Historical Park, Tips and Tricks

The Top 15 Things To See And Do Around Historical Park Varna, Bulgaria

Varna golden treausre
There is a reason for everything that happens on our earth. Whether we realize it or not, our lives are a series of actions (causes) and their results (consequences). History, archeology, and culture are no exception. Bulgaria ranks third in Europe’s cultural and historical heritage.

The reason that over 40,000 historical and cultural monuments (7 of which are on the UNESCO List) are registered on Bulgarian lands is that the territory of present-day Bulgaria is inhabited more than 10,000 years ago. During this period, Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman cultures and civilizations left their legacy. Ancient cities, palaces, buildings, fortresses, golden treasures, megalithic shrines, monasteries, churches, weapons, household items and much more. Even today, archaeologists do not stop to discover new and new finds, which set the historical puzzle of antiquity.

The Historic Park opened the door for all of us to touch these ancient civilizations. Let’s see their homes and palaces in all their splendor. Let us touch upon the greatness of the Thracian kings and their ancient knowledge, power and spirit that led them to eternity, helping them to pass through the vicissitudes of life. The historical park will offer you all this and much more because it is the place where the rich Bulgarian history, culture, and traditions come to life.

Besides its excellent location and proximity to Varna Airport – 33 km and Bourgas Airport 126,

The historical park is also surrounded by many cultural-historical, archeological and natural sites.

If you’re planning a visit to Historical Park, then perhaps our list of top 15 places and landmarks around it is right for you.

For your convenience, we have listed the objects on the list near Historical Park. Your curiosity and interests will determine which one to visit.

1. “Devnya Mosaic Museum

Devnya mosaic museum
In the town of Devnya there is an antique building dating from the time of Emperor Constantine I the Great – end of III – the beginning of the IV century. The building was a townhouse and occupied the area of ​​the entire Roman city of Marcianopolis, which was one of the largest Roman cities in this part of the empire. Today it is turned into a museum that you can visit and see the preserved multicolored mosaic floors. Here are some of the finest examples of Roman mosaic art found in Bulgaria.

Not only will you see the typical architecture and lifestyle of the people inhabiting this amazing building.

Distance from Historical Park: 7 km. and 7 minutes of driving time

Recommended time to visit: All year round

Holiday days – NA

Working hours: May – September: 10 am – 4 pm – no days off

October – April – 10 -16 hours – Off days – Saturday and Sunday

Time to explore: between 1 and 2 hours

Website: NA

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 4 leva

Children – 2 leva

2. “Ovech Fortress – Provadia”

Ovech fortress
Provadia is a small town only 14 km away from Historical Park. The first evidence of human activity in the area is dated around the 5th century BC, which ranks the city one of the leading places among the oldest settlements in Bulgaria. The view of the city below and the surrounding area is really stunning!

The place has a rich history, as in the III-IV centuries the Romans built there the Provaton fortress, and later the Slavs named it Sheep. The fortress preserves the foundations of three medieval churches, one of which is metropolitan. Defense towers were rebuilt at two of the entrances to the fort.

For safety reasons, it is better to avoid visiting the site on days when the surfaces may be slippery due to rain, ice or snow.

Distance from Historical Park: 15 km. and 20 minutes driving time

Recommended time to visit: all year round

Holiday days – NA

Time to explore: between 1 and 3 hours

Website: https://muzei-provadia.com/

Work time:

all year round from 9:00 to 18:00

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 3 leva

Children – 1 leva

3. “Stone forest”

The phenomenon “Stone forest” – a mystery of 50 million years. The Bulgarian Stone Desert is located about 15-20 miles outside the city of Varna. This is one of the most beautiful and mysterious locations in Bulgaria. A stone forest or an experimental field of time? There are many theories about them.

They are one of the emblematic geological phenomena of Bulgaria of recognized global importance. They are natural stone columns, reaching up to 6 m in height and 2.5 m in diameter.

