city in Bulgaria
Europe > Balkans > Bulgaria > Bulgarian Black Sea Coast > Burgas
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.
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.
Get in
Buses and trains from different destinations in Bulgaria arrive several times per day.
By plane
Balkan Holidays [2] operates direct regular flights between Bourgas 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.
Internal flights: Bulgaria Air offers every day flights to/from Sofia.
It is possible to use the bus 15 to reach the airport. The rise costs 1.50 leva (about €0.75) and lasts about 30 minutes. This bus starts at the train station about every 20 minutes from about 06:00-23:00.
There is a free shuttle bus between Varna Airport, Varna city centre and Burgas Airport. [3]
By train
Regular trains run to Sofia and other major cities in Bulgaria. There are no international connections (anymore). A change in Sofia is required. For Romania, the bus is a more sensible option.
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 +359 56 845 022 or +359 56 844 501 or visit the Bulgarian Railways website [4].
By bus
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 - South. There are also many buses coming from Turkey and Greece.
By boat
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 €140 including 3 meals a day and the cabin. Expect delays and unclear communication about tickets and departure.
Get around
Map of Burgas
Burgas has well developed public busing system. Buses travel also to all resorts and cities along the coastline. Hitchhiking is also a very popular and successful means of transportation in the region.
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 lev (April 2018). 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 leva. You should pay to the driver when you get off the mini-bus.
Burgas Airport Resort Shuttle Service. A mini bus working to Sunny Beach & St Vlas in the summer but you need to book in advance, they drop off and collect from your accommodation.
Taxis are another convenient 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 to 0.90 leva/km (August 2009).
If you are arriving at Bourgas airport and need a taxi then you are best to order in advance [6]. They have a fixed price and they will wait for you even if your flight is late
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.
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.
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 €2 tax, the lecture is €6.
The city has a huge park called Sea Garden (Morska gradina) 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) is 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.
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.
Burgas lakes
Three lakes surround Burgas:
Water and sand sports and 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.
The North Beach
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. [7]
Burgas is making its way through the music scene with a few festivals that call international attention.
People dancing on the beach during the Spirit of Burgas Fest
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.
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 €1-2.
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.
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
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. (updated Oct 2020)
The international phone code for Burgas is 056. When dialed from abroad, first dial +359 (for Bulgaria), ex. +359 56 123456.
There are two post offices in the city center and there you can make international calls in urgent cases.
Free Wi-Fi spots:
Stay safe
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 leva. You should be very desperate to exchange under that level, but never allow exchange rate under 1.85 leva.
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, ✉​consonro@gmail.com​
Go next
Istanbul is just some 4 or 5 hours 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.
Orchestra preparing for performance at Nesseber's open air music scene
The Southern Black Sea coastal line has suffered heavily from the construction boom of holiday resorts and complexes from the 2000–2008 period. As alternative to the traditional summer vacation there are a few campsites situated on picturesque beaches in the Burgas region. For travelers without cars - most of them are accessible by public transport to the main village and then by walk or hitchhike.
To the north of Burgas:
To the south of Burgas:
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Last edited on 24 April 2021, at 08:39
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