Eco-friendly travel guide to Varna advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Varna, Bulgaria.
- Air quality: 2 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3 / 5
- Parks: 2.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$40 - $250
- Budget per day: US$60 - $500
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Being one of the largest cities in the country, Bulgaria is well developed. It is the center of all economic, cultural, political, and financial activities in the country. While surely that does mean profitable growth and prosperity, it also brings about its own set of problems—one of the most significant environmental pollution issues and depletion of resources. Varna being the most visited tourist destination in the country, you can reduce your carbon footprint by being aware, responsible, and considerate. In just 4-5 simple steps, you can be an indeed "Responsible Tourist." In this section of the article, we list out a few of these necessary steps.
To begin with, try and use public transportation as much as possible. While there aren't too many options and the comfort of a private car or a cab is far more superior, it is recommended that you use the waterways, the trains. The buses are efficient, cost-effective, and they certainly help you reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to this, Varna is a city whose beauty is par excellence, and exploring it on foot or a bicycle shall also serve to be a phenomenal experience. A big part of responsible traveling includes living in your destination so that you utilize the local resources in the most optimal possible way. One such method for you to do as a tourist is to stay in an eco-friendly or a green hotel. This shall help you ensure that you reduce your impact on the environment. Choosing an excellent green hotel shall provide you with all the amenities and facilities in a much more sustainable manner.
The local markets are known to be a treasure trove; here, you will find everything from antiquities to locally produced goods that reflect the fine craftsmanship. Additionally, this shall help the local economy significantly as you shall put money directly into the manufacturers/creators' pockets and possibly skip out the middleman. This will further enable you to support these small industries that don't operate out of greed and carefully utilize the city's resources.
Similarly, try and explore local food at simple restaurants to enjoy the legendary local cuisine. Avoid big food chains and global brands at all costs. The smaller cafes, restaurants, and even food carts shall serve you some of the most authentic dishes; more so, if you plan to cook your local meal, make sure you get the ingredients from local food markets and not supermarkets. The freshest produce, including vegetables, seafood, and all kinds of meats, shall be found at these markets; they shall be priced appropriately and often serve to be the difference between a good home-cooked meal and a great one.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in the city is known to be relatively low. Over the years, there have been numerous complaints and protests against the same and the dire need for action. Particulate Matter 2.5 and 10 are the main reason behind air pollution here. In the recent few years, the government has taken some steps to reduce air pollution. They are mainly using assistance from advanced forms of technology.
Nonetheless, things seem to be working, but the battle is long-drawn, and the results are bound to be gradually positive. Nitrogen oxides are also a significant cause of air pollution, as the emissions from vehicles due to the burning of solid fuels leads to a host of other issues. Thus as a tourist, you can reduce your impact on the city by using sustainable means of transportation while exploring the various places of interest.
Respect the Culture
Gestures play an important role in conversations so avoid making any rude or disrespectful gesture even unknowingly, as this could displease the local people. Try and maintain a suitable distance from one another while interacting; however, if a local Bulgarian considers you to be a close friend or a loved one, they may end up not respecting your personal space and often get too touchy and clingy. On the whole, stick to the basics mentioned above, smile generously, have lively conversations, and pepper in a few pop culture references to enjoy your time with the local people and be crowned a "good tourist."
A few generations of a family may even as of yet all be found in one house. The family is commonly exceptionally close and structures huge organizations of shared help and backing. Henceforth, attempt and show love and regard to any nearby companion or love intrigue's family. By and large, dinners at home in the city will be loaded with jabber, and social graces are not unmistakably formal. Nonetheless, notwithstanding the generally easygoing nature of Bulgarian eating, you should even now ensure that your elbows don't lay on the table and that your hands are consistently on show. Likewise, the general agreement is that a little food segment is served first, so you can acknowledge a subsequent making a difference.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Aladzha Monastery: It is one of the famous monasteries in the city of Varna. It is located in Varna Center, Varna, Bulgaria. The caves of the sanctuary are 25 meters high vertically.
- Sea Garden: It is one of the famous parks in the city of Varna. It is located in Varna, Bulgaria. The garden was established in the year 1911.
- Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral: A famous place in the city of Varna. It is located in Botev, Varna, Bulgaria. It was established in the year 1886.
- Archeological Museum: It is one of the famous museums in the city of Varna. It is located in Varna Center, Varna, Bulgaria. It was established in the year 1888.
