Historic sights, plenty of green spaces, beautiful beaches, plus loads of activities for the kids: Varna’s the perfect place for a family holiday
Whether you’re staying for a weekend or a couple of weeks, Varna’s a bright, bustling seaside town that’s packed with holiday charm.
Here, wide, tree-lined boulevards lead to white sand beaches while ornate cathedrals, baroque buildings and lively restaurants and cafes decorate the centre of town.
Affectionate nods to Varna’s history are sprinkled around town like confetti – the Archaeological Museum, for example, is home to the Gold of Varna, the oldest-known gold in the world. Culture fiends can check out the well-curated Art Gallery Le Papillon, which features paintings, sculptures and ceramics made by local artists.
The town’s social life happens around the pink and white Opera House on ploshtad Nezavisimost, a place that also marks the beginning of Varna’s main promenade – lined with restaurants, bars and cafes.
A 15-minute stroll leads to the Sea Garden – a sprawling green space that sits on the edge of the water. Filled with cultural sights, it’s the ideal place for a day of activities. Most people visit the crumbling ruins of Bulgaria’s largest Roman baths, but the Navy Museum is well worth a detour, as is the Museum of Natural History. Kids and adults will love the Astronomical Observatory and Planetarium, while anyone travelling with teenagers should stop by the Dolphinarium, where you can swim with dolphins.
There are plenty of good day trip destinations near Varna - Balchik is a pretty fishing village with an impressive-looking palace and manicured botanical gardens. A boat trip down the Kamchia Biosphere reserve feels more like being on the Amazon than in Europe, and the limestone rock rooms at the Aladzha monastery are beautifully preserved.
Whether you’re looking for culture, beaches or activities for the whole family, Varna has something for everyone.