Bulgaria Holidays – 40 Places to visit in Bulgaria

Belogradchik Fortress, Bulgaria
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Bulgaria Holidays are ideal not only for nature or beach lovers, the country is also filled with lots of amazing sights and cultural places! In fact, it is a country of almost unlimited possibilities. Beautiful Black Sea coast, high mountains and fertile plains, national parks and waterfalls, nature reserves and protected areas, marshes and wetlands, lakes or caves, great hiking or skiing opportunities…

Fortresses, churches, monasteries, beautiful cities and towns with rich history and culture… These are just few of many reasons why you should choose Bulgaria for your next holidays. And once you are here, be prepared for the following Places to visit in Bulgaria.

Seven Rila Lakes from Mount Ezeren, Bulgaria Holidays
Seven Rila Lakes from Mount Ezeren, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Aski

Bulgaria Holidays – Places to visit in Bulgaria

1. Sofia

The city of Sofia is not only the capital of Bulgaria, it is also the largest city in the country. The city is situated in the foothills of Mount Vitosha. Its history dates back to the Bronze Age. A number of prehistoric sites have been uncovered all over the city.

The main attraction here is undoubtedly Alexander Nevsky Cathedral followed then by Ivan Vazov National Theater or The Rotunda of St George, among others.

Sofia Cathedral, Bulgaria Holidays
Sofia Cathedral, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Jorge Láscar

2. Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari is a Getic tomb and another amazing UNESCO Site in Bulgaria which history dates back to the 3rd century BC.

It has been discovered relatively recently, back in 1982 in a mound, in the northern part of the country.

Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, Bulgaria Holidays
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Nenko Lazarov

3. Shipka Memorial

Shipka Memorial was built back in 1934 for the purpose to commemorate the soldiers who died in Russo-Turkish War, in a Battle of Shipka Pass.

You can find it right in the middle of the country within the Balkan mountain range.

Shipka Memorial, Bulgaria Holidays
Shipka Memorial, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Klearchos Kapoutsis

4. Perperikon

Perperikon is an ancient city boasting several ancient buildings that have been excavated since the year of 2000. It is situated in the southern part of the country.

Perperikon ancient city, Bulgaria Holidays
Perperikon ancient city, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Edal Anton Lefterov

5. Baba Vida

Medieval fortress known in Bulgaria as Baba Vida is the only medieval castle that has been preserved in Bulgaria up to these days. Since it has been built back in the 10th century, the fortress survived several hard wars, battles and fights.

Baba Vida, Bulgaria Holidays
Baba Vida, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Klearchos Kapoutsis

6. Raysko Praskalo

There are many amazing waterfalls in Bulgaria, however the highest one is that of Raysko Praskalo. It is protected by Central Balkan National Park which is situated in the middle of Bulgaria.

You can get here from the town of Kalofer following a hiking trail which takes about 4 to 5 hours.

Raysko Praskalo, Bulgaria Holidays
Raysko Praskalo, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Petq stavarova

7. Devetashka cave

If you have seen The Expendables 2 movie starred with all old action heroes then you have already seen Devetashka cave. It is here where some scenes from that movie were set, but this is not the reason why this cave is on this list. It is really huge natural creation and a home to around 30,000 bats.

Devetashka cave, Bulgaria Holidays
Devetashka cave, Places to visit in Bulgaria by T.Y. for Utar Sigmal

8. Devil’s Throat Cave

One of the most popular natural attractions in Bulgaria is also Devil’s Throat Cave. It is situated in the south of the country, at the borders with Greece. Well hidden in the Rhodope Mountains, the cave is a branch of the Trigrad Gorge, one of the most beautiful gorges in the area.

Devil's Throat Cave, Bulgaria Holidays
Devil’s Throat Cave, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Edal Anton Lefterov

9. Dyavolski most

Dyavolski most is a very old stone bridge built in the early 16th century by the Ottomans to connect banks of the Arda River. If you are a hiking enthusiast in really good form, and go on the 2200 kilometers long Sultans Trail leading from Wienna to Istanbul, you will pass through this bridge. 🙂

Don’t worry if you are not. Just come to the town of Ardino to see this bridge without any hard effort.

Dyavolski most, Bulgaria Holidays
Dyavolski most, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Vassia Atanassova – Spiritia

10. Rila Monastery

The most famous monastery in Bulgaria is none other than that of Rila Monastery. Its renowned architecture is playful, colorful, full of cute details and will amaze even those who are not very interested in religious buildings.

