Touropia Logo

Touropia Travel

Discover the World

10 Best Places to Visit in Bulgaria

By Mike Kaplan · Last updated on March 4, 2024

The small Balkan country of Bulgaria, is one of Eastern Europe’s diamonds in the rough. It is home to iconic mountain ranges: The Balkan, Rila, Pirin, and Rhodope mountains which make a perfect backdrop for Bulgaria’s traditional towns.

These towns are rich in cultural heritage, and the mountain ranges are a naturalist, and hiker’s paradise. While along the Black Sea Coast pristine sandy beaches flank the country, and cosmopolitan seaside resorts entertain foreign and domestic tourists.

However, history is woven into the fiber of Bulgaria. It has been occupied for millenniums, and the countless ruins, ancient churches, and imposing fortresses that remain throughout the country, are a constant reminder of Bulgaria’s unique narrative. From the ancient Romans, to the Ottoman Empire, to the democratic state it is today. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Bulgaria:


Burgas is a beautiful seaside town flanked by the sea and several lakes. Unlike its neighboring seaside towns, Burgas did not start to really actively develop until the 20th century. It was then that it was discovered that the bay was a great protector for trade industries and the navy. As such, there is a large industrial center in the heart of the city.

However, the main promenade along the coast is very well kept, and the beaches remain quiet. There are number of reasonably good restaurants, and accommodation in this same area, and days away from the sea can be spent exploring the lakes.

9. Koprivshtitsa


This peaceful town of colorful houses, traditional Bulgarian architecture, and folk festivals is steeped in rich history and was once the heart of the fierce April uprisings against the Ottoman Empire.

The origin of the town is ultimately unknown, however there are many legends surrounding it. It can be confirmed that it was destroyed by fire many times, before it became the romantic hideaway it is today. The town’s rich history has not been forgotten, as there are over 350 historic, architectural, ethnographic, and artistic monuments dotted throughout it.

The most memorable attractions in Koprivshtitsa are Oslekov House, the former home of a wealthy merchant built in 1856, and Topalova House, built and lived in by a prominent tax collector in 1854. Both showcase items unique to the time period of the homes, and demonstrate what life would have looked like in the 1900’s. Otherwise, the picturesque town is tucked between mountains ranges of lush green.


The charming seaside town of Sozopol is Bulgaria’s oldest town. It was established in 610 BC by the Greeks, where it became a center for the arts and a place of salvation. Today, there is still archeological evidence of their time spent in Sozopol.

However, over the years other empires and rulers came to occupy the land. As such there are remains of a medieval Christian complex, and ancient walls, and fortresses lining the peninsula.

These days most people visit the area for the gorgeous seaside resorts that dominate the coastline, fabulous beaches, and romantic cobblestoned streets. The town regularly hosts cultural events, and has great dining and nightlife options. For those that prefer something more exciting than sunbathing, a variety of sports are on-offer at the beaches during the day. These include surfing, jet-skiing, sailing, wakeboarding, and volleyball.

7. Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo

This small city in central Bulgaria is most well-known as the home of Tsarevets Fortress. Since, it was once the home to the Tsars, the city is sometimes dubbed the “City of Tsars”. The Fort is enclosed by 1000 meters (3000 feet) of stone walls. Many areas of the wall offer 360-degree views of the surrounding picturesque hills, and the charming city below.

The old part of the city was built on hills so it offers rolling cobblestone streets, traditional homes, and ancient churches. Close-by is the famous Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of God, which features beautiful architecture, and breathtaking works of art from antiquity.

Centuries ago the city boasted over 30 monasteries but this one remains the best remaining example. Meanwhile, the new part of the city has become an integral economic, and administrative center for Northern Bulgaria. It has modern dining, and accommodation options.


The town of Bansko is renowned as Bulgaria’s number one skiing mecca. The town of Bankso, in Southern Bulgaria, is nestled at the foot of the Pirin Mountains whose peak reaches 2914 meters. It is conveniently located only 160kms from the capital of Sofia.

Bansko Ski Resort is also credited with having the longest ski season in Bulgaria. It regularly competes with resorts in France, and Switzerland for its high-quality skiing, at lower than Alps prices. The resort, and town itself has countless après-ski restaurants, and nightlife options, and there are world-class spas to indulge in when visitors are not hitting the slopes.

Each year the town holds the annual Bansko Jazz Festival, which draws international attendees and famous Bulgarian performers.


Varna is Bulgaria’s third largest city, and its most sophisticated seaside city. Like Bulgaria’s other coastal towns, Varna is also steeped in history. The Varna Archaeological Museum has impressive gold exhibits featuring the world’s oldest gold, which was sourced from the area. Otherwise, the Roman Baths are an impressive attraction, which are the largest in Bulgaria.

Other striking landmarks, dotted around the city give life to Varnas long history. These include the Baroque Opera House and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin. There are three main beaches which are frequented in the area. These offer all the joys of beach living, such as seaside restaurants and bars, adventure sports, and loungers.

Shopping, accommodation, and spa treatments are world class in the area, and English is widely spoken outside of the local language.


Nesebar is known for its beautiful ruins, and superb beaches. The ancient part of the town is situated on a island connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made causeway, and it bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilizations over the course of its existence.

The many churches that remain are mostly in ruins, but still a joy to explore. The most famous churches within the city include St.Stefan Church which dates back to the 11th century and The Church of Christ Pantocrator, which was created in the 13th century. The last being a great example of medieval architecture, as it is very well preserved.

History aside, visitors frequent the area for its beaches along the Black Sea Coast. It is often called, “The Pearl of the Black Sea”. As such, it is a popular seaside resort destination. It’s most impressive beach is Sunny Beach, but can get quite crowded in the high season.

3. Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Tucked in the Rila Mountains, Rila Monastery is simply stunning. It was initially founded in the 10th century by St. John of Rila, a hermit. Hundreds of pilgrims, and tourists come to the visit the site every year, and for centuries it has been a site of extreme spiritual significance.

The monastery even holds a few secrets of its own. It is said that revolutionary leaders took refuge here at times including the infamous Vassil Levski, and Peyo Yavorov. It has played an important role in preserving Bulgarian literary culture since the onsite library holds approximately 250 manuscripts from the 11th century onwards to the 19th century.

Aesthetically, the monastery is arresting. The architecture is dominated by black and white arches, wooden staircases, and huge iron gates. Multi-colored tiles color the floor, and irreplaceable paintings decorate the walls.


Here visitors can find the oldest continuously occupied city in Europe. Not surprisingly then, the city has countless historical landmarks to boast including a Roman Amphitheater which regularly runs programs, the Ruins of Eumolpias, and several churches.

However, Plovdiv has recently put itself on the map for its emerging food and wine scene. Traditional wineries are popping up all over the city and the surrounding area. Bulgarians are very proud of their wine making capabilities.

The city itself was built on seven hills, and the surrounding area is draped in the Balkan Mountains and the Rhodope mountain range, which have become a favorite place for visitors and locals alike to hike and explore.


Sofia is outstanding. It has a rich history, but remains young at heart. The capital pleasantly intermixes the new with the old. The city center is jam-packed with ruins, and historical landmarks that remind visitors and citizens of the countries long history. But also has emerged as a mecca for contemporary art, and innovative hospitality options.

You should ensure a visit to one of the city’s many galleries or museums during your stay, otherwise, there are countless well-maintained parks within the city, and pristine hiking areas just outside of it. This includes Mt.Vitosh, which at 2000 meters above sea level offers incredible views of the surrounding lakes, and greenery. If your visiting Bulgaria, you must-see Sofia.

Map of Places to Visit in Bulgaria

Bulgaria map

Share this post:

bulgaria tourism map

12 Top Tourist Attractions in Bulgaria

Regions of Europe

6 Most Beautiful Regions of Europe

best places to visit in Eastern Europe

25 Best Places to Visit in Eastern Europe

tourist attractions in Europe

25 Top Tourist Attractions in Europe

bulgaria tourism map

14 Most Beautiful National Parks in Europe

bulgaria tourism map

15 Best Cities to Visit in Serbia

bulgaria tourism map

17 Most Charming Small Towns in Europe

Islands in the Mediterranean

The 23 Most Scenicl Islands in the Mediterranean

bulgaria tourism map

18 Top Tourist Attractions in Monaco

bulgaria tourism map

10 Most Beautiful Lakes in Finland

Reader interactions, leave a reply cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

bulgaria tourism map

©Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock

Soul-stirring mountains rival golden beaches, while cities hum with nightlife and art. Within Bulgaria’s beguiling blend of nature and history, unforgettable adventures are guaranteed.


Must-see attractions.

bulgaria tourism map

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

The highlight at this Unesco-protected Thracian settlement is a nearly perfectly preserved three-chamber burial tomb from about 300 BC. The high quality…

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum

Exhibits at this vast museum, the best of its kind in Bulgaria, include 6000-year-old bangles, necklaces and earrings said to be the oldest worked gold…

Tsarevets fortress, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Europe

Tsarevets Fortress

Veliko Târnovo

The inescapable symbol of Veliko Târnovo, this reconstructed fortress dominates the skyline and is one of Bulgaria’s most beloved monuments. The former…

Frescos in the entrance to Bachkovo Monastery

Bachkovo Monastery

Plovdiv & Southern Mountains

About 30km south of Plovdiv stands the magnificent Bachkovo Monastery, founded in 1083. Most of the complex dates from the 17th century onwards, with the…


Aleksander Nevski Cathedral

One of the symbols not just of Sofia but of Bulgaria itself, this massive, awe-inspiring church was built between 1882 and 1912 in memory of the 200,000…

Etâr Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

Etâr Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

If ambling down cobbled lanes with a stick of halva in hand sounds like an agreeable foray into Bulgaria's past, a day in Etâr will delight. Nearly 50…

Dryanovo Monastery

Dryanovo Monastery

A history of destruction and revolution, as dramatic as its cliff-backed location, entices visitors to Dryanovo Monastery. Originally founded in the early…

The ancient theatre of Philippopolis.

Roman Amphitheatre

Plovdiv’s magnificent 2nd-century AD amphitheatre, built during the reign of Emperor Trajan, was uncovered during a freak landslide in 1972. It once held…

Latest stories from Bulgaria

Filter by interest:

  • All Interests
  • Adventure Travel
  • Art & Culture
  • Beaches, Coasts & Islands
  • Food & Drink

Dunav Ultra Cycling route in Bulgaria

Oct 20, 2023 • 8 min read

This 460-mile ride along the Danube through Bulgaria is one of Europe’s least known long-distance routes. Here’s how to tackle it.

