Set in a grand 19th-century building, the Varna Archaeological Museum houses Bulgaria’s finest archaeology collection. Displays spread over 23,000 square feet (2,150 square meters) and run from Stone Age times to the 19th century. Highlights include some of the world’s oldest worked gold, dating back over 6,000 years. The Basics
Gain access to the Varna Archaeological Museum for a moderate charge, heavily discounted for children, or visit free with a Varna City Card. Collections trace the story of Varna through Thracian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman eras and show how much more there is to this essential port city than sun, fun, and sand. There are thorough explanations in English throughout, so many travelers visit independently. It’s also possible to explore with a guide, whether as part of a cultural city tour or on a downtown Varna walking tour.Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- The Varna Archaeological Museum is a must for history buffs.
- Exhibits are not interactive, so children may not last long.
- There’s a small café in the courtyard if hunger strikes.
- Stairs mean the museum is not accessible to travelers who use wheelchairs.
The Varna Archaeological Museum is located in the heart of downtown Varna, two blocks east of the cathedral. Bus 409, which runs from the airport through the city center and northeast along the coast road as far as Golden Sands, stops right outside it.
When to Get There
The Varna Archaeological Museum is open from morning until late afternoon seven days a week during the summer season (April to September) but closes on Sundays and Mondays during winter. Visit early on hot days as there is no air-conditioning, and come midweek for a less busy experience.The Varna Gold
Discovered in 1972, the Varna necropolis revealed an ancient civilization far more sophisticated than experts had imagined, with an elaborate and rich burial tradition and social hierarchy. Between 6,200 and 6,600 years ago, men of high status were buried with a wealth of gold treasure, including penis sheaths. While no one knows what happened to their culture, their jewelry is on display in the Varna Archaeological Museum. It’s called the Varna Gold.