What to see in Bulgaria

Tips for vacationers or what you should see in Bulgaria

Although Bulgaria is in the European Union, you can get a Bulgarian visa there, not a Schengen visa. Bulgarian visa is much cheaper and you don’t have to go to the EU to get it.

With Bulgarian multi-visa you can also visit neighboring countries, such as Turkey, Romania, Macedonia.

2. If the place of your dislocation you choose Golden Sands, then be prepared for a noisy endless party. In Golden Sands is somehow still a significant difference in the sea throughout the 10 km of the village. The most beautiful sea, a stunning turquoise hue at the beginning of Golden Sands. The color of the sea there is unreal similar to the Caribbean Sea.

If you do not want just to lie on the beach but to see the country, the first place you should visit is Veliko Tarnovo. You can get there by bus from any region of Bulgaria, but it will take much time. The most convenient way is by car. There are also excursions there. Veliko Tarnovo is a wonderful old town situated in a very hilly-mountainous area. From the cafes and viewing platforms there is a wonderful view of the city, which used to be the capital of Bulgaria. The first mention of Tarnovo in historical monuments dates back to the IX century; in the period 1186-1393 it was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, coronation seat of the Bulgarian kings and residence of the archbishop and from 1235 of the Bulgarian patriarchs. At a distance of 6.5 km north of Tarnovo lies the Monastery of the Transfiguration. The functioning monastery is situated under the steep cliffs.

4. In Veliko Tarnovo you can visit the old fortress of Tsarevets. You need to pay entrance to the fortress. It is located on the homonymous hill, right in the center of the city. This hill is not an easy one. Archaeological excavations have uncovered the remains of ancient people who lived here in the second millennium BC.

The fortress itself was built in the 12th century, and served as the main fortification for the royal power and the patriarchy from 1185 to 1393 years.

The fortress wall is very well preserved. The palace of the patriarch is perhaps the most magnificent building of the entire fortress. It can be seen from anywhere in the city and forms the silhouette of the fortress.

5. The next interesting place in Bulgaria is the Castle in the village of Ravadinovo “In love with the wind” . Although the castle is a new building, but very impressive. You can spend there a pleasant half day. Here the main advice is not to make a mistake with the time of visit. The ideal time is early morning (there are almost no tourists yet) and time at sunset (this is especially for photographers). Entrance to the castle is paid.

6. Another pleasant day in Bulgaria can be spent in one of the oldest Bulgarian villages – Arbanasi . Not far from the town of Veliko Tarnovo. A small Bulgarian village, with a rich history and many churches, monasteries and attractions. One of the monasteries of the village of Arbanasi is the monastery of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, belonging to the Veliko Tarnovo metropolitanate of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

7. The next must-see place is Cape Kaliakra. Cape Kaliakra is situated 12 km from Kavarna. It protrudes into the sea for 2 km.

At the entrance of the cape there is an obelisk in honor of the 40 Bulgarian girls who, according to legend, tied their braids and threw themselves from the cape into the sea, just to avoid being captured by the Ottomans. On the Cape you can see the ruins of an ancient fortress, the remains of Roman baths, etc. Some household items from Ancient Greece and Roman times are still found there. In one of the caves is a small museum, where you can see these artifacts.

On the way to the cape you can enjoy endless fields of bright yellow sunflowers. The most beautiful pictures from Bulgaria can be taken here.

8. Another wonderful Bulgarian town is Varna – the sea capital of Bulgaria. Varna is a famous Black Sea resort in northeast Bulgaria, recognized tourist capital of the country. It is a historic resort area with rich natural resources, one of the most important and largest in the Black Sea and Eastern Europe. In addition, Varna is a city with a very rich cultural life, claiming to be the European Capital of Culture 2019. Prices in Varna are much cheaper than in the rest of the country.

What to see in Burgas

9. Sozopol. The charm of this city is impossible to describe in words. This is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It was very pleasant to feel yourself surrounded by ancient architecture. Sozopol is 35 kilometers south of Bourgas on a small picturesque peninsula. The old part of the town is an architectural reserve. It is often called “Harmanite” because of the many mills – “Harmans” – that were there in ancient times. You can go in any direction – the town is beautiful everywhere. Sozopol is like a place for romantics and lovers of antiquity. To get lost in this city is impossible, it is tiny – here only 4 thousand inhabitants and almost all know the Russian language. Young people easily switch to German and English. The city is built up with buildings no higher than three or four floors. Sozopol is divided into two parts: the Old and New Town, a park and a beach between them. In the New Town there are concentrated family hotels, hotels. In the Old Town, too, you can live. But it is very noisy in the evening. It is good to walk there, to relax. I advise to see the old town not in the evening, when there are a lot of cafes and stores, crowds of tourists wandering around, but early in the morning. You will see a totally different Sozopol, a real quiet, old town. Sozopol is a great place to stay if you’re going on vacation with kids.

