Varna: the city of the Black Sea

The next step our the trip was Varna, the largest city on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria.

The idea was, in addition to visiting the other two main cities of the country, staying a few days on the beach (and Varna offered that plus it is the European capital of sports 2019). So we headed towards the Black Sea.

Varna: European capital of sports 2019

Varna: how to get there

Varna International Airport has quite a few direct flights. You can check here which one is closest to you.

There are flights for example from all the Nordic capitals – at least in summer -, including of course the capital of Finland, Helsinki, and many other places.

Varna International Aiport.

If you are already in Bulgaria and prefer train or bus and you’re coming from Sofia, I could not find a route without a significant layover. In this way, plane seems your only option from Sofia to Varna.

If you come from Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, there are only two trains and two buses per day, and they make quite a few stops along the way (patience will be a virtue). We took the 6:45 bus from there and arrived around 1pm. Of course, unless you prefer to avoid CO2 emissions, the best option to take is the plane to get to Varna.

Where to stay in Varna

It depends on what kind of plan you have: whether it is beach or city (we wanted both things).

If you prefer city or mixture of city and beach, the best thing is the city center, near the famous Varna Cathedral: it is a pedestrian area with lots of restaurants and cafes, and you can walk 10-15 minutes to the Beach. On the following map, within the red zone, is the recommended area to stay. We stayed in a central Airbnb (this is my link if you don’t have an account yet) to have easy access to everything.

Of course, if you want mostly beach and the city is less important, it is best to stay the closer to the Rappongi beach (map). It is the favorite beach of the locals.

How to get around and what to do in Varna?

That question is what we directed to the city, and they were very kind in answering us.

To get around the city, unless you go to the airport (line 409) or to the spectacular Aladzha monastery (bus line 29 – this and the previous one’s stops are next to the Cathedral), if you stay in the most central places and the beach , you can do everything easily by walking.

On my way to the beach.

As for what to do, the city was very kind to provide us with a couple of Varna City Card (web / Instagram), which gave us a lot of options to do in Varna, something that we thank them from here.

The card includes free admission to 14 museums, including the famous Roman baths, from the 2nd century, a spectacular place that – in addition being a place to visit as a traveler – is still used as a stage for performances and small concerts.

It also includes discounts on a lot of activities like a trip on a pirate ship, where we saw a magnificent sunset at the sea and had a great time.

If you want to get yours ahead of time on your smartphone this is the place.

In the following post we tell you what we did in Varna during the days we stayed, and what we can recommend you from what we did.

Did you know Varna? Have you visited the Black Sea? Tell us in the comments!