12 Best Things to Do in Varna, Bulgaria: Top Attractions to Visit

by Emil Backup
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Are you thinking about visiting Varna, Bulgaria this year? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Varna. These majestic sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for a memorable vacation experience.

Varna, Bulgaria’s third-largest city, is a dazzling blend of cultures and eras, sitting gracefully on the shores of the Black Sea. It’s a city where the old and the new dance together, creating a rhythm that resonates with every type of traveler. In Varna, there is an abundance of things to do, whether you’re a lover of history, a seeker of natural beauty, or an adrenaline junkie. Varna opens its arms wide to offer experiences that are diverse, enriching, and unforgettable.

This maritime capital is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts and architectural marvels, modern amenities, and natural wonders. It’s a place where you can walk through millennia-old ruins in the morning and relax on a vibrant beach in the afternoon. The city’s lush seaside gardens and dynamic nightlife add to its allure. This makes it a must-visit destination for those looking to experience the essence of Bulgaria.

So, come and lose yourself in the myriad hues and tunes of Varna, and let every moment be a beautiful discovery. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Varna.

The top things to do in Varna Bulgaria right now.
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Best Places to Visit in Varna

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Varna? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this diverse vacation spot in Bulgaria. So keep reading to discover all these unique Varna places to visit.

Are you looking to explore lively markets filled with local crafts and fresh produce, then unwind on the beautiful beaches that stretch along the Black Sea coast? Or would you prefer to savor delicious Bulgarian cuisine at cozy restaurants and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife scene? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Varna can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Varna that you should know about.

1. Ancient Roman Thermae

The Ancient Roman Thermae are a captivating glimpse into the rich history of the region. It offers a journey back to the Roman era. This archaeological marvel is one of the must-see in Varna, revealing the sophistication of Roman bath culture.

The ruins are a testament to the intricate design and advanced engineering of Roman constructions, with remnants of hypocausts, pools, and intricate mosaics. Each stone whispers tales of a bygone era, where citizens gathered to bathe, socialize, and discuss philosophy and politics.

Prepare for a day of exploration by wearing comfortable shoes and don’t forget your camera. This extensive site is adorned with intricate mosaics that deserve to be captured and cherished.

The thermae invite visitors to wander through the echoes of the past and to imagine the lively atmosphere of ancient gatherings. It is not merely a collection of ruins but a vibrant reminder of the cultural richness and the communal spirit of the Roman period. Among the best places to go in Varna, the Ancient Roman Thermae offer an exceptional and enriching experience. 

This historical gem is also a source of inspiration, reminding us of the enduring human desire for connection, knowledge, and beauty.

Discover Varna's Ancient Roman Thermae—soak in history's embrace, then explore the city's best attractions.
Discover Varna’s Ancient Roman Thermae—soak in history’s embrace, then explore the city’s best attractions.

2. Sea Garden

The Sea Garden is a lush, vibrant oasis, a harmonious blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. These are a few reasons why exploring the Sea Garden is among the unique things to do in Varna. This enchanting park along the Black Sea coast invites visitors to explore its scenic landscapes, charming alleys, and diverse attractions.

The garden is a symphony of colors and fragrances, with blooming flowers, towering trees, and serene ponds creating a tranquil retreat from the urban hustle. It’s a place where statues and monuments adorn the paths while the open-air theaters host cultural events and performances.

Don’t forget to bring a picnic basket and a good book. The garden’s serene ambiance makes it a perfect spot for relaxation and leisurely strolls.

Visitors can delve into the myriad of recreational options available, from the bustling amusement park to the tranquil botanical garden. Each corner of the Sea Garden offers a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s a place where history, nature, and art coalesce to create a multifaceted tapestry of experiences.

Among the Varna places to visit, the Sea Garden stands out as a beacon of beauty and tranquility, a place where every step unveils a new discovery, a new perspective, and a renewed sense of wonder.

Explore the best things to do in Varna, Bulgaria, within the enchanting Sea Garden's scenic beauty.
Explore the best things to do in Varna, Bulgaria, within the enchanting Sea Garden’s scenic beauty.