10. Ovech Fortress is situated in Bulgaria to the east of Provadia, 53 kilometers west of Varna and 410 kilometers east of Sofia. The Ovech Fortress is located in Bulgaria east of Provadia, 53 kilometers west of Varna and 410 kilometers east of Sofia. Historical sources give various names for this place. The oldest name is the Byzantine Provat, the Bulgarian name is Ovech, and the Turkish name is Tash-Hisar, which means “stone fortress”.

Archaeological research has shown that it was used successively by the Byzantines, Thracians, Bulgarians, Romans, and Turks during the third or early 7th century, and later during the 10th-11th centuries, until the end of the 17th century. The events related to the reign of King Ivaylo in 1277-1280, the 1366 march of Count Amadeus VI of Savoy, and the march of Polish-Hungarian King Wladyslaw III Jagiellon (Varnenchik) in 1444 were played out here. Try to arrive to the fortress closer to the evening. From the fortress you can enjoy the stunning Bulgarian sunset. There is a fee to enter the fortress. But we arrived in the evening and the guards were gone, so we went through for free.

11. Stone Forest (beaten stones) is a unique natural phenomenon, which has no analogues in the world. It is located 20 km from Varna in the direction of Sofia. The tourist center is the central group, which is 800 m long. The other groups are scattered over an area of 50 sq km. Geologists from all over the world have visited the stone forest and tried to unravel its mystery. Officially, there are 15 hypotheses. The most popular version is that there was a sea in this area 50 million years ago. Geologists called it the Sea of Lute. Over time, three layers formed at the bottom of the sea. The lowest layer consisted of a gray-yellow marl base, a thick layer of quartz sand formed on it, and the uppermost layer consisted of limestone. Over time, the water left these places. Under the influence of atmospheric conditions, the upper layer began to break down. The lime-saturated rainwater of the upper layer began to penetrate into the lower layers of quartz sand. In this way, the layers began to stick together and form from the top downwards large stone pillars, similar to the outgrowths of stalactites that occur in caves.

An interesting fact is that many of the pillars are hollow – that is, empty from the inside. So another version is that plants similar to tropical mango trees were growing here. Stone pillars formed around the plants, and the plants rotted away and eventually formed a void in the columns. There is a fee to enter the reserve.

Going to Nessebar! Leisure tips, reviews and prices - 2022

The Internet reports an interesting fact that many of the columns are hollow – that is, empty on the inside. So according to another version, plants similar to tropical mango trees were growing here. Around the plants were formed stone pillars, and the plants rotted away and eventually formed a void in the columns.

12. Nessebar – the pearl of Bulgaria: a masterpiece of architecture, preserved to this day. The town is situated on a rocky peninsula 850 m long and 300 m wide, 37 km north of Burgas.

Nessebar is one of the oldest towns in Europe. It is proven that its history can be traced back at least three millennia: every year archaeologists discover more and more traces of ancient cultures and civilizations that inhabited the peninsula. Nessebar is included in the list of world cultural heritage: in 1956 it was declared a museum city, and since 1983 Nessebar is under UNESCO auspices.

The old Nessebar is an example of a miracle. A few centuries ago it went underwater, and all that remains is a small patch of land 850 by 300 meters, where all 40 churches of the city are gathered. “Underwater Nessebar” is well visible from the boat in good weather.

There are VERY many tourists in Nessebar! So to really see the city I got up at 5 am and went to the old town to watch the sunrise. That’s when Nesserba presents itself in all its glory… the streets, from every corner you can see the sea, the old buildings….

The main sights of Bulgaria. What is worth seeing first of all?

Bulgaria is famous for the golden sand of its beaches and the virgin whiteness of its ski slopes.

But in this country you will find numerous excursion routes that can satisfy the aesthetic tastes of any, even the most fastidious tourists.

The article tells about the sights of this original state, which you can visit on your own.

