The town was established on the ruins of an earlier Thracian settlement as a flourishing trading colony in 570 B.C. under the name of Odessos (town on water) by Greek sea-faring colonizers from the town of Milet in Asia Minor.

In the year 15 A.D. as part of the province of Moesia the town was annexed to the Roman Empire.

2nd and 3rd century– the town’s best years. The Romans fortified the city, built a water-supply system as well as many temples and public buildings (the Big and Small Thermal Baths).

After the disintegration of the Roman Empire in 395 A.D., the town became an important port of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) and was converted to Christianity.

The town was destroyed several times: by the Huns (in the 5th A.D.), by the Avars and Slavs (in 6th A.D).

The Slavs named the town Varna. For the first time the town was so mentioned when the proto-Bulgarian horsemen of Khan Asparuh founded the First Bulgarian Kingdom in 681.

During the 13th and 14th century Varna turned into a thriving commercial port city frequented by Genoese and later also by Venetian and Ragusan merchant ships.

In 1393 Varna was captured by the Ottoman troops. On November 10th 1444 took place the Battle of Varna, when a crusade for the liberation of the Christians on the Balkan Peninsula led by Ladislaus III Jagello and his Hungarian general Janos Hunyadi (20 000 crusaders) was overpowered by the strong army of Sultan Murad II (60 000 soldiers).

The Russians temporarily conquered the city in 1773 and again in 1828.

In 1866 the first railroad in Bulgarian lands connected Varna with the port of Rousse on the Danube, thus linking the Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman empire with Central Europe.

The town was finally liberated on July 27th 1878 after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and it grew rapidly.

In October 1972 near Varna were found a Chalcolitic (Eneolithic) Necropolis from the 5th – 4th millennium B.C. with 294 graves. The gold objects only are more than 3 000 and weigh in total well over 6 kg. Its purity is 23,5 carat and it is considered to be THE OLDEST GOLD TREASURE IN THE WORLD or hundreds of years older than anything comparable elsewhere.


Tourist attractions, venues and activities

Top 10 reasons to visit Varna:
Varna the cradle of the oldest European civilization. In the city you could see the original artifacts of the oldest gold treasure in the whole world (4600 – 4200 B.C.). And that is just for the start of your history tour – there are many other treasures from later periods and cultures, such as Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Bulgarian…
The guests of the city of Varna are deeply impressed and fascinated with the absolutely rich collections of the many museums of Varna, moreover, the fourth biggest Roman Thermal Baths of Europe are among those museums.
Varna is a cosmopolitan city, so you can constantly find artistic and cultural exhibitions throughout the city. There are many art galleries and museums. Varna boasts with countless cultural events, involving folklore, music, ballet, opera and theater, movies and animated pictures presentations, exhibitions in the open air and plenty of art galleries.
Varna is also a candidate for European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Varna has a great location and mild climate throughout the year. The coldest time during the year is usually from December to March, when the average temperature is between 5 and 10°C. The summer begins in early May and lasts till early October. Temperatures in summer usually vary between 25 C and 35 degrees C. The hottest months are usually July and August, with temperature around 30 - 35°C, so it’s the perfect climate to go to the beach and enjoy the sun. Seawater temperature during the summer months is usually around 23–27 degrees C.
Region of Varna (including Golden Sands and St. St. Constantine and Helena Resorts) is well-known for its pure and fine sands and hot mineral springs. 
Bulgarian cuisine is exceptionally diverse and delicious, consisting of various salads, breadstuffs, stews, and other local dishes. Many of the dishes are prepared according to traditional recipes handed down from generation to generation over the centuries. In Varna there are many traditional Bulgarian restaurants, wineries where you can taste the famous dishes of different type.
Bulgarians are very hospitable people. In most places you will be welcomed in the traditional way with delicious local meals and wine. The people like to celebrate and you can observe local festivals. Young Bulgarians speak English and other foreign languages.
By 1878, Varna was an Ottoman city of mostly wooden houses in a style characteristic of the Black Sea coast, densely packed along narrow, winding lanes. The town was surrounded by a stone wall restored in the 1830s with a citadel, a moat, ornamented iron gates flanked by towers, and a vaulted stone bridge across Varna River.  The place abounded in pre-Ottoman relics, ancient ruins were widely used as stone quarries. Today, very little of this legacy remains; the city centre was rebuilt by the nascent Bulgarian middle class in late 19th and early 20th centuries in Western style with local interpretations of Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Baroque, Neoclassicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco (many of those buildings, whose ownership was restored after 1989, underwent renovations).
Varna has an impressive nightlife and many say that the city never sleeps. It’s almost impossible to find closed bars or clubs during the night in the summer. Many of the bars and restaurants in the summer months are located directly on the beach, near the Seaside Garden.
Varna is popular for its creative and innovative fashion and you can find here plenty of modern shopping centers, traditional open-air markets and small shops.
Last but not least, the prices in this country are very reasonable - good value for money.
These are the top 10 reasons to visit Varna, but for sure you will find more reasons to come to Varna a city of unique charm with wide range of leisure activities to enjoy. 


Sample shore excursions

You can obtain full information at:

Tourist Information Center
Address: St. st. Cyril and Methodius Sq., Varna, Bulgaria
tel. +359 52 820690, +359 52 820689,


Tourist Info
Local Population: 350 000 in Varna
Time (GMT+/-): GMT plus 2 hours
First language:
Second language: English
Bulgarian lev
Banking hours (morning): 9-12
Banking hours (afternoon): 12-17
Credit cards: yes
Accepts Travellers Cheques: some banks
Shopping hours (morning): 8-12
Shopping hours (afternoon): 12-18
Public holidays: New Year, 3rd March, Easter, 6th May, 24th May, 6th September, 22nd September, Christmas
Shops are open on Saturdays: some
Shops are open on Sundays: some
Tourist Information Center
Contact Name: Mr. Tihomir Patarinski
Address: St. st. Cyril and Methodius Sq., Varna, Bulgaria
Tel. No.: +359 52 820690, +359 52 820689

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