Car on road in Piva Canyon, National Park Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Balkans, Europe. Beauty world.

Feb 1, 2021 • 5 min read

bulgaria tourism map

Feb 20, 2020 • 3 min read

bulgaria tourism map

Jan 30, 2020 • 4 min read

Bansko’s top Gondola station. Image by Hugh McNaughtan / Lonely Planet

Jan 7, 2020 • 6 min read

Sandstone pyramids rising over traditional houses in Melnik © Dimitar Sotirov / Shutterstock

Dec 4, 2019 • 5 min read

bulgaria tourism map

Dec 4, 2019 • 3 min read

closeup of a plane wing over the ocean with land in the distance

Nov 8, 2019 • 2 min read

The golden domes of Sofia's Aleksander Nevski Cathedral © Takashi Images / Shutterstock

Oct 13, 2019 • 4 min read

bulgaria tourism map

Aug 20, 2019 • 2 min read

in partnership with getyourguide

Book popular activities in Bulgaria

Bulgaria and beyond.

Plovdiv & Southern Mountains

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » Bulgaria » 15 Best Places to Visit in Bulgaria

15 Best Places to Visit in Bulgaria

Rolling down from the pine-clad massifs of the Balkan Mountains and the Rhodope ranges to meet the sparkling blues of the Black Sea, Bulgaria offers everything from sun-kissed beaches to enthralling historical narratives, buzzing party towns to snow-shrouded ski resorts between its borders.

In this guide to the 15 best places to visit in the country, we take a look at all the major hotspots that should be on anyone’s Bulgarian bucket list this year.


The sun-splashed favourite of local Bulgarians heading out of Sofia and Plovdiv for the summer, Varna is much more than just your run-of-the-mill resort town on the edge of the Black Sea. Yes sir, with a long and enthralling history, oodles of crumbling Roman bathhouses and elaborate Orthodox architecture (like the almost unpronounceable Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral), the city appeals to history buffs and culture vultures as well as sun seekers.

Of course, the beaches are still a big factor, and one bustling sand-side promenade beckons travelers with oodles of seafood restaurants and cocktail bars, while lively clubs erupt right on the edge of the shore after dark.

2. Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo

The legendary City of the Tsars stands aloft on the edge of the rising foothills of Bulgaria’s northern mountains. Bisected by the S-shaped meanders of the Yantra River, the town’s setting is nothing short of breathtaking, with terraces of terracotta-coloured roofs looming over the waterways below.

The pretty cobblestone lanes and half-timbered homes of this one’s old town are prime examples of what’s now known as the Tarnovo school, which developed as the Second Bulgarian Empire boomed in the Middle Ages.

That means travelers here experience a mixture of natural beauty – courtesy of the wild coniferous woods that blanket the landscapes all around – and unbridled culture and history, oozing from the Tsarevets capitol and the clutch of gorgeous Byzantine churches.


The sprawling capital of Bulgaria is something of a patchwork of its own past. Around its edges rise the great brutalist monuments to Soviet rule; endless streams of cookie cutting high-rises.

Closer to the centre and the ancient remains of the Serdica Fort and the Roman-Byzantine Church of St George sit in the shadow of Stalinist municipal buildings.

And then there are the iconic Orthodox domes and gilded edifices of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, which glisten under the snow-packed tops of Vitosha Mountain in the distance.

It’s all very eclectic, and rarely fails to impress travelers that opt to linger here a little while.

4. Zheravna


A showcase in all things Bulgarian National Revival, Zheravna is a rustic and raw picture of one of the country’s most iconic architectural styles of old.

The town itself sits nestled at the base of the mighty Balkan Mountains, between dense thickets of Bosnian pines and white elms, where it seems almost organically formed in its timber-clad, stony appearance.

The cottages that pepper the cobbled streets all come beautifully restored, with more than 150 examples of the typical hardwood facades on display.

Amidst the buildings, sites like the Yordan Yovkov House and the icon-packed St Nicholas Church draw the biggest crowds, while others will head for the August Dobromiritsa Rural Park nearby, where festivals celebrating Bulgarian folk costumes and music erupt throughout the year.


Burgas is one of the favoured gateways to the southern stretches of the Black Sea Coast. A far cry from the ancient and historic centres that pepper the country elsewhere, it’s a largely modern affair of Art Deco rises and manicured parks on the edge of the sea.

It’s also home to some of the most lively music festivals in Bulgaria, like the rollicking Spirit of Burgas that erupts each year in the summer.

North Beach is the most popular stretch of sand in the town, while Burgas also has another trick up its sleeve: the majestically beautiful trio of lakes that range from the bird-spotting paradise of Vaya to the west to the saline waters of Atanasovsko to the north.

6. Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Perhaps the most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in the world, Rila has risen and risen to become a veritable symbol of the Bulgarian nation.

It entered the UNESCO World Heritage List way back in 1983, hailed for its curious intermingling of Mamluk, arabesque, Byzantine and Romanesque styles, and resplendent iconostases walls, carved meticulously and inlaid with shimmering gold leaf.

An on-site museums helps travelers unravel the more than 1,000 years of history that coalesce at the site, while endless courtyards and peristyles decorated in murals and medieval scenes mean there’s plenty of art and architecture to draw the eye.


Prep the salopettes and wax the skis, because Bansko is Bulgaria’s most prized winter sports resort. With countless expansions and new lift projects at its back, the dual ski fields of the Chalin Valog and Shiligarnika that make their home between the fir forests here have become some of the most lauded in all of Eastern Europe.

And even if you won’t be hitting the 70 kilometers of groomed runs on offer, Bansko’s rugged setting in the Pirin ranges and wealth of luxury hotels, hedonistic bars, jazz joints, cross-country trails and Bulgarian tavernas is sure to hit the spot!

8. Pamporovo


Encompassed by endless seas of pine trees that oscillate between verdant green and ice-caked white with the turning of summer and winter, the popular mountain resort town of Pamporovo makes its home amidst the undulating ridges of the southern Rhodope Mountains, just a short jaunt away from the borderlands with Greece.

And while the warmer months here do mean fantastic hiking opportunities along the trails of Smolyan, it’s the snows that really draw the crowds, when the slopes (all 36 kilometers of them) open and chairlifts creak and rattle to the tips of Rhodope with skiers in tow.

Pamporovo is expanding rapidly too, which means it’s certainly one to watch on Eastern Europe’s line-up of budding mountain resorts!

9. Pirin National Park

Pirin National Park

UNESCO-tagged and rising like a great Balkan bulwark against the borders of Macedonia and Greece , the Pirin National Park is a hinterland like no other in Europe.

Up on high, its snow-spotted summits gather caps of mist, while alpine valleys below are dashed with avalanches of forest-green pine and fir trees, and speckled with the occasional bed of edelweiss.

Meanwhile, deer and bears stalk the woodlands to this day, and wild goats clamber atop the craggy precipices to find shelter in the rocky crevices and caves.

It’s hardly a wonder that this one is hailed as a paradise for hikers and outdoorsy types, with trails soaring to the top of Vihren (the highest peak) and weaving around the whopping 186 mountain lakes!

10. Belogradchik


The otherworldly geological wonders that lurk on the edge of Belogradchik town rarely fail to impress travelers who make their way to this far-flung corner of Bulgaria on the northward slopes of the Balkan Mountains.

Known simply as the Belogradchik Rocks, they offer a sprawling display of hoodoos and anthropomorphic monoliths that’s inspired folk legends and local myths aplenty.

But Belogradchik’s draws don’t end there. No sir, not with that colossal Belogradchik Fortress complex dating back to Roman times on the menu, the citadel of nearby Baba Vida and the mysterious pre-historic wall art of the Magura Cave to boot!

11. Plovdiv


Draped over seven hills along the courses of the beautiful Maritsa River, Plovdiv runs the gamut of historical sights, encompassing Roman amphitheatres, Thracian fortresses, honorific monuments to Bulgaria’s own Krum the Fearsome, National Revival churches and even the occasional Soviet tenement between city limits.

The piece de resistance has to be the old world historic centre though; a Game of Thrones-esque pallet of stone-clad keeps and winding alleyways, Byzantine arches and hidden squares.

Oh, and Plovdiv’s nightlife beckons partiers after hours, as the coffee culture haunts turn hedonist, fuelling nights with indie, jazz and oodles of Balkan beers!

12. Sunny Beach

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Throw off the inhibitions and delve into the sun-splashed party town that is Sunny Beach . Bulgaria’s answer to Malia, Ayia Napa and Ibiza, it’s packed with thumping clubs and pubs, chatty promoters offering buckets (literally) of booze for next to nothing, flashing neon, funky ravers, booze cruises and tanned, bikini-clad, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing partiers.

As well as its sleepless edge, Sunny Beach is also home to one gorgeous stretch of sand, which sits lapped over by the Black Sea and backed by the lively Boulevard, where English all-day breakfasts meet Italian pizzas in the international eateries and hotels rise in bursts of brilliant white.

13. Koprivshtitsa


Perfectly-preserved Koprivshtitsa pops up from between the spruces and pines that cover the valleys of the Sredna Gora Mountains like a beautifully adorned gingerbread carving of a town.

In fact, the whole settlement is a protected national monument, supposed to reflect and define the achievements of the Bulgarian National Revival movement in its wealth of painted facades, realist stone sculptures and shuttered homes.

Visitors who head to the spot today can spy out honorific memorial exhibitions dedicated to heroes of the April Uprising of 1876, while other institutions chronicle the life and works of iconic revivalist writers and artists alike.

14. Perperikon


With traces of human settlement dating back more than seven millennia and what’s been hailed as the most awesome monolithic structure in the entire Balkan Peninsula crowning its hilltops, Perperikon is a real must for any history buffs and culture vultures making their way through Bulgaria.

Before it was built up and fortified by the Thracian tribespeople, it’s thought that Copper Age priests used the hill for rituals and soothsaying, which legend has it foretold the rise of both Alexander the Great and Imperial Rome under Augustus.

Today, visitors can come and wander the off-the-beaten-track dig site, while relics and findings are best viewed at the local archaeology museum in Kardzhali.

15. Nessebar


Jutting out and sparkling like a Medieval Byzantine pearl between the rollers of the Black Sea, Nessebar is certainly one of the most enchanting and unforgettable cities on Bulgaria’s coast.

It’s famed for an enthralling UNESCO centre where layers of Thracian ruins mix with eye-watering churches built between the 5th and 10th centuries.

