Burgas (also Bourgas) is a city on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. It is a large industrial centre with many tourist attractions in the region. Built by the sea and surrounded by lakes, Burgas offers relatively mild weather characterized by cooler summers and warmer winters.
- Centre – the nightlife, hotels and sights are located here, bus station, train station, shopping area
- Bratya Miladinovi – living area close to the city centre
- Lazur – living area with hotels, close to the beach and the nightlife in summer
- Vazrazhdane – residential area relatively close to the city centre
- Zornitza – living area, close to the beach and the Atanasovko lake
- Izgrev – residential area, not interesting for tourists, close to the Atanasovsko lake
- Slaveikov – residential area, not interesting for tourists, the Asen Zlatarov University buildings are in this district
- Meden Rudnik – residential area, not interesting for tourists, no beach there, but close to Vaya and Mandrensko lakes
- Sarafovo – formerly a village, now it is district of Burgas, close to the beach, close to the airport, far from the city center
- Kraimorie – formerly a village, now it is district of Burgas, close to the beach, far from the city center
- Dolno Ezerovo – formerly a village, now it is district of Burgas, far from the city center, close to the Vaya (Burgasko) lake - at its North bench
- Gorno Ezerovo – formerly a village, now it is district of Burgas, far from the city center, close to the Vaya (Burgasko) lake - at its South bench
- Lozovo – formerly a village, now it is district of Burgas, far from the city center
- Akatziite – mostly industrial region
- Pobeda – mostly industrial region
- 5th Kilometer – the district is getting bigger as some big retail chains build their stores in this region.
Three lakes surround Burgas – Vaya (also known as the Burgas lake), Atanaskovsko lake and Mandrensko lake.
There is historical evidence that the lands that today Burgas occupies have been inhabited since ancient times. However at that period most of the lands that today Burgas covers were small fisherman villages and fortifications. It was hard to flourish under the pressure of the better developed at that period trade centers Nesebar and Sozopol. At the end of the 19th century the city had fewer than 3000 inhabitants.
The Burgas Bay turned out to be very favorable for the navy and the Port of Burgas developed in the beginning of 20th century. The trade and the industry are the driving force of the city even today. The oil refinery was constructed in mid 20th century, and produces many plastic and oil products, as well as gas. More than 300,000 inhabitants live in Burgas today.
The tourism is not particularly developed in Burgas but the city is a stop for the picturesque century-old towns Nesebar and Sozopol. Many large luxury holiday resorts were constructed in the Bay of Burgas. For the lovers of nature there are many camp-sites.
Buses and trains from different destinations in Bulgaria arrive several times per day.
- 1 Burgas Central (Бургас Централна гара), ☏ +359 56 845 022, +359 56 844 501. The central train station is in the very heart of the city and next its building is bus station South which is the main point to all small summer resorts and villages in the area like Sozopol or Sunny Beach.
Tickets are sold in the train station building. For reservations call or visit the Bulgarian Railways website.
- 2 Vladimir Pavlov Station (Владимир Павлов). This station might be a more feasible option, depending where you start in the city. All trains also stop here.
Regular trains run to Sofia and other major cities in Bulgaria. There are no international connections (anymore). A change in Sofia is required.
- 3 West Bus Station (Автогара Запад), [email protected]. For north and northwest bound connections.
- 4 South Bus Station (Автогара Юг), Царица Йоанна, ☏ +359 885754058. M-Su 04:45–01:15. For all south bound connections along the coast.
There are very convenient buses from every city in the country to Burgas. Most of the buses coming to the city have a few stops before reaching the Central bus station in the south. There are also many buses coming from Turkey and Greece.
- Domestic bus lines: Every operating company has their own reservation system. Some of the companies that run bus lines to the city are Union Ivkoni, Kaleya.
- International: Eurolines  runs regular international bus lines to/from Burgas, e.g. Romania.
- 5 Burgas airport (BOJ IATA) (Located in Sarafovo district. It is possible to use the bus 15 to reach the airport. The rise costs 1.50 лв and lasts about 30 min. This bus starts at the train station about every 20 min from about 06:00-23:00.). accepts numerous flights from all over Europe, especially in summer.
- Regional: Bulgaria Air offers every day flights to/from Sofia.
- International: WizzAir offers flights to London Luton, and seasonal flights to Budapest, Katowice, and Warsaw. S7  flies to Moscow.
- Seasonal: In addition during the summer season from May until September charter companies offer flights from UK, Ireland, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, etc. to Burgas. Check the Burgas airport website to receive actual information on departing/arriving airlines operating this season.
