Varna (Bulgarian: Варна) is the largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, third-largest in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv, and 91st-largest in the European Union, with a population of 357,752 .
Commonly referred to as the marine capital (or the summer capital) of Bulgaria, Varna is a major tourist destination, seaport, and headquarters of the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine, as well as the centre of Varna Province and Bulgaria's North-Eastern planning region (NUTS II), comprising the provinces of Dobrich, Shumen, Silistra, and Varna.
Varna occupies an area of 205 km² on verdant terraces descending from the calcareous Frangen Plateau (height 350 m) along the horseshoe-shaped Varna Bay of the Black Sea, the elongated Lake Varna, and two waterways bridged by the Asparuhov most. The city is becoming the centre of a growing conurbation stretching along the seaboard to the north and south (mostly residential and recreation sprawl) and the lake valley to the west (mostly transportation and industrial facilities).Varna
The urban area has in excess of 20 km of sand beaches and abounds in thermal mineral water sources. It enjoys a mild continental climate influenced by the proximity to the sea with long, mild, akin to Mediterranean, autumns, and sunny and warm, yet considerably cooler than typically in the Mediterranean, summers. Black Sea water has become distictively cleaner after 1989 due to the decreased amounts of chemical fertilizers used in farming; it has low salinity and lacks dangerous predators and poisonous species.
The city lies 470 km north-east of Sofia; the nearest major cities are Dobrich (45 km to the north), Shumen (80 km to the west), and Burgas (130 km to the south-west). Varna is accessible by air (Varna International Airport), sea (Port of Varna Cruise Terminal), railroad (Central Train Station), and automobile. Major roads include European routes E70 and E87 and national motorways A-2 and A-5; there are bus lines to many Bulgarian and European cities from two bus terminals.
The public transit system is extensive and reasonably priced, with dozens of local and express bus, electrical bus, and fixed-route minibus lines, and there is a large fleet of taxicabs.
City landmarks include the Varna Archaeological Museum, exhibiting the Gold of Varna, the Roman Baths, the Battle of Varna Park Museum, the Naval Museum in the Italianate Villa Assareto displaying the museum ship Drazki torpedo boat, the Museum of Ethnography in an Ottoman-period compound featuring the life of local urban dwellers, fisherfolk, and peasants in the late 19th and early 20th century.
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