3. Aladzha Monastery

For those seeking a blend of history and spiritual reflection, Aladzha Monastery is a fascinating place to visit in Varna. This medieval orthodox Christian cave monastery complex is carved into a 25-meter high limestone rock and is surrounded by the dense forest of the Golden Sands Nature Park.

The monastery’s chambers and corridors reveal tales of hermit monks who once resided here. It offers a glimpse into their ascetic life. The vivid frescoes, though partially preserved, narrate biblical scenes and invoke a sense of reverence and wonder.

A visit to the nearby museum provides insights into the monastery’s history and the lifestyle of the monks. It’s a journey back in time, where every stone and every painting has a story to tell. This makes it one of the cool destinations in Varna to gain historical and spiritual insights.

The surrounding area, with its lush greenery and tranquil ambiance, is ideal for those looking to escape the city’s hustle and find solace in nature’s lap. It’s not just a visit; it’s an experience that enriches the soul and connects one to the past.

When visiting Aladzha Monastery, wear comfortable shoes for exploring the rocky terrain and caves. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the mesmerizing frescoes and the serene beauty of the surrounding Golden Sands Nature Park. Explore and immerse yourself in this historical and natural marvel.

Step into the mystical world of Aladzha Monastery, a cliff-carved marvel blending history and tranquility in Varna, Bulgaria.
Step into the mystical world of Aladzha Monastery, a cliff-carved marvel blending history and tranquility in Varna, Bulgaria.

4. Varna Archaeological Museum

The Varna Archaeological Museum is rich in historical artifacts, and a gateway to exploring Bulgaria’s rich and diverse past. Exploring this museum is one of the best things to do in Varna. This houses a vast collection of artifacts, spanning from the Paleolithic Age to the Ottoman Period, allowing visitors to witness the evolution of civilizations.

The museum’s highlight is the Gold of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world, dating back to 4,500 BC. These ancient golden artifacts are a testament to the craftsmanship and sophistication of the prehistoric inhabitants of the region.

Allow yourself the luxury of time to delve into the vast array of exhibits at Varna Archaeological Museum. Enhance your experience by considering the services of a guide, who can offer profound insights into the rich history and significance of the displayed artifacts.

The museum’s meticulously organized exhibits and informative displays offer a comprehensive overview of the region’s historical tapestry. From ancient pottery and intricate jewelry to medieval weaponry and religious icons, each artifact tells a story of historical significance.

For those wondering where to visit in Varna, the Varna Archaeological Museum is a captivating destination that promises a journey through the annals of history, enriching the mind with knowledge and sparking the imagination with tales of bygone eras.

Dive into the rich tapestry of Varna's history at the Archaeological Museum, showcasing Bulgaria's cultural gems.
Dive into the rich tapestry of Varna’s history at the Archaeological Museum, showcasing Bulgaria’s cultural gems.

5. Euxinograd Palace

For those who appreciate architectural beauty and serene landscapes, Euxinograd Palace is a must-visit in Varna. This former royal palace, situated just north of the city, is surrounded by a lush, meticulously maintained park. This setting offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city life.

The palace itself is a marvel, a blend of French château and Bulgarian architectural elements, reflecting the region’s culture. The intricate details and the grandeur of the structure are a visual treat, narrating tales of royal elegance and sophistication.

While the interiors of the palace are not open to the public, the stunning exteriors and the surrounding gardens are worth the visit. The meticulously landscaped gardens, adorned with exotic plants and vibrant flowers, create a picturesque setting. This makes it a favorite spot for leisurely strolls and relaxation.

Visiting Euxinograd Palace is one of the coolest things to do in Varna. It offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyles of the Bulgarian royalty while allowing you to unwind in the lap of nature.

Experience regal elegance at Euxinograd Palace, where history meets refinement.
Experience regal elegance at Euxinograd Palace, where history meets refinement. | Photocredits: visit.varna.bg

6. Varna Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, commonly known as Varna Cathedral, is a majestic symbol of faith and a prominent landmark in Varna, Bulgaria. It’s a beacon of spiritual serenity and architectural brilliance. This makes it one of the best places in Varna for both the devout and the curious.

