There are so many angles from which I could write and article about a night out in Varna that for a good while I was stumped as to how I should approach it. However, after much consideration I figured that I should list all the things that came to mind and assault the reader with a barrage of information on entertainment in Bulgaria's third largest city.
I thought I would start with the frivolities themselves because, more than anything, Varna proved to be a fantastic place to paint the town red. The major aspect of this is that it is far from terrible to sit in bars or dance in clubs that are situated right on the beach. We began our evening in a lounge bar where we had cocktails on a deck that was built over the shallows of the Black Sea and where we could hear the waves lap onto the beach below us. We then visited a club which had a dance-floor that was built above the beach and from which you could look out at the darkened sea (The Black Sea actually looked black in that situation). We then finished the night by relaxing in large canvas chairs that were situated actually on the sand. It was all rather nice and I had a fantastic time.
The bars themselves are also very and extremely lively. You can tell that not only is Varna a major city, but also a big tourist resort as all the bars are full to the point of bursting. The club we found on the beach was absolutely rammed. There was a bar area that had two long bars at which people could stand and drink and a dance floor that was situated down a light of stairs. It took us a long time to get served as we had to squeeze through the huge throng of people. When we finally got the waitresses attention, we quickly realized that Varna is a big city and tourist resort … the prices. It cost me 8 Bulgarian Leva for a vodka with Coke. This is not so expensive by Western European standards, but was doubler what we had p[aid in Shumen (a smaller Bulgarian city close by). The club was fun, but ultimately, proved a little too crowded and noisy for her. So, I accompanied my girlfriend and her cousin along the beach to the bar in the sand. After the hot and sweaty club it was great to relax with a bottle of beer and the sea breeze.
I must admit that Varna seemed a very fun place to go out, but it made me feel all of my 32 years and maybe even a little more. First of all, the crowd was very young and raucous. The dance-floors were all packed and the music was absolutely throbbing. Second, I found myself baulking at the state of a few of the clubs. This was a combination of the hygiene and the activities inside. The floor of the club we were in was awash with old drinks, broken glass and beer, not to mention sand that had been dragged in from the beach. Several of the clubs also housed foam parties with huge clouds of soap suds filling the dance-floors. In both scenarios, I was worried that my new soft-leather loafers were in serious danger.
Overall, a night out in Varna was a fantastic experience that I enjoyed a lot – even if it made me feel just that little bit too old for my own comfort. You simply cannot beat dancing by the beach. However, I would very much recommend donning appropriate footwear. It was only with the grace of God that my loathers survived.