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How to Spend 24 Hours in Balchik, Bulgaria

Picture of Maria Angelova
Updated: 11 May 2018
Balchik is a small seaside town in Bulgaria buzzing with people who flock to its eclectically beautiful palace and botanical garden all summer long. It’s a popular day trip destination for vacationers who have chosen the Northern Black Sea Coast for their beach vacation, and here is the best way to spend 24 hours there.

Morning

Explore the eclectic Balchik Palace

When she first set foot in Balchik, Queen Marie of Romania immediately fell in love with the coast and decided she would have a summer residence built here. This happened after the Second Balkan War (1913), when the area of Balchik was temporarily possessed by Romania. The palace is home to places of worship of several different religions, as the Queen was open-minded and was known for her religious searching. Today, the palace tells her story and offers winding staircases and shady, tucked away corners among the lush gardens where you can rest and enjoy the views Marie was enchanted by. Don’t leave before you’ve found the stone throne on the seaside alley and tried out what it feels like to be a royal. The Palace is great for families with kids traveling in Bulgaria.

The Palace, 1, Kurortna Zona Dvoretsa, Balchik, Bulgaria

Travel through the world’s flora in the Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden in Balchik is the best one to visit in Bulgaria, and it is conveniently located right next to the Palace. If you are a keen botanist, you can hire a professional guide who will walk you through all the details about the species on display, but even if you aren’t, the hundreds of roses, shrubs, cacti, flower alleys, ponds, and waterfalls are a treat alone.

The Botanical Garden, 28, Akad. Daki Yordanov Str., Balchik, Bulgaria

Pro tip: Don’t forget to take water with you, as the garden is huge and you can’t buy any inside.

Balchik Palace Garden
Balchik Palace Garden | © Tristan Schmurr/Flickr

Afternoon

Try Bulgarian food for lunch

You will notice that Bulgarians eat a lot of fresh salads, especially in the summer, so don’t forget to take your five-a-day. Salads like Ovcharska (fresh vegetables with yellow cheese, boiled egg, and ham) or Shopska (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and cottage cheese) are served everywhere. A good place to order them at reasonable prices is Veroni, where you will also find fresh seafood cooked with aromatic herbs and local specialties.

Veroni, 3B, Dunav Str., Balchik, Bulgaria

Laze at the beach

Balchik’s beaches are not among the best on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast – they are tiny and often get overcrowded in summer – but you will always find a spot at the beach bars for a refreshing cocktail. There is also a small beach near the port where you can get your adrenaline pumping by renting a water scooter. Dvoretsa Beach is close to the palace and comes with a lovely vista.

Boats in Balchik
Boats in Balchik | © ovidiucro/Pixabay

Evening

Have a sunset dinner at the Yacht Port

When the sun is close to its setting point, head to the Yacht Port located close to the major Port of Balchik. The golden light and long lines of yachts gently swaying are the perfect setting for a romantic stroll. When you’re done, choose one of the restaurants lining the coast for a glass or two of wine accompanied by your favorite seafood dishes. El Simpatico is one of the best restaurants in the area with a wide array of seafood, steaks, and local grilled meat specialties.

El Simpatico, 8, Primorska Str., Balchik, Bulgaria