The Balchik Botanical Garden and the residence of Queen Mary are located in the north of the Black Sea coast. They are among the hundreds of significant sights of Bulgaria and attract many visitors.
Balchik is considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, and the history of the Queen of Romania, Mary, adds charm to the place.
Who was the Romanian Queen Maria
Maria Alexandrovna Victoria - Misi, Princess of Edinburgh, was born on October 29, 1875 in England. Her mother was of Russian origin, and was the daughter of Emperor Alexander II, and her father was the son of Queen Victoria of England.
In her early youth, Mary loved George, Prince of Wales, who later became king of Great Britain. But the parents were against their marriage, and at the age of 17 she married the Romanian heir to the throne - Ferdinand.
Constant betrayal of her husband pushed Maria to travel.
In 1913, Romania occupied part of the territory of Bulgaria - Southern Dobrudja. Balchik became the most southern city of the kingdom and an important Romanian port on the Black Sea. The city began to turn into an aristocratic center, in which the elite and the bohemian kingdom gathered, luxurious villas were built and estates were built.
Queen Mary arrived in Balchik in 1921, she was fascinated by the picturesque sea coast, especially the old tree that hung from the rocky slope. Later, under this huge poplar, a stone throne was established, on which Mary liked to sit, watching the sunrise.
Having bought the land from the Bucharest banker Jean Crisoveloni, the Queen began to build her summer palace and improve the park.
Palace of the Romanian Queen Mary
The construction of the palace lasted from 1924 to 1931. It was based on the sketches of the Romanian artist Alexander Satmari, which was redesigned by the military architect Emil Gunesh, some details were made by Italian architects Amerigo and Augustino Fabro.
The residences gave the Turkish name "Tenha Yuvah", which means "Lonely Nest". Now it is known as the Quiet Nest Palace.
It includes a whole range of architectural structures, including 10 villas, a chapel and a wine cellar.
Queen Maria skillfully painted, wrote poetry and prose, according to her designs sewed clothes and produced furniture. From the palace, she dreamed of making a "dream home" that would fully satisfy her tastes and style.
Currently, a museum is opened within the walls of the palace, which introduces documents and photographs, as well as household items of the queen. You can also visit the wine cellar to taste wines from local vineyards, as well as strong drinks.
But the true treasure of Balchik is the botanical garden.
Ticket price and opening hours
A ticket to the Botanical Garden - 8 levs (adults), 3 leva (children 7-18 years old), free (children under 7 years old).
Ticket to visit the palace - 6 lion (adults), 2 leva (children 7-18 years old), free (children under 7 years old).
The complex in Balchik operates in the summer - from 8:00 to 20:00, in the winter - from 8:30 to 17:00.
How to get to the garden and the Balchik Palace
You can get to Balchik and get into the palace with an organized tour or on your own.
There is a bus from Varna bus station to Balchik, the travel time is about 30-40 minutes, 5 lion travel one way.
From the bus station of Balchik to the palace can be reached on foot in 15 minutes.
From some resorts, buses run directly to Balchik.
The trip to Balchik took place as part of an information tour organized by the Intourist Tour Operator.
The palace of Queen Mary in Balchik was built relatively recently - in 1937, after the Romanian monarch was fascinated by the charming seaside town in the north of modern Bulgaria and wanted to build a residence there, which later became known as the "Silent Nest".
The palace impresses with its modesty. This is not a grand luxurious building, but a serene place where the crowned persons could relax, enjoying the proximity of the generous southern nature and amazing views of the sea. Tourists have the opportunity to consider the details of royal life, as well as walk along the paths that members of the august family once walked on.
Mary of Edinburgh was the daughter of Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna and the Duke of Edinburgh. She was a brilliantly educated woman who wrote books and memoirs. The Romanian queen was also famous for practicing the Bahá'í religion.
At 18, young Maria married the Crown Prince of Romania Ferdinand, who took the throne in 1914. This marriage was not happy, but Mary regularly gave birth to her husband’s heirs. Legend has it that the queen was accidentally shot dead by her own son when she tried to prevent his duel with his brother. The monarchine’s heart was buried in her favorite place - the Silent Nest residence in Balchik. Some biographers, however, question these colorful details of her biography. Nevertheless, the guides are happy to show tourists the place where the heart of the mysterious queen was buried.
In 1955, on the territory of the royal residence was founded a botanical garden, famous throughout the world. This is a wonderful corner for walking, in which there are always many visitors, regardless of the time of year.
