i had not been to Varna before, and we both found it a pleasant surprise. the center looked more old-europe than soviet and there were a few shops and so on. the proximity of the beach, trendy beach bars and relaxing pedestrian streets took us by surprise too. it was simply enjoyable.
in general i find bulgaria an interesting mix of things. its not polite to describe a country by comparing and referring to others but its just SO convenient! so, bulgaria is;
- soviet (some architecture, behavior, service culture)
- turkish (some hassling, food culture, charging money for beaches indirectly etc.)
- "euro" (shopping opportunities, brands available, foreign restaurants, english spoken widely)