21 Photos to Inspire Your First Bulgaria Trip

The Trap, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Trip

In 2016, I spent several weeks travelling through the beautiful Balkan country of Bulgaria. As my first Bulgaria trip and with not much information on hand, I really didn’t know what to expect. Like much of this corner of Europe, Bulgaria is only just starting to get the kind of attention it deserves from tourists. I’m definitely thinking about when I can next visit.

What really stood out to me about Bulgaria was that it wasn’t one particular aspect that blew me away. Instead, Bulgaria has an enviable balance of nature, geography, antiquity and cities. that means there should be something for all tastes. I’ve already shared some of the things I think you should know before visiting, but if you need some extra convincing, hopefully these photos will inspire your first Bulgaria trip.


Old World Atmosphere

One of the real charms of Bulgaria is that there are parts that have truly managed to escape the tests of time. Cities like Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo, not to mention plenty of towns and villages, have retained their historic centres and are all the better for them. A trip to Bulgaria can show you a side of Europe you’ve never seen.

Samovodska Charshia, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Trip
The Old Town of Veliko Tarnovo
Plovdiv Old Town
Ottoman Houses of Plovdiv
Old Nesebar Buildings, Bulgaria's Coast
The Coastal Old Town of Nesebar
Kordopulov House Melnik
Historic House in the Village of Melnik
Steep Houses, Veliko Tarnovo
Hillside houses of Veliko Tarnovo
Nesebar Streets, Bulgaria
Stone Streets of Old Nesebar


Gorgeous Landscapes

Thanks to its mountainous geography, Bulgaria is blessed with some astounding natural landscapes. This is never more clear than the areas around the Balkan and Pirin Mountains. If you’re looking to be truly wowed on your Bulgaria trip, then look no further than the stunning sand pyramids that surround the village of Melnik.

Melnik Ridge
Sand Pyramids of Melnik
Tsarevets View, Veliko Tarnovo
Valleys outside Veliko Tarnovo
Melnik Sunset, Favourite Countries of 2016
Sunset over the Valley of Melnik


Dazzling Urban Cityscapes

A memorable first Bulgaria trip wouldn’t be complete without visiting the country’s intriguing and diverse cities. The nation’s capital of Sofia has a wonderful jumble of everything, from gigantic churches to immense soviet buildings. The student city of Plovdiv has an infectiously fun atmosphere, with some of the country’s coolest bars and restaurants. Plus, who doesn’t want to watch the sun set over the city from hilltop ruins?

Cityscape, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria Trip
Steep Cityscape of Veliko Tarnovo
Sofia Fountain, Visiting Bulgaria
Fountains in Sofia
The Trap, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Trip
Plovdiv’s Colourful District, The Trap
Sofia Theatre, Visiting Bulgaria
An Elegant Theatre in Sofia
Nebet Hill, Plovdiv, Bulgaria Trip
Sunset from Nebet Hill


Serene Nature

Bulgaria is a large enough country that it has quite a few pockets that have been untouched by people. For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle, there are plenty of chances to get amongst nature and let the world slow down. The rivers and forests around Dryanovo are particularly peaceful.

Dryanovo Monastery by Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria Trip
River past Dryanovo Monastery
Rozhen Town, Rozhen Monastery
Wild Nature Surrounding the Village of Rozhen
Dryanovska River by Bacho Kiro, Bulgaria Trip
The placid Dryanovska River near Dryanovo
Dry Riverbed Melnik, Bulgaria Trip
A Dry Riverbed in the Hills outside Melnik


Sun and Sand

Finally, who can forget Bulgaria’s beautiful beaches. With a coastline that stretches along the Black Sea, in many people’s minds Bulgaria is first and foremost a beach getaway. Not to mention it has to be one of Europe’s cheapest summer destinations while still having plenty of choice.

