In summer we had two weeks off and used the time to travel around Bulgaria.
I guess there are more beautiful cities, places and nature in Bulgaria, but I will tell you in this Blog my personal highlights which I saw until now.
My absolute Nr.1 is Plovdiv, the European Capital City of Culture 2019
This city makes me feel like coming home. I really like the Park of Zar Simeon, with a lot of fountains. The ancient quarter on the top of one of the seven hills in Plovdiv is an obligatory to visit. You will have a very nice view from the top of the hill and the ancient theatre. The hippie and creative district with nice bars and street art is Capana and very nice if you want to party at night or just have a drink. In the middle of the center is the mosque and is a very nice for orientation. In front of the mosque is another Roman ruin which you can see in the whole city. A nice hostel is the FunkyMonkey Hostel, you will have breakfast inclusive and it is 500m far away from the center.
The next highlight is not a city; it is the oldest outdoor museum of whole Bulgaria: Etar
It is in a valley between mountains and forest for students the entrance is 2 Lewa and adults 4. In the museum you see traditional handcrafts and you can buy them, because there are experts who are building them. However the old houses in the museum are so beautiful and like on postcards. The best for me was the sweets shop where you can buy traditional handmade sweets.
Half an hour away is Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital city of Bulgaria.
It is an old beautiful city built on 3 hills in 14th century before Christ. I recommend the free walking tour at 11 am which is made by volunteers. Our guide told us, Veliko Tarnovo has no city center and that we should visit the old castle on the hill. At night there is an incredible laser show. Besides you will have an amazing view if you are on top of the skywalk. It was built by architecture students from all over Europe.
The third highlight is the Shipka Monument and the Buzludzha Monument.
They are in the Balkan Mountains near the city Shipka. The Shipka Monument was built in commemoration of the soldiers who died in the war for independency against Russia. Near the monument the soldiers of Bulgaria and Turkey defended Bulgaria against a majority of Russian soldiers. The Buzludzha Monument was built 1981 by the communism government to show their strength. It looks like an UFO and is on the top of a mountain. Hence you will have a great view to the valleys around. Sadly you can't enter it since it is very old and dangerous.
If you like agile cities you will like Varna.
In summer they have a lot of events like "Varna Rockt" or sport competitions. Furthermore they have nice churches a really beautiful park and a great beach. For a break at the beach Varna will be perfect for you.
Nessebar is a UNESCO World Heritage and a nice opportunity.
The old town of Nessebar is in an island and you can just have a walk over the whole island and explore the city. You will find a lot of old houses, churches and nice restaurants.
The last destination I will recommend is the Seven Rila Lakes near the Rila monastery.
If you like nature, hiking and mountains, you will like the Seven Rila Lakes. You can take a lift up to the lakes or hike there. I can't describe them because you need to see them. They have clearly and turquoise water and you can see the ground of the lakes. The best is the view on top of the mountains around the lakes. If you want you can go after to the Rila Monastery which is one of the oldest in Bulgaria.
I hope you want to visit Bulgaria now, because it's more than the party beaches near Varna and Nessebar. It is mix of differnet cultures, nature, cities and a lot of good food. My personal tip is Shopska Salat and Banitza.
If you plan you vacation take a loof on Bulgaria. I promise you will find a destination you want to go ;)