Balchik – one of the most enigmatic, but fairly popular Bulgarian resorts. Here you will not find neither a diversity of sights as in Nessebar or Burgas nor a huge number of noisy late-night discos as in Sunny Beach or Golden Sands.
And in spite of this, every year Balchik attracts a lot of tourists from around the world. Someone likes its calm, measured life and someone comes to the resort for the amazing natural environment of the Balkans. Another nice feature of Balchik can be considered its cheap prices, especially if compared with more widely promoted Bulgarian resorts.
For young people in the city there are several discos. One of them is rather unusual: in its interior are used beds, where you can relax if you are tired to dance.
Despite the fact that Balchik is a third largest port city in Bulgaria (after Burgas and Varna), it has good sandy beaches. Especially tourists like young, but already managed to become popular, complex “New Beach”. The only minus of this beach – its size. At the height of summer season it can be crowded.
The city streets are bizarrely stretched on the slopes of hills in tiers, creating a romantic mood. A highlight to the resort add houses of the local population – they are all built of white stone with red roofs. If you want to see Balchik in all its glory, we recommend to take a look at it from the sea or from the hill at the outskirts of the city.
The history of Balchik
The history of the city dates back to the VI century BC, when in its territory was created by the ancient polis, named Krounoi. This name was due to a large number of karst springs. In consequence of this, most of the houses were built of white limestone. Later the city was renamed many times.
And its current name Balchik gained in XIV century, when it became a part of the Despotate of Dobruja. Then it was decided to assign the city the name of its first ruler noble Balik. At one time the city managed to get under the rule of the Ottoman Empire (in the XVI century) and Romania (in the beginning of the XX century). And only in 1940 Balchik again became a part of Bulgaria.
The attractions of Balchik
The resort town of Balchik is not too rich at sights. Although exactly here is located a pearl of the entire Balkan Peninsula – a luxurious Botanical Gardenб in which is located the summer palace of Romanian Queen Maria – “Quiet Nest”.
In Balchik there are also unusual sights – a yacht club and a golf club.
And not far from the city (4 km) is located a natural salt lake, which is famous for its unique curative mud. In the territory of the pond Balchikskaya Tuzla, was built a balneological resort.
The residence of Romanian Queen Maria
Queen Mary in 1921 chose quiet, but surprisingly green Balchik to build her residence. She was so in love with local places that she ordered to lay out a park of impressive dimensions and build there a small summer palace. The name for it Queen invented by herrself, in translation from Turkish it means “Lonely nest”.
The palace looks very modest, but exquisitely. Over the three-storey building rises a small tower-minaret, which gives the residence a special flair. Near the entrance to the palace is located a stone throne, from which Queen supposedly liked to watch the sunrise (although, many tend to think, that, in fact, she felt sad about her beloved of Turkish bloods).
From inside the palace seems too austere. On the ground floor is now located a picture gallery, on the second are preserved pristine rooms of Queen, some of them are opened to tourists. Around the palace there is a spacious balcony. We recommend to view the sea from it, beautiful sceneries are guaranteed.
The entrance to the palace is paid. The payment is carried out in a separate ticket office in front of the Botanical Garden. The cost for one adult is 5 levs.
The Botanical Garden
In the Botanical Garden, which is located in the territory of Balchik, you will discover an amazing world of flora – a diverse and multifaceted.
Through the efforts of Romanian Queen Maria, and later – hardworking teachers together with students, the garden has got an unusual combination not only of styles, but also of completely uncombinable plants.
The Botanical Garden is famous all over the world for its collections of cacti, succulents, palms, exquisite alleys, outlandish flowers, man-made waterfalls. Here is not only beautifully, but also cosily.
Each year the park is visited by a lot of tourists from all over the globe. For example, when we were there, a tourist from the United States gladly photographed us.
To the Botanical Garden, you can come by yourself or with an excursion group. An organized excursion will cost a bit more expensive, but as a bonus will be the presence of a tour guide.
To get to the park, you will need to pay at the box office 7 levs for one adult (if you come by yourself). Believe me, this price will be paid off at 100% by your positive emotions and good memories during more than one year.
