Discover Varna

View to Varna bay. Picture by Vicki Burton

We prepared a short list with useful tips and information about our lovely town Varna. You can download it directly by following this link 🙂

Information about Varna and Our Organisation

Varna had dragons before it was cool. 🙂 Photo by Мирослава Новикова

Quick facts about Varna

  • Varna is written Варна in Bulgarian
  • The town was established in the 6th century BC
  • The national currency is the Bulgarian Lev (abbreviated лв.-) and 1 Lev amounts roughly to half a euro
  • Varna is the third largest city of Bulgaria after the capital Sofia and Plovdiv. It is located in the North-East of Bulgaria, along the Black Sea
  • About 395.000 inhabitants in 2018
  • A lot of students: it has not less than 5 universities and more than 34.000 students in different fields. It has a rising number of international students, especially the recent last years
  • Varna has dozens of beaches which are considered to be the most beautiful of Bulgaria

Weather

Due to its great location along the sea, Varna has a mild climate throughout the year. The coldest period lasts from December to March, during which the average temperature is between 5 and 10°C. The summer period starts in early May and lasts until October. The hottest months are usually July and August.

Quick Facts About the Association FOR YOU

  • Non-profit organisation
  • Sending and receiving volunteers in the framework of the European Solidarity Corps (previously called EVS)
  • Organizing Erasmus+ traineeships
  • Writes international professional mobility projects for vocational school from Bulgaria
  • Collaborates with dozens of local organisations on diverse projects in order to develop Varna’s cultural, social and sports life
  • Improving the terms of participation in society for youngsters in a difficult life situation by involving them in projects and activities in non-formal education, entrepreneurship, creative works
  • Organizing workshops at the Place For You for young people in a disadvantaged situation
Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral, Varna. Photo: Plamen Agov • studiolemontree.com

Free-time and Visits in Varna

It is easy to move through the city centre on foot. A bus ticket costs 1 Lev. Taxis are also very cheap, count maximum of 5 Leva for a ride in the city centre.

  • Archeological Museum: You can find there the oldest gold found in the world, called “Varna Gold”
  • Roman Thermae: Constructed in the late 2nd century AC, it is the largest preserved in the Balkans
  • Contemporary Space: Founded in 2012, the centre organizes various events all over the year: exhibitions, lectures, presentations and discussions.
  • Dolphinarium: Located inside the Sea Garden, it is actually the only in Bulgaria
  • Varna Opera Theater: Hosting many events and festivals throughout the year, it is possible to get entries for a very reasonable price.
  • Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral: One of the symbols of the city, it is the second largest in Bulgaria
    (after cathedral Alexander Nevski in Sofia)
  • Euxinograd: Located 8 kilometres away from downtown Varna, this is a late 19th-century former royal summer palace and park
  • Aladzha Monastery is a medieval Orthodox cave monastery, 17 km from the centre of Varna
  • Varna has three different malls to choose from (including a cinema inside)
  • The Sea Garden: Don’t miss it. Sometimes described as the “biggest landscaped park of the Balkans”, it is a huge park along the seaside where both locals and tourists like to walk and relax. It includes some museums (the Natural Science Museum and Naval Museum), a planetarium, a zoo and an aquarium, a swimming pool, bars and clubs, among others!
  • Varna is also the host city of various festivals, especially during summer (MTV Varna Beach; Fun City Plus; Varna Summer International Jazz Festival; International Theatre Festival Varna Summer and many others)
  • Nightlife: the city offers many opportunities for entertainment with many discos, bars and live music, mostly concentrated in the Sevastopol area and on the beach
  • There are also a lot of natural sights to visit near the town, such as The Stone Forest, Nature Park Zlatni Piasaci, as well as many small beaches south from Varna.
The Stone Forest “Pobiti Kamani” Photo by Jo Re

Tips to Survive in Varna

  • These birds would stop at nothing to snatch your food. Photo by daree

    Beware of the seagulls! Especially if you are eating something delicious.

