Car Rental Varna
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Why rent a car in Varna?
Located on the Black Sea coast, most people visit Varna for its long and beautiful beaches. But the city has plenty more to offer, from Orthodox Christian architecture and interesting museums to historic sites that date back more than 5,000 years. Varna’s convenient location means that much of the rest of Bulgaria, from other resort towns and impressive mountains to cities like Sofia and Plovdiv, can be easily reached from here.
Top ways to enter Varna
- Varna Airport: Known as Letishte Varna in Bulgarian, it served 2.2 million travelers in 2018. The airport is especially active during the summer months when more than 30 airlines fly to and from Varna. Located just 9km (5.6 miles) northwest of Varna city center, the airport can be reached in about 15 minutes.
- Burgas Airport: Also located on the Black Sea coast, Burgas Airport is the second-busiest in Bulgaria. The airport is served by around 40 different airlines and hosts flights to and from destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and East Asia. Burgas Airport is 120km (75 miles) south of Varna and can be reached in about two hours, most of the road going right along the Black Sea coast.
- Sofia Airport: By far the largest international airport in Bulgaria, and one of the busiest in all of Southeast Europe, it served nearly 7 million travelers in 2018. Sofia Airport is a large hub for low-cost companies like Ryanair and Wizz Air and is served by around 30 other airlines. Located 500km (310 miles) west of Varna, the airport can be reached in about five hours.
- Plovdiv Airport: Located in Bulgaria’s second-most populous city, Plovdiv Airport is served by five different airlines. It offers flights to and from Moscow, London, Antalya, Tel Aviv, and Belfast. Located 380km (236 miles) southwest of Varna, Plovdiv can be reached in about four hours.
Useful city facts
- Varna enjoys an oceanic climate with Mediterranean influences. The average high temperature is 27°C (80 °F) in July and August, the warmest months, and 6°C (43°F) in January, the coldest month. Precipitation is quite low from June to September, although it is higher than in many coastal cities in neighboring Turkey and Greece. The city has the highest number of days with precipitation from December to March, when not only rain, but also snowfall occurs.
- With a population of around 335,000, Varna is the third-most populous city in Bulgaria and the largest Bulgarian city on the Black Sea coast. Another 80,000 live in the city’s larger metropolitan area. Although most of Varna’s inhabitants are Bulgarians, there are also small native Turkish and Romani communities. A person from Varna is called a Varnean.
Top destinations and activities
- Varna Archaeological Museum. One of the largest museums of its type not only in Bulgaria, but in all of Europe, Varna Archaeological Museum has more than 100,000 objects, relics, and artefacts on display. The museum focuses on the different cultures that have inhabited the Varna region since antiquity. After visiting the museum, make sure to also visit Varna’s Roman baths which are located in another part of the city, but are technically a part of the museum.
- Varna Aquarium. The Black Sea is rightly famous as a beach tourism destination, but it is also an important habitat for countless fish, aquatic mammals, and plant species. Many of these can be observed at Varna Aquarium In addition, its World Ocean section also has fish and molluscs from exotic locations around the world.
- Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral. Bulgaria is an overwhelmingly Orthodox Christian country, and the Mother of God Cathedral is the most important place of worship in Varna. Open for 130 years, it is the second-largest church in the country and one of the most impressive buildings in the city.
Traffic and parking tips
- Cars in Bulgaria drive on the right hand side of the road
- Outside the main population areas and areas of national importance, the road signs are often only written in Cyrillic. If you cannot read this alphabet, it’s a good idea to get a dictionary, perhaps in mobile format, to be able to read them.
- Speed cameras are in use.
- Drivers are only allowed to use mobile phones with hands-free systems.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation need to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- When driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for both experienced and novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines. Driving with a blood alcohol content of over 1.2% will lead to imprisonment.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
For many motorways in Bulgaria you need to obtain a highway vignette. The price of the vignette depends on the term (1-day, weekend, weekly, monthly, etc.) and the type of car. You can purchase vignettes online as well as at locations such as gas stations. Some rental cars will come pre-equipped with a highway vignette, and some rental car providers will ask an extra fee for this service. Ask your rental car provider in advance about the highway vignette for your rental car. Find out more toll roads in Bulgaria on the country’s official toll road website.
You also have to pay a fee for crossing certain bridges and for taking your car on a ferry to cross certain bodies of water. Find out more about the crossing points and the fees on the official European toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Aladzha Monastery. Located right outside Varna, Aladzha is a medieval monastery complex. A unique place to visit, it is made up of a number of caves carved into karst cliffs. As impressive from inside as it is from outside, visitors can explore its frescoes, mosaics, and catacombs. The whole place has a slightly claustrophobic, but very beautiful feel about it. Located just 15km (9 miles) north of Varna city center, the monastery can be reached in about 20 minutes by car.
- Varna Necropolis. Only discovered in 1972, Varna Necropolis is a historical site of the ancient Varna Culture. Dating back to at least 4,200 BC, it is primarily a burial site. artifacts such as sculptures, vases, and the oldest gold jewelry in the world have been found here and put on display. A timeless place to visit, the Necropolis is just 6km (3.7 miles) west of the city center and can be reached in about ten minutes.
- Beaches. Above all else, Varna is a beach destination. Many of the city’s most popular and busy coastal spots can be found around the Sea Garden, a large waterfront park made up public swimming areas, beach bars, and clubs. But with a rental car, you can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city by heading to Sunny Beach (Slanchev Bryag in Bulgarian) to the south or Albena to the north.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Varna is the Opel Corsa, closely followed by the VW Polo and the Hyundai i20. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and standard.
- Burgas. Like Varna, Burgas is primarily a resort town. Over the last decade it’s gotten so popular that some think it has overshadowed its larger northern neighbor. But there’s plenty more about Burgas than just its coastline - landmarks include the Nature Museum, the Armenian Church, and the Poda Protected Area, a large wetland reserve that is home to many species of waterbird. Located 130km (80 miles) south of Varna, Burgas can be reached in about two hours.
- Sofia. The nation’s capital, and by far its largest city, is a place of culture. There’s plenty to enjoy here, from the Earth and Man Museum and the National History Museum to St. Aleksander Nevski Cathedral and Sofia Public Mineral Baths. Should you ever get overwhelmed by the big city, you can drive to the nearby Vitosha Mountains, a regional hub for winter sports. Sofia is 440km (273 miles) west of Varna and can be reached in about five hours by car.
- Central Balkan National Park. Made up of deep canyons, waterfalls, ancient beech forests, and dramatic mountain peaks, Central Balkan National Park is one of the most impressive areas of the country. The perfect place for hiking and wildlife watching, the national park is 300km (186 miles) from Varna and takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to reach.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are a number of things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Varna. Start with these:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Varna is the cheapest in March when renting a car is about 62% cheaper than the yearly average and a barely believable 80% cheaper than renting a vehicle in June. Come visit the Black Sea in early spring!
Top 6 Locations near Varna
Varna Airport Car Rentals from $6.21 per day
Varna, Downtown Car Rentals from $11.99 per day
Burgas Airport Car Rentals from $6.21 per day77.9 km / 48.4 miles away
Plovdiv Airport Car Rentals from $11.69 per day275.5 km / 171.2 miles away
Sofia Airport Terminal 2 Car Rentals from $7.55 per day364.4 km / 226.5 miles away
Sofia Airport Car Rentals from $7.10 per day364.4 km / 226.5 miles away
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Varna?
What’s the usual rental length in Varna?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Varna?
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Top 9 Suppliers for Varna in 2019
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