- Euxinograd Palace: A historic place in the city of Varna. The Euxinograd Palace is currently a presidential and governmental retreat hosting cabinet meetings.
- Roman Baths: It is an archeological site in the city of Varna. It is located in San Stefano, Varna, Bulgaria. It was ranked as the fourth largest preserved Roman thermae in Europe.
- Dolphinarium: It is the aquarium in the city of Varna. IT is located in Dolphinarium Varna, Varna, Bulgaria. It is famous for dolphins.
- Varna Beach: It is one of the famous beaches in the city of Varna. This is the most visited beach in the town.
- Priroden Park Zlatni Pyasatsi: It is a city park in the city of Varna. It is located in Zlatni Pyasatsi, Bulgaria. It was established in the year 1943.
- Varna Aquarium: One of the famous aquaria in the city of Varna. It is located at 9000 Primorski, Varna, Bulgaria. The aquarium is a public aquarium. It was established in the year 1932.
Varna is one of Bulgaria's biggest cities, and it is also the largest city in the country, but these are not the reasons why it is trendy among tourists. The city is renowned for its detailed and rich history, culture, and traditions. The architecture is phenomenal, and the travelers are mesmerized by it. Given that there is no shortage of attractions in the city, you must visit the city and explore as much as possible.
The city of Varna has many gorgeous parks and gardens, with some being for exercise, family time, and amusement parks, to name a few. Listed below are the most popular parks in the city.
- Varna City Park South
- Asparuhov Park
- Wake Park Varna
- Park Sveti Georgi
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a beautiful collection of national parks and a zoo. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
Some of the national parks in the city of Varna are:
- Eco Park Varna
- Priroden Park Zlatni Pyasatsi
- Varna Zoo
Many people love the idea of soaking up the sun on the beach, enjoying the peacefulness and calm the water brings, and meeting people. If you buy this idea, it means you would want to hang out at the beach if you visit the city. Thankfully, there are many excellent beaches in the town.
- Sunny Beach
- Golden Sands Central Beach
- Kabakum Beach
- Saint Constantine
- Sozopol Beach
- The Asparuhovo Beach
The city of Varna also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we mention a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Lake Varna
- Varna Necropolis
- Retro Museum
- Monument Of The Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship
Numerous museums are worth a visit to ensure that you leave the city has learned about its history, amongst other things. Below is a list of some of the most prominent museums in the city.
- Butterfly House Varna
- The Retro Museum In Varna
- Varna Archeological Museum
- National Maritime Museum
- History Of Varna Museum
- Park-Museum Of Military Friendship 1444 Vladislav Varnenchik
In Varna, there are twelve months, so twelve Balkan foods to try. Some of the local traditional, vegetarian, and vegan restaurants. The city has some of the best examples of secularism regarding eating and food items. The country's diversity can easily be identified by the kind of food that is famous in this city. One of the great things about eating in the city is that it's such an international city. You'll find gourmet restaurants serving nearly everything. There are many local restaurants and many street-side eateries also. You will find the raw cultural food in the city, from street foods to local vegan dishes. While exploring the city's foods, try the local food stalls and shops that offer some of the country's best delicacies. It will help the locals keep providing these amazing dishes to customers and save money.
Traditional Local Restaurants
If you want to try some traditional foods in Varna, you do not have to find much. Multiple restaurants offer mouth-watering conventional dishes. Some of the best ones are given below.
- Chuchura Restaurant
- The Sea Terrace
- Restaurant Chuchurite
- Di Wine Restaurant And Wine Cellar
- Villa Marciana
- The Martini Food & Cocktails
Vegetarian and Vegan
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in Varna as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Vege Joy Restaurant
- Living Food
- Bistro Angel's
- Nutrio Bar – Knyaz Boris, Varna
- So Fresh Sevastopol
- Godzilla Sevastopol
As mentioned earlier, street foods are the best things you need to get the best artistic touch. You will find street food stalls on every corner of the city. No matter which lane you visit, you will find many local street foods that you need to try once in your lifetime. You will find some of the cheapest street foods in these markets. Make sure to try the local food shops' foods to support them and earn some money. It will help you get good food at a low price and help the local shops keep providing good food to tourists.
