Why You Should Add Bulgaria to Your Travel Bucket List

Balkan countries are mostly known for their unexplored natural beauty and rich cultural diversity. Among the famous countries of this region, today we will be discussing Bulgaria.

Bulgaria is located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula and remains one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. With a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and a vibrant culture, this Balkan gem offers a unique travel experience. Bulgaria has everything to offer, whether you are seeking ancient ruins, awe-inspiring countryside, or dynamic cities.

You can experience the rich spiritual heritage of Bulgaria by visiting its ancient monasteries scattered across the land. If you prefer a more urban vibe, you can explore the vibrant cities of Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna, where history and modernity coexist. Portugal is another European destination that offers a similar mix of culture and nature.

The country has a diverse geography that captivates visitors from all over the world. It offers snow-capped peaks and golden, sandy beaches along the coast of the Black Sea. Just like other countries in this region, in Bulgaria, you will find a perfect fusion of old and new traditions and architecture.

Bulgaria’s mountains can be a perfect spot for you if you love to hike in the mountains but are looking for suitable locations away from the crowds.

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A Short History of Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s history stretches back thousands of years, rooted in ancient civilizations and a legacy of conquest and cultural exchange. This short history of Bulgaria highlights some key periods and events that have shaped the country into what it is today.

The earliest tribes were the Thracians, around 4000 BCE. They left behind remarkable archaeological remnants. In the 6th century BCE, the Persian Empire exerted its influence over the Thracians until the region fell under the control of Alexander the Great and, later, the Roman Empire.

The Golden Age of Bulgaria is found in the early 10th century, when the empire reached its zenith, expanding its influence and becoming a significant power in the Balkans.

Bulgaria’s transformation into a developed nation and a sought-after tourist destination gained momentum in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. During this period, the country underwent significant economic, social, and infrastructural advancements that gradually made it an attractive option for travellers worldwide.

One of the critical factors that contributed to Bulgaria’s rise as a tourist destination was its natural beauty and diverse landscapes.

The government recognised the potential of tourism as a driving force for economic growth and actively invested in developing the sector. Efforts were made to improve infrastructure, upgrade accommodations, and enhance the tourism experience.

Let’s look at some reasons that make Bulgaria worth visiting.

Enchanting Nature

Bulgaria’s natural landscapes are a true feast for the eyes and soul. From majestic mountains to pristine lakes, dense forests, and stunning coastlines, the country’s diverse and enchanting nature is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Bulgaria is blessed with several mountain ranges, each with its own unique charm. The Rila Mountains are home to the highest peak in the Balkans. Mount Musala boasts breathtaking alpine scenery and glacial lakes.

The Pirin Mountains are renowned for their rugged beauty, stunning peaks, and diverse vegetation. These mountains provide endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, and mountaineering, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the pristine beauty of nature.

Bulgaria is proud to have numerous national parks that preserve the country’s ecological treasures. Rila National Park, the largest national park in Bulgaria, is a haven of alpine meadows, glacial lakes, and dense forests, offering stunning hiking trails for all skill levels.

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The country is also adorned with numerous lakes and rivers that add to its natural allure. The Seven Rila Lakes, located in Rila National Park, are a series of glacial lakes that dazzle visitors with their crystal-clear waters and beautiful surroundings.

The famous Danube River is the second-largest river in Europe and is found at the northern border of Bulgaria. Raiskoto Parskalo waterfall, located in the Central Balkan, is the highest waterfall on the Balkan Peninsula, cascading down a cliff with a mesmerising roar.

Dynamic Cities and Urban Charm

While Bulgaria is renowned for its natural beauty, its dynamic cities offer a vibrant urban experience that should not be overlooked.

Sofia, The Capital

As the capital city, Sofia combines a rich history with a bustling urban atmosphere. The city’s skyline is adorned with an intriguing mix of architectural styles, showcasing influences from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras.

You can stroll through the streets to discover iconic landmarks such as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the stunning Saint Sofia Church, and the historic Serdika Complex. Sofia also boasts numerous museums, art galleries, and theatres, offering a vibrant cultural scene.


Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria, holds the title of European Capital of Culture for 2019. This ancient city effortlessly blends its rich history with a vibrant contemporary art scene.

Plovdiv’s artistic spirit shines through its numerous art galleries, cultural festivals, and street art scene. When visiting Plovdiv, don’t forget to visit the Kapana district, a revitalised area filled with trendy cafes, art studios, and boutique shops.

Affordable Travel

One of the significant advantages of visiting Bulgaria is its affordability for travellers, with a lower cost of living compared to many other European countries.

Bulgaria offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget. From luxury hotels in city centres to cosy guesthouses in the countryside, travellers can find affordable and comfortable places to stay.

Getting around Bulgaria is relatively inexpensive, thanks to its well-developed transportation infrastructure. The country has an extensive network of buses and trains connecting major cities, towns, and even remote regions.