There are formidable fortifications too, famed for fighting off both Ottoman Turk and Crusading counts alike, not to mention rows of pretty seaside villas that cascade down neatly to meet the shore, shimmering in whitewash and red-tile as they go. Put simply – this one’s not to be missed!

15 Best Places to Visit in Bulgaria:

  • Veliko Tarnovo
  • Rila Monastery
  • Pirin National Park
  • Belogradchik
  • Sunny Beach
  • Koprivshtitsa

The World Was Here First

The Perfect Bulgaria Itinerary: 5 to 10 Days (or More!)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024

by Maggie Turansky

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click a link and make a purchase, we may make a small commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see our privacy policy.

The Balkan country of Bulgaria has long been overlooked on standard European travel routes, where traditional tourists rarely travel farther east than Hungary or Croatia. However, for those more intrepid visitors keen to see the delights that southeastern Europe has to offer, planning a 5 to 10 days in Bulgaria itinerary is a fantastic idea.

Though relatively small in size, Bulgaria has a lot to offer visitors and really can appeal to almost every personality. Bulgaria boasts cosmopolitan cities and ancient metropolises, rugged mountains and pristine beaches, world-class skiing and incredible wine country — it can seem that wherever your interests may lie, Bulgaria will have it.

Table of Contents

When to Visit Bulgaria

You are likely going to want to know when is the best time of year to visit this European nation. Well, luckily for travellers, Bulgaria has its merits no matter what time of year you choose to visit so it all depends on what you’re after on your trip.

While it is located in southeastern Europe, don’t expect Bulgaria to have the same kind of climate as other southern European countries like Croatia , Portugal, Italy or Spain. Contrary to these countries, Bulgaria experiences a much more continental climate with very cold and snowy winters and hot, muggy summers. With this kind of climate, you can best bet to enjoy all of the seasonal activities that come throughout the year.

Winter in Bulgaria sees high temperatures averaging around freezing throughout most of the country, though it can certainly be colder high in the mountains or warmer in the coastal areas along the Black Sea.

With the winter freezes come a lot of skiing opportunities at some of the most affordable prices in all of Europe. Destinations like Bansko are incredibly popular in the wintertime, however, you can also easily combine a skiing holiday with a cosmopolitan city break without leaving Sofia by visiting Vitosha Mountain.

Summers, on the other hand, can get incredibly hot, with average temperatures soaring to well over 30°C (86°F) and humidity can be quite high, as well. The inland cities in the summer can be sweltering, however, the coast becomes a bustling mecca for sun worshippers and party seekers alike.

The mountains can also be a pleasant escape with ample hiking opportunities and mild temperatures in the high altitude. Summer is also, not surprisingly, when tourist crowds are at their peak, as are accommodation prices.

If you’re sensitive to either the cold or heat and want to avoid tourists as much as possible, then probably the best time to visit Bulgaria would be in the shoulder seasons.

The months ranging from March-May and September-October see some of the mildest temperatures, though you should be prepared for the occasional cold snap or frequent rains (especially in Spring). However, in the shoulder seasons, you are just as likely to have beautiful warm temperatures and sunny skies that steadfastly cling to summer.

No matter which time of year you choose to embark on your trip to Bulgaria, you are sure to be met with a beautiful country eager to welcome your exploration!

Sofia, Bulgaria is an incredible blend of ancient and modern

Getting To & Around Bulgaria

Now that you’ve figured out which season to travel to Bulgaria, we need to discuss how you plan to get around once you’re there.

First things first, it is likely that you will begin your Bulgaria itinerary by flying into Sofia airport, which has frequent connections from budget airlines like Ryanair and Wizzair to a number of cities throughout Europe. The affordability of reaching Bulgaria has made it an attractive option for travellers looking to explore a lesser-visited corner of Europe.

There are other international airports in the country besides Sofia, however, and you can just as easily begin your trip from any of these. The highest-trafficked airports after the capital include Burgas and Varna on the Black Sea and Plovdiv airport, which serves a couple of flights per week from destinations like Tel Aviv, Belfast, Manchester and Dublin.

Plovdiv Old Town

If you’re visiting Bulgaria as part of a longer Balkans itinerary you will be happy to know that a few of the country’s major cities are fairly well connected with neighbouring countries. Travellers can easily reach Sofia from Thessaloniki in Greece, Belgrade or Nis, Serbia and also from Skopje , North Macedonia and Istanbul , Turkey, the latter of which will transit through Plovdiv.

You can also reach Sofia by overnight bus or train from Bucharest , Romania. It is also possible to find a direct connection to the northern city of Veliko Tarnovo to Bucharest as well.

Once you’ve arrived in Bulgaria, you need to know how you plan to get from point A to point B. Like elsewhere in the Balkans, if you’re relying on public transport for your Bulgaria trip, then your best option is going to be the bus.

While there is a train network in Bulgaria, it largely hasn’t been updated since the 1960s and can be incredibly slow, uncomfortable, and inefficient. The only time I would generally recommend using the train network in Bulgaria is if you have an affinity for communist-era railways.

In contrast, the bus system is quite comfortable and well-developed and they also tend to be much faster than the trains.

If you are only travelling between major cities, you will find that connections between transport hubs tend to be frequent and the system is easy enough to navigate, even if you have a language barrier. It can be helpful to know what the city you’re travelling to looks like spelt in the Cyrillic alphabet so you know which booth to buy your tickets from.

Most smaller city centres are easily navigable by foot, including cities like Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo, however, in Sofia, it might be necessary to use the public transportation system. The metro in Sofia is efficient and user-friendly, with everything written in both Bulgarian and English.

If you need to take a taxi in Bulgaria, make sure to practice the general precautions you would with taxis throughout the world as, unfortunately, Bulgaria is not immune to taxi scams. However, there are a number of taxi apps in various cities where you can call a reliable cab.

If you do hail one off the street, make sure to do some research on reliable taxi companies beforehand and ensure that the meter is running. Taxi rides are incredibly affordable in Bulgaria, especially when compared to some Western European countries.

The bus is the most efficient way to get around Bulgaria

5 to 10-Day Bulgaria Itinerary

Bulgaria has a lot to offer visitors and, therefore, travellers can easily spend a number of weeks or even months within the country and always find something new to explore. However, if you only can spend 5 days in Bulgaria, then the first five days of this itinerary is outlined to be a complete trip.

If you have a week, the same concept applies if you have 7 days in Bulgaria. And if you’re fortunate enough to have 10 full days to spend in this Balkan nation, then you can enjoy the entirety of the outlined route.

Days 1-3: Sofia

It is likely that you will begin your Bulgaria itinerary in the capital city of Sofia. Though Sofia may not have to best reputation among Balkan cities (when we first planned to visit, we were told to skip it by numerous people), we’ve found that it has a lot to offer visitors with great energy and many interesting things to do.

Though you could easily spend a week or more exploring Sofia , we recommend spending 3 of those days in the capital. Start off with a free walking tour of the city to get your bearings, a great way to get some context to the incredible history you’re going to see in the Bulgarian capital.

There are a number of things to occupy yourself during these three days in Sofia including visiting the top monuments like the ancient city of Serdika and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

You can also take the time to visit some of Sofia’s many museums, enjoy its thriving culinary scene, and learn more about its communist history.

Though it may not be the most beautiful of cities, there is a very cool edge that Sofia holds and it can be worth also learning about its burgeoning street art scene.

If you only have three days, we do recommend that you spend all of them in Sofia as it will allow you to really get to know the city. However, if you want to see more of the countryside, it is possible to go on a day trip.

Rila Monastery – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is one of the most popular day trips from Sofia, as is the nearby Vitosha Mountain, which you can reach by Sofia’s own public transport.

Where to Stay in Sofia

Art ‘Otel – This hotel is a great option if you’re after some luxury. They are well located within easy reach of all the major city sights and have a range of clean and comfortable rooms available. They also have a great breakfast included in the room rate.

Hostel Mostel – This hostel is your best bet if you’re travelling solo or on a tight budget. As one of the most popular and well-rated hostels in Sofia, they have a range of dorm and private rooms available, a friendly staff, and great common areas for you to meet other travellers.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Sofia hotels!

The stunning Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia

Days 4-5: Plovdiv

After exploring Sofia, the final step on a 5-day Bulgaria itinerary should be the second-largest city of Plovdiv. As one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2019, Plovdiv is probably the most tourist-friendly city in Bulgaria and it has a lot to offer visitors.

Plovdiv is thought to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, with a history dating back over 6,000 years. Though Plovdiv is most famous for its incredible ancient amphitheatre. there is a lot more that the city has to offer, which is why we recommend spending two days in Plovdiv to really get to know the city.

Spend your first day in the city exploring its ancient monuments and Roman ruins like the aforementioned amphitheatre and the ancient stadium. Wander through the picturesque old town and enjoy the view of the city from the ruined fortress on Nebet Tepe.

The charming Old Town of Plovdiv

You can also head into the trendy neighbourhood known as Kapana, which means “The Trap” in Bulgarian.

These windy, pedestrian streets have recently been refurbished by a lot of government investment and are now full of great restaurants, cafes, bars, and independent shops and have become a haven for local artists. If you’re interested in hipster culture or street art, this is the neighbourhood to visit.

You can also use Plovdiv as a base to go wine tasting in the Thracian Valley. The nearby town of Brestovitsa is home to several wineries and is only 20 kilometres from the centre of Plovdiv.

Though Bulgaria may not be the first country that comes to mind when it comes to wine tourism, it has one of the oldest viticultures in the world and produces some truly fine vintages.

Where to Stay in Plovdiv

Hotel Evmolpia – Situated in the Old Town, this charming boutique hotel is within easy walking distance of everything to see and do in Plovdiv, including the amphitheatre, Kapana district, and main pedestrian street. They have a number of clean and comfortable rooms available and a good breakfast.

Hostel Old Plovdiv – Located in the heart of the Old Town, this hostel is located in a traditional revival house and is one of the best places to stay in Plovdiv. They have a very welcoming a helpful staff, a range of comfortable dorm and private rooms available, and a great breakfast included in the room rate.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Plovdiv hotels!

The Ancient Theatre of Philippopolis in Plovdiv

Days 6-7: Black Sea Coast

After spending the first five days in Sofia and Plovdiv, it’s time to head to the coast and enjoy the gorgeous Black Sea.

There are a number of great places to visit on the long coastline of Bulgaria and it really depends on what kind of experience you’re after. If you want a smaller, more sleepy seaside town, then head to lovely Sozopol. This town boasts a couple of fine sand beaches, beautiful cobbled streets, and a laid-back atmosphere.