South Beach, Bulgaria's Coast, Bulgaria Trip
Umbrellas on Nesebar’s South Beach
Old Nesebar, Bulgaria's Coast, Bulgaria Trip
Path along the Coast of Old Nesebar
Sozopol Beach, Bulgaria's Coast, Bulgaria Trip
Lively Beach at Sozopol


Where would you choose to start your first Bulgaria trip? Have you already visited Bulgaria and are looking to return? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Why Not Pin It for Later

The beautiful country of Bulgaria in southern Europe has an enviable balance of nature, geography, antiquity and cities to its name. Hopefully these photos will inspire your first Bulgaria trip. via @travelsewhere The beautiful country of Bulgaria in southern Europe has an enviable balance of nature, geography, antiquity and cities to its name. Hopefully these photos will inspire your first Bulgaria trip. via @travelsewhere


This post is part of The Weekly Postcard over at Caliglobetrotter. Please head on over for more great posts.
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20 Comment

  1. The beaches look lovely – in fact the entire country looks fab! I haven’t considered Bulgaria as a holiday destination but then a few years ago Croatia wasn’t on my agenda but we absolutely loved it! Definitely one for when we return to Europe in the future!

  2. I have just seen that you are in Singapore and Malaysia next month as are we!! Look forward to reading your posts -where are you heading to in Malaysia?

    1. David says: Reply

      I plan to visit KL, Malacca, Ipoh and Penang. What about you?

  3. Beautiful pictures David! Not gonna lie they definitely encouraged us to go! So glad you still posted it as there’s definitely more inspiration here!! 🙂

  4. One of my dearest friends is from Bulgaria and hearing her stories has always made me want to go to this country. Seeing your photos put everything in perspective and solidify that I definitely want to go to Bulgaria!! I looks beautiful – thank you so much for sharing these great photos!!

  5. Lovely pictures – Bulgaria always catches my eye when searching for cheap flights but I’ve never took the leap – I will now. Great post – thanks for sharing!

  6. galanda23 says: Reply

    I grew up in Romania, so Bulgaria was our next door neighbor, but we never cared to go visit it. At the time when I lived there, during Communism, Bulgaria wasn’t what it is today. I’d love to go back and visit some of these sites. Some of your pictures remind me a lot about Romania’s landscape, especially in the countryside. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  7. Kat says: Reply

    Lovely pictures! The Balkan countries are seriously coming up in tourism – affordable and plenty of choices in terms of what to see and do. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #TheWeeklyPostcard

  8. Esther says: Reply

    This looks amazing!! My husband and me have Bulgaria on our list for years, but never quite made it. Bookmarking your post! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  9. Beautiful photos and I really enjoyed following your Bulgaria journey – so many great spots and I know I would really enjoy exploring the country!

  10. Wow! This place really has everything old world atmosphere all the way to gorgeous beaches. Beautiful photos!

  11. Looks gorgeous. Now I want to go there.

  12. oneadventuretraveler says: Reply

    Stunning photos and love the cobblestone streets 🙂 The the natural landscape sand dunes look amazing! I have never been to Bulgaria but after reading this and seeing your photos I am ready for a trip. Pinned this for later use…. #feetdotravel

  13. You’ve certainly convinced me. Bulgaria looks beautiful and as you say, seems to have something for everyone.

  14. The rivers are beautiful, I would love to take a hike through Bulgaria 🙂 beautiful pics as always!

  15. Bulgaria was first on my radar when my hubby said he had been ski-ing there when he was younger, but I want to visit to check out the beach! The landscape does look beautiful though and this surprised me, pinned for the future and thanks for sharing. #FeetDoTravel

  16. Barry says: Reply

    Nice write up and photos David. I’ve been a fan of Bulgaria since a friend whose family had a second home there recommend the country. Love the shot of the Steep Cityscape of Veliko Tarnovo. Will have to get another trip organised to s Bulgaria soon as it’s been a while

  17. Vlad says: Reply

    I live very close to Veliko Tarnovo and I keep saying I want to go, hopefully, after two canceled trips, I’ll finally go this year. Your photos of Bulgaria are making me want to go and explore more of our neighbor country.

  18. Amazing gallery, David! I can’t believe how beautiful Bulgaria looks! I have some friends from Bulgaria, so guess who I am gonna hit up with a visit next time I’m in Europe! Bloody beautiful!

  19. PackYourBaguios says: Reply

    Your pictures are truly inspirational. I love places that are as balanced as you portrayed in your pictures of Bulgaria. Pinned for later!

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