Bring your travel dreams to life in Bulgaria
A dream come true holiday experience is yours in this country filled with ancient history and wonderful sites. Bulgaria is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It borders Romania, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. It is interesting to note that Bulgaria is the only country in Europe that has not changed its name since it was first established.
Try Bulgaria cuisine, some of which are influenced by the Ottoman Empire. Very popular is grilled meat. Try dishes like Moussaka, which is made of potato, meat, covered with white sauce and baked – it’s delicious!
Let your travel dreams come to life as you make your way through Bulgaria’s ruins, coastal villages and many major attractions.
Things to do in Bulgaria
- Alexander Nevsky Cathedral: The cathedral is named after the Russian tsar who saved Russia from a Swedish army invasion in 1240 from Ottoman rule. Located in Sofia, near the center of the city, this church is quite easy to find. This impressive monument is 53 meters long and has a capacity of 7,000. The cathedral boasts exquisite mosaic stained glass windows and murals which include The Lord God Sabbath and The Day of Judgement. The bell tower has 12 large bells and the domes of the cathedral are covered in gold. Be sure to visit the crypt underneath the cathedral where you will see religious artwork. The cathedral is a must visit while you’re in Sofia. This is a gem of Sofia, the symbol of the city.
- Ivan Vazov National Theatre: Located a few minutes’ walk from the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, this elaborate theatre with its large white pillars containing images of Apollo will leave you in awe. The theatre was opened in 1904 and the main hall seats 850. It is also Bulgaria’s oldest theatre. Go to one of the nearby cafés and soak up the atmosphere of the theatre. The theatre is worth a visit just for its exterior with a beautiful garden and fountains. Snap away with your camera. Architectural buffs will enjoy this theatre.
- Rila Monastery: The largest monastery in Bulgaria was established in the 10th century by a hermit monk and is situated in the Rila Mountains. From the outside the monastery almost looks like a fortress with its 3 to 4 story high stone walls. When you enter the gates of the monastery, tourists will see carved verandas and arches. Rila Monastery has hundreds of rooms and a museum. The museum contains Bibles, prints and the incredible Rila Cross, Visitors will also see magnificent wood carvings at the Church of the Nativity. This church is jaw-dropping grand with its three domes and walls filled with frescoes. Views from the monastery are superb and you can nap away with your camera at the surrounding landscapes.
- Seven Rila Lakes: This a popular tourist attraction for locals and visitors to Bulgaria. Located in the Rila Mountains these glacial lakes are named after their shape. Eye Lake is the deepest of the seven lakes and the water is clear blue in good weather. Even better is a hike of the area, where you will be in the midst of beauty. The highest lake is Tear Lake, which is just below the Otovishki Peak. Kidney Lake has a surface area of 85 hectares. Every year the White Brotherhood or Donovites gather near Kindney Lake to celebrate their new year in August. There are also options to do a walking route in the region. This would be perfect for hiking fanatics.
- Belogradchik Fortress: The fortress was built during the Roman Empire. In the 13th century under Ottoman rule, the fortress was expanded. Visitors can make their way through bunkers and climb your way up steep red coloured rocks. The fortress was last used in 1885 and is a sure treat for history buffs. Just imagine what it would’ve been like to be stationed at this fortress all those years ago. The views are spectacular, so don’t miss out on a visit to the fortress. There are signs around the fortress to explain the history, so a tour guide is not needed.
- Magura cave: About 20 kilometers from Belogradchik Fortress, Magura cave is one of the largest caves in Bulgaria. Cave explorers will get to see unique stone paintings of men, woman, animals and plants. More than 2,000 meters of galleries await the eager explorer. Put this site on your itinerary for sure.
- Saint Sofia Church: This church dates back to the 6th century and is a simple church built of red bricks. The historic site is also one of the symbols of the city of Sofia. One of the oldest churches in Bulgaria, Saint Sofia Church also served as a mosque under Ottoman rule. Beneath the church are several early churches and visitors are able to see old tombs which are fascinating.
- National Archaeological Institute and Museum: This is an interesting museum and it served as a mosque under Ottoman rule. Today, visitors will get a glimpse of anything from tombstones, statues and gold and silver items. There are even gold masks on display from the 6th An attraction for many museum goers is the replica of the Madara Horseman rock relief. On the second floor is the Treasury Hall, which houses the Valchitran and Lukovit treasures. Also located at the museum is the original floor mosaic from Saint Sofia Church. Set aside at least 2 hours to look through the many exhibits.
- Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv: Situated in the old town, this theatre is one of the best preserved ancient theatres in the world. The magnificent amphitheater was built during the 2nd century and was used for theatrical performances and gladiator games. In days of old the theatre had a capacity of 6,000. Nowadays the theatre is host to concerts with a capacity of 3,500. Climb to the top of the stage for excellent views of the city or climb to a seat high up in the theatre and imagine you are watching a performance. Visiting this site is highly recommended, a must-see in Plovdiv.
- Nesebar Village: This is the perfect place to relax and a sure visit for every tourist. Situated on the Black Sea Coast, everything from the architecture, restaurants and shops will keep you busy and get you into holiday mode. Walk down old brick-laid streets and explore this pearl of the Black Sea coast. Stop in at the Archaeological Museum which has 4 exhibition halls to look through. Museum goers will find silver treasures, coins, ancient ornaments and jewelry. One of the exhibition halls is dedicated to art. Some of which date back to the 14th While you’re in the area, visit Action Aquapark, a great waterpark with plenty different water slides.
- Cape Kaliakra: Take the winding road and get to see steep cliffs and picturesque views of the Black Sea. This is a great place to relax and there are also ancient ruins for you to discover, as well as a fortress which was used by Romans and Bulgarians. While you are there read up about the legend that tells of several Bulgarian girls who jumped off the cliffs to escape the Ottomans. There are also shops in the area where you can take home souvenirs.