|Perhaps surprising to some visitors is the great variety of attractions on offer in Bulgaria, so much so that the country would make an excellent destination for a touring holiday. There are a number of attractive cities and towns, contrasting beautiful countryside, as well as the popular Black Sea coast with its resorts, and a number of high quality ski resorts too.
The capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia, is situated in the west of the country. This is a cultural gem and an excellent choice for a city break holiday.
Sofia is an ancient city and features hundreds of historical landmarks and buildings, many impressive churches and other religious buildings. Alexander Nevski Cathedral is one of the city’s most impressive structures. This is one of the largest Eastern Orthodox churches in the world. At the other end of the scale is the Church of Sv. Georgi, which is amongst the oldest Christian churches in the Balkans, and dates back to the 4th century. The Boyana Church is one of Bulgaria’s UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites. This is a 14th century church whose main feature is the well preserved murals.
Walking around Sofia you’ll also be treated to old ruins in addition to some spectacular modern buildings too – the National Palace of Culture, for example, is a huge multi-functional building for conventions, exhibitions and more.
A large range of museums include the National Archaeological Museum, the National Museum of History and the National Art Gallery. But all of these attractions just touch on the surface of what visitors can see and do in Sofia.
The Black Sea
The beautiful Black Sea coastline makes this a popular summertime destination. Varna is Bulgaria’s principal tourist resort here. The beach is the main focus of most stays, though there’s also a range of other attractions here too – The Sea Garden contains Varna Aquarium and the Varna Dolphinarium, which are popular tourist attractions, in addition to the Museum of Natural History, a zoo, gardens and more. The Varna Archaeological Museum features some interesting exhibits.
Ski Resorts of Bulgaria
Bulgaria is fast becoming a popular skiing destination, especially with British tourists who are seeking an alternative to the busy and more expensive slopes of Western Europe. There are a number of ski resorts here – Borovetz, Vitosha, Bansko and Pamporovo. Bansko is the most developed of the Bulgarian ski resorts, and considered to be one of the best in Europe, though Pamporovo is also gaining in popularity and size.
Bulgaria is also full of natural scenery, and another of its emerging tourism markets is in the summertime activities of hiking and mountain biking. Pirin National Park is a World Heritage park and incorporates the Pirin Mountains. Beautiful mountain scenery, lakes, forests, wildlife and more can be seen here.