Whether nature or culture, Burgas offers a bounty of interesting experiences for visitors and locals alike. Set along the shoreline of the Black Sea, the city is one of the largest in Bulgaria, and has a rich history dating back to ancient times, with the Romans and Ottomans having a presence there. Today, travelers can learn about the different cultures that helped shape the destination it is today by visiting one of the Regional Historical Museum of Burgas extensions, including the Ethnographic Museum and the Natural History Museum. For those who want to discover the beauty of the great outdoors, there are several places worth adding to the itinerary, including Lake Atanasovsko and The Sea Garden, and there are no shortage of great restaurants serving everything from traditional Bulgarian cuisine to Mediterranean food, and more.
Spanning 1,476 acres, Lake Atanasovsko, in the northeast end of Burgas with proximity to the Black Sea, offers pristine natural beauty and wildlife, including wild cats and otters. What makes this body of water stand out is its eye-catching, colorful pink hue. Birding enthusiasts will have a wonderful time viewing some 318 species of winged creatures throughout the years. Part of the national ecological network in Bulgaria protected by the Biodiversity Act, the wetlands are also known for producing salt and rejuvenating, medicinal mud, so it is not at all surprising that people from near and far travel here to experience the healing properties in the mud basins.
© Aquae Calidae
Set northwest of Burgas between the villages of Vetren and Benevo, Aquae Calidae is a serene sanctuary featuring the beautifully restored Suleiman Magnificent Bath, which boasts marble and Oriental ceramics, as well as the fortified walls of the ancient city of Terme, or Thermopolis. The area was known for the therapeutic warm waters, hot springs, and Roman baths. Along with a fascinating, 3-D film highlighting the wellness center during Thracian times, the popular point of interest features an amphitheater for events and an organic market. As for the future, there is a plan to expand the first level of the museum to include a hot and cold pool and massage services.
Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +35-98-82-00-41-26
When it comes to must-visits in Burgas, locals will be the first to tell travelers to head to The Pier. A romantic spot, the pedestrian thoroughfare stretches out 1,000 feet to meet the sea. While the original wooden structure was replaced with a concrete bridge in the 1980s, the site still attracts beachgoers and others who just want to stroll and soak in the sun or catch a boat to the nearby island of St. Anastasia.
© The Gramophone
Designed by artist Rusi Stoyanov, The Gramophone is an iconic symbol of Burgas. The sculpture sits in the middle of Bogoridi Street and delights passersby of all ages. Legend has it that when people turn the gramophone handle and listen, they may hear the name of the person who loves them. The local landmark is quite lovely, and a visit to the city is not complete without snapping a picture in front of it.
© Sergey Kohl/stock.adobe.com
Having the distinction as being the first lighthouse set on a Bulgarian port, The Lighthouse provides a glimpse into history. The 19th-century structure, designed by Sabi Deni, which welcomes ships to Burgas, has a lot of lore behind it; specifically, that citizens must take care of it, or bad things would happen to the city. While access to The Lighthouse limited, it is possible to enjoy great views from Central Beach and the Pier.
8000 Port Complex, Burgas, Bulgaria
6.The Sea Garden
What was a bare stretch between the city and the sea, was transformed in 1910 by landscaper Georgi Duhtev. Pristine and picturesque, the Sea Garden continues to inspire artists, writers, musicians, and everyday people drawn to the beautiful exotic plants, flowers, greenery, and fountains. The seaside attraction is the largest park in Burgas and sits on the coast along the Black Sea. Along with the foliage, there are other things to experience from the playgrounds to eateries, ice cream stands, tennis, a mini train, outdoor art, and summer concerts in the amphitheater.
8000 Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-82-57-72
7.The Sand Festival
© niki spasov/stock.adobe.com
One of the most popular summer events in Burgas, The Sand Festival traditionally takes place during the first week of July and runs through October in the Burgas Lake Park, a natural extension of the Seaside Park. While there is a different theme every year, there is always lots to see including elaborate, creative sculptures made entirely of sand by artists from around the world, ranging from majestic castles to towers, animals, mermaids, famous superheroes, and other magical creatures.
