Top tourist attractions in Bulgaria
Here is a list of top tourist attractions in Bulgaria. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from Bulgaria section.
Curious if any of these place from Bulgaria made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
You can also view all tourist attractions in Bulgaria and other countries on our tourist attractions map.
The ancient Thracian city of Perperikon is located in the Eastern Rhodopes, 15 km northeast of the present-day town of Kardzhali, Bulgaria, on a 470 m high rocky hill, which is thought to have been a sacred place. The village of Gorna Krepost is located at the foot of the hill and the gold-bearing Perpereshka River flows near it. Perperikon is the largest megalith ensemble in the Balkans. It is thought that the famous Temple of Dionysius is located at this location. A visitor centre is being constructed at a cost of 2.4 million Euros.
Seven Rila Lakes
The Seven Rila Lakes are a group of lakes of glacial origin, situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria. The lakes are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres elevation above sea level. Each lake carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature. The highest one is called Salzata due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth. The next one in height carries the name Okoto after its almost perfectly oval form. Okoto is the deepest cirque lake in Bulgaria, with a depth of 37.5 m. Babreka is the lake with the steepest shores of the entire group. Bliznaka is the largest one by area. Trilistnika has an irregular shape and low shores. The shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero, where the waters that flow out of the other lakes are gathered to form the Dzherman River. The Seven Lakes chalet are a main tourist attraction in Bulgaria because of the inspiring natural beauty of the place. The lakes are located one above the other and are connected by small streams, which form tiny waterfalls and cascades. You can find tourist accommodation in the lakes' vicinity. It lies on the northeastern shore of The Fish Lake, at an elevation of 2,196 m. The most appropriate time to visit the lakes is summer, in July and August, when temperature is above 10 degrees Celsius and the risk of sudden storms is lower. During the rest of the year the weather is unfriendly to tourists. Sometime in October the lakes freeze and don't melt before June. The ice cover can reach up to 2 meters.
Borovets, known as Chamkoria until the middle of the 20th century, is a popular Bulgarian mountain resort situated in Sofia Province, on the northern slopes of Rila, at an altitude of 1350 m. Borovets is 10 km from Samokov, 73 km from Sofia and 125 km from Plovdiv.
Sofia Zoo in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, was founded by royal decree on 1 May 1888, and is Bulgaria's oldest and largest zoological garden. It covers 36 hectares and, as of March 2006, housed 1,113 animals representing 244 species.
Shipka Pass is a scenic mountain pass through the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. It marks the border between Stara Zagora province and Gabrovo province. The pass connects Gabrovo and Kazanlak. The pass is part of the Bulgarka Nature Park. The pass is 13 km by road north of the small town of Shipka. It is crossed by a road and railroad, which run from Ruse on the Danube River to Stara Zagora and then on to Edirne in Turkey. A road also leads from the pass to the summit of Buzludzha, 12 km to the east.
Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex
The Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex is an open-air museum and a neighbourhood of Gabrovo in northern Bulgaria. It is located on the northern edge of the Bulgarka Nature Park, between the park and the city of Gabrovo. It presents the Bulgarian customs, culture and craftsmanship. It spans over an area of 7 ha and contains a total of 50 objects, including water installations and houses with craftsmen's workshops attached. As a whole, the complex's goal is to illustrate the architecture, way of life and economy of Gabrovo and the region during the Bulgarian National Revival. The museum's construction started in 1963 under the direction and project of Lazar Donkov. The pre-existing Karadzheyka water-mill, built around 1780, was thoroughly reconstructed, with the other objects being constructed later. The complex was opened on 7 September 1964 and proclaimed a national park in 1967, as well as a monument of culture in 1971. The park features typical Bulgarian revival houses with two floors, bay windows, a clock tower, and a beautifully decorated house by Saakov featuring 21 windows. Using original instruments and following the old traditions, locals represent around 20 characteristics of the regional crafts such as wood-carving, pottery, coppersmith crafts, furriery, cutlery making, needlework etc. There are shops for souvenirs, tourists can enjoy the luxury of a local three star hotel with a bar and a restaurant. There are numerous restaurants in the park where tourist could enjoy the delicacies of local Bulgarian cuisine. There are visitors to the park, from all over the world, all the year round, especially during the annual Christian festivals celebrated in the park, namely, Palm Sunday and Easter. A tourist can become a first-hand witness of these festivals, and observe local traditional rituals.
National Historical Museum
The National Historical Museum in Sofia is Bulgaria's largest museum. It was founded on 5 May 1973 and its first representative exposition was opened in 1984 to commemorate 1300 years of Bulgarian history. The museum was moved to a former governmental residence in 2000 and currently stores and owns over 650,000 objects connected to archaeology, fine arts, history and ethnography, although only 10% of them are permanently exhibited. The National Historical Museum disposes of a cloakroom, a buffet, a museum library and a souvenir shop, also offering professional conservation and restoration of historical monuments, authenticity investigations and expert valuation. The museum's director is Dr. Bozhidar Dimitrov, a historian.