If you want some more western amenities, a party scene, or a high-end beach resort, the head to Sunny Beach or Nessebar which are significantly more touristy and developed than Sozopol.

If you want a big city vibe but still some great beach time, then head to Varna or Burgas, the biggest cities on Bulgaria’s coast. No matter where you choose, you are sure to enjoy a couple of days enjoying the charms of the Black Sea.

Where to Stay on the Black Sea

Hotel Diamanti – If you’re looking for a more subdued seaside holiday on the Black Sea, then the perfect place to stay in Sozopol would be this hotel. They have a number of affordable rooms available, some with sea views, a restaurant on site, and a great breakfast included in the nightly rate. They are also located within walking distance of everything in Sozopol.

Nomado Hostel – As one of Varna’s highest-rated hostels, this is a great place to visit if you’re looking to see the Black Sea on a backpacker’s budget or as a solo traveller. They are centrally located, have a friendly and helpful staff, an included breakfast, and both dorm and private rooms available.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Black Sea hotels!

Beautiful and ancient Sozopol

Days 8-10: Veliko Tarnovo

If you’re fortunate enough to have 10 days to spend exploring Bulgaria, then heading to Veliko Tarnovo for the last two days is an excellent ending point.

Veliko Tarnovo, located to the north of Bulgaria, is a lively university town that once acted as the capital of Bulgaria. Today, it is famous for its mountain scenery and impressive fortress that commands spectacular views over the city and mountains surrounding.

Veliko Tarnovo is incredibly picturesque and well worth taking a day or two to explore on foot. It is also located very close to a number of great mountains, so it is possible to use the city as a base to go for a great day hike. As the former capital of Bulgaria and another ancient city, there is also a long and fascinating history here that is worth learning about.

As the home of one of Bulgaria’s best universities, there is also a lively, youthful energy which makes for a lot of good eateries, bars, and cafes along with some trendy shops and things to do.

Where To Stay in Veliko Tarnovo

Augusta Spa Hotel – This boutique hotel is centrally located and is a great option if you have a bit of a higher budget when visiting Veliko Tarnovo. They have a range of clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned rooms available, some commanding great views of the medieval fortress, and a great breakfast included in the nightly rate.

Hostel Mostel – This hostel, owned by the same people who run the branch in Sofia, is an excellent option for budget and solo travellers. They have both dorm and private rooms available and great common areas to meet other travellers.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Veliko Tarnovo hotels

The view from the Tsarevts Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo

Have More Time?

If you have more than ten days to spend in Bulgaria, or fancy getting a bit further off the beaten path, there are a few options you could take.

First, if you like nature, small towns, and wine, then heading to the lovely town of Melnik is a fantastic option. This tiny town is relatively easy to reach by public transport from Sofia and is an excellent stopping off point if you’re heading south to Greece after travelling in Bulgaria.

If you want to experience some of the best and most affordable skiing in Europe in the winter or visit a pristine hiking mecca in the summer, then the town of Bansko is also a great option to add to you Bulgaria itinerary.

Finally, the northwestern town of Belogradchik close to the Serbian border is a great offbeat destination in Bulgaria. Famous for its unique rock formations and imposing fortress, spending a day or two here will show you a different side to the country.

The lovely town of Melnik, Bulgaria

No matter how many days you have to devote to a Bulgaria travel itinerary, there is no denying that there are countless things to see and do in this underrated European nation.

Are you planning to visit Bulgaria? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

bulgaria tourism map

Related Posts:

City of Veliko Tarnovo

12 Things to Do in Veliko Tarnovo: A One-Day Itinerary

prices in Bulgaria

Is Bulgaria Expensive? A Guide to Prices in Bulgaria

Bulgaria itinerary

The Perfect 1, 2, or 3 Days in Sofia Itinerary

Avatar photo

About Maggie Turansky

Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

great itinerary, lots of useful tips too. many thanks. marilyn

Thanks, Marilyn! Hope you have a great trip.

Hi. This looks like a very useful itinerary. Plan to visit next early June after an extended Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia trip. Was planning 5 days but I think 10+ will afford a much better flavor of Bulgaria. Thanks!

Hello, What is the best way to travel from Plovdiv to Varna? Bus? Return to Sofia and take a flight to Varna?

Best regards, Oliveira

You can take a bus directly from Plovdiv to Varna 🙂

How affordable and practical would it be to rent a car for places outside Sofia? Or is bus a better option than driving?

Renting a car can be a great option if you want a lot of flexibility and not to be beholden to bus timetables. Prices can vary depending on a number of factors.

How would you recommend getting to Plovdiv from Sofia? Could we take the local bus?

Yes, the bus is the best way if you’re using public transport 🙂

If I want to do a Bulgaria Greece trip. Start in Sofia then to Plovdiv. Can I fly into Greece next from Plovdiv? Or do I need to go back to Sofia to catch a flight?

Hi Dee Dee, Plovdiv airport is quite limited in its routes so I think your best bet would be to go to Sofia if you want to fly to Greece. Alternatively, I would recommend looking at taking the bus and going overland!

Another interesting old town is Koprivshtiza, on the road from Sofia to Black Sea, in high mountains and very picturesque. Also, there are many caves, waterfalls, natural wonders, and spa options to choose from.

Thanks for the tip, Lil!

Thanks a lot for this wonderful guide. I find it quite helpful.

Thanks, Gali! Hope you’re able to plan a great trip 🙂

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

bulgaria tourism map

  • Geographic location
  • Traditional cuisine
  • Lifestyle and Culture
  • State Structure and Economy

Tourist regions

  • Cultural Tourism
  • Ecological Tourism
  • Sea Tourism
  • Mountain/Ski Tourism
  • Balneology, SPA and Wellness
  • Wine and Cuisine
  • Sport/Adventurous tourism
  • Rural Tourism
  • Congress Tourism
  • Camping Tourism
  • Sites Under the Aegis of UNESCO
  • Video recipes
  • Virtual walks
  • Brexit or EU-27
  • Visas and Border Control
  • Communications
  • Healthcare Services
  • Currency Information

Consumer Commission Hotline:

bulgaria tourism map


Sunset over the rooftops of Sofia, showcasing the city's beautiful skyline with colorful hues painting the sky.

Tourist Map Of Bulgaria

All destinations in bulgaria.

Click on an Destination to view it on map

bulgaria tourism map

Browse Package Collections

Nearby countries for packages, nearby countries.

North Macedonia

Get the best offers on Travel Packages

Compare package quotes from top travel agents

Compare upto 3 quotes for free

  • India (+91)

*Final prices will be shared by our partner agents based on your requirements.

Log in to your account

Welcome to holidify.

Forget Password?

Share this page

Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Bulgaria Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 30, 2023

Panoramic views over the red terracotta rooftops of the historic town of Asenovgrad amidst rolling hills in Bulgaria, with the Bulgarian flag flying in the foreground

Often overlooked by travelers, Bulgaria is actually one of my favorite countries in Europe .

Because it’s under the radar, here you’ll find few crowds and plenty of affordable activities. I arrived with few expectations and was blown away by the country’s affordability, incredible history, mountainous landscapes, Black Sea beaches, and wild nightlife.

Bulgaria’s long history is evident everywhere, from ancient Neolithic settlements to mysterious Thracian tombs to fortresses left behind by powerful tsars. Even some of the smallest, most nondescript churches have elaborate religious artwork inside, including paintings of saints and vivid murals.

And, if you’re a nature lover, there are several mountain ranges throughout the country offering all kinds of stunning hikes.

In short, Bulgaria is amazing and I can’t speak its praises enough. Don’t speed through the place. There’s a lot to see and do here.

This travel guide to Bulgaria can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your time here.

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Bulgaria

Click Here for City Guides

Top 5 things to see and do in bulgaria.

An emerald green lake with sharp jagged peaks in the background in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria

1. Explore Sofia

Sofia is Bulgaria’s dynamic capital city full of museums, Eastern Orthodox churches, communist architecture, and trendy galleries, restaurants, and clubs. The city has thousands of years’ worth of history and dates to the 8th century BCE when it was inhabited by the Serdi tribe. One of the oldest buildings is a brick rotunda that was built in the 4th century by the Romans. It was originally used as a bath but later became a church – and it’s survived almost completely intact. Don’t miss the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, built in the 1880s in the Neo-Byzantine style. It’s massive and has enough room for 10,000 people inside (you can even explore the crypt which is full of unique religious icons). Museums like the National Art Gallery, the National Historical Museum, and the National Institute of Archeology are all worth a visit and feature unique cultural and historical exhibits.

2. Relax in Varna

Varna is a major tourist destination during the summer when its beaches fill up with visitors. Like most of Bulgaria, the area has a rich history. Archeological remains of early settlements have been uncovered at over 30 sites, the oldest of which dates back to the Stone Age. Modern Varna was established in the 6th and 7th centuries when the Slavic people gained power in the Balkans, and the city emerged as an important hub for trade due to its prominent location on the Black Sea. Now it’s known as one of Bulgaria’s most popular seaside resort towns thanks to its beautiful beaches. I had a lot of fun wandering the streets, visiting the Roman Baths, walking through the big central park, and relaxing by the beach. Make sure to check out Aladzha Monastery, which is one of the oldest in Bulgaria (it dates back to the 4th century) and offers stunning views of the city.

3. Visit Plovdiv

Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria and is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe (archeologists have discovered evidence of settlements dating back to the Neolithic period in 6,000 BCE). Over the years, Plovdiv has been ruled by Greeks, Romans, Celts, Huns, Slavs, Bulgars, Thracians, and Ottomans. You can explore ruins spanning the centuries on a walk-through Old Town with cobblestone streets and architecture from the Middle Ages and the Bulgarian Revival. The city is the cultural hub of Bulgaria and was named the European Capital of Culture and is part of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Be sure to visit the Roman Amphitheater, see the Archaeological Museum, and relax under the leafy trees in the Tsar Simeon Central Garden.

4. Go to Veliko Tarnovo

Once the capital of the Bulgarian Empire, Veliko Tarnovo is now a charming university town. Much of the city is perched on the cliffs with white houses and iconic red roofs spanning the hillsides. For excellent photo opportunities visit the Sky Walk which overlooks the city and the river winding through the cliffs. Not much happens here, but I loved the cobblestone streets, the historic castle ruins, the little cafes, and the nearby mountain hikes. Like any university town, there are some eclectic spots to grab a drink like the Hipster Art Bar which has a fun atmosphere and is a great place to meet people.