  • Before to come to Varna, it is a good idea to get some of the Bulgarian currency (Lev)
  • Learn some basic Bulgarian to understand and get understood. Even if a lot of locals speak some foreign languages such as English, German or Russian, it is always appreciated when you try to speak the local language. And you are lucky, we included a list of useful expressions at the end of this Info Pack!
  • In most western countries, moving one’s head up and down is understood as an expression of an agreement while moving it from side to side as an expression of disagreement. But forget your body language habits in here, as here the movements of the head have exactly the opposite meaning: nodding is understood as a no, and shaking the head both sides means a yes
  • Leave a tip in restaurants, as it is expected in Bulgaria, and around 10% of the bill is considered a reasonable tip
  • Take preferably taxis from “Triumf” or “Omega” companies: you will get better prices and have less chance to get scammed
  • You can go pretty everywhere using the bus in Varna, and within 30 minutes: The app Varna Traffic is very useful and available in English

Useful Contacts & Links

Folklore and Tradition in Bulgaria

  • 6th of January: Every year, Orthodox Bulgarians mark Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus, locally known as Jordan’s Day (Йордановден) by jumping into icy waters. According to the custom, a priest throws a cross into a lake or a river and all men compete for catching the cross. It is said that the one who retrieves it will be happy and healthy during the year
    In fact, name days are taken very seriously in Bulgaria! It is a celebration as important as a birthday
  • Kukeri (кукери): These are mostly men dressed in scary costumes and who perform traditional rituals intended to scare away the evil spirits. This kind of Bulgarian Carnival takes place between January and February, depending on the region, and every part of the country has its own typical costumes
  • 1st of March: Considered as the beginning of spring in Bulgarian folklore, this day is known as Baba Marta (Баба Марта). For the occasion, people are used to giving each other martenitsi (мартеници), small red and white talismans, a symbol of health and fertility
  • 14th of February: Valentine’s Day? Yes! But most importantly, this day is devoted to a more traditional, local festival, called Trifon Zarezan (Трифон Зарезан), the Wine and Vine-growers Day, that was celebrated in Bulgaria way before Valentine’s Day! Why not combine both?
  • 3rd of March is National Day in Bulgaria, the historical date for Liberation of Bulgaria from more than 500 years of Ottoman rule. It is traditionally marked with ceremonies across Bulgaria
  • In fact, name days in Bulgaria are taken very seriously! They are at least as important as birthdays.

ENGLISHBULGARIAN Dictionary 

HelloЗдравейте (zdrah-VEY-teh)

Hello (informal)Здравей (zdrah-VEY)

Hello (informal, to close friend) – Здрасти (ZDRAHS-ti)

How are you?Как сте? (KAK steh?)

How are you? (informal) – Как си? (KAK see?)

Fine, thank youДобре, благодаря (dob-REH, bla-go-da-RYAH)

What is your name?Вашето име е? (VA-she-toh e-meh e?)

How do they call you? (informal) – Как се казваш? (KAK seh KAZ-vash?)

My name is ______ – Моето име е ______  (MO-eh-toh e-meh eh _____ )

Nice to meet youПриятно ми е да се запознаем (pree-YAT-noh me eh dah seh zah-poz-NAH-em)

Please – Моля (MO-lya)

Thank youБлагодаря (bla-go-da-RYAH)

You’re welcomeМоля (MO-lya)

YesДа (dah)

NoНе (Neh)

Excuse me (getting attention) – Извинете (iz-vi-NEH-teh)

Excuse me (begging pardon or formal) – Моля да ме извините (mo-lya dah meh iz-vi-NI-teh)

I’m sorryСъжалявам (su-zhah-LYAH-vahm)

GoodbyeДовиждане (doh-VIZH-dah-neh)

Goodbye (informal) – Чао / Ciao (Italian) (CHAH-oh)

I can’t speak Bulgarian [well] – Не говоря български [добре] (neh goh-VOH-ryah BUL-gar-ski [DOB-reh])

Do you speak English? (polite) – Говорите ли английски? (goh-VOH-ri-teh le ahn-GLIY-ski?)

Do you speak English? (informal) – Говориш ли английски? (goh-VOH-rish le ahn-GLIY-ski?)

Good morningДобро утро (doh-BROH UH-troh)

Good eveningДобър вечер (doh-BUR WEH-cher)

Good night (to sleep) – Лека нощ (LEH-kah nosht)

I don’t understandНе разбирам (neh raz-BEE-ram)

Where is the toilet?Къде е тоалетната? (KU-deh eh to-ah-LET-na-ta?)