Information & Facts
Although not known for its sightseeing, Varna offers a number of
museums and attractions to entertain visitors when they're not
enjoying the sunny weather on the beach. The Varna Archaeological
Museum has large collections of fossils and cultural artefacts, and
the Bulgar Settlement of Phanagoria ethnographical village stages
historical reenactments in its mock village. Varna also has a
number of art galleries, theatres, and other cultural institutions.
You can also make a day trip to the petrified forest a few
Bulgarian is the official language, which uses the
Cyrillic alphabet, but English, German and French is spoken in
resorts, hotels and restaurants.
The official currency is the Lev (BGN), which is divided into
100 stotinki. The Lev is tied to the Euro at a fixed rate of EUR1 =
1.955 lev. Bulgaria has strict currency regulations. If you enter
Bulgaria with cash of any currency amounting to the equivalent of
8,000 leva or more, you must declare it to customs officials.
Foreign currency may be exchanged in banks, hotels or at one of the
numerous bureaux de change, however due to a common practice of
misleading rates of exchange it is better to go to banks or hotels
to change money. A receipt called a
bordereauxis issued when exchanging currency, indicating
the amount that will be given, and it must be kept until departure.
Not all banks accept travellers cheques and those that do usually
charge a 5% commission. Major international credit cards are
increasingly becoming accepted by tourist hotels, upmarket shops
and restaurants, travel agents and car rental agents, but Bulgaria
is still largely a cash economy. There are ATMs in the main cities
and at Black Sea resorts.
Many of the buildings in Varna are uninspired Socialist-era
architecture and look slightly run-down, and the city is cut off
from the beach by a large garden.
Like most holiday beach destinations, this Bulgarian resort town
has a number of nightclubs and bars along the sand and in the city
centre, contributing to Varna's vibrant nightlife. Try the elegant
Da Capo, the bustling Bordo Cafe, or the giant Comics House and
Chill Out Night Club. For live music, go to the Joker's Club in the
Cherno More Hotel.
Eating out in Varna includes a huge selection of informal cafes
and good restaurants to choose from. You can enjoy mouth-watering
seafood at the popular BM Zaliva with your toes in the sand, sample
traditional Bulgarian food at the Mehana Koleloto, or try one of
the 500 different wines on offer at Prodadena Nevesta.
Shopping in Varna is focused on the massive Varna Shopping Mall,
which is the largest in Bulgaria. Its 150 shops offer everything
from souvenirs and beachwear to music and electronics. There are
also shopping promenades located in Bul. Slivnitsa and its
Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to
last Sunday in October).