Lake Park, Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-84-42-74
© Nenov Brothers/stock.adobe.com
Spanning just shy of two-and-a-half miles, Saxa Beach hugs the coastline and looks out to the Black Sea. Along with sun-worshipping and playing in the sand, beachgoers can easily grab a bite at one of the nearby restaurants and bars. Umbrellas and loungers are available for rent. Not too far away is the six-mile-long Sunny Beach where visitors enjoy all sorts of watersports from waterskiing to sailing and more.
9.Expo Center Flora
© Expo Center Flora
Nestled in the Seas Garden, the Expo Center Flora is a green-designed space that hosts both trade and consumer events from exhibitions to cultural events, concerts, ceremonies, festivals, and other celebrations. The venue close to the sea offers versatility, and has several options for events of all sizes, such as the Annual International Color Convention, the National Exhibition of Flowers, Summer Cinema Under the Stars, Classic Car and Motorcycle Parade, among others.
Sea Garden, Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +35-98-82-12-10-01
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10.Saint Anastasia Island
Spanning four nautical miles, Saint Anastasia Island is situated in Burgas Bay, surrounded by the Black Sea. Over the years, the quaint islet has had its share of fascinating history, including pirate invasions, tales of lost treasure, a site of a former monastery turned prison and an enclave for bohemians in the 1960s. Modern-day visitors who want to explore take a boat from the mainland to see interesting sites, a museum in the monastery site, a historic lighthouse, and volcanic rock formations, known as The Mushrooms, The Dragon, Fossilized Pirate Ship, and Sun Gate. Afterward, they can enjoy seafood and traditional Bulgarian cuisine at the restaurant called 100 Years Ago.
Burgas Bay, Bulgaria, Phone +35-98-82-00-41-24
11.Sea Casino Cultural Center
© Sea Casino Cultural Center
Set on the central alley of Seaside Park, the Sea Casino Cultural Center overlooks Burgas Bay. Designed by Architect Viktoria Angelova, the former casino opened its doors in 1936. After 20 years of neglect, the building was renovated and reopened its doors in 2011 as a cultural center presenting eclectic events, including theatrical productions, concerts, films, classes, and so much more. The top terrace is also perfect for taking in the surrounding views.
Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-91-18-68
12.Poda Protected Area
Tucked away to the south of Burgas city center, the Poda protected area offers nature enthusiasts an enriching experience with rich biodiversity. Although the area itself is less than a square mile, the sublime nature conservation site boasts fantastic flora and fauna, including Eurasian spoonbills, Eastern four-lined snakes, Etruscan shrews, which happen to be the smallest mammals in the world, among others. Guests curious to learn more should stop by the visitor center to explore the different exhibitions, or head to one of the large terraces and tower to observe the splendid birds.
Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +35-98-78-25-27-22
13.Museum of Aviation
© Museum of Aviation
After another museum dedicated to flight closed its doors, the Municipality of Burgas and conscious citizens took it upon themselves to revive the project and restoring old airplanes. The efforts led to the opening of the Museum of Aviation on June 29, 2017, a significant date marking 70 years since the first civil flight in Bulgaria, from Sofia to Burgas, took place. Close to the Sarafovo District, the museum is at the entrance of the Burgas Airport. There is much for visitors to explore from seeing authentic aviation objects and uniforms to enjoying the virtual reality-driven Flight of Man experience, and seeing the Old Airplanes collection, which includes planes from the BCA Balkan flight fleet, among other installations.
Airport Burgas, Phone: +35-98-82-66-24-08
© Ethnographic Museum
Nearby the Cathedral church tucked away in an elegant mid-19th-century home, the Ethnographic Museum, part of the Regional Historical Museum – Burgas, delves into the culture and traditions of Burgas. The diverse collection gives a nod to the different immigrants who have settled in the city including from Turkey, Greece, and other locations, showcasing different styles of dress. Folkloric celebrations and customs are also on display with authentic costumes and other artifacts.
