My wife, who is from Sofia, and I live in the USA but are seriously thinking of living in Varna. Our pensions will go much further there than in Chicago. We are going to be in Sofia from May 19-28, 2018. In between, we may explore Varna as a possible place to retire. My wife speaks Bulgarian but I only speak Italian, Spanish and English, but willing to learn. Since we will have only a few days to explore, do you have any suggestions as to where in Varna would be good to either buy or rent if we settle there? We plan to retire in 2020.

It depends on what you are looking for. When I lived in Varna I lived in the most southern neighborhood- Galata. It is quiet, peaceful, has a few shops and a small supermarket, regular direct bus into the center. For me it was ideal.

I also recommend the next neighborhood up- Asparuhovo. It has a pleasant beach, several restaurants and cafes, more amenities (cell phone, internet shops etc). But again, it is somewhat quieter than the heart of the city (but just over the bridge from it). Also in that are is

Other than that, I would recommend looking north along the coast- Trakata and Vinitsa are both nice, although a bit more expensive than the southern neighborhoods.

My in-laws live on the west side of Varna, but it is heavily industrial and the traffic can be terrible most days, so I wouldn't recommend it as part of a relaxed retirement.

Thank you. We will check out those neighborhoods when we visit there in May.

On your way to Varna, you can take the southern route. It will be a bit longer, but you will have a chance to take a look at Plovdiv and Stara Zagora ... both are excellent alternatives to Varna, especially if you do not insist on the seaside.

Hello, I am born in Varna and lived there long enough to see how it's change. For a tourist destination may be good but the life there is very, very expensive . Apartment in a good city aria cost a lot, the food also.
After 5 years visiting town Elena near to Veliko Turnovo, we have a house here and left Varna behind. We have a nice house with big garden with fruit trees and vegies . here we found people from all around the world.
My advice is don't look only in Varna.
P.S my husband is American and that's why I decide to write you.

Hi Jim,

My wife and I are considering doing the same. We currently live in Hanoi where I teach at Hanoi Medical University. My wife is Russian; I'm a native Californian. Once you have had the opportunity to experience Varna, we would appreciate your feedback. Any advice would be appreciated.

Warm Regards,

Dr. David and Klavdiia Dutcher

Hi jim

We have a home in vinitza and have been going there for nearly 13 years.  We are now going to move there in July 2018 and will definitely be staying in vinitza.  It's a very nice part of varna and properties are a little expensive but it's worth it in the long run if you want your property to increase in value.   Hope this helps.

Thank you for sharing this. Very interesting.

Thanks! This helps. We will check it out next time we go. Hope the move will go smoothly.

We would like to keep in-touch with you if you  can share some experience of the life there. My wife is from Sofia but it’s been 25 years since she last lived there.

James and Nellie

Hello Dr’s:

We came back from our visit to Bulgaria, but we didn’t have the time to get to Varna. We only had a week so we stayed in Sofia.

My Bulgarian wife, Nellie, is hesitant to give any advice since she hasn’t actually lived in Bulgaria since 1993. Things have changed a lot since then. But I would look in the small villages surround Varna, such as Ravda.

How did you choose to possibly live in Varna?

James & Nellie

Hi Jim

Yes we would like to keep in touch. We are currently in the process of packing up things in the UK so the move is imminent.  Your more than welcome to contact us any time and especially if you come to varna. 


Thanks, Sam!

Unfortunately we won’t be back until next year in spring or summer. We live in the Chicago area in the US and going back and forth more than once a year becomes expensive. We hope to retire in 2020-2021. There is something about Bulgaria that keeps drawing me in.

We may look to Valencia, Spain as a possibility but so far, Bulgaria seems more of an option for us. I love Bulgaria.


Hi Jim,

We considered Varna because my wife did some Internet surfing and found that it was a 'peaceful' place to live.  She had an acquaintance who lived there for some time and loved it. My wife loves the sea, and anything close to water is her first choice. Thank you for the advice.

Hi Jim,  I am from the UK and my wife is also Bulgarian and from Sofia.  We moved to Bulgaria in May this year.  Before we moved we made several visits looking for a property, but were looking to live in a village.  Eventually we settled for a really nice village called Starosel.  The reason for this choice is that it is close to Plovdiv, which we visit on a regular basis and you can get almost anything there.  They have Praktiker and Homemax which are DIY stores.  The other reasons for Starosel is that there is a large hotel/spa complex here, where we can use the spa for a fee if we want so the village is fairly busy, also unlike a lot of villages it has main sewerage rather than septic tanks. If your not sure of things here then pm me as I am now up to date with all the things like resident permit and vehicle registration as I brought my car from UK.  There is also a small group of expats in the area including an American couple.

I'm Italian but I live in Varna. I must say that it is truly a magnificent city. Find everything you need, sea, gardens, behind it has hilly area. if you want I can be your reference.    Before deciding and finally choosing Varna, I traveled to Bulgaria to get to know her better and make a non-hazardous decision. at the end after careful analysis I happily chose for VARNA and I can safely recommend it.

hi james,
i am an israeli citizen holding  a bulgarian citizenship as well, planning to relocate in the near future to Bulgaria.

my 71 y.o father is currently living in varna on his own, his has retired and been living there for almost 2 years now, he has not got a citizenship but rather a residency permit.

my father has some russian language skills and to a lesser extent bulgarian skills as well.

he did his research and visited the varna area many times before moving there, he almost bought a house in sokolvo village, not far from varna, but chose not to do so after he understood country life will not be so easy in bulgaria when you are alone and aging, especially not during winters...

he is very pleased with his move to Bulgaria and to varna in particular, everything he needs is in his vicinity. living costs in bulgaria are 3 times cheaper than in israel(it is even more extreme regarding housing costs), so his israeli welfare allowance is more than enough to get by here comfortably.

the proximity of the international airport is also a key factor for him, 30 minutes drive, 2 hours flight and 200 usd max and he can visit israel when ever...

i love Bulgaria a lot, my father as well, with all the hardships in moving into new life, for him it is totally worth it.

would be glad to shed more light.


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