- Nutri Bar
- So Fresh Sevastopol
- Old Buddies Burger Bar
- Uno Street Foods
- Go Grill Street Food
You will find that many decades-old bars and breweries that serve many unique and popular liquors. These places are the ideal ones to visit if you want to experience the alcoholic drinks in the city. The western drinking culture has also seeped in Varna, and you will also be able to find many pubs and bars serving cocktails and other special drinks. These non-alcoholic drinks are priced higher than the alcoholic. You will discover that local people are avid drinkers, but you will seldom find them participating in public drinking. The young men, women, girls, and the tourists are the ones that can be found indulging in the local drinking culture.
One of the most common things tourists need to know before landing in the city is water quality. Knowing the quality of tap water will help you to see if you can drink it or not. The tap water in the town is 100% safe to ingest without any harm to your health. But most of the people in the city do not drink it without boiling. No matter how clean the water is, the locals do not recommend it to drink. You can drink tap water without filtering, but the locals will give you some side-eye. Boiling or filtering is not necessary, but you can do it just like locals. In most parts of the city, you will be able to get bottled mineral water that you can buy.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides, or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. Several organic cafes attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city that cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic restaurants that one could try in the city:
- Petchkata- Bbq & View
- My Café By Ani Boland
- Sweet & Salty
- Café Rosher Lounge & Sweets
- Mapache Café & Bakery
- Sweet Things By Anna Pavlova
From alcohol to soft drinks, you will be able to find a comprehensive collection of breweries. Among all the different places, make sure to visit the nightlife of this city. There are plenty of bars, pubs, and nightclubs that you can visit to get local and traditional breweries. If you want to try international alcohol or beverage, then you will also get many options in these bars. Apart from bars, you will also get many soft drinks and specialty drinks available on the streets. As an eco-friendly traveler, make sure to visit the local stores and try out local brews. It will help the locals to earn some profit and help you to get closer to the locals.
- The Black Sheep Brewhouse
- Averi Beers – Shop For Real Beer!
- Diagonal – Craft Beer Bar
- Glarus Craft Brewing
- Teddy Beer – Craft Beer Shop
- Storage Of Monastic Beers La Trappe Trappist
You will find the city loaded with activities. First of all, make sure to visit all the famous attractions in the city. These attractions are the most popular activity among all the others for travelers. You will find these places very crowded. If you are looking for outdoor activities, then you can find many in the city. From fishing to hiking, be ready to get the best experience of outdoor activities in this city. Options are also available that will take you far from the crowd and help you to relax. Yoga and retreats are one of the best options to get back your energy and relax between exploring the city.
Yoga and Retreats
As mentioned above, yoga might be the best option in a city to calm your mind and keep far from all the crowds. It also helps a lot to get the energy back to help explore the rest of the city. Apart from travelers, local people in this city to do yoga very much. For both mental and physical stability, it helps them to stay active. So, you will get to see many yoga centers and training hubs throughout the city. You can choose any of them to get your energy back at a reasonable price. Here are some of the places that you can visit.
- Orange Fitness
- Infinity Spa
- The Best Fitness Club In Bulgaria
- Vinyasa Flow Yoga Varna
Although Varna's city is quite famous amongst the tourists, the accommodation options are not very expensive. There are many hotels, hostels, and guest houses that offer various rooms according to your budget's affordability. These places help the tourists to have a comfortable and convenient stay in the city. There are many green hotels, camping sites, and couch-surfing hosts that offer accommodation at much cheaper rates and are ideal for those with a tight budget. You can opt for booking a hotel room or set a deal with a couch-surfing host before visiting the city to make your trip even more convenient. Although couch-surfing is a recent accommodation concept, it is gaining popularity in Varna's town.
There are several eco-friendly hotels in the city. They have the same aim of sustainability of the environment. These hotels tend to offer safe, non-toxic, and energy-efficient accommodation. Other characteristics include using renewable energy, organic soaps, energy-efficient light fixtures, and recycling programs. A few of the most popular ones are:
- Paradise Green Park
- Hotel Art Green
- Hotel Casblanca Green
- Rosslyn Dimyat Hotel Varna
- Hotel Boutique Splendid
- Rosslun Dimyat Hotel Varna
- Modus Hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
As mentioned earlier, the accommodation mode depends a lot on how many days you stay in the city. If you wait for more than weeks, then hostels or guesthouses are the best options for you. You will be able to stay in the town for a long time without spending a lot of money. You might not be able to get many options and features of big hotels but are pocket friendly. Here are some of the hostels and guest houses that you can choose to stay.
