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Things To Do In Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria – How To Visit


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Albina Applegate



Located in northeastern Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo is a captivating city known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and picturesque landscapes. As one of the oldest settlements in the country, it holds a significant place in Bulgarian culture and heritage. This charming city served as the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire in the Middle Ages, making it a hub of political, economic, and cultural activities.


Veliko Tarnovo is renowned for its remarkable hilltop location, nestled in the Yantra River Valley. Its strategic positioning not only provided natural defense but also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and the winding river below. The city’s medieval architecture, cobblestone streets, and enchanting alleys contribute to its timeless charm.


Visitors to Veliko Tarnovo have the opportunity to explore ancient fortresses, wander through the narrow streets of the Old Town, and immerse themselves in the fascinating history and culture of Bulgaria. Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, Veliko Tarnovo is sure to captivate your heart and leave you with lasting memories.


In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of Veliko Tarnovo and highlight some of the must-visit attractions and activities to make the most of your trip to this historical gem.


History of Veliko Tarnovo

The history of Veliko Tarnovo dates back over 5,000 years, with evidence of human settlement in the region since the Neolithic period. However, the city’s most significant era came in the 12th century when it became the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire under the rule of Tsar Asen I.


During this time, Veliko Tarnovo flourished as a political, cultural, and economic center, attracting artists, merchants, and scholars from near and far. The city’s prominence can be seen in its magnificent architectural wonders, such as the Tsarevets Fortress.


The Tsarevets Fortress served as the stronghold of the Bulgarian rulers, with its imposing walls and towers guarding the city against enemy invasions. The fortress was the heart of the Second Bulgarian Empire and a symbol of the country’s independence. Visitors today can explore the ruins of this once-mighty fortress, walking through its gateways and witnessing the remnants of royal palaces and churches.


Veliko Tarnovo’s golden era came to an end in 1393 when the city was conquered by the Ottoman Empire after a brutal siege. Despite this, the city continued to play a role in Bulgaria’s struggle for liberation throughout the centuries.


It wasn’t until 1878, following the Russo-Turkish War, that Veliko Tarnovo was finally liberated from Ottoman rule and reintegrated into Bulgaria. The city experienced a period of revival during the late 19th and early 20th centuries as many national institutions and educational facilities were established. Today, Veliko Tarnovo stands as a testament to Bulgaria’s rich history and serves as a reminder of its resilience and spirit.


When visiting Veliko Tarnovo, take the time to delve into its past and explore the historical sites that reveal the city’s captivating history. From the ancient ruins of the Tsarevets Fortress to the preserved architecture of the Old Town, Veliko Tarnovo offers a journey back in time that is sure to leave you in awe.


Explore the Tsarevets Fortress

No visit to Veliko Tarnovo is complete without exploring the iconic Tsarevets Fortress. Perched majestically on a hill overlooking the city, this medieval fortress offers a glimpse into the grandeur and power of the Second Bulgarian Empire.


Upon entering the fortress, you’ll be greeted by massive stone walls and impressive gateways that once served as the main entrance to the royal residence. As you meander through the complex, you’ll discover the remains of royal palaces, administrative buildings, and stunning churches that once adorned the hilltop.


One of the highlights of a visit to Tsarevets Fortress is the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God. This reconstructed church stands on the site where the original cathedral once stood. Step inside to admire the intricate frescoes and ornate decorations that showcase the artistic brilliance of the Second Bulgarian Empire.


For a truly unforgettable experience, make sure to visit the Sound and Light show that takes place in the evenings at Tsarevets. Through a combination of lights, sound effects, and projections, the show brings the history of Veliko Tarnovo to life, immersing visitors in the dramatic events that unfolded within these ancient walls.


As you explore the fortress, be sure to climb to the top of the Baldwin’s Tower. From this vantage point, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Veliko Tarnovo, the Yantra River, and the surrounding landscapes. The view is especially breathtaking at sunset, as the warm hues of the sky create a magical atmosphere.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply appreciate stunning architecture, a visit to the Tsarevets Fortress is a must. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Veliko Tarnovo and let the ancient stones whisper stories of kings and queens, battles and triumphs.


Visit the Monument of Asenevtsi

Another significant landmark in Veliko Tarnovo is the Monument of Asenevtsi, a tribute to the founders of the Second Bulgarian Empire. This impressive monument stands proudly on a hill overlooking the city, symbolizing the strength, determination, and national pride of the Bulgarian people.


