Best Things to do in Bulgaria
Here is a selection of the best things to do in Bulgaria, Top activities and tours in Bulgaria, best experiences to live in Bulgaria.
Hike in the Rila National Park, marvel at the Ravadinovo castle, discover the treasures and secrets of the Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, treat yourself to a lazy day on Bolata Beach or Sinemorets beach,… Find inspiration among a selection of the best things to do in Bulgaria.
1. Visit Plovdiv
Considered as the best cultural destination in Europe but also one of the most romantic destinations in Europe and best wine destination in Europe, Plovdiv is to put at the top of your travel wish list if you visit Bulgaria.
The oldest inhabited city in Europe (more than 6000 years old), it was recently European Capital of Culture and elected among the best destinations to visit in Europe. Its ancient theatre, its shopping streets, its cultural events, its many museums and the unique architecture of its traditional houses make Plovdiv a unique destination in the world.
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.
How to get there: Book your flights to Plovdiv.
Where to stay: "Plovdiv City Center Hotel". Stay in the heart of Plovdiv.
2. Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral
This neo-Byzantine style Orthodox cathedral is one of the symbols of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital. Considered the most beautiful cathedral in Bulgaria, it has been completely restored.
Do not miss to visit the museum of icons located in the crypt.
Book your flights to Sofia, your accommodation in Sofia as well as your activities and tours in Sofia such as a "Sofia Afternoon Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting".
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia.
Where to stay: "Sense Hotel Sofia" is a 5-star hotel with a prime location, a few steps from the Parliament.
3. Rila National Park
Want to leave the city and stress? Treat yourself to a breath of fresh air and pure nature and visit the Rila National Park. Fall under the spell of one of its 7 lakes, Bliznika Lake.
Rila Mountains owe their name to the hermit monk « St. John of Rila » who also gave his name to the famous Rila Monastery, considered one of the most important cultural and tourist attractions in Bulgaria.
Bliznika means "Twin Lake" in Bulgarian, it is one of the 7 lakes of the Rila Mountains, located at more than 2,200 metres above sea level. The inhabitants of Sofia often leave the capital to recharge their batteries in this park on weekends.
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: "Sense Hotel Sofia". This 5-star hotel with an exclusive spa area.
4. Rose Festival
Discover a place in Bulgaria where the scent of roses meets ancient history. Kazanlak, also called "Valley of Roses" organizes every year, during three weeks (with the apogee the first week of June), a festival celebrating the rose grown in this valley.
Traditional costumes, parades, handicrafts made from roses, concerts, coronation of the queen of roses,… this unique festival in Europe has been organized for more than 100 years by the inhabitants of Kazanlak to celebrate the "Rosa Damascena", the Bulgarian oil-bearing rose. During your stay do not miss to visit the Shipka Monastery but also the Shipka Monument and Buzludza Monument ranked among the best hidden gems in Bulgaria.
How to get there: Book your flights to Plovdiv (1h30 by car) or Sofia (2h30).
Where to stay: “Zornica Hotel" offers an outdoor swimming pool, a sun bed, a sauna and massages.
5. Etar Ethnographical Village
Etar - Gabrovo
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.
Discover 20 regional crafts such as pottery, crafts, cutlery making, wood-carving,... There are many restaurants on site to taste 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.
6. Ravadinovo Castle
Ravadinovo - Sozopol
Ravadinovo Castle, also called Castle in Love with the wind is the work of the last knight of Europe, a Bulgarian celebrity, famous sportsman but also investor who built his dream. This castle is the pride of the inhabitants of Sozopol and is the most visited tourist attraction in Bulgaria.
Far from being just a tourist attraction, it hosts events, weddings, Bulgarian and foreign families who discover a castle worthy of fairy tales. Castle in Love with the wind is ranked among the most beautiful castles in Bulgaria as well as among the most beautiful castles in Europe.
How to get there: Book your flights to Burgas Airport (40 min by car).
Where to stay: "Sea Sense Boutique Hotel". This property is 1 minute walk from the beach.
