If you’re looking for a city with absolutely everything then Varna should be on your bucket list. It’s oozing with tradition, coastline and history, and to add to its appeal, it’s incredibly cheap, which makes it a perfect destination for a family on a budget. But what is there to see? Here’s my top 10 things to do in Varna, Bulgaria.
1. Play at the Children’s Nook
Located inside the Primorski Park, your family can enjoy different entertainment for kids of all ages. They will find an excursion train, mini golf, artificial pond with water wheels, inflate castle and so much more. There are restaurants beside the Children’s Nook, where the parents can rest, while the kids play.
2. Eat at Parmy Restaurant
Parmy is family-run restaurant in Varna, and it is absolutely unbeatable in terms of value for money, quality of food and service.
3. Lay on the beach at Sunny Day
Sunny Day is perfect for the family who loves making sand castles, get a tan and relax on the beach. It’s not as touristy as the other beaches and you still enjoy the golden sand. The water is calm from the middle of June until the beginning of September, providing perfect conditions for summer holiday.
4. Explore the Varna Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum displays fine collections from prehistory to Antiquity but, above all, it houses two treasures. The first of these, found in Varna’s necropolis, consists of weapons, objects and gold jewelry (4600-4200 BC). The second comprises chased-gold jewelry, including exceptionally fine earrings. The upper floor presents the main periods of Bulgaria’s history, from 681 to 1878: medieval treasure, religious gold work and superb icons. The works of the Triavna school should not be missed either.
5. Stroll Through in the Sea Garden
Sea Garden is located by the beach. You will not only enjoy the nice atmosphere of impressive trees and accurately arranged small gardens, but you also will be able to visit some of the best sight of Varna that are located namely in this park.
6. Grab a gelato
7. Walk to Aladža Monastery
A thirty-minute walk takes you to Aladža Monastery. Occupied during the 13th and 14th century, it was hollowed into a limestone cliff over a height of several stories. The chapel of the deceased, the refectory and the monks’ cells are on the first level. On the second level, the rock church, decorated with remarkable frescoes, offers a splendid view of the Black Sea. Not to be missed: the catacombs, a small museum devoted to monastic life and terraces reserved, in summer, to cultural events.
8. See How the Romans Bathed
The Roman Baths are one of the most valuable monuments of culture in Varna, situated in the central part of the city, on the corner of the streets San Stefano and Khan Krum. This is one of the sites of the Archaeological Museum in the city. The Public Baths of Odessos are one of the most preserved architectural monuments of the Roman Age in Bulgaria (1st – 4th century). They are of the so called “small imperial style” and their construction refers to the end of the 2nd century.
9. Visit Summer Palace of Queen Marie & Botanical Gardens in Balchik
This palace was completed in 1926 by King Ferdinand of Romania for his English wife, Queen Marie (as Balchik was a part of Romania). It was rumored that Marie entertained her much younger Turkish lover here. The architecture – a blend of Bulgarian, Gothic and Islamic styles topped with a minaret – is unique. The rooms on show contain original furnishings, including paintings by Marie, and several photographs of the queen striking dramatic poses in the grounds. Also here is a curious collection of local archaeological finds, including Roman pottery and mammoth bones. Behind the palace are the extensive botanical gardens. Around 600 species of flora are featured throughout a series of themed gardens, including an impressive collection of cacti.
10. Parasail on the Black Sea
A parasailing ride is the new trendy attraction along the beaches of the Black Sea. You enjoy a motor boat-driven, parachute flight over the sea. The flight lasts approximately 12 minutes and guarantees high adrenaline and an unforgettable view over the beach.