Bulgaria

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Our most recommended things to do in Bulgaria

From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

1. From Sofia: Rila Monastery & Boyana Church Small Group Tour

Depart Sofia at 09:00 AM sharp, and relax on the 2-hour drive to the Rila Monastery in the Rila Mountains. Upon arrival, explore the largest and most important Orthodox cloister in Bulgaria. Admire the arcaded balconies, and discover unique frescoes by one of the most famous painters of the Bulgarian National Revival period. See gilded iconostasis and enjoy the fabulous mountain views. Hear the story of the monastery from your guide before enjoying some time to explore the monastic complex on your own. Learn more at the museum, or purchase souvenir icons and other items in the nearby shops. Take some time to refuel with lunch at one of the local restaurants, where you can purchase local specialties such as mekitsi (a traditional Bulgarian dish of kneaded dough made with yogurt that is deep fried). Depart at 01:30 PM and travel to Boyana Church in the suburbs of Sofia. See the historically significant frescoes of the Byzantine building, and hear how they started the fashion for illustrating biblical figures with emotions and placing them alongside the local aristocracy. With an estimated arrival time at the church of approximately 03:40 PM, enjoy about 30 minutes to explore. Leave at around 04:10 PM for the drive to Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia city center by 04:30 PM to 05:00 PM.

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Bansko: Snowmobile Adventure

2. Bansko: Snowmobile Adventure

Your exciting experience will start from the meeting point in Bansko at the time you have selected when booking. А 30-40 minute drive will take you to the starting point, in the Dobrinishte ski area, where the instructor will be waiting for you. The activity lasts for an hour (5-10 minutes safety instructions are included in that time). You will be driving the snowmobile on a track following an instructor, who is looking after the safety of the entire group. The use of helmet and goggles is obligatory, but they are included in the price. After your snowmobile experience concludes you will be transported back to the meeting point in Bansko.

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Bansko: Thermal Pool Escape

3. Bansko: Thermal Pool Escape

Located in the village of Banya, these thermal pools are only a 15-minute ride away from Bansko. The mineral thermal pools are open daily at 11:00AM in the morning. Your experience will begin as you depart from the rental shop at a time of your choosing (after 10:30AM). At your disposal are 3 pools with natural mineral water from the nearby thermal springs: Thermal pool number 1: the big main pool where the water isn’t unbearably hot and great for swimming; Thermal pool number 2: a smaller pool which is shallow and warmer where your children can safely enjoy the benefits of mineral water and those of you who cannot swim can comfortably relax; Thermal pool number 3: a really hot pool, where the water temperature is well over 40 degrees Celsius, but at the same time nice (and not to mention healthy) There are changing rooms right next to the pool and a restaurant at your disposal, and at the conclusion of your experienced you will be returned to your point of origin.

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From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

4. From Sofia: Full-Day Tour to Rila Monastery and Boyana

Spend the day exploring 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located outside of Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city. Begin by meeting at 9:00 behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia. Sit back and relax for the next 2 hours as your friendly, English-speaking drivers transport you to Rila. Upon arriving, spend 2 hours exploring the area and visiting the Rila Monastery, the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. Then enjoy lunch at a local restaurant which features a specialty of grilled trout. Get back in the van for another 2-hour journey, eventually arriving at Boyana Church, a medieval Bulgarian Orthodox church on the outskirts of Sofia. Check out the elaborate frescoes that have made this site famous, before your tour returns you to your meeting point.

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Rila Monastery Day Trip from Sofia

5. Rila Monastery Day Trip from Sofia

Board the shuttle service behind St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral in Sofia city center. Then, head to the medieval Rila Monastery in the spectacular Rila Mountains. Get over 2 hours of free time to explore the complex, founded by the hermit monk Ivan Rilski in 927 AD. Marvel at the frescoes of the main church and visit the medieval tower independently. Wander down quiet outdoor corridors adorned with beautiful mosaics, and see gold-plated iconostasis and valuable icons from the 14th to 19th century. Learn more about the history of the site at the museum, where highlights include the double-sided crucifix of the Rila Cross. See the old bakery and other monuments, including the residential area of high stone walls and little windows. Board the minibus back to Sofia in the afternoon and get dropped off at the pick-up point on arrival.

