That was my first experience to travel abroad in far 1984... But it wasn't a travel only for pleasure. We had a task to take part in the reconstruction of the Varna Puppet theatre. There were ten Russian students with me and under my direction. It was such a way of changing student groups from Socialist countries to strengthen our friendship. Just the same group from Bulgaria took part in the construction of our institute hostel in Moscow.
We worked there during July. We've managed to solve the task. I remember those unforgettable days and beaches in the evenings...
I've nothing helpful to advise anybody 28 years later. Look for other VT-pages for practical advises!
The free English-language sightseeing walking tour of the sea capital of Bulgaria - Varna. Every day at 11AM and 6PM (13th April - 14th October). No reservation required. Just show up at the starting point. Upon request during the rest of the year
The Festival and Congress Centre in Varna is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions not only in the city, but in the country and in the whole region as well. Located on the Black Sea shore just next to the Sea Garden in the very centre of the city, it is a multifunctional venue, purposebuilt for festivals, cinema and theatre performances, concerts, shows, exhibitions, congresses, conferences, symposia. Extended on an area of 4000 sq. m., its volume being 80000 m3, almost half of it situated underground, the building looks both imposing and elegant with the pure lines of its modern silhouette. Under one roof the Festival and Congress Centre offers 11 multifunctional halls with capacity from 50 to 1000 seats, 3 restaurants, 5 cafe-bars and 2 summer cafe-terraces.
All this was true years ago. Now it is still working as a Congress center but the conditions inside are far away from what a modern hall should be!
Varna zoo is not the best zoo I’ve seen, even is nothing special but still you can enjoy a walk among the animals. There are birds, rodents, grazing animals, a tiger, a lion, a bear, 2 monkeys and some others. My favorite became the kangaroo and the pelicans. The entrance fee is only one lev.
The star hall there are 80 seats, the planetarium is model ZKP-1 (atually I don't understand much of this). There is a projector showing the Solar System in different seasons from different points of the world. The projection lasts 1 hour which is pretty enough to get familiar with the main constellations.
The Foucault pendulum is situated in very special tower on highness of 14,4 m. This is the only one Foucault pendulum in the Balkanies.
In the Observatory there are binoculars and telescopes, used for teaching or just watching the Sun, the Moon, Planets, Stars, etc. There is an exposition of the Solar System made by kids.
The entrance fee is 4 leva for adults and 2 leva for kids and students. The projection starts at 5.00 pm every day and it is held in Bulgarian but I guess that groups can hire it and ask for English if needed.
Here is the website but it’s not working in English now:
This is a really excellent gallery, small but perfectly formed. The two-storey building it is housed in was formerly the Varna Men's High School, built in the Gothic Revival style in 1885. It became an art gallery in 1944 and took on its present name in 1999.
The ground floor of the building has two halls for temporary exhibitions whilst the permanent collection resides in a labyrith of rooms and hallways on the upper floor. Most of the works displayed showcase Bulgarian art from the late 19th Century onwards with a few guest appearances by Western European artists.
The permanent exhibition is thoughtfully laid out. Each room groups themes together. There's a sculpture gallery, the modern art collection, a portrait room featuring works by the Varna-born Boris Georgiev alongside the uniquely Bulgarian pieces by Vladimir Dimitrov - "The Master". The room given over to landscapes and seascapes hosts striking examples by Vasil Stoilov and the Frenchman David Peretz (a regular visitor to Bulgaria). There's also my favourite - The Salon of the Naked Ladies ;))
Although it's not a large gallery it does deserve a couple of hours to appreciate it and the building itself, with its sculpture garden in front, is interesting architecturally (although in need of repair judging by the damp patches on the inside front wall). Entry fee is 2 Leva (maybe more for foreigners) but Marina got in with a 1 Lev "student ticket" because the guy collecting the money didn't have any change and all we could scrape together in small money was 3 Leva! Also there doesn't seem to be any charge for, or restrictions on, taking photographs.
Bulgaria's largest cinema group, Arena, shows first release films from around the world at its various cinemas, where necessary with Bulgarian subtitles. The cinemas are state-of-the-art with full surround-sound etc.
Here in Varna the Arena cinema is on the third floor of Mall Varna, on Bul Vladislav Varnenchik. There's plenty of parking and the local 148 bus stops right outside.
That’s my favorite beach in Varna. While south and central are not so clean ( no reason to delude) Rappongi is great. There is a luxury area where you can rent a bed or private place under artificial palms or you can simply put your towel on the sands under the sun.
While staying in Varna or surroundings you will come across many offers of bus trips. It worth attention because most of well known attractions in Bulgaria situated fairly close to Varna and require half or full day trip.
Balchik 25 lv
Shumen and Pobiti Kamani (stone forest) 40 lv
Veliko Tarnovo 70 lv
Also offered a day (or 2 days) trip to Istanbul (120-170 lv), you spent 2 nites in the bus roundtrip, but spend whole day in the city. I took it, and I think it worth its money for a first-look-at-the-city trip. It visits most of tourists attractions, though extremely tiring.
In front of the Aquarium in the Sea Garden is a popular children's play area. As well as the usual swings and roundabouts there's also a geographically correct scale model of the Black Sea and the surrounding areas. During the summer this becomes a kid's paddling pool doubling up as an educational resource with the mountain ranges, rivers and main towns and cities all marked.
The pic is taken from Romania looking East!
Okay, I'm a sucker for these! I really enjoy teaching music and dance at school and so these are always a 'must' for me!
A group of musicians and a troupe of dancers entertained us in a restaurant near to where our coach had dropped us.
I sat next to the dance area ---of course!
The dancers were great! They were amateur enthusiasts from a local village ---but they were so entertaining. There were two youngsters too ---learning the ropes! A girl sang traditional songs beautifully and the instrumentalists supported the whole thing with tremendous skill.
At times some of us were grabbed by the dancers and we had a chance to try some of the simpler steps.
Would I go again? YES!
The aquarium was built in 1912by the idea of King Ferdinand.It is very interesting that on its facade embossments of a mussel and some Black Sea animals.In the main hall you can see living a lot of sea and river animals ,showing the flora and fauna of the Black sea.In the other two halls there are taxidermy animals of the World Ocean .Also there is a library with more that 30 000 books in that sphere
Following Bulgaria's National Liberation in 1878 Varna quickly became established as Bulgaria's most important port and the city centre was substantially rebuilt in a variety of asthetically pleasant architectural styles. Despite the post WWII socialist developments and the more modern additions many examples of this turn of the century architecture still remain and are well worth looking out for.
As soon as the first hint of a sunny day arrives the cafes and restaurants around the main square (pl Nezavisimost - Independence Square) become the place to be where you can sit with your coffee and watch the world go by - in my case sit watching the pretty women ;-)
One word of advice though is that coffee prices vary enormously between the cafes and that the best value for money is The Happy Bar and Grill.
It has much to tell about the cultural, social and political life of Bulgarians during their National Revival period. This building has been housing the school, the church, the community central library and the church-school management since 1862.
3 Musala Street, Varna, Varna, 9000, Bulgaria
Good for: Couples
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