You will see for example the first Bulgarian globe, rare icons, old weapons and shimmering valuables in the treasury. The large paved courtyard is surrounded by stone arcades, so you will feel like being in castle. And the monastery is then surrounded by thick forests of Rila Mountains.

Rila Monastery, Bulgaria Holidays
Rila Monastery, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Raggatt2000

11. Belogradchik Fortress

Majority of the tourists are heading to Bulgaria mainly in summer to enjoy great Bulgaria holidays at the sea side resorts, but country has lot of sights that worth a visit as well.

And one such must-see sight is an ancient Belogradchik Fortress. It is situated in the northwestern part of the country and was built during the times of Roman Empire.

Belogradchik Fortress, Bulgaria Holidays
Belogradchik Fortress, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Klearchos Kapoutsis

12. Asen’s Fortress

Asen’s Fortress was built on a high rock as a medieval fortress already in the 11th century. It can be found in the northern part of Rhodope Mountains and is the most popular attraction in the region of Asenovgrad.

Asen's Fortress, Bulgaria Holidays
Asen’s Fortress, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Спасимир

13. Euxinograd Palace

Bulgaria also boasts some of the finest palaces and one of the best examples is Euxinograd Palace. This royal summer palace was built in the 19th century at the Black Sea Coast, not far from Varna. It is featured with beautiful gardens and fountains that surround the palace.

Euxinograd palace, Bulgaria Holidays
Euxinograd palace, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Dimcho Panayotov (Benkovski)

14. Rila National Park

More than half of Bulgaria is covered by mountains and forests. Country boasts a total of 44 mountain ranges, the average altitude is 480 meters.

Perhaps the most impressive mountains are the Rila mountain with its highest peak of Musala. Reaching a height of 2925 meters, it is the highest peak not only in Bulgaria, but throughout the Balkans.

Malyovitsa Peak, Rila, Bulgaria Holidays
Malyovitsa Peak, Rila National Park, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Stelian Kasabov

15. Pirin Mountains

Although Rila Mountains are the most impressive and highest in the country, Pirin Mountains are considered the most beautiful ones. It is also one of only two natural places in Bulgaria that were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

They offers hundreds of lakes and canyons, countless beautiful peaks and an unlimited number of stunning views and scenery. Pirin is very popular due to countless hiking opportunities.

Konaraevo summit and Perleshki lakes in northern Pirin mountain, Bulgaria Holidays
Konaraevo summit and Perleshki lakes in northern Pirin mountain, Bulgaria by Deyan Vasilev

16. Srebarna Nature Reserve

Srebarna Nature Reserve is an area of a freshwater lake and its surroundings which is adjacent to the Danube River. It covers an area of over 6 square kilometers and is home to almost 100 species of water birds, including some rare or endangered.

Every winter is also a temporary home to about 80 other migrating species of birds. Among the most interesting species include Dalmatian pelican, great egret, night heron, heron pink, glossy ibis and Eurasian Spoonbill. Nature Reserve has been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983 as another one from only two UNESCO natural sites.

Srebarna Nature Reserve, Bulgaria Holidays
Srebarna Nature Reserve, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Mincov

17. Prohodna karst cave

On the right-hand tributary of the river Iskar you can find the largest karst cave of Bulgaria and possibly of Europe, called Prohodna. The height of the cave ranging from 29 meters to 43 meters and its length is 265 meters.

Thanks to its smooth walls the interior looks like the Gothic cathedral. Surreal impression is further enhanced by two circular rock windows in the ceiling. It is amazing natural formation, which barely finds any competitor in Europe.

Prohodna tunnel, Bulgaria Holidays
Prohodna tunnel, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Vassia Atanassova – Spiritia

18. Ledenika cave

Just north of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, you can visit Ledenika cave which is considered the most beautiful cave in Bulgaria. In winter you can even see here ice creatures after which the cave was named.

The cave is open all year round and the basic admission is 4,- Bulgarian Levs.

Ledenika Cave, Bulgaria
Ledenika Cave, Bulgaria by Todor Bozhinov

19. Aladzha monastery

If you are spending your Bulgaria holidays at Golden Sands, then I have one great tip for a short trip to the nearby 4th century cave monastery, which is known as Aladzha monastery.

You will like how this monastery were established in the 25-m high karst cliff, as well as its mosaics, paintings, frescoes and the catacombs. The basic admission here is 5,- Levs.

