Tourist Scam ! Bus driver charged us 3.00 lev each for the trip and gave us no tickets. Charge is 2.50 lev each. We were unaware of this at the time. I asked him for tickets on my return journey on the bus bus from Surovovo back to Kalimantsi he only gave me 3.00 lev ticket. There were two people travelling. He also smoked on the bus too. Surovovo and Kalimantsi are very rural areas. The driver he was very rude too and very disinterested in his work. He seemed to let some passengers on for free if they were travelling short journeys.
1. Taxi drivers are required to place a sticker with their fare on the front window. Check this up before hiring a taxi. In Varna, it should say 59 st/km. Anything more is excessive.
And yes, never pick a taxi in front of a hotel. Either ask for one at the reception or stop one in the street.
2. Varna is not that big, you can get almost anywhere on foot. Alternatively, try public transportation.
I found out the hard way that Bulgarian taxis have many types of fares. And you don't negotiate in advance they WILL take advantage of you.
Especially AIRPORT taxis.
I have stayed at Golden Sands. The ride cost $60 to the hotel. The next day the ride cost $30 round trip!!!
Unique Suggestions: Ask a few people who look like locals or officials to give you an idea how much the fare should cost, and then negotiate that price.
If you are stuck at the airport then go to Varna city center, then change taxis.
Also taxis standing in front of hotels are more expensive. Typically you can find an other cab within 100 yards much much cheaper.
Fun Alternatives: Avoid Varna. It is not that interesting.
One can see the ill effects of communism everywhere.
I have seen plenty of street dealers around - so I consider it worthy to warn you. You will get ripped of in any case. So don't even think about this - there are enough banks that will exchange your money at a fair rate.
Throughout Bulgaria you will encounter different pricing for locals and foreigners.
It is hard to avoid, speaking some Bulgarian may save you money, but unless it is near fluent they may insist on you paying extra.
I have been short changed a few times and found items added to my restaurant bills, just check your change and challenge the staff if neccessary, calmly and clearly.
Fun Alternatives: Speak Bulgarian, or don't buy anything!
When using taxi always set price before the journey. You have to bargain for the price.Never agree to the first price the taxi driver set. The taxis in front of the hotels are always the most expensive. Try anywhere else in the resort.
Golden Sands is a tourist ghetto some 20 km north of Varna. There's no such thing as a center or architecture. There are only hotels and shops, restaurants and bars. The prices charged are at least twice as much as in Varna. However, the beach here is better maintained than the one in Varna, and is probably a good choice for a day of sunbathing.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you don't have to buy cigarettes in Golden Sands (if you smoke, that is). They are up to 3 times as expensive as in varna. A real ripp-off!!
As the successor of glorious traditions Bulgaria is still a center of prestigious international events:
Sofia Music Weeks ( May-June) in Sofia ;
New Year's Music Festival ( December- January) in Sofia;
March Music Days (March) in Ruse;
Varna Summer ( June-July) in Varna;
Appolonia Festival of the Arts (September) in the museum town Sozopol;
Festival of Music and Scenic Art in the Antique Theater in Plovdiv.
The Varna Museum is full of treasures from all periods of the city's history, and will interest both the informed
archaeologist and the casual visitor.
Address: Varna 9000, 8th November St.
Tel.: (359 52) 632 677
Bulgaria's only Aquarium with a unique facade covered in ivy attracts many visitors.
Varna Terrarium has one of the most diverse collections in Bulgaria - more than 40 different kinds of exotic
animals from all over the world and many interesting and rare Bulgarian species.
Address: Morska Gradina, 38 Saltanat St.
WHEN YOU GO TO DANUBE RIVER FROM VARNA,YOU WILL PASS IN MANY HISTORICAL PLACES & VILLAGES.IN ALFATAR YOU CAN HAVE A SMALL TRIP IN OLD HISTORICAL "CAR"....
Unique Suggestions: YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE IN OLD & PASS TIME.