Difference between revisions of "Varna"
Revision as of 09:43, 16 February 2012
Varna (Bulgarian: Варна, pronounced [ˈvarnɐ]) is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, with a population of 334,870 inhabitants according to Census 2011. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous province and Varna Municipality. Commonly referred to as the marine (or summer) capital of Bulgaria, Varna is a major tourist destination, business and university centre, seaport, and headquarters of the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine
Airlines and destinations - connections are mostly seasonal (the list is not full):
The central train station is located within walking distance from city centre and cruise terminal, there is bus and taxi connection to airport, bus stations, and resorts. Daily services are available from Sofia, Plovdiv, and Rousse.
There is one direct international trains always available. Night train #059 departs Kiev daily, journey time is just under 35 hours. On it's way to Varna this train also stops in Lviv (25 h) and Bucharest (8 h). During the summer seasons several more destinations are added. Which cities have a direct connection varies from year to year but expect Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Minsk from the east and Prague and Warsaw amongst others to be on the list.
There are two bus stations in Varna, one serving the local area and one for longer connections to Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, Burgas, Plovdiv, Istanbul, Greece, Romania, Central and Western Europe. They aren't that easy to find, so take a taxi. As you approach them from the city centre, the station to the left is the local one, to the right is the long distance one.
Varna is Bulgaria's only cruise destination. Cruise terminal is located near city centre, close to train station, walking distance to Sea Garden and beaches. Bus and taxi connection to city centre, bus stations, airport, and resorts. There are ferry lines (buses only) to Ukraine and Georgia.
There is a pedestrian area and a coast area with a lot of fun for the tourists. There you can get around by foot. If you live in the tourist suburbs of Varna, you can come to the centre by bus, by trolleybus, by a rented car or by taxi. Be careful with taxis: you may pay 10 times the right price, so check for the fare per kilometer - look at the small square paper plate located in the lower corner of the rear doors' windows. Good taxi companies are , OK Trans (OK Транс), Varna (Варна), Evro (Евро),Triumph (Триумф Такси), Alpha taxi (Алфа такси). Typical price is around 0.79 leva (0.40 euro) per km.
Varna Archaeological Museum exhibiting the Gold of Varna, a cache of chalcolithic grave-goods, which constitute the oldest gold treasure in the world and large and well preserved Roman Baths. 
Naval Museum one of the symbols of Varna. Situated in the southern part of the sea garden.Beautiful museum building was constructed in 1890.The most valuable exhibit is the destroyer "Drazki" placed there in 1957, known for torpedoing the Turkish cruiser "Hamidie" on November 12, 1912 during Balkan war. This is the only ship of its type to be preserved until today. 
Museum of Ethnography The exposition of the Ethnographic Museum - Varna is sutuated in a revival house of so-called "symmetrical type houses" built in 1860. The museum shows the rich diversity in culture and lifestyle of the population of Varna end of the second half of the XIX and early XX century 
Battle of Varna Park Museum "Varnenchik" is memorial complex located in a unique park in an area of 30 acres. Located in the western part of Varna at the battlefield place dating back to 10.11.1444, where in the name of liberation of the Balkans and southeastern Europe perished Polish-Hungarian king Władysław III of Varna (Varnenchik). In the exposition are the armor and weapons,paintings,flags and sculptures of the era. 
The Sea Garden is the oldest and perhaps largest park.It is associated with the name of the Czech Anton Novak. At the request of municipality in 1894 K.Shkorpil invited the landscape engineer in Varna.There is a long alley of the Bulgarian revival with busts of the most honorable figures of the era.Perfect place for a pleasant walk, bicycle ride or outdoor sports. It contains also zoo and terrarium. The waterfront promenade underneath is lined by a string of beach clubs offering a vibrant (albeit noisy) scene of rock, hip-hop, American-style pop, house, and chalga (Bulgarian pop folk). The city beaches, also known as sea baths are dotted with hot sulphuric mineral springs and punctured by small sheltered marinas. The Garden is a national monument of landscape architecture.
Varna Aquarium The aquarium's exhibition focuses on the Black Sea's flora and fauna which includes over 140 fish species, but also features freshwater fish, Mediterranean fish, exotic species from faraway areas of the World Ocean, mussels and algae. ,
Varna Dolphinarium the only delphinarium on the Balkan Peninsula, one of the most entertaining attractions of city. Built in 1984 and has 1134 seats.
Nicolaus Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium ,
Notable old Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox churches include the metropolitan Assumption of Mary Cathedral; the early 17th-century Theotokos Panagia; the St. Athanasius (former Greek metropolitan cathedral); the seamens' church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker; the Archangel Michael's chapel; and the St. Constantine and Helena church of the 16th century suburban monastery of the same name.
Varna's centre was rebuilt in late 19th and the earlier half of the 20th century by the nascent Bulgarian middle class in Western style, with local interpretations of Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
There is a large tourist place where you can enjoy whatever entertainment that can be bought for money. There is something for every taste. But, you can also have nice walks in Varna.
University of Economics and College of Tourism
In May of 2008, there were three large shopping malls (Grand Mall, Pfohe Mall, Central Plaza, and Mall of Varna) and another four projects in various stages of development (Gallery Mall, Cherno More Park, Varna Towers, and Varna Stadium) turning Varna into an attractive international shopping destination. There are also several international big-box retailers (Metro, Kaufland) on the outskirts and traditional downtown shopping streets with boutiques and gift shops. Plenty of tourist stuff in the resorts sold in small stalls.
Varna is cheap compared to Western countries, but expensive compared to Bulgarian standards. The tourist industry distorts the general price level. But you can have a meal for 3-4 Euro. Also the price of the taxi is higher compared to the other Bulgarian cities.
The Happy Bar and Grill, a Bulgarian restaurant chain, is based in Varna. It's cheap - midrange, and serves tasty kebabs.
Sea Paradise is a fish restaurant by the beach. Meals are approximately 10-15 euros. To get there, enter the pedestrian street by the beach and follow it north until right before the first pier. Call 0878-62-4010 for reservations. No credit cards accepted.
The beach at night tends to have the most night life in the summer. Best night clubs in 2007: Extravaganza, A-Lounge (Varna beach alley), Agression, Bonkers, Masai, PR Club (Golden Sands), Totally Romantic (Kabakum beach).
There are a number of hotels in the city ranging from 5 to 2 stars. North of Varna, along a continuous 20-km-long strip, are the beachfront resorts of Euxinograd, Constatine and Helena, Sunny Day, Chaika, Riviera, and Golden Sands, with a total of more than 60,000 hotel beds, plus several villa communities offering private lodgings
Varna is in general a fairly safe place, though special caution should be taken in regards to the mafia. There have been several cases of tourists being assaulted by the mafia for improper behavior, such as the brutal beating of an Icelandic teenage girl in the summer of 2007. Try not to give anyone who might be driving a black sports car, wearing a suit with glasses a bad eye. Common sense, courtesy and respect is always the best thing you can pursue.
Stay away from people offering money change on the street they are all cheaters. They usually are located in the area of the Cathedral(kozirkata) and also it's a typical place for pick pocketers so be careful.
If you are driving a car be careful where you stop because it can be remover from the well known machines "spiders" which will move your car and you will need to pay a penalty fee and lose much time.
Outside the city are the Euxinograd palace, park and winery, the Ecopark Varna Botanical Garden, the Pobiti Kamani rock phenomenon, the cave monastery Aladzha, and the Kamchiya biosphere reserve (UNESCO-protected)