Aladzha monastery, Bulgaria
Aladzha monastery, Bulgaria by vacacionesbulgaria.com

20. Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo

In the northern part of the country, not far from the borders with Romania and the city of Ruse you can find another great UNESCO World Heritage Site – Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo.

These monolithic churches, chapels and monasteries are carved into the rock and are worthwile mainly for its well-preserved medieval frescoes.

14th century mural portrait of Tsar Ivan Alexander from the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo, Bulgaria
14th century mural portrait of Tsar Ivan Alexander from the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo, Bulgaria by A. Nikolov

21. Basarbovo monastery

If you are still keen on visiting some more rock monasteries, then you will find Basarbovo monastery suitable for your next trip. It is the only rock monastery in Bulgaria that is still active!

Basarbovo monastery, Bulgaria
Basarbovo monastery, Bulgaria by Mincov

22. Orlova chuka cave

Inhabited already in the Paleolithic Age, Orlova Chuka cave has been again discovered in the 20th century.

Now it is accessible from early April till end of September every day for a basic fee of BGN 6. During the winter it is home to several species of bats.

Orlova Chuka Cave, Bulgaria
Orlova Chuka Cave, Bulgaria by Iliana Teneva

23. Ruse

The city of Ruse is the fifth largest city in the country. It is situated along the banks of the Danube River in the northeastern part of Bulgaria.

Directly across the river on the opposing banks is Giurgiu, Romania. While being 200 kilometers away from the coastlines of the Black Sea, Ruse is still none the less a popular tourist destination as a result of its rich cultural history. In its Eco Museum & Aquarium you can meet Mammoth and other amazing animals.

Mammoth, Ruse, Bulgaria Holidays
Mammoth, Ruse, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Ivorrusev

24. Bansko

In the foothills of the Pirin Mountain range one will find the ski resort town of Bansko. While known today for the freshly powdered slopes above the city, the area dates back to the prehistoric days.

Some of the oldest sites just outside of town have been dated back to 100 B.C. The rich history of the city and region is what makes visiting Bansko more enjoyable.

Pirin mountains in Bulgaria as seen from Bansko ski resort
Pirin mountains in Bulgaria as seen from Bansko ski resort by Amorphisman

25. Varna

The city of Varna is one of the largest cities situated along the Black Sea coastline today. It is also the third largest city in the country with a third of a million residents.

The city of Varna is known as the summer capital of Bulgaria and today much of the city’s industry is tourism related. There are many things to see and do in and around Varna, such as Sea Garden, Cathedral, Archaeological Museum, Dolphinarium and a lot more that help you to enjoy Bulgaria holidays all day and night long.

Sea Garden, Varna, Bulgaria Holidays
Sea Garden, Varna, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Marcin Chady

26. Golden Sands

The seaside resort village of Golden Sands can be found along the Black Sea coastline. It is close to the national park which shares its name and is only 17 kilometers away from Varna.

It is one of the more popular tourist destination hot spots in the area; attracting thousands of visitors every year from all over Europe.

Golden Sands resort beach, Bulgaria Holidays
Golden Sands resort beach, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Chlempi

Find more great photos and information about Golden Sands in this facebook page: Golden Sands.

27. Sozopol

Just south of Burgas along the Black Sea coastline, you will find the ancient city of Sozopol which is known today for the many resorts situated nearby as well as the annual Apollonia art and film festival. The festival occurs annually in the early part of September.

Countless visitors from all over Europe make their way to Sozopol old town or to nearby Ravadinovo Castle every single year to enjoy their Bulgaria holidays.

Ancient gate of Sozopol, Bulgaria Holidays
Ancient gate of Sozopol, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Todor Bozhinov

28. Veliko Tarnovo

In the northern part of Bulgaria straddling atop three hills which are situated along the banks of the Yantra River, you will find the city of Veliko Tarnovo.

Also known as the City of Tsars, Veliko Tarnovo is home to a number of palaces which have belonged to the Tsars of the past. Today the city is a popular tourist destination.

Veliko Tarnovo above the Yantra River, Bulgaria Holidays
Veliko Tarnovo above the Yantra River, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Nikola Gruev

29. Plovdiv

The second largest city in Bulgaria is none other than that of the city of seven hills, Plovdiv. There are about 350,000 residents that call this city home.

The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times with a number of settlements dating back to 4000 B.C. having been unearthed just outside of town. You must visit its old town with several ancient Roman ruins, monasteries, museums or galleries.

