When visiting Europe, many tourists overlook Bulgaria – a Balkan nation which is blessed with natural beauty, has amazing cultural heritage, favourable climate, medieval cities, hospitable mountains, and stunning Black Sea beaches. Though this wonderful country is not usually frequented by visitors, it promises to surpass the expectations of many. Affordable stay, friendly locals, and great cuisine – the largest Balkan nation should be on your travel bucket list. We at holidayme have narrowed down a few places to visit in Bulgaria; we are sure you will be captivated by the charm of the country.
An interesting amalgamation of east and west, Sofia is the capital city of Bulgaria. The heavy influence of empires including that of the Thracians and the Celts, Roman-Byzantines, Ottomans can be well-observed in the architecture here. Museums, churches, and monuments – this city is worth a visit.
This is one of the oldest coastal towns of Bulgaria. This small town was initially a Greek fishing village, hence the Greek culinary influence. The beaches are quite clean, and the water is clear, making it ideal for swimming. The cobbled streets and wooden houses of the old town have their own charm. For those looking to just laze around, this town is your calling.
The ski resort town of Bulgaria, Bansko is a haven for winter sport enthusiasts. Packed with tourists during ski season, the town is otherwise quiet and is good for exploring the neighbouring regions including the Pirin National Park. The narrow streets and beautiful ancient houses are worth a glance. Pirin Street is another highlight of the town which is great for souvenir shopping.
Winter destinations on your mind? Check out few here!
A rich history dating back to over 7,000 years, this picturesque city is known for the Tsaravets Fortress – one of Europe’s grandest medieval monuments. The river Yantra divides the city into two – adding to the beauty of the city. Orthodox churches, museums, and cobbled streets are definitely worth your time; this legendary city is not to be missed while on a tour of Bulgaria.
Often called ‘The City of the Seven Hills’, Plovdiv, is the second largest city of Bulgaria. The old town is located on a hill and is quiet and laid-back as compared to the city. Several Bulgarian Renaissance architectural style homes in the old town have been converted into museums and are open to public. Plovdiv boasts of a well-preserved ancient Roman amphitheater that still holds many cultural events.
It is the most renowned Eastern Orthodox monastery in the world. Known as the ‘Jerusalem of Bulgaria’, this quaint monastery is nestled 1,200 metres above sea level, in the Rila Monastery Nature Park. The monastery houses over 60 monks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exquisite art work and architecture of the monastery has drawn many tourists over the years.
Time seems to cease here at Zheravna. The beautiful village has over 200 old houses dating back to the National Revival period. The St Nicholas Church and the Yordan Yovkov House are quite popular among tourists. The streets are narrow and cobbled, it is recommended you take a walk around the village and enjoy its beauty.
A favourite of many during summer, Varna has stunning beaches bustling with restaurants and bars – a major hit among party goers. It is known as the ‘Maritime capital of the country’. Dating back to 1886, Varna Cathedral is the oldest and largest cathedral on the Black Sea coast. The Archaeological Museum of Varna is another not-to-be-missed site.
Nessebar redefines antiquity. This historic town is known as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’. The houses here date back to 18th and 19th century. Many empires including the Byzantines, the Greeks, the Romans, Bulgarians, Crusaders, and the Ottomans have influenced the architecture of the town. It is also a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pirin National Park
Encompassing an area of over 66,000 acres, Pirin National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. This pristine park has some stunning glacial lakes, waterfalls, caves, and limestone mountains, and is majorly covered with coniferous forests. Hiking is a predominant activity here, and so is bird watching, as the park is home to over 170 bird species.