Varna is a town I think you’re going to hear more about in coming years. It’s a resort town in Bulgaria on the coast of the Black Sea, and is fairly well-known in Europe. I think it’s about to get even more well-known!
It’s the third-largest city in Bulgaria, and tends to be a summer destination due to it being on the sea. It’s absolutely beautiful, and I was surprised by the Black Sea. First, it was cold! At least to me. Even in August, it was about 70F. In my world, that’s cold! However, it was so refreshing in the heat (and in the general European aversion to air conditioning. Do not even get me started on how crazy they are about not liking AC.).
I spent a lot of time walking around Varna, mainly because there’s so much to see just walking! They have a great and big pedestrian shopping district, which is a great place to people watch, and has lots of shops that are interesting to look in. There are also fountains and statues all around.
I’ve been surprised by the number of statues in Bulgaria overall – it seems like the country has them everywhere! They’re all different and cool, so it’s been fun to see in each city.
All along the coast, Varna has what they call the “Sea Garden.” It’s a public park that stretches for multiple kilometers along the shore, and is landscaped with all sorts of gardens. It’s also where museums are, and it’s beautiful! It has a few levels; you can go walk at the water level, where you’ve got the sea but not as much landscaping, or you can walking higher where there’s less of a sea view (due to the trees!) but far more gardens. It’s an incredible public place and a great place to just hang out.
In 2017, Varna has been the “European Youth Capital” and I’m honestly not sure what that means or entails, but I do know that because of it, they have big “Varna” letters in multiple spots. So of course, you have to stop and selfie!
The other thing Varna’s well-known for is the party and club scene. I honestly cannot comment on this one, as I have finally accepted about myself that I will never like partying or clubbing. Thus I no longer even try to go. But given the other folks at my hostel, I can say that this is becoming a bigger and bigger place for European college-age people to come and party. It’s cheap, and so is the alcohol. Perfect combo for a great party scene.
I enjoyed the parks and the sea though! I spent a lot of time wandering them, and reading my book in them. It was just beautiful, and the weather is finally getting a bit cooler after the heat wave. You know, it’s down to highs of 90F rather than over 100F. So take that for what it’s worth. But with the mornings being cooler, it’s definitely a time I can tell I’ll start enjoying more and more time outside!