Add dates

Things to do in
Veliko Tarnovo

Our most recommended things to do in Veliko Tarnovo

From Bucharest: Small Group Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria

1. From Bucharest: Small Group Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria

Start by meeting your local guide at your hotel, then drive south from Bucharest towards the Romanian and Bulgarian border. After crossing the Danube River and the Friendship Bridge, you will enter Bulgaria. On the way towards Veliko Tarnovo, stop for an exclusive visit of the Rock-Hewn Churches next to the village of Ivanovo. These are Bulgarian Medieval churches, chapels, and monastic cells hewn into the craggy gorge of Roussenski Lom River. Inscriptions, portraits of saints, and other restored items are from the 13th century. Then, discover Veliko Tarnovo, which was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and has a long tradition in the culture of Bulgaria. The city is rich in museums and historical sites, combined with a vivacious nightlife propelled by the students in one of the largest universities in Bulgaria. Take a walk on the Artisans Street where you have the chance to pass by workshops owned by Bulgarian families for generations, preserving the old traditions. Get the chance to see a fully functional coppersmith workshop to see the production of copper plates and cups used for Turkish coffee.  Hike up the Tsarevets Hill with the remains of the castle and church of Bulgarian kings. Visit the Fortress, the Patriarchal Church, the Royal Palace, and Emperor Balduin’s Tower. Next, journey to Arbanassi and step back in time while wandering the streets lined with houses and churches dating back as far as the 16th century. Take a peek into the life of rich merchants from the 17th century while visiting the Konstantsalieva House, showing the lavish but simple lifestyle of the nobility. Next, stop for lunch in one of the many restaurants serving local food and savor the famous Bulgarian cuisine. Following this, begin the journey back to Bucharest.

From Bucharest: Full-Day Trip to Bulgaria

2. From Bucharest: Full-Day Trip to Bulgaria

This 12-hour excursion begins in the early morning with a pickup from your Bucharest accommodation followed by a drive to the foothills of the Balkan Mountains. Spend an enjoyable day discovering the impressive medieval settlement of Veliko Tarnovo. Veliko Tarnovo was the medieval capital of Bulgaria and is home of the Tsaravets Fortress, the strongest Bulgarian fortification of the Middle Ages. Your itinerary includes visits to the St. Dimitrie Basarabov Monastery, the only monastery in Bulgaria carved into a cliff that is still inhabited today and Arbanasi village, where the medieval architecture will transport you back a few centuries in time.

From Bucharest: Experience Bulgaria Small-Group Trip

3. From Bucharest: Experience Bulgaria Small-Group Trip

After 1 hour driving from Bucharest you will cross the border to Bulgaria over Danube river, the second largest river in Europe and then stop at Ivanovo to visit Ivanovo Churches (UNESCO heritage since 1979). Located in the Valley of the Rusenski Lom River, the rock-hewn churches are famous thanks to their impressive XIII-XIVth century frescos. The second stop will be in Veliko Tarnovo, one of the most beautiful cities in Bulgaria, located on the banks of Yantra River. Also known as the City of Tsars, Veliko boasts an impressive fortress with the ruins of the former Tsarevets Palace and the patriarchal church, nowdays with modern and intriguing paintings. The medieval atmosphere is well kept in the city thanks to the old architecture and the narrow streets where you can admire local craftsmen and their work. There are plenty of good restaurants in Veliko Tarnovo and it will be chosen one to enjoy the tasty Bulgarian food together with one of their fine wines. The Village of Arbanassi is the next place you will visit, being located very close to the city. Arbanassi is a quiet and picturesque village which even today keeps the medieval touch through the old architecture. The tour ends after returning to Bucharest.

From Sofia: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi Tour with Transfer

4. From Sofia: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi Tour with Transfer

Embark on a fascinating journey through Bulgarian history with a guided tour to Veliko Tarnovo departing from Sofia. Explore the city's medieval fortress, market street, and historical landmarks. Make a stop in the village of Arbanasi and enjoy a glimpse into the traditional local lifestyle. Get picked up from your hotel in Sofia to travel toward Veliko Tarnovo, the country's capital during the Second Bulgarian State. Located on hills, admire breathtaking views of the town, covered in typical houses looking down at the meandering Yantra River. Arrive at Tsarevets Fortress with remains of the royal palace, more than 400 houses, and 18 churches. Climb up to Baldwin's Tower, where Latin Emperor Baldwin I died after he was captured by Tsar Kaloyan. Gaze at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of the Lord on top of the hill. Up next, visit the Samovodska Charshia, the old market street with craft and gift shops. Have some free time for yourself and purchase lunch if you wish to. Follow the Stambolov Bridge to the impressive Asenevtsi Monument, erected in memory of the four kings who proclaimed Bulgaria's independence. Before riding back to Sofia, discover Arbanasi, a village that once was home to rich traders and craftsmen. See iconic representations of the monumental architectural style that developed here over the last few centuries.