The Monument of Asenevtsi consists of four bronze horsemen, each representing a prominent figure from the Asen dynasty: Asen I, Peter, Kaloyan, and Ivan Asen II. These rulers played a pivotal role in the establishment and prosperity of the Second Bulgarian Empire.


As you approach the monument, the powerful presence of the horsemen is immediately felt. The statues are meticulously crafted, capturing the movement and spirit of the horses and their riders. It serves as a reminder of the glorious past and the heroic deeds that shaped Bulgaria’s history.


Visitors to the Monument of Asenevtsi can take in the panoramic views of Veliko Tarnovo from the hilltop location. The sight of the city, with its red-roofed houses, winding streets, and the majestic Tsarevets Fortress in the distance, is truly breathtaking.


For a more immersive experience, it is recommended to visit the monument at night when it is beautifully lit, creating a captivating ambiance. The twinkling lights of the city below only enhance the allure of the monument, making it a wonderful spot for photography and contemplation.


The Monument of Asenevtsi is not only a testament to the historical significance of Veliko Tarnovo but also a symbol of national pride for Bulgarians. It stands as a testament to the perseverance and unity of the Bulgarian people and serves as an inspiration to future generations.


Take the time to visit the Monument of Asenevtsi and pay homage to the founders of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Experience the profound sense of history and pride that emanates from this magnificent monument and let it leave a lasting impression on your journey through Veliko Tarnovo.


Discover the Old Town

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of Veliko Tarnovo’s Old Town. With its cobblestone streets, traditional houses, and medieval architecture, this area is a perfect representation of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.


As you stroll through the narrow alleys of the Old Town, you’ll encounter a plethora of quaint shops, bustling cafes, and traditional taverns. The buildings themselves are a sight to behold, with their brightly colored facades and ornate wooden balconies. Many of these houses have been transformed into art galleries, craft shops, and boutique hotels, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.


One of the main streets in the Old Town is Gurko Street, named after the famous Bulgarian merchant Peter Gurko. This picturesque street is lined with preserved houses from the 19th century, providing a glimpse into the architectural style and lifestyle of the time. Take your time to explore the unique shops and art studios that line this charming street.


Another must-visit attraction in the Old Town is the Church of the Nativity. This small, yet beautiful, church dates back to the 19th century and features exquisite frescoes and a stunning iconostasis.


For panoramic views of the Old Town and the surrounding area, make your way to the observation point located near the Church of St. Dimitar. From here, you can admire the red rooftops, the winding streets, and the Yantra River flowing peacefully below.


Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply want to experience the authentic atmosphere of Veliko Tarnovo, exploring the Old Town is a must. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow streets, soak in the local culture, and let the enchanting beauty of this area transport you to a bygone era.


Walk Across the Yantra River Bridge

A visit to Veliko Tarnovo wouldn’t be complete without taking a leisurely stroll across the iconic Yantra River Bridge. This historic bridge connects the old and new parts of the city and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.


The Yantra River Bridge, also known as the Old Bridge or the Stone Bridge, dates back to the 12th century, making it one of the oldest bridges in Bulgaria. Originally constructed with wooden beams and later reconstructed with stone, this bridge has withstood the test of time and witnessed the city’s evolution.


As you walk across the alluring Yantra River Bridge, you’ll be captivated by the river flowing beneath and the picturesque scenery that surrounds it. The bridge’s stone arches and intricate design add to its charm and serve as a nod to the architectural skills of the past.


From the middle of the bridge, take a moment to soak in the panoramic views of Veliko Tarnovo. The towering Tsarevets Fortress dominates the skyline, while the terracotta roofs of the Old Town create a vibrant contrast against the lush greenery.


In addition to its historical significance and beautiful views, the Yantra River Bridge holds a special place in the hearts of the local community. It has become a popular spot for romantic walks, leisurely conversations, and even street performances during festivals and events.


Make sure to visit the Yantra River Bridge during different times of the day. Sunrise and sunset offer a particularly enchanting atmosphere, with the soft golden light casting a magical glow over the bridge and the surrounding area.


Walking across the Yantra River Bridge is not just a mundane activity; it’s an opportunity to connect with the city’s history, experience its natural beauty, and soak in the vibrant energy that encompasses Veliko Tarnovo.


Take your time to appreciate the charm and significance of this ancient bridge, and perhaps even find a moment of tranquility while marveling at the timeless beauty that surrounds it.