The cathedral’s exterior is a visual feast, characterized by its intricate frescoes and towering spires. The interior, meanwhile, is a realm of spiritual tranquility, adorned with stunning icons and murals depicting biblical scenes.

Embrace the serene ambiance of Varna Cathedral by dressing modestly during your visit. Adorning attire that covers shoulders and knees is not only a sign of respect but also allows you to immerse yourself fully in the sacred atmosphere of this historical treasure.

Varna Cathedral is not just a place of worship but also a repository of cultural and artistic heritage. The craftsmanship and the rich details in every corner speak volumes about the dedication and the artistic prowess of the creators.

For those compiling a list of Varna things to do, a visit to this cathedral is a must. It offers a harmonious blend of spiritual enlightenment and aesthetic pleasure. This allows visitors to experience the divine and the beautiful in one place. It’s a serene escape, providing an enriching experience to every visitor.

Graceful serenity at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin in Varna, Bulgaria's cultural gem.
Graceful serenity at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin in Varna, Bulgaria’s cultural gem.

7. Pobiti Kamani

Pobiti Kamani, also known as the Stone Forest, is a fascinating natural phenomenon located near Varna, Bulgaria. This ensemble of stone columns, rising mysteriously from the ground, creates a landscape that seems to belong to another world. This is a captivating thing to do in Varna for nature enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

This natural marvel is shrouded in legends and scientific intrigue, with theories suggesting that these stone pillars are the remnants of ancient coral reefs or the result of natural gas eruptions. Each column, with its distinct shape and size, stands as a silent guardian of ancient secrets, waiting to be unraveled.

Visitors to Pobiti Kamani are treated to a visual and intellectual feast, as they wander among the stone giants and ponder the forces of nature that sculpted them. This is a place where science and imagination converge. It offers a refreshing perspective on the natural world.

For those seeking a blend of wonder and knowledge, Pobiti Kamani is a must-visit. It’s a gateway to understanding the dynamic and creative power of nature, and a place where one can feel a profound connection to the earth and its history.

Enter the surreal realm of Pobiti Kamani, Bulgaria's Stone Forest, where ancient sandstone pillars defy time and gravity.
Enter the surreal realm of Pobiti Kamani, Bulgaria’s Stone Forest, where ancient sandstone pillars defy time and gravity.

8. Varna Necropolis

Varna Necropolis, a site of archaeological richness, is located in the western industrial zone of Varna, Bulgaria. It is renowned for being the final resting place of the ancient Thracians and is considered one of the unique things to do in Varna for history buffs and curious travelers.

The site unveils the intricate burial practices and the profound beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of the region. It is home to the world’s oldest processed gold, revealing the advanced metallurgical knowledge of the Thracians. The golden artifacts, alongside pottery and other relics, narrate tales of a civilization steeped in culture and craftsmanship.

Visiting Varna Necropolis is akin to stepping back in time, where each artifact whispers secrets of life, death, and the beyond. The intricate designs and the craftsmanship of the golden artifacts reflect the aesthetic sensibilities and the spiritual ethos of the Thracians.

For those with a penchant for history and a desire to explore the unseen, Varna Necropolis is a treasure. It’s not just a burial site; it’s a repository of ancient wisdom and artistic expression. This offers a glimpse into the lives and beliefs of those who walked the earth millennia ago.

Unlock the secrets of the past at Varna Necropolis, where ancient tombs reveal Bulgaria's archaeological wonders.
Unlock the secrets of the past at Varna Necropolis, where ancient tombs reveal Bulgaria’s archaeological wonders. | Photo credits: varnacitycard.com

9. Rakia & Co

Rakia & Co is a distinctive venue offering a taste of the country’s traditional spirit, Rakia, in a vibrant and modern setting. It stands as a beacon for those wondering where to go in Varna to experience local flavors and traditions. This is one of the unique places in the city to immerse oneself in Bulgarian culture.