The border between Russia and Bulgaria is open! About what additional documents are required for the trip and how best to fly to the country, see here.

What to see in the republic first of all (photos and description)?

Capital Sofia

The capital of the Bulgarian state is quite far from the main resort centers of the country, about 350-400 kilometers away.

In order to see the main sights of Sofia, it is necessary to plan a trip of 1-2 days.

Plovdiv and the monument to the Russian soldier Alyosha

Plovdiv is one of the oldest European cities and the second largest in Bulgaria is located in the southern part of the country near the Rhodope Mountains on the Maritsa River.

Monument to the Russian soldier Alyosha in Plovdiv

On one of the hills of Plovdiv stands a monument to the Russian soldier Alyosha. A few minutes from the city you can see the medieval walls of the fortress Asen, situated on the limestone rocks above the river Asenitsa.

The ancient age of Plovdiv, which in 1956 received the status of historical and architectural reserve, is evidenced by the well-preserved Roman buildings: stadium, forum, odeon, amphitheatre and the ruins of the aqueduct, and in November last year archaeologists found the third bath.

Amphitheater in Plovdiv

Also included in the Old Plovdiv complex are:

  • Dzhumaya Mosque, built by the Turks in the mid-14th century;
  • Church of Great Martyr Marina – a building in the Byzantine style, decorated with frescoes with scenes from the Old Testament;
  • The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, erected in 1844 on top of the hill “Nebet Tepe” as a symbol of the Bulgarian revival.

You can immerse yourself in the Bulgarian color and feel the breath of antiquity in the open-air museum on a sightseeing tour from Sofia to Plovdiv.

Nesebar and Sunny Beach

The pearl of Bulgaria and the museum city is the ancient town of Nessebar.

Despite the modest size of the historic part of the city, a tourist will need a few hours to explore the architectural sights of the Roman and Byzantine architecture of the city. According to the reviews of travelers Nessebar is one of the most popular places in the country.


Sozopol is a small resort town located 35 kilometers southeast of Burgas.

The old town is announced as an open-air museum since old temples and even a Roman amphitheatre are preserved here among old fishermen houses with an unusual architecture (the foundation and the first floor are made of stone, and the first floor – of wood).

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The temples of St. George and St. Zosima and the Church of St. Cyril and Methodius are relatively young buildings. The most eye-catching is the ancient church of St. Mary, with low stone walls and a tile roof overhanging the ground. The main part of the active Church of the Holy Virgin with rare icons from the 15th century is underground.

In the southern part of the Old Sozopol you can see the restored tower and the fortifications of the city wall, once encircling this part of the peninsula.

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To see the excavation and lighthouse (1884), located on St. John’s Island, and to visit St. Peter’s Island, you can take a pleasure boat.

The history of Old Sozopol is interesting to learn on a guided tour.

Varna and Golden Sands

Morska Gradina Park in Varna

In the summer capital of Bulgaria, the seaside city of Varna, apart from the popular beaches Golden Sands and Albena, there is also something to see. Take a walk through the Seaside Park, visit the gorgeous Assumption Cathedral and the Roman Thermae.

In the vicinity of Varna are some of the main attractions in Bulgaria: the Alajda Monastery and the Stone Forest.


The former residence of the Romanian queen in the town of Balchik, 45 km to the north-east of Varna, is called “The Quiet Nest”.

The Botanical Garden, opened on the grounds of the Palace in 1955, impresses visitors not only with the variety of plants, but also with stunning views with quiet lakes and sparkling waterfalls. The garden is famous for its collection of giant cacti and its annual spring tulip festival. Hours of operation can be viewed here.

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Veliko Tarnovo

The ancient capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom is situated in the northern foothills of the Balkans on three hills that are washed by the waters of the Yantra River and attracts tourists with its architectural monuments.

  1. Ruins of a medieval fortress and the Patriarchal Cathedral on Tsarevets Hill.
  2. Craftsmen’s quarter with the tomb of Bulgarian kings in the Church of the Forty Great Martyrs.
  3. Old town with structures of Bulgarian architect Kolya Ficheto.

Entrance to the Patriarchal Cathedral costs 6 levs. Opening hours are from 08:00 to 19:00 in summer and from 09:00 to 17:00 in winter.

Rila Church

The Rila Monastery, the largest monastery of men included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983, is located 115 km south of Sofia in the valley of the Rila River.

