Underrated, modest, but hard to resist, the Black Sea city of Burgas is one of Bulgaria's most intriguing destinations. With natural attractions, museums, and fine food, it has more than enough to keep vacationers interested during their stays.
The Burgas Lakes are just outside the city center, and offer some stunning vistas, Roman ruins, and bathing opportunities in the saline waters.
Learn about the ancient history of Burgas at the Archaeological Museum, or head to other museums featuring Bulgarian costumes, local wildlife, and handcrafted jewelry.
Burgas has some spellbinding churches to visit, including the Surp Hach Armenian Church and the Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, with its stunning interior murals.
Burgas is also the kind of city where you can transition seamlessly from museums to beach resorts like Sunny Beach, just 20 miles to the north.
Every August, Spirit of Burgas takes place on the city beach and attracts world-famous pop and electronic dance acts (along with 50,000 revelers).
Summer is definitely Burgas' best season. You can head there during festival season, or visit in July, when the lakes will be at their most inviting and the temperatures will hardly dip below 80 degrees.
Burgas Airport (BOJ) has connections to hubs like London and Moscow. From there, take the 15 bus, which costs лв1 and takes half an hour.
Burgas has excellent rail connections to Sofia, as well as Romanian and Russian destinations (and resorts along the Black Sea coast).
The A1 runs from Sofia to Burgas, while the E87 follows the coast from Varna to the north.
Eurolines runs international buses into Burgas city center. Buses terminate at the Central Bus Station (South), a short walk from the main hotels and attractions.
Some of the best hotels in town include the seafront Grand Hotel and Spa Primoretz, Gran Vía Hotel (which is also on the coast), and Hotel Burgas, which is handy for the center of town.
City Center - the heart of the city, the center is home to all three of the major museums and most of the city's shopping areas.
The Sea Garden - running for miles along the Black Sea coast, the Sea Garden is a concert venue, park, and a wonderful place to relax.
Meden Rudnik - a relatively new neighborhood, Meden Rudnik is right next to Burgas Lakes, and is a handy base if you want to explore that beautiful region.
Trolleys and buses run all over Burgas and charge лв1 per journey.
Taxis are a very cheap way to get around Burgas (compared to other cities), charging around лв1.50 per mile.
Car rental companies in town include Hertz, Bravo, and Burgas Car Rental, and rates start at about лв13 per day.
The pedestrianized zone in the center is full of stores, but Burgas Plaza in the northern part of town has the biggest concentration of international brands.
Local grocery stores include Bolero, Lidl, and Billa, where you can expect to pay approximately лв7 for a gallon of milk.
Seafood is Burgas' specialty, with high-class eateries like Neptun and Ethno standing out. Rose is also a great place for grilled meats. Expect to spend around лв20-30 on a meal.