The top of the most impressive tourist attractions in Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is a country with spectacular landscapes and a rich history. With picturesque mountains, national parks where endangered animals roam free and vast expanses of sandy beaches spanning the Black Sea, along with relics of the Soviet regime, there is something for everyone to discover in this unique Balkan country.

Let's take a look at the top 10 tourist attractions in Bulgaria.

1. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

In the heart of Sofia is the emblematic symbol of Bulgaria: the Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral. Built between 1882 and 1912, the cathedral honors the lives of the 200.000 Russian soldiers who were killed fighting in the Russo-Turkish War to liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.

The cathedral itself is elaborately ornate, with a decadent 45-meter-high, gold-plated dome. Inside, you can walk among the many mosaics, murals and representations of saints and angels.

2. Krushuna Falls

Near the village of Krushuna, in a wooded area, among the numerous karst rock formations, are the Krushuna waterfalls. The tallest of the falls is 20 meters high, where the turquoise water then divides into smaller falls, forming small pools.

There is also a path that leads to a hidden cave where the source of the waterfall is found – the spring is said to have health benefits and is still a popular spot for locals from the nearby village.

3. Koprivshtitsa

Located in the heart of the Sredna Gora mountain range, the historic city of Koprivshtitsa was once a center of struggle against Ottoman rule and remains a place of pride for Bulgarians today.

The town is now popular with visitors and is an open-air museum; its many mansions and houses are fantastic examples of the Bulgarian national revival that took place in the XNUMXth century.

4. Buzludzha monument

An icon of Brutalist design and a masterpiece of Soviet proportions is the now abandoned Buzludzha Monument. Built in 1974 by the Bulgarian army, the monument was designed by various artists in charge of making the statues at that time.

The monument stands on the site of a battle between Turks and Bulgarians that took place in 1868 and is where Dimitar Blagoev, along with other socialist leaders, shaped Bulgaria's revolution into a communist state.

The stoic structure is now covered in political graffiti and has giant depictions of Lenin and Marx as well as inscriptions all over the facade. The huge shuttlecock-shaped shrine to socialism was left in ruins after the fall of the Soviet Union, but has become an unusual attraction for those interested in the history and impressive design of the era.

5. The Thracian tomb at Sveshtari

The ancient Thracian tomb at Sveshtari was only discovered in 1982, when archaeologists discovered this impressive site under a mound. The tomb is believed to have been built for a royal couple from the Thracian tribe of the Getae and dates back to the XNUMXrd century BC.

The tomb is well preserved; its ornate interior reveals impressive carvings and murals of half-woman, half-plant figures that seem to support the ceiling. The tomb is considered unique because no other Thracian tomb has been discovered that has the amazing combination of architecture, sculpture and paintings at Sveshtari.

6. The Roman Theater in Plovdiv

In the center of the old town of Plovdiv it is home to one of the best preserved ancient theaters in the world. Discovered in the 1960s, the spectacular and impressive structure dates back to the XNUMXst century AD. and is believed to have been built under the reign of the Roman emperor Domitian.

The place would have played an important role in ancient communities: theatrical performances and the famous fierce gladiator fights took place here, as well as local government meetings and large gatherings.

The theater itself is still used for opera and musical performances and has an impressive capacity of 7.000 people.

7. Old Nessebar

Nessebar has delighted visitors for the past 9.000 years and continues to delight today. Perched on a rocky peninsula that is connected to the mainland by a causeway, the charming old town of Nessebar is an open-air museum full of pretty squares, churches and cobbled streets. The city's history and monuments span the Roman and Byzantine eras, and the remains of the old city walls can still be seen.

8. Rila Monastery

Established in the XNUMXth century and highly valued, considered to be an important historical and cultural monument, the Rila Eastern Orthodox Monastery is an architectural icon.

Labeled as the Jerusalem of Bulgaria, it is the largest monastery in the country and is home to unique religious iconography, including murals, sculptures and historical artifacts.

9. Pirin National Park

With more than 70 glacial lakes, old-growth forests and 2.915-meter peaks and ridges, Pirin National Park is a national treasure of Bulgaria. The national park is a safe haven for many different types of rare species that use the Balkan mountain range as a shelter. Large animals still roam the slopes, from brown bears and wild boars to gray wolves and jackals.

10. Sunny Beach

Sunny Beach is famous for its long stretches of soft, fine sandy beaches that flow into the Black Sea, but also for the many tourists who visit the resort town to enjoy its nightlife. The golden beaches stretch for eight kilometers along the coast and provide the perfect place to spend time swimming in the sun and relaxing.

The area's beaches are clean and protected from the elements, meaning the sea is perfect for swimming, while the many coastal hotels are also reasonably priced and family-friendly. This is the place to visit if you want to spend a few days relaxing in the sun and exploring the surrounding area, such as the ancient town of Nessebar.

In short

Being a small country, the best way to travel around Bulgaria is by car, as you can explore freely and get from one side to the other, to isolated villages and national parks much more easily.

Before you hit the road, however, it's important to keep in mind the documents you need to drive:

  • Valid driver's license;
  • Proof of car registration;
  • Proof of car insurance;
  • Valid vignette, if you use expressways and highways.

Of course, if you want to enjoy a smooth road, then motorways and expressways are the safest. The sticker can be bought online from official websites, such as, being valid immediately after purchase.

The process is simple and fast. All you have to do is provide some basic information so that the vignette is registered and issued correctly. More exactly:

  • Vehicle data;
  • Duration and start of the trip;
  • Vehicle registration number;
  • Method of payment.

And that's it! You can hit the road at any time.

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