- UK: There are direct regular flights between Burgas and Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, Durham Tees Valley, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Exeter, Gatwick, Glasgow, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Stansted in the summer months with 3 new flights added for 2014 from Cambridge, Newquay and Southend.
- 6 Port of Burgas. operates mainly industrial ships. There is small marina but the public sea routes to the city are not developed.
A ferry operates weekly between Burgas and Batumi, Georgia, operated by PBM. It is basically a cargo ship with extra space for passengers. Depending on the weather the journey takes 2-4 days. Passengers pay €120–140 including 3 meals a day and the cabin. Expect delays and unclear communication about tickets and departure.
Burgas has well developed public bus system. Buses travel also to all resorts and cities along the coastline.
Public transport runs regularly from 05:00-23:00. There are both buses and trolleys. Tickets are sold in the bus by special collectors and you should pay to them. The price for one ride is 1.30 ₪ (April 2018). The Easyway website has more information.
There are also small mini-buses that run regularly and cover some routes of the city. The cost for the ride is 1.10 лв. You should pay to the driver when you get off the mini-bus.
Burgas is best explored on bicycle, especially along the promenade and north to the salt pond.
Hitchhiking is also a very popular and successful means of transportation in the region.
Taxis are a convenient yet pricey way to travel around. There are many licensed operating companies. Be careful with scammers and always keep an eye to their tax-counter machine. Normally tariffs vary from 0.80–0.90 лв/km (August 2009).
The city of Burgas developed after the beginning of the 20th century and most of the buildings in the city centre date from this time. At the center is Troika Square. The city's Gallery of Fine Arts is hosted in a secession style synagogue.
- 1 Ethnographic Museum, 69 Slavianska Str. M-F 10:00-19:00; Sa 10:00-18:00. Includes various ethno exhibitions in its program, offers summer school of Arts, Crafts and Dances.
- 2 Archaeological Museum, 21 Bogorodi Str. M-F 10:00-19:00; Sat 10:00-18:00. Variety of exhibitions, ancient Roman, Byzantine and Greek antiques.
- 3 Historical Museum, 31 Lermontov Str. M-F 10:00-19:00; Sa 10:00-18:00. Tells both local and national history, various guest exhibitions from other museums and countries.
- 4 Natural History Museum, 30 Fotinov Str. M-F 10:00-19:00; Sa 10:00-18:00. Covers flora, fauna, subjects of medicine, physics, various thematic exhibitions.
In winter museums closed Saturday and Sundays.
There are many galleries as well, some of them are Bogoridi, Briz - Boiadzhiev, and Petko Zadgorski Art Gallery.
- The Flora is international exhibition for flowers held annually since 1985. It takes place in pavilions in the Sea Garden (Morksa gradina) near the North Beach. Its motto is Nature-Human-Harmony and visitors are welcome to enjoy the picturesque atmosphere among the flowers and also buy rare or uncommon plants. The Flora is held usually in the end of April - beginning of May but most of the flower compositions stay for the public until the late summer.
- Poda. Is protected area part of huge wetland area, vitally important as a resting station for many birds using the East European migration route known as the Via Ponticum. As well as many waders, gulls and terns there are also rare and threatened species such as Pygmy cormorants, Dalmatian pelicans and Red-breasted geese which may be seen feeding here. For birdwatchers from other countries the Burgas region is famous as a migration viewpoint.
Poda can be reached by public transport. It is situated on the South exit/entrance of Burgas on Highway E87—the road to Sozopol—just before the turn for Kreimorie.
The conservation centre building is specially designed for its purposes: the centre has three large terraces as viewpoints for birds. Inside exhibitions illustrate the great variety of Poda's nature. Adults pay 4 лв, the lecture is 12 лв.
- Sea Garden (Morska gradina). The city has this huge park with variety of green species and fantastic view to the Burgas Bay. The garden starts from the central bus and train station. There are small stairs to the sandy beach and in summer the coast is full of cafes and nightclubs.
- Mosta (the Bridge). A t-shaped pier at the sea garden - one branch of the "t" has stairs up to a viewing platform, locals boys practise diving off the other branch. It's a nice place for a walk, or you can sit at the nearby cafe and watch the world go by.
- Flamingos. Especially around August, flamingos can be seen all around the salt ponds and lakes north of Burgas.
Walking in the garden little by little it becomes wilder and you reach the salt-pans. The 'salt-factories' produce many tons of salt every year. A small train runs across the salt-pans, riding it you can see how salt is made and refined. The salt-pans are part of the Atanasovsko lake waters.
Because the city is a trade centre, it has always been open to new religions and foreigners. The St Kiril and Metodii church is located in the city center. Also visit the Armenian church located next to Bulgaria Hotel.