Distance from Historical Park: 18 km. and 17 minutes of driving time

Recommended time to visit: all year round

Holiday days – NA

Time to explore: between 0.5 and 1 hours

Website: NA

Work time:

May 15 – September 30:

9 am to 7 pm without a day off.

October 1 – May 14:

10am – 4pm, Monday – Monday.

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 3 leva

Children – 2 leva

4. “Prehistoric salt extraction and Provadiya-Soltnitsa city center”

We are again in Provadia, where 2000 years before the construction of the first pyramid in Egypt, an imposing stone fortress was erected.

This fortress guarded the people who lived behind it and something very valuable to them at that time – the salt they mined.

Here you will see the remains of the oldest salt extraction center in Europe (5500 – 4250 BC), which became the first prehistoric city center on our continent (4700 – 4250 BC). Its total area is about 300 acres.

It consists of a production salt production center with ceremonial pits, an unpaved and subsequently fortified stone-walled settlement (citadel), a ritual field (pit sanctuary), necropolises and a previously unexplored production ceramic center.

The last 13 years have been the subject of ongoing research, and archaeologists have been actively working to discover more of the salt-producing center. Undoubtedly it is one of the most significant prehistoric sites in Southeastern Europe.

Distance from Historical Park: 30 km. and 30 minutes of driving time

Recommended time to visit: Spring-Autumn

Holiday days – NA

Time to explore: between 0.5 and 1 hour

Website: https://provadia-solnitsata.com/en/

We expect the site to be open after 01.05.2020

5. “The Madara Rider – UNESCO World Heritage site”

Madara rider
It is considered the oldest rock bas-relief in Europe and is representing the triumphing ruler – a symbol of the power and might of the First Bulgarian state.

Carved on a rock 23 meters from its base, this bas relief measures 3.1 meters wide and 2.6 meters high. It consists of three figures – a horseman, a dog, and a lion. The central figure – the rider is the highest. Beneath the horse’s front legs is a lion, and behind the horse is a dog running toward the lion.

This area has been inhabited since ancient times, and today dozens of sites from different eras can be seen in the area. Over the centuries, many cultures and civilizations have left their heritage – primitive people, Thracians, Romans, Byzantines, Slavs, Bulgarians, and Turks. The presence of fortresses, mansions, caves, and temples testify to their presence in these lands.

Visiting the Madara Archeological Museum, you will have the opportunity to see the history of the settlement during all eras of human development.

Distance from Historical Park: 40 km. and 30 min. driving time

The reserve is difficult to access during the winter season.

Time to explore: between 0.5 and 3 hours

Website: https://museum-shumen.eu/

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 4 lеvа

Children / age – 7 to 18 / – 2 lеvа

Children under the age of 7 – free of charge

6. “The Black Sea capital of Bulgaria”

Varna golden treasure
There is no way to visit Historical Park and miss Varna! This is the most interesting and cosmopolitan town on the Black Sea coast and is known as Bulgaria’s third city and maritime capital.

The area of ​​present-day Varna is the cradle of the most ancient European civilization. It is here that the oldest gold treasure was discovered, whose discovery became an archeological sensation of the last century. It is also the largest group of gold objects discovered so far in the world – more than 3000 gold objects weighing more than 6 kilograms have been excavated from 297 graves, covering an area of ​​about 7500 square meters.

Below the streets and buildings of modern Varna is one of the most ancient settlements in Bulgaria – Odessos (Οδησσος, Odessos, Odessus). Today’s part of this ancient city is an architectural reserve. Here you can walk around one of the best-preserved architectural remains of antiquity and at the same time are the largest Roman baths on the Balkan Peninsula – about 7000 sq.m. You will see also the fortress walls, the oldest building in the city – the temple of Apollo.

