The Final Bucket-Checklist of Locations to Go to in Bulgaria I VolHotels


Tristan Davis is in his senior 12 months at New York College the place he research Politics, Human Rights, and Center Jap/Islamic research. Tristan spent Three months touring by way of the Balkans this previous 12 months. For extra of Tristan’s Jap European adventures, learn this.

Bulgaria is an up-and-coming vacationer vacation spot: On the Jap aspect, there are seashores and events alongside the Black Sea, and on the Western aspect and within the middle of the nation, are older cities full of ruins and monasteries, surrounded by mountains. This previous spring, a good friend and I made a decision to road-trip Western and Central Bulgaria on a whim. We spent 5 days driving round and exploring the huge countryside– you would do the perfect of Sofia and Plovdiv in an extended weekend or spend 7-10 days exploring and mountain climbing throughout. Both manner, these are Three locations you’ve obtained to go to in Bulgaria!


Price range/value of journey: Hostels are from $5-$15/evening. You will get by on $20/day, and eat like royalty for $5-10.

We spent more cash as a result of we rented a automotive, which was $100 for Three days, which I completely suggest.

In complete, I spent roughly $300 (USD) in 5 days, not together with the flight, however together with the rental automotive and staying in non-public rooms at hostels.

Transport/learn how to get round: 
There are cheap buses, trains, and so on. to get from metropolis to metropolis, however driving is way simpler, direct and gave us an opportunity to see some smaller cities and rural elements of the nation. Strolling round Sofia is one of the simplest ways to see the town, however some websites require driving/taxis or taking the metro.


  • 2 or 3-days: Fly into Sofia and make a day or one-night journey to Plovdiv
  • 4-5 days: Begin in Sofia and make day or in a single day journeys to Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo (one other city we went to that’s actually fairly), and/or Rila for mountain climbing.
  • 7 days: Sofia for 2-Three nights, with a day-trip to Rila to hike and go to the monastery (again to Sofia at evening). Take the bus/drive to Plovdiv and/or Veliko Tarnovo for 1 evening. To complete it off, proceed to the Black Coastline cities of Burgas and Varna for the perfect events within the nation.

When to go: It’s all the time a very good time to go to Bulgaria!

  • Peak Season is Might-early September, for harvest, after which the summer time.
  • July and August: hottest climate and greatest events on the Black Sea.
  • Rose Harvest: 20 days from late Might to mid-June
  • March-April and October: the right time to go to when you’re like me and like cooler temperatures and few vacationers
  • November- March: Snowboarding season, typically the off-season.

The Cities


Bulgaria’s quiet capital is about in a picturesque mountainous panorama. That is the perfect place to get a grasp of Bulgarian historical past and tradition.The town is an eclectic mixture of kinds, from Historic Greek to Brutalist to Fashionable. There are Ottoman mosques, Byzantine church buildings, Russian Orthodox cathedrals, and spectacular Sephardic synagogues, so when you’re into structure, (or low cost beer) you’ll love Sofia.

In the event you take a “Communism tour”, which I extremely suggest, you’ll get to see the key entrances of outdated authorities buildings, hidden symbols and listen to about life beneath the current Socialist regime. Most older folks, like in different elements of the Balkans, have a nostalgia for the 1970’s-90’s, as a result of Bulgaria was economically doing a lot better than it’s at present. And when you haven’t had sufficient politics, there’s a Socialist Artwork museum simply exterior of the town, with classic propaganda films, music, and sculptures. Due to the Socialist instances, public transit is de facto nice!

We had been shocked by the sheer quantity of flowers in all places. Bulgaria is the world’s largest exporter of roses, however because it wasn’t fairly rose season but, the place was lined in purple and yellow tulips as a substitute. Rose season is in June and is insanely busy, so we figured we’d go early and beat the crowds. I positively would suggest it, as a result of there weren’t any vacationers. However, in fact, now I wish to return to see the roses!


Bulgaria’s second largest metropolis, Plovdiv is about to be 2019’s European Capital of Tradition. In the event you’re enthusiastic about seeing fairly locations, memento procuring, native artwork, Plovdiv is your sort of city. Regardless of it resembling a conventional Bulgarian city, within the coronary heart of the ‘Inventive district’, ice cream parlors and beer gardens serve to the massive scholar inhabitants. Plovdiv’s main attraction is its sprawling outdated metropolis, which consists primarily of conventional wood manors from the late 1800’s, a Roman theater and the Hippodrome.

The meals right here is the epitome of ‘consolation meals’: starch, bread, beer, cheese, and meat. For a few {dollars}, I ate a potato pie greater than my head and washed it down with two liters of native brews. For meat-eaters, there are.. effectively.. massive roasted legs of assorted woodland creatures, when you’re into that. Arms down although Banitza, in all its buttery tacky goodness, is the pastry to attempt. Belief me once I say it’s definitely worth the energy… you received’t remorse it.

Plovdiv appeared a lot cheaper than Sofia (not that Sofia is especially costly). I needed to purchase nearly every thing I noticed: conventional clothes, devices, gasoline masks, and every kind of vintage furnishings and handmade items. It’s small although so someday and evening is sufficient time to see and do every thing at a really relaxed place.

Rila Monastery and Nationwide Park

Drive deeper into the Bulgarian countryside, and also you’ll cross infinite rolling hills and small cities. Rila, one among many of those little unassuming villages, is residence to some of the spectacular Monasteries I’ve ever seen (and I research faith, so I’ve seen a good quantity of monasteries).

The monastery was based by the followers of St. John of Rila, a hermit within the 800’s who was recognized to commune with nature, singing to birds like Sleeping Magnificence. And likewise like Sleeping Magnificence, St. John’s physique lies within the monastery.. and folks wait in line to kiss his casket!

A number of miles exterior of the city, is the Rila Mountains Nationwide Park, which boasts miles and miles of scenic trails. Sadly, after we noticed the Monastery, it began pouring rain, and because it was additionally solely about 40 levels up within the mountains, we didn’t actually really feel like climbing a mountain. We determined to simply drive again to Sofia, and stopped in some small cities alongside the way in which to interrupt up the drive. However, the nationwide park, from simply what we noticed, seems actually unbelievable, I can’t think about what the views are like from the highest! Bulgaria is certainly someplace I will likely be going again to within the close to future.

From the goregous surroundings and attention-grabbing historic websites to a budget and scrumptious meals and beer, Bulgaria is every thing you want for a weekend getaway in Europe. I can’t wait to return, to see extra of the nation, and celebration on the Black Sea!


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