69 Slavyanska Street, Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-84-25-87
15.Regional Historical Museum of Burgas
© Regional Historical Museum of Burgas
As the biggest museum in southeast Bulgaria, the Regional Historical Museum of Burgas offers a rich collection spanning natural history, history and culture across its different extensions, including the Archaeological Museum, Ethnographic Museum, and the Natural History Museum, each located in separate buildings within walking distance of each other, and feature ever-changing exhibitions and a permanent collection of objects from folkloric costumes to ancient artifacts, and more.
Various Locations, Phone: +35-90-56-62-03-44
© Archaeological Museum
Part of the Regional Historical Museum – Burgas, the Archaeological Museum is the oldest museum in the city and highlights ancient history with a stellar showcase of exquisite antiquities. Highlights in the collection range from prehistoric times to the Roman occupation and includes Greek, Ottoman and Old Bulgarian artifacts. Among the notable pieces are a Greek marble statue from the V century B.C., Hellenistic reliefs hailing from the town of Mesambira, jewelry, pottery and reliefs of Dionysus and Hercules.
Aleko Bogoridi 21, 8000 Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56 843 541
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17.Natural History Museum
© Natural History Museum
Set in the city center and an extension of the Regional Historical Museum – Burgas, the Natural History Museum focuses on the geo-historical development and the natural diversity of the area. The cultural organization is the only one of its kind in the region, and features fascinating installations that provide a glimpse into the beauty of planet earth from the Magical Rocks exhibit to Bird Resources of the Burgas Lake Area, and the Flora and Fauna in Strandzha Mountain, to name a few.
Konstantin Fotinov 30, 8000 Burgas Center, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-84-32-39
18.Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius
© Sergey Kohl/stock.adobe.com
Known as one of the most beautiful churches in Bulgaria, the Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius commands attention because of its striking design. Built over the period of 1897-1907, the house of worship gets its name from two Christian missionaries, who happen to be brothers, and the creators of the Slavonic alphabet. Architectural and other touches not to miss inside the basilica include a soaring dome and the stained glass above the main entrance, painted by the Bulgarian artists Gyudzhenkov and Kozhuharov, the same artists who worked on the St. Alexander Nevski church in Sofia.
8000 Burgas Center, Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-84-31-75
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Set on Hissar Hill on the eastern part of Stara Planina mountain in the municipality of Karnobat in the Burgas Province is the site of the former frontier Byzantine and Bulgarian stronghold, Markeli Fortress. It is believed to have been built during Byzantine rule of Anastasius I and Justinian, to help protect the sole road to the Rishki and Varsbishki passes. Remnants of the old fortification are all that are left.
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20.DiVes Estate Winery
© DiVes Estate Winery
Founded by a new generation of Bulgarian winemakers, DiVes Winery is set on the historic hill Simeonova Mound between the Aheloy and Kableshkovo townships. Wine enthusiasts are in for a treat when they indulge in a tour and tasting at this winery once recognized by Decanter World Wine. The 50-minute experience includes the degustation of five DiVes wines, including two from the Special Selection series. Along with the traditional tours, there are also special tastings with food, such as Muscat with Rhodoean trout and Merlot paired with Bulgarian cheeses from the Plovdiv region. At some point, either before or after a visit, it is recommended to stop and look at the nearby Winner’s Eye monument, which is dedicated to the Bulgarian ruler, King Simeon The Great.
