic design and atmosphere. (The area was part of Romania between 1913 and 1940). The Italian architects Americo and Augostino created and genuine legend matching the beauty of nature with the materialized visions of dreaming poets. Thus, in 1926 they created one of the unique architectural ensembles along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.

 The cape of Kaliakra

 This is one of the most charming places along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Jutting out for 2 km into the sea, Kaliakra is the longest cape along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Its name meant "Bbeautiful cape". After the crimson colour of its cliffs.
 Put up in the Hellenic era, the Kaliakra fortress was at its heyday in the 14th century when it become the stronghold of the Bulgarian noble man Balik. During the Turkish invasion it was subject to an extremely cluel siege. All warriors and citixens of the fortress were murdered. Only 40 young maids were left alive. They decided to choose death to life in disgrace. When no one was watching them they plaited together their long hair, held their hands and jumped into the sea from the high cliffs.  

Cultural events at Varna - The Sea Capital Of Bulgaria !

 Varna hosts many international and domestic cultural events. Every year from May till the beginning of October Varna turns into a croasroad of artists who work in the field of music, the theatre and dance.

 Music Weeks were held for the first time in Varna in 1926. They set the beginning of the International Art Festival Varna Summer.
 The May Choral Competition is held at the end of May. At the begginging of June actors and lovers of the theathre come to Varna from all over the world for the theatre festival. June and July are dedicated to classical music. The Jazz fest and the International Folklore Festival are held in August.

Do doubt the two autumn film festivals - Love Is Fully and the Biennale of Bulgarian Film - The Golden Rose, attract numerous fans of the film art.
Every two years the close of the festival summer in Varna is marked by the Internation Festival of Puppet Theatres - the Golden Dolphin.

One of the most prestiguous cultural events is the International Ballet Competition. It was founded in 1964 and is a biannual event.  

The resort of Golden Sands keeps the tradition to organize festival and cultural events in the summer months. The magnificent festival of masked dancers is a vivid illustration of the Bulgarian folklore. The two festivals - Jazz and Rock - attract a growing number of young people.  

There is a full schedule of Varna events:

  • Song about Varna Competition, March
  • Frederic Chopin National Competition for young piano players
  • Prof. Georgi Dimitrov International May Choir
    Competition May
  • Varna Summer International Festival, June-July
  • International Ballet Competition, July
  • Varna Summer International Jazz Festival, August
  • Varna 2001 International Folklore Festival August
  • Day of Varna, August 15
  • "Love is Folly" International Film Festival, September
  • International Festival of the Popular Urban Song


Universities in Varna , Bulgaria

 Varna is a major economic, cultural and administrative center and one of the Bulgarian cities with the most dynamic development. It is one of the main centers of science and culture in Bulgaria.

 Technical University of Varna (

 The Technical University of Varna was founded in 1962 under the name of Higher Institute of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and is the successor to the traditions of academic technical education laid by the State Polytechnic during the period of 1946-1953. In its 39-year history the Technical University of Varna has won recognition as an authoritative Bulgarian research center in science and technology. The Research Institute was established in 1965.
  Today the Technical University of Varna is a thriving, vibrant university with a uniqueness and spirit of its own. It has an academic community of more than 500 lecturers and over 7000 students. It is a state university with 8 Faculties and 2 Colleges. Faculities are: Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Electronics, Faculty of Computer Systems and Automation, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Technology, Faculty of Shipbuilding, Faculty of Marine Sciences and Ecology, Faculty of Law.

 Varna University of Economics (

In 1998 higher economic education in Bulgaria marked its 78th birth anniversary, that is, the first apostolic steps were made 78 years ago and we are both proud and glad that Varna Higher School of Commerce initiated the first steps and present-day University of Economics has successfully taken over.
The establishment of a modern unit of higher education was both a call of the day and a result of outstanding enthusiasm. More than 40 thousand students have graduated from this establishment since then. University graduates have gained thorough knowledge and skills, guaranteeing their successful performance as experts, managers and businessmen.
Today Varna University of Economics enjoys respect at various international gatherings of schools.. Guest professors have delivered lectures in the field of economics, finance, international law...
The spacious lecture halls, the labs and specialised studies, the TV studio and the rich library stock of 260 thousand books offer flexible ways of studying to both undergraduates and post-graduates. They can choose from a variety of courses in economy, management, accounting, finance, computer science, international relations, law...

 Varna Free University (

Varna Free University was established as a democratic institution in 1991 with the initiative of distinguished Bulgarian scholars and public figures. As an autonomous private educational structure the University functions in compliance with the Bulgarian constitution and the Higher Education Law. A high appraisal and an unquestionable proof for the quality of the educational process at Varna Free University is the institutional accreditation obtained for a period of the five years.
  Varna Free University - An Adaptable and Enterprising University Which provides its students with high quality of education, free choice of specialities teaching by competent and highly qualified teaching staff, convert ability on an international scale of the educational process and research work, competitiveness and successful professional realization.
  Varna Free University is situated in the picturesque resort complex of Golden Sands where nature has combined sea and forest in a unique way. The University campus several buildings, administrative offices medical center and student hostel. The comfortable hostel, the students canteen, the cosy coffee-bars and the local bank office are only part of the conveniences which the University offers its students.

