What to see in Burgas: guide with practical tips about the city

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

City of Bulgaria with about 200.000 inhabitants, Burgas is an important industrial and tourist center overlooking the Black Sea, also surrounded by several lakes. This town full of restaurants, bars and hotels has an interesting historic center, several beaches to relax in and numerous parks and green areas. Thanks to its temperate climate and the various activities it offers, Burgas is an excellent low cost destination, where to spend a few days of vacation.

If you are planning a trip to these parts, here it is what to see in Burgas, with the best attractions and things to do!



Index

  1. Santa Anastasia Island
  2. Sea Garden
  3. Atanasovsko lake
  4. Aquae Calidae
  5. archaeological Museum
  6. Ethnographic Museum of Burgas
  7. Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius
  8. Armenian Church Saint Cross
  9. Poda Nature Reserve
  10. Molo
  11. Burgas Zoo
  12. Sunny Beach
  13. Pomorie
  14. Nessebar
  15. Other attractions to visit
  16. 5 things to do in Burgas
  17. User questions and comments

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1 - Island of Santa Anastasia

Ideal to get away, even if only for a few hours, from the chaos and noise of the city, the small island of Santa Anastasia is one of the attractions not to be missed. This place, once used as a prison for the Communists, is today a real paradise dedicated to the lonely, the thoughtful, the nature lovers, who want nothing more than to treat themselves to a rare moment of peace and silence.

To visit the monastery and the small museum to understand the past of this place, the only attractions on the island together with a lighthouse and the inevitable restaurant.



we recommend that you dedicate at least half a day to visit this attraction and enjoy the wonderful views

  • in the Gulf of Burgas, it can be reached by boat from the Burgas pier. Departures several times a day, 40 min journey - Get directions
  • always accessible / ferry from May to October 10: 30-1: 30
  • round trip ferry 12,00 BGN (€ 6,00)

2 - Sea Garden

Among the must-see attractions in Burgas, the Sea Garden is definitely worth mentioning. This gigantic public park of 800 hectares, which overlooking the city waterfront, has trees, flowers, play areas for children, an open-air theater, bike paths and places to sip a good coffee or eat a fresh ice cream, enjoying a breathtaking view of the sea.

In the northernmost part of the garden, in summer, in the months of July and August, the Sandfest is held, a festival in which huge sculptures made only with sand are built, one of the most anticipated events in the city! Inside there is also the summer theater, the Casino, the "A. Pushkin" monument and floral exhibitions and a Jazz festival are organized.

On the beach adjacent to the park, every mid-August, the Burgas Fest Spirit takes place for 3 days, where artists of ethno, rock, pop, indie, Latin and electro music perform


  • close to the promenade of Burgas, near the pier, and can be reached in 16 minutes on foot from the center. Nearby the Ethnographic Museum (900m) and Archaeological Museum (700m) - Get directions
  • always accessible / Sandfest July and August 9: 00-21: 00
  • free / Sandfest 3,50 BGN (€ 1,80)

3 - Lake Atanasovsko

North of Burgas is this salt lake, also called Atanàsovo lake. It is about 5km wide and is divided in two by a strip of sand, on which passes the road linking Burgas to Varna.

Famous for the diversity of flora and fauna and surrounded by marshes and gullies that drain the entire basin into the sea, to the north it has been a nature reserve since 1980 while the southern part, smaller and used for the extraction of salt, is a buffer zone for the reserve. There are about 230 species of tracheophytic plants in the lake, of which 7 are considered endangered in Bulgaria. It is a place where admire beautiful sunsets and relax for a few hours.

North of Burgas, it can be reached by car (20 min) following road 9 or by taxi (average cost 12,00 BGN / € 6,00) - Get directions


Given the vicinity, you could combine a visit to the lake and Burgas Zoo in the same day, which are 8 minutes away by car. One of the best times to visit the lake is at sunset, so you might want to stop on the way back from the zoo


4 - Aquae Calidae

16 km north of Burgas is this place that attracts visitors by offering various opportunities for relaxation and entertainment. Aquae Calidae has a thousand-year history. Here were found the remains of fortified walls that belonged to Thermopolis, the Roman baths of the 3st century AD with hot and cold pools. It is possible to visit the restored bathroom of Suleiman the Magnificent and follow a D film that reconstructs the history of this place.

