Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria and a seaside resort on Bulgaria’s Black Sea. Varna is a cheap destination where you can find beaches, bars, a huge park with attractions for kids, big malls, interesting museums, and a central street with many restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
I must mention that it’s not a lively city others in Europe (Berlin, Rome, etc.) but it’s a nice place where you can spend a few days. I also recommend to do a day trip to the town of Balchik (post about Balchik) or to visit the Golden Sands area, especially if you are looking for nightlife and a promenade with many stalls and restaurants (post about things to do in Golden Sands).
We stayed at the Golden Sands area in the all-inclusive HVD Viva Club Hotel (Tips on how to find cheap hotels). We arrived in Varna with a taxi that cost 25 leva for a one-way ride, but there are also buses that ride to Varna and back to the Golden Sands area.
Attractions and things to do in Varna
One of the coolest museums we have ever visited. It’s located on the first floor in the Grand Mall and it’s nostalgic, filled with cars from the communism period (what awesome cars they had back then!), there is also music from this period and toys and daily stuff that help you see how they lived back then.
In this museum you will feel like you went back in time. There are also wax figures of famous people who drove those cars then.
We wandered around the museum for about an hour and really enjoyed to see these unique cars and reading about the figures.
An entrance ticket costs 10 leva. There’s an option to buy a combined ticket with the wax museum (which is also in the mall), but we chose to enter only the Retro Museum because we had already been in the wax museum in Berlin.
Visit Primorski Park
This is the largest, oldest, and most familiar park in Varna. We loved it. It’s a huge park and you can wander there for hours. There’s a big area with attractions for kids and a small Luna Park. There is also a dolphinarium in the park.
There are many walking trails in the park and you can go right down to the beach and the promenade from it. Along the promenade there are bars and restaurants.
We sat at the “Beach Selfie Bar”. I drank a cappuccino and Roman ordered a Bloody Mary cocktail which was good. The view to the beach was beautiful and we liked the bar’s design.
The only thing that was missing in the park was that there wasn’t any place to rent bikes from. And this park is perfect for bike-riding.
Varna is a cheap destination for shopping. We usually don’t shop during our trips (we travel a lot and we try to travel cheap), but I bought a nice coat for 40 Leva, gloves for the gym and a bag (yes, I consider it a lot of shopping :)). The Grand Mall is a big mall with many famous brand shops like Zara, Bershka, H&M, and more. There are also local brands and designer shops.
Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral
The cathedral is located at about a 15-minute walk from the main street in Varna. This is a really beautiful cathedral. It’s impressive from the outside and from the inside. I think it’s definitely worth a short visit.
We sat there for a few minutes and loved to look at the small details and the wall paintings. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that people spent months and years painting the walls. The most impressive one was in the Chapel in the Vatican, Rome.
Wander around the main street
In Varna’s center there’s a main street with many restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. If you are looking for a nice place for a drink or a meal with a lively atmosphere, this is the place to go.