One thing you can’t avoid when you travel a lot, is to compare. Compare prices, accommodation and in this case the city of Varna.
A city at the Black sea with nice beaches within walking distance from the city center automatically leads us to compare it to Barcelona (Spain). A unfair comparision maybe but what Varna lacks in size it more than makes up for laid back atmosphere.
From Holland you can take a direct flight to Varna (a huge plus for us). This makes the city of Varna easily reachable. It’s slightly more expensive to fly to Varna than the capitol Sofia, but in our opinion so worth the extra money.
Varna has everything. Beach and culture in one city. Add to that cheap and good food and nice weather from May to October and this makes Varna a very good option for a city trip as well.
For 1 leva you can take bus 409 from the city center to the Grand Mall. Which hosts the greater brand shops like Zara and H & M and also the Retro museum. This museum shows a trip down memory lane from the 19th century including some memorable cars from that time.
One day we took the free walking tour starting at the tourist information center at 10.30 am. The tour lead along all the city high lights. To be honest the tour took 2,5 hours and we thought this was too long. There is not a tour is not every day so check ahead.
Time doesn’t seem to have any effect on the small industrial harbour in Varna. A stroll along the rusty old cranes and docks quickly feels like you are visiting an open air museum.
Varna also has some nice restaurants in the harbour.
There is a small vegetable and fruit market every day from 10:00 am to 18.00 pm at Bulevard Ruse nearby the tourist information center. They sell very good quality and a wide selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts.
When you arrive at the airport you can take bus 409 to the city center for only 1 leva. That takes about 20-30 minutes to our stop the Cathedral.
Where to sleep in Varna
Yo-Ho hostel (we had a 4 dorm bedroom to ourselves) A perfect low-budget hostel in the city center. Clean bed sheets, a towel and (unfortunately) horrible beds (hard but with barely a mattress). Good and clean showers and quiet after 12.00 pm. (costs 23 leva for one night for 2 persons).
Where to eat in Varna
Two of our favourite restaurants:
Alba restaurant, budget to midrange prices, good quality food and excellent atmosphere in the heart of the city center. Good service.
Morski Valki, When we arrived we were the only customers but excellent food on budget prices with a nice house wine and very nice owners who prepared the food themselves. The restaurant is outside the city center but definitely worth a visit.