The complex also has a building with a café, a playground, a souvenir shop and a green area where you can relax. In the future, the idea is to start a spa and wellness center, with an adjoining museum to exhibit the various artifacts found during the excavations, including gold coins, silver, ceramic jewelry and objects of worship.

  • 16 km north of Burgas, in the locality of Thermopolis. It can be reached by car (25 min) following road 6 - Get directions
  • every day 8: 30-17: 30
  • from October to May 4,00 BGN (€ 2,00), from June to September 6,00 BGN (€ 3,00)

5 - Archaeological Museum

Not just sunny beaches and kiosks, but in beautiful Burgas culture has a predominant weight. In the center it is located the oldest museum in the city, which preserves evidence of ancient cities such as Apollonia and Messambria, which once stood right in the current Bulgarian territory.

The Archaeological Museum, founded in 1912, it exhibits finds belonging to Thrace and dating back to the Bronze Age. Don't miss the coin collection and the first statue found in Bulgaria.


  • in bul. "Aleko Bogoridi" 21, in the center. It can be reached on foot from the Burgas Ethnographic Museum (300 m, 4 min) and the Sea Garden (750 m, 10 min) - Get directions
  • from June to September every day 10: 00-19: 00, from October to May Tue-Sun 10: 00-17: 00
  • full 5,00 BGN (€ 2,55), reduced 2,00 BGN (€ 1,00)

6 - Burgas Ethnographic Museum

Not far from the Archaeological Museum is the Ethnographic Museum of the city of Burgas. It is housed in an elegant nineteenth-century stately home built for Dr. Todorov Brakalov, a very important figure of Burgas.

Inside it is possible to view traditional clothes and costumes used by the Bulgarian population, as well as an extensive review of fabrics and clothes used on the occasion of religious rituals. Temporary exhibitions are sometimes set up on the local weaving and fishing industries.

  • in ul. "Slavyanska" 69, in the center. It can be reached on foot from the Burgas Archaeological Museum (300 m, 4 min) and the Sea Garden (950 m, 11 min) - Get directions
  • from June to September every day 10: 00-19: 00, from October to May Tue-Sun 10: 00-17: 00
  • full 5,00 BGN (€ 2,55), reduced 2,00 BGN (€ 1,00)

7- Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius

The imposing Cattedralet. St Kiril & Metodii is one of the oldest and largest Orthodox churches in the city, as well as a symbol of Burgas. It is located in the center of the city, in the square of the same name, and takes its name from the saints, creators of the Slavic alphabet and missionaries of Christianity among the Slavic peoples. It was built between 1897-1907 on a project by the Italian architect Riccardo Toscani.

The structure of the basilica has three naves and the interior is divided into five pairs of bearing marble columns. The main dome stands on a high tambour with twelve-walled windows. Above the main entrance is located the beautiful stained glass window portraying Cyril and Methodius.

  • in Sv. Kiril i Metodiy square, in the center. It can be reached on foot from the Archaeological Museum (350 m, 4 min), the Ethnographic Museum (70 m, 1 min) and The Sea Garden (1 km, 13 min) - Get directions
  • every day 8: 00-18: 00
  • free

8 - Armenian Church Saint Cross

Among the most important religious monuments of the city we find the Armenian Church Saint Cross, characterized by simplicity and composure. Built in 1673, it has a single nave and presents the main features of the architecture of Armenian churches.

The bell tower was added later during one of the many reconstructions. Inside, a touching tribute to the Armenian victims of the terrible genocide that took place in 1915.

In ul. "Mihail Lermontov" 20, in the center. It can be reached on foot from the Archaeological Museum (160 m, 2 min), the Ethnographic Museum (300 m, 4 min) and The Sea Garden (950 m, 10 min) - Get directions

9 - Poda Nature Reserve

South of the city, between the sea and Lake Mandrensko, is Poda, a small reserve for birdwatchers and nature lovers in general.