5. Explore the Rila Mountains

The Rila Mountains are the highest mountain range in the Balkans, with Mount Musala towering over 3,000 meters (10,000 feet). Most of the mountain is protected within Rila National Park and the rest falls within the Rila Monastery Nature preserve, so it’s a hotspot for biodiversity and nature enthusiasts. You can trek to the top on a day hike or take on some of the less challenging hikes in the mountains. During the colder months, the Rila Mountains become packed with skiers, and if you want to treat yourself there are some luxurious spas around the area. Other highlights include the Seven Lakes route, Skakavitsa Waterfall, and the Rila Monastery. The monastery is the largest in Bulgaria and was established in the 10th century by Saint John of Rila. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Other Things to See and Do in Bulgaria

1. check out the museum of socialist art.

This museum in Sofia showcases art from when the country was under Communist rule (1944-1989). A large outdoor sculpture park contains everything from a giant statue of Lenin that once stood in the center of the city to the red star that topped the socialist party headquarters. Inside you’ll find all kinds of propaganda, documentary videos, photos, and more. Admission is 6 BGN.

2. Hike the Balkan Mountains

This mountain chain is at the center of Bulgaria. It’s part of the epic European Long Distance Route (E3) following the chain’s main ridge to the Portuguese seaside, spanning a distance of 6,950 kilometers (4,320 miles). For shorter day hikes, find a base town like Apriltsi and trek from there. The Mount Botev summit and the hike to Vodnite Dupki are two popular hikes.

3. Hit the beaches on the Black Sea

This 402-kilometer (250-mile) stretch of Bulgarian coast lies along the Black Sea. About one-third of this coastline is covered in pristine, sandy beaches. Avoid Sunny Beach (it’s tacky and crowded) and check out some of the quieter beaches instead, like Pomorie Beach or Sinemorets Veleka Beach.

4. Unwind in Balchik

Balchik is a small coastal town on the Black Sea. The area used to serve as the summer residence for Queen Marie of Romania (1875-1938). You can tour her Balchik Palace on the seaside promenade and admire the interesting blend of Gothic and Islamic architecture. There are not very many rooms, but they all contain original furnishings and paintings by Queen Marie herself. There’s also a botanical garden with over 600 species of plants. Admission is 15 BGN.

5 Go skiing

Bansko, Borovets, and Pamporovo are the three biggest resort towns in Bulgaria. Most people prefer Bansko because its resort has the longest ski runs and it’s doable as a day trip from Sofia. There are several hotels and budget accommodations within Bansko (although Bansko isn’t the prettiest of towns). A one-day ski pass is 90 BGN in Bansko and 85 BGN in Borovets and Pamporovo.

6. Stop and smell the roses in Kazanlak

Bulgaria is one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world and the town of Kazanlak has hosted the Festival of Roses since 1903. During the first weekend of June, the local community organizes this international event that attracts thousands of tourists. There are rose-picking rituals, events to learn about the rose distillation process, a street procession, acapella choirs, folklore concerts, art shows, exhibitions, and even wine-tasting. Best of all, most of the events are free!

7. Visit the Varna Archaeological Museum

The Varna Archaeological Museum is home to the Varna Necropolis, a prehistoric archaeological site that contains the oldest processed gold in the world (it’s 7,000 years old). The gold was extracted from 62 graves (it was custom to bury people with gifts at that time). On display, you’ll also find intricate jewelry and other artifacts, as well as oddities like Roman surgical tools and ancient Hellenistic headstones. Admission is 10 BGN.

8. Explore Stara Zagora

Stara Zagora is a smaller city located in the south of Bulgaria, famous for its annual linden-tree bloom (the whole city smells incredibly floral — like a combination of honeysuckle and jasmine). For me, the main attraction is Stara Zagora’s historical significance. Other than once being an important crossroad for the Romans, Ottomans, and Thracians, Stara Zagora also contains some amazing prehistoric relics, including ancient burial mounds dating back 8,000 years. The Neolithic Dwellings Museum sits on one of these prehistoric mounds, along with the remains of a home. It’s 5 BGN to visit and super informative!

9. Tour the Bachkovo Monastery

Just outside of Plovdiv is the Bachkovo Monastery, dating to 1083 (although most of it was built from the 17th century). The main attraction in the monastery is the Church of Sveta Bogoroditsa, which has an interior completely covered in colorful frescoes painted by Zahari Zograf in 1850. The refectory (dining hall) is also full of murals displaying the building’s history. Pilgrims often come to the church to pray in front of the Madonna, which is encased in gold and silver. It’s free to visit the monastery, but the onsite museum costs 2 BGN and the refectory is 6 BGN.

10. Visit the Etâr Ethnographic Open-Air Museum

The Etâr 19th-century ethno-village in Northern Bulgaria is a recreated Bulgarian town lined with cobblestone streets and dozens of traditional shops and workshops devoted to cobblers, furriers (someone who works with furs), glass workers, jewelers, leatherworkers, potters, bakers, and more. Costumed performers move between buildings, making it feel like you stepped back in time (or at least onto a movie set). You can poke around recreated traditional homes, and some of the workshops are still powered by running water. It’s a bit cheesy, but you can pick up neat handmade souvenirs here. Admission is 5 BGN.

11. Hike at Emen Canyon

If you’re visiting Veliko Târnovo, head west to Emen Canyon. Carved out by the Negovanka River between tall limestone cliffs, the canyon is home to deep creeks (perfect for swimming) and picturesque waterfalls. A two-hour hike on the Negovanka Ecotrail takes you along 90-meter-high (295-foot) bluffs, leading to viewpoints over the canyon and a 10-meter-tall (32-foot) waterfall. It’s a beautiful region to explore on foot!

For more information on specific cities in Bulgaria, check out these guides:

  • Plovdiv Travel Guide
  • Sofia Travel Guide
  • Varna Travel Guide
  • Veliko Tarnovo Travel Guide

Bulgaria Travel Costs

Traditional Bulgarian houses with terracotta roofs along a cobblestone street in a small village

Accommodation – Hostel dorms with 5-8 beds cost between 15-25 BGN per night. Private hostel rooms cost 30-60 BGN per night. Free Wi-Fi is standard and most hostels also include self-catering facilities.

Budget two-star hotels range from 50-100 BGN per night. If you want to stay at one of the resort areas on the Black Sea, expect to pay double that amount during the summer.

Airbnb is available across Bulgaria, with private rooms ranging from 20-55 BGN per night. An entire home/apartment costs around 60-110 BGN.

For those traveling with a tent, there are also well-maintained campgrounds around the country, especially along the coast. Most tent sites start at 5-20 BGN per night for a basic pitch without electricity.

Food – Bulgarian cuisine is hearty and similar to that of its Balkan neighbors. Meaty stews with lamb, goat, or chicken are common, as are sausages and all kinds of yogurts (dairy products are big here). Popular dishes include kebapche (grilled mincemeat), shopska salad (a salad with tomato, cucumber, and cheese; similar to Greek salad), and moussaka.

Overall, food is very affordable throughout Bulgaria. Local street food eats like banica (cheese pastry) are as little as 1.50 BGN. You can pick up a hearty shopska or kebab for about 6 BGN.

For fast food (think McDonald’s), you can get a combo meal for about 12 BGN. A casual meal at a restaurant serving traditional cuisine costs around 14 BGN. A large pizza also costs around 10 BGN.

If you want to splash out, a three-course meal with a drink costs around 30 BGN.

Beer is 4 BGN while a latte/cappuccino is 3.50 BGN. Bottled water is around 1.50 BGN.

Grocery shopping is very cheap here, costing about 45-65 BGN per week for basic staples like rice, pasta, seasonal produce, and some meat.

Backpacking Bulgaria Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking Bulgaria, expect to spend about 55 BGN per day. On this budget, you’ll be staying in a hostel dorm, cooking most of your meals, limiting your drinking, taking public transportation to get around, and sticking to mostly free activities like hiking and going to the beaches. If you plan on drinking, add 5-10 BGN to your daily budget.

On a mid-range budget of 135 BGN per day, you can stay in a private Airbnb, eat out for most meals at cheap fast food joints, have a couple of drinks, take the occasional taxi to get around, and do more activities and tours like visiting museums or going skiing.

On a “luxury” budget of 200 BGN per day or more, you can stay in a hotel, eat out for all your meals, drink more, rent a car or take more taxis, and do whatever tours and activities you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in BGN.

Bulgaria Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Bulgaria is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe. You can do a lot on a tight budget here as most of the country’s attractions (such as museums and historical sites) are cheap. You’ll find it hard to break the bank here unless you’re spending your time on the Black Sea coast during peak season and intentionally trying to splurge. Here are some ways to save money in Bulgaria:

  • Avoid Sunny Beach – I don’t understand the appeal of a beach that’s overpriced and crowded with tourists. Hit up one of the other coastal beaches instead.
  • Stay at Hostel Mostel – Staying at this hostel chain can lower your costs because they include free breakfast and free dinner. They have locations in Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo .
  • Eat at the bakeries – Bakeries in Bulgaria have an inexpensive range of sweet and savory pastries that can fill you up. Two of my favorite snacks there are banica and krenvirshka.
  • Stay with a local – If you plan ahead, you can usually find Couchsurfing hosts all throughout the country. This way, you not only have a free place to stay but you’ll connect with a local host that can share their insider tips and advice.
  • Take free walking tours – Walking tours are a great way to get familiar with a city and its culture. Sofia, Veliko Tarnovo, and Plovdiv all have free walking tours. Just be sure to tip your tour guide at the end.
  • Enjoy free events – Many of Bulgaria’s festivals are free to attend, and during the summer many city parks have free scheduled events and concerts. Ask your hostel or host what’s going on during your visit.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has lots of fun, affordable hostels around the country. Here are my favorite and suggested places to stay:

  • Hostel Mostel (Sofia)
  • Hostel 123 (Sofia)
  • Hostel Mostel (Veliko Tarnovo)
  • Hostel Old Plovdiv (Plovdiv)
  • Yo-Ho-Hostel (Varna)
  • Nomado Hostel (Varna)

How to Get Around Bulgaria

Historic walled fortress set against an expansive landscape of rolling hills in Bulgaria

Public transportation – Public transportation in Bulgaria is very affordable. Sofia has a subway with two lines connecting the city center and the airport, as well as the central bus and train stations. Tickets are 1.60 BGN each.

In other cities, public buses are the most common mode of public transportation. Fares are usually between 1-2 BGN. Trolleybuses and trams are also common and generally cost the same.

Some cities, like Sofia, have a daily transportation pass for 4 BGN per day. A three-day pass is 10 BGN.