Roman thermae Varna
It is no coincidence that Varna is the location of the best archaeological museums in Bulgaria. It is housed in 32 halls covering an area of 2000 square meters. During your visit there you will see some of the most important graves found in the Chalcolithic necropolis, together with all the gold values found in them. You will have the opportunity to see unique finds from different historical eras that trace the development of human society for millennia in the region of Varna – prehistory, Thracians, antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Ottoman period.
Varna cathedral
Once you find yourself in Varna, you can not miss its symbol of the Cathedral of the Assumption. With its 38 meters and central location, it is the second tallest Bulgarian church in the country.

Other interesting places in Varna are The Sea Garden – a work of park art, as well as the only dolphinarium on the Balkan Peninsula- it is one of the most entertaining attractions that Varna has to offer.

Near the sea garden of Varna, there is another interesting and unique place. This is the only Museum of Medical History in the Balkans where you can see how this profession has evolved over the centuries. The building that houses the museum today has an interesting history. In the past, it has served as a cholera isolator, military infirmary, city maternity hospital, anti-rabies and bacteriological station.

Distance from Historical Park: 40 km. and 40 minutes of driving time

Recommended time to visit: All year round

Time to explore: between 3 and 8 hours

Holidays – NA

Opening hours History Museum: May – September: 10 am – 5 pm – no days off

October – April – 10 -16 hours Holiday days – Saturday and Sunday

Time to explore: between 1 and 2 hours

Website: http://www.museumvarna.com/en/

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 10 leva + 5 leva Roman baths

Children – 2 leva + 2 leva Roman baths

7. “Aladzha monastery”

Aladzha monastery
It is the most famous medieval rock monastery on the Bulgarian Black Sea, inhabited by hermit monks in the 13th – 14th centuries.

It is located about 17 kilometers north of Varna and about 2 kilometers from the Golden Sands resort.

The name of the monastery – Aladzha comes from Turkish and means “colorful”, probably because of the colorful murals that were painted in the Early Middle Ages. The monastery is located on two “floors” in a natural rock with a height of about 40 m. To reach the monastery in the rock, you will climb through specially designed metal staircases. The monastery is unique in that it is possible to distinguish between separate premises – a monastery temple, a chapel, a church, a crypt (tomb), a kitchen, a dining room, monastic cells, and farm premises.

The place features legends of hidden treasures and the mythical lone monk known as the Pope of Rome, who to this day wanders among the rubble, keeping the secret of the place. Myth or reality, you will be able to find out for yourself.

Distance from Historical Park: 55 km. and 55 min driving time

Recommended time to visit: All year round (The best time to visit is May-October)

Website: NA

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 5 leva

Children / age – 7 to 16 / – 2 leva

Children under the age of 7 – free of charge

Working hours:

May – October: 9am – 9pm

No day off

November – April: 9am – 4pm

Holiday days: Sunday and Monday

8. “Palace and Botanical Garden of Balchik”

Balchik Garden
The Palace in Balchik is the only such place in the world where the sacred buildings of Muslim and Christianity coexist peacefully. The Romanian queen, who professed the exotic Baha’i religion, is credited with this. In 1924 Southern Dobrudja was still under Romanian rule. At that time, the 47-year-old Maria decided to build her summer residence on the beach near Balchik. The constructions lasted 11 years, but in 1937 the “Quiet Nest” palace was already rising ashore.

Old Bulgarian, Gothic, Oriental and Moorish elements intertwine in the architecture. Many gardens are also being formed, in which the influence of different cultures, styles and beliefs is also felt.

Of particular interest to visitors to the Palace and the Botanical Gardens are the chapel the Wine Walk, Stella Maris, the Walk of the Ages, the Hanging Terraces, the tomb of Queen Mary, the Garden of Allah, the Garden of the English Courtyard “,” The Garden with the Cross Water Mirror “,” The Bridge of the Palace and Yacht Garages “,” The Bridge of Sighs “, the old mill, the” Silver Well “, as well as the many archeological artifacts from Antiquity and the Middle Ages. There is an exhibition which features a collection of original paintings and icons; antique vessels found during archaeological excavations of Thracian mounds in the vicinity of the town of Balchik.

