The town was established as a trading colony in 570 B.C. under the name of Odessos (town on water) by Greek sea-faring colonizers from the town of Milet in Asia Minor at the site of an earlier Thracian settlement.
In 15 year A.D. province of Moesia was annexed in the Roman Empire and Odessos was finally overcome.
2nd and 3rd century– the town’s best year. The Romans fortified the city, built a water-supply system, many temples and public buildings – the Thermal Baths.
After the disintegration of Roman Empire in 395 A.D., the town became an important port of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) and was converted to Christianity.
The town was destroyed several times: by the Huns (in the 5th A.D.), by the Avars and Slavs (in 6th A.D).
The Slavs gave the present name of the town – Varna. It was first mentioned when the proto-Bulgarian horseman of Khan Asparuh found the First Bulgarian Kingdom in 681.
During the 13th and 14th century Varna had turned into a thriving commercial port city frequented by Genoese and later also by Venetian and Ragusan merchant ships.
In 1393 Varna was captured from the Ottoman troops.
10 November 1444 - Battle of Varna – a crusade for the liberation of the Christians on the Balkan Peninsula led by Vadislaus III Jagello and his Hungarian general Janos Hunyadi (20 000 crusaders) were defeted by the strong army of Sultan Murad II (60 000 soldiers).
The Russians temporarily took over the city in 1773 and again in 1828, returning it to the Ottomans in 1830.
1866 – the first railroad in Bulgarian lands connected Varna with the port of Rousse on the Danube, linking the Ottoman capital Istanbul with Central Europe.
The town was finally liberated on 27 July 1878 after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 and it grew rapidly.
October 1972 – near Varna the Chalcolitic (Eneolithic) Necropolis was found – 5th – 4th millennium B.C. with 294 graves. The gold objects alone are more than 3 000 and weight in total well over 6 kg., 23,5 carat – considered to be the oldest gold treasure in the world or hundreds of years older then anything comparable elsewhere.