Taxi – Taxis are readily available everywhere, with rates starting at 2 BGN, costing an additional 1-2 BGN per kilometer. Always make sure your driver uses the meter so you avoid getting ripped off. Ridesharing like Uber is not available here.

Bus – Bulgaria has lots of private and public minibusses and coaches to get you between the smaller towns and cities. A bus from Sofia to Varna costs around 33 BGN and takes seven hours, while Varna to Plovdiv is 27 BGN and also takes seven hours. A three-hour journey from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo shouldn’t cost more than 30 BGN.

Train – Train travel in Bulgaria is often cheaper than taking the bus, but it’s a lot slower. For example, the same Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo journey costs just 20 BGN but takes a little over four and a half hours by train (instead of three by bus). You can use the Bulgarian State Railways website ( to plan your trip.

Flying – There are limited domestic routes around Bulgaria, making this an inconvenient option for most travelers. That said, flying is affordable here. A one-way trip between Sofia and Varna costs about 160 BGN, while a one-way trip between Sofia and Burgas is about 106 BGN. Unless you’re pressed for time, though, I’d stick to the bus.

Car rental – Car rentals are super affordable here, costing as little as 25 BGN per day. If you have someone to share the ride with, this could be an affordable and flexible way to get around the country. Drivers need to be 21 years old and have an IDP (International Driving Permit).

To find the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Bulgaria

If you want hot weather and lots of time on the Black Sea coast, summer (June-August) is the best time to visit. Temperatures average 29-32°C (84-90°F) and the water is ideal for swimming. These temperatures are fairly consistent across the country, although the mountain regions can be cooler.

Spring and fall weather can change from day to day. Temperatures range between 5-21°C (41-70°F) in the spring and the weather can be quite foggy and cloudy, with not a lot of sunshine. But if you want fewer crowds and lower prices, this is the best time to come.

The fall months (September-October) are best for hiking as the autumn foliage is starting to show. Fall temperatures range from 2-21°C (36-71°F).

Winter can be frigid, with temperatures dropping as low as -5°C (23°F). The snow-capped mountains are beautiful during this time, and many people come here to hit the slopes. If you’re not coming here to ski or do winter sports, however, I’d skip a winter visit.

How to Stay Safe in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a very safe country to visit. Violent crime against visitors is very rare. Scams and petty crime like pick-pocketing are the most common danger you’ll face when you’re traveling the country, but even those are rare.

That said, it’s always a good idea to keep your valuables secure and out of sight when out and about.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

When taking taxis, always make sure the meter is on. A common scam is for taxi drivers to tell you that their meter is broken. Insist that you want a taxi with a working meter or negotiate the cost upfront.

You can read about common travel scams to avoid right here.

If you experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past.

Bulgaria Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Bulgaria Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on backpacking/traveling Europe and continue planning your trip:

The 7 Best Hotels in London

The 7 Best Hotels in London

10 Scotland Road Trip Tips You Need to Know Before You Go

10 Scotland Road Trip Tips You Need to Know Before You Go

The Perfect 7-Day Croatia Itinerary

The Perfect 7-Day Croatia Itinerary

The 6 Best Hotels in Copenhagen

The 6 Best Hotels in Copenhagen

The 6 Best Hotels in Florence

The 6 Best Hotels in Florence

The 7 Best Hotels in Madrid

The 7 Best Hotels in Madrid

Get your  free travel starter kit.

Enter your email and get planning cheatsheets including a step by step checklist, packing list, tips cheat sheet, and more so you can plan like a pro!


  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs

Map of Bulgaria

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

Select Month


Find inspiration and information for your next trip.

Get a local travel expert to plan your personalized trip.

Book & travel securely with our money-back guarantee and local expert assistance.

  • Travel guide
  • Local Experts
  • Travel Advice
  • Accommodation

Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert

Book securely with money-back guarantee

Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support

Interactive map

Regions in bulgaria.

With budget skiing, glorious beaches and picturesque monasteries, Bulgaria ’s small size does not limit its wealth of attractions. The modernisation of the country’s tourist infrastructure in recent years means that linguistic and actual dead-ends are more infrequent than ever before, so use our map of Bulgaria below to start planning your trip now.

It’s not only the low-cost travel on offer in Bulgaria that makes it attractive to tourists: from Romantic National Revival era architecture in the cities of Koprivshtitsa , Bansko and Plovdiv to marvellous monasteries such as Rila , this small country has a lot to take in. Enjoy the culture in Varna, where the opera house and theatre provide a backdrop to Baroque restaurants and cafés. Or, observe the collision of rich cultural heritage and a picture-postcard coast in the ancient seaside resort of Nesebar . Finally, head to Sofia , where formidable mosques and public buildings nestle between parks and boulevards.

If you are planning to travel, check out Bulgaria itineraries , read more on the best places to go in Bulgaria , learn about the best things to do , getting there and where to stay once you are there.

Travel ideas for Bulgaria, created by local experts

Relaxing beach fun - the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria and Romania

Relaxing beach fun - the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria and Romania

The perfect trip for those that are looking for sun, sea and sand while also getting to know the culture and history of both Bulgaria and Romania. Start and end in Bucharest and discover Constanta, Sunny Beach, Nessebar, Burgas and Madara Rider.

The legend of Dracula

The legend of Dracula

Transylvania is known to be the land of Dracula. Are you curious to visit the places mentioned in the book and the castles that hosted the major life events of Vlad the Impaler, the cruel ruler known as Dracula? Explore mysterious places and breathtaking landscapes all over Romania.

World Heritage in Romania and Bulgaria

World Heritage in Romania and Bulgaria

Discover the most important UNESCO heritage sites in Romania and Bulgaria as well as some lesser-known attractions. From the capital Sofia to Plovdiv and Nessebar, as well as Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria to Romania's capital Bucharest to Sibiu, Cluj and Dracula's castle in Brasov.

Delicacies in Romania: food & wine

Delicacies in Romania: food & wine

Perfect for foodies with little time - spend 5 days in Romania between Bucharest and Brasov, home to the famous Dracula castle. On the way, you will pass by vineyards and wineries, with tasting arrangements available for you. A private guide will be with you all throughout the trip.

Map of Bulgaria regions and cities

  • Southern Bulgaria
  • Central Bulgaria
  • The Black Sea coast

The Rough Guides to Bulgaria and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to the A-Z of Travel

Travel advice for Bulgaria

From travel safety to visa requirements, discover the best tips for traveling to Bulgaria

  • Culture and Etiquette in Bulgaria
  • How to get to Bulgaria
  • Eating and drinking in Bulgaria
  • Getting around Bulgaria: Transportation Tips
  • Sports and Outdoor activities in Bulgaria
  • Travel Tips Bulgaria for planning and on the go
  • Best time to visit Bulgaria

Find even more inspiration here

Stones in the sand Baltic Sea, Slowinski National Park in Poland © Pecold/Shutterstock

written by Lottie Gross

updated 09.02.2021


Ready to travel and discover Bulgaria?

Get support from our local experts for stress-free planning & worry-free travels.


Easy Bulgaria Road Trip Itinerary for 10 Days of Travel

With stunning national parks, historic cities and sweet villages, and an incredibly diverse landscape of mountains, lakes and rock formations, Bulgaria is a crowd-pleaser when it comes to Balkans travel .

This country has something for everyone – and because it’s so compact and easy to get around, it’s also one of the best places in the region for a road trip .

Whether you’re travelling in peak summer season for hiking or you’re planning to visit Bulgaria in winter to take advantage of the country’s skiing opportunities, there are an infinite number of ways you can design a Bulgaria road trip.

The following itinerary, suitable for summer or winter travel, is tailored to 10 days in Bulgaria but can easily be edited to be shorter or longer. It covers all the highlights, including several national parks, the Black Sea coast and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Renting a car in Bulgaria

Sofia is the logical place to pick up your car in Bulgaria. But don’t book it until you’re done with sightseeing – you don’t need a car for the city centre as metro and bus services are more than adequate.

I recommend using Local Rent to source a budget-friendly hire car from a local agent. Prices average 21 Euros per day, and there are plenty of perks you don’t get with the bigger brands including no deposit, comprehensive insurance included, and delivery to your address in Sofia.

If you’re driving in winter, tyre chains and ski/snowboard racks are optional extras and cost an additional 4-10 Euros (for the duration of the trip, not per day) depending on the vehicle.

→ Check prices and availability here on the Local Rent website .

Where to start your Bulgaria road trip

I recommend starting your itinerary in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city. Flights from Western and Eastern Europe service the city’s international airport, and rail and bus connections from neighbouring countries are plentiful.

You should budget at least 1-2 full days for Sofia in order to see the highlights. If you’re short on time, I highly recommend joining a walking tour of the city centre – this small group tour covers the main tourist spots while this alternative itinerary focuses on Sofia’s communist past.

Check out this list of 101 things to do in Sofia for more inspiration.

Bulgaria road trip map

Bulgaria road trip itinerary map.

Click here to open the map via Google Drive .

Bulgaria road trip itinerary for 10 days of travel

Day 1: depart sofia to start your bulgaria road trip itinerary in the mountains of rila & pirin.

The highest mountain range in Bulgaria, the Rila Mountains are an experience you don’t want to miss. If you visit in winter, you can play winter sports and ski the slopes. In warmer weather, you’ll want to take advantage of the many hiking trails. 

Having your own car will allow you to access more remote mountain huts which are truly some of the country’s loveliest accommodations. Samovilla in Govedartsi is one of many darling chalets on the fringe of Rila National Park.

Rila Monastery

Leaving Sofia, Rila Monastery should be your first stop. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was founded in the 10th century and is by far Bulgaria’s most iconic Eastern Orthodox monastery.

Rila sits at a high elevation and takes several hours to reach by car. The way the roads wind up the mountain, you’ll feel like you’re entering another world – especially in winter when the hills are snow capped and sparkling.

Two people walk through the grounds of Bulgaria's Rila Monastery in winter.

Spend a good hour or so wandering the grounds of the monastery and the interior, admiring the stunning frescoes, architectural flourishes and well-kept grounds. There’s a dress code, so make sure you have your knees and shoulders covered to show respect before you enter.

If you can adjust your timeline, consider spending a night inside the monastery. Monks still live there and the gates close early, but it’s definitely a unique experience.

Rila National Park & the Seven Rila Lakes

The most popular hiking trail in these mountains is the Seven Rila Lakes. You’ll see, of course, seven lakes: The Tear, The Eye, The Kidney, The Gemini, The Triplets, The Fish Lake, and The Lower Lake.

