More and more individuals are taking out their maps and going east to see Bulgaria in recent years! Bulgaria is a vast city with a great history and enough attractions and museums to share. It’s the ideal road trip destination.
Bulgaria is easily navigatable by car from beginning to end. Spending a day or two in Sofia is always a good idea, but make sure to travel east and see more of the nation. Because there are no off-road or mountainous roads on this trip, a regular city car will suffice.
And speaking of cars, check out how many new car miles your vehicle should have.
Do you require help with your planning? Take a look at the best Bulgaria road trips around! However, keep in mind that some roads in Bulgaria are in rough shape, and you should proceed with caution.
Sofia – Koprivshtitsa
Koprivshtitsa is a charming Bulgarian National Revival town at the foot of the Stara Planina Mountain. You have the option of taking the highway (which is 40 miles/60 kilometers longer but is a better route) or the meandering road that runs alongside the mountain (which has less traffic and incredible vistas!). When at Koprivshtitsa, take a stroll through the town’s colorful ancient mansions and museums to learn more about Bulgaria’s history.
Tour the 350 ‘Heritage Sites’ scattered throughout the area. You won’t be able to sightsee all of them, but considering that the site is an architectural treasure, you’ll be able to view most of them throughout your stay. Many of these ‘Heritage Sites’ are associated with well-known Bulgarian rebels like Liuben Karavelov, Georgi Benkovski, Todor Kableshkov, and others!
You might be able to arrive in time for the Koprivshtitsa Folklore Festival if your trip falls precisely so. This event has been held in August every five years since 1965.
If it starts to rain, you can seek cover at one of the many museums. The Georgi Benkovski House Museum, the Dimcho Debelyanov House, and the Todor Kableshkov House Museum are examples.
Koprivshtitsa – Plovdiv
Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second-largest city and, and according to many, its most beautiful. Visit the Kapana Creative District’s thriving arts scene. This trendy neighborhood is stretched out over three hills and is nicknamed ‘The Trap’ because of its maze-like streets – be mindful not to get lost!
There are plenty of art galleries, artisan breweries, wine bars, and coffee shops in the city. With bright streamers and graffiti brightening the mood, every day is a celebration in ‘The Trap.’ After that, meander through the cobblestone lanes of the Old Town, past wooden shutters of old houses from the nineteenth century.
At the border of the Old Town, you’ll come upon Philippopolis, a spectacular Roman antique ruin theatre. This historic relic still works as an open-air theatre and concert theater, with a beautiful mountain view. Try to see a live show there because the acoustics are incredible!
If you’re traveling with children, visit the planetarium at the Natural History Museum in Hristo G. Danov Str. 34, or ride the children’s railway up another of the city’s hills.
Plovdiv – Stara Zagora
You may quickly go from Plovdiv to Stara Zagora on the highway for a day of beer and history. Visit the hourglass-shaped history museum, explore the ancient stones of the Augusta Trajana Roman theater, and then have a beer tour at the Zagorka Brewery Museum in Khan Asparuh Street 41 (not suitable for children below 12, and those below 18 aren’t allowed to drink beer).
You must make reservations a few days in advance. Note that their website is in the Bulgarian language; however, you can ask a staff member at your hotel to assist you with the reservation. It’s possible to do the tour in English.
Stara Zagora – Nessebar
If you’re traveling in the summer, don’t skip out on some beach time! On the Black Sea’s southern shore, Nessebar has both stunning beaches and a rich history to discover. There are other seaside camping places within a few miles away.
Take an afternoon to frolic about in Nessebar, which is known for its variety of watersports. If you prefer an excellent waterpark, the Aqua Paradise Water Park is a terrific choice. It’s an outdoor water park with a variety of eateries, colorful slides, and more.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Church of Christ Pantocrator, built in the 13th-14th centuries. It contains an art gallery and is notable for its lavish exterior design. It’s one of the best-preserved Middle Ages churches in Bulgaria.
There’s also another church and UNESCO World Heritage Site to see! The Ancient Bishopric, also known as the Church of Saint Sofia, is an Eastern Orthodox church in the town’s old area. It’s regarded as one of Bulgaria’s top 100 tourist attractions.
Nessebar – Shumen
Shumen is a standard-sized Bulgarian city that is less “touristy,” allowing you to immerse yourself into the local life better. The 1300 Years Bulgaria Monument and the Shumen Fortress, which features some of the most notable Bulgarian kings, are located immediately next to the city on the Shumen Plateau. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience hang-gliding, as the area is a fantastic place to fly!
Shumen – Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo used to be Bulgaria’s capital about a thousand years ago, and that’s why the magnificent royal Tsarevets Fortress looms over the city. The Sound and Light Show at the stronghold is sometimes visible at night. Don’t miss the Multimedia Center in Veliko Tarnovo, where you can view realistic figures of prominent Bulgarian historical women and men on ul. “Nikola Pikolo” 6.
There’s a buzz about Samovodska Charshia, a late-nineteenth-century market strip with renovated buildings and an ‘old world’ ambiance. Visit the Hadji Nikoli Inn Museum, the area’s last standing inn, which mixes unusual architecture with historical displays and art exhibits.
If you’re visiting in March, go to Veliko Tarnovo near the end of the month, when the city commemorates its national holiday. The Stambolov Bridge hosts street parades, festivities, and even mass bungee jumping!
Veliko Tarnovo – Glozhene Monastery
Glozhene Monastery isn’t one of Bulgaria’s largest monasteries, but it’s one of the most popular. It’s over 700 years old and has a stunning panoramic vista that you’re sure to enjoy. It’s a peaceful spot where you may relax and reflect on your fantastic adventure through Bulgaria!