Most often tourists visit the Rila Monastery Museum with its rich collection of icons and exhibits of applied arts, the jewel of which is the Raphael’s Cross, a masterpiece of miniature woodcarving.

The monastery can be visited daily from 07:00 to 20:00. The museum is open: June-September from 9:30 to 18:30, October-May from 08:30 to 16:30. The cost of visiting the museum: 8 levs for adults, 1 lev for children.

The beautiful Valley of Roses

The Valley of Roses is the name of the area in Bulgaria formed by two valleys of the rivers Stryama and Tunja. Due to the unique climate and composition of soils, the region has been growing oil-bearing roses since the 16th century.

The main attraction is the ethno-historical complex “The Tower” in Kazanlak, where tourists can learn the simplest methods of producing rose oil and try rose products. The cost of the visit and opening hours can be found here.

Cape Kaliakra

One of the most legendary spots on the country’s northern coast is Cape Kaliakra (or Cape Kaliakra nose, as the Bulgarians call it). Travelers come to Cape Kaliakra to see the stunning view of the sea from the high 70-meter steep shore.

It is known for:

  • The naval battle in which the Russian fleet under the command of Ushakov defeated a superior Turkish squadron in 1791.
  • The legend of the 40 Bulgarian girls who, not wanting to go to the Turkish conquerors, tied up their plaits and threw themselves into the sea.
  • In addition to the monuments erected in honor of these events, there is a small chapel of St. Nicholas on the cape and a small museum in a room carved into the rock.
All Inclusive Holidays in Bulgaria. Tour prices - 2022


Burgas is a large industrial center of Bulgaria, situated on the western shore of the Black Sea Gulf of the same name. In addition to the wonderful beaches, this port city can attract tourists with many attractions.

The Regional Historical Museum has gathered such a huge collection that it had to be housed in 4 different buildings with autonomous exhibitions:

  1. Archaeological;
  2. historical;
  3. ethnographic;
  4. natural science.

Marine Park in Burgas

For the exact time of the visit and the ticket prices please click here.

In the Art Gallery “Petko Zadgorski” you can see the works of famous Bulgarian icon painters, sculptors, graphic artists and painters (more than 2800 works). Opening hours: Monday – Friday from 09:00 to 18:00 hours, entrance fee – BGN 3.

After the noisy beaches you can relax in the silence of the Marine Park, which occupies 7 km of coastal area. The visitors’ attention is also attracted by the Festival of Sand Figures, held annually from July to September.

Pirin National Park

The park was established in the Pirin mountain range in 1962, and today it covers an area of 400 km2. Pirin is located in the southwest of the country between the Mesta and Strouma rivers.

The abundance of high-altitude glacial lakes, fir and beech forests and 2,000 species of animals will not leave indifferent the tourists who prefer trekking (hiking). It is very important that you can go hiking in the family. You can see the routes of the park Pirin on the official website.

Castle in Ravadinovo

A few kilometers from Sozopol in the village of Ravadinovo, for over 20 years, the marble limestone castle of the same name has been under construction.

In the future it will be a 5000 m2 luxury hotel with 60 rooms, but today tourists can walk in the surroundings, visit the cellar with a wine cellar or a mini zoo. Admission to the park: in season – 20 levs, at other times – 10 levs, children under 7 years of age pass for free.

Once in the fairy tale, you can also go to the nearby water park “Neptune”.

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Church of Vanga in Rupita

In order to get to the Church of Sveta Petka B’garska admirers of the visionary Vanga have to go to the village of Rupite, located near the crater of the ancient volcano Kozhukh. The village is located in southwestern Bulgaria near the town of Petrich.

Church “Sveta Petka” and the monument to Vanga

The church has a large park with a variety of fruit trees, a cafe and two lakes with hot water and fountains. In the opposite direction from the church there is a huge white cross in the form of steps leading to its top on a rock. Vanga’s grave is next to the temple.

There you can also visit two small houses where Vanga lived in one and received guests in the other. The museum is open from 08:00 to 18:00, the cost of a visit is 2 leva.

The most popular among tourists are the 3 pools behind the fence of the temple, filled with hot mineral water.

Prohodna Cave

The Karst Cave “Eyes of God” near the village of Karlukovo, 115 km northeast of Sofia, is one of the most popular caves visited by tourists in Bulgaria.

