Euxinograd - аn impressive Bulgarian palace
by dok in Tips and tricks on 2014-04-24
Not among the largest countries Bulgaria takes pride in seven royal palaces (Royal Palace in Sofia, Balchik Palace, Vrana Palace, Euxinograd, Banya Palace, Tsarska Bistritsa and Krichim Palace) that are worth visiting. One of these remarkable and unique places is situated close to Varna, just 8 kilometers north of the city - the Euxinograd palace. If you are visiting our city I highly recommend taking the trip to the Euxinograd complex. It’s a place that unites abundant vegetation, history and majesty. Euxinograd is a good example of the cultural progress that our country marked after the end of the Ottoman domination.
The complex (castle and park) was used as a summer residence by the monarchs who governed Bulgaria after the liberation (1878). Nowadays it is used by the government representatives for meeting and greeting other goverment officials. The complex is also open for tourist visits.


Now here's the story of Euxinograd and some practical hints on visiting the palace. During the reign of Ivan Alexander (1331-1371) Venice and Genoa wanted free access to one of the Black sea ports, because they were significant trading places. Venice first succeeded in receiving admission and Venetians settled in the marketplace in Varna. Forced by necessity, the Genoese had to build their own port and district out of Varna city. They
named it Kastritsi. If you visit the place you would see the remains of the medieval tower and fortress that helped the Geonese protect their territories.



Later on a couple of monasteries were built in the area:  “St. Dimitar” and “St Constantine”. Our first monarch after Ottoman domination Alexander Battenberg visited Varna and the "St. Dimitar" monastery in 1880. He was so delighted by the local nature, that he decided to build his palace right there. At first the locals called it Sandrovo after the monarch. Later on his successor prince Ferdinand finalized the project in 1900. The grounds of the palace resemble the French Renaissance palaces of the 18th century. The interior also impresses with large halls, exquisite decorations, stylish English furniture, authentic marble fireplaces, clocks inlaid with gold, marvellous paintings, walls covered in golden silk wallpapers.



In 1893 the palace of Sandrovo was renamed Euxinograd on the insistence of Princess Marie Louise, Ferdinand's first wife. The name originates from the ancient Greek name for the Black Sea, (Euxeinos Pontos, "hospitable sea") and the Slavic suffix –grad, meaning "town", so that the new name  means “Welcoming town”.

During the Communist period the palace was turned into a summer residence for some of the Communist leaders. Since the democratic changes in 1989 the palace has been opened for the public.

The area of Euxinograd complex is around 800 decare and over 500 decare are occupied by the park. The park was designed by French dendrologist Niemeyer.  Afterwards, many other architects and planters have worked on it. Some of the most valuable species of trees are the Black oak and Atlantic cedar. Most of the plants were brought from Asia, South America, North Africa and Southern France. In 1921 due to the great variety of plants the park was awarded the status of a botanical garden. The park combines both English and French landscaping styles. There are several district zones: central (with the palace), Greek garden, English garden, Riverside, Beach and production areas. Each one of them has unique look and characteristics. Although the park has a lot of the features of the European gardens during the Renaissance, it differs from them with its simple design. In order to plant the gardens the stony areas were covered with fertile soil, mainly taken from the valley of Kamchiya River. Greenhouses were built northeast of the palace in order to store  the palm trees and flower production during the winter.


Through the park flows the tiny Kestrichka Bara River that at some places gently touches the sea shore. Not only that the palace has natural waters, but it also has artificial lakes. In front of the main bulding lays the most popular one - “Water mirrors”. The lake is surrounded by evergreens and it is planted with water lilies.  French-made bronze figures and a sculpture of Neptune contribute to the connection between mythology and nature. All these features give a romantic look to the whole complex and are of great interest to the visitors.  

Wine lovers often come to Euxinograd, attracted by the locally produced wine, which is widely popularity abroad. In 1891 a palace winery was built as a part of the complex where the old monastery cellar used to be. The initiative was taken by prince Ferdinand and the design was made by a German architect. The building is a picturesque house in Bulgarian Revival style. It includes two underground levels, a host wing, a laboratory, a bottling workshop, administrative offices and a degustation room.

Nowadays, the wines of Euxinograd are known worldwide for their excellent quality. Through the years the royal winery has won several gold medals in European fairs for the first-class drinks that it produces. White wines are the main product here, because the climate of the region is mostly appropriate for white sorts of grapes. The winery is also proud with its good brandy, named “Euxiniak”. They organize degustations of its best products for the guests and vistitors of the palace.

Euxinograd is open for tourist visits. The tourist route includes the historical core of the park with the greenhouses, the palace building, the sundial (gift for the monarch  by queen Victoria), the chapel “St. Dimitar” and the winery.

The complex offers accommodation. If you stay there, you can enjoy a restaurant, a barbecue, as well as the opportunity to practice various sports.


The complex is open for visits Monday - Friday 10:00-15:00, weekends and official holidays 09:00-14:00. You will have to be included in a group with a guide service since individual walks are not allowed around the complex. The palace is still used by government officals and in order to visit it you will have to make a reservation. The website is only in Bulgarian, but you can use the email ( and phones +359 52393150 , +359 52393140 for the booking. Keep in mind that you need to make the reservations at least a week in advance. The price for the visit is 8 leva (around 4 euros) per person. The tours are only in Bulgarian, but I recommend you go and enjoy the palace, since you already know so much from my blog post :)

 How to get there:

By car: You can easily find driving directions in google maps :) The distance is 8 km from Varna center so that  it won’t take more than 15 min to get to Euxinograd.

(Here you can find a few websites in English that offer car rental services: ,, )



By public transport buses:  109; 409; 51; 8; 9. Price: from 1 to 3 leva (depends on the distance). You can catch them from the center of the city.

By taxi: You could take a taxi, but first you should ask if the taxi driver can take you to Euxinograd, because it is out of the city. When taking a taxi you should look at the sticker of the car with the prices. If it is more then the average do not take it. These are the average prices for a taxi:

Day time 06.00 a.m- 10.00 p.m       Night time  10.00 p.m - 06.00 a.m

Initially: 0.99lv.                                 Initially:  0.99 lv.
1 km: 0.79 lv.                                    1 km: 0.89 lv.
Stay: 0.25 lv .                                    Stay:  0.35 lv.

Here is a website, where you can order taxi online and they are safe ones.

Photos by: Radina Petrishka