We can’t hide the truth – Varna is an incredibly beautiful city, especially in August when we celebrate the official day of the city and it thrives. Whether you wish to take a stroll, to walk around marveling at the beautiful buildings, to have a nice dinner and a drink, or just to enjoy the lovely summer atmosphere of the city, Varna will definitely not disappoint. To help you choose, we’ve put together several of the most attractive and interesting sights and landmarks worth visiting.
The Sea Garden (Seaside park)
The Sea Garden is located just a few steps away from the WordCamp Varna 2017 venue. It is one of the main symbols of the city, and is a preferred location for taking leisurely walks. The Sea Garden visitors can encounter many sights there, including the aquarium, the dolphinarium, the Maritime museum and many others. The park is quite large and also features a zoo. Visitors can enjoy the Sea Garden during the day – there are beautiful flowers, great sunlight and nice long alleys, but also during the evening, when it’s calmer and cooler.
Varna Sea Port
One of the most vibrant places this summer, Varna’s port is a preferred area for walks and relaxation, and also grabbing a bite at one the pleasant restaurants and cafes. We recommend you to get on top of the breakwater, and take a walk to the lighthouse – views to Asparuhovo, cape Galata and the northern part of the beach are totally worth it. If you get tired, feel free to take a break in one of the restaurants – they can offer a wide variety of cuisines for you to enjoy.
A hidden gem in the crown of Varna, the panoramic balcony on the way to Galata is a place that you can’t afford to miss – it’s our personal favorite. The spot uncovers one of the most magnificent, breathtaking views to the city. It’s pleasant to visit both during the day when you can see all of the city and the beach area until St. St. Constantine and Helena, and in the evening, when you can watch the lights of the city and the calm, monotonous sea movement. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you – the panoramic area is a preferred location for taking pictures.
Central beach and seaside alley
Another great place to stroll along, the central sea alley consists of several kilometers of pedestrian zone, starting from the community pool and reaching until the fourth breakwater. The central beach, the seaside alley and the belonging sea baths have been built in the 20th century. Today, baths have been reorganized and you can find a whole lot of restaurants, bars and clubs that complement the large and wide beach area. The alley can be reached easily from the sea garden at many locations, and can be accessed from the port, too.
Address: Next to the Sea Garden
Saint Athanasius Church
The church was built in 1838 and is famous for its icons, frescos, as well as for the altar and the throne. It is represented by an old metropolitan temple, and it often holds an exhibition of engravings, lithographies and sacred books from the time of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral, Varna
The cathedral in Varna has been built in the period between 1883-1886 and is the second largest in Bulgaria after the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia. The architect Maas from Odessa designed the building to commemorate Bulgaria’s liberation in 1878.
Address: Ploshtad Nezavisimost (Independence Square), Varna
Church St. Nicholas the Thaumaturge
The sea temple of st. Nicholas was built in 1865. The temple is one of the most beloved and visited in Varna, and is located conveniently in the heart of the city.
Address: 35 Kniaz Boris I Blvd, Varna
Stoyan Bachvarov Theatre
In the beautiful building of the drama theatre „Stoyan Bachvarov“ can be found the theatre, the opera and the Varna philharmonic. It was designed in Viennese fashion. On March 12, 1921 the theater opened its first season with the modern play „The instinct“ by Anry Kestmeker.
Part of the ancient city of Odessos, the Roman Thermae are located in the southeastern part of the modern city of Varna, close to the port, and are among the most well preserved architectural monuments from the ancient period of Bulgaria. They were built at the end of the second century and are known to be the largest roman bath on the Balkans. Nowadays, in the summer they’re open for tourists, and concerts are held in the belonging summer scene.
Address: San Stefano street, Varna
State Puppet Theatre Varna
The theater was created in 1952, and it hosts the annual festival of puppet art „The Golden Dolphin“. So far it has hosted over 260 scene plays with over 20,000 performances, watched by millions of viewers here and abroad.
State astronomical observatory and planetarium „Nicolaus Copernicus“ – Varna
The planetarium was officially opened in 1966 as part of the astronomical complex (1965). The observatory hosts organized talks where visitors can learn about the basics of astronomy, and witness demonstrations of the star sky.
Address: in the Sea Garden of Varna
Festa Dolphinarium, Varna
Conveniently located in the Sea Garden of Varna, the dolphinarium is unique for Bulgaria. Visitors can enjoy a marvelous dolphin show, held simultaneously in four languages: Bulgarian, German, Russian and English.
Museum of the Black Sea and Aquarium
Founded in 1932, they reflect the rich variety of fish, actinia, snails, molluscs, crabs and other sweet water residents.
Address: In the Sea Garden, next to the Maritime museum
Archeological museum – Varna
Included in the list of 100 tourist sites of Bulgaria, listed under number 9. The exposition includes prehistory, antiquity, middle ages and has a constant exhibition of icons.
Palace of Culture and Sports
Palace of culture and sports is a multifunctional complex, positioned at a central location in the sea capital of Bulgaria. It is one of the main symbols of the city and throughout the years it has proven itself to be a common place for cultural and sports events, conferences, expositions and exhibitions.
National maritime museum
Included in the list of 100 tourist sites of Bulgaria, the museum has been created thanks to the scientist Karel Škorpil in the distant year of 1923. Visitors can see most of the preserved important documents and materials from the founding of the Bulgarian maritime fleet until today.
City art gallery
Initially built to be a high school for boys in 1886, today this venue hosts an art gallery with constant visiting artists and exhibitions. The building is one of the rare monuments of neogothic architecture in Bulgaria, which makes it even more interesting and valuable.
The ethnographic museum in Varna is among the several specialized museums of ethnography in Bulgaria. It can be found in the house of a revolutionary, built around 1860. In it you can find a huge variety of items from the culture and everyday life of the people from the Varna area in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of 20th century.
Address: 22 Panagyurishte str, Varna
Unique for Bulgaria, the „Retro Museum“ features items and artifacts from the period of 1944-1989, telling the story about how the Bulgarians lived during the socialism era. Bulgarian cigarettes without filter, Russian vacuum cleaners, old german home tools, polish cosmetics and the most wanted cars, manufactured in the Soviet Union help you go back in those years.
Address: Level 1 in the parking zone of Grand Mall Varna
Originally built to be the summer residence of King Alexander I Batenberg during 1881 – 1885. Includes several artistic buildings, a cellar, greenhouses, a clocktower and a spacious park. Nowadays the palace is a government and state residence, but is still accessible for visits of groups of minimum 10 people with pre-booking and a maximum attendance time limit of an hour and a half.
Aladzha Monastery is a medieval rock monastery, situated 17 km. away from Varna. Nowadays it is not functional and hosts no monks, and it’s turned into a cultural monument and museum.
Petrified forest (Stone forest)
The Stone Forest is a unique natural phenomenon, also known as the Petrified Forest – a name that completely corresponds to the reality. It is a captivating assembly of stone columns, towering up to 10m, hollow or solid cylinders or cut cones, varying in shape and size rock blocks and a lot of rock pieces, shattered throughout the entire complex. There are various different hypotheses for the origin of the stone forest: that they used to be the sea bottom, that they have an organic origin, that they were biogenic seaweed buildings, that they formed around natural springs with a large gas content, or even that they were created by aliens.
Regardless of where your feet or the wind will take you, there are many beautiful places, sights and landmarks in Varna, that are totally worth the time to visit. We, the organization team of WordCamp Varna 2017 wish you a pleasant time in our beautiful city!