Bulgaria is a beautiful country in Southeastern Europe with a rich history (one of the oldest countries in Europe with more than 1400 years of history), stunning landscapes, and a diverse culinary tradition. Here are some of the top tourist attractions and recommended foods to try when visiting Bulgaria:
Sofia: Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, is a vibrant and historic destination. Visit iconic landmarks like Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St. George Rotunda, and the National Palace of Culture. Don’t forget to explore the charming streets of the old town and the lively Vitosha Mountain.
Rila Monastery: Located in the Rila Mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage site is not only a spiritual centre but also an architectural masterpiece. The monastery features intricate frescoes and a peaceful atmosphere.
Plovdiv: This ancient city is one of Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements. Its well-preserved Old Town is a maze of cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and historic sites like the Roman Theater.
Bulgarian Black Sea Coast: Bulgaria offers beautiful beaches along its Black Sea coastline. Sunny Beach and Golden Sands are popular resort areas with vibrant nightlife, while Nessebar is a UNESCO-listed town with well-preserved medieval architecture.
Rila National Park: Nature enthusiasts will appreciate Bulgaria’s stunning natural landscapes, including the Rila National Park. Hike through its picturesque mountains, forests, and pristine lakes.
Bulgarian Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak: Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this tomb contains ancient frescoes and artefacts from the Thracian civilization.
Banitsa: A popular pastry made with layers of thin filo dough, filled with ingredients like cheese, spinach, or pumpkin. It’s a delicious snack or breakfast item.
Kavarma: A traditional Bulgarian stew made with pork or chicken, vegetables, and herbs, often cooked in a clay pot. It’s hearty and flavorful.
Shopska Salad: A refreshing salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, and feta cheese, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with spices.
Kebapche: Grilled minced meat (usually a mixture of beef and pork) seasoned with spices and shaped into small sausages. It’s often served with a side of flatbread and garnishes.
Bulgarian Yogurt: Known for its unique taste and probiotic properties, Bulgarian yoghurt is a must-try. It’s often served with honey, fruit, or as an ingredient in various dishes.
Bulgarian Wine: Bulgaria has a long history of winemaking, and you should definitely sample some local wines. Look for varieties like Mavrud and Melnik.
Bansko Cuisine: In the town of Bansko, you can try traditional dishes like kapama (stuffed cabbage leaves) and chomlek (a slow-cooked meat and vegetable stew).
Rakia: Bulgaria’s traditional fruit brandy, typically made from plums or grapes. It’s a strong alcoholic beverage often enjoyed as an aperitif.
These are just a few of the many attractions and culinary delights that Bulgaria has to offer. Exploring the country’s history, culture, and cuisine is sure to be a rewarding experience for any traveller.