Explore the Samovodska Charshia

One of the most vibrant and bustling areas in Veliko Tarnovo is the Samovodska Charshia. This lively street, located in the heart of the Old Town, is a haven for artisans, craftsmen, and traditional Bulgarian products.


Strolling through the Samovodska Charshia feels like stepping into a time capsule, as you encounter workshops and stores that have preserved the traditional Bulgarian crafts and trades for generations. From woodcarvers and blacksmiths to potters and icon painters, these skilled artisans showcase their craftsmanship and offer unique handmade products.


As you explore the street, you’ll be captivated by the sights, sounds, and aromas. The air is filled with the scent of freshly baked bread, roasted coffee, and authentic Bulgarian spices. You can watch artisans at work, shaping clay pots, forging iron, or carving intricate designs on wood.


The Samovodska Charshia is not only a place to witness traditional craftsmanship but also an opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts. You can find beautifully crafted ceramics, handwoven textiles, traditional Bulgarian costumes, and ornate jewelry, all made with the utmost care and attention to detail.


But the Samovodska Charshia is more than just a marketplace. It is a vibrant cultural hub where you can engage with the local community and experience the rich traditions of Bulgaria. Throughout the year, various festivals, exhibitions, and performances take place here, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of Bulgarian culture.


In addition to the artisan shops, the Samovodska Charshia is also home to quaint cafes and traditional Bulgarian taverns. Take a break from your exploration and savor the flavors of Bulgarian cuisine, accompanied by the warm hospitality of the locals.


Exploring the Samovodska Charshia is an enchanting experience that offers a glimpse into the heritage and craftsmanship of Bulgaria. It’s a chance to support local artisans, immerse yourself in the authentic culture of Veliko Tarnovo, and take home a piece of Bulgarian craftsmanship that will be treasured for years to come.


Visit the Transfiguration Monastery

A visit to Veliko Tarnovo would not be complete without exploring the Transfiguration Monastery, a serene and spiritual retreat nestled in the beautiful countryside just outside the city.


The Transfiguration Monastery, also known as the Preobrazhenski Monastery, has a rich history dating back to the 14th century. Founded by the Bulgarian nobleman Ivan Alexander, this monastery served as a place of worship and spiritual enlightenment for centuries.


As you approach the monastery, you’ll be greeted by its distinctive red-brick walls and beautiful frescoes that adorn the exterior. Step inside to discover the peaceful courtyard adorned with vibrant flowers and the soothing sound of flowing water from the nearby fountain.


The main church of the Transfiguration Monastery is a true masterpiece, featuring intricate frescoes and an elaborately carved wooden iconostasis. The interior exudes a sense of serenity and spirituality, inviting visitors to reflect and find solace in its sacred atmosphere.


Adjacent to the main church, you’ll find the monks’ quarters and a small museum that displays religious artifacts and artifacts from the monastery’s history. Take the opportunity to learn more about the monastery’s past and gain insight into the spiritual traditions that have been preserved here for centuries.


From the monastery grounds, you can also enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding nature and the nearby Yantra River. The peacefulness and serenity of the location make it an ideal spot for meditation, contemplation, or simply to reconnect with nature.


When visiting the Transfiguration Monastery, it’s important to dress modestly and respect the spiritual nature of the place. Be aware that the monastery may have specific visiting hours, so it’s advisable to check in advance before planning your visit.


Whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment, historical insight, or simply a serene retreat from the bustling city, the Transfiguration Monastery offers a tranquil and enriching experience. Allow yourself to be captivated by the monastery’s beauty, soak in its peaceful ambiance, and embrace the spiritual heritage that permeates its hallowed halls.


Take a Stroll Along Gurko Street

A stroll along Gurko Street is a delightful journey through time in Veliko Tarnovo. This picturesque street is located in the heart of the Old Town and offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and architectural beauty.


Gurko Street is named after the famous Bulgarian merchant Peter Gurko, who contributed significantly to the development and prosperity of Veliko Tarnovo during the 19th century. Today, it stands as a testament to the city’s past and is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike.


As you walk along Gurko Street, you’ll be enchanted by the well-preserved 19th-century houses that line the cobblestone road. These beautifully restored houses showcase the architectural style of the Revival period, with their colorful facades, wooden balconies, and intricate details.