 Naval Academy (

The foundations of the Nicola Vaptsarov Naval Academy were laid in 1881.
The Naval Academy prepares officers for the Navy and for the Merchant Marine.  The course of education for the specialities "Navigation"and"Ship Engineering" last for five years. Upon successful completion of the course of studies graduates receive a "M. Sc. Degree".

Public services at Varna, Bulgaria


Post offices:

Working hours of post offices are from 8.00 am to 6 pm.
You can buy stamps and post cards at the post office desks as well as from newspaper kiosks. Single stamp for delivery inside Bulgaria costs 0.45 leva (~£0.16). International postage vary according to destination.


There is a center of communication services of BTC (the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company) at the BTC regional headquarters at 2 Suborni Blvd. It offers various communication services: phone calling, faxing, e-mail and is open throughout the day till 11 pm.
  There are two different phone-cards operators: BULFON - the orange phones and MOBIKA. - the blue phones. The companies offer phone cards of different units from 25 to 200 (2.90 to 13 leva / ~ £ 1.01 to £ 4.55). You can buy phone cards from post offices, kiosks and other street vendors.

 Mobile operators:

There are three mobile operators in Bulgaria - Globul, MobilTel and newest - Vivatel. All of them have sufficient coverage throughout the country. Every operator has prepaid service cards which does not involve contract signing. Upon request your operator will gladly give you information about phone calling from a mobile phone in Bulgaria.

 Medical services:

All medical establishments in Bulgaria perform medical checks, tests and treatment of foreigners. Foreigners pay for the medical services in exchange of an invoice in Bulgarian levs in cash at the cash desk of the medical establishment or else with a bank transfer from abroad.

 Banks and money exchange:

There are numerous banks in Varna both Bulgarian and foreign. There is also a branch of the Bulgarian National Bank. Working hours of banks is from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm.
  The Bulgarian Lev (BGL), BGL 1 = 100 stotinki, presently coins in circulation are of nominal values 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 stotinki, as well as banknotes of 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 leva. The Lev (BGL) is pegged to the Euro at €1 = BGL 1.9598
  You may change cash in banks or in the numerous exchange bureaus many of which are open on weekends, too. Some of the exchange bureaus charge additional commission though. Eurochecks may be cashed in many of the banks.
  There are many ATM terminals as well as POS across the city and the bigger supermarkets, petrol stations and stores.


Many of the world famous global courier services are to be found in Varna like TNT and DHL as well as local ones like City Express.

 Tourist Agencies:

Like a tourist city Varna has many tourists agenices that offer complex services not only to groups but to individual tourists also. These agencies are often in the backstreets so keep an eye on our site and we will deliver their services and offers right here in no time! If you want to reserve a hotel or arrange other details of your stay for the summer holidays it is advisable to contact them in advance. In this way you will find what you seek within the highest possible choice.

 TV, Radio and Press:

Unlike the recent communist past with just a relay station and a local TV studio of the central state television Varna is nowadays the second major tramsmission city in Bulgaria with various radio and TV programs available. It is the headquaters town of the MSAT sattelite television which informs its audience about world, domestic and Varna news and events.You can hear various FM radiostations in Varna - currently about 18.


There are many firms that offer taxi services in Varna. You can arrange a taxi to take you from address, bus stop or even in the street by calling to the appropriate telephones from any public phone.
All firms charge day and after 9 pm slightly higher night fees. Currently day fee is about ~£0.20 (0.56 leva) per kilometer and night is about ~£0.23 (0.65 leva)


There are numerous rent-a-car companies in Varna. Information is also available at hotels and tourist agencies.
To drive in Bulgaria you need an EU driving licence and a valid insurance card. Petrol filling station with all types of fuels used as well as gas stations are to be found in all towns and along the roads.

 Public Transport:

Varna has a public transport network of buses, vans and trolleys which run from 05 am to 11 pm. Tariffs are favourable -0.60 lv (~£0.21) and tickets are purchased from ticket sellers on board. You should keep your ticket during transportation as there could be a ticket check at random. Note that there are small vans on the general lines in service after 11 pm in summer time.
Major lines:

  • #409 Aksakovo - Varna Airport - Vl. Varnenchik Blvd - Bus terminal - Varna Cathedral - Dolphinarium - St.Constantine resort - Golden Sands resort;
  • #14 Vladislavovo housing estate - Slivnitsa Blvd - Central Bazaar - Varna Cathedral - University of Economics - Dolphinarium - "Pochivka" bus-stop;
  • #31 Railway Station - Varna Cathedral - Saedinenie square - Vinitza estate;
  • #8,108 Varna Cathedral - St. Constantine resort;
  • #9,109 Varna Cathedral - St. Constantine resort - Golden Sands; #309 Railway station - Primorski blvd - University of Economics - Golden Sands resort;
  • #22, 41 Vladislavodo estate - Bus terminal - Varna Cathedral - Railway station.


100 Tourist Sites of BULGARIA

Aparuh bridge
Roman baths
Euxinograd Palace
Historical museum
Festival complex
Sea Garden
Navy House
Varna at night
City Center of Varna
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