Bulgaria is a country with many different landscapes and a rich history, resulting in a country rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage dating back to ancient times.
There is something for everyone to explore in the brave and beautiful Balkan country, with high rocky peaks home to magnificent mountains, enormous national parks where endangered species roam free, and swaths of sandy beaches that border the Black Sea, as well as remains of Soviet control. Here are some of Bulgaria’s most popular tourism destinations:
1. Cathedral Of Alexander Nevsky
The Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral, Bulgaria’s defining landmark, is located in the center of the beautiful city of Sofia. The cathedral was erected between 1882 and 1912 with the help of the city’s residents to commemorate the lives of the 200,000 Russian troops who died fighting in the Russo-Turkish war for Bulgaria’s independence from Ottoman domination.
With a luxurious 45-meter high gold-plated dome, the church is ornately decorated. Inside, you may wander amid the elaborate mosaics, significant paintings, and representations of saints and angels; magnificent chandeliers hang low, dripping in opulent gold, while the altar and benches are carefully carved out of solid wood.
2. Waterfalls Of Krushuna
The Krushuna Falls are located near the settlement of Krushuna, nestled amid the various karst rock formations in a beautiful wooded setting. The largest of the falls is 20 meters high, after which the blue water breaks into smaller falls and crashes over limestone hunks, making soothing pools and strange bends in the rock.
Over bridges and staircases, travelers may easily access the waterfalls and explore the surrounding environment. One trail leads to a concealed cave where the waterfall’s source may be located; the spring is claimed to have medicinal properties and is still a favourite hangout for people from the adjacent hamlet.
Take a stroll along Koprivshtitsa’s ancient winding road, through the trickling streams and colorful houses, and you’ll be transported to a bygone Bulgaria. The ancient town of Koprivshtitsa, located in the heart of the Sredna Gora mountain range, was once a hub for the battle against Ottoman control and is still a source of Bulgarian pride today.
The town is today a major tourist destination and an open-air museum, with several mansions and residences that are magnificent specimens of the 19th-century Bulgarian National Revival.
4. Buzludzha Monument
The now-abandoned Buzludzha Monument is a symbol of brutalist design and a marvel of Soviet proportions. The gigantic monument, built by the Bulgarian army in 1974, was created by several artists and creatives in charge of sculptures at the time.
The monument is located on the site of a fight between Turks and Bulgarians in 1868, when Dimitar Blagoev and other socialist leaders described Bulgaria’s transformation into a communist state.
The stern building has been defaced with political graffiti, including large representations of Lenin and Marx, as well as inscriptions. After the demise of the Soviet Union, the massive flying-saucer-shaped memorial to socialism was allowed to rot, but it has now become a unique attraction for people interested in the era’s history and distinctive architecture.
5. Mountain Vitosha
Vitosha Mountain’s characteristic dome form stands near to the city of Sophia’s urban sprawl, and it’s where people go to get away from the city and appreciate nature. The mountain is readily accessible from the city and can be accessed by bus, foot, and ropeways. It has its own ski resort, excellent hiking paths, and magnificent panoramic views of the city below.
The highest point of Vitosha Mountain is 2,290 meters high, attracting people all year to see the Vitosha Nature Park, which is the oldest in the Balkans and includes the majority of the mountain, as well as the mineral springs in the foothills.
6. Sveshtari’s Thracian Tomb
Researchers excavated the ancient Thracian tomb of Sveshtari behind a mound in 1982, and it was only then that archaeologists discovered the spectacular site. The tomb, which originates from the 3rd century BC, is supposed to have been erected for a royal couple from the Getae Thracian tribe.
The tomb is in excellent condition, with beautiful carvings and paintings depicting half-female, half-plant beings that seem to be supporting the roof. The tomb is regarded to be unique since no other Thracian tomb with Sveshtari’s mix of amazing construction, sculpture, and paintings has been uncovered.
7. Tsarevets Fortress
Tsarevets Fortress, erected on the site of the medieval tsars’ palace 800 years before Tarnovo became Bulgaria’s capital, is a symbol of Bulgaria’s previous glory. Explore the ancient ruins, where you’ll find the remnants of almost 400 dwellings and many churches.
The fortress’s elevation, 206 meters above sea level, was strategically located to safeguard the kingdom from assault for hundreds of years, as shown by the panoramic views of the surrounding terrain. The castle requires a lot of walking up steep hills, but since it is only accessible by foot, you may tour the gardens and climb the medieval walls in privacy.
8. Sunny Beach
Sunny Beach is known for its vast expanses of soft, sandy beaches that slope into the Black Sea, as well as the large number of visitors that come to enjoy the resort town’s vibrant nightlife. The golden beaches run for eight kilometers down the coast, providing the ideal location for sunbathing and swimming.
The area’s beaches are clean and well-protected from the weather, making the water ideal for swimming, and the many hotels along the coast are also fairly priced and family-friendly. If you want to spend a few days resting in the sun and seeing the surrounding region, such as the old village of Nessebar, this is the place to go.
9. The Roman Theater in Plovdiv
One of the finest preserved historic theaters in the world is located in the heart of Plovdiv Old Town. The strikingly magnificent edifice was discovered in the 1960s and is assumed to have been erected during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian in the first century AD.
The location would have played a vital role in ancient societies, since it was where local government meetings and large assemblies took place, as well as theatrical performances and notably brutal gladiator bouts.
The theater, which can seat 7,000 people, is still in use for opera and musical acts. Take a stroll through the town’s cobblestone streets and up the hill to the historic theater, where you may sit amid the rows of sloping seats and take in the uninterrupted views of the surrounding scenery.
10. Pirin National Park
The Pirin National Park is a Bulgarian national treasure, with over 70 glacial lakes, historic forests, and towering 2,915-meter peaks and ridges. The National Park provides a safe haven for a variety of uncommon animals that seek refuge in the Balkan mountain range. Large creatures such as brown bears, wild boar, gray wolves, and jackals still wander the slopes; this is a remote and wild environment that is threatened by ski resort expansion.
Spend your time exploring the various pathways, riding through the alpine meadows, or fishing by waterfalls in this breathtakingly gorgeous park. You may even spend the night in Pirin’s huts, where you can see the famed Baykuchevata Macedonian pine tree, which is claimed to be 1,350 years old!
11. Old Nessebar
For the last 9,000 years, Nessebar has enchanted travelers, and it continues to do so now. The lovely ancient Nessebar town, set on a rugged peninsula linked to the mainland by a causeway, is an open-air museum consisting of pretty squares, churches, and cobblestone streets. The history and antiquities of the town span the Roman and Byzantine periods, and the ancient town walls may still be seen.
Take a peek inside the classic wood homes constructed on solid rock foundations, relax and watch the windmill on the bridge that connects the old and modern towns, and walk quietly through the gorgeous cathedrals and chapels.
Visit Rila Monastery to relax in the tranquil settings of the Rila Mountains. The Eastern Orthodox Rila Monastery is an architectural icon, having been founded in the 10th century and being regarded in high regard as a significant historic and cultural landmark.
It is known as Bulgaria’s Jerusalem and is home to some of the country’s most evocative religious imagery, including wall murals, sculptures, and historical treasures.
The ancient monastery is still active and is home to around 60 monks who still live and work in the tranquil peace of the monastery inside its ornate buildings. The striking stripes of the exterior and gently curved arches, along with the crowning domes, set the monastery apart from the surrounding tree-covered mountainous landscape.