The gem of the Bulgarian Black Sea is located at the end of the big Varna Bay. Ancient, medieval and modern cultures mingle and coexist throughout the city.
Varna is set in a wide bay with a string of sandy beaches and in the summer the waters of the Black Sea are calm and ideal for swimming. The beach is backed by a promenade, beach bars and the Sea Garden.
Things to Do
At the Sea Garden, apart from extensive pathways through the wooded gardens, there is a dolphinarium and a zoo, a planetarium and observatory.
Sights of historic interest within the city are the public Roman Baths of Odessos, the Pantheon monument and the symbolic Varna Cathedral, which offers fabulous views from the belfry.
In easy reach of Varna there are many scenic forests, rivers and meadows, caves and natural rock formations. There are over 300 natural stone structures around Dikilitash, Beloslav, Banavo and Slanchevo (18-20km) including columns and interesting shapes resembling animals and people, prompting names such as the lion, the throne, the camel and the stone forest.
Out and About
There are many splendid cultural attractions in the city including the City Art Gallery, the Maritime Museum, the Ethnographic Museum and the Archaeological Musuem.
One of the best known cultural events hosted here is Varna Summer, an international festival of music and theatre featuring orchestras and soloists, theatre and opera.
Many sporting events, concerts and exhibitions are held at the Palace of Culture and Sports, the largest sports hall in Bulgaria and a modern landmark of Varna.
The forests and wetlands of the Kamchia Reserve (25km) are home to turtles and many rare birds and here, you can follow the walking trails or take a boat along the Kamchia River.
Nearby resorts include St Constantine & Helena (9km) where you could explore the University Botanical Gardens at EcoPark Varna and the palatial Evksinograd Residence and the beach resort of Golden Sands, which apart from the lengthy beach and yacht harbour, lies next to the Zlatni Piasatsi Nature Park where you can follow paths through the forest and see the Aladzha Monastery, also known as the 'rock monastery' as it is carved into the rocks.
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