Everything in the garden is made with love, every little thing is thought out. Luxurious waterfalls, stunning views, quiet ponds and wonderful flower gardens help to tune in a complacent mood. A special delight is the collection of giant cacti, some of which reach a height of five meters. The botanical garden contains a wide variety of plants, including very rare ones. In the spring, a tulip festival is held here, and then the park looks just magical.
Also on the territory of the residence is the famous Queen Mary's Vinarna, where tasting of original alcoholic drinks is carried out, which can only be bought at the residence and at the Varna airport.
- Since the residence is located on a rather steep mountain, a walk can be tiring for young children and the elderly.
- The park is designed so that even on a sultry noon in July you can find a shady corner there. Nevertheless, it is better to visit the residence in the morning or in the late afternoon.
- There are several drinking fountains on the territory of the botanical garden, but it is better to bring a couple of bottles of water with you.
- It is advisable to choose walking shoes as comfortable as possible: although the park is neat and tidy, it is better not to walk in high heels on paved paths.
- And of course, you definitely need to bring a camera with you to capture the amazing moments of your trip.
How to get to the palace?
Balchik is located 45 kilometers north of Varna. A bus runs from Mladost bus terminal to this town about seven times a day. Be sure to ask the driver to stop close to the botanical garden - at the bend. From there you will have to walk 15–20 minutes, which is much less than almost an hour from the bus station. Also, as an option, you can get to Balchik by sea, by boat from the port, or order a taxi, which will be inexpensive.
Address: st. Acad. Daki Iordanov, Balchik, Bulgaria
Opening hours: winter period - 8.30–17.00, summer period - 8.00–20.00
How to get there
You can get to Balchik on your own by a rented car, by taxi, or by bus leaving the resort of Albena every 30-60 minutes.
The summer schedule of the Albena-Balchik bus: 08.00, 09.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.00, 12.00, 12.30, 13.30, 14.00, 15.00, 15.30, 16.30, 17.00, 18.00, 18.30, 20.00.
Back Balchik-Albena: 07.25, 08.15, 08.45, 09.45, 10.15, 11.15, 11.45, 12.45, 13.15, 14.15, 14.45, 15.45, 16.15, 17.15, 17.45, 19.15.
A car can be parked next to the garden for 1.5 euros / day.
Time and cost of visiting
Tickets will cost tourists 3.60 euros for an adult visitor, and 1 euro for a child aged 7 to 18 years. For children under 7 years old, as well as for residents of the city, admission is free.
A visit with a guide will cost everyone 6 euros in Bulgarian and 9 euros in a foreign language.
In the summer, you can visit the garden from 8.00 to 20.00, and in winter from 8.30 to 17.00.
Balchik botanical garden
The Botanical Garden of Balchik is the brightest attraction not only in the resort town of Balchik, but also throughout Bulgaria.
The entire complex "Palace and Botanical Garden" includes two main objects: palaces (summer residence) of the Romanian Queen Maria, who was fond of Balchik at the time when this town was part of Romania, and flower gardens.
The price of tickets to the Botanical Garden and the Palace of Balchik
It is said that in autumn, winter and spring people can visit only the botanical garden or only the palace of the Romanian queen. But in the summer you will be obliged (often in rude form) to purchase two tickets, even if you want to admire only the flowers and not go into the Queen’s houses.
In summer, the complex in Balchik is open from 8 am to 8 pm.
University Botanic Gardens Ticket Prices:
- adults - 8 leva
- children 7-18 years old - 3 leva
- children under 7 years old - free
- adults - 6 leva
- children 7-18 years old - 2 leva
- children under 7 years old - free
Different types of cacti, roses, lotuses, hibiscus and other flowers
The territory of the Botanic Gardens Balchik Botanic Gardens looks very neat. Well-groomed paths for visiting the park loop between flower beds with a variety of colors.
It smells very good roses. There are small red buds, huge fluffy pink flowers, tea rose and other types of roses.
The park has several round ponds with luxurious lotuses. You can enjoy the huge white flowers of water lilies and admire the large pink lotus buds.
The garden has a lot of hibiscus flowers. Their flowers are so huge that there is a huge desire to be photographed nearby.
There are evergreen cypresses, a large collection of cacti and succulents (they decorate the greenhouse and open areas of the park), rubber tree, metasequoia, ginkgo, tulips (pleasing to the eye in spring), aloe, oleander, palm trees and many other plants, trees and flowers.
