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Basic information

  • Area: 28 km²
  • Calling Code: +359
  • Currency: Lev (BGN)
  • Population (EST): 229,250
  • Official language: Bulgarian
  • Time Zone: EET (UTC+2)

Burgas – Overview

Burgas (or Bourgas, depending on who you’re talking to) is located on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria and is the country’s fourth largest city with a population of 200,000. Originally founded as a city of Ancient Greece, Burgas has had a long and interesting history right up until the modern day when it is now one of Bulgaria’s most important economic centres thanks to it thriving sea port. With a wealth of things for visitors to see and do Burgas is fast becoming a popular tourist destination.

Despite being more famous for its business reputation than anything else, Burgas has a thriving arts scene and many splendid museums and galleries. Burgas Art Gallery is an important cultural institution in the city and as well as displaying an excellent collection of Renaissance works, it offers residents of Burgas and visitors the chance to get involved in lectures and workshops throughout the year. Housed in one of the city’s architectural monuments, an old Jewish synagogue, the art gallery’s exterior is as interesting as its interior.

Burgas is a place of natural beauty and it is excellent to get outside and get involved in the huge number of activities on offer. Bulgaria’s largest lake, Lake Burgas, is situated to the West of Burgas and is a haven for migrating birds. Over 250 species of birds inhabit the lake area, 61 of which are endangered in Bulgaria and 9 globally, attracting keen bird watchers from all over the world; the lakes are also home to important fish and invertebrates. Burgas’ other lakes are more popular as recreational areas with swimming, boating and other water sports available, head to Atanassovo Lake for the best mix of nature and play.

If shopping is more your thing than the great outdoors, visit the city centre to spend some cash. The boulevards of Alexandrovska and Bogoridi are where the best shops can be found and after spending all day on your feet check out one of the local café’s serving up delicious coffee and cakes. Watch out for street vendors selling Menteta (cheap rip off goods) as anyone buying from them can be prosecuted since their fares are usually illegally made and imported.

Bulgarian cuisine is traditionally very varied and the food on offer in Burgas is no different. With a wealth of fruits and vegetables grown in the temperate climate, the huge fresh salads served with every meal are world famous, as is Bulgarian yoghurt which some claim is the best in the world! In Burgas many of the best restaurants are located on the seafront, with a number of them offering evening entertainment in the form of shows. After dinner entertainment comes in many forms, from theatre and cabaret shows to trendy bars and nightclubs and live music venues, there is something for every taste. In summer the Sea Garden (see below) has a number of outdoor music events to be enjoyed in the warm evening glow.