Three lakes surround Burgas:
- Vaya (the Burgas) lake – the largest natural lake in Bulgaria. It is located to the west of Burgas. The water is 4-11% salty. Fresh water comes from 3 rivers and the neighboring Mandrensko lake that is turned to dam. The lake waters are dirty and it is not recommended to swim there. A lot of people go fishing there. Via Pontica – one of the largest bird migration ‘highways’ passes over the lake and more than 250 bird species can be seen there. Carp fishing is popular in the lake.
- Atanasovsko lake – It is located to the North of Burgas. The water is 20–27.5% salty and this makes it very favorable for salt-production. Its northern side is connected to the Black Sea. The Burgas – Nesebar – Varna road passes through the lake. Due to the specific salt flora in the region more than 70% of all birds that can be seen in Bulgaria can be seen in the Atanasovo lake zone especially during the autumn migration. Part of the lake is natural reserve and are under restricted access.
- Mandrensko lake – It is south of Burgas. Until 1934 it was salty lake but later its structure was changed and a dam was constructed here. Today it is not a salty lake. Four rivers get into the lake. Via Pontica – one of the largest bird migration ‘highways’ passes over the lake. On the side of the Mandrensko lake is located the Poda bird and sparrow watching zone.
Water and sand activities
In summer you can go surfing and kite-surfing in the bay. There are a few surf and sea sports schools, which you can find on the North Beach. You can also book diving.
- St. Anastasia island (formerly known as Bolshevik island) is visible from any point from the Burgas beach. Boats to St. Anastasia island leave from the Bridge. Offered in July and August, leaving at 10:00, 12:00 and 14:00.
- Bourgas Sand Fest, ☏ +359 88 821 9335. A festival of sand sculptures held from the beginning of July until the end of August. The sand covers more than 4 ha. in the northern part of the Sea Garden (near the Park Hotel) artists from all over the world (Indonesia, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Ukraine, Russia and of course Bulgaria) create stunning sand sculptures. Entrance is free. Everyone is welcome to take pictures.
- Burgas Yachting Week. Takes place at the end of April near the Port and the Most (The Bridge) on the beach. Participants are usually 20-30 yachts from Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria.
- 1 Bulgarian Dead Sea (Half-way along Atanasovsko lake's eastern flank, between the lake and the sea). M-Su 08:00-19:30. Several small salt ponds for bathing. They are not deep but contain so much salt that you can easily float. This makes for some great pictures. It also includes loads of mud, you can use to apply to all of your skin, which is supposed to have health benefits. This is all very similar to the real Dead Sea. Even though the site is typical Eastern Europe style, it can be fun going here. After having applied the mud to your body and unfold its full potential, you can head out, cross the cycle lane and have a refreshing and cleansing dip into the Black Sea. 2 лв.
- 2 Burgas Mineral Baths (Aquae Calidae-Thermopolis) (15 km to the northwest of the city center, near the village of Banevo). daily 08:30-18:30. There is regular bus line that runs on 30 min intervals, buses are leaving from the bus stop at the New Post. The mineral springs are hot (41°C) and lightly mineralised (0.604 g/L). The spa center is surrounded by huge forest-like garden. The place is ideal for a picnic.
Other sports and activities
Carting Speedway, 126 Stefan Stambolov Bul (Kolodruma), Working time: 11:00-20:30, Speedway - length: 320 m, width: 4 m.
You can do also do some extreme sports like paragliding or moto-paragliding. Courses and tandem-flights are offered as well. Sky Dog Fly Centre, 4 Troykata Sq., fl.2, office 8
Small companies offer a range of activities for tourists and for local people. One of them is PH QUADS which offer an amazing Quad Bike / ATV safari around the hills of Marinka - small village between Burgas and Sozopol with splendid nature. [dead link]
Burgas is making its way through the music scene with a few festivals that call international attention.
- Spirit of Bugas. Takes place for 3 days in the City Central Beach every mid-August. On a number of scenes visitors can enjoy all kinds of music - ethno, rock, pop, indie, Latino and electro. Bands such as Faith No More, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Kosheen, LTJ Bukem, The Sisters of Mercy, Bonobo, The Crystal Method have been on scene. Workshops for dancing and music are part of the event. In 2009 The Times (UK) rated the festival as one of the best in Europe. Tickets: from €20 for a day to €60 for 3 day package. Camping tickets should be purchased as 3-day package.