Distance from Historical Park: 78 km. and 1.5h driving time

Working hours: Winter hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Summer hours: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Admission fee: Adults – 6 leva

Children / from 7 to 18 years / – 2 leva

Children under 7 years – free admission

Package price for family visit (parents with children) – 12 leva

People with disabilities – free entry and mobile facilities

Photo with Queen – 2 leva

Group visits / when presenting a list /:

For a group of adults – the guide / guide / enters for free;

For a group of children / students – one teacher per 10 children enters for free.

9. “The Old Bulgarian Capitals Pliska and Veliki Preslav”

Veliki Preslav
In its more than a thousand years of existence, Bulgaria has had few different capitals which were important spiritual, cultural and economic centers during the centuries. The Old Bulgarian capitals are a part of our national pride and heritage. You can embark on an exploration journey of the first two of them! Pliska – the first Bulgarian capital and Preslav – the second are the face of the Bulgarian nation since its establishment until nowadays. Those cities have witnessed rise and fall during the different ages.  

Pliska is Bulgaria’s first capital city established in the year 681 from Khan Asparuh. It was one of the biggest and richest European cities – famous for its architecture. Nowadays we can visit the Eastern Gate which was the city’s main entrance. 1.5km away is the big Basilica. There are trails of big cut stones everywhere – signs of baths, water channels and water repositories which were existing in the city so many years ago!

Veliki Preslav is famous with its  historical and architectural reserve which preserves parts of the medieval Bulgarian city – the Tzar’s residency, Golden Basilica, Southern Gate, Patriarchy and others. 

Once you are in this area you can also explore Shumen city where you can see the biggest monument on the Balkan peninsula – “Founders of the Bulgarian nation”.This place offers some great panoramic views and therefore taking some pics is a must! In Shumen there are also 3000-year-old Shumen Fortress and the largest mosque on the territory of Bulgaria Tombul Mosque “Sheriff Halil Pasha” for the construction of which was used the columns of the palace of the first Bulgarian khans in Pliska.

Distance from Historical Park: 82 km. and 1 hour driving time

Recommended time to visit: All year round

Website: http://museum-velikipreslav.com/ and http://xn—-7sbb3acmfmvip.bg/

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 6 leva Veliki Preslav + 5 leva for Pliska

Children / age – 7 to 16 / – 2 leva

Children under the age of 7 – free of charge

Working hours:

April – October: 08.30 – 19.00

No day off

November – April: 08.30 – 17.00

Holiday days: NA

10. “Cape Kaliakra and the national archaeological reserve – Yailata”

Prepare yourself for one of the most impressive places with breathtaking views of the Black Sea coast. Cape Kaliakra is nature and archaeological reserve and one of the most beautiful historic Capes in Europe. The seventy-meter high coastline preserves the history of Greek and Thracian civilization. According to ancient Greek notes here, Alexander the Great’s deputy, Lysimachus, deployed his army in the war with the Black Sea cities and hid a huge gold treasure. During the Roman era, the fortress grew under the name Acros Castellum, which translates as a “fortified nose”.

Later here in 1444, the knightly troops of Vladislav Varnenchik stopped in their march against the Ottoman Empire. The area is also known for its dolphins and the great variety of seabirds that nestle on the rocks. The silence here is astonishing and so relaxing. Must see sunsets! Once you are there, you will have the opportunity to dine at a restaurant on the cliffs or in a mussel farm that breeds eco-friendly Black Sea mussels.

It takes between 1 and 2 hours to walk around the fortress and cliffs

Just one kilometer north of Kaliakra is another spectacular place – the national archaeological reserve “Yailata”. This 300-acre seaside terrace separated from the sea by 50-60 meters of rock will offer you numerous monuments from different historical epochs on the territory of the reserve – from the 6th millennium BC. to the middle of the XI century. Three necropolises carved into the rocks with over 120 graves. Early Byzantine fortress from the 5th century and cave ‘city’ of 101 ‘dwellings’, inhabited as early as the 5th millennium BC. In addition to its rich history, this place is also known for its beautiful nature. Here is one of the few natural habitats of the deciduous peony!