Aladzha Monastery is a medieval Orthodox Christian cave monastery complex in northeastern Bulgaria, 17 km north of central Varna and 3 km west of Golden Sands beach resort, in a protected forest area adjacent to the Golden Sands Nature Park. The monastery caves were hewn into a 25-m high vertical carst cliff near the upper edge of the Franga plateau on several levels. The complex also includes two small nearby catacombs. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, it was an active hesychast monastic community of the Second Bulgarian Empire since the 12th century and perhaps survived until the early 18th century. Nearby, remains of a 5th-century cave monastery have also been found. A cave monastery may have existed not far from the modern monastery Aladzha, near Varna. Its early dating to the fourth century is secured by fragments of glassware, but coins of Justinian indicate that the complex may have still been in use during the 500s. As late as the early 20th century, the forested hills surrounding the monastery and known as Hachuka or Latin, were regarded by locals as sacred and inhabited by a mythical chthonic daemon treasure keeper, Imri Pop or Rim-Papa.
Krushuna Falls is a waterfall in North Bulgaria, near the village of Krushuna, Letnitsa Municipality, 34 km from the city of Lovech. They are famous with their picturesque landscape and are formed by many travertines. There is a tourist path leading to the cave where the river springs. There are two smaller waterfalls in the area, one of which is called Malkata Maara. Some other caves are also found in the vicinity - Urushka Maara, Gornik, Devetaki Cave. Remains of the 12th century Hesychast Krushuna Monastery can be found nearby.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is an archaeological museum in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It occupies the building of the largest and oldest former Ottoman mosque in the city, Büyük camii, built around 1474 under Mehmed II. The museum was established as a separate entity in 1893 as the National Museum directed by Czech Václav Dobruský with its headquarters in the former mosque that previously housed the National Library between 1880 and 1893. The museum was officially opened and inaugurated in 1905, as by then all archaeological exhibits previously kept all over the city were moved there, in the presence of Knyaz Ferdinand of Bulgaria and Minister of Enlightenment Ivan Shishmanov. Several additional halls and administrative buildings of the museum were constructed in the following years, which continues to use the historic stone building of the old mosque despite the often unfavourable conditions, notably the humidity in the summer. The museum has five exhibition halls: Central Hall, Prehistory, Middle Ages, Treasure, and a special temporary exhibition. It is managed by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Central Balkan National Park
The Central Balkan National Park lies in the heart of Bulgaria, nestled in the central and higher portions of the Balkan Range. The Park contains rare and endangered wildlife species and communities, self-regulating ecosystems of biological diversity, as well as historical sites of global cultural and scientific significance.
Varna Archaeological Museum
The Varna Archaeological Museum is an archaeological museum in the city of Varna on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. Founded on 3 June 1888, when a museum, part of the City Library was established, the Varna Archaeological Museum is situated in a historic building designed in the Neo-Renaissance style by the noted architect Petko Momchilov and built in 1892–1898 for the Varna Girls' School. It became state property in 1945 and since 1993 the museum occupies all of the building, parts of which it has used since 1895. One of the largest museums in Bulgaria, it features 2,150 m² of exhibition area and displays objects from the prehistoric, Thracian, Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman periods of the region's history, as well as from the times of the medieval Bulgarian and Byzantine Empires, the Ottoman rule and the Bulgarian National Revival. The Museum's arguably most celebrated exhibit is the Gold of Varna, the oldest gold treasure in the world, excavated in 1972 and dating to 4600-4200 BCE, which occupies three separate exhibition halls. The museum also manages two open-air archaeological sites, the large Roman baths in the city centre and the medieval grotto of Aladzha Monastery at Golden Sands Nature Park.
Pleven Epopee 1877, more commonly known as Pleven Panorama, is a panorama located in Pleven, Bulgaria, that depicts the events of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–78, specifically the five-month Siege of Plevna which made the city internationally famous and which contributed to the Liberation of Bulgaria after five centuries of Ottoman rule. The panorama was created by 13 Russian and Bulgarian artists and was constructed in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Pleven Epopee and was officially unveiled on 10 December 1977. The panorama expanded the already existing Skobelev Park, which is located on the site where three of the four major battles which led to the liberation of Bulgaria took place. In the first three years after its opening, 2.5 million people visited the panorama. The monument is one of nearly 200 built by the people of Pleven in tribute to the battle and to the nearly 35,000 lives lost.
National Gallery for Foreign Art
The National Gallery for Foreign Art of Bulgaria is a gallery located on St. Alexander Nevsky Square in Sofia. It serves as the country's national institution for non-Bulgarian art. It is situated in the 19th-century Neoclassic edifice of the former Royal Printing Office.