- International Folklore Festival. It's one of the oldest international music events in the city. It started in 1965 as festival for Balkan dances and music but later expanded and until today more than 18 000 dancers from more than 400 dance formations from all over the world have been part of it. The festival is held at the end of August in number of venues - Open Air Theatre and scenes in the city garden and central squares. It also offers seminars on the folklore traditions, souvenir shopping and traditional arts and crafts demonstrations.
In winter you can go to see a movie. All movies are subtitled in Bulgarian and rarely there are voiceovers so if the movie is in English, you won't have problems. There are few exceptions for children's movies. Cinema: Trakia cinema (6 Tzar Asen Str.)
Bourgas also has two universities and three colleges.
- The building of the Burgas Free University (private) is in the city centre and is one of the modern city landmarks.
- The Asen Zlatarov University main buildings are located at the west entrance of the city. Part of the university are:
- The College of Tourism (in the north part of the Sea Garden, near the Park Hotel).
- Medical College
- Pedagogical College
Shopping area is in the center of the town. It consists of two main streets and a few more small ones. The prices are reasonable. Some of the shops offer local brands while others are international (Benetton, etc.)
Gold shops are pretty popular. Most of the gold jewellery is imported from Turkey.
Silver jewelry is offered on stands on the high street.
A few shopping malls are constructed in the city but the global crunch postponed some of them. The Burgas Plaza Mall is at the end of Izgrev living districts. To get there from the city centre, take bus 211 and get off at the last stop.
International chains like Billa, Carrefour and Metro can also be found in the city.
Burgas has an abundance of eating establishments.
There are many pizza places, pubs serving international food, Chinese restaurants. On the main streets there are kebabs, pancakes, hot dogs and hamburgers for about 2–4 лв.
In summer many open air restaurants and pubs pop up by the sea. The area with the largest number of seaside restaurants and pubs is called Kapanite and it is on the North Beach in the Sea Garden.
At the beach
- 1 Kapana Seafront Fish Shack, ☏ +359 877 998270. M-Su 07:00-22:30. Very authenic and inexpensive (but not fancy) restaurant at the northern part of the eastern sea promenade.
In the city centre
- 2 Pizzaria Venice (Пицария Венеция), ul. Ferdinandova 36.
- 3 The Crazy Family, ul. Mitropolit Simeon.
- 4 Fish express, ul. Tsar Simeon I, 20.
- 5 Wake Up, ul. Peyo K. Yavorov, 7.
Burgas has many cafés and small bars. On the main streets you will bump into their chairs especially in summer.
Broadway and Silver Club are good places for a cocktail and modern dance and pop music.
In summer the Sea Garden is full of cafeterias and beer-places or small pubs. The sandy line is covered with night-bars and discos playing all kind of music.
Bars and clubs
- Plazza Dance (Бургас) (in the Sea Garden), ☏ +359 88 890 0100. 23:00-6:00. Disco, commercial music, retro parties, black parties.
- Caribe, North Beach (along the beach promenade, opposite the Surf Club), ☏ +359 89 784 1133. Daily 08:00-20:00. Open air, seasonally in summer, bar & disco club, Latino and pop music.
- Barcode, ul. "Tsar Peter" 1, ☏ +359 89 550 9659. 00:00-24:00. Electro, trance and lounge music, good for after-party, open seasonally in summer.
There are many new hotels in the city. Most of them offer BB for a reasonable price.
You can also stay in the suburb called Sarafovo. It has pretty seaside view and easy access to the city centre with public bus line 15 (in 20 min) and the airport (5 min). Sarafovo has numerous hotels. holiday apartments and guesthouses, as well as shops, restaurants and a serviced beach. It offers a good combination of peace and tranquility with easy access to the bustle and nightlife of the city centre. However keep in mind that the taxi to/from the Burgas city center may get a bit experience.
List of many means of accommodation in the city is offered by the Tourist Information Centre at the Burgas Municipality - 2- to 5-star hotels and shared rooms.
If you need something off the beaten track you can also try the private homestays. Especially in summer many old ladies or gentlemen offer accommodation in their houses. If you get off the train or the bus, you will spot their cardboard signs. Some language barriers exist as not all of them speak English. Usually they are hospitable and are a good equivalent to hostel accommodation. If you understand each other and have a good host, sometimes they will prepare a traditional breakfast.
- Apart hotel Trilogia, Alexandrovska Str. 59, ☏ +359 876210700. Check-out: 12:00. Apartments 300 m from the beach. €25.
- Hotel Trilogy (Хотел ТРИЛОГИЯ), Georgy Kirkov Str.3, ☏ +359 884563605. Rooms with a/c and kitchenettes. Rooftop terrace.
