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The 20 Best Things to Do in Burgas, Bulgaria

St. Cyril & Methodius Cathedral

Burgas is the second-largest city along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the fourth-largest in Bulgaria. The city is home to the country's largest port, and the fishing industry plays an important role in the economy. Due to its coastal location and having the second busiest airport in the country, Burgas is also one of Bulgaria's top vacation destinations. If you choose to visit this interesting city, you will find many activities and attractions to enjoy during your stay with options to suit all interests. Here are the 20 best things to do in Burgas, Bulgaria, to help you plan how to spend your time in this city.

Regional History Museum

20. Go to the Regional History Museum

For those interested in learning more about the area's history, the top attraction to visit is the Regional History Museum. The museum was founded in 1912, and it was originally an archaeology museum focusing on local excavations. Over time, the museum expanded, and by 1953, it became a Regional Directorate for Cultural and Historical Heritage. The exhibits in the museum represent various aspects of the local area's history and culture, so it is a chance to learn a lot more about the area.

Experience at PlanetUm

19. Have an Educational Experience at PlanetUm

If you are visiting Burgas with children, a top attraction is PalnetUm, a children's science center. The attraction aims to encourage learning and educate children about a variety of scientific disciplines through play and interactive educational activities. Some of the topics covered at this venue include engineering, technology, innovation, astronomy, underwater archaeology, energy, discovery, mathematics, and the environment. There is also a play area for younger visitors and a café where the whole family can grab a bite to eat.

Try Paragliding

18. Try Paragliding

A fun activity to enjoy in Burgas, Bulgaria, is paragliding. There are several companies along the city's coastline that offer paragliding experiences. It is the ideal activity for those who enjoy activities that give them an adrenaline rush, and it is a fun way to enjoy the scenery around the city and its coastline from a different perspective.

Take a Boat Ride on Anastasia

17. Take a Boat Ride on Anastasia

Burgas' position along the coast means it makes sense to include a boat trip in your vacation itinerary. A popular option is to take a trip out into the Black Sea on Anastasia, which is a passenger ferry. It is a fantastic way to admire the coastline, enjoy the fresh air, and see the marine life in their natural habitat. There are trips of differing lengths available at various times of the day. You will likely need to book tickets in advance for your trip. There are also packages available to create different experiences, such as sunset trips and trips including food and drink.

Have Fun at the Casinos

16. Have Fun at the Casinos

Although many of the attractions in Burgas are things that you can enjoy in the day, it is also possible to have fun at night in this city. The best way to have a fun night out is to head to one of the casinos, and there are several options. These include Eldorado Casino, Sea Casino, and Royale Palms. Each of these venues offers everything you would expect from a casino, such as table games and slot machines. They all also offer nightly entertainment and various dining options. Therefore, you can visit the casinos to eat a meal and enjoy the entertainment even if you do not want to gamble.

Enjoy the Wildlife on St. Ivan Island

15. Enjoy the Wildlife on St. Ivan Island

Just off the coast of Burgas is St. Ivan Island, which you can visit by boat. The uninhabited island has an interesting history, and it is named after St. John the Baptists, as Ivan means John in Slavic languages. In 2010, a sarcophagus containing relics was discovered. It is believed the relics date back to the 1st century AD, and they belonged to a Middle Eastern man. However, the island's history is not the main reason people visit the island, as the big attraction is the wildlife. It is one of the few remaining habitats of the rare Mediterranean monk seals, which you are unlikely to see elsewhere. The island is also a nesting site for more than 70 bird species, so it is a dream destination for bird watchers.

Dine in a Mehana

14. Dine in a Mehana

When visiting a new location, you should try some of the local cuisines as a way of fully appreciating the local culture. The best place to try traditional Bulgarian meals in Bulgaria is in a mehana, an establishment like a tavern. You can expect to find Bulgarian favorites on the menus at these restaurants. Typical dishes include kebabs, grilled meats, shopska salad, and stuffed peppers. Try washing your meal down with either Bulgarian red wine or rakia. May of the mehanas have live Bulgarian dancers and musicians who dress in folk costumes, adding an authentic feel to the dining experience.

Go Swimming at North Beach

13. Go Swimming at North Beach

Of all the sections of beach along the coast of Burgas, North Beach is probably the most popular. It is 1,700-meters long, and it is lined by restaurants and bars. Visitors to the beach often want to relax on the sand or swim in the Black Sea. There are also options for those who want to enjoy fun activities, as there are volleyball courts and beach football areas. The beach has amenities such as restrooms, changing facilities, and showers.

Take in the Views from Burgas' Pier

12. Take in the Views from Burgas' Pier

Burgas Pier, known as Mosta, is one of the most distinctive and notable features of the city. It is a T-shaped pier that juts out from the coastline opposite the Sea Garden, and it stretches 300 meters into the Black Sea. According to In Your Pocket, the original pier was built in 1936, and it had a steel construction. In the 1980s, the pier was replaced by a concrete pier. The pier is a popular place for both tourists and locals to take a stroll and take in the coastal view. Fishermen also use the pier for fishing. The pier is the departure point for many boat trips along the coast or out to the neighboring islands.

