Burgas is the second-largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast with population 230,961. It is also the fourth-largest by population in the country, after Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. It is the capital of Burgas Province and an important industrial, transport, cultural and tourist centre. Surrounded by the coastal Burgas Lakes and located at the westernmost point of the Black Sea, the large Burgas Bay, Burgas has the largest and most important Bulgarian port. Today, it is a key economic, cultural and tourist centre of southeastern Bulgaria, with the Burgas Airport serving the resorts of the southern Bulgarian coast.Burgas is situated in the westernmost point of the bay of the same name and in the eastern part of the Burgas plain which is located to the east of the Upper Thracian Plain. Burgas is located at 389 km of Sofia, 272 km of Plovdiv and 350 km of Istanbul. To the east and north the city is surrounded by the Burgas Lakes – Vaya, Atanasovsko and Mandrensko which are home to several hundred bird species. Pan-European corridor 8 passes through the city.
In the city: The District Museum of History, founded in 1925, is one of the most impressive tourist sights in the city. Today it houses an archaeological hall with a rich collection of items dating back to the old colonies along the Black Sea coast. The Ethnographic Museum is also of particular appeal to foreigners for its exhibitions of masks of koukeri, traditional costumes, ritual accessories, fabrics and embroidery. The museum is hosted in a house built in 1873 and later declared a cultural monument. The Museum of Nature and Science is another place of interest to visitors of the city. It contains more than 1,200 exhibits of insects and reptiles and more than 140 species of fish, plants growing in the district of Strandzha, protected and endemic species. Another such place is the Art Gallery, established in 1945 with halls exhibiting foreign and of Bulgarian artists’ works, and icons painted by renowned Renaissance artists. Among the church buildings, one may wish to visit the St. St. Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, which raises near the marketplace. The cathedral is interesting for its marvelous frescos and wooden altar. Another impressive sight of Bourgas is the Armenian Church located close to Bulgaria Hotel. It was built in 1855 by the local Armenian minority supported by Bulgarians. Finally, a philharmonic hall, an opera house, a drama theatre and a puppet theater are hosted in beautiful buildings and function during the entire season. Away from the busy centre of the city, the shady Sea Garden is a lovely place to stroll in hot summer days. The park is situated on a hill next to the coast, and is rich in flowers, trees and sculptures. Within the park there is a casino, a small zoo and an open-air theatre, which houses the annual International Folklore Festival, and where participants in the Golden Orpheus Pop-Festival perform. A beautiful forked staircase in verdure leads from the park down to the central beach of the city. The sand is a mixture of various alloys of magnetite, which is the reason for its dark colour. The city also has a northern beach, located close to the Izgrev Quarter, and adjacent to the city’s salt-mines. Outside the city: The lake of Pomorie is located 20 km north of Bourgas. The lake is surrounded by salt-mines and balneo-resorts. The Atanassovo Lake is to the north, too, between the airport and the city. It is 10 km long and once was a nestling site of many marsh and sea birds migrating from Gibraltar and the Bosphorus. Part of the lake is a natural reserve. There are sites for fishing, swimming and having a rest. The Bourgas Lake is a nestling site of pelicans, ibis, and herons. It offers many opportunities for having a rest as well. The Mandren Lake is 10 km south of the city and is also an important ornithological reserve with a large bird population in the summer. It is also appropriate for rowing tours and recreation. The St. Anastassia Island is 3 nautical miles east of the city. The island has a well-preserved old church and was used for the exile of left-wing revolutionaries in 1923-1925, and anti-Fascists in 1943-1944. That is why the island was named Bolshevik for some years during communist times. The salt-mines of Bourgas may be also a sight of interest. They border the Bourgas Lake, and some of them even stretch to the Atanassovo Lake. Mineral water baths can be found 13km north-west of the city on the way to Aitos. The baths are built over the remains of an old Roman town called Aetos. The present-day baths were built in the 16th century during Ottoman rule and are still functioning. There is curing mud, a balneo-spa, a polyclinic, and a holiday house. The village of Kraimorie (once named Kafka) is to the south of Bourgas on the way to the old fortress of Pirgos. There is a nice beach near the village, as well as rest homes and private lodgings for holiday-makers. The Otmanli Park is 15 km away from Bourgas near the Choukalya caape. It comprises over 6,000 decares of thick forest and holds in a hunting area and bungalows for recreation.
Two famous Bulgarian resorts rich in history and architectural monuments are located close to Bourgas – Nessebar to the north and Sozopol to the south.
Links to the region
- Information for Burgas – http://www.bourgas.org/
- Burgas city official website – http://www.burgas.bg/