Thinking about what to do in Varna if you’re a food enthusiast? In Rakia & Co, there are a plethora of activities to enjoy. This locale is a cultural experience, allowing visitors to explore the diverse and rich flavors of Rakia, accompanied by delicious local cuisine. The ambiance is warm and inviting, with decor that reflects Bulgarian traditions.

Embark on a flavorful journey with Rakia by starting with milder options for a gentle introduction. As you savor this traditional Bulgarian spirit, remember to explore responsibly, ensuring that your adventure is both enjoyable and memorable.

Rakia & Co provides a sensory journey through the tastes and aromas of Bulgaria. It offers a curated selection of Rakia that represents the best of Bulgarian distillation craftsmanship. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are eager to share the stories behind each variety, enriching the tasting experience.

For travelers seeking to explore the essence of Bulgarian culture and savor authentic local flavors, a visit to Rakia & Co is a must. It’s a place where tradition meets modernity, and where every sip is a celebration of Bulgarian spirit and hospitality.

10. Primorski Park

Primorski Park, a verdant oasis in Varna, Bulgaria, is a beacon for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. This makes it among the best things to do in Varna. This sprawling urban park, nestled along the city’s coastline, offers a refreshing escape from the urban hustle.

The park is a harmonious blend of nature and leisure, featuring vibrant flower beds, towering trees, and well-maintained trails, ideal for leisurely strolls. Visitors can explore the diverse flora, relax by the tranquil sea, or engage in the various recreational activities available, such as tennis and mini-golf.

The park’s open-air theater hosts a myriad of performances, enriching the city’s cultural tapestry. Additionally, the park’s proximity to the Sea Garden and the beach allows visitors to seamlessly combine relaxation with aquatic fun.

Prepare for an exciting adventure by donning comfy footwear, as you’ll want to explore every inch of this marvelous place. Additionally, keep an eye out for local events or captivating performances to enhance your experience while visiting.

In conclusion, Primorski Park is not merely a green space; it’s a vibrant cultural and recreational hub. This offers a diverse array of experiences for every traveler. Its distinct charm and multifaceted appeal make it a must-visit destination in Varna, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s natural and cultural richness.

Find serenity amidst the green oasis of Primorski Park, a coastal retreat blending nature's beauty.
Find serenity amidst the green oasis of Primorski Park, a coastal retreat blending nature’s beauty. | Photo credits: commons.wikimedia.org

11. Retro Museum

Step back in time at the Retro Museum, a captivating attraction that offers a glimpse into the country’s communist era. This makes it one of the coolest activities in Varna. This exceptional museum is a vibrant tableau of life in the 20th century. It showcases a collection of artifacts, memorabilia, and vintage automobiles from the 1940s to the 1980s.

The museum’s exhibits are a colorful tapestry of the past, featuring iconic brands, household items, and fashion trends. Visitors can explore the preserved vintage cars, marvel at the retro advertisements, and discover the lifestyle and culture of the people during those times.

The Retro Museum provides a fascinating journey through history, allowing visitors to experience the nostalgia and charm of the past. It’s also an educational experience, offering insights into the social and cultural landscape of Bulgaria’s communist period.

Set aside ample time to delve into the vast collection on display and let yourself be fully immersed in the captivating history and culture woven into each exhibit.

In essence, the Retro Museum is a collection of historical gems. This offers an enlightening experience. Its distinctive appeal and rich array of exhibits make it among the Varna attractions that should not be missed. Is this museum among the top things to do in Varna, Bulgaria? Absolutely!

Step back in time at the Retro Museum, a nostalgic journey through vintage treasures.
Step back in time at the Retro Museum, a nostalgic journey through vintage treasures.

12. Varna Observatory and Planetarium

Embark on a celestial journey at the Varna Observatory and Planetarium, a place where the mysteries of the universe unfold. This is one of the coolest things to do in Varna that offers an opportunity to delve into the wonders of the cosmos. If you’re a fan of exploring the stars, planets, and distant galaxies, this is your dream destination.