- Books And Beds Hostel
- M Hostel Musala
- Nomado Hostel
- Hostel Rayska Yabalka
- Villa Climate Guest House
- Guest House Delphini
Renting apartments in Varna is a great idea, especially if you are traveling in groups or are looking for privacy without the rigidity and high costs of hotels. Leasing apartments is consistently somewhat of an errand for sightseers and travelers since some foundation is required, and one needs to explore widely for good neighborhoods, dependability, cost, and security. Regardless, it serves to be a superb alternative for most travelers. Airbnb is quite popular here, but it is recommended that you look for listing on other prominent local apps and websites.
Couchsurfing is yet to gain full acceptance in Varna. However, students in the city's numerous universities are generally more likely to allow a stranger to share residence with them if the stranger is willing to pay. There is an online community known as couchsurfing.com, and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of CouchSurfing mates and companions. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in the city.
If you a lover of nature and the outdoors, we know that you would wish to experience camping in whatever form when you are in a new city. Among the best ways to do this is camping. Varna main island and many offshore islands possess all requisite ingredients for high-quality experiences, a moderate climate, natural splendors in singular abundance, and diversity considering the city's comparatively small size, something which amazes many international visitors who get out of the towns and easy access to quality sites. The thing with camping is that there are particular areas for it; else, the whole purpose is defeated.
- Camping Laguna
- Eco Club
- Motorhome Rentals
- Camping Saint George
- Camping Shkorpilovtsi
- Camping Zora
- Escadra Varna
How to Get There
Varna has some of the best transport facilities. The transportation network of the city is considered as some of the most excellent ones in Europe. These facilities are quite diverse, and you will be able to choose one that is most affordable and suitable to your needs. If you are on a tight budget trip, then prefer using public transportations at the most as they are priced at reasonable costs and also provide the best service.
Varna Airport is around 10 km from the central city. It is connected to almost all major cities in the world. The airport is mainly used by local airlines and charters for domestic flights to different countries.
The Transports Metropolitans de Varna is the public agency that manages transportation through buses in Varna. Buses are the cheapest mode of transport, and a lot of them offer excellent tours of the city and are pocket-friendly. Many private tour buses provide a great trip to the city's best sites and offer a local, knowledgeable guide.
The greenest way to reach Varna is via railway, and the Central Railway Station is well equipped to handle all the local, national, and international trains. The list of international destinations is a long one, so try booking a seat if you travel from neighboring nations.
Hitchhiking in Varna is relatively safe, and you don't have to worry much, especially if you are traveling during the daytime. Still, the safety-related issues spring up mainly due to disorderly driving and communication barriers.
Beyond the means as mentioned above of transportation, you don't have too many options to consider.
Moving around the city is very easy and irrespective of your mode of transportation, it is convenient. Hence, given below are details about a few options that you can take into consideration.
Walking is the best way of exploring a city as it costs nothing. You will be able to access even the most remote areas of the city where vehicles cannot reach or don't have a proper road. While walking, you will be able to learn about the local culture by observing the local people. The local people are amicable and love to help out tourists. You can ask them for directions, and they will help you out without a second thought.
If you are visiting crowded markets, parks, and monuments, you have no option but to walk. Walking during the summer could be tiring. Since this group cannot afford public transport every day to and from work, many use bicycles to move around. If you cannot travel long distances by walking, you can use an electronic or mechanical bicycle to cover up distances faster. Bikes are friendly to the environment and your travel budget.
The Bulgarian government recently introduces electronic vehicles such as electric cars, motorcycles, and bicycles to lower carbon emissions. The government has also given various subsidies regarding parking fees, charging costs, and vehicle purchases to make more people use them. These vehicles are more eco-friendly, and you can even hire one for some time to maintain your budget and get the best experience while exploring the city of Varna.
Buses are very frequent in this city, and you will get one from almost all corners. Bus stations and bus terminals are scattered throughout the city. The best thing about the local bus is that the fare is meager and they are well connected with all the famous attractions. You will cover all the city's famous attractions with just one bus as they are included in the stoppage. When it comes to comfort, you will travel very comfortably throughout the town, but you have to wait for the traffic, just like cars.
Tram, Train and Subway
Tram System in the city is planning for several years. It is an excellent way of moving around the town and exploring the local culture, heritages, and landmarks. You will be able to get more than one railway station in the range of this city. Trains are quite frequent, and you do not have to wait much for one to arrive. Taking trains will help you get the best experience traveling the city very comfortably without any interruptions. There are many subways available in the town, but they are not well connected to famous points.
