The sea capital of Bulgaria is the second largest in the country and the largest one on the Black Sea coast. Founded in VI BC with the name “Odessos”, it quickly became a polis and ranked among the most important ports and commercial centres on the Black Sea. Varna is one of the most stunning cities on the Balkans and it can certainly offer a variety of landmarks, entertainments and opportunities for relaxation and recreation. To come closer to the rich economic and cultural history of the city, you cannot miss out on visiting:
The Archaeological museum, where you can see the oldest gold treasure in the world, found until now, dating back to 6 thousand years ago. “The Varna Necropolis” was found in the last century in Lake Varna. Prepare a couple of hours to walk in the museum if you wish to view interesting expositions from different eras that are part of the history of Bulgaria. The museum also hosts multiple cultural events, especially during the summer.
The Naval museum, whose collection includes more than 1000 exhibits that are related to the Bulgarian military and commercial sailing. It is located in the Sea Garden itself, so you can stop by while you are going for a stroll. Here you will find exceptionally interesting exhibits, which are related to the Bulgarian military, and probably the most famous one being the ship “Drazki” (“Intrepid”), which took part in the Balkan War. A large part of the collection is displayed in the museum courtyard but it is not less interesting inside, so you will certainly enrich yourself by visiting this unique place.
The Ethnographic museum with its rich exhibition brings visitors into the life and culture of the people from the Varna district during the last couple of centuries. Here you will get acquainted with the lifestyle of people, interesting rituals and customs, wedding rituals, most of which have been preserved until today. What is also interesting is the architecture of the historic building itself, in which the museum is located.
The Roman Thermae – the Roman bath, which is the largest in the Balkans and the 4th largest one in Europe, was used until the end of the 3rd century. We are proud of this preserved heritage from roman time and as you know, the romans were one of the best architects in the world, unsurpassed to this day. In recent years, the Roman Thermae have turned into a place for a rich cultural and artistic life of the city. Here are organized many concerts, theatres, exhibitions that you can visit.
The church “Sveti Atanasiy” (St. Athanasius), built in the 13th century, will impress you with its rich exhibition of icons from the Enlightenment period. Most of the kids in Varna receive their christening in this church.
The church “Sveti Uspenie Bogorodichno” (Dormition of the Mother of God), also famous among the people of Varna as “the dug in church”. Unique and interesting architecture, which has been preserved from the Middle Ages.
Aladzha Monastery – one of the few rock monasteries in Bulgaria. It can be found 14km from Varna in the direction of Golden Sands. It was studied by the famous brothers Škorpil, who lay down the foundation of archaeology in Bulgaria. Many myths and legends exist about ghosts and spirits, connected to the Aladzha Monastery. If you visit it at night, you will enjoy a light show that will move you to the ancient period of rock monks. The monastery is surrounded by unique nature and several eco paths, through which you can take a walk.
Tourist attractions, representing the rich flora and fauna of the region are:
The “Golden Sands” natural park – protected territory with exceptionally rare woods, added to Natura 2000. Many years after its separation, on its territory was built the largest resort complex, namely “Golden Sands”. The whole area offers wide beaches, golden sand and plenty of fun features.
The University Botanical Garden, which on area of 36 hectares offers an exotic meeting with plants from all over the world – over 300 types of trees and bushes and over 100 types of Herbaceous plants. It also has a rosary garden with over 30 types of roses. The newest collection is of unique tulips. The Eco park is appropriate for walks and picnics; you can do sports, ride a horse or you can just enjoy the surrounding beauty. A favourite place for relaxation among the people of Varna, as well.
The Aquarium, which offers the first and only sea exhibition in Bulgaria. Here you can get to know up close and personal the Black Sea flora and fauna, as well as specimens from the World Ocean. It is found in the central part of the Sea Garden, surrounded by children centres, playgrounds and pleasant restaurants to grab a bite.
The Dolphinarium, where in four languages (Bulgarian, Russian, English, German) you can enjoy an incredible show with dolphins for 40 minutes. The program is unique, fun and interesting not only for children, but also for adults. It is also interesting that all of the dolphin-artists are from one family and the youngest members have been born and raised here.
On a couple of minutes of walking from Hotel Varna can be found “Saints Constantine and Elena” monastery. Besides its unique architecture and collection of icons, in it are preserved the relics of St. Valentine. That is why couples in love don not miss out on visiting this place. In the garden, there is a consecrated spring, the water of which helps with treating many eye and other problems.