Rolling down from the pine-clad massifs of the Balkan Mountains and the Rhodope ranges to meet the sparkling blues of the Black Sea, Bulgaria offers everything from sun-kissed beaches to enthralling historical narratives, buzzing party towns to snow-shrouded ski resorts between its borders. In this guide to the 15 best places to visit in the country, we take a look at all the major hotspots that should be on anyone’s Bulgarian bucket list this year.
The sun-splashed favourite of local Bulgarians heading out of Sofia and Plovdiv for the summer, Varna is much more than just your run-of-the-mill resort town on the edge of the Black Sea. Yes sir, with a long and enthralling history, oodles of crumbling Roman bathhouses and elaborate Orthodox architecture (like the almost unpronounceable Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral), the city appeals to history buffs and culture vultures as well as sun seekers.
Of course, the beaches are still a big factor, and one bustling sand-side promenade beckons travelers with oodles of seafood restaurants and cocktail bars, while lively clubs erupt right on the edge of the shore after dark.