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Bulgaria

You might associate Bulgaria with ski slopes and delicious shopska salad, but there's so much more to explore in this ancient country. From visiting the ruins of Nessebar to witnessing a traditional festival, your Bulgarian adventure will be jam-packed with different experiences. And, if you haven't yet tried shopska salad, you really must! 

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Wander through the ruins of Nessebar 

 

The city of Nessebar sits on the shores of the Black Sea and mustn't be missed. The birthplace of money and home to Thracian, Roman, Byzantine and Bulgarian settlements, this historic city is full of ruins to explore. 

 

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Admire Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia

 

You can't visit Bulgaria's capital without admiring its famous gold-domed cathedral. Built in the 20th century, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is dedicated to Russian soldiers who died during the Russo-Turkish war. It's a spectacular sight, both inside and out.

 

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Sunbathe on Varna Beach

 

Join the locals on Varna Beach, a sun-trap destination on the north of Bulgaria's Black Sea coast. While you're there, make sure to check out the town's Roman ruins and archaeological museum - another link to Bulgaria's rich past!

 

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Marvel at the Rila Monastery 

 

The Monastery of St Ivan of Rila is the most visited monastery in Bulgaria. With its candy-cane striped exterior and ornate paintings, this religious complex is certainly an interesting day trip from Sofia. Combine it with a hike to the nearby cave of St Ivan, the founder of the Monastery.

 

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Dive in the Underwater Stone Forest

 

If you're into scuba diving, you need to add Bulgaria to the list, as it boasts a variety of diving sites. The Underwater Stone Forest is an unusual site, with strange tree-like structures growing 20 meters below the surface. But how did they get there? We're not quite sure...

 

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Visit the abandoned Buzludzha monument

 

While we're on the subject of eery things, you must make a trip to Buzludzha. What looks like an abandoned spaceship in the Balkan Mountains is actually the former headquarters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, and it's quite a sight to see. To get there, get a train to Kazanlak and then drive up by car. 

 

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Take the Veliko Tarnovo Sky Walk

 

As the former capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo is a hidden gem you have to visit. After wandering through its streets and visiting the fortress, take the modern Sky Walk for breathtaking vistas of the city, forest and the river. 

 

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Eat shopska salad 

 

Sometimes the simple things are the best, right? With chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, pepper and cheese, shopska salad is a simple but addictive Bulgarian dish. Served mainly in the summer, you'll find it in most local restaurants.

 

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Visit the Roman Amphitheater, Plovdiv

 

Plovdiv is the second largest city in Bulgaria and one of the oldest cities in Europe. Don't believe us? Check out the Roman Amphitheater, one of the best preserved of its kind. With its other archaeological treasures, Ottoman-style houses and fantastic nightlife, you won't regret a visit here.

 

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Climb to the Belogradchik Rocks, Belogradchik

 

Belogradchik looks like a perfectly normal Bulgarian town...until you look up. That's right. Perched high above the town, forming part of the ancient fortress wall, are a series of unique rock formations. Standing bold in red, the Belogradchik rocks are an incredible natural phenomenon that almost seem unreal. Hike up to the rocks from the town, admiring the views below. 

Tick off more experiences...

 

There's so much more to see and do in Europe by train! Read on to discover the ultimate Eurail experiences in the next country (from A-Z), or go back to the homepage to choose one for yourself.

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With so much to tick off your bucket list, you need a fast, sustainable and comfortable way to travel. Here's why traveling by train should be your next adventure.