Although it is a small area, 265 species of birds can be spotted in Poda, 46 of which nest here, thanks to the humid and marshy environment. Among the animals to spot various types of herons and egrets, as well as shiny spoonbills and ibis. Qualified and available staff will provide you with information and "equipment" in order to observe the numerous birds.

Curiosity: sometimes thousands of storks arrive here and use the local swamps as a transit point on their way from Europe to Africa.

  • 10 km south of Burgas. It can be reached by car, taking Route 9 southbound (10 min), or by bus line 17 from the bus station (25 min) - Get directions;
  • from April to September every day 9: 00-19: 00, from October to March every day 9: 00-17: 00
  • free

10 - Pier

On the seafront, a stone's throw from the Sea Garden, is the Burgas pier, a romantic place par excellence. The attraction, recognizable thanks to its particular "T" shape, it overlooks the Black Sea, offering dreamlike views for all lovers and not only!

And also one of the "hot" tourist spots in the city, where you can watch the fishermen at work and where you can freely dive into the crystal clear Bulgarian waters. Very beautiful at sunset, when you can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.

It is located along the beach that runs alongside The Sea Garden and is 14 min walk from the center of Burgas. Nearby the Sea Garden (300m, 5 min), the Sea Casino (200m, 3 min) - Get directions

If by any chance you find yourself in Burgas in winter, visit the pier for the feast of Saint Jordan (January 6), on the occasion of which a rather curious solemn function takes place. According to tradition, the Bishop throws the Christian cross into the sea and some brave swimmers are called to dive into the cold waters to recover it. The victor, who first took the cross, enjoys health and prosperity throughout the year.

11 - Burgas Zoo

Near the Cherno More district, north of the center, is the Burgas Zoo, an ideal attraction for those traveling with children. Within an area of ​​38 acres live in conditions very similar to those of their natural habitat over 60 species of animals and a total of 650 specimens such as white polar wolves, platinum foxes, albino kangaroos and many others. One area is dedicated to the largest collection of peacocks in Europe, which has about 320 peacocks belonging to 29 different variants.

At the Zoo you can meet Paco and Molly, two very talkative parrots who entertain visitors, and a rare specimen of albino kangaroo, born right here. In the park it is not allowed to introduce food and chase animals.

  • Cherno More neighborhood, north of the center. It can be reached by bus line 6 from the center (20 min) or by car following the signs for Strada 9 (15 min). Nearby Lake Atanasovsko - Get directions
  • every day 9: 00-19: 00
  • full 5,00 BGN (€ 2,55), reduced 3,00 BGN (€ 1,50)

12 - Sunny Beach

This beach is the most famous in Burgas and represents an essential part of the tourist accommodation capacity of the Bulgarian Riviera. Here there are over 800 hotels with more than 300 beds, 130 restaurants and numerous clubs with live music, pubs and discos. Considered a bit like the Ibiza of the east, does not have many resident citizens, but in the summer thousands of tourists arrive mainly from Russia and Germany, but in recent times it is also chosen by vacationers from northern Europe for its competitive prices.

Characterized by a long beach of golden sand and from a dark sea and sometimes rich in algae, it has many bathing establishments that organize sporting and recreational attractions every day. Obviously you don't come here for the crystal clear water, but Sunny Beach is a destination mainly for young people looking for low-priced nightlife. However, if you are in Burgas and you want a bit of worldly and nightlife, you cannot miss this place.

35 km east of Burgas. It can be reached by car following road 906 (40 min) or by bus ArdaTur line from the center to the Sunny Beach stop (1 h 10 min) - Get directions

This location hosts the annual Golden Orpheus, one of the most important pop music festivals in Eastern Europe, in which several Italian singers have been called to perform several times

13 - Pomorie

This is located 20 km north of Burgas Bulgarian coastal city overlooking the Black Sea founded by the Greeks, with the name of Anchialos. Known because in summer it turns into a seaside tourist resort, it is above all famous for the presence of curative mud extracted from Pomorie lake. In fact, the town has numerous spas and wellness centers where it is possible to receive both cosmetic and health treatments.