Distance from Historical Park: 115 km. and 1.45 hours driving time

Recommended time to visit: April 1 – October 31:

Website: http://imkavarna.com/

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 4 leva

Children / age – 7 to 16 / – 2 leva

Children under the age of 7 – free of charge

Working hours:

9 am – 7 pm without a day off.

11. “The Ancient City of Nessebar – UNESCO World Heritage site”

Narrow streets, stone houses with thick walls, wooden verandas, courtyards full of flowers and fig trees. Welcome to the ancient fishing town of Nessebar, situated on a small peninsula connected to a narrow sandy beach!

The town is called “Encyclopedia” of the Christian church construction because 44 churches from the 5th to the nineteenth centuries were found on its territory. Over the past millennium, the construction of churches hasn’t been interrupted. It is no accident that the city was declared an architectural and archaeological reserve – it’s the only Bulgarian city included in the UNESCO list. Valuable monuments from all stages of its long existence are preserved here: remnants of fortress walls from Roman times and the Middle Ages, old Byzantine and Bulgarian churches, antique XVIII and XIX century houses. 

A great addition to your walk in Nessebar can be a boat trip or a yacht. Depending on the time you have, you can choose between different offers and the length of the walks in the Bay of Nessebar and Sunny Beach.

Distance from Historical Park: 117 km. and 2 hours driving time

Recommended time to visit: all year round

Time to explore: between 2 and 6 hours

Website: http://www.visitnessebar.org/en/

Museums: https://www.ancient-nessebar.com/

12. “Srebarna Nature Reserve – UNESCO World Heritage Site”

An important national symbol of the Bulgarian nature conservation, the reserve includes Lake Srebarna and its surroundings. It is located near the village of Srebarna, 16 km from Silistra and 2 km south of the Danube. The reserve is on the route of migratory birds from Europe to Africa – Via Pontica. Known for its unique and diverse waterfowl species – 221 bird species nest in the Srebarna Reserve. Visiting it will give you the opportunity to observe the birds through a video camera placed in the lake. Walking along the eco-trail around the reserve you will enjoy the pleasant view from the specially built observation platforms.

Only 22 kilometers from Srebarna is the oldest Bulgarian town on the Danube – the town of Silistra. Its first known name is Durostorum. As part of the Roman Empire, it was also the capital of the great Roman province of Moesia. According to historians, this is where the famous commander Flavius ​​Aetius was born, who defeated the great Hunan leader Attila. Today, Silistra will welcome you to the architectural and archeological reserve, which occupies a large part of the city and will offer you unique restored monuments from the Roman Empire as well as from the medieval Bulgarian state. Here is also the most representative and fully preserved late Roman monument of Durostorum with unique murals – the Roman Tomb .. On a high hill above the city is one of the most preserved fortresses used in the Crimean and Russo-Turkish wars. Her name is Mediji Tabia.

Distance from Historical Park: 127 km. and 2 hours driving time

Recommended time to visit: all year round

Holiday days – NA

Time to explore: between 1 and 6 hours

Website: https://srebarnalake.com/

Work time:

From 01.04 to 30.09 from 8: 00h. to 6:00 pm, excluding weekends

From 01.10 to 31.03 from 8: 00h. to 4:00 pm, with weekends Saturday and Sunday

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 5 leva

Children – 2 leva

13. “Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari – UNESCO World Heritage”

Sveshtari tomb
Bulgaria is home of one of the most ancient civilizations – the Thracians. On its land, there are over 60,000 Thracian mounds, of which archeologists have studied only about 1,000.

The Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari is one of the most impressive and best-preserved Thracian tombs in Bulgaria. Discovered in 1982, it has become one of the most sensational discoveries of the last century.

Scientists believe it is the last home of Dromihat, the king of the Getty tribe that inhabited the region.

