Burgas, sometimes transliterated as Bourgas, is the second-largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the fourth-largest in Bulgaria. Located in the region of Northern Thrace, it boasts a population of 203,000 inhabitants, with 277,922 living in its urban area.
As the capital of Burgas Province, it serves as a significant industrial, transport, cultural, and tourist hub. The city is surrounded by Burgas Lakes and is situated at the westernmost point of the Black Sea, at the large Burgas Bay. It’s home to the largest oil refinery in southeastern Europe and the largest port in Bulgaria.
The city’s rich biodiversity, especially in the Burgas Wetlands, makes it a haven for birdwatchers, with over 250 species of birds inhabiting the area. The city’s nickname, “The city of sea and lakes,” reflects its unique geographical features.
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Attractions and Things to do in Burgas
1. Burgas Sea Garden
The Burgas Sea Garden is a prominent marine park in the city. It’s a perfect place to enjoy a walk along the sea, with beautiful landscapes and various cultural monuments.
Travel Tip: Visit during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds and enjoy the serene beauty of the garden.
2. Burgas Lakes
Burgas is surrounded by several lakes, including Lake Burgas, Atanasovo Lake, and Mandrensko Lake. These lakes are home to hundreds of bird species and are significant for biodiversity.
Travel Tip: Birdwatchers should bring binoculars and a guidebook to spot and identify the various species that inhabit these lakes.
3. Aquae Calidae – Thermal Baths
These ancient thermal baths have been used by various civilizations, including the Thracians, Byzantines, and Ottomans. They offer a glimpse into the rich history of the region.
Travel Tip: Don’t miss the opportunity to take a relaxing dip in the thermal waters, known for their therapeutic properties.
4. Beglik Tash – Thracian Sanctuary
Beglik Tash is an ancient Thracian sanctuary located near Burgas. It offers a unique insight into the spiritual practices of the Thracian civilization.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes for the hike to the site and consider hiring a local guide to fully understand the historical significance of the sanctuary.
5. Burgas Wetlands
The Burgas Wetlands are renowned for their importance to biodiversity. They are home to many Red-Listed species of plants and animals and are a hotspot for migratory birds.
Travel Tip: Visit during migration seasons to witness the incredible spectacle of thousands of birds passing through the area.
6. Strandzha Natural Park
Strandzha Natural Park is a protected area near Burgas, offering beautiful landscapes and opportunities for hiking and wildlife observation.
Travel Tip: Explore the park’s trails with a local guide to learn about the unique flora and fauna of the region.
7. Burgas Art Gallery
The Burgas Art Gallery hosts various exhibitions and is a hub for art enthusiasts looking to explore Bulgarian art and culture.
Travel Tip: Check the gallery’s schedule in advance to catch special exhibitions or events during your visit.
8. St. Anastasia Island
Part of the city, St. Anastasia Island is a fascinating destination with a rich history. It’s a great place for a day trip to explore the island’s natural beauty and historical sites.
Travel Tip: Consider taking a guided tour of the island to learn about its history and enjoy a traditional Bulgarian meal at the local restaurant.
Unique Activities in Burgas
There are currently no activities. New activities will be planned for the 2024 season.
Day Trips from Burgas
Experience the charm of ancient Bulgaria in Nesebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site with a rich history spanning over 3,000 years. Wander through its narrow streets lined with well-preserved churches and typical houses.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable walking shoes, as the old town is paved with cobblestones and can be challenging to navigate in heels or sandals.
Discover the ancient town of Sozopol, perched on the Black Sea coast, where wooden houses meet archaeological treasures. Explore the old town, the fortifications, and the Art Gallery, which showcases contemporary Bulgarian art.
Travel Tip: If visiting in early September, be sure to attend the annual Apollonia Festival of Arts, offering a rich program of theater, music, and dance.
Venture to Plovdiv, Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, boasting a harmonious blend of ancient Roman ruins and modern urban life. Dive into its colorful streets, visit the Roman amphitheater, and indulge in local Bulgarian cuisine.
Travel Tip: Give yourself ample time to explore the Kapana district, known for its vibrant art scene, boutiques, and cafes.
Where to stay in Burgas
Burgas City, located on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, offers a wide range of accommodation options for travelers. With 848 hotels to choose from, visitors can find something to suit every taste and budget. From luxurious 5-star hotels to budget-friendly 3-star options, Burgas City provides a variety of choices. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly stay, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, the city’s hotels offer excellent amenities and beautiful views of the Gulf of Burgas or the city center.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Hotel Bulgaria (★★★★)
- Description: Located in the heart of Burgas, Hotel Bulgaria offers pleasant accommodation with magnificent views of the Gulf of Burgas.
- Price: €72 per night
- Rating: 9.2 (Superb)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
Primoretz Grand Hotel & Spa (★★★★★)
- Description: Situated just 20 meters from the beach, this hotel offers a 25-meter pool with a hot tub and extensive spa treatments.
