Varna

Varna (Bulgarian: Варна) is the third-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv. 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.

Get in

By plane

Airlines and destinations - connections are mostly seasonal (the list is not full):

By train

The central train station is located within walking distance from city centre and cruise terminal, there is a bus and taxi connection to airport, bus stations, and resorts. Daily services are available from Sofia, Plovdiv, and Rousse.

There is one direct international train always available. Night train #059 departs Kiev daily, journey time is just under 35 hours. On its 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 among 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.

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, OK Trans (OK Транс), Varna (Варна), Evro (Евро),Triumph (Триумф Такси), Alpha taxi (Алфа такси). Typical price is around 0.79 leva (€0.40) per km.

Public transportation

Bus and trolleybus transportation is available all around the city through the services of the private Transtriumf (Транстриумф) and the public GT Varna (Градски Транспорт - Варна). Ticket price is 1.00 BGN. A map of all bus stops and routes can be found here.

By bicycle

Varna Bike Rental rents bikes for self-guided and guided sightseeing.

See

Do

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.

Free Bike tour in Varna, the sea's capital of Bulgaria. Explore Varna on a Bike. You will see beautiful green part of Varna city and many landmarks such as: The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, The Sea Garden, The Aquarium, The Dolphinarium, The Roman Baths and many others. Rent a Bike and discover Varna by your own Bike tour.

Learn

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)

Work

Buy

There are a couple of large shopping malls (Grand Mall, Pfohe Mall, Central Plaza, Mall of Varna, Varna Towers) turning Varna into an attractive international shopping destination. There are also several international big-box retailers (Metro, Kaufland, Carrefour) on the outskirts and traditional downtown shopping streets with boutiques and gift shops. Plenty of tourist stuff in the resorts sold in small stalls.

Eat

Budget

There are many good restaurants at very descent prices comparing other EU countries.

Alba - a variety of traditional and international dishes at very nice prices. In summer you can choose between sitting inside or the outside garden. Located just across Archaeological Museum in a yellow-green painted house.

Mid-range

The Happy Bar and Grill, a Bulgarian restaurant chain, based in Varna. Tasty kebabs.

La Pastaria offering traditional Italian food, home made pasta and pizza. Dragoman street 45

BM - a nice restaurant offering mainly traditional cuisine as well as sea food. Located at the end of sea garden near to the Port of Varna.

Drink

The beach at night tends to have the most night life in the summer. Best beach nightclubs in 2011: Extravaganza, Copa Cabana, 4 as pik (chalga), Cubo.

There are also clubs and bars in the city but some of them are closed during summer: Horizont, Cargo, Bolla bar, Planet Club.

Sleep

There is 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.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

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 pickpocketers so be careful.

If you are driving a car be careful where you stop because if you violate the parking restrictions, your car may be removed by the authorities and you will need to pay a penalty fee, not to mention losing a lot of time.

Go next

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)

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, September 16, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.