The Ancient Theater of Plovdiv, Bulgaria Holidays
The Ancient Theater of Plovdiv, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Edal Anton Lefterov

30. Nesebar

The town of Nesebar is a popular tourist destination and home to a number of large and famous seaside resorts. Situated along the coastline of the Black Sea, Nesebar is commonly referred to as the pearl of the Black Sea because it is home to one of the finest beaches in the region.

You will find lots of beautiful churches in Nesebar which is why it is sometimes referred to as the town with the highest number of churches per capita.

Nesebar fortifications, Bulgaria Holidays
Nesebar fortifications, Places to visit in Bulgaria by B0rder

31. Sunny Beach

Located along the coast of the Black Sea, one will find the resort known simply as Sunny Beach. This large resort town can be found only 35 kilometers north of Burgas and offers more than 200 hotels offering over 300,000 beds.

There are more than 130 restaurants in Sunny Beach as well as a number of bars clubs and discos too. Luna parks, aqua parks and other attractions will make your Bulgaria holidays even more adventurous and funny.

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria Holidays
Sunny Beach, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Meph666

32. Albena

Albena boasts up to a hundred meters wide beach, shallow sea and pyramid hotels standing on the beach. Here you will also find carefully prepared foliage and a horse riding center, which is one of the best in Bulgaria.

Furthermore, your Bulgaria holidays will become more interesting here with plenty of sailing and windsurfing schools. Albena is first class holiday resort and is therefore more expensive than other resorts in the country.

Albena, Bulgaria Holidays
Albena, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Boby Dimitrov

33. Borovets

Located in the Sofia Province, and situated along the northernmost slopes of Mount Rila, you will find the popular winter resort town of Borovets. While originally the area was established as a royal hunting ground, today it is home to a number of hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs.

It has also played host to the World Cup Alpine Skiing on a number of occasions. It is one of the best Ski and Snowboard Resorts in Bulgaria.

Borovets, Bulgaria Holidays
Borovets, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Klearchos Kapoutsis

34. Pamporovo

The city of Pamporovo is located in the southernmost portion of Bulgaria and is situated in the Rhodope Mountains. Pamporovo is a popular ski resort town and has many fine hotels and resorts.

It is also a popular summer destination as well as a number of eco-tourists make their way to the city every single year.

Pamporovo, Bulgaria Holidays
Pamporovo, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Steve Lacey

35. Balchik

The city of Balchik is situated along the coast of the Black Sea and is a well-known resort town. The town is only 42 kilometers from Varna and every year thousands of visitors from all over Europe make their way to Balchik to have quiet and relaxing Bulgaria holidays under the sun.

The city is also well known as the home of many fine Bulgarian painters. Do not forget to visit Palace and Botanical Gardens here.

Balchik, Bulgaria Holidays
Balchik, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Boby Dimitrov

36. Primorsko

When it comes to a vacation along the coast of the Black Sea, many people choose Primorsko for their Bulgaria holidays. This popular resort town is only 52 kilometers from Burgas and features one of the finest stretches of beach in the area.

Many artifacts have been unearthed around the town in recent years which date back to the Bronze Age.

Primorsko, Bulgaria Holidays
Primorsko, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Boby Dimitrov

37. Burgas

The second largest city in Black Sea Coast is none other than that of Burgas. With just over two hundred thousand residents, Burgas has grown to become a popular tourism hot spot in the country.

The city is surrounded by a number of lakes and even has a stretch of beach along the Black Sea. The city’s port is considered to be the largest in the country.

Burgas coast, Bulgaria Holidays
Burgas coast, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Evgeni Dinev

38. Kiten

The town of Kiten has quickly grown to become a very popular resort town located along the Black Sea. It is located at the mouth of Kiten River and as result, has two wonderful beaches; one on either side of the river.

Atliman (Northern) Beach in Kiten, Bulgaria Holidays
Atliman (Northern) Beach in Kiten, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Zourich

39. Sandanski

The town of Sandanski is known as a popular destination in Bulgaria. The town itself is situated in the foothills of Pirin Mountain, along the banks of the Sandanska Bistritsa River in the south-western part of the country.

The town is well known for its natural mineral water springs which can be found throughout the surrounding area. One of its main attractions is the Archaeological Museum.

Sandanski, Bulgaria Holidays
Sandanski, Places to visit in Bulgaria by vacacionesbulgaria.com

40. Tsarevo

In the southeastern part of Bulgaria, along the coast of the Black Sea, you will find the resort town of Tsarevo in a cove 70 kilometers away from Burgas.

