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The Varna Aquarium, which is one of the best known buildings in the city, is located in the Sea Garden which happens to be the largest, oldest and best known public park in Varna and also an important tourist attraction and a national monument of landscape architecture.
Varna Aquarium History
In the year 1862, the city's Ottoman mayor ordered that a small garden be built along the coastline of Varna. This plan was expanded two decades later by mayor Mihail Koloni who managed to get funds sanctioned for the arrangement of a city garden and a seaside park in 1881. This effort resulted in the expansion of the Sea Garden to 26,000 Sq m. It was developed further according to the plan of Martinice, a French engineer.
The garden gradually grew in size and reached an area of 90,000 Sq m in 1905. The building that houses the Varna Aquarium itself was constructed in the garden only between 1906 and 1911. Several fountains were added to the garden during 1912 - 1913, and the garden had partial electric lighting. The Varna Aquarium was officially opened in 1932 as the first and only marine biological station in Bulgaria.
Hundreds of species of fishes including mollusks, actinides, crabs and periwinkles were featured in the aquarium. Various species of fresh water river fish were also added to the aquarium. Being a novel attraction, the aquarium pulled large crowds from various parts of the country. Children were especially attracted to the huge variety of exotic fish that they had never ever seen before. Youngsters and adults alike were fascinated by the entertainment and educational value that the aquarium offered to its visitors. The Varna aquarium and the Sea Garden itself became one of the most popular and frequently visited attractions in the city.
The Features of the Aquarium
The Aquarium is basically organized into three distinct sections. The three sections are connected together by a large foyer. Different species of fish like sting ray, grey mullet, sea wolf, carp and sturgeon are displayed in the first hall. Marine organisms and shells are kept on display in the second hall. There is also a special feature about the oceanography of the Black Sea and its history of research in the second hall. The third hall houses mammals, sea birds and the most popular of all exhibits, sharks. Tropical fish such as the piranha, the guppy and various other fish of great interest are housed in the foyer.
Snack bar “Aquarium”
For those who are more interested in tasting the fishes rather than just viewing them, the Snack bar “Aquarium” is the most appropriate destination. It is located very closer to the Aquarium and is just about 50 meters away from City Beach and the Naval Museum. The Snack bar offers its visitors, a rich variety of fish specialties, barbecue and delicacies from the Bulgarian and European cuisine. A fine selection of quality drinks truly compliments the exotic food served at the Snack Bar.
Getting To Varna Opera
Varna Aquarium is located in the Sea Garden and is just in 5 min walk from the city center and 10 min from Varna Zoo. During the winter, Aquarium is opened from 9 am till 5 pm and do not work on Mondays, while during the summer it is opened every day from 9 am till 9 pm. Prices for adults are 2 BGN lev and for the children aged 2 – 7, the tickets are 1 BGN lev.
Address: 4 Primorski Boulevard, Varna
Phone: (+359 52) 632 064
The Varna Aquarium homepage is available in Bulgarian language only: