Four Things Tourists Want To See In Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a natural beauty. It rolls down like a scroll from the pine-clad Balkin Mountains to meet the bright blues of the Black Sea. Also known as the Land of Roses because the Rose Valley near the town of Kazanalak produces about 85% of the world’s rose oil. Bulgaria is also blessed with magnificent mountains, ancient ruins, plains, seas, lovely beaches, rivers and Black Sea coastline. Diverse culture and rich heritage caps it all. There are many traditional dances, costumes, arts and crafts. Tourists enjoy listening to the thrilling historical tales, buzzing parties in the lively towns and basking in the beaches in front of the cosmopolitan seaside resorts. A special thank you to Rocket Marketing Pro for their help with this site. Find out more about them here.

The capital city of Bulgaria is Sofia, which is situated at the foot of Vitosha, which is a domed mountain. Sofia dates back to the 5th century B.C.

Of all the exciting attractions in Bulgaria, the following are the top four spots tourists love to visit:

Koprivshtitsa

This historic town in the Sofia Province was once the centre of the violent revolt against the Ottoman Empire in April 1876. Although the origin of the town is unknown, there are several legends to fill the gaps. Severally through the ages, it was destroyed by fire, but it always managed to rise and has stood the test of time to become the peaceful, colourful and romantic getaway it is today. With its authentic Bulgarian architecture,  The most popular attractions in this town are Oslekov House, once a home of a wealthy tradesman built in 1856 and Topalova House that was created and occupied by a prominent tax collector. There are several museums and memorial houses you can visit, and this has made it a popular tourist destination.

Veliko Tarnovo

You should find time also to visit this small city in central Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo was once the home to the Tsars. Its small section was built on hills, so it offers rolling cobblestone streets, ancient churches and traditional houses. Not so far away is the famous Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of God, with its stunning architecture and incredible works of art from antiquity. In the past centuries, this city was home to over 30 monasteries, but this one has remained to tell the story.

The modern part of the city, on the other hand, has become an administrative centre for Northern Bulgaria. It is also an economic hotspot, with modern dining and accommodations.

Seven Rila Lakes

First, you need good shoes and clothes for this place. This is because there is still snow in Ma. Otherwise, the lakes are beautiful. The lakes, located in the magnificent Rila Mountain, are elevated between 2,100 to 2,500 meters above sea level. The highest lake is called Salzata while the deepest one is Okoto. The lakes are one of the major tourist attractions in Bulgaria. In the summer, hundreds of tourist come here, some only to tag photos and tag that they were here. You are driven to the site by a shuttle. From the parking, you are left to take a chairlift to take you up to walk around the lakes. If you find it closed, you will have to endure a strenuous hike. It is shut mostly on a Monday.

Asen’s  Fortress

Located in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains near the town of Asenovgrad, the fortress is 279 meters above the sea level. It is a national monument and is open for visitors throughout the year. You will take some stairs and do a bit of climbing to reach the fortress, but the view you get at the top is worth more than your efforts.

Bonus Tip

The currency in Bulgaria is the Bulgarian Lev. Find the best exchange rates before you travel.

Foods in Bulgaria

Bulgarian food is one of the reasons you’ll fall in love with Bulgaria over and over again. The foods are rich in flavor, colors, forms, and are presented in different variations. Though some cuisines are unique to Bulgaria, there are foods that are greatly influenced by other Middle East cuisines. There is only one way to know how truly delicious the food in Bulgaria is and this is by having a taste of each delicacy.

Here are some of the must-taste foods in Bulgaria:

Shopska Salata

Shopska salata is among the most popular salads in Bulgaria that you can find in almost all traditional restaurants. In addition to chopped vegetables, Bulgarian sirene, which is simply white cheese, is added to it making it very delicious. You should never miss this healthy salad for anything as sirene is only found in Bulgaria.

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Shkembe Chorba

Shkembe Chorba is a tripe soup that is made using tripe, garlic, milk, and red paprika. If you had too much to drink the previous night and are looking for ways to cure the hangovers, this soup will do the trick! You can take it with your favorite meal to make the experience more exciting.

Banitsa/ Banichka

Banitsa is made using pastry sheets, cheese, yoghurt, and some eggs. There are people that will use pumpkins or spinach when making this delicacy which is why it will taste differently depending on where you take it. You can get Banitsa in almost all local bakeries and since it is quite affordable, most Bulgarians prefer taking it as there breakfast snack.

