Best places to visit in Bulgaria 

Best places to visit in Bulgaria 

Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Maria Kennedy

Bulgaria is a country in the Balkans with a rich culture and history. It is often called the “Kingdom of Sunny Nature.” If you are thinking about visiting the country, we will tell you what are the best places to visit in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria has been inhabited for more than 7,000 years and that has turned it into a multicultural country with many different traditions, languages, cultures and religions. It has been an important crossroad for many civilizations and empires throughout the centuries ﹣from Thracians to Ottoman Turks﹣ so there are plenty of interesting places for visitors to explore!

It is not surprising, then, that this country is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for tourists due to its natural landscapes, rich history and culture. That’s why, if you were thinking of visiting this Slavic country, this guide will be of great help to you. Here you’ll learn the best places to visit in this ancient and multicultural country to make your trip an unforgettable experience. 

Let’s get to know Bulgaria and its wonders!

Best places to visit in Bulgaria

Sofia – A City of Contrasts, full of Culture and History

 

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Sofia is the capital city and a place with rich culture. It has a population of 1.3 million people, which makes it the most populated city in Bulgaria. In Sofia, you can find one of the most representative symbols of the city, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which, with its grandiose golden domes, catches the eye of anyone who sees it. It is one of the ten largest orthodox cathedrals in the world.

Although the center part of Sofia is small and the main tourist attractions can be seen in a pretty much small perimeter, it is in the surrounding natural areas that many visitors find the real attraction of the city. In the Vitosha Mountain, just outside Sofia, there are several trails to do, the most popular being the route to the Boyana Waterfall passing by the church of the same name.

Plovdiv – Home to the World’s Roman Oldest Theater

 

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Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria, is the first in terms of cultural and historical importance, being one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Thracians, Macedonians, Romans, Ottomans and Russians inhabited Plovdiv and left their legacy, something you will continually see around the city without even looking for it… there are parts of a huge Roman stadium in the basement of an H&M store!

The most picturesque part of Plovdiv is along the cobblestone streets of the old part, with houses of traditional 19th century Bulgarian architecture, many of which have been converted into museums and art galleries. 

Varna and Black Sea Coast

 

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Varna is “the coastal capital of Bulgaria”, a classic summer resort in a country much more represented by mountains than beaches.

But Varna is not only a beach destination, it is also the third largest city in the country and an important university center, so the nightlife is guaranteed. If on your trip to Bulgaria you are looking for a city with sea and lots of activity, then Varna is the right place. On the other hand, if you are looking for something quieter, you can go to Sozopol or Nessebar.

In Nessebar, there are places that perfectly combine the beauty of the sea with an old area of cobbled streets and medieval churches. The whole old town was declared a World Heritage Site.

North of Nessebar is located Sunny Beach, an area of 3.5 miles along the Black Sea coast full of hotels and resorts, called “the Ibiza of Bulgaria”, by the number of bars and nightclubs that exist in the complex. Among the most popular hotels and resorts in the area is the Barceló Royal Beach, of the Barceló Hotels & Resorts chain, which offers promotions and discounts on accommodations. For more information on hotels black Friday deals just visit Barceló website.

Rila Monastery and its Seven Lakes

 

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Rila Orthodox Monastery is not just one of many in Bulgaria, but the most important of them all. Founded in the 20th century, it was declared a World Heritage Site because of its importance as a religious, cultural and historical symbol of the country, in addition to its architectural beauty that stands out among the mountains that protect it.

In the heights of the Rila National Park, there are mountains and lakes that are one of the most representative landscapes of Bulgaria, and undoubtedly the most popular trekking in the country.

To get to either of these two sites, you can leave from Sofia by public transport, and the trip takes between one and two hours. However, to make the most of the time and be able to visit both places on the same day, it is advisable to stay in the villages of Dupnitsa or Sapareva Banya.

Other places to visit in Bulgaria are Veliko Tarnovo, a strong and historically important city, it was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1396) during its heyday; and Sozopol, a coastal town of narrow streets, stone and wooden houses and centuries-old churches in its historic center.

A regional and historically influenced gastronomy 

 

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As mentioned above, Bulgaria’s culture has been influenced by several ancient civilizations, in particular the Thracians, Greeks, Romans and Slavs. These influences are reflected in their culinary customs. 

In Bulgaria, some of the most typical dishes any visitor should taste are: 

  • Lukanka: a sausage similar to Italian salami. 
  • Banitsa: a bun prepared with several layers of eggs and various pieces of cheese sirene between filo pastry and then placed in an oven.
  • Shopska salad: a starter of tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and white cheese accompanied with olive oil or vinegar.

Besides, Baklava, Moussaka and Gyuvech, also traditional Greek dishes, are quite common in the eastern part of Bulgaria. 

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About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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