10 Differences Between Varna and Burgas

south beach varna

Varna and Burgas are the most important coastal cities in Bulgaria. They are definitely very similar, and this is why most people can’t decide where to spend their summer holidays.

Many are facing the same dilemma if they are trying to choose a city to buy a property in or to start a new business.

Let’s compare Varna and Burgas and see what is the difference between them.

south beach varna

South Beach Varna by Michał Paluchowski

1. Beaches

Both Varna and Burgas have really good beaches, which are, however, quite different.

The sand stripe of Burgas is impressive! It is much bigger, longer and wider, while the coast of Varna consists of a number of smaller beaches.

central beach burgas

Central Beach Burgas by Oliver M. GRUER-LAVIN

The advantage of Varna, however, is the much more attractive golden color of the sand, compared to the greyish nuances of the beach of Burgas.

2. Weather

Both Varna and Burgas enjoy really nice weather. However, the average daytime temperatures in Burgas are always around 1 – 2 degrees higher, which makes the climate of Burgas better.

on the beach in burgas in winter

The beach in Burgas in late winter by Andrey

For example, the average temperature in Varna in January is approximately 6 degrees during the day and -2 degrees at night. In Burgas the average temperature reaches 8 during the day and 0 degrees at night.

However, the same difference makes summers in Varna a bit more pleasant and easy-bearable.

3. Restaurants

If you can’t decide between Varna and Burgas, you should know that the choice of restaurants, bars, clubs and discos in Varna is much better.

Moreover, some of the clubs in Varna are considered to be among the best in the world.

4. Parks

Varna and Burgas have some of the most attractive public parks in Southern Europe. They look really identical but with one big difference.

sea garden varna

Sea Garden Varna by Hristiyan Dobrev

The park of Varna in its major part is a bit older than the park of Burgas, and that’s why many of the trees are bigger and older, which makes the alleys much more shady during the hot summer days.

The parks of Varna and Burgas were created in the late 19th century and are one of the must-visiting places in these cities.

5. Historical monuments

When it comes to historical monuments and sites, Varna has the advantage of being the older one of the cities. Most of the nowadays downtown lies over the ruins of the ancient Odessos.

cathedral of the assumption of the virgin, varna

Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, Varna by Dimitar Atanasov

The Roman Thermae are located in the so called Greek quarter, not far from the sea port of the city. Aladzha Monastery is another great example of the great historical past of Varna.

It is carved in the cliffs and is located approximately 17 km north of the city. This is one of the most important tourist attractions in Varna today.

6. Nearby towns and places to visit

People usually say: “If you want to stay in the city itself, you better spend your holiday in Varna. If you want to travel in the area, however, Burgas is the much better option”.

Even if being bigger and more diverse, Varna gives way to Burgas in this respect because in the area of Burgas there are dozens of small coastal towns to visit.

atliman beach primorsko

Atliman Beach Primorsko by Seyfi Mutlutürk

Some of the examples are Sozopol, Nesebar, Pomorie, Primorsko, Ahtopol and many others, including the largest resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea CoastSunny Beach.

On the other side, in the area of Varna there is a smaller number of towns to visit. The best one is the town of Balchik, which is located approximately 40 km north of the city.

7. Relief

Varna and Burgas are very different in terms of relief. For example, Burgas is situated in a low-laying flat area and almost the entire city has a similar altitude above sea level.

The shore is flat and low too, and it is very easy to reach the coast. Varna itself is very different. While parts of the neighbourhood of Asparuhovo are at only 1 meter above sea level, some parts of Galata and the Trakata area have a height of between 200 and 300 meters.

cruise ship port of varna

Cruise Ship – Port of Varna by Vladislav Bezrukov

Moreover, the coast of Varna is for the most part very steep, which in some places significantly impedes the access to the coast.

8. Transport connectivity

When it comes to the transport connectivity, Burgas beats Varna by several criterias. First of all, the airport of Burgas is the second largest in the country after the one in Sofia.

Second, the city is more easily accessible from the capital through the Trakia Highway. Third, the city is located only 333 km northwest from the largest city in Europe – Istanbul.

On the other side, Varna is closer to the Romanian capital of Bucharest, which is the largest big city in the area of Varna.

9. Political importance

In terms of its political importance, Burgas is very far behind the city of Varna, which is considered the summer capital.

the center of burgas

The Center of Burgas by Philip Kromer

Actually, during the summer months the city becomes more important even in comparison with the capital of the country Sofia.

In July and August Varna is the facto the busiest and most dynamic city in the country.

10. Events

In terms of the sport, music and cultural events, Varna is the better choice. The city holds numerous important events, including MTV presents Varna Beach.

Varna regularly holds also international volleyball tournaments, gymnastics and others.