If you are staying in the city of Varna or the Golden Sands area in Varna, we recommend you to do a day trip to the town of Balchik. We stayed at the HVD Viva Club Hotel in the Golden Sands and we took a taxi to Balchik from there. The drive took around 35 minutes.
The town of Balchik is small and beautiful. You will find beautiful botanic gardens, great local restaurants, and a lovely promenade along the black sea shore.
How to get to Balchik?
- By taxi – from the Golden Sands area the taxi cost 30 leva (BGN coin)
- By bus- a bus from the Golden Sands cost 5 leva, and from Varna it costs 7 leva. The timetable for the bus from the central station in Varna is : 09:30, 13:30, 15:00, and 18:00
- Renting a car- you can rent a relatively cheap car (if it’s not the high season)
Things to do in Balchik
We started our day at a restaurant near the sea. Antik Restaurant.
We decided not to eat breakfast at our hotel and instead try it in Balchik and it was a very good decision. To sit in front of the sea in a colorful restaurant is a great way to start your morning.
We ordered 2 omelets, 2 Parlenkas (a flat, Bulgarian bread with toppings like cheese and garlic), a Greek salad, and Roman also ordered a yogurt soup. The omelet and the Parlenka were pretty big so we could have ordered only one of each of them for the both of us.
Roman ordered a beer and I ordered a cappuccino. The food was good and the atmosphere was so relaxing; we could have stayed there for hours.
We ate pretty late, so some of the people were already ordering lunch and their dishes looked really yummy, so I’m sure this restaurant would also be a great choice for lunch/dinner.
To walk along the promenade
The promenade is very beautiful with a good breeze from the sea. You can find restaurants, coffee shops, and gelatos along the way. You can also rent bikes and travel with them.
There’s a small beach strip, so if you want to also add sunbathing to your visit to Balchik, you can definitely do so (just bring a towel and a swimsuit and you are all set).
Visit the Botanic Gardens
There are two entrances to the botanic garden. The first one is the main entrance and it’s from the town center; the second one is from the promenade area. The difference between the entrances is that when you enter the gardens from the main one, you continue your visit in the gardens downwards and if you enter the gardens from the second entrance, you continue your visit in the gardens upwards.
If you have a problem with climbing stairs, you should probably go in through the main entrance (you can take a taxi from the promenade to the town center that would cost 5 leva).
The gardens are very big and well-maintained. You can spend easily 2-3 hours or more there. There is a gorgeous waterfall and really pretty areas. A good thing about the gardens is that you can visit even on a hot day because there are many shaded areas.
There is also a palace in the botanic gardens, but we must say that, compared to other palaces that we’ve seen, this was the least-impressive one. The entrance to the palace is an additional 8 leva. We don’t think it’s a must-see, but it depends on you.
Entrance to the botanic gardens costs 6 leva
Opening hours: every day 08:00-20:00
Wander around the town center
The town center is not big, but there are some nice stalls and good restaurants.
We ate lunch in a local Bulgarian restaurant (in the town center) that our taxi driver recommended. The Castle Restaurant. Honestly I was still full from breakfast so I just ordered a fresh orange juice. Roman ordered a Bulgarian soup like Chorba and he really liked the dishes.
Even though the restaurant is in a central touristy location, the prices were cheap and the dishes’ portions were big.