Varna - A major port and the third largest city in Bulgaria
Varna is Bulgaria's Sea Capital. The gem of the Bulgarian Black Sea is situated at the end of the big Varna Bay, with a convenient and well conserved water area, a port that handles up to 18 million tons of cargo a year. The city's peculiar sea charm is sublime and moving. Ancient, medieval, renaissance and modern cultures mingle and coexist throughout the city.
Varna lies on the same latitude of the famous Atlantic resorts Bayonne and Biarritz in France, on a large, flat and high terrace on the northwestern most curve of the bay which is just some 7km inland. The city occupies some 24sq km, measuring 6km northeast-southwest and is about 4km wide. During the holiday season, July and August, the sunshine allows 10-11 hours of sunbathing. There is nothing of the cold Baltic wind or the summer Riviera heat.
The city is clean and green. Of the green miracles at least three are a must: the Marine Gardens which are the largest in the Balkans; Euxinograd park (the former Royal Palace) and the paradise of St.Constantine.
Varna is a city of old culture, living traditions and ambitious undertakings. Some 20 percent of its population are students in various educational institutions, four of which are higher.
There is hardly a city in Bulgaria apart from the capital that has so many museum opportunities. The former Girls High Scool, which used to be the biggest in the Balkans, houses the Archaeological Museum that holds one of the country's richest collections. A special treasury displays priceless gold jewels and amazing ancient toreutic works. The icon and church plate exposition is very impressive. The National Revival Museum alsohas a rich collection.
The Ethnographic Museum has exhibits showing traditional means of livelihood and costumes with varying demographic features. The Naval Museum is in the shady alleys of the Marine Gardens. The Museum of the History of Medicine is in what used to be the city's first hospital and possesses the richest paleoanthropologic collection in Bulgaria. The Museum of New History is in the oldest surviving house in Varna, that was built in 1851 and Bulgaria's only Aquarium with a unique facade covered in ivy attracts many visitors.