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Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

6. Day Tour from Sofia to Skopje, North Macedonia

Skopje is the capital of Macedonia situated approximately a 3.5-hour drive from Sofia. During this day tour to Skopje, you will have the chance to explore the city and its rich history and culture.  Your day tour will begin once you are picked up from your hotel or accommodations in Sofia then begin your 3-hour transfer to Skopje. Once in Skopje, you will begin your walking tour of the city beginning at Skopje Fortress where you can admire the wonderful view of the city. The next site you will visit is the Church of the Holy Savior, home to fantastic iconostasis. From there you will continue towards Sultan Murat Mosque and the Old Bazaar, where you can witness the remnants of the Ottoman Period and Skopje's history as one of the main trade centers in the Balkans.  After stopping for lunch at a typical Macedonian restaurant you will continue your walking tour crossing the Vadar River to start your exploration of a new part of the city. Here you will visit the new neo-classical square and continue to Mother Teresa memorial house. The walking part of your tour will end at the newly built triumphal arch Porta Macedonia. You will then journey back to Sofia and your tour will end once you are dropped off at your hotel or accommodations. 

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Rila Mountain Winter Day Trip

7. Rila Mountain Winter Day Trip

Start the tour at 9 AM when the guide will pick you up from your hotel in Sofia and take you to the Rila Mountain. The transfer time to the mountain region is about an hour and a half.  Choose between 2 of the 5 following options for activities: 1 or 2 hour ski-doo ride in Borovets; take the cabin lift in Borovets and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views; visit the restored fortress of Tsari Mali Grad, located on a hill near the village of Belchin; experience the afternoon skiing or snowboarding with a private teacher; enjoy a spa afternoon in the village of Sapareva Banya, famous for its hot thermal springs. Return to Sofia between 5 PM and 6 PM.

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Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

8. Sofia's Hidden Bars: 4-Hour Pub Crawl

Explore Sofia’s hidden nightlife gems on a 4-hour pub crawl. Meet people at some of the favorite hangouts in the city. If you’re a solo traveler this is a great way to socialize with locals and meet travelers from all around the world. The guides are a unique part of this experience. They’ll take the time to get to know you and at the end of the night you’ll have made some new friends. Enjoy a free beer at the first stop, then proceed to a second bar where you can enjoy an alcoholic dessert with anything you buy. Enjoy another free beer on tap at the third stop and then free admission to the club selected for the night.

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From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

9. From Sofia: 7 Rila Lakes and Rila Monastery Self-Guided Trip

Depart Sofia in the morning and travel by shuttle bus with a friendly English-speaking driver. Journey in air-conditioned comfort to Panichishte in the beautiful Rila National Park. Get briefed on arrival by your driver, who will tell you the different options and routes you can take up the mountain. Ride the chairlift to the 7 Rila Lakes, where you will get 5 hours of free time to go on some amazing nature walks independently to experience the glacial lakes from different perspectives. Board the shuttle bus at the agreed meeting point and relax on the 2-hour drive to Rila Monastery in a deep valley of the Rilska River. Founded in the 10th century, the monastery complex is regarded as one of Bulgaria's most important cultural and historical monuments. Get 1.5 hours to explore the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria at your own pace. Then, return to Sofia in the evening and get dropped off at the meeting point.

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From Bansko: Horse Riding Experience

10. From Bansko: Horse Riding Experience

Start your day of adventure by arriving at the meeting location at your selected time slot. Upon arrival, enjoy a pleasant meet and greet with the local staff who will direct you to your drive. After a scenic, 15-minute drive to the nearby small town of Dobrinishte, you'll arrive at the horse ranch where you'll meet your instructor for this experience. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned pro, this tour is perfect for you. For beginners, you'll learn the basics of horse riding and ride in a closed field. If you are more experienced at horse riding, you can explore the countryside with your instructor. When you complete the activity, you'll be driven back to Bansko, returned safely to the original starting location.

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Bulgaria is a picturesque country located on the Balkan Peninsula. Because of its location at the confluence of three ecological regions, it allows visitors to enjoy the best of all seasons and types of geographical terrain when sightseeing.

Sofia is the biggest city in Bulgaria. It also boasts the largest wetland in Bulgaria, the Dragoman Marsh. Tours often include stops in this diverse area for birdwatching. Sofia is also the starting point for many of the monastery tours the country has to offer.

Varna, the third largest city in Bulgaria, is famous for its resorts and tourism. The Sea Garden, located along a strip of beach on the coast of Varna, offers tourists a chance to take part in water sliding, visit the dolphinarium and aquarium, and relax in the Roman baths. Another popular tourist destination is Aladzha Monastery, a beautiful medieval monastery.

Bulgaria is a country rich in history. Visitors can explore Bulgaria's folklore by going on one of the many historical tours through the Museum of Natural History and the Boyana Church, which contains medieval artwork and frescoes. Walking tours throughout the cities allow tourists to see the best Bulgaria has to offer while enjoying the scenic countryside and architecture.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bulgaria

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