Varna is the largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and one of the main seaside resorts on that sea. It's also called the summer capital of Bulgaria.
The city has approximately 335,000 inhabitants.
Varna is located in the east of Bulgaria on a horse-shoe shaped bay of the Black Sea. The city lies in between two plateaus: the Franga Plateau and the Avren Plateau. Lake Varna south of the city has been extended and connected with the Black Sea by two canals. The city's port lies at the end of that extended lake, just like the port industries, ensuring the view of the beaches isn't 'polluted'.
The city's economy is diverse. The port is important, not only as commercial port, but it's also a Bulgarian Navy base. Varna is also the capital of the province of the same name and an educational center with a university and several colleges. And there's of course tourism: annually, millions of people visit the beautiful beaches on the Black Sea and the port is called at by many cruise ships. Business tourism also plays a role: many meetings and conferences are held in Varna.
Varna Airport is situated 8 kilometers west of the center. It's easily reachable by rental car. From Varna's center you first take the Vladislav Vamenchik Boulevard, which turns into the E70/A2. The road runs along the airport. The exit to the airport is clearly signposted.
Varna has excellent public bus transport. A few years ago, double-decker buses were purchased to accommodate the increasing number of passengers. All buses are air-conditioned and run on methanol. There are also minibuses running a set route, but you can get on or off anywhere along the route. There are good bus and train connections with other Bulgarian cities, like the other large seaside resort on the Black Sea, Burgas, and the capital Sofia.
Varna is busy all year round, especially during the summer. It's therefore not easy to find a free parking place for your rental car in the street. Fortunately there are some parking lots and garages to park your car, but they aren't all signposted. The beach is separated from the city by an elongated park. On the verge of the park there are some parking lots.
Varna has an enormous choice of accommodations. Obviously, most hotels and resorts are situated along the beach, but there are also hotels and basic guesthouses in the city center. Tourist hotels can also be found on the long coastal area north of Varna, in the tourist resorts Euxinograd, Constatine, Sunny Day, Chaika, Riviera and Golden Sands. After the fall of communism, international hotel chains have heavily invested in their branches in Varna. In general, the quality of the hotels is excellent and prices aren't that bad (yet). If you want to visit the city in the summer, we advise booking your hotel room well in advance.
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