One of the notable attractions along Gurko street is the House with the Monkey. This iconic building is adorned with a statue of a monkey perched on its roof, symbolizing the prosperity and success of the merchant Peter Gurko. It is an excellent example of the architectural grandeur that characterized Veliko Tarnovo during its heyday.


As you stroll along Gurko Street, take the time to explore the various cafes, art galleries, and craft shops that dot the area. You can find unique handmade souvenirs, local artwork, and traditional Bulgarian products, all reflecting the rich culture and heritage of the region.


A highlight of the street is the stunning view it offers of the Yantra River and the surrounding landscape. Look out for the scenic viewpoint known as the Balcony, where you can take in the panoramic vistas and capture unforgettable photographs.


Visiting Gurko Street is not just about admiring the architecture and enjoying the views. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the history and cultural significance of Veliko Tarnovo. Explore the small museums and historical sites along the way to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s past.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, architecture lover, or simply seeking a charming setting to take a leisurely stroll, Gurko Street offers a delightful and enriching experience. Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of this historic street and let its stories and charm transport you to a bygone era.


Enjoy the Panoramic Views from the Monument of Independence

For breathtaking panoramic views of Veliko Tarnovo and its stunning surroundings, a visit to the Monument of Independence is a must. Perched atop a hill, this monument offers a spectacular vantage point to admire the city’s beauty from above.


The Monument of Independence is a commemoration of Bulgaria’s struggle for freedom and independence. It consists of a towering column with a bronze lion perched atop, symbolizing the fierce spirit of the Bulgarian people.


To reach the monument, you can take a scenic walk through picturesque streets or use a convenient cable car from the center of Veliko Tarnovo. As you ascend towards the top, the anticipation rises, knowing that breathtaking views await you.


Once you reach the Monument of Independence, you’ll be greeted by a panoramic vista that stretches across the city and beyond. The winding Yantra River, the red-roofed houses of the Old Town, and the majestic Tsarevets Fortress create a mesmerizing tapestry against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush greenery.


The best time to visit the monument is during sunset when the warm golden light casts a magical glow over the landscape. Watch as the sky transforms into a canvas of hues, and Veliko Tarnovo’s beauty truly comes alive.


Take your time to soak in the views, capture stunning photographs, and reflect on the splendor of the city below. The Monument of Independence provides a sense of perspective, allowing you to appreciate the rich history and natural grandeur that Veliko Tarnovo has to offer.


There are also benches and shaded areas near the monument where you can relax, unwind, and absorb the peaceful atmosphere. It’s an ideal spot to escape the bustling city and find solace amidst the tranquil surroundings.


Visiting the Monument of Independence is more than just a sightseeing activity; it’s a moment of reflection and appreciation for the beauty and resilience of Veliko Tarnovo. Lose yourself in the stunning panoramic views, let the city’s charm wash over you, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Visit the Archaeological Museum

When exploring the historical treasures of Veliko Tarnovo, a visit to the Archaeological Museum is a must. Located in the heart of the city, this museum offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing the rich archaeological heritage of the region.


The Archaeological Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts that span thousands of years, providing insights into the ancient civilizations that once thrived in and around Veliko Tarnovo. The exhibits include a wide range of objects, from ancient tools and pottery to intricate jewelry and sculptures.


One of the highlights of the museum is the display of Thracian artifacts. Discover the unique artistic style and cultural practices of the Thracian civilization, which played a significant role in shaping the region’s history. Marvel at the intricate gold and silver jewelry, elaborate tomb decorations, and finely crafted pottery.


The museum also showcases artifacts from the Roman period, highlighting the influence and impact of the Roman Empire on the development of Veliko Tarnovo. Delve into the ancient Roman way of life through various objects, including statues, architectural fragments, and everyday items.


Of course, no visit to the Archaeological Museum would be complete without exploring the exhibits related to the Second Bulgarian Empire. Learn about the rise and fall of this powerful empire and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s golden age. Admire the Byzantine-inspired art and find yourself transported back to a time of grandeur and prestige.


The Archaeological Museum does an excellent job of presenting the rich history of Veliko Tarnovo in a way that is informative and engaging. With detailed explanations and beautifully curated exhibits, it offers a deeper appreciation for the city’s heritage and cultural significance.


Visiting the Archaeological Museum provides a unique opportunity to connect with the past and witness the wonders of ancient civilizations. It’s a chance to uncover the secrets that lie beneath the surface of Veliko Tarnovo and gain a new perspective on its historical significance.


