With its ancient history, natural beauty, and warm local hospitality, our insider Lora has some tips that will help you plan your first journey to the land of Orpheus.
With its varied nature and continental climate, Bulgaria has something for every taste, in every season.
While trying to shrug off its Communist block past, Bulgaria embraces its newly-found place in the EU community and searches for an inspiration in its ancient traditions.
If you like the hustle and bustle of the urban life, go to the capital, Sofia. The biggest Bulgarian town bears the traces of curious Socialist architecture, boasts recently excavated Roman ruins, and the peaceful coexistence of Orthodox churches with a Synagogue and a Mosque, and hosts an exuberant variety of modern bars, clubs and restaurants.
The second-biggest Bulgarian city, Plovdiv, is one of the oldest continually-inhabited settlements in the world. In 2019, as the European Capital of Culture, it will welcome visitors with its well-preserved Roman amphitheatre and renovated Old Town artistic quarter of Capana.
In summer, dip yourself in the lazurite blue waters of the Black Sea in the ancient Byzantine towns; Nessebar and Sozopol, modern resorts; Sunny Beach and Albena, or nature reserves; Ropotamo and Silistar.
In winter, ski Bansko resort in the breathtaking Alpine scenery of Pirin Mountain.
Fall in love with the most romantic Bulgarian mountain, Rhodope, the birthplace of Orpheus, during the National Folklore Festival of Rozhen, or in one of its many spa cities.
Depending on your budget, choose from hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs through international websites like booking.com. Couchsurfing is also popular, and safe.
In Sofia, avoid the oldest part of the town, between the Central Train Station and the Central Market Hall. Sofia’s excellent transportation system will help you get around if you’re staying far from the city centre.
The Bulgarian Lev is the local currency. At the time of writing, 1 lv equals roughly US$0.55.
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