Balchik is a town in the northeastern part of Bulgaria, in the Dobrich Region. It is located on the Black Sea coast, 45 km north from Varna and 40 km south from the border with Romania. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, is 530 km away. The population of Balchik is about 23,000 people and during the summer season the ‘White Town’ is visited by more than 20,000 tourists.
The State Cultural Institute “The Palace” is based in the former summer residence of the Romanian queen Marie Alexandra Victoria of Edinburgh. It is situated at about 2 km south-eastern from Balchik. Following the tradition the 7th IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival will take place in the cultural center between the 20th and the 27th of June 2009.
The easiest way to get to Balchik is from Varna. Here are the travel options from Sofia to Varna.
Varna Airport is a flight destination for a lot of regular, charter and low-cost airlines. Here are some of them: Austrian Airlines, British Airways, CSA Czech Airlines, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, TUIfly Nordic, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Air Berlin, Germanwings, SkyEurope Airlines, Wizz Air, etc. There are available destinations in Great Britain, Austria, France, Germany, Russia, Poland, Sweden, etc. For more information, please visit www.varna-airport.bg.
Two airline companies operate flights from Sofia to Varna: Bulgaria Air and Wizz Air.
Bulgaria Air has four flights a day in each direction: departures from Sofia Airport to Varna Airport are available on 19.06.2009 and 20.06.2009 at 09:30, 16:00, 19:45, 23:00 and flights back to Sofia lift off at 05:00, 07:30, 12:30, 17:25 on the 28th of July, 2009. Prices vary from 118 leva (59 euro) to 195 leva (100 euro) (You can purchase tickets online on Bulgaria Air’s website www.air.bg or by travel agencies).
The low-cost airline Wizz Air also operates flights from Sofia to Varna. Departures are available on 19.06.2009 and on 21.06.2009 at 07:00 from Sofia Airport. Return flights are scheduled for the 28th of June at 08:35 from Varna Airport. Ticket prices depend on the date of reservation. If reserved sooner, one way ticket could cost 19.97 leva (10 euro) (excluding booking and luggage fees). Booking is available online at ww.wizzair.com, on the phone or through travel agencies.
You can travel from Sofia to Varna by bus. Buses depart from Sofia Central Bus Station at 06:30, 07:30, 07:45, 08:00, 08:30, 09:00, 09:45, 10:30, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30, 18:00, 19:00, 22:30, 23:30, 00:00 and 00:30. Returns from Varna to Sofia are available at 05:30, 06:00, 06:50, 07:15, 07:30, 08:30, 09:00, 10:00, 10:45, 11:00, 11:30, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 16:30, 17:00, 17:30, 19:00, 20:30, 22:00, 22:30, 23:00, 23:45, 00:00, 00:45 and 01:00. One-way tickets vary between 24 (12 euro) and 29 leva (15 euro), and round trip costs between 43 (22 euro) and 52 leva (27 euro). For more information, visit the webpage of Sofia Central Bus Station – www.centralnaavtogara.bg
Train transport is also available on that route. Trains depart from Sofia to Varna every day at 07:05, 09:55, 10:40, 13:25, 21:10, 22:20 and 23:35 and from Varna to Sofia – at 07:55, 09:20, 10:55, 12:40, 21:40, 22:30 and 23:05. First class tickets cost 31.40 leva (17 euro) (one way) and 52.95 leva (27 euro) (round trip) and the price of second class ticket is 25.20 leva (14 euro) for a one-way ticket and 42.45 leva (22 euro) for a round trip. Students and youths under 26 years (holders of valid international cards) have 50% reduction of the price. More information is available at the Bulgarian State Railways website: http://bdz.bg/
Travel to Balchik
Buses from Varna to Balchik depart from Varna South Bus Station every 30 minutes from 06:30 till 19:30. You can get also a shuttle from Mladost Bus Station (near Varna South Bus Station) at 06:30, 06:50, 08:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30 and 16:30. Returns from Balchik to Sofia are available every 30 minutes from 06:30 till 19:30 pm (arriving at Varna South Bus Station) and at 07:45, 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30 and 18:00 (arriving at Mladost Bus Station).
There are direct buses from Sofia Central bus station to Balchik at 10:30, 11:00 and 22:30. Return from Balchik to Sofia at 10:30, 12:15, 21:50 and 22:30. Prices vary from 28 to 33 BGN for one way ticket and from 50 to 60 leva for round trip.
The festival venue – The Palace Cultural Centre - is few kilometers away from the bus station. You can take a taxi to get there but is better to ask the bus driver to stop at the Palace (Dvoretsa) bus stop, which is located just before the entrance to the city.