The city of Varna,
population 325137, is situated at the Varna Bay, 470 km east of
Sofia. Varna is the largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.
Varna’s length is over 11 km; its width including the new
residential districts is nearly 9 km. The city lies in tiers and
follows the curves of the Varna Bay. The city is surrounded by lots
of gardens, vineyards and deciduous groves. It is a regional centre.
The fastest way to get to Varna is by airplane. It
takes 50 min from Sofia to Varna. Varna Airport functions throughout
The Varna Railway Station is located in the southern part of the
city. Varna is connected with all the main railways in the country.
There are express trains to Sofia and Plovdiv that reach for 7 and
4,5 hours respectively.
fishing tribe of Corbisy settled the town.
In the sixth century BC a Greek town
inhabited by settlers was established here under the name of
The town had been under the siege of the troops of Alexander of
Macedonia in the middle of the fourth century BC but after the siege
was put down the town was given autonomy within the borders of his
Empire. At the time of Lisimah the town re-established its supremacy
over the northern Black Sea coast.
Gradually Odessos yielded precedence in the region to the town of
Marcianopolis (nowadays Devnya). Having been conquered and
devastated several times during barbarian invasion it came within
the Byzantine Empire.
In the ninth century it was already called Varna. It is supposed
that the name originates from the horse people in Central Asia. The
town was included in the territory of Bulgaria during the reign of
king Kaloyan. In 1391 it soon declined and the Turks conquered the
town. In 1444, during the crusade of the Polish king Vladislav
Yagello and the Hungarian leader Yanosh Huniady, the town was under
the siege of the knights. The troops of the Christian coalition
suffered a complete defeat. The young king Vladislav was killed. The
citizens of Varna built a mausoleum in his honour called Park-Museum
In 1878 Varna was finally liberated from Ottoman yoke and became the
most important Bulgarian seaport town. Varna quickly was established
as a seaside resort. Entertainment establishments and holiday houses
The Archaeological Museum is housed in a building that
used to be a school during the Revival.
The Museum of the Bulgarian Revival is housed in a building from
1861, which was proclaimed a cultural monument.
The Naval Museum is in the Sea Garden and possesses all the objects
of importance to the Bulgarian Navy.
The Park-Museum Vladislav Varnenchik is to the northwest of the
The Ethnographic Museum is housed in a Revival house from the 19th
The Natural Science Museum displays species typical to the Bulgarian
flora and fauna.
The Aquarium and the Black Sea Museum are the first and the only
marine biology station in the country.
The Gallery of Arts possesses paintings by the most outstanding
Bulgarian artists as well as pieces of work by numerous foreign
artists, donated to the gallery by citizens. A branch of the museum
is the Museum House of Georgi Velchev.
An Exhibition of Icon Paintings from the National Revival is held in
the St. Athanasius Church built in the 13th century near the Roman
Spa. The Church itself is original with its mural paintings and
icons and with its carved altar and bishop’s stall.
The Museum of Medicine is the only one on the Balkan Peninsula.
Medical plants and herbs are here on display as well as clothing
used in the medical profession from ancient times up to now.
The Museum of Varna's History has an exceptionally rich collection.
The Gold Treasure of Varna, dating back six thousand years ago, is
the oldest gold in the world.
The Roman Spa is situated in the actual centre of the
The Cathedral of Holy Mother is considered to be an emblem of the
seaside capital of Bulgaria.
The Sea Garden dates from the end of the 19th century, finally
completed in 1908.
The Open-air Theatre is a place where various activities take place.
These include the Varna Days of Music, the world famous
International Ballet Competition and Varna Summer – a triennial of
The Pantheon is in Primorski Park.
The Asparuh Bridge connects the city centre with the residential
districts Asparuhovo and Galata. It is the longest bridge in
The Clock Tower was built in 1880 and rises across the Cathedral.
Beneath the Clock is one of the branches of the Drama
The Festival Complex is opposite the entrance of the Sea Garden.
The Dolphinarium is one of the favourite attractions for children
and guests of Varna. Performances and demonstrations regularly take
In the middle of the Sea Garden is located the Zoo with lots of
species. Not far from there is the Exotic Zoo where visitors can
find many exotic animals living on our planet.
About 20 kilometres west of Varna
is the so-called Stone Forest, a curious collection of stone columns
up to 7 metres high. The
first impression is of a ruined temple but scientists have
discovered that it is a geological formation of stalagmites some
fifty-million-year old. During the Miocene the seawaters rushed into
this place and the sea element shaped them for millennia. Due to the
sand and the scanty vegetation this site looks like a desert.
The Golden Sands resort is the largest one on the northern
Black Sea coast. It is situated 18 km northeast of Varna. It borders
Kranevo to the north and merges with the St. St. Constantine and
Helena resort to the south.
The mineral waters, warm sea and wonderful beach as well as the
marvellous deciduous forest turn the resort into one of the pearls
of the Bulgarian coast. Its beach strip is 3,5 km long and 100 m
wide at some places and is covered with fine golden sand.
The constant temperature of 27°C throughout the season makes it a wonderful place for
rest and fun.
Riviera Vacation Club situated in Golden Sands offers а unique
combination of cosy atmosphere with a seacoast throughout the year.
In the immediate proximity to the resort is the interesting rock
monastery called Aladzha, part of the Golden Sands National Park.
The transport between Golden Sands and Varna is well organised. The
bus lines №9, 109, 209 connect the resort with the city and
bus line №409 connects it with the Airport.
ST. CONSTANTINE AND HELENA
The oldest resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is only 9
km northeast of Varna.
The resort is famous from ancient times due to its unique
combination of mountain air, mineral springs and sea.
Its construction began in 1908 in the vicinity of St. St.
Constantine and Helena Monastery.
The beach strip in the resort is around 5 km long and 20-30 m wide,
covered with golden sand. The resort disposes of many mineral
springs, balneocentres, outdoor mineral pools and others tourist
Sunny Day resort lies 10 km northeast of Varna within St. St.
Constantine and Helena and is only 16 km away from Varna Airport.
Between St. St. Constantine and Helena and Golden Sands is the small
The residence Euxinograd is located south of the resort.
Regular town buses run every ten minutes (from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00
p.m.) from the resort to Varna.
The Albena resort with its 5 km long and 150 m wide beach is
lying in a picturesque bay only 30 km from Varna.
Albena is an ecological resort. The rare combination of fresh air,
crystal clear sea and mineral water, remedial herbs, various natural
products and perfectly organised Medical and Spa Centre make Albena
a perfect location for family holidays.
The concept of the architecture is to get more sun in the summer.
The resort has three camping sites – Albena,
International and Ekzotika, which offer great opportunities for
housing tourists and holidaymakers.
The Batov River is interesting with its location in a natural
forest. To the north the shore is steep, formed by yellow sandstone
and limestone typical of the area.
There is regular transport to Albena. Apart from the town buses
there are lots of private minibuses, route, and ordinary taxis.
Kamchiya complex is situated 28 km south of Varna. It is
located at the mouth of the Kamchiya River among the unique flooded
The beaches are wide, covered with sand dunes.
The climate is pleasant. The summer season starts in May and
finishes at the end of September. The average temperature in the
summer is 25-32°C.
Kamchiya offers great opportunities for relaxation and vacation in
nature, away from the noisy city and crowded seaside resorts.
The biosphere reserve “Longoza” is a unique natural site with
its “longoz” forests. It is included in the UNESCO “The Man
and the Biosphere” program.
- More information about Varna.