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Bulgaria, a member of the European Union since 2007, is considered its poorest country. The economic problems are still big. But the country is rich in mountains, the landscapes along the Danube and the beautiful Black Sea coast. And even if mass tourism has long since taken hold here, you can still find unspoiled spots here and there.
But not only hikers and sun worshippers are drawn to Bulgaria. Due to its long history, which was also shaped by Romans and Ottomans, Bulgaria has a rich historical heritage. Ancient excavation sites, ancient mosques and of course countless Orthodox houses of worship are there to be discovered.
Among the Bulgarian cities, Sofia and Plovdiv in particular stand out. The capital Sofia is already settled for centuries, consequently, the whole range of historical architectural styles can be admired here. However, modernity has long since arrived here and the city has experienced a small boom in recent years. Cozy Plovdiv with its old town alleys and remains from the Roman era, on the other hand, is something like the “secret capital” of the country and was even European Capital of Culture in 2019!
Culturally, the country on the eastern external border of the EU is rich and has absorbed many influences from outside in its history. So not only Romans and Ottomans have left their mark, also Greek, Romanian and Roma influences are noticeable and form further mosaic stones of the cultural wealth of the country.
Sufficient reasons therefore to travel once to Bulgaria! Come with us and explore the country between the Balkan Mountains, the Danube and the Black Sea coast. On the following pages we will introduce you to Bulgaria and its people, take you to the most important sights and hidden gems, and give you practical tips for your Bulgaria vacation.
The Bulgarian capital is located in the far west of the country on the Iskar River and is one of the oldest populated cities in Europe. Here you can explore a huge number of interesting buildings, ranging from ancient to modern times. There’s also no shortage of parks, museums and restaurants here. Had enough of the city? In the southwest of the country there are many beautiful hiking areas, especially the national parks Rila and Pirin are worth a trip. A great destination is the Rila Monastery, the most important in the country. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its murals are one of the most important sights in the country.
Beaches like Gold Beach attract countless people every year and are ideal for parties. But there are also more idyllic spots. In Varna, the most important city on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, there is a lot to discover: beautiful churches, ancient thermal baths and numerous festivals are worth a trip to the third largest city in the country. Burgas is worth a visit too, in the surrounding area there are also some nature reserves.
In the heart of the country, the Thracian Plain, there are only a few large cities. But one of them stands out: Plovdiv. Plovdiv is not only the second largest city in the country, but was also the European Capital of Culture in 2019! The city owes this to its long history, a famous gold treasure, Roman theaters and stadiums, and cozy old town alleys. And in Sveshtari, a Thracian tomb will take you back to a bygone era. You can go hiking in the Central Balkan National Park with its snow-covered peaks. If these are not enough reasons to travel to Central Bulgaria!
The Danube forms the country’s natural northern border with Romania. Picturesquely situated on the water is Ruse, the fifth largest city of the country, which scores with its many magnificent buildings in the style of classicism. From here you can continue your journey along the Danube almost to the Black Sea and enjoy the uniquely beautiful nature, including the UNESCO biosphere reserve Srebarna..
Northwest Bulgaria is an Eldorado, especially for hiking fans. Gorges, waterfalls and small chapels along the way make for great photo opportunities. For a change from all the natural beauty not far from the Danube, visit the two cultural centers of Vidin and Pleven.
To prepare your trip even better, we have created a packing list for you. It contains recommendations for things that will make your trip more comfortable and secure.
Finding cheap flights with good connections is not always easy. We are pros at finding the cheapest and best flights. Here we share our experiences with you.
Money withdrawel can be extremely expensive. Especially those who pay a lot with foreign currencies should therefore have a travel credit card, which is free of charge or offers low fees. We tested the best.