Although most people don’t know it yet, Bulgaria is the European gem they’ve been looking for. Part of the appeal lies in the fact that Bulgaria is the last stop of the former Soviet Bloc to the south. There you’ll find the Balkans Mountains – known as StaraPlanina (or Old Mountain to the locals) – crash into the Black Sea with its gold-sand beaches. Bulgaria is surprisingly exotic, it is the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet. In some villages, they only speak Turkish and a lot of locals still shake their head to signify “yes”
Here are three reasons why Bulgaria is Europe’s next major vacation destination. For more information on needs of money for travelling to Bulgaria especially from UK please click here for information:
- Veliko Târnovo
There’s no better place to spend a few days in Bulgaria than in Veliko Târnovo. This historical capital of the second Bulgarian empire is often referred to as the City of Tsars. It sits atop a sharp S-shaped ravine. The city consists of winding streets passing through revival-era homes (with a couple doubling as guesthouses), and craft shops that are great for picking up a souvenir.
If you head east of the city, you’ll come across the grand citadel known as the Tsaravets Fortress. The fortress occupies a rocky peak, a “monument” that has been occupied since Thracian times. In fact, most of the buildings and existing walls date from the 5th to the 12th century. At night, you can witness a “sound and light” show illuminating the scene.
On the hill above the Tsaravets Fortress are the walled buildings of the Arbanasi. Here you can find simple buildings like the Nativity Church dating back to the 16th century with its colorful murals. The Nativity Church was vital in helping monks keep Bulgarian Orthodox traditions alive during the era of the Ottoman Empire. During the day, you can take walks through winding mountain roads and visits wood-cutter villages like Tryvana, waterfall swimming holes, and Roman roads that you can walk on.
The most loved “second city” of Bulgaria consists of seven hills, similar to Rome. The hilltop Old Town is home to one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheater – the 2000yr old Theatre of Ancient Philippopolis. You can take a lunch box with you and enjoy a picnic view of the town towards the Rodopi Mountains. Behind the mountain on cobbled lanes are 19th-century ornate homes where you can eat or stay in.
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and thanks to its Prague-like atmosphere, the city is one of the most memorable places in Bulgaria. Sofia is mostly made up of grey communist-era buildings. The city’s setting is however better. The city’s pet mountain – Mt. Vitosha – features ski and hiking trails and is accessible by public bus. You’ll find the city’s hottest clubs occupying ground floors of several bleak socialist-era dorms in what was formerly a dreary university.
You can also find Roman ruins everywhere in town. You’ll pass Roman columns on display while taking a walk under a tunnel in the gold-brick lanes of the center.