The Varna Aquarium or Aquarium Varna is a public aquarium in Varna, Bulgaria's largest city on the Black Sea coast. The aquarium's exhibition focuses on the Black Sea's flora and fauna which includes over 140 fish species, but also features freshwater fish, Mediterranean fish, exotic species from faraway areas of the World Ocean, mussels and algae. The foundation of the aquarium was initiated by Prince Ferdinand I on 6 January 1906 in the Euxinograd palace. Ferdinand entrusted Doctor Parashkev Stoyanov with the establishment of a maritime biological station. The monarch also requested assistance from the prominent German biologist Anton Dohrn, founder of the Stazione Zoologica in Naples, who provided Ferdinand with blueprints and photographs of the Naples station. On 25 January 1906, the Varna Municipal Council alloted money for the aquarium's construction and appointed a commission in order to select a suitable location for the building. The foundation stone was laid on 22 October the same year in Varna's Sea Garden in the presence of Prince Ferdinand and the Bulgarian Royal Family, as well as many important statesmen and intellectuals. The aquarium's edifice was constructed to the design of Munich-educated Varna architect Dabko Dabkov. The building's facade is decorated with a sizable bas-relief of a clam and smaller reliefs of popular Black Sea species.
The Radetzky was an Austro-Hungarian passenger steamship built in 1851 in the shipyard in Óbuda, Hungary, and used for regular services on the Danube, mainly between Orşova, Austria-Hungary and Galaţi, Romania. Named after Bohemian nobleman and Austrian general Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, it is most notable as part of the history of Bulgaria as the ship which revolutionary and poet Hristo Botev and his band bloodlessly hijacked and used to reach Kozloduy, Bulgaria. On 29 May 1876, after the ship left the port of Bechet, the Bulgarian revolutionaries, who had boarded her from different ports disguised as gardeners, forced the captain Dagobert Engländer to change course and transport the band to the Bulgarian port of Kozloduy, from where they would attempt to organize an anti-Ottoman uprising as a follow-up to the already crushed April Uprising of the same year. Botev sent the following message to the crew and the passengers: The captain wrote of Botev's "civility, energy and temperament", and agreed to transport the band to Kozloduy. Upon arriving in Bulgaria, the revolutionaries dropped on their knees and kissed the earth, saying goodbye to the captain and the passengers, who saluted them by waving his peaked cap.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History of Bulgaria is a museum of natural history located in Sofia, the capital of the country on "Tzar Osvoboditel" str. next to the Russian church. Founded in 1889, it is affiliated with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and is the first and largest museum of this kind in the Balkans. The museum's collection includes over 400 stuffed mammals, over 1,200 species of birds, hundreds of thousands of insects and other invertebrata, as well as samples of about one quarter of the world's mineral species. Today's National Museum of Natural History was founded in 1889 as the Natural History Museum of Knyaz Ferdinand of Bulgaria, with various foreign and Bulgarian specialists serving as its directors until 1947, when the museum became part of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences' Zoological Institute. The museum became autonomous as a separate institute in the BAS system in 1974. In 1992, the Asenovgrad Palaeontology Museum, an NMNH branch in Asenovgrad, was formed.
Earth and Man National Museum
The Earth and Man National Museum is a mineralogical museum in the centre of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It's one of the biggest mineralogical museums in the world. It was founded on 30 December 1985 and opened for visitors on 19 June 1987. The museum is situated in a reconstructed and adapted historic building with an area of 4,000 m² constructed in the end of the 19th century. It has a number of exhibition halls, stock premises, laboratories, a video room and a conference room. Its collection covers 40% of all known naturally occurring minerals as well as man-made ceramics prepared by Bulgarian scientists. Apart from its permanent expositions related to mineral diversity, the museum also often hosts exhibitions connected with various other topics as well as concerts of chamber music.
Plovdiv Regional Historical Museum
The Plovdiv Regional Historical Museum is a historical museum in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Established in 1951, it covers the history of Plovdiv from the 15th century until today. It has three departments, each occupying a separate historic building. The Bulgarian National Revival department, situated in the large house of the Greek merchant from Thessaloniki Dimitris Georgiadi built 1846, takes up 825 m² and traces the history of Plovdiv from the 15th to the 19th century. The Unification of Bulgaria department is dedicated to Plovdiv's key role in the events of 6 September 1885 as the capital of Eastern Rumelia. It covers the period from the Treaty of Berlin of 1878 to the Serbo-Bulgarian War of 1885. The department occupies the former building of the Eastern Rumelian Regional Assembly designed by the Savoy architect Pietro Montani and built 1883-1885. The book-publishing department follows the stages of development of the publishing during the Bulgarian National Revival and Plovdiv's role as its centre. The department takes up six halls in the house of the noted publisher and enlightener Hristo G. Danov from the early 19th century.
Pleven Regional Historical Museum
The Pleven Regional Historical Museum, founded in 1953, is one of the largest museums in Bulgaria. The museum is situated in a two-story edifice near the centre of Pleven that is a monument of culture of national importance and has an area of 7,000 m². Its main stock includes over 180,000 units and the museum library houses over 10,000 volumes of scientific literature and periodicals.
Pazardzhik History Museum
The Pazardzhik History Museum is a history museum in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria. It is located at 15 Konstantin Velichkov Square.