Варна (Varna). Sometimes also written as 'Warna'. Only a few kilometres away, there was an ancient Greek town called Odessos, later on a flourishing Roman town called Marzianopolis. Varna exists since the 6th or 7th century; the present name was used from the beginning.
Varna stretches along Varna bay in the north-east of Bulgaria. West of Varna, a long lake fed by Провадийска (Provadiiska) river forms the border of town. Right in the north of Varna starts the Dobruja plateau (see →Dobrich).
Water in the west and in the east, mountains in the north and in the south - it's the perfect location for a nice town. The centre of town is spacious and features some parks, some historic buildings here and there and nice streets. Varna is 'chic' - here you can find all the expensive shops you will also see in the capital. Furthermore, Varna is an important industrial town and is home to a large port, but these are things you won't notice in the city centre. Additionally, Varna is conveniently located, since there are many interesting places around the town (see also getting there and →surroundings).
Probably the oldest remainings of settlements in Europe were excavated at the northern shore of Lake Varna, only a few kilometres away from the city centre. Some of the remainings are more than 6,000 years old. In the 7th or 6th century BC, Greeks from Milet founded a small town and called it Odessos (not to be confused with →Odesa in the Ukraine!). Not far from Odessos, ancient Romans founded another town called Marzianopolis. During the 2th century AD, a large spa with many baths was added. Unfortunately, almost all of it was destroyed by a desastrous earthquake in the 5th century. Still, some remainings are left. During the migration of the peoples in the early medieval age, Goths destroyed both towns.
Slavic tribes used the ruins to built a city called Varna during the 6th and 7th century. The town soon developed into an important trading centre. During the long Ottoman occupation, Varna's importance gradually declined. But after the liberation at the end of the 19th century, it soon became an important place for trade and industry. Nowadays, Varna is a vibrant city especially during the summer months. Therefore it is often regarded as Bulgaria's summer capital.
Getting there / transportation
There's even a direct train running from →Prague all the way to Varna. I guess this train doesn't operate in winter. The train leaves the Czech capital (Prague hl.n.) shortly after midnight and arrives at around 10 am the next day - all in all around 34 hours. There are good train connections to →Ruse, →Stara Zagora, →Plovdiv and →Sofia. However, there's no train to →Burgas in the south. Well, there's one, but the train doesn't run along the seashore, so it takes more than 5 hours to get there (it's 100 km to Burgas). Hence, the bus is much better. Busses are cheap and reliable and run virtually everywhere. All the seaside resorts such as Golden Sands, Albena, Drushba etc north of Varna and Sunny Beach in the south are easily accessible by bus and microbus; it doesn't take much longer than 30 minutes to get there. The fastest way to get to →Romania is via →Dobrich. Varna has an International Airport with many charter flights from all over Europe during the summer months.
The port and the adjacent train station are south of the city centre. From there, simply walk along ул. цар Симеон (Tsar Simeon st.) northwards and you will get to пл. Независимост (pl. Nezavisimost, Independence square) - the central square of Varna. From there, the pedestrian zone Княз Борис (Knyas Boris, Duke Boris St) leads eastwards.
When you walk along this street and turn right into ул. Пушкин (Pushkin street), you will get to a large and ugly concrete structure shortly called ФК (FK, festival and congress centre). Behind that, there's the beautiful Приморски парк (Primorski Park, Sea Park) and further to the north the Dolphinarium and Maritime Museum. Between the park and the port you can see the remainings of the Roman Baths. Next to the ruins stands the beautiful църква Анастазиос (Anastasios Church). Worth mentioning as well is the Museum of History and Art, where, among many other things, the worldwide oldest artificial objects made of copper and gold are on display.
I'm not sure why, but I haven't taken any pictures in Varna. Hence the text-only version.
In the vicinity of Varna, many very touristy beach resorts as well as historic places like →Nesebar and Поморие (Pomorye) in the south and Балчик (Balchik) in the north line up along the Black Sea coast. But there are also some less known sights such as Побити камъни (Pobiti Kamani, stone forest).
|The stone forest near Varna|
The stone forest can be found 18 km west of Varna. There are up to 5 metres high and almost 3 metres wide, trunk-shaped stones being scattered all over the place. It is not quite clear how these objects were formed and why they are there. However, similar objects can be found in Germany, Australia and South America as well.