- Price: €166 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
3. Budget Hotel
Avenue Hotel (★★★)
- Description: Conveniently located on the main access road to Burgas, close to the Burgas Plaza Shopping Mall and 4 km from the city center.
- Price: €41 per night
- Rating: 7.7 (Good)
4. Hotel for Family
Aqua Hotel (★★★★)
- Description: Centrally located, 1.5 km from the Sea Garden and the beach, The Sport Center in Hotel Aqua features free access to an indoor swimming pool and gym.
- Price: €51 per night
- Rating: 7.6 (Good)
5. Hotel for Couples
Boutique family hotel Promenade (★★★)
- Description: An elegant and charming hotel located right next to the central beach in the Sea Garden, just 50 meters from the sea.
- Price: €205 per night
- Rating: 9.6 (Exceptional)
6. Hotel for Solo Travelers
Sea Horse Hotel (★★★)
- Description: A 3-star hotel located in Sarafovo, just 500 meters from the beach and a 10-minute walk from Burgas Airport.
- Price: €39 per night
- Rating: 8.1 (Very good)
Did you know? Facts about Burgas
- Burgas is the second-largest city on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the fourth-largest in Bulgaria, serving as an important industrial, transport, cultural, and tourist center.
- The city is surrounded by the Burgas Lakes and located at the westernmost point of the Black Sea, making it a significant hub for fishing and fish processing in Bulgaria.
- Burgas has a Mediterranean climate with continental influences, offering a pleasant summertime that lasts about five months from mid-May until late September.
- Lake Burgas, the largest lake in Bulgaria, is home to over 250 species of birds, including 61 that are endangered in Bulgaria and 9 globally, attracting birdwatchers worldwide.
- The Atanasovo Lake, one of two salt-water lakes in the Black Sea region, is a biodiversity hotspot and a significant site for migratory birds, with record numbers of several species.
- Burgas is rich in history, with archaeological finds dating back to the Bronze Age, and has been part of various empires including the Thracian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman.
- The city’s port is the largest in Bulgaria, contributing significantly to the regional economy, and Burgas also hosts annual national exhibitions and international festivals.
- Burgas is home to several protected areas, including the Strandzha Natural Park, and offers open-air museums at Beglik Tash and Develtum, showcasing its historical heritage.
- During World War II, the Haganah organized convoys from Burgas for European survivors of the Holocaust, allowing 12,000 people, including the Jewish population of the city, to emigrate.
- Today, Burgas maintains a vibrant student population and a preserved 19th- and early-20th-century architecture, making it an appealing destination for tourists and scholars alike.
FAQ about Burgas
What Are the Top Tourist Attractions in Burgas, the City of Sea and Lakes?
Burgas, known as the city of sea and lakes, offers a variety of attractions including the Marine Casino Center, Tsaritsa Ioanna Square, Burgas Art Gallery, and the annual Sand Sculptures event in Sea Garden. The city’s beautiful central beach and the Pier are also must-visit spots.
How Can I Explore the Rich Biodiversity of Burgas Wetlands?
The Burgas Wetlands, including Lake Burgas and Atanasovo Lake, are home to over 250 species of birds, many of which are endangered. Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts can explore these areas to witness migratory birds and other unique species.
What Is the Climate Like in Burgas, and When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Burgas enjoys a Mediterranean climate with continental influences. The summertime lasts from mid-May until late September, with average temperatures around 24°C. The sea temperatures range from 23–30°C, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers.
What Historical Sites Can I Visit in Burgas, Bulgaria’s Second Largest City on the Black Sea Coast?
Burgas is rich in history, with sites like the ancient Roman travel post, the Thracian sanctuary at Beglik Tash, and the mineral baths of Aquae Calidae. Visitors can also explore the historical society’s open-air museums at Beglik Tash and Develtum.
How Can I Experience the Cultural Heritage of Burgas?
Burgas hosts annual national exhibitions and international festivals, adding to the city’s cultural appeal. The city’s vibrant student population and preserved 19th- and early-20th-century architecture contribute to its unique cultural heritage.
What Are the Transportation Options in Burgas, an Important Industrial and Transport Center in Bulgaria?
Burgas is well-connected by road and rail, with Pan-European corridor 8 passing through the city. The Port of Burgas is the largest in Bulgaria, and Burgas Airport serves as the country’s second most important airport, providing various travel options for tourists.
What Are the Protected Areas and Natural Parks to Explore in Burgas?
Visitors can explore several protected areas in Burgas, including Burgas Lake Protected Area, Atanasovo Lake Protected Area, Mandra Lake Protected Area, Poda Protected Area, and Strandzha Natural Park. These areas offer unique opportunities to experience the local flora and fauna.
How Can I Enjoy the Beaches and Coastal Activities in Burgas, Located at the Westernmost Point of the Black Sea?
Burgas offers a variety of coastal activities, including beach relaxation, water sports, and coastal exploration. The St. Anastasia Island is a part of the city, and the Burgas Bay provides a picturesque setting for enjoying the Black Sea’s beauty.