The Best Museums in Varna
The city of Varna, known as the seaside capital of Bulgaria, offers to its visitors a perfect combination of beautiful beaches, cultural life, and a youthful atmosphere. All this will make your trip an unforgettable experience. To get to know the city’s present time, better learn more about its past. The easiest way to do it is to visit the museums of Varna.
As a popular tourist destination with a rich cultural life and historical heritage, the city hosts dozens of museums and exhibitions. Now we will present to you the most popular museums in Varna:
1. The Archeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum is located in the central part of Varna, close to the building of the Municipality. It holds a rich collection of historical finds from ancient epochs to nowadays. The exposition is arranged chronologically, as materials from the various historical ages are consecutively presented, in order to trace the development of human society during thousands of years in the Varna region.
The Museum is housed in a former Girls’ High School (1892 – 1898), designed in New Renaissance style. It holds a collection of objects from the prehistoric, Thracian, Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman periods, the times of the medieval Bulgarian and Byzantine Empires, the Ottoman rule and the Bulgarian National Revival, all related to Varna and its region. The highlight of the collection is the Gold of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world, which dates back to 4600 – 4200 b.c.
In the Archeological museum, you have the chance to see the famous golden treasure found in the Varna Chalcolithic Necropolis near Varna Lake. That is the oldest processed gold with impressive volume – over 3000 gold objects with a total weight of over 6 kg found in 294 graves. A special impression is made by the grave of a chief or priest with rich golden decoration, a symbol of power. Part of the museums’ collection is unique exponents of the Hellenistic age, the Roman age and the Late Antiquity periods; as well as rare pre-monetary forms, more than 2000 golden, silver and bronze ancient coins.
In six halls you can see exceptionally rich and old specimens, as well as top achievements of the Tryavna icon-painting school. With its icon collection – 150 icons (14th – 19th century), the Varna Museum is ranked immediately after the National Museum of History in Sofia.
With its convenient location, the Archeological museum is a must when visiting the city centre of Varna. P.S. Find here our most popular trip City Tour Varna. 😉
2. Retro Museum
Back in socialism! In 2015 in Varna opens doors unique for the country “Retro Museum“. The museum includes exhibits from the period between 1944 and 1989. There you will find yourself in socialist times. You have the chance to see old Russian vacuum cleaners, Bulgarian cigarettes without filters, households from East Germany, Polish cosmetics and retro cars.
The museum is situated in the shopping centre Grand Mall Varna, in an area of 4000 square meters. Special emphasis in the collection of the museum are the wax figures of great personalities of the era like Leonid Brezhnev, Fidel Castro, and Todor Zhivkov, and also people favourite singers and actors like Emil Dimitrov, Georgi Partsalev, George Kaloyanchev, Todor Kolev. The time machine of the Retro museum will show you over 50 cars from the era brands “Volga”, “Moskvich”, “Skoda”, “Trabant”, etc. – all of them impeccably restored. Next to them are exposed to the popular bikes “Simson” and “Balkan”. The best part of the showroom in the museum is the classic limo “Chaika GAZ-13”.
If you decide to diversify your shopping with cultural – entertainment experiences, or the weather is not suitable for beach and walks, the Retro Museum in Grand Mall Varna is waiting for you.
3. The Maritime Museum and the Ship “Druzki”
The National Maritime Museum was established in 1879 and is dedicated to the history of the Bulgarian Navy, focuses mainly on its military part. In the museum, there are presented photographs, documents, anchors, and remnants found on the bottom of the Black Sea, sailor`s and officer`s uniforms, scale models, and mines and cannons. You can observe maritime flags, torpedoes, optical devices of lighthouses from the Bulgarian shores, medals, etc. The museum will show you the most important moments of the naval activities of the country, the construction of the maritime fleet, the participation of the seamen in the war between Serbia and Bulgaria (1885), the Balkan War (1912 – 1913), the First World War (1914 – 1918) and the Second World War (1939 – 1945).
Moreover, in the Sea Garden, you will find the Bulgarian Torpedo Boat “Druzki”. It’s a small torpedo ship that is almost 5 meters long. It’s located next to the Naval Museum
4. The Ethnographic Museum
The museum presents the rich variety in culture and style of life of the local people in Varna region from the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Part of the most attractive examples in the museum is the small ancient plough called “dyolmedzha”, used for ploughing of earth, dating from the beginning of the 20th century. Things for storing of grain and for making bread are also exhibited.
The exposition on the next stage shows old ethnic costumes. The people’s clothes in the villages in the region differentiate with their variety, due to the complex migration processes, which happened in the 19th century. You can see traditional costumes of each of the basic geographic groups in the region: Thracian region, Asia Minor and Macedonia. The unique folkloric dresses for the customs – Christmas, Lazarovden etc. are also displayed.
5. Museum Vladislav Varnenchik
This is a memorial complex, located at the place of the battlefield from 10- th of November 1444, where the Polish- Hungarian King Vladislav Yagello was killed. Its full name is Park-Museum of Military Friendship 1444 Vladislav Varnenchik. The museums’ collection contains arms and equipment from the 15th century, found on the battlefield: helmets, crossbows, swords, shields and spears, as well as paintings, sculptures, prints and other works of art that are related to this battle and flags, models and coats of arms.
In the park around the museum, there can be seen two Thracian mounds with a Thracian tomb from IV c. BC. In 1935, a symbolic mausoleum was built over it of the deceased King Vladislav Varnenchik.
6. Puppets Museum
You will find this Museum in the Puppet Theater in Varna. It was opened in 1985. The exposition contains about 140 theatre puppets, details and decors and is a perfect place for children! Unique puppets made by Georgi Saravanov (founder of the theatre) welcome us first. After that their younger co-workers join the exciting show. Their medals are put in three exhibitions. The tour is accompanied by an interesting lecture and it enhances the theatre culture of the public.