Endless stone stairs lead to different corners of the former summer residence of Queen Mary. It is believed that it was during her life that architects and designer Jules Jani began to break flower beds around small houses (you will not see the palace in the broad sense of the word).
In addition to flowers and a summer residence (several houses of Queen Mary), in the garden of Balchik you can look into the winery and taste the wines. True, one bottle will cost an average of 30-50 leva.
In general, a walk in the flowering garden of Balchik is very pleasant and interesting. It offers beautiful views of the sea and the beach, so going to Bulgaria next time, be sure to think about a trip here.
Video tour of the Botanical Garden in Balchik from Queen Alice Toys:
Entrance to the Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden has two entrances. They are located very close and you can enter or exit through any. Before entering the garden on two sides stalls with all kinds of goods and cafes. As you yourself perfectly understand, prices in them designed for tourists, so you should think about water and a couple of sandwiches with you in advance.
On many sites there is information about drinking fountains in the garden, but we did not find one. At all the fountains that we met there was a sign that stated that you can not drink water and bathe by the way, too, in reservoirs (if the park employees see it, they will ask for a way out). Comfortable shoes also does not hurt - after all, walking along steep paths sometimes encountered or going down a stone staircase with stiletto heels will be very difficult.
Located directly in front of the gate two cash desks - in one of them you get garden ticket (the cost for an adult will be 7 lv, for a child from 7 to 18 years old - 2 lv, and for kids under 7 years old admission is free), and in the second - ticket to the palace (an adult ticket will cost you 5 lv, a child 1 lv).
Work time ticket offices, which means that visiting time is limited: in the summer - from 8:00 to 20:00, in the winter - from 8:30 to 17:00.
From experience, we can honestly admit to the palace you can not buy a ticket, since there’s nothing special to look at, but more on that later.
The territory of the modern botanical garden of Balchik was almost a century ago summerresidence Romanian Queen Mary. Its construction began in 1921 and thanks to the efforts of the Queen herself favorite place visits to European aristocrats, musicians, poets and artists.
Palace Park, made using various styles of landscape gardening architecture and is undoubtedly a work of art. It harmoniously combined symbols of Christian and Muslim religions. Special thanks for the design of the park. Swiss gardener Julie Jeanie.
The Queen's summer residence was second to none. Rare plants landed here and a fantastic rose garden was shattered, many bridges, arbors, ponds and alleys were arranged.
And since 1955, the academician and professor Daki Yordanov was founded on the territory of the residence University Botanical Garden with a total length of more than 6 hectares, which is now so pleasing to tourists from all over the world.
Today the park has an important function - it is officially assigned rescue center status .
Our joy was endless when we saw the botanical garden itself and realized that this tour would be one of the best in Bulgaria.
When you go into the botanical garden of Balchik, your eyes run away from the beauty you saw
From the entrance itself opens just fantastic view to beautiful neat flower beds, a tiny pond with lotuses, slender rows of cypress trees, openwork arbors. Walking in the garden is a pleasure. And when you realize that I used to walk along these alleys romanian queenthen you even envy her a little.
The territory of the garden is imitation of the Cretan maze, in this regard, the local chapel was completely copied from one of the churches of the XV century from the island of Crete.
Here You can see many alleys with all kinds of flowers and trees, beautiful combinations of plants and architecture, waterfalls and of course the highlight of the park - Queen's summer residence.
The most beautiful sections of the park seemed to us "Garden of the Gods" (Garden of Allah) and rose garden (even despite the fact that most roses by the time of our visit, unfortunately, have faded). But do not forget about the greatest collections of cacti and succulents, as well as many unusual plants in the garden: a rubber tree, a two-bladed ginkgo, metasequoia (until recently considered to have disappeared forever from our planet), beautiful and tender lotuses. And satisfied tourists very often leave a trifle in ponds with lotuses to once again return to this fabulous place.
In the garden you can find two wineries. Only here you can try and buy exclusive drinks, but they will cost more than in other institutions in Bulgaria.
In the spring on the territory of the botanical garden is very beautiful and bright tulip festival. At this time, you can see various varieties of these flowers of various shapes and colors. They say that a sight truly unforgettable. Yes, and walking in the garden in the spring is more comfortable than in the summer heat.
The park administration takes care of its visitors, therefore, for people with motor and visual difficulties special sites created. For the blind, there are special signatures for plants in Braille. And that means that all guests be able to fully enjoy a walk in the garden.
