Best Places to Visit With Things to do in Bulgaria

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We have handpicked some of the best places to visit in Bulgaria, including the main Bulgarian cities; starting with the nation's capital, Sofia. Each has something different to offer, but all have one thing in common- they are great destinations in any season.Whether you only have a short visit or are planning an extended holiday in Bulgaria, you will, without a doubt, find this Balkan country fascinating.These cities and towns offer a diverse and wonderful insight into this beautiful and intriguing country, and some might be just a little off the tourist trail.The Capital of Bulgaria - Sofia.Often overlooked in favour of heading to the beach or hitting the slopes, it is worth a day or two in the capital Sofia. If fo nothing else than to understand the colourful history of this charming Balkan nation. A history rooted in Ottoman tradition and Socialist struggle, Sofia sheds light on the friction, grit and perseverance that has shaped Bulgaria.The second oldest settlement in Europe, Sofia may be no grand city but certainly shines in cultural richness with a plethora of galleries, museums, parks and nightlife.Sprinkled with onion-domed churches, Ottoman mosques, Red Army monuments and a treasure trove of 2000-year-old Roman ruins, the modern and youthful city feels somewhat eclectic with a dash of the exotic.Wide boulevards lined with alfresco cafes, spacious parks and manicured gardens make Sofia a pleasant city experience.Want a reprieve from the city? Only a short bus ride from the centre, you can hike the trails of Mt Vitosha taking in the panoramic views of Sofia. Or, you can be on the slopes in Borovets in just over an hour. Bulgaria's most famous ski resort renowned for its world-class skiing.We can highly recommend a walking tour of Sofia when you first arrive. On our first trip to Sofia, of which there have been many, we did a city walking tour in minus 20°C.While we all nearly froze to death, it was a fantastic introduction to Sofia and the history of Bulgaria. It also helped us get our bearings for visits to come thanks to some local insight on the best places to eat and drink.Bulgarian's are very hospitable especially when it comes to dining. Bulgarian food is homely, fresh and plentiful so do take time to sample some traditional Bulgarian fare while in Sofia.Being quite a modern city, Sofia has an exciting new cafe, restaurant and bar scene emerging which is reshaping the city centre and putting a new spin on Balkan cuisine. As a result, there are now some fabulous food and wine tours available from Sofia which is a great way to experience both the traditional and modern aspects of Bulgarian culture.Experience a full day history tour with wine tasting and lunch or for the night owl, a pub crawl of Sofia’s hidden bars.There are plenty of great hotels in Sofia ranging from high end to excellent value.When we stay in Sofia, we often choose to stay at the Sofia Place Hotel in the middle of the city. It’s a lovely boutique hotel, with large, comfortable rooms and an excellent breakfast. In addition to an excellent on-site casual restaurant, there are many good restaurants nestled in the back streets nearby. A perfect opportunity to explore some of Sofia’s new dining scene.If you are planning on renting a car for your holiday in Bulgaria, as we often do, we find the Hotel Jasmine is perfect for a no hassle stay where parking is required. Situated at the foot of the Vitosha Mountain in one of Sofia’s most prestigious suburbs is the Hotel Jasmine.The hotel has large comfortable rooms and a very nice restaurant on the premises. It is also excellent value for money. We recommend booking in advance as it can often be booked out.On the western slopes of the Balkan Mountains, a stunning landscape of rocks sculptured through millennia hides a medieval fortress with a history dating back to Roman times through to the Bulgarian tsars and Ottomans.Declared a Natural Landmark by the Bulgarian government, the scene is vaguely reminiscent of the whimsical landscape of Cappadocia in Turkey. The spectacular rock formations of the Belogradchik Fortress are nearly as impressive as the view from the top.