Bulgarian Moussaka

Moussaka was originally a Middle East delicacy that was introduced in Bulgaria during the Ottoman rule. The Bulgarians came up with their own version of moussaka which they make using potatoes, minced meat, and yorghurt layers. The meal is quite delicious and since it is also quite easy to prepare, you cannot afford to miss it every time you are in Bulgaria.

Meshana Skara

Meshana skara is made using different forms of grilled meat that include kyufte (meatballs), karnache (Italian sausages), pork steaks, and shishche (skewer). To make it tastier, the delicacy is garnished using shoska salata or rakia.

Stuffed Peppers

This is made using ground meat and rice that is stuffed with peppers. There are people who will prepare this meal without meat especially on Christmas Eve which would really work for you if you are a vegetarian. Since the food is popular in Bulgaria, you can find it in almost all restaurants and you cannot afford to miss it on your next visit.

Garash Cake

Garash cake was invented in the capital Sofia in the 20th century. It is simply a chocolate dessert that is made using walnuts, egg whites, butter cakes, chocolate, cream, and coconut flakes decoration. You can find this delicious cake in all patisseries in Bulgaria and this means you have no reason not to taste it. 

Wine Kebap

This is a main dish in Bulgaria whose origin is in the Middle East. It is made using stewed pork, beef, or lamb meat that combined with vegetables.  To make it more unique, the sauce is made using wine and will be served with white rice or mashed potatoes. Depending on the restaurant, you can find some sprinkled parsley on your food.

Things to do in Bulgaria

Though Bulgaria is not as popular as other tourist destinations; it should be at the top of your list when looking for a place to visit. The country has a lot to offer and you’ll be able to take part in numerous fun activities. From exploring the capital Sofia to visiting the numerous beaches around the country, all you need is enough time for the fun. Here are some of the must do things in Bulgaria:

Exploring Sofia

Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital and the greatest tourist attraction. Though the city has suffered from the country’s move to democracy, there is still a lot you can do and see. Among all European capitals, Sofia is among the prettiest and when you visit it, you’ll get to learn about the Bulgarians and their culture.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sveta Petka, Church of St. George, and Sofia Synagogue are among the must-visit places in Sofia. You can also choose to visit the Central Sofia Market Hall and the Banya Bashi Mosque and create unforgettable memories.

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Visit the Seven Rila Lakes

The Seven Rila Lakes are in Rila National Park which is a 2 hours drive from Sofia. The mountain lakes are at different altitudes ranging from 2100m to 2500m. to get to the top of the mountains, you can opt for the liftchairs where you’ll pay a fee to use them, go for hiking with your friends or hire a 4*4. The easiest and the cheapest way to get to the top of the mountains is the chairs.

Getting to the top of the mountains is not the end of the adventure! You will then hike towards the lakes which will take you about 5 hours. Though this is a difficult task, you will find it quite easy and fulfilling especially if you are physically fit. From seasoned to people who are just learning how to hike, this is the place to be!

Visit the Rose Valley

The Rose Valley is located at the Southern end of Balkan Mountains and at the east of Sredna Gora chain. Here you’ll find fragrant Bulgarian Roses which are today used to make 85% of rose oil globally. To get the best of this valley, you need to visit it between May and June when rose harvesting is ongoing. Spending the afternoon with the harvesters or even taking part in the harvesting will be an unforgettable experience.

Partying in Sunny Beach

How would it feel to visit one of the most popular beaches in Eastern Europe? The Sunny Beach in Bulgaria’s biggest beaches and is popular for the crazy night partying and lively vibes during the day. you can never miss an ongoing event that anyone, whether young or old can participate in. however, most of the people who visit the beach are the younger generation who never tire from partying.

You need a spot you can bask in the sun? You can always find a place you can lie down and enjoy the sunshine, warm waters, and the soft sand.

Getting Around in Bulgaria

To access all the beautiful sites in Bulgaria, you need to know the means of transport that will work best for you. There are multiple means of transport to choose from and your choice will depend on your budget, personal preference, and reliability as well. Here are some of the means you can use to get around in Bulgaria:

Bus

Traveling by bus is among the most affordable and convenient means of getting around Bulgaria. Most of the bus companies are reliable and always ensure that their buses remain user-friendly and clean. To know how the different buses operate and the charges, you can access the simplified computer system at Central Bus Station.