We walked as if spellbound and admired the surrounding nature until we came across an interesting "exhibit". In appearance - ordinary grandfather in the cylinder, in practice - another money scam for curious tourists. The fact is that in Bulgaria people are so friendly that somehow you forget about paid photos and other ways of “earning” on gullible tourists.
Be carefull! Fraudsters can hide under the guise of such cute old people
This man was sitting on a stone fence next to the "Waterfall Garden" and smiled sweetly. We could not pass by and not take a picture of him. In the end - he lured us like a spider with an offer to sit next to him and take a couple of photos. Then demanded material compensation or in case of emergency cigarettes.
Fortunately we bargained for small amount and our wallet was empty for only a few stotinki (several small coins, with a total face value of slightly less than 1 lv), proving that we were tourists and came from afar. In Turkey, such a number would certainly not have passed. Still, the amazing country of Bulgaria ...
After that, we quickly retreated, and the charming American who came to rest with his family was soon able to erase the unpleasant residue. He, who didn’t come from somewhere near a small waterfall, not only offered to photograph us together, but he himself practically put up for a better photo. Thanking him and chatting a little, we are satisfied went further - watch the rose garden.
This little incident with the old man served as a lesson for us. Now, by our example, we want to protect you from similar cases during your spa vacation. It seems that not much money was lost, but the mood still deteriorated.
Collection of cacti and succulents
The attraction of the botanical garden is a huge collection of cacti (second in the world after Monaco). The presented exhibits amaze with their sizes and shapes. Collection is divided - part is in the open territory, and part is in the greenhouse, along with succulents and other representatives of sub-Mediterranean species.
The area of the greenhouse is only 800 square meters, and is represented on it over 2600 species. And these are only representatives of the cactus and euphorbia families!
At the entrance to the greenhouse, on a pedestal, lies reviews book and grateful tourists constantly fill it. During the time that we were indoors, a dozen comments and signatures appeared on its pages.
It’s appropriate, and I would even say stylishly, in the greenhouse it looks viewing bridge, and small ponds with plants and benches nearby.
It was here that we managed to see how beautiful huge cacti bloom and very tiny thorns. An indelible impression left alley of giants - right in the greenhouse you can take a walk under their “branches”.
Huge agaves, large aloe vera, scented oleander thickets and a collection of palm trees are simply a paradise for plants in the greenhouse. One thing upsets - this is a greenhouse only a small part botanical garden, and viewing all the plants physically is not enough for a day.
In the open area eyes run up from a bizarre shape and a large number of representatives of the genus cacti. But you don’t have to admire them for a long time - on this site incredible heat.
How to get to Balchik and the botanical garden on your own?
The easiest and most popular option to come to the Botanical Garden is to get from your city to Varna, and from there by direct flight to Balchik. If there are no tickets to Varna or from Varna to Balchik, you can go to Albena. It is literally nearby and from there buses run every 10-15 minutes.
If you are going to Balchik by bus from Varna or Albena, be sure to ask the driver to stop closer to the botanical garden - at the bend. From there you will have to walk 15-20 minutes, which is much less than almost 50 minutes from the bus station.
You can leave back both from the Balchik bus station, and having voted all at the same bend (you must be at the gas station from the opposite side where you were dropped off).
It can be useful: How to travel by bus in Bulgaria? The article is coming soon.
Useful links and interesting information:
VICTOR AND ALINA PASHINSKY, authors of the guide
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Hello! Please tell me what interesting things you can see in Varna with a child of 10 years old?
My daughter’s birthday — where you can go with friends — is considering Varna. And what kind of pastry shop did you like?
The most interesting thing with a child in Varna, we think, will be a visit to the dolphinarium. Alternatively, you can also consider the local Ecopark Botanical Garden or take a trip to the Happy Land Amusement Park (located 25 kilometers from the city). Unfortunately, in Varna we were almost passing through and we can’t tell about local pastry shops.
We wish you a pleasant stay and a great holiday!
Hello)) Please tell me in which city it is better to stay with a child, Albena or Balchik? Whatever the distance: an amusement park, a zoo, a water park, an aquarium (if any) And another material question)) $ 100 is not enough for a day's rest for 2 adults and a child of 7 years old?