There's definitely no lack of accommodation in Varna and along the coast. I didn't stay in Varna but moved on to a small town, and so I cannot recommend a special place to stay in Varna.
|9000 Varna · Ovcho pole str. 28|
Number of floors:
Number of rooms: 20
Rates from: US$47
|Gran Ivan Hotel is a popular choice amongst travelers in Varna, whether exploring or just passing through. The hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. All the necessary facilities, including room service, Wi-Fi in public areas, family room, laundry service/dry cleaning, pets allowed, are at hand. Guestrooms are fitted with all the amenities you need for a good night's sleep, including bathtub, seating area, shower, separate shower and tub, non smoking rooms. The hotel offers various recreational opportunities. A welcoming atmosphere and excellent service are what you can expect during your stay at Gran Ivan Hotel.|
|Varna · 33, Slivnitza street|
Number of floors: 14
Number of rooms: 200
Rates from: US$49
|Stop at Interhotel Cherno More to discover the wonders of Varna. Featuring a complete list of amenities, guests will find their stay at the property a comfortable one. All the necessary facilities, including restaurant, laundry service/dry cleaning, bar/pub, nightclub, coffee shop, are at hand. Shower, television, balcony/terrace, mini bar, non smoking rooms can be found in each guestroom. To enhance guests' stay, the hotel offers recreational facilities such as fitness center. Convenience and comfort makes Interhotel Cherno More the perfect choice for your stay in Varna.|
|Varna · 31 Primorski Blvd|
Number of floors: 5
Number of rooms: 57
Rates from: US$76
|Panorama Hotel is perfectly located for both business and leisure guests in Varna. The hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Facilities like meeting facilities, coffee shop, Wi-Fi in public areas, restaurant, laundry service/dry cleaning are readily available for you to enjoy. Relax in your comfortable guestroom, featuring ironing facilities, coffee/tea maker, bathtub, satellite/cable TV, non smoking rooms. Recuperate from a full day of sightseeing in the comfort of your room or take advantage of the hotel's recreational facilities, including fitness center, sauna, massage. No matter what your reasons are for visiting Varna, Panorama Hotel will make you feel instantly at home.|
|9007 Varna · Golden Sands|
Number of floors: 7
Number of rooms: 196
Rates from: US$54
|Set in a prime location of Varna, Doubletree by Hilton Varna Golden Sands Hotel puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. The hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Shops, salon, disabled facilities, elevator, business center are on the list of things guests can enjoy. Guestrooms are fitted with all the amenities you need for a good night's sleep, including shower, daily newspaper, television, mini bar, television LCD/plasma screen. Take a break from a long day and make use of outdoor pool, tennis courts, sauna, jacuzzi, spa. Convenience and comfort makes Doubletree by Hilton Varna Golden Sands Hotel the perfect choice for your stay in Varna.|
- www.bulgaria.com/varna English website with some images of Varna.
- www.varna.bg/eng Official website of Varna in Bulgarian and English. With plenty of information about the city.
- www.goldensands.bg Some information about the resorts lining up along Golden Sands.
Do you have or do you know a good website about Varna? Don't hesitate, let me know! After checking it, I would love to add it to the link list. You can submit a link by using the →contact form. Note that commercial websites will be treated differently.
Mr Mooney wrote:
Welcome to our Villa which has been specifically designed to cater for everyone. The villa is wheel chair friendly and all special requirements can be supplied on request. The villa welcomes families and everyone who wants a peaceful relaxing enjoyable holiday, Only 25 minutes from Varna Airport and 10 minutes from the Historical City of Varna we are ideally situated for those who like a peaceful holiday and for those who prefer the restaurants, bars and shopping. The Villa has three bedrooms on the ground floor which keep the rooms cool in the late evening and a family suite. There is an open plan living area leading on to a large balcony with a sea view. We have three bathrooms, every room has air conditioning. We have a lovely outside patio area and garden with an above ground pool, and out side shower. In the pictures you will see two secluded beaches within close proximity to the villa. For more information please go to http://www.bulgariadisabled.com
Posted by Mr Mooney on January 12, 2009 00:53