Where to go
Things to do in Varna
Varna is a Bulgarian sun and beach destination that ticks all the boxes. The city boasts an impressive cultural and historical heritage, is the gateway to rustic inland villages and is a great base from which to visit the beautiful beaches of the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s third-largest city is home to the largest Roman baths complex in the country. And you’ll also find a highly rated archaeological museum packed with priceless artefacts dating thousands of years. Another attraction is that it’s ideal for water sports enthusiasts, with options for windsurfing, paragliding and much more. Whether you are looking for culture, nature or sun, Varna has got it.Top 6 Things to Do in Varna1. Discover the history of VarnaVarna is Bulgaria's main port and has been an important social, economic and cultural centre for more than three millennia. And you can feel the long arm of history reach out to you as you stroll around in the old town. In the Archaeological Museum of Varna, you can find world’s oldest known gold treasure, which has been dated to more than 6,000 years ago. It was uncovered in the city’s ancient necropolis. A younger but equally impressive sight is the copper-domed Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral. A 20-minute drive from the city is the cave monastery of Aladzha, a sacred Orthodox site famed for its mosaics and frescoes.2. Explore Nesebar, the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’This historic city, just under 2 hours’ drive from Varna, is called the 'Pearl of the Black Sea' – and for good reason. Nesebar is a popular destination for excursions, and as you stroll around it, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time. The old town, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, is located on a tiny peninsula that used to be an island. There are no fewer than 40 churches in Nesebar, the oldest of which dates from the fifth century. Yet despite such a wide choice, there’s one that’s an absolute must-visit – St Stephen's Church, renowned for its rich decorations and frescoes. After all that sightseeing, drop into one of the seafront restaurants for a typical Bulgarian lunch.3. Visit Bulgaria's largest Roman bath complexIn the south of Varna, near the beach, are the excavations of a huge Roman bath complex. It dates to the first century, when the Romans inhabited what was then the city of Odessos. The baths are the fourth largest Roman thermal complex in Europe. During a visit, you can walk through the archaeological site and imagine how it was centuries ago. We recommend that you go in the evening as the lighting makes it even more dramatic and mystical.4. Have a splashing day at the waterparksReady for some thrills and spills? You’ll find several waterparks near Varna. In Aquapark Nessebar there are no fewer than 38 slides – each more exciting than the other – and plenty of attractions for all ages. After sliding down the Giant Slalom and Lightning, you can relax in one of the bars or on a sunlounger. Another popular waterpark is Action Aquapark Sunny Beach. It boasts 30 water attractions for young and old. Daredevils slide down the Free Fall and if you come with the whole family or with friends, go down the Multislide together.5. Relax on Varna’s most beautiful beachesThe Varna region has some best sandy beaches on the Black Sea. In Sunny Beach, you’ll find an 8km-long sandy beach with dunes in the background. It’s a nice for families with children, but it can be a bit noisy due to the revellers. One of the best beaches is a little further away, but well worth the effort. Golden Sands Beach is a slightly quieter beach with, as the name suggests, golden sand. What’s more, the coast also has great water sports facilities if you want a little more action and a lively nightlife in the summer.6. Admire the Black Sea coast from the waterAdmiring the coast from land is one thing, but if you really want to see the beauty of the Black Sea coastline, we recommend taking a cruise. There are several options, during the day or in the afternoon, but whichever you choose, you'll enjoy views of the rugged, mountainous coast. Chill with a drink in hand, jump into the water every now and then to cool off and enjoy a completely relaxing experience.