Best places to visit in Bulgaria
Discover the best destinations in Bulgaria, the best places to visit, for a cultural, gastronomic, shopping, nature city break, a romantic getaway or a family stay in Bulgaria.
Exceptional destinations such as Plovdiv, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe (8000 years), the Rila Monastery, Sofia and its shopping streets and nightlife, Veliko Tarnovo and its incredible hillside houses or the surprising pyramids from Melnik, the best of Bulgaria awaits you.
Find inspiration among the best destinations to visit in Bulgaria.
"Plovdiv is the most beautiful of all cities. Its beauty shines in the distance and a very large river flows close to it". Lucian of Samosata, 2nd Century.
With these words Lucian of Samosata praised a most charming and majestic ancient city. The city, which today is called Plovdiv: the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and one of the most ancient in the world.
Plovdiv is the city in which millennial history, culture and heritage are in harmony. Ancient and eternal, artistic and modern, cosmopolitan and romantic, this city is so captivating and full of life.
As the main cultural centre of Bulgaria, Plovdiv is host to numerous events and festivals of national and international importance and is a meeting point for cultural exchange. Plovdiv deservedly won the title of European Capital of Culture. This is the city which will take you back in time to admire the impressive monuments of Antiquity.
The city, which pulsates with the spirit of the Bulgarian Revival with its magical Old Town, where beautiful and richly decorated houses from that period can be visited. The best way to get to know Plovdiv is by walking through its streets. Here you can stroll through the renovated streets of Kapana Creative District, and later immerse yourself in the light and music show of the Singing Fountains in the Tsar Simeon's Garden.
Plovdiv offers captivating panoramic views that you can catch on one of the six hills located in the very heart of the city. This is Plovdiv – the place where there is always something to discover and where every trip feels like a first!
How to get there: Book your flights to Plovdiv.
Where to stay: "Grand Hotel Plovdiv". Situated at the heart of Plovdiv.
Sofia is one of the largest and oldest cities in Europe. It is one of the European destinations with the most incredible monuments retracing almost 2000 years of history.
Surrounded by nature, the Vitosha mountains nearby, sumptuous cathedrals, Roman remains, Sofia is a perfect destination for a cultural city break, shopping, or for a city break with friends to enjoy its nightlife.
During your stay in Sofia you will not miss to visit St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, Vitosha Mountain (perfect for hiking or skiing). To make sure you don't miss a thing, book your activities and tours in Sofia such as a "From Sofia Rila Monastery & Boyana Small Group Tour", "From Sofia: Plovdiv, Asen's Fortress and Bachkovo Monastery" or a day trip "Belogradchik Rocks and Fortress from Sofia" .
Are you a little hungry? Taste Bulgarian specialties such as bean soup, stuffed vine leaves, Black Sea products.
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia
Where to stay: "Central Hotel Sofia" offers accommodation in the heart of Sofia.
3. Rila Mountain & Monastery
Few people know it but Rila is not only the name of the place where this monastery is located but also that of a hermit, John of Rila, who became St. John of Rila after his canonization by the Orthodox Church.
This place is to put at the top of your Bulgarian travel wishlist if you like history, if you are a believer or interested in religions but also for lovers of architecture and art. The Bulgarian Renaissance marked the awakening of this country and the awareness, after years of domination and repression, of its identity and its culture.
Take walking shoes with you and, during a 2-hour hike, discover the Rila Cave, a founding place of this now world-famous monastery. This exceptional site is located in the heart of nature, the perfect opportunity to combine a culture & nature walk.
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia (1h50 from Rila Monastery).
Where to stay: "InterContinental Sofia" offers two restaurants, a 24/7 fitness center and city and mountain views
This year discover the gold of Varna. Varna is the most famous seaside resort in Bulgaria. It attracts travellers looking for long beaches, all-inclusive resorts, nightlife but also history buffs.
In Varna, you can admire the "Gold of Varna" 6000-year-old Thracian jewelry discovered in a necropolis and now on display in the archaeological museum.
Varna is above all a destination for well-being, idleness, relaxation, stroll along the promenade, sip a cocktail, mingle with Bulgarian youth, families, taste the culinary specialties of the Black Sea,...
This year treat yourself to an affordable summer holiday in Europe. Book your flights to Varna, your accommodation in Varna as well as your tours and activities in Varna such as a "Varna: 3-Hour Black Sea Cruise with Lunch and Drinks".
How to get there: Book your flights to Varna.
Where to stay: "The Palace Hotel, Sunny Day Co". Set on the beachfront.
5. Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo is located on Mount Tsarevets on which culminates the Tsarevets fortress, considered one of the most beautiful castles in Bulgaria.
Visit Veliko Tarnovo during the tourist season (June-September) and enjoy a magnificent sound and light show in the fortress. Discover an amazing and endearing city, one of the best destinations to visit in Bulgaria.
How to get there: Book your flights to Airport (2h30 by car).
Where to stay: “Hotel Studio" located in Veliko Turnovo's historical centre.
There are many beautiful beaches in Bulgaria, but Albena beaches are really perfect beaches for families. In addition the water is very shallow and there is always a little sea spray to refresh the atmosphere.
Albena Beaches are truly a dream destination for a family holiday in Bulgaria.
How to get there: Book your flights to Varna Airport (45 min by car/taxi).
Where to stay: “Maritim Paradise Blue Hotel & Spa" located on the beach in Albena.