You'll find plenty of reasons to shop around on this trip of yours to the city of Varna. It would be best if you did not miss the opportunity to buy a few souvenirs, like t-shirts, mugs, and magnets for refrigerators, some of the beautiful handcrafted items, or you want to buy a swimsuit or sunhat. And of course, if you're in the city of Varna on one of its few rainy days throughout the year, the mall is an excellent place to spend it. There are plenty of options in and around this popular beach destination when it comes to retail therapy.
These markets serve as the primary source of fresh and quality food products in the city of Varna. You will find that these markets home local businesses and people that sell high-quality products at a reasonable rate. These markets are better options as they are relatively cheaper and better sources than the frozen and preserved food in the supermarkets and departmental stores. By buying produce from the local fishermen, farmers, and producers, you can help them grow their business.
- New Food Retail Ltd Ood
- Marchela Trading Ood
- Treydpro 17 Ood
- Trilenium Ood
- Global Retail Holding Ltd Eood
- Simona-04 Ood
Buying items from these flea stores will help the local people very much to continue their work. Many people are dependent on tourism, and you can support them. If you want to get an electrifying and dynamic experience with almost everything available, you need to visit this city's flea markets. If you are not sure which ones are the best for you, then here are some of them given below.
- Market Chataldja.
- Farmers' Market
- Grand Mall
- Cape Kaliakra
- Monastiraki Flea Market
- Sofia's Central Market Hall
Second Hand Stores
Varna's city is no different, and second-hand markets have grown very well in the last few years. The local people have started to shop for these second-hand products and the tourists, which made these markets very crowded. Although most of the shops are scattered throughout the city, you will find most of them in the night or day markets. From used clothes to antiques, everything available on resells on these markets. Collectables items are available at a low price, including vintage and old items. Here are some of the best second-hand shops to visit in the city.
- National Chain Ardes.Bg
- Second-Hand Hypermarket
- Plasico It Superstore Varna
- Shop Humana – Second-Hand Clothes
- Konstant Treyd
You will find that eco-fashion is a viral trend among these people. Many models and brands serve such clothing items, so it is gaining a lot of popularity. The country is famous for handicrafts and other homemade items that are green, organic, and eco-friendly.
The need for proper recycling and waste disposal is essential to protect and conserve the environment. You will find many recycling stores in various districts where you can take your recyclable waste and get it appropriately recycled. It is not a perfect system, but improvements and the dialogue about this mean there is hope. Changing the behavioral habits of these groups will be instrumental in the success of recycling efforts. Residents pay handsomely without really knowing where the waste will end up. While exploring and traveling, make sure to use these containers and vehicles to dispose of the trash properly, or you can get into trouble for violating the laws and environment.
The waste management and recycling management was not that good in this city in the past. However, things have changed very much since they focused on it. The town has developed different things and started many initiatives to minimize waste production. They have installed many different waste bins that people can use to dump the food wastes to recycle them. Mostly the waste is divided into other things such as landfills, composting, recycling, and incineration. The city of Varna is one of the best cities in the country that has climbed the best in waste management.
Work and Study Abroad
One should get a visa for working in the city of Varna to work here without any issues. To obtain permission to do this, you need to first receive any job offer before traveling to the country. Many famous companies have their branch in this place. Job offers for hotel management workers are more in the city of Varna. Many lowkey workers still work in Hotels and Restaurants who get paid in cash. One should be aware that working in these types of jobs is quite common, which is illegal and can put you in some severe trouble of deportation. There are very few universities to study in the city.
Varna has many multinational corporations that attract many foreigners, but it also has some of the region's best universities. Every year, these universities attract many international students from all over the world. You will live with a host family in most cases. Every year, these universities attract many international students from across the globe.
Au pairing is a relatively new concept in countries where a foreign couple helps out a family meet their responsibilities and manage a household. Maybe if you reach out to a few local people, they will help you navigate and get you in touch with people interested in the idea and stay with a host family like that. The best chance to visit with some is if they like your company as a foreigner and let you in. The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors.
Volunteering is one of the best things one can do to contribute their part to humankind. There are numerous ways in which one can volunteer. There are all types of NGOs and organizations that allow you to volunteer for them. A lot of the volunteering in the city of Varna is involved in helping out the refugees. You can participate in such volunteering activities to help the people of the city lead a better livelihood. As a foreign tourist, you need to involve yourself in activities that help Varna's environment and society.