- Sezoni South Burgas, Ivan Vazov Blvd. 79 (When out of the train station (front exit) turn left and follow the street for about 800 m.), ☏ +359 56 841703. €25 for a double room.
- Luxury Apartments, ul. "Apostol Karamitev" 4,, ☏ +359 88 736 7076. A/C, wifi, kitchenettes in full apartments. лв48 for 2 people.
- Super Central Luxury Apartments, ulitsa "Knyaz Boris I" 2, ☏ +359 88 693 3771. Here you can enjoy an air conditioned apartment with kitchen and living area, with a potentially good view overlooking Troika Square. 81 лв.
- 1 Old House Hostel, Corner of Sofroniy and Slavyanska. A true budget place in the heart of Burgas with limited comfort and not-so-great cleanliness. Small dorms with single beds, shared bath rooms. Private rooms available. Shared kitchen. Manager/receptionist doesn't speak English and may be a bit grumpy, so be patient and get your translation app ready. In March 2021, many of the visitors were long-term tenants staying for a couple of months. Dorm 12 лв.
Burgas and its resort strip have 5G from A1, Telenor and Vivacom. Wifi is widely available in public places.
Burgas is generally safe city. However some common sense guidelines should be kept in mind when you travel especially in summer.
In summer the pickpocketing is more common because a lot of pickpockets from the country come to get advantage of the tourists. Keep your money and purse. Do not leave your property unattended. Often beggars approach foreigners and ask for money. The best will be to pretend that you do not get what they want and walk away. If they keep on following you – get into a shop or sit inside a café to have a drink until they leave you alone. Alternatively if they still don't go, try to speak to a security guard in the shop, café or bank.
There are a number of scam-taxi drivers in summer. Double check the tariff when you get into a taxi.
When you exchange money, double check the rates, ask if there are any taxes and basically the best will be to ask a few times how much Bulgarian leva you will get for your foreign currency. The normal exchange rate for €1 is 1.94 лв. You should be very desperate to exchange under that level, but never allow exchange rate under 1.85 лв.
Be aware of people approaching you on the street offering good exchange rates or anything else.
At night avoid speaking too loudly and avoid too dark areas especially in the Sea Garden.
Avoid conflicts with drunken people. In summer the Sea Garden and the beach are full of cafes and bars and people who drink sometimes way too much and are easy confronted. Stay away from cases like this.
Be aware of people offering you to taste cherries or other fruits in the street. It is not free and if you taste you will be physically pushed to buy an entire bucket, usually at a very high price. Ignore them and say no firmly.
- Romania, Serdiaka Str. 2, ☏ +359 56 800995, fax: +359 56 840455, [email protected].
- Nesebar – A small town under the UNESCO World Heritage conservation program. It is extremely picturesque and attractive. There you can see the Old Metropolitan Church (4 A.D.) and amazing architectural details from the Byzantine epoch. It is located 40 km North of Burgas. Regular public bus lines run every 20 minutes from Burgas to Nesebar and Sunny Beach. The first bus leaves at 05:00 and the last at 23:00.
- Sunny Beach – A large holiday complex just 1 km from Nesebar. In summer the two villages almost merge in one big party and holiday center. Sunny Beach is sometimes called the summer party capital. There are more than 200 hotels and thousands of clubs, bars and pubs. One of the most famous party places is Cacao Beach with guest DJs like Victor Calderone, or bands like UK's Ladytron.
- Pomorie – 20 km north of Burgas. Buses to there run regularly from the central bus station. The Pomorie Thracian Tomb is located near the village of Pomorie. It is open for visitors only in summer.
- Sozopol – 30 km south of Burgas. Famous for its ancient and renaissance buildings. Buses leave from South Bus Station. The first buses in the morning leave at 05:00 and the last bus for Sozopol is at 21:00.
- Sofia – There is a night train (about 8 hr), which offers comfortable and modern sleep cabins. The train runs daily and leaves from Burgas after 22:00 (ask in train station for exact time). This is a convenient option if traveling with kids, as they can occupy the travel time with sleeping.
- Istanbul is just 4–5 hr drive from Burgas (including the time on the Custom Formalities). There are many bus-companies offering excursions by bus or just transport to Istanbul and other cities in Turkey. The trip to Istanbul can be made in a day but an overnight is recommended as the city is very rich in culture and sights. Before heading to Istanbul check the visa formalities and take your passport. Depending on your nationality small entrance fee is paid upon entrance to Turkey.
|Routes through Burgas|
|Varna ← Sarafovo ←||N S||→ Malko Tarnovo/Dereköy → Kırklareli|
|Plovdiv ← Stara Zagora ←||W E||→ Ends at|