Varna – the winner of the competition for European Youth Capital of 2017
Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. It is the third-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv. Varna has a population of 334,870 people. The town was established in the 6th century BC. Nowadays, because of its history and vibrant atmosphere, the city is often referred to as “The Sea Capital” of Bulgaria.
Varna is the center of one of the oldest music festivals for classical music in Bulgaria is organized. It is a city with famous drama and puppet theatres, opera and philharmonic orchestra. Besides, two of the most modern multi-functional halls in the country are located there – The Palace of Culture and Sport and the Festival Congress Center, where a lot of international cinema festivals, scientific forums and sport events are held.
Due to its strategic position on the map of Southeastern Europe, Varna has grown into one of the largest settlements on the Black Sea shore since antiquity. A number of monuments that can be seen in Varna Archaeological Museum today date back to this period. The impressive collection of the Museum includes the finds from Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis -the oldest golden treasure in the world found by now, dating back to 6000 years ago.
One of the symbols of Varna is the Sea Garden which is a great place to go for a walk and relax. The Garden is a national monument of garden and park art.
Another tourist site which deserves attention is the Aquarium. It is a center for popularizing the Black Sea flora and fauna. It presents the first and only biological exposition in the country. In the Dolphinarium, the tourists can enjoy a unique dolphin show, presented in an interesting way by the dolphins and their trainers.
The Ecological Park of the University Botanical Garden is situated close to Varna, in the holiday resort of St. Konstantin and Elena. The plant collections include more than 300 species of exotic trees and bushes, and the herbaceous plants number more than 100 species. More than 30 rose species are cultivated in the Rosery.
Aladzha Monastery – one of the few rock monasteries in Bulgaria – should not be missed either. –. The Rock Monastery is situated in the central part of the Zlatni Pyasatsi /Golden Sands/ Nature Park – a protected territory with rare tree species.
Varna offers endless opportunities for leisure activities and indoor and outdoor sports. It has three large shopping centres with cinemas, and all types of wellness salons and the like.