7. Belogradchik Rocks
Discover the incredible rock formations of Belogradchik and its fortress, which is ranked among the most beautiful castles and fortresses in Bulgaria. Belogradchik is also one of the best hidden gems in Bulgaria.
The fortress of Belogradchik bears the name of this city rewarded by the European Commission for its commitment to sustainable tourism. During your stay in the region do not miss to visit "Venetsa Cave" and "Lepenitsa Cave".
Book your flights to Sofia, your accommodation in Sofia as well as your tours and activities in Bulgaria such as a "Sofia: Lovech, Devetaki Cave and Krushuna Waterfalls Tour".
How to get there: Book your flights to Sofia (2h30 by car).
Where to stay: "InterContinental Sofia" offers two restaurants and a 24/7 fitness centre.
8. Buzludzha Monument
It is one of the symbols of futuristic architecture also called monumental or brutalist architecture. It is at the top of this hill, (dynamited to install this monument), that the Bulgarian Communist Party was born.
This incredible construction, which took 7 years to build, was only open to the public for 8 years, from 1981 to 1989. After the fall of communism, the building fell into disrepair and became a paradise for Urbex who love abandoned places.
Many projects are on the table to revive and protect this exceptional place which bears witness to Bulgaria's past and a very important part of its history and the history of Europe.
During your stay in the region, be sure to visit Etar village, an ethnographic village ranked among your best places to visit in Bulgaria.
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.
9. Bolata Beach
This cove beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Bulgaria. Protected from the wind, this small beach is perfect for a lazy day. Take your parasol with you and your picnic basket. The water is crystal clear and shallow, perfect for families.
In high season there are foodtrucks on site (drinks, ice cream and food). Possibility to park near the beach.
During your stay do not miss to visit Kaliakra fortress located a few minutes walk or drive from Bolata Beach it is ranked among your best castles in Bulgaria.
How to get there: Book your flights to Varna (1h by car).
Where to stay: "Royal Grand Hotel and Spa - All Inclusive". Stay near Bolata.
10. Monument to Bulgarian Soviet Friendship
Varna is reputed to be one of the best seaside resorts in Bulgaria with its many fine sandy beaches and all-inclusive resorts.
Varna is also known worldwide for the "Monument of the Bulgarian-Soviet Friendship" a monument of pure communist style also called "Bombastic Style" or "Monumentalism". From the top of the monument you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Varna and the sea.
Even if the monument seems close to the city centre we advise you to take a bus or a taxi to get there because once there you will have to climb many steps to reach the top of the monument.
How to get there: Book your flights to Varna.
Where to stay: "The Palace Hotel, Sunny Day". Set on the beachfront.
11. Dyavolski Most - Devil's Bridge
The Dyavolski Most is an arch bridge that crosses the Arda River in southern Bulgaria, 2h by car from Plovdiv.
Like all arched bridges, its reflection in the water makes a perfect circle appear, seen by some as a doorway to Hell. The hell bridge is actually located in a welcoming natural site, ( parking 200 m from the bridge).
Built in the 16th century, this bridge is one of Bulgaria's best hidden gems for its beauty and the legends surrounding it.
How to get there: Book your flights to Plovdiv (2h30 by car).
Where to stay: "Plovdiv City Center Hotel" located 200 m from Roman Theater Plovdiv.
12. Sinemorets beach
Do you want to laze around, enjoy the sun, let yourself be lulled by the sound of the waves and forget all your problems? Drive towards Sinemorets and treat yourself to a day of pure relaxation on "Veleka Beach".
This wild beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Bulgaria. The perfect combination of river beach and classic beach, facing the sea. A surfer spot, Veleka beach (the other name for Sinemorets Beach) also appeals to nature and water sports lovers.
Climb the hill facing the beach for an exceptional view of this natural and wild beach. Sinemorets beach, is truly one of the most beautiful wild beaches on the Black Sea Coast.
How to get there: Book your flights to Burgas (1h30 by car) or Varna (3h by car).
Where to stay: "Primoretz Grand Hotel & Spa" is a beachfront hotel.
13. Rila Monastery
Rila National Park
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
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