Immerse yourself in the archaeological treasures of Veliko Tarnovo by visiting the Archaeological Museum. Let the artifacts and stories transport you through time, allowing you to unravel the mysteries and marvel at the ingenuity of those who came before us.


Attend a Traditional Bulgarian Folklore Show

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Bulgaria by attending a traditional Bulgarian folklore show in Veliko Tarnovo. This captivating experience allows you to witness the rich traditions, music, and dance that have been passed down through generations.


Bulgarian folklore is known for its lively rhythms, melodic tunes, and intricate dance movements. The performances are a celebration of the country’s diverse regional customs and traditions, showcasing the unique costumes, instruments, and vocal styles that vary from one area to another.


During the folklore show, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the extraordinary talent of the performers as they bring the music and dance to life. The colorful costumes, adorned with intricate embroidery and embellishments, add to the visual spectacle.


The music is typically performed with traditional Bulgarian instruments such as the gaida (bagpipe), kaval (flute), and tambura (long-necked lute). The melodies are filled with emotion and reflect the deep connection that Bulgarians have with their cultural heritage.


One of the most popular and unique features of Bulgarian folklore is the traditional dance, known as horo. Horo is a collective dance performed in a circle or line, with intricate footwork and synchronized movements. It’s a joyous expression of unity and harmony, bringing people of all ages together in a spirit of celebration.


Attending a Bulgarian folklore show is not only entertaining but also a way to gain insight into the country’s history, customs, and identity. It allows you to experience the warmth and hospitality of the Bulgarian people and immerse yourself in their cultural traditions.


Various venues in Veliko Tarnovo offer regular folklore shows, ranging from intimate performances in traditional taverns to larger-scale productions in theaters. Check the local events calendar or inquire at tourist information centers to find out about upcoming shows during your visit.


By attending a traditional Bulgarian folklore show, you’ll not only be entertained by the music, dance, and costumes, but also gain a deeper appreciation for the cultural richness and diversity of Bulgaria. It’s an opportunity to create lasting memories and leave with a newfound appreciation for this enchanting country and its vibrant traditions.


Try Traditional Bulgarian Cuisine

A trip to Veliko Tarnovo is incomplete without indulging in the flavors and delights of traditional Bulgarian cuisine. With its rich culinary heritage and diverse regional dishes, Bulgaria offers a gastronomic experience that tantalizes the taste buds and showcases the country’s unique flavors.


One of the iconic dishes you must try is banitsa, a delicious pastry made with layers of filo dough and filled with a variety of ingredients such as cheese, spinach, or pumpkin. This savory treat is a popular breakfast or snack option and is best enjoyed with a cup of Bulgarian yogurt.


Another must-try dish is the famous Shopska salad, a refreshing blend of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and peppers topped with grated white brine cheese. This colorful salad is a staple in Bulgarian cuisine and reflects the country’s abundant fresh produce.


Bulgaria is also known for its succulent grilled meats, particularly the mouthwatering kebapche and kyufte. Kebapche is a grilled sausage made with a blend of minced meat, while kyufte is a flavorful Bulgarian-style meatball. Both are served with a side of traditional accompaniments such as lyutenitsa (a tomato and red pepper relish) and a fresh salad.


If you’re looking for a heartier dish, try the traditional Bulgarian stew called kavarma. Made with marinated pork or chicken, vegetables, and spices, this flavorful dish is slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in tender and aromatic meat.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, don’t miss out on trying Bulgarian desserts like the deliciously creamy and decadent baklava or the irresistibly sweet honey-soaked pastries known as tulumbi. Indulging in these treats will be a delightful end to your culinary journey.


Accompanying your meal, be sure to sample the local beverages. Bulgarian wines, particularly red wines like Mavrud and Melnik, are highly regarded and pair beautifully with the country’s cuisine. You can also enjoy a cup of traditional Bulgarian herbal tea or rakia, a strong fruit brandy that is a popular choice for aperitifs or digestive.


Veliko Tarnovo is home to a variety of traditional Bulgarian restaurants and taverns, where you can savor the authentic flavors and warm hospitality of the region. Whether you’re dining in a quaint family-run eatery or a more upscale establishment, you’re sure to be treated to a memorable culinary experience.