Private Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria from Bucharest

5. Private Day Trip to Medieval Bulgaria from Bucharest

You start the day by going over the border to Bulgaria, so be sure to have your passport with you. First stop will be at the Ivanovo Rock Churches, a UNESCO world heritage site which is actually carved in the rock and has among the best preserved frescoes.  Afterwards you visit Veliko Turnovo, once the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and also Tsarevets hill with the remains of the castle and church of the Bulgarian Kings. It dates back to the 12th century. Enjoy a walk on Samovodene Artisans Street packed with workshops of locals were you can find a copper smith, silversmith, an icon painter and many more. Many of the workshops are there for 3-4 generations already.  Next stop will be the intriguing village of Arbanassi with an included visit to , so you can get the chance to discover a real interior from from a typical local house. Before setting off for Romania, last visit will be in the small town of Ruse that has a beautiful main square and pedestrian area. Together with your local guide be immersed in the town's charm and learn more about it's history from the Roman times to modernity. Arrive back to your hotel in the evening after a wonderful day filled with great sights, history and friends from Bulgaria.

From Bucharest: Bulgaria 1-Day Tour

6. From Bucharest: Bulgaria 1-Day Tour

This one day tour to Bulgaria starts and ends in Bucharest from any place or hotel you desire. It takes approximately 12 hours so an early start is always recommended. You will cross one of the biggest and most impressive rivers in Europe, the Danube River, that forms the border between Romania and Bulgaria. There, you will visit and learn about the Basarbovo Monastery, the traditional Bulgarian village of Arbanasi and Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of the mighty medieval Bulgarian Empire and now probably the most beautiful Bulgarian city. On request, there are many nice restaurants that can be recommended for lunch. The tour is guided by an English-speaking, well-educated young licensed guide.

Sofia: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi Day Trip

7. Sofia: Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi Day Trip

Be collected from your accommodation in Sofia at 8:00 AM then travel three hours to Veliko Tarnovo. This town was the Bulgarian capital during the so-called Second Bulgarian Kingdom between the 12th and 14th centuries. Here, you will be able to feel the medieval spirit. Veliko Tarnovo is situated along several big hills and the river Yantra. The well-preserved fortress is remarkable. Discover some of the very old churches and see beautiful panoramic views. Bellow the fortress are some of the old merchant streets, which still present old-style crafts.  Afterward, head to the nearby small village of Arbanasi, an architectural resort, famous for its old stone houses and great places for lunch. Then return to Sofia for approximately 7:00 PM. 

From Bucharest: Discover Medieval Bulgaria—Private Day Trip

8. From Bucharest: Discover Medieval Bulgaria—Private Day Trip

Travel to the foothills of the Balkan Mountains, visit Basarabov Monastery, the only monastery in Bulgaria carved in the rock, explore the medieval Veliko Tarnovo, visit the Tsaravets Fortress, a fortification from the Middle Ages, and then admire Arbanassi Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begin your day trip by leaving Bucharest for Veliko Tarnovo, crossing the Danube River, which separates Romania from Bulgaria, and making your first stop at Basarabov Monastery, the only monastery in Bulgaria carved in the rock and inhabited since its establishment. Not far from Basarabov Monastery is the charming medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo, often referred to as the "City of the Tsars". You will walk on the cobbled streets in the historical quarter of Samovodskata Charshiya, and up on the hill, you will discover the fortress of Tsarevets, settled in the 4th century and surrounded by thick walls and the strongest Bulgarian fortification from the Middle Ages. Veliko Tarnovo was often compared to Rome or Constantinople in greatness. The village of Arbanassi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will be your final stop before returning to Bucharest. Arbanasi has experienced strong Greek cultural influence for centuries, with traditional houses that are large and heavily fortified and orthodox churches dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries with stone walls and thick gates. Walk through its quiet and picturesque streets and admire all of this.