The planetarium provides immersive shows that transport visitors across the universe, revealing the beauty and secrets of the celestial bodies. The observatory, with its powerful telescopes, allows for breathtaking views of the night sky, unveiling the intricate tapestry of stars and celestial phenomena.

Visitors can gain insights into the complexities of our universe, learning about celestial mechanics, astronomical phenomena, and more. It’s a place where science and imagination merge, creating a captivating experience for all ages.

Be sure to check the schedule for any upcoming astronomical events and planetarium shows to maximize the wonder of your visit.

The Varna Observatory and Planetarium is a gateway to the infinite. This offers a deeper understanding of the cosmos and our place in it. Its educational and enchanting experiences make it a must-visit destination for those seeking knowledge and beauty beyond our world, illuminating the mind and sparking wonder.

Marvel at the cosmos in Varna Observatory and Planetarium, where the night sky unveils celestial wonders.
Marvel at the cosmos in Varna Observatory and Planetarium, where the night sky unveils celestial wonders. | Photo credits: visit.varna.bg

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Varna

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Varna? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Varna:

Is Varna worth visiting?

Yes, Varna, Bulgaria, is worth visiting. It’s a coastal city on the Black Sea known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich history. Varna offers a blend of relaxation and cultural exploration, with attractions like the Sea Garden, Archaeological Museum, and the nearby Aladzha Monastery making it an appealing destination.

What is the best time to visit Varna?

The best time to visit Varna is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is warm and ideal for beach activities and outdoor exploration. This is the peak tourist season, so expect more crowds. Late spring and early autumn offer milder weather and fewer tourists, making them pleasant alternatives.

Is Varna expensive to visit?

Varna can be a budget-friendly destination compared to many European cities. While some beachfront hotels and upscale restaurants can be costly, there are plenty of affordable accommodations, eateries, and local markets. Overall, Varna offers options for travelers with varying budgets. This makes it accessible to a wide range of visitors.

Exploring Varna's seaside charm: sun-kissed beaches, historic sites, and vibrant culture create unforgettable memories.
Exploring Varna’s seaside charm: sun-kissed beaches, historic sites, and vibrant culture create unforgettable memories.

How many days should I spend in Varna?

Spending 2 to 3 days in Varna is sufficient to explore its main attractions, including the beach, Sea Garden, Archaeological Museum, and Cathedral of the Assumption. This allows you to enjoy the city’s culture, history, and seaside charm. However, you can extend your stay for a more leisurely experience or day trips to nearby destinations.

What is Varna Bulgaria known for?

Varna, Bulgaria is renowned as the maritime capital of Bulgaria, known for its rich history, stunning beaches along the Black Sea, and vibrant cultural scene. It boasts significant landmarks like the Varna Archaeological Museum, home to the world’s oldest gold treasure, and the beautiful Sea Garden, a sprawling seaside park. The city’s lively festivals, diverse cuisine, and ancient ruins make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a blend of history, relaxation, and entertainment.

Why visit Varna, Bulgaria?

Visit Varna, Bulgaria to experience a unique blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and seaside relaxation. The city offers stunning Black Sea beaches, historical treasures like the Varna Archaeological Museum, and lush green spaces like the Sea Garden. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, foodie, or beach lover, Varna promises a rich, diverse experience, filled with Bulgarian charm, flavorful cuisine, and numerous entertainment options. This makes it a compelling destination for all types of travelers.

Concluding Thoughts on Visiting Varna

Varna, with its eclectic mix of ancient history, modern charm, and natural wonders, is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered. Each corner of this vibrant city tells a story, from the whispers of the ancient ruins to the laughter echoing in the lively streets. Whether you’re exploring the mysteries of the Aladzha Monastery, strolling through the picturesque Primorski Park, or savoring the local flavors at Rakia & Co, Varna promises a myriad of experiences that are as diverse as they are enchanting.

The city invites you to lose yourself in its beauty, to dance to its rhythm, and to create memories that will be cherished forever. So, pack your bags and let the allure of Varna captivate your heart and soul, leaving you with a sense of wonder and a longing to return.

Best things to do in Varna Bulgaria for all types of travelers.
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