It consists of: a dromos and three rooms (an entrance, a side room, and a burial chamber), each covered with a separate vault.

The tomb is part of the historical-archeological reserve “Sborianovo” – a complex of several ancient mounds and necropolises, remains of an ancient Thracian city and the Muslim sanctuary – Demir Baba Teke.

In order to preserve and preserve the tomb, visits are conducted under strict control. 

Photo shooting and touching are prohibited.

Distance from Historical Park: 133 km. and 1.5 hours of driving time

Recommended time to visit: March 17 – November 30:

Holiday days – Monday and Tuesday.

Time to explore: 20 minutes

Website: http://sborianovo.com/en

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 10 leva

Children – 5 leva

14. “Ivanovo rock monasteries – UNESCO World Heritage Site”

High in sheer cliffs are chiseled out tens of monk caves, churches, and chapels. There used to live monks who decided to leave the worldly life and dedicate their lives to seclusion and prayers to the Lord. The first hermits had carved their cells there as early as the 12th century. Nowadays the place is well known as Ivanovo’s rock churches. Six of them are still kept showing amazing frescoes that were the reason for the inclusion of the site in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The main church of the Holy Mother of God temple is cut down at a height of 38 meters. Biblical and gospel scenes and images are written on its walls. Among them are the Last Supper, the Entry into Jerusalem, St. John the Baptist with scenes of life, Passions of Christ, images of the Apostles and other saints. These murals have gained world-renown and are the pinnacle of the development of medieval Bulgarian and Balkan art.

On the way to Ivanovo, you have the opportunity to see the ruins of the Ancient Thracian and Roman city of Abritus which are located outside the northeastern Bulgarian city of Razgrad. Here you can explore the Abritus Archaeological Reserve which spreads out over 1000 decares and aims to preserve the remains of the Roman town of Abritus.

Distance from Historical Park: 170 km. and 2 hours driving time

Recommended time to visit: 01/04 – 30 November:

Holiday days – NA

Time to explore: between 30 minutes and 2 hours

Website: NA

Entrance Charge:

Adults – 5 leva

Children – 2 leva

15. “Тhe medieval Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo”

Veliko Tarnovo
Тhe city of Kings as it’s known is the medieval Bulgarian capital Veliko Tarnovo which keeps the glory of the Bulgarian kingdom spread out on 3 seas in the 13th and 14th centuries. It’s still spiritual, cultural and respectable center of the Bulgarian fighting fame.

The city is unique for its architecture which was influenced by its rich history and interesting geographical terrain. You can take a walk and journey in time where you’ll see amazing architectural masterpieces as well as be able to feel the spirit of the local traditions and the romantic of the Bulgarian revival age. Craftsmen workshops, cobblestone roads, wonderful scenery, and rich history…

Must visit places in Veliko Tarnovo: Tsarevets architectural and museum reserve (medieval stronghold), Samovodskata charshia (lively craftsmen’s street), Assens’ monument and the museum village of Arbanassi – famous for its 17th and 18th architecture and the unique Church of the Nativity of Christ, with well preserved murals depicting over 2000 Old and New Testament scenes.There are also the “Holy Forty Martyrs” church – the most popular Bulgarian medieval monument in the region which is keeping some of the most important Bulgarian epigraphy monuments – the Omurtag, Asenova and border pillar from the times of Han Krum. A message is encoded in the pillar. Discovering what’s that message is a must!

Distance from Historical Park: 190 km. and 2.15 hours driving time 

Recommended time to visit: All year round

Off days – NA

Time to explore: between 4 hours and 8 hours

Website: http://www.velikoturnovo.info/ 

Entrance Charge:

Adults – between 6 leva and 20 leva depending of visited sites

Children – 2 leva – 7 leva

This was our list of top 15 sites and attractions around Historical Park. If you have already decided which of them you would like to visit and need help organizing your trip, then feel free to contact us via phone, WhatsApp, Viber: +359896 61 21 75 / +359877 71 72 21 or email: info@tripvam.com

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