Exploring the traditional Bulgarian cuisine is not just about satisfying your appetite, but also immersing yourself in the rich culinary traditions and cultural heritage of the country. Allow each bite to transport you to the heart of Bulgaria and to appreciate the flavors that have stood the test of time.


Explore the Nearby Village of Arbanasi

Just a short distance away from Veliko Tarnovo lies the enchanting village of Arbanasi, a well-preserved treasure that offers a glimpse into Bulgaria’s past. With its traditional stone houses, striking churches, and picturesque setting, Arbanasi is a must-visit destination for those seeking to experience the rustic charm of rural Bulgaria.


Arbanasi is known for its unique architectural heritage, with many of its buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The village’s stone houses feature intricately carved facades, imposing gates, and spacious courtyards, reflecting the wealth and prosperity of its past residents.


One of the highlights of Arbanasi is the Church of the Nativity of Christ. This stunning church is adorned with beautiful frescoes that depict scenes from the Bible and Bulgarian history. Step inside to admire the intricate artwork and feel the spiritual ambiance that permeates the air.


For a deeper insight into the village’s history and culture, visit the Arbanasi Ethnographic Museum. Housed in a restored 18th-century house, this museum showcases traditional clothing, household items, and crafts, offering a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the villagers in bygone times.


Arbanasi is also a place where you can truly appreciate the natural beauty of the Bulgarian countryside. Take a leisurely walk through the village’s narrow streets, breathe in the sweet scent of blooming flowers, and marvel at the panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.


After exploring the village, make sure to indulge in the local cuisine. Arbanasi is renowned for its excellent traditional restaurants, where you can savor authentic Bulgarian dishes in a cozy and rustic setting. Try specialties like slow-cooked lamb, rich stews, and homemade delicacies to tantalize your taste buds.


Arbanasi offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, allowing you to unwind and connect with nature and history. Whether you’re interested in architectural marvels, cultural traditions, or simply seeking a serene retreat, a visit to the nearby village of Arbanasi will leave you with unforgettable memories of rural Bulgaria.


Visit the National Revival and Constituent Assembly Museum

Delve into the fascinating history and political heritage of Bulgaria by visiting the National Revival and Constituent Assembly Museum in Veliko Tarnovo. This museum provides a comprehensive insight into the country’s struggle for independence and the process of forming a modern Bulgarian state.


Housed in the impressive building of the Constituent Assembly, the museum showcases exhibits that highlight the significant events and influential figures during the National Revival period. Through informative displays, artifacts, and multimedia presentations, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by the Bulgarian people and their quest for national identity.


Explore the museum’s extensive collection of photographs, documents, and personal belongings of prominent leaders and revolutionaries who played pivotal roles in Bulgaria’s history. Learn about key moments such as the April Uprising of 1876 and the subsequent Russo-Turkish War, which ultimately led to the liberation of Bulgaria.


The museum also features a section dedicated to the Constituent Assembly, which took place in Veliko Tarnovo in 1879. This historic event marked an important milestone in the establishment of the modern Bulgarian state and the adoption of the country’s first constitution.


Through interactive exhibits and immersive displays, visitors can experience the deliberations and debates that took place during the Constituent Assembly. Gain insights into the challenges faced by the delegates and the vision they had for Bulgaria’s future as a democratic nation.


In addition to the historical artifacts and informative displays, the building itself is an architectural masterpiece. Its elegant design and grandeur serve as a fitting backdrop for the museum’s exhibits, adding to the overall experience.


Visiting the National Revival and Constituent Assembly Museum offers a unique opportunity to witness the transformative period in Bulgaria’s history. It provides a deeper appreciation for the struggles and achievements of the Bulgarian people and their commitment to building a nation based on democratic principles.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply interested in gaining a deeper understanding of Bulgaria’s political heritage, a visit to the National Revival and Constituent Assembly Museum is a must. Let the stories and artifacts transport you back in time and immerse yourself in the significant moments that shaped the nation we know today.


Take a Day Trip to the Preobrazhenski Monastery

A day trip from Veliko Tarnovo to the Preobrazhenski Monastery is a perfect opportunity to explore the spiritual and natural beauty of the Bulgarian countryside. Located just a short distance away, this serene and picturesque monastery offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.


Nestled amidst the lush green hills and forests, the Preobrazhenski Monastery, also known as the Transfiguration Monastery, dates back to the 14th century. Its tranquil setting and architectural splendor make it a must-visit destination for those seeking solace and spiritual enlightenment.


