Varna, Bulgaria

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in Varna, Bulgaria. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

What are the pros and cons of living in Varna?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Varna responded:

"Bulgaria is a very historical country. Lots of interesting things to see, but you have to seek them out, so read travel books! Bulgaria is also a very traditional country where traditions are respected. "Martenitsa" is celebrated March 1st all over Bulgaria. Look it up, interesting! The major thing I do not like about Bulgaria is the car drivers who park anywhere and in any position as well as do not seem to respect speed limits. The Bulgarian staff at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia are, for the most part, "snotty", unprofessional, and act as if they are doing you a favor. I guess that living under socialism for so many years had influenced their behavior. I have dealt with embassies in other countries and have not been treated as "shabbily" as the Bulgarian staff at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia. On the other hand, the U.S. citizen employees I have dealt with at the embassy have always been polite, professional and helpful. Fortunately they have never had to live under socialism...yet," remarked another expat in Varna.

"The U.S. Embassy in Sofia! The Bulgarians who work there are "down right snotty"! They give the impression that they are doing you a big favor and are sometimes just "rude". I am a retired U.S. citizen and I pay a lot of income tax, some of this tax goes to pay these embassy employees. So I do not feel that it is too much to expect a more professional attitude from them. However, the Americans I have dealt with at the embassy have been quite the opposite. They are polite, professional, and helpful. And...I continue to thank them. ," explained one expat in Varna.

"I like living in Bulgaria, for the most part. It is not an old country...it is an "ancient" country with a rich history. Walking and traveling through this country is a real experience and I do it often. My only negative experience is when I have to visit the U.S. embassy. The American citizens who work there are helpful, polite, and professional. However, the Bulgarian citizens who work there tend to be quite the opposite. Some are "downright snotty". For the most part, they are unprofessional and act as it they are doing you a favor. This is irritating to me as I still pay a lot of income tax which pays the salaries of these people. On top of that, I always felt that visiting my embassy was like visiting the land of my birth," said another expat in Varna.

"My biggest complaint is with traffic and parking. Regardless of the posted speed limits, they drive as they wish. Parking is anywhere and in any way even on the sidewalks. Banking seems to take longer than I would expect. Likely because I have U.S. dollars sent to my bank here which seem to take longer to withdraw. Also, one branch bank I have used, which is closer to my home, many times does not have dollars. Then I have to go downtown to the main bank. Try to find a parking space, then I take the dollars and go to a currency exchange where I always get a better rate than at my bank. Banking in Varna is not a big problem but at times it is irritating," remarked another expat in Varna.

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What is the social scene like in Varna?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Varna.

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