In Pomorie then you can also see the tomb that in ancient times it served as a mausoleum for the rich families of the area, the different typical Bulgarian wooden houses in the old waterfront district and witness the monastic life that takes place at the monastery of St. George. Finally, the town hosts two interesting museums: the Salt one and the historical one.

At 20 km north-east of Burgas, towards Sunny Beach, it can be reached in 25 minutes by car from the center following road 9; by bus ArdaTur line from the center to the Pomorie stop (30 min) - Get directions

If you are traveling on a limited budget and do not want to spend excessively in wellness centers, you can go to the Saline right at the entrance to the Salt Museum. Here you can freely cover yourself in black mud from head to toe and then wash off in the lake which is just a few meters away. It is not recommended to apply the mud for more than 20 minutes a day

14 - Nessebar

Finally, we recommend that you dedicate at least half a day to Nessebar. The city is UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and is characterized by a historic center full of churches and archaeological remains. Founded more than 3.000 years ago, the city is today a perfect mix between antiquity and modernity. In addition to keeping the buildings and archaeological finds alive, it has invested heavily in tourism.

Another feature is the presence of about 40 churches throughout the territory. Some of these are now museums, others have remained in their original function. Among those that certainly deserve a visit are the Church of San Stefan, the most famous, inside it contains more than a thousand Christian representations, the Church of San Giovanni Aliturgetus and the Church of Cristo Panocratore, and finally the temple of San Spas. Finally, enjoy one walk through the characteristic streets to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the city!

35 km from Burgas, not far from Sunny Beach, it can be reached in 40 minutes by car from the center following road 9 - Get directions

Other attractions to visit

These are the main things to see, but if you have the time and desire, Burgas also offers other attractions, although of lesser importance.

Among these, in the center you will find the Gramophone Sculpture, the Roman Catholic Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Temple of Saint Ivan Rilskiy church (all with free admission). The beautiful sculpture of "Peptko Blagoev" is located near the pier.

In addition to the museums we have described above, we also mention the Aviation Museum, near the airport (4,00 BGN / € 2,00), the Natural History Museum (5,00 BGN / € 2,55) interesting to see with children, and the Burgas Writers House, a meeting place for book presentations (free).

5 things to do in Burgas

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  1. Tour to Sozopol: 35 km from Burgas, it is one of the oldest cities in the area that deserves to be visited for its historic center with medieval fortifications and wooden buildings
  2. Relax in North Beach: spend a few hours on this 1.700 meter long beach, 73 km north of Burgas, where you can swim, relax and indulge in various sports activities
  3. Take a photo at Km 0: in the city center of Burgas, on the Alexandrovskaya street, there is a circular brass structure that marks the conventional point from which distances are measured in Km
  4. Pass under the Arch of San Nicola: in the center of Burgas, between Alexandrowska street and Ul. Maragidik, there is this arch dedicated to the patron saint of the city. Don't forget to go under if you want health and prosperity
  5. Sea view dinner: one of the most beautiful and elegant places in Burgas is Neptune, near the Pier, where you can enjoy an excellent fish dinner with a sea view, very romantic

Plan your stay in Burgas: flights and hotels

Burgas is a rather cheap destination, where you can spend a weekend from May to October, when the climate is really good and you can also enjoy the sea life. It can be reached easily with flights from Italy landing at Burgas Airport (starting from € 134,00), only 10 km from the city center and connected by bus line 15.

We suggest you to look for accommodation in the center and near the Sea Garden, so you can be close to the major attractions (starting from € 30,00 per night).

Burgas can be a destination also for those traveling with the family, among the recommended attractions for children we point out The Sea Garden, the zoo, the Prikazkite amusement park, the boat trip to the island of St. Anastasia and the Marionette Theater.

If you are looking for nightlife instead, better to opt for Sunny Beach full of discos, pubs and clubs where you can dance until late at night; Burgas, on the other hand, is much quieter and in the evening the main things to do are stroll through the gardens and along the seafront or sip a cocktail in the old town or on the pier.


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