Simeon’s Hill No3, Pomorie, Bulgaria, Phone: +35-98-83-33-89-38
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A chic seafront restaurant and bar close to downtown Burgas, Neptune delights diners with its Mediterranean and European cuisine created by Chef Katya Kondeva. Along with fantastic views, the dining destination has a summer garden perfect for enjoying a glass of fine wine including selections from Bulgaria. As for the dishes, there is a little bit from the land and sea, such as the Roasted Norwegian salmon with black sesame seeds and Veal Steak with raisins, chestnuts, and caramelized onions, while desserts, such as Caramelized Pear Cheesecake, ensure meals end on a marvelous note.
Seaside Park, Central Beach, 8000 Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +35-98-78-10-17-88
A cozy and warm atmosphere await at Incanto. Inside, a harmonious atmosphere awaits with good music, and inviting interiors, with each of the three rooms featuring a different design, as well as a bustling terrace, perfect for dining alfresco. On the menu, guests can order the freshest sushi as well as all sorts of tapas for sharing with the table. Popular dishes include the Rainbow Sushi with Salmon and Tempura Shrimp with Teriyaki Sauce, and the Buffalo Salad.
Baba Ganka 4, 8000 Burgas Center, Burgas, Bulgaria, Phone: +359-56-82-12-21
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23.The Brewery (Piovarnata)
If you’re in the mood for a laid-back spot to enjoy craft beer and delicious burgers, The Brewery is the place for you. Opening in 2015, this place continues to attract a good crowd because of its food and refreshing ales. At the helm of the kitchen is Chef Nikolay Yanev tempts the taste buds with his simple, yet savory menu featuring fresh meat dishes and seasonal vegetables, which pair well with original beer, such as Veritas, among others on tap. This spot is great for group gatherings with indoor and outdoor seating.
Ul. Khan Krum 6, Phone: +08-79-32-13-33
24.Romance Pub & Pizza
© Eugeniusz Dudzinski/stock.adobe.com
Thin, made from scratch pizza with crispy crust and the freshest vegetables and meat toppings are what’s on the menu at Romance Pub & Pizza. Also, it’s not hard for diners to fall in love with the delicious Italian specialties, such as Chicken Parmesan and Carbonara. The family-friendly restaurant has several locations throughout the city including in Slaveykov Park, Knyaz Boris I Street, among others. Every location is light-filled and inviting, adding to a pleasant dining experience for everyone.
Romance- Slveykov Park Location Phone: +070-02-00-11
Knyaz Boris I Street Location Phone: +080-02-00-11
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24 Best Things to Do in Burgas, Bulgaria
- Lake Atanasovsko, Photo: Dimitar/stock.adobe.com
- Aquae Calidae, Photo: Aquae Calidae
- The Pier, Photo: d_zheleva/stock.adobe.com
- The Gramophone, Photo: The Gramophone
- The Lighthouse, Photo: Sergey Kohl/stock.adobe.com
- The Sea Garden, Photo: drutska/stock.adobe.com
- The Sand Festival, Photo: niki spasov/stock.adobe.com
- The Beaches, Photo: Nenov Brothers/stock.adobe.com
- Expo Center Flora, Photo: Expo Center Flora
- Saint Anastasia Island, Photo: evannovostro/stock.adobe.com
- Sea Casino Cultural Center, Photo: Sea Casino Cultural Center
- Poda Protected Area, Photo: Jesse/stock.adobe.com
- Museum of Aviation, Photo: Museum of Aviation
- Ethnographic Museum, Photo: Ethnographic Museum
- Regional Historical Museum of Burgas, Photo: Regional Historical Museum of Burgas
- Archaeological Museum, Photo: Archaeological Museum
- Natural History Museum, Photo: Natural History Museum
- Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius, Photo: Sergey Kohl/stock.adobe.com
- Markeli Fortress, Photo: todor/stock.adobe.com
- DiVes Estate Winery, Photo: DiVes Estate Winery
- Neptune, Photo: Neptune
- Incanto, Photo: Incanto
- The Brewery (Piovarnata), Photo: Wasan/stock.adobe.com
- Romance Pub & Pizza, Photo: Eugeniusz Dudzinski/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Luis/stock.adobe.com