Immerse yourself in the incredible history of Bulgaria, its customs, its traditions, its crafts, its culinary specialties by visiting the ethnographic village of Etar.
This open-air museum, also considered one of the best destinations to visit in Bulgaria, is located in northern Bulgaria, 2 hours drive from Sofia or Plovdiv.
Etar is part of the Bulgarian National Park and give visitorsthe opportunity to discover around 20 regional crafts such as pottery, crafts, cutlery making, wood-carving,...There are many restaurants on site : you will enjoy tasting Bulgarian culinary specialties.
How to get there: Book your flights to Plovdiv or Sofia (2h by car).
Where to stay: "Grand Hotel Plovdiv". Situated at the heart of Plovdiv
Sozopol is one of the oldest town in Bulgaria. It was established in 610 BC as a Hellenic colony of Miletus Greeks named Apollonia Pontica. The urban structure reveals the stages of development of the human civilization, bears the marks of inherited cultural layers and continuity and turns Sozopol into a real open air museum town.
Present-day Sozopol is the business card of the Bulgarian marine tourism. Due to its impressive architecture and archaeology, diverse cultural programme, excellent hotel facilities and modern tourist infrastructure, the town welcomes hundred thousands of tourists each year. Sozopol is located 35 km away from Burgas airport.
During your stay, be sure to visit the castle “Castle in love with the Wind”, one of the last castles built in Europe and one of the most beautiful castles in Bulgaria.
How to get there: Book your flights to Burgas Airport (20 min by car).
Where to stay: "Sea Sense Boutique Hotel". Located a few steps from the beach.
Belogradchick, in addition to being one of the best destinations to visit in Bulgaria, has been awarded "Destination of Excellence" by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism and its protection of local intangible heritage.
One of the emblems of Belogradchick is its fortress located in the natural site of the Belogradchik massif. The fortress is surrounded by rocks giving this place a unique character. The rocks of Belogradchik have served as a natural rampart since the fortress was established in Roman times.
The ochre, yellow coloured rocks of Belogradchik form a natural spectacle of rare beauty that can only be seen in Belogradchick.
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia (2h50 by car) or Craiova (Romania - 2h30 by car).
Where to stay: "Hyatt Regency Sofia". Situated in the heart of Sofia.
Historical city of Bulgaria, Nessebar and its peninsula, is one of the best destinations to visit in Bulgaria. Located north of Burgas, another popular seaside resort for Bulgarian holidaymakers, Nessebar has it all.
Inhabited mainly by Greeks from Antiquity to 1923, Nessebar is marked by many cultures which are found in its monuments but also culinary specialties.
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Nessebar seduces lovers of history, gastronomy (you will find many fish and seafood restaurants in Nessebar), but also slow mobility. On the peninsula where the ancient city of Nessebar is located, car traffic is prohibited, making the place particularly pleasant for families with strollers and young children. You will find traditional Bulgarian restaurants, cafes and typical alleys.
For lazy afternoons, choose the new town of Nessebar and the "Sunny Coast" where you will find many All-Inclusive Resorts for families or partygoers.
This year mix history, idleness & gastronomy by visiting Nessebar, one of the Best destinations to visit in Bulgaria.
How to get there: Book your flights to Burgas (30 min by car).
Where to stay: “Sol Nessebar Mare Resort & Aquapark - All Inclusive" is 4 minutes walk from the beach.
Bansko is one of the most famous ski resorts in Bulgaria. With 50 km of slopes and 14 lifts it is very popular with travellers from all over the world who appreciate the excellent value for money of one of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe (prices start from 400 euros / dollars a week!).
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia (2h by car) or Plovdiv (2h20 min).
Where to stay: “Kempinski Gotel Grand Arena" is the only ski-in and ski-out hotel in Bansko.
Discover Melnik, the smallest town in Bulgaria with only 385 inhabitants. Although small, Melnik is also one of the Bulgarian destinations with the highest concentration of buildings classified as historical monuments.
Imagine that nearly 100 buildings in this small town are classified as historical monuments. Not far from the charming town centre you will discover the "Pyramids of Melnik", a natural site of rocky and sandy formations. This spectacular site, of rare beauty, is the result of erosion. As you will have noticed, these pyramids look a bit like the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia in Turkey.
As Melnik is located on the border with Greece, in good weather you can even see Mount Olympus!
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia (2h by car).
Where to stay: "Sofia Palace Hotel by HMG" is a 5-minute walk from St Sofia Cathedral.
Also called "Buzludzha Monument" (because it is located on the hill of Buzludzha, in the centre of Bulgaria), this extraordinary monument, built in 1974 and finished in 1981, commemorated the events of 1891.
At that time, a group of young socialists, led by Dimitar Blagoev had gathered at this exact location to form what was to become the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party and later the Bulgarian Communist Party.
The top of the hill was dynamited to install this gigantic monument which cost nearly 35 million euros. When Communism fell in 1989, the maintenance of this gigantic building, located in the middle of nature, was stopped and the building was closed to the public. Many projects are under consideration to bring this historic site back to life.
During your stay in the region, be sure to visit Etar village, an ethnographic village ranked among your best places to visit in
Bulgaria located near Buzludzha Monument, near the town of Gabrovo.
Buzludzha monument is a famous place for lovers of uberx, tourism of abandoned places.
How to get there: Book your flights to Plovdiv (2h by car).
Where to stay: "Plovdiv City Center Hotel". Featuring a bar, terraced and views of city.
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