It is a natural rock bridge with a height of the vault of 35 to 45 meters. There is a tourist trail inside, even a small house, but most of all the attention is attracted by the two enormous holes in the rock, very much like human eyes from the corners of which during the rain streams “tears” flow.

You can visit the cave at any time and absolutely free of charge.

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Old Town in Pomorie

Monastery of St. George in Pomorie

The most interesting for tourists is the old part of Pomorie, located on a small peninsula northeast of Burgas. The two isthmuses connecting the city with the mainland form Pomorie Lake.

However, the most beautiful monastery of St. George in Bulgaria is located in the new city. Travelers should definitely visit the museum, find the icon of St. George the Victorious and drink water from the healing spring.

In 2002, Pomorie opened the Museum of Salt, which consists of a one-story building and 25 hectares of salt ponds, where you can see all the stages of extraction of the product. Cost to visit: 3 leva for adults, 2 leva for children.

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Bata village

25 km from the popular resort of Sunny Beach there is a typical Bulgarian village of Bata. The so-called “Bulgarian Nights” are held here. Every tourist is welcomed with a glass of brandy at the entrance, and then is invited to a shuffle table for at least 500 people.

The guests are treated with grilled meat and wine on “all-inclusive” system, and children are offered master-classes on pottery. The guests and hosts are happy with such gatherings.

The village can be visited daily, and the ethnographic evenings are held on Saturdays from 19:00 to 23:00. The entrance fee is BGN 30 for an adult and BGN 20 for a child.

Other places of interest


Near the Serbian border in the northwest of the country is the town of Belogradchik, famous for its ridge of bizarrely shaped rocks that are over 200 million years old. Also of architectural and historical value is the fortress, built by the Romans in the first century AD.


In the middle part of the Balkan Mountains, near the town of Kotol, is the village Zheravna. It is included in the list of “One hundred national tourist sites” because of the well preserved more than two hundred wooden houses erected during the Bulgarian struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire.

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The Monument of Freedom on the Shipka Pass The main attractions of the town of Shipka, located at the southern foot of the Balkan Mountains:

  • The Monument of Freedom on the Shipka Pass, a memorial to fallen soldiers in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78;
  • Memorial Church of the Nativity of Christ, which was built in memory of the Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who died in the battle for the pass.

Thracian Tomb in Sveshtari.

In the northeastern part of the country, 2.5 km from the village of Sveshtari, during the excavations of the hill fort in 1982 the Thracian Tomb was discovered. After that 26 more mounds were found and the area was declared an archaeological reserve. The tomb can be visited on weekdays from 09:30 to 16:30.

Ovech Fortress

About 50 km west of Varna and near Provadia are the remains of the ancient fortress of Ovech. For centuries it has been used by Thracians, Romans, Turks and Bulgarians. Nowadays the steep banks are used for photo shoots and archery and javelin throwing are the favorite attractions of the tourists.

Opening hours: from 08:00 to 18:30 hours, tickets: 2 leva for adults, 1 leva for children.

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Krushun Waterfalls

These waterfalls, located 35 km from the town of Lovech in northern Bulgaria, are called a smaller copy of the well-known Plitvice waterfalls in Croatia. Several karst rapids form a small but very picturesque 20-meter cascade of descending water.

In order to get to the Krusun waterfalls it is necessary to walk 1.5 km through the gorge along the river.

Arbanasi .

Three kilometers from Veliko Tarnovo there is an ethnographic open-air museum – the village of Arbanasi. This village was founded by wealthy Albanian craftsmen who built fortress-like houses. Thanks to this, the buildings erected in the XVI-XVII centuries, have survived to this day.

Open to the public are the Church of the Nativity, the Konstantsaliev House and the Church of the Holy Archangels. Open to visitors: April to October from 09:00 to 18:00, November to March from 09:00 to 17:00. Entrance fee: 6 levs for adults, free for children up to 7 years old.

Yaylata Archaeological Reserve

To the northeast of Cape Kaliakra and a kilometer from Kamen Bryag is the Yaylata archaeological reserve. The main attraction – the rock city, consisting of more than 100 natural caves, inhabited by people in the V century BC.

Tourist map with the names for self-guided tours

The map shows interesting places, photos, description and name of which are contained in the article. You can download it by clicking on the link.

As you can see from the article, Bulgaria has many interesting sights that deserve the attention of the traveler. But in the memory of tourists, in addition to the amazing beauty of the local places, the friendliness and hospitality of the locals forever remain.

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