To learn more about the Botanical Garden of the city and the palace “Quiet Nest”, see our separate article: The Botanical Garden and the Palace of Romanian Queen in Balchik.
Museums and churches
For those, who like a cultural program, we inform, that there are four museums and the same number of churches in Balchik.
The most interesting is the Historical Museum, which is located in the central square. On the contrary is located the Ethnographic Museum, where you can learn about the culture and life of the inhabitants of this land. You can enjoy the architectural complex of the Bulgarian Renaissance or visit the Art Gallery with magnificent paintings of famous Bulgarian artists. Entrances to the museums are paid.
In the territory of Balchik there are four churches. The Church of Saint George is relatively new, built in 1897. It is valuable in terms of art due to a carved iconostasis and a bishop’s throne. The Church of Saint Paraskeva of Tarnovo – its construction began during the Romanian occupation in 1935. The construction of the church was completed by Bulgarians. The Church of Saints Constantine and Helena has adorned the city in 1894. After the occupation of Romanians, and then, over the years, the temple was used as a concert hall. Already almost nowadays, the church was sanctified. Now the temple is open to parishioners. The Church of St. Nicholas was built in 1848. It survived the destruction, and was rebuilt in 1866. Today, the temple refers to the architectural complex.
Accommodation in Balchik
Not so long ago the city was the elite resort and a favorite place of rest of members of the Bulgarian Communist Party. Here were exclusive villas and numerous sanatoriums. Nowadays, Balchik is a quiet and a calm city, where you can find cheap hotels, and a variety of restaurants. This region is especially beautiful in spring and summer, when everything is replete with greenery and blooms.
For those, who chose Balchik as a resort, but has not yet defined with housing, we offer to read the information below.
A selection of hotels in Balchik
In Balchik, as well as in any Bulgarian resort, you can find a huge number of hotels for every taste and price. If you prefer a good rest, and not accustomed to deny yourself in anything, at your disposal there are excellent five star hotels. For tourists with limited funds in Balchik there are good two star hotels, which are quite correspond to minimal requirements of vacationers.
We recommend reviewing the list of hotels directly on our website and to choose the option, which you will like:
A selection of residential rooms or apartments in Balchik
Sometimes it is a bit cheaper and much more comfortable to rent a room or even an entire apartment with a kitchen instead of hotel room in the resort. For travelers, who prefer to cook their own meals or to live in familiar surroundings, we suggest to familiarize with the popular service Airbnb. If you use this service at least once, you will no longer want to refer to other sites for help in choosing housing.
Where is Balchik situated and how to get there?
The town of Balchik is situated at the Black Sea coast, near the small resort of Albena. The distance from Balchik to the capital of Bulgaria – Sofia is about 500 km, and to Varna – no more than 50 km.
To get to the city is most convenient by bus or by rented car. For those, who can afford to spend a little more – by taxi or by boat. We would like to warn you in advance, it is difficult to get to Balchik by bus without a change. As we know, there are direct routes from Varna, Sofia or Albena. From Nessebar, where we had a rest, we had to get to Balchik with a change in Varna, that is very difficult in summer heat.
Below we have attached a small map on which are indicated a bus station and a bus stop, where it is most convenient to leave the bus to get to the Botanical Garden.
For those, who are interested in a bus schedule to Balchik and from it, there is a separate article: Balchik: buses and public transport in 2016.
A selection of beautiful photos of Balchik
In Balchik, we took a lot of pictures, especially in the Botanical Garden. We offer you a small selection of photos of one of the numerous resorts in Bulgaria – Balchik. All pictures are signed. Watch and enjoy the amazing beauty of Bulgaria with us:
Useful links and interesting information:
- Which of the Bulgarian resorts to choose? Briefly about the features of every seaside resort.
- Actual prices for excursions in Bulgaria in 2016.
- The magnificence of the Botanical garden of Balchik and the Palace “Quiet Nest”: a detailed description and many photos.
- At what resorts in Bulgaria are the cleanest beaches and the sea?
- Renting a car in Bulgaria: where and how much?
- A bus schedule of Balchik in 2016.
- Independently to Bulgaria: what do you need for it?