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Taxis

You can choose to hire a taxi to get around Bulgaria if you don’t want to wait for the bus. To be safe, ensure that you hire a taxi from a licensed company and agree on the price before embarking on your journey. If this is your first time in Bulgaria, you can use apps like the Yellow Taxi to know the right company to hire a taxi from.

Train

The railway network in Bulgaria covers almost all regions which make rail transport very convenient. You have to be prepared for potential delays as the infrastructure is quite old. The services are also not as friendly and comfortable as when you use the bus.  Do not get surprised if there is no one on board to inform you that you have reached your destination.

Rent a Car

To get around Bulgaria fast and conveniently, you can rent a car. The price of hiring cars in Bulgaria is quite reasonable and you’ll have the freedom to travel to your chosen destination without limitations. To avoid getting lost on the way, you should get a map or even hire a designated driver. Getting an English speaking local driver will be the best option as he’ll be able to negotiate with the locals on your behalf. He will also be familiar with the most convenient and safest routes to your destinations.

Plane

Bulgaria is a small country which means you’ll be able to get around the country within a short time. When driving, you’ll only take 4 to 5 hours from the Capital to the coast which is a clear indication of how small the country is. However, you can still choose to travel by air to arrive faster using the available airlines. You need to set aside a higher budget for your transport if you choose to travel by air.

Whichever means of transport you choose to get around Bulgaria, the most important point is having the best experience. You can never have a dull moment in Bulgaria and all you need is to have enough time for all the fun. Except for the railway transport that is not friendly and reliable, every other means of transport will get you to your destination on time and at reasonable rates.

Top Sites in Bulgaria

Are you planning a short or an extended visit to Bulgaria? Whatever your option is, Bulgaria is a fascinating country where you’ll create amazing memories that will last a lifetime. The country has a lot to offer but this will only become a reality if you are aware of the top sites. Here are some of the must-visit sites in Bulgaria:

Sofia

Sofia is the capital city of Bulgaria which is a must visit any time you get to Bulgaria. It has a rich collection of culture, museums, and parks where you’ll learn a lot about the history of the country. The onion-domed churches, Red Army monuments, Roman ruins over 2000 years old, and the Ottoman Mosques are some of the attractions you’ll enjoy visiting at the capital. 

To make it even better, there are alfresco cafes where you can enjoy your favorite delicacies, large parks, and manicured gardens for your relaxation. 

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Prohodna Cave

Prohodna Cave is among the most favorite tourist spots because of the outstanding rock structure. The locals refer to the cave’s opening as ‘the Eyes of God’ as it resembles the eyes. To get a better and more impressive view, you can wait for the moon to shine through the ‘eyes’. 

Any time you feel like rock climbing when in Bulgaria, go to the Prohodna Cave and climb up the unique rock structures.

Pirin National Park

Popular is among the most popular mountains in Bulgaria for hiking. With the alpine rock landscape that is surrounded by dotted blue lakes, you’ll love every moment you spend there. As you go round the national park, you’ll discover multiple hiking trails with Koncheto Ridge being the most challenging. If this is your first time to go to Pirin National Park, you should carry a map or get a guide to lead the way.

Krushuna Waterfalls

Krushuna Waterfalls are so perfect that you’d think they are artificial. The waters have a turquoise color that creates an amazing contrast with the beautiful snow-white rocks. You cannot afford to miss this amazing site any time you visit Northern Bulgaria. Do not forget to take some perfect shots while in this place and post them on your social media pages!

The Sveshtari Tomb

The Sveshtari Tomb is among UNESCO’s protected traditional Thracian sites that was discovered in 1982. The tomb was made as a royal funeral site though the names of those buried there remain a mystery.  When you walk into the tomb, you’ll love the amazing view of 10 female figures raising their hands as though they are holding the ceiling in place.

The Rose Valley

How would you feel to go to a place where Roses dominate? The Rose Valley has numerous rose fields which fill the atmosphere in the area with the amazing scent of rose bloom. You can take part in the Rose Festival between May and June or even take part in the rose harvesting process.

There is no limit to the fun activities you can partake in every time you visit Bulgaria. All you need is to know what really want and go to places where you’ll actualize your desires!