Deultum Excavation Site

11. Visit the Deultum Excavation Site

If you are interested in ancient history, then head out of Burgas to the village of Deabelt, which sits on the western shore of Lake Mandrensko. The village has Thracian origins, but it thrived in Roman times when Deultum became a free Roman colony that was founded by retired legionaries in the 1st century. The highlight of the village is the excavation site, which has uncovered various Roman ruins, including the remnants of a bathing complex.

Sea Garden

10. Enjoy the Sea Garden

The Crazy Tourist says that a highlight of Burgas is the various pretty gardens and seafront parks along the waterfront. One of the biggest and best in the city is the Sea Garden. It is a huge waterfront park with wooded areas, fountains, promenades, ice cream stands, tennis courts, children's playgrounds, and cafes. There are even things to enjoy in the evenings at this park, as it has an open-air theater that hosts concerts. You will probably visit the Sea Garden a few times during your stay to make the most of all the facilities.

Surp Hach Armenian Church

9. Go to the Surp Hach Armenian Church

The Surp Hack Armenian Church was built in 1853 by the Armenian residents who lived in the city at that time. It is one of Burgas' most notable religious structures, so many tourists include a visit to the church in their itinerary. Guide Bulgaria says that it is an Apostolic and Orthodox church that is located in the southern part of the city. In the church garden, a monument commemorates the Armenians who were slaughtered in the city after WWII.

See the Soviet Army Monument

8. See the Soviet Army Monument

One of the most important landmarks in Burgas is the Soviet Army Monument. It is a towering memorial for the Red Army, and it consists of a Russian soldier and figurative panels atop a column. You will find the Soviet Army Monument at pl Troikata. Many tourists take a photograph standing next to the monument to commemorate their visit.

St. Cyril & Methodius Cathedral

7. Visit St. Cyril & Methodius Cathedral

The main church in Burgas is St. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral. It was completed in 1906, and it has stunning architectural features, including colorful murals and an intricately carved iconostasis. There was some damage to the church's foundation, which led to the cathedral being closed between 2016 and 2017 while the structure underwent repairs.

Enjoy the Exhibits at the Ethnographic Museum

6. Enjoy the Exhibits at the Ethnographic Museum

Everything on display at the Ethnographic Museum reflects local history and Bulgarian culture. The items on display include furniture, jewelry, and folk costumes. Some displays educate visitors about the local weaving and fishing industries. Unfortunately, English-speaking visitors may not receive a full education about the items as the information labels are all written in Bulgarian. Bulgaria Travel says that the museum is in Brakalov House, which was built in 1873 for Dimitar Todorov Brakalov, a respected community leader.

Natural History Museum

5. Go to the Natural History Museum

A fantastic attraction to visit for those who are interested in the area's natural history is the Natural History Museum. Go to Burgas says that it is the only natural history on the Black Sea coast. There are displays about the local geology, flora, and fauna, alongside exhibits of beetles, butterflies, seashells, and rocks. On the museum's upper floor, a gallery contains a collection of stuffed birds and animals. There are various events hosted in Burgas' Natural History Museum throughout the year.

Archaeological Museum

4. See the Artifacts at the Archaeological Museum

In Burgas, there are multiple museums to enjoy, and each has something that will capture different interests. One of Burgas' top museums is the Archaeological Museum. It is a small museum that showcases finds from local excavations, such as the wooden coffin of a Thracian chieftain, a Greek statuary, a 5th century BC wooden canoe, and Neolithic flint tools. The exhibits have English-language signage, which makes it easier for non-Bulgarian visitors to understand and learn about the displays.

Maritime Park

3. Visit Maritime Park

Burgas is known for its many parks, and one of the best ones to visit is Maritime Park. The park is considered the pride of Burgas, and it is filled with abstract sculptures, busts of notable Bulgarians, fountains, and colorful flower beds. Therefore, it is a nice place to take a stroll in pleasant surroundings. Some terraces offer spectacular views of the Black Sea, and steps from the terraces lead to the beach.

Trip to St. Anastasia Island

2. Take a Trip to St. Anastasia Island

There are several islands just off the coast of Burgas, and one of these is the small volcanic island of St. Anastasia. Over the years, the island has had many uses, including as a pirate bait, a prison, and a religious retreat. The island has a lighthouse to visit, and visitors can also go to the island's monastery and learn to make healing potions from herbs. It is possible to visit the island by boat, and at least two passenger ferries leave for the island each day between May and October.

Poda Conservation Center

1. Explore the Poda Conservation Center

According to Lonely Planet, the best thing to do in Burgas, Bulgaria, is to explore the Poda Conservation Center. Surrounding the city, there are four lakes called Burgasko, Mandrensko, Atanasovosko, and Pomoriysko. Combined, they form Bulgaria's largest wetland system. The conservation area is home to 260 bird species, which is approximately 70 percent of Bulgaria's total. There is an eco-trail running throughout the park, which was established in 1998 to protect the wildlife. As you walk along the trail, what you will see depends on the time of year, as many of the birds are migratory species.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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