It is situated in the foothills of the Strandzha Mountain and has quickly grown in popularity over the years for its rich diversity of amenities and sports.

Nestinarka beach, Tsarevo, Bulgaria Holidays
Nestinarka beach, Tsarevo, Places to visit in Bulgaria by Artur Malinowski

These were some of the most beautiful Places to visit in Bulgaria. You will surely visit at least some of them on your Bulgaria holidays. If you think that I have forgotten to add some must-see places here, please let me know below in the comments.

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I am someone who left his open-spaced cubicle after spending there 8 years of his life. Someone who started to live more outside! :) I am in travel blogging since 2010 and with Traveltipy I am going to conquer the world :)

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15 Responses

  1. Ellie says:

    WOW! We are truly amazed how well you have covered almost all of the popular travel destinations in Bulgaria. As Bulgarians, and people who are well aware of the county geographical size, seeing all those places together was quite the reminder how rich our own country is. Nonetheless, as much as we love the popular destinations we find the hidden gems of Bulgaria even more fascinating. If you are ever up to coming back and collecting information and experiences around the unknown treasures of Bulgaria – just drop us a line. We’ll be more than happy to provide you with a detailed list for all the unknown destinations that are worth a visit. We’ll be glad to even join you for some of the trips and also hook you up on a great rental-car deal from our friends (http://www.val-kar.com/en/), as there’s almost no public transport to the places we have in mind.

  2. Marco says:

    Another great post. Bulgaria is going to be one of my nexy destination!

  3. Phil says:

    And yes as Paji said you should remove sunny beach and even albena… just resorts around nothing really interesting )). Thanks a lot for your list.

  4. Phil says:

    Hey, awesome list. I saw most of it as i lived a bit more than a year in bulgaria. Buzludzha definitely deserves to be seen if not for the building (which is definitely unusual for tourist) just for the sight and the location. It feels like being on the top of the country. .. i don t believe that you can make a full list of what have to be visited in bg as i guess even with a full life cycle you ll not have enough time lol. But cap kaliakra, madara, stone forest,…. should be mentioned i guess :).

  5. Paji says:

    Dear Julius, please add Koprivshtica, Melnik, Etara Gabrovo, Zlatograd, Velingrad for the spa, Bojentsi, Kaliakra. I would remove sunny beach 😉

    • Julius Szabo says:

      Thank you, Paji, for your tips. They are really nice and I will definitely add them on this list. Regarding Sunny Beach, I already received several negative messages but the truth is that this is the largest holiday resort in Bulgaria, and is among the most popular and sought-after resorts of the Black Sea. Furthermore it is Blue Flag site. These are some reasons why this place should also be included here as an inspiration to Bulgaria holidays.

  6. Valentin says:

    Great article on Bulgaria. The one thing that is missing and really shouldn’t be is the Ovech Fortress in the northeastern town of Provadia. It is 50 km away from Varna. Not only is it just a great fortress but the view of the nature nearby and beneath it, the town of Provadia is awesome. Easy to reach by car or can be walked to from the town itself. Have a look on google, many great pics of Ovech Fortress.

  7. Terri Morris says:

    Troyan Monastery, Devetashka Cave (near Lovech), Buzludzha near Shipka, Dryanovo Monastery to name but a few!

  8. Makes Bulgaria look very interesting and worth a visit

  9. Christian L says:

    That´s a great list, i been to Bulgaria a few times but, i never knew there was that much to see/do there.
    But Im surprised you have´t added Buzludzha to the list?

    • Julius Szabo says:

      Hi Christian, I saw this monument on some lists, but to be honest I didn’t understand why should I, as a traveler, go there… I understand that the place is important in Bulgaria due to the final battle between the Bulgarians and Ottoman Empire but I don’t think I would like to see that huge communist monument which is now destroyed…

  10. Petya Taleva says:

    It’s great that you made this list of interesting places. I have one remark about “17. Rock Tunnel Prohodna” – Prohodna is a cave, not a rock tunnel.
    If you want to add more beautiful places to your list, I can make some suggestions.

    • Julius Szabo says:

      Thank you, Petya, for your comment, I will correct this mistake, however I found that it is the longest cave passage in Bulgaria, so I considered this a tunnel. 🙂 Feel free to suggest some great places here. Few more places such as Basarbovo monastery, Orlova chuka cave, Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo, Aladzha monastery and Ledenika cave are already on their way to this list! 🙂

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