Each lake is different, with the Tear being the highest, the Lower Lake being the lowest, the Eye being the deepest, and the Fish Lake being the shallowest. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the Kidney for beautiful views.

The Seven Rila Lakes, a landscape of snowy lakes in winter in Bulgaria.

The cable car up to the lakes still runs in winter , but you might find that the whole landscape is white-washed with snow, making it difficult to discern the different lakes. Consider spending a day at Bansko or Borovets for skiing and snowboarding instead.

Day 2: Continue to historic Melnik

A few hours’ drive further south towards the border with Greece , Melnik enjoys a prime location in the heart of Bulgaria’s wine region . There’s a wine museum where you can learn about the practice of winemaking and try the local drop. You can also stop by wine stores and vineyards for walk-in tastings.

A table laid out for a wine tasting in Melnik, Bulgaria.

In addition to sipping local wines, take time to visit the Melnik Earth Pyramids, huge sandstone rocks that have been shaped over the centuries by rain and erosion.

If the weather is suitable, a short day hike up to Rozhen Monastery is a must-do. Built in the 15th century, it was ravaged by fire in the 1600s but has since been restored to its original glory.

Historic Chavkova House , with its sprawling gardens, is the ideal place to stay in Melnik if you want to explore the centre by foot and get some R&R ahead of a busy day 3.

Day 3: Follow the Rhodope Mountains to Trigrad Gorge & Smolyan

The Rhodope Mountains stretch across southern Bulgaria and into Greece. For more amazing day hikes, follow the popular trails since they’re well-marked. If you’re a more experienced hiker, you’ll love the freedom of getting out on the mountains away from the beaten path.

For an unforgettable experience, treat yourself to a night at Petko Takov’s House in Smolyan, a traditional country house with decadent rooms and a taverna.

Trigrad Gorge

East of Melnik, Trigrad Gorge is the third largest gorge in Bulgaria, with walls ranging from 100 to 300 metres high. The ravine was formed by the Trigrad River, which courses through the rocks.

While exploring Trigrad Gorge, make sure you venture to the bottom of the highest cliffs to experience Devil’s Throat Cave – it contains an underground waterfall that merges with the Trigrad River.

After spending time in the rugged Rhodope Mountains, you’ll be glad to see Smolyan, a resort town close to the Greek border. It sits in the valley of the Cherna and Byala Rivers.

The perfect winter escape, it has plenty of indoor activities on offer including museums, art galleries and restaurants that serve national food and regional specialties.

Days 4 & 5: Relax in Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s most charming city

Heading north back into central Bulgaria, Plovdiv is the second-largest city in the country and one of the oldest in the world. There are Roman ruins to explore, including the Roman Forum of Philippopolis and the Ancient Stadium.

The Ancient Roman Stadium in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

While you’re in the Old Town area, visit Dzhumaya Mosque, one of the oldest and largest mosques around. Most modern mosques have one dome, but Dzhumaya Mosque has nine.

Plovdiv is a delightful mix of old and new. As well as gorgeous examples of Bulgarian Revival Architecture you’ll find many hidden treasures, including the Kapana district, with its enticing assortment of street art, craft beer bars and restaurants. Spend an afternoon walking the pedestrian streets and browsing the many independent shops and cafes.

Street art in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Time your visit just right so you can be atop one of Plovdiv’s seven hills at sunset. You won’t believe the astonishing views. Plovdiv City Center Hotel is a great base for your stay and just a short walk from some of the best sunset spots. Spending two days in Plovdiv gives you a chance to really explore the history – I spent a full week here and never ran out of things to do.

Days 6 & 7: Soak up Black Sea coast vibes in Varna & Nesebar

Bulgaria’s Black Sea offers a different experience depending on the time of year  you go. Outside of summer peak season you can experience the historic cities without the crowds. Nesebar and Varna are both must-sees.

Often called the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea’, Nesebar is a historical fishing town that was once part of the Ottoman Empire. You can easily spend a couple of days here seeing the ancient fortress and ruins.

History is well-balanced with modern conveniences, so you can enjoy the touristy side of town as well. Nestled within the old town but still walking distance from the sea, Kirios Hotel offers guests the best of both worlds.

Boats docked in the harbour in the fishing village of Nesebar, a must-see on any Bulgaria road trip.

Further north along the coast, Varna is Bulgaria’s third-largest city. Make time for sights of historical interest including the Archaeological Museum, which has ancient gold artefacts that date back 6,500 years. The Battle of Varna Park Museum has tombs from 4,000 BC with a unique Stone Forest just beyond the battlefield.

If you’d rather stay close to nature, you can enjoy the University Botanical Garden. It spans 360 hectares and is a great place to have a picnic. When you’re ready to relax by the Black Sea, the Sea Garden is a landscaped park that runs along the waterfront.

Guest Rooms Boutique Varna offers simple but comfortable rooms within walking distance of the Roman baths, the port, and other major attractions.

Day 8: Head inland to Veliko Tarnovo, Arbanasi & Nicopolis ad Istrum

After a few days by the sea it’s back to the mountains of Bulgaria’s interior. Veliko Tarnovo is a walkable city with a charming old town and the most impressive fortress in the country, Tsarevets, at its highest point. This city used to be Bulgaria’s capital but is now known for its amazing views and history.

A castle in Bulgaria covered in snow.

It’s also home to one of the largest universities outside of Sofia. Because the population skews young, you’ll find a lively bar scene and lots of events in Veliko Tarnovo. Hostel Mostel , one of Bulgaria’s best hostels, is a great place to meet people. If you prefer your privacy, Guest House Diabora is set inside a stunning heritage home.

After exploring the fortress grounds, walk or take a taxi up the hill to the nearby village of Arbanasi for magical views looking down onto Tsarevets. The Roman-Byzantine ruins at Nicopolis ad Istrum, 20 kilometres north of Veliko Tarnovo, are also worth a look-in if you’re a fan of archaeology.

Day 9: Drive to Koprivshtitsa via Kazanlak, Shipka & the Buzludzha

By now you should be ready to start winding up your Bulgaria road trip and heading back towards Sofia. But first, there’s still ample time for a mini road trip within a road trip to Koprivshtitsa, making several incredible stops along the way. 

The Kazanlak area has a wealth of natural and historical sights, all worthy of a stopover. Consider visiting:

  • The Tomb of Seuthes III
  • The Megalith Rock Sanctuary
  • The Museum of Roses
  • The Museum of Photography

In Shipka, don’t miss the Buzludzha , the famous UFO-shaped Memorial House built by the Bulgarian Communist Party. The drive up Buzludzha Peak is rough and winding, but it’s worth it for the views. The monument is currently closed off for some much-needed restorations, but you can still admire its otherworldly form from afar.

The Buzludzha Monument in winter.

Finally, the last leg of your road trip will take you to delightful Koprivshtitsa, a historical village where you can see landmarks from the Bulgarian uprising against the Turks.

Many of the houses have been preserved with their unique architecture on full display. Some have been transformed into cultural museums while others have been reborn as guest lodgings.

A beautiful historic house museum in Bulgaria.

For a chance to sleep inside one of these stunning heritage monuments, stay at Family Hotel Panorama .

Day 10: Return to Sofia

Spend the morning in Koprivshtitsa before returning to Sofia.

Quick tips for driving in Bulgaria

  • In Bulgaria you drive on the right-hand side of the road.
  • Seat belts are mandatory for both front and back-seat passengers.
  • Bulgaria has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drink driving – keep this in mind if you plan on visiting the country’s wineries.
  • Bring a hands-free mount with you as it’s illegal to use your mobile phone when driving.
  • During the winter months (November-March) you must have your headlights on at all times.
  • Winter tyres with 4mm of tread are required in winter (enforceable by law). Snow chains are compulsory in some areas when conditions are harsh – be sure to research your route well in advance and add on chains if you need them.

→ Find more great tips for driving in Bulgaria here .

Bulgaria essentials

Here are my favourite resources to help you organise your trip to Bulgaria.

FLIGHTS: Find affordable flights to Bulgaria on Skyscanner .

TRAVEL INSURANCE: Insure your trip with HeyMondo , my preferred provider for single-trip and annual travel insurance.

VISAS: Use iVisa to check if you need a tourist visa for Bulgaria and apply for an expedited visa online.

SIM CARD: Buy an eSIM and data package for Bulgaria online before you go. My top choice is the Eurolink eSIM from Airalo (10 GB for 30 days).

AIRPORT TRANSFER: Pre-book a private transfer to your hotel in Sofia (prices start from $25 per car ).

ACCOMMODATION: Find the best hotel deals in Bulgaria on .

CAR HIRE: Use Local Rent to hire a budget-friendly car from a local agent or Discover Cars to hire through an international rentals company.

DAY TRIPS & CITY TOURS: Find the best city tours and day excursions in Bulgaria using Get Your Guide or Viator .

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Subscribe to future posts

Maps of Bulgaria

On BulgariaMap360° you will find all maps to print and to download in PDF of the country of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. You have at your disposal a whole set of maps of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe: detailed map of Bulgaria (Bulgaria on world map, political map), geographic map (physical map of Bulgaria, regions map), transports map of Bulgaria (road map, train map, airports map), Bulgaria tourist attractions map and and other maps of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe (black and white map).

All Bulgaria maps

To discover the country Bulgaria, the detailed map of Bulgaria and the maps of the regions and administrative are available. Take the opportunity to discover major cities and locate the capital. To learn a little more about the geography of Bulgaria, physical map and maps of mountains, rivers and elevation will be very useful. To help you move into the country, you may use transportation maps of Bulgaria. It includes the Bulgaria road map, train network and airports of Bulgaria. To visit Bulgaria in Eastern Europe, you will find the tourist attractions maps highlighting monuments of Bulgaria, but also the wine map of Bulgaria. You will also find other maps like: blank map of Bulgaria and some old maps of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe.

