Varna is the largest city and seaside resort on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and the third-largest city in Bulgaria after Sofia and Plovdiv with a population of 334,870 inhabitants as of February, 2011. It is the administrative centre of the homonymous province and Varna Municipality. It is the eleventh-largest city in the Balkans after Istanbul, Athens, Bucharest, Sofia, Belgrade, Thessaloniki, Zagreb, Skopje, Tirana and Plovdiv.
Commonly referred to as the marine (or summer) capital of Bulgaria, Varna is a major tourist destination, business and university centre, seaport, and headquarters of the Bulgarian Navy and merchant marine, as well as the centre of Varna Province and Bulgaria's North-Eastern planning region (NUTS II), comprising also the provinces of Dobrich, Shumen, and Targovishte. The Varna Airport with its mainly tourist 1,181,830 passangers (2011) rank third in Bulgaria after the Burgas and Sofia Airport.
In April 2008, Varna was designated seat of the Black Sea Euro-Region (a new regional organization, not identical to the Black Sea Euroregion) by the Council of Europe.
The oldest golden treasure in the world was discovered in Varna Necropolis, consisting of coins, weapons and jewellery dating to 4,600 BC