Bucharest: 6-Day Central Balkans Guided Tour to Istanbul

9. Bucharest: 6-Day Central Balkans Guided Tour to Istanbul

Day 1 – Arriving in Bucharest and begin adventure. Arrival at Bucharest airport. Individual transfer and accommodation at your hotel. Late walking tour of the Old Town. Pick up from your hotel. Cărturești Carusel - In a nutshell, one of the world's most beautiful bookstores... 6 floors and an amazing setting. There's more here (visit inside). Leisure time, with the option of dining at a local restaurant. Transfer to the hotel at a predetermined time. Some free time. Overnight stay. Day 2 – Discover Romanian treasures Breakfast is served at the hotel. Departure by bus to Peles Castle. Departure for Bran Castle (Dracula). Dracula – as he is perceived today – is a fictitious character whose name derives from the appellation given to Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Wallachia from 1456-1462 and 1476. Evening panoramic bus tour of Bucharest, including the Romanian Parliament (Ceausescu Palace), Victory Square, the Romanian Triumphal Arch, and Revolution Square. Return to your hotel room. Spare time. Overnight stay. Day 3 – Explore Veliko Tarnovo – Medieval Bulgarian capital Breakfast is served at the hotel. Departure by bus to Bulgarian border. Pick up from your hotel. Cross Danube river and arrive in Veliko Tarnovo. (Transfer 190 km – approx. 3 hours) Short walking tour. Departure, we head further south, to Plovdiv city. (Transfer 180 km – approx. 3,5 hours) We cross Stara Planina (The Balkan), At the top we have a coffee break. Your tour guide will tell you an interesting story about this place. Arriving in Plovdiv and check in at your hotel. Short evening walking tour in Old Town. Spare time for dinner and relax. Overnight stay. Day 4 – Go to Istanbul.. Breakfast is served at the hotel. Departure by bus to Istanbul. (Transfer 440 km – approx. 6 hours) During the trip, your tour guide will tell you about the most interesting moments of the historical relations between Bulgaria and Turkey, filled with dramatic events. Short stop for lunch and a short rest in Edirne (Turkey). Arrive in Istanbul. Check in in your hotel. Spare time to relax and dinner opportunity. Evening Istanbul is at your disposal! Overnight. Day 5 - The treasures of Istanbul Breakfast is served at the hotel. Morning - Istanbul sightseeing city tour journey by bus and boat – total 3 hours. Pick up from your hotel. Discover Istanbul on this 90-minute bus tour and a 90-minute Bosphorus cruise. Plus, learn its history through its top sites (and hidden ones too): Ciragan Palace, Ortaköy Mosque, Bosphorus Bridge, Rumeli Fortress, Beylerbeyi Palace, Maiden Tower, Galata Tower, and more. Cruise along for 90-minutes over the Asian and European shores. Enjoy the picturesque skyline as you pass historical sites, palaces, fortresses, and the Bosphorus bridges, becoming fully enchanted by the scenery. Transfer back to your hotel. Half day spare time to relax, shopping and discover Istanbul myself. Overnight stay. Day 6 - Coming home Check out and transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight.

All activities

27 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Veliko Tarnovo

What top attractions are a must-see in Veliko Tarnovo?

The must-see attractions in Veliko Tarnovo are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Veliko Tarnovo

Want to discover all there is to do in Veliko Tarnovo? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Veliko Tarnovo

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 66 reviews

It was very nice experience.. Yes, it was long way, but we knew it before, so it wasn't a surprise for us.. The driver was very professional, and the guide, Carmen, was very friendly and helpful! I had to buy some medicines from Bulgaria, so they changed their routine direction and entered to the city from another way, and stopped in front of the Pharmacy, so I bought what I needed.. Appreciate a lot for it! Highly recommend this tour!! 5 stars!!!

Guide was fantastic. Only hiccup was that we visited more petrol stations than actual sites. Moreover, i suggest that these tours start between 07:30/08:00hrs especially for those that booked breakfast at the hotel

Robert was an excellent guide and driver, the salt and pepper of the excursion. A short glimpse of Bulgarian sites, food and history

Alex was an excellent guide and took us on a great trip to Veliko Tarnovo. Weather was excellent and it was a great day! overall

the guide was absolutely amazing, had a complete blast. very knowledgeable