OrangeSmile Tours

  • Extreme Spots
  • Cities in 3D
  • All countries


  • Burgas Region
  • Golden Sands
  • Sunny Beach
  • Varna Region

bulgaria tourism map

  • Cultural sights
  • Festivals in Bulgaria
  • Unique sights
  • Architecture and monuments

bulgaria tourism map

  • Attractions and nightlife
  • Extreme country spots
  • Parks and lanscapes

bulgaria tourism map

  • Cuisine and restaurants
  • Traditions and lifestyle
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Languages & religions

bulgaria tourism map

  • Stylish hotels
  • Luxury hospitality
  • Romantic hotels
  • Top-rated accommodation

bulgaria tourism map

  • High-resolution maps
  • Interactive map
  • Map of cities
  • Map of regions
  • Map of sights

bulgaria tourism map

  • Best transportation means
  • Nature of Bulgaria
  • When to visit - climate
  • Political life
  • Economics and GDP

bulgaria tourism map

Map of sights in Bulgaria

Map of sights in Bulgaria

Theme maps of Bulgaria

bulgaria tourism map

Map of cities and regions of Bulgaria

bulgaria tourism map

Fantastic City Tours and Excursions in Bulgaria

Car rental in Bulgaria

Photoguide for Bulgaria

bulgaria tourism map

Entertainment and attractions in Bulgaria

bulgaria tourism map

Great attractions of Bulgaria

bulgaria tourism map

Bulgaria Map

Map of Bulgaria

Bulgaria Location Map

Bulgaria Location Map

Online Map of Bulgaria

Large detailed map of Bulgaria with cities and towns

Large detailed map of Bulgaria with cities and towns

Large detailed road map of Bulgaria

Large detailed road map of Bulgaria

Political map of Bulgaria

Political map of Bulgaria

Bulgaria tourist map

Bulgaria tourist map

Large physical map of Bulgaria

Large physical map of Bulgaria

Travel map of Bulgaria

Travel map of Bulgaria

Bulgaria physical map

Bulgaria physical map

Bulgaria location on the Europe map

Bulgaria location on the Europe map

About Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria maps

Cities of Bulgaria

  • North America Map
  • South America Map
  • Oceania Map

Popular Maps

  • Australia Map
  • Germany Map
  • Singapore Map
  • United Arab Emirates Map
  • United Kingdom Map
  • United States Map
  • New York City Map
  • Los Angeles Map

U.S. States

  • California Map
  • Colorado Map
  • Florida Map
  • Georgia Map
  • Illinois Map
  • New York Map
  • North Carolina Map
  • Virginia Map

bulgaria tourism map

Bulgaria Travel Guide

National Geographic’s latest travel stories about Bulgaria

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your US State Privacy Rights
  • Children's Online Privacy Policy
  • Interest-Based Ads
  • About Nielsen Measurement
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information
  • Nat Geo Home
  • Attend a Live Event
  • Book a Trip
  • Inspire Your Kids
  • Shop Nat Geo
  • Visit the D.C. Museum
  • Learn About Our Impact
  • Support Our Mission
  • Advertise With Us
  • Customer Service
  • Renew Subscription
  • Manage Your Subscription
  • Work at Nat Geo
  • Sign Up for Our Newsletters
  • Contribute to Protect the Planet

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society Copyright © 2015-2024 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved


  1. Large detailed tourist map of Bulgaria

    bulgaria tourism map

  2. Bulgaria map (with tips on awesome places to visit)

    bulgaria tourism map

  3. Bulgaria Maps

    bulgaria tourism map

  4. Bulgaria Map and Bulgaria Satellite Images

    bulgaria tourism map

  5. Bulgaria tourist map

    bulgaria tourism map

  6. Physical Map of Bulgaria

    bulgaria tourism map


  1. Bulgaria💀| #map #geography #europe #mapper #racist

  2. #europe #map #bulgaria ❤💚🤍

  3. International reaction to the unification of Bulgaria! #map #europe #bulgaria #unification #ytshorts


  1. 12 Top Tourist Attractions in Bulgaria (+Map)

    Here's a look at the top tourist attractions in Bulgaria: 12. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral [SEE MAP] Situated in the heart of the stunning city of Sofia is the iconic symbol of Bulgaria: the Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral. Paid for by the people of the city and built between the years 1882 and 1912, the cathedral was constructed to honor the lives ...

  2. Tourist map of Bulgaria: tourist attractions and monuments of Bulgaria

    The Bulgaria attractions map shows all monuments and sightseeing of Bulgaria. This tourist attractions map of Bulgaria will allow you to easily discover monuments, museums ans places to visit of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe. The Bulgaria attractions map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free. From ancient tombs to colorful old towns and ...

  3. Bulgaria tourist map

    Bulgaria tourist map Click to see large. Description: This map shows cities, tourist attractions and sightseeings in Bulgaria. ... Bulgaria maps. Bulgaria maps; Cities of Bulgaria. Sofia; Plovdiv; Varna; Burgas; Europe Map; Asia Map; Africa Map; North America Map; South America Map; Oceania Map; Popular Maps.

  4. 10 Best Places to Visit in Bulgaria (+Map)

    4. Nesebar. Nesebar is known for its beautiful ruins, and superb beaches. The ancient part of the town is situated on a island connected to the mainland by a narrow man-made causeway, and it bears evidence of occupation by a variety of different civilizations over the course of its existence.

  5. Bulgaria Travel

    Plan your next travel and visit Bulgaria. Discover Bulgaria's rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Start your journey today!

  6. Bulgaria map & highlights

    Sofia - Bansko: 2 hours Sofia - Plovdiv: 2.5 hours Plovdiv - Burgas (Black Sea): 2.5 hours Sofia - Rila Monastery: 2 hours. Give us a call. Written by Chris Owen. Bulgaria map & highlights. See our honest & easy to read Bulgaria map and highlights with sample itineraries and driving times. Read on in our Bulgaria map and highlights guide.

  7. Bulgaria travel

    This 460-mile ride along the Danube through Bulgaria is one of Europe's least known long-distance routes. Here's how to tackle it. History. Explore the Balkans on these four epic drives. Skiing. This national park in Eastern Europe combines adventure and sustainability perfectly. Neighborhoods.

  8. 15 Best Places to Visit in Bulgaria

    2. Veliko Tarnovo. The legendary City of the Tsars stands aloft on the edge of the rising foothills of Bulgaria's northern mountains. Bisected by the S-shaped meanders of the Yantra River, the town's setting is nothing short of breathtaking, with terraces of terracotta-coloured roofs looming over the waterways below.

  9. The Perfect Bulgaria Itinerary: 5 to 10 Days (or More!)

    Days 4-5: Plovdiv. After exploring Sofia, the final step on a 5-day Bulgaria itinerary should be the second-largest city of Plovdiv. As one of the European Capitals of Culture in 2019, Plovdiv is probably the most tourist-friendly city in Bulgaria and it has a lot to offer visitors.

  10. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Bulgaria

    Top Bulgaria Attractions. Things to Do in Bulgaria. Explore popular experiences. See what other travelers like to do, based on ratings and number of bookings. See All. Day Trips (167) Nature and Wildlife Tours (189) Theme Parks (9) Full-day Tours (293) Extreme Sports (118) Water Parks (15)

  11. Bulgaria Travel Guide

    7 days. Relaxing beach fun - the Black Sea Coast in Bulgaria and Romania. The perfect trip for those that are looking for sun, sea and sand while also getting to know the culture and history of both Bulgaria and Romania. Start and end in Bucharest and discover Constanta, Sunny Beach, Nessebar, Burgas and Madara Rider.

  12. Destinations

    Открий България Destinations is a webpage that offers you a comprehensive guide to the most attractive and diverse places to visit in Bulgaria. Whether you are looking for cultural heritage, natural beauty, adventure, or relaxation, you will find it here. Explore the regions, cities, and landmarks of Bulgaria and plan your unforgettable trip.

  13. Bulgaria Tourist Map

    See the map view of the most popular tourist places to visit in Bulgaria. Explore . Countries Singapore UAE Oman Thailand Nepal Vietnam Seychelles Mauritius India. Packages. ... Tourist Map Of Bulgaria . View In Full Screen . All Destinations in Bulgaria . Click on an Destination to view it on map . 1. Veliko Tarnovo

  14. Tourism in Bulgaria

    Tourism in Bulgaria is a significant contributor to the country's economy. Situated at the crossroads of the East and West, Bulgaria has been home to many civilizations: Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Eastern Romans or Byzantines, Slavs, Bulgars, and Ottomans.The country is rich in tourist sights and historical artifacts, scattered through a relatively small and easily accessible territory.

  15. Bulgaria Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    A bus from Sofia to Varna costs around 33 BGN and takes seven hours, while Varna to Plovdiv is 27 BGN and also takes seven hours. A three-hour journey from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo shouldn't cost more than 30 BGN. Train - Train travel in Bulgaria is often cheaper than taking the bus, but it's a lot slower.

  16. Map of Bulgaria

    This site is owned by Apa Digital AG, Bahnhofplatz 6, 8854 Siebnen, Switzerland. Rough Guides® is a trademark owned by Apa Group with its headquarters at 7 Bell Yard London WC2A 2JR, United Kingdom. Plan your trip around Bulgaria with interactive travel maps. Explore all regions of Bulgaria with maps by Rough Guides.

  17. Sofia Attractions Map

    Interactive map of Sofia with all popular attractions - Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Church of St. George, Saint Sofia Church and more. Take a look at our detailed itineraries, guides and maps to help you plan your trip to Sofia.

  18. Bulgaria Road Trip Itinerary: Perfect 10 Days in Bulgaria

    Bulgaria road trip map. Bulgaria road trip itinerary for 10 days of travel. Day 1: Depart Sofia to Start your Bulgaria road trip itinerary in the mountains of Rila & Pirin. Day 2: Continue to historic Melnik. Day 3: Follow the Rhodope Mountains to Trigrad Gorge & Smolyan. Days 4 & 5: Relax in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's most charming city.

  19. Bulgaria maps: transports, geography and tourist maps of Bulgaria in

    It includes the Bulgaria road map, train network and airports of Bulgaria. To visit Bulgaria in Eastern Europe, you will find the tourist attractions maps highlighting monuments of Bulgaria, but also the wine map of Bulgaria. You will also find other maps like: blank map of Bulgaria and some old maps of Bulgaria in Eastern Europe.

  20. Bulgaria Map of Major Sights and Attractions - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.

  21. Bulgaria Maps

    Travel map of Bulgaria. 2782x1831px / 2.44 Mb Go to Map. Bulgaria physical map. 1879x1021px / 459 Kb Go to Map. Bulgaria location on the Europe map. 1025x747px / 202 Kb Go to Map. About Bulgaria. The Facts: Capital: Sofia. Area: 42,855 sq mi (110,994 sq km). Population: ~ 7,000,000.

  22. Bulgaria Tourist map

    Nearest Map » Fullsize. Share Map. 2702 × 1787 • 1.6 MB • JPG. Illustrated tourist map of Bulgaria. From scott added. Oct 16, 2007. no ratings. Tweet.

  23. Bulgaria Travel Guide

    Bulgaria Travel Guide. National Geographic's latest travel stories about Bulgaria. Marco Cristofori, Robert Harding/National Geographic Creative. Travel.