Hello Olga. Both of the resorts you named are not popular for families with children. So, for example, in Balchik, in addition to the botanical garden, there is nothing interesting and memorable, and in Albena they offer only a small children's amusement park. Regarding the material issue: it all depends on your appetites. If you are used to visiting expensive restaurants abroad - $ 100 may not be enough, but if within reasonable limits (a mix of a cafe and self-catering + trips sometimes to neighboring resorts), then it’s enough.
We wish you a good vacation and a positive mood!
Thanks for the answer!
In Albena you can still visit the car park. Slides and pools for different ages of the child. It will be interesting to everyone
Dear Alina and Victor! At the beginning of September (2017) I’m going to Balchik - the hotel “Naslada”. Have you been there? What you need to pay attention to in this town? Is there any healing mud in this town?
And further. How does the native intestines of the Slavs react to the Bulgarian okroshka? Ayran? Kaymak? - I myself come from Uzbekistan. I love these products, but fearfully for the digestive tract.
Hello Tatiana! Unfortunately, we were in Balchik not for long (only a few hours). We drove only for the sake of the botanical garden and practically did not walk around the city. Therefore, we cannot say anything about Balchik in detail.
Regarding Bulgarian milk: personally, our stomach responded very well, there were no problems at all (like the acquaintances who used the products you specified in the following years). By the way, Bulgarian milk seemed to us the most delicious of all the tried and tested options in other Balkan countries.
We wish you a great stay and only good experiences!
Ah, I was afraid of taking milk. I gained a lot of excursions, I was afraid that trouble would happen during this.))) The only thing I ate was cheese.
Tatyana. A couple of days ago, we rested in Kranevo, on the advice of friends. It turned out that there was a day of vacation, we decided to visit Balchik, because according to reviews it was a fishing town and the Pts wife wanted fresh fish. What will I tell you! You would know if you were going to rest in Balchik from the very beginning. There is an old city and a new one. Old - these are small streets and alleys with their ancient architecture of houses, with landscapes of the sea, the promenade, on which all the entertainments of Balchik are located. There are few of them, that is, if for children. This is a variety of cafes, something between restaurants and cafes)) for every taste and, as a rule, with a monotonous menu, but its own execution. City beach, did not like. Neither arrangement nor filling. Very small, and almost all in sun loungers. Well, somehow in Kranevo it was more fun. But for this short time, we decided to spend our time in Balchik as efficiently as possible. If you want to visit the botanical garden, advice, try to get there in the morning and preferably before 10 in the morning, because usually at lunchtime we watched the invasion of the auto-baits with the “pilgrims” as we called them, when we walked around the garden, we sat down to have a bite to watch a picture. It was so crowded in the kindergarten, especially in the Castle, and when a couple of buses were unloaded, I can imagine what it was like in the heat.
Of the sights that can be preliminarily read on the Internet, on the day of departure we managed to visit 4 establishments that are located in the closest possible proximity to each other. This is the temple of St. Konstantin and Elena - was closed for restoration. Satisfied with an external examination. Near the art gallery (2 adults, 2 children entrance 10 lion) there is nothing special to watch. Time to the gallery 10 minutes. Next is the temple of St. George. Beautiful, all in the Orthodox style. Good abbot, speaks Russian. We talked, took a couple of photos and went. And an ethnic museum about the history of Balchik and the culture of Bulgarian families of some periods. Small, 5 rooms, I ran myself, already without a family.
The most vivid impressions we had from the hotel, which we could find and book during the peak season for half an hour)) as well as about its owner Ivan, a very friendly, smart, friendly person who told a lot of interesting things about Balchik, about muds, beaches, food and more.
Hotel Magnolia, in the very center of Balchik, on the square, where in the evening, on one of the buildings, the projector broadcasts a documentary about the history and development of Balchik, its architecture, buildings, attacks and seizures, etc. We watched this movie from the balcony of the hotel)).
If you are interested in therapeutic mud, they are a couple of kilometers from Balchik.
Still very pleasant memories remained from the reception in the bistro restaurant near the Botanical Garden and its very friendly founder, he is a bartender, he is also a waiter and a very charismatic young guy Dimitar. We dined there twice a day. It is very tasty, everything is fresh and most importantly, the owner himself does not try to impose anything, so that they choose the most eaten as possible)) and helps to choose dishes for everyone.
Here is such a Balchik per day.
What can I do there for a week, two, I don’t know anymore. See for yourself.
Hello guys! In the house where the queen's wine house is now, there was something. Ah, what?