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Revision as of 02:29, 10 February 2012 by (talk) (updated listing X Hostel Varna)

Earth : Europe : Balkans : Bulgaria : Bulgarian Black Sea Coast : Varna
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Varna [5] (Bulgarian: Варна) is a city in Bulgaria, on the Black Sea Coast of the country.


Varna is the northern one of two major Bulgarian cities on the coast of Black Sea (the other one is Burgas).

Get in

By plane

  • Varna Airport [6] (IATA: VAR) (ICAO: LBWN), 8 km west of the city centre. Easy bus and taxi connection to city centre and resorts.

Airlines and destinations

  • Air Via (Berlin-Schönefeld, Berlin-Tegel, Frankfurt)
  • Arkia Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv)
  • Austrian Airlines operated by Austrian Arrows (Vienna)
  • Balkan Holidays (Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Brimingham, Cardiff, Doncaster, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle, Prestwick, Southampton)
  • British Airways (London-Gatwick)
  • Bulgaria Air (Amsterdam, Berlin-Schönefeld, Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Dublin, London-Gatwick, Madrid, Milan-Malpensa, Vienna)
  • Bulgarian Air Charter (Berlin-Schönefeld, Berlin-Tegel, Cologne/Bonn, Frankfurt)
  • Condor Airlines (Stuttgart)
  • Fischer Air Polska (Warsaw)
  • First Choice Airways (London Gatwick, Manchester)
  • Hemus Air (Burgas, Sofia)
  • LTU International (Berlin-Schönefeld, Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart)
  • Jetairfly Brussels
  • Malév Hungarian Airlines (Budapest)
  • Thomsonfly (East Midlands, London-Gatwick, Manchester)
  • Thomas Cook Airlines (Birmingham, London Gatwick)
  • Norwegian Air Shuttle (Oslo)
  • Ural Airlines (Yekatirenburg)
  • Wizz Air (Budapest) [starts June 10, 2007]
  • Vim Airlines (Moscow, Ufa)

By train

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.

By car

Varna can be reached by Haemus Motorway (A2) from Sofia, E70 from Rousse (and Bucharest), E87 from Constanta, Romania, and Cherno More Motorway (A3)/E87 from Istanbul, Turkey.

By bus

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.

By boat

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 a ferry to Ilichevsk (Odessa) in Ukraine and Poti & Batumi in Georgia. [7]

Get around

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 City Taxi 1, OK Trans (OK Транс), Varna (Варна), Evro (Евро), Maxa (Макса) and Pontea (Понтеа).


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. [8]

Naval Museum displaying the museum ship torpedo boat Drazki. [9]

Museum of Ethnography

Battle of Varna Park Museum

The Sea Garden is the oldest and perhaps largest park containing the Varna Aquarium [10], the Varna Dolphinarium (opened 1984), the Nicolaus Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium [11], the Museum of Natural History, a terrarium, a zoo, and other attractions. The Garden is a national monument of landscape architecture.

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. Additionally, the 2.4 km long, 50 m high Asparuhov Most bridge is a popular spot for bungee jumping.

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
Naval Academy
Technical University and Varna College
Medical University and Medical College
Chernorizets Hrabar Varna Free University
New Bulgarian University Local Centre
University of Shumen Teacher Centre (graduate)


  • Shipyard
  • Ship repair yards
  • Cargo port, East and West
  • Chemical plants near the Varna lake


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


  • X Hostel Varna, 16th Street 19, Euxinograd (Bus 8, 9, 11, 109, 309 or 409 to bus stop Marek where you find signposts.), +359 (0) 885049084 (), [1]. PARTY HOSTEL! It's a short bus drive out of the city, close to the beach and mineral baths. Easy access to Golden Sands where they organize parties and pub crawls every night (foam, beach and playboy parties). Note that 110 people got an X tattooed on them: or
  • Flag Varna Hostel, [2]. 10 minutes walk from the beach and the bars. The owner goes out of his way to make all guests feel welcome. Free bike tour in the mornings after a free breakfast. The staff are happy to spend time showing the guests around the town by day or by night. All guests enjoy free beer at 7PM every night. From 9 EUR.
  • Varna Hostel, Apartment 9, floor 3 , 16 Dunav st., +35952/ 977 645; +359 896 928 437, [3]. Located in the very centre of Varna, 200m from the central train station. With wifi access, TV and multimedia systems in the communal area, single and double bed accommodation, free tea and coffee, in recently renovated apartment. Website is dead and it might be closed. 11.80 euro.

  • Motivi Hotel, [12] This is a family-run hotel providing comfortable B&B accommodation. It is in the seaside resort of St. St. Constantine and Helena and has direct public transport connection to the centre of Varna (15 minutes away).


  • Alekta Hotel is in the northern part of the Sea Garden, on the outskirts of the town, 200 m from the sea and about a 20 minute walk from the town center, which can also be reached by regular bus services or by taxi.
  • Amfora Hotel is situated 8 km north of Varna in St. Konstantin, [13]. The hotel is nice and not far from the coast (about 15 min).
  • Ellinis Hotel built in 2005 is on the main road connecting Varna with the sea resorts "St. Konstantin and Helena" and "Golden Sands", 12 km from the airport, 1500 m from the beach, and 5 minutes away from the city center. All rooms have balconies with sea views.
  • SesBreath apartment, 21 Petar Enchev st, +359898424022, [4]. 2 nice bedrooms with a lounge, dining room, kitchen and shower room about 50m far from the central beach.


  • Hotel Divesta is in the center of Varna, close to the main bus station.

Stay safe

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.


Get out

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)

  • Golden Sands Resort is 17 km from downtown Varna (north)
  • Sveti Konstantin and Helena is 10 km north from downtown Varna - it is a small, but peaceful and very green resort. Many nice hotels offer mineral water SPA services, due to the abundance of hot mineral springs all over the area.
  • Albena - 30 km north from Varna. An old style resort, with an architecture from the Communist times. Peaceful area though. Since the whole resort is owned by a single private company, it is one of the very few places on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast that does not suffer from overbuilding.
  • The town of Balchik features a small palace and a beautiful botanical garden; 40 km away (north)
  • Many wild beaches south of town (Pasha Dere, Shkorpilovtsi, Karadere, Irakli)
  • The town of Kavarna (Каварна) is 60 km away north. It holds the Kavarna Rock Fest in early July, the largest rock event in the Balkans and Black Sea region
  • Cape Kaliakra - the longest cape in Bulgaria. Stunning views to the sea and the red cliffs. A place with rich history and many legends. Worth visiting. 80 km away, north.
  • The high rocky coast near the small Kamen Bryag (Камен бряг, literally: Rocky Coast) village has been popular among Bulgarian's hippies; 82 km away (north)
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