As you approach the monastery, you’ll be captivated by its medieval stone walls and charming courtyards. The main church, with its beautifully adorned interior and stunning frescoes, is the centerpiece of the complex. Step inside to admire the religious art and feel a sense of tranquility and reflection.


One of the highlights of a visit to the Preobrazhenski Monastery is the opportunity to witness the daily life of the resident monks. Observe their routines, immerse yourself in their devotions, and gain a deeper understanding of the spiritual practices of Bulgarian Orthodox Christianity.


The monastery also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, providing a serene backdrop for contemplation and connection with nature. Take a leisurely stroll through the monastery’s gardens and explore the nearby walking trails that lead to hidden viewpoints and serene natural spots.


For those seeking a deeper spiritual experience, consider attending one of the monastery’s religious services or participating in a guided meditation session. The peacefulness and serenity of the surroundings create the perfect atmosphere for inner reflection and personal growth.


Plan your visit to the Preobrazhenski Monastery during different seasons to experience the changing colors of nature and the unique ambiance each season brings. Whether it’s the vibrant hues of spring, the lush greenery of summer, or the golden foliage of autumn, the monastery’s natural surroundings always offer a stunning visual treat.


A day trip to the Preobrazhenski Monastery allows you to escape the hectic pace of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility and spirituality of the Bulgarian countryside. It is a chance to reconnect with nature, find inner peace, and appreciate the architectural and religious wonders that grace this enchanting monastery.


Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo’s stunning natural landscapes and picturesque surroundings offer a wide range of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike, an adrenaline-pumping adventure, or simply a chance to soak in the beauty of the outdoors, Veliko Tarnovo has something for everyone.


One of the popular outdoor activities in the area is hiking. Explore the scenic trails that wind through the hills and forests surrounding the city. The trails offer stunning views and an opportunity to discover hidden gems, such as waterfalls, caves, and panoramic viewpoints. For a more challenging adventure, consider hiking up to the nearby peaks, such as Botev or Vrachanski Balkan.


For thrill-seekers, Veliko Tarnovo offers exciting opportunities for rock climbing and bouldering. With the region’s diverse rock formations, there are numerous climbing spots suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers. Strap on your harness and conquer the cliffs that offer breathtaking views and an adrenaline rush.


Cycling enthusiasts will find plenty of scenic routes to explore in and around Veliko Tarnovo. The rolling hills, scenic countryside, and quaint villages make for an enjoyable and immersive cycling experience. You can rent bicycles in the city or join a guided cycling tour to explore the best routes the region has to offer.


Water sports enthusiasts can take advantage of the Yantra River, which flows through Veliko Tarnovo. Kayaking or canoeing along the river is a great way to admire the surrounding natural beauty and experience a different perspective of the city. Relax as you paddle downstream, taking in the tranquility of the water and the stunning landscapes.


Golf enthusiasts can indulge in their favorite sport at the nearby golf courses, such as the Yantra Golf Club. Nestled amidst beautiful countryside, these well-designed courses offer an enjoyable golfing experience for players of all skill levels.


If you prefer a more leisurely outdoor activity, simply take a leisurely stroll through the city’s parks and gardens. Visit the Arbanasi Arboretum or the City Garden to enjoy the blooming flowers, shady trees, and peaceful atmosphere. These green spaces provide a tranquil retreat where you can relax, have a picnic, or simply soak up the sun.


Venturing outdoors in Veliko Tarnovo allows you to connect with nature, breathe in the fresh air, and rejuvenate your mind and body. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply a chance to bask in the natural beauty, the outdoor activities in Veliko Tarnovo are sure to leave you with unforgettable experiences and a deep appreciation for the region’s stunning landscapes.


Shopping in Veliko Tarnovo

Shopping in Veliko Tarnovo is a delightful experience that allows you to discover unique souvenirs, traditional crafts, and locally made products. The city offers a variety of shopping options, ranging from bustling markets to charming boutique shops.


Start your shopping journey by exploring the Samovodska Charshia, a vibrant street that is known for its artisanal crafts and traditional Bulgarian products. Here, you’ll find shops selling handcrafted ceramics, textiles, woodwork, and jewelry. Take the time to browse through the stalls and support local artisans who have passionately preserved their craft.


In addition to the Samovodska Charshia, the city center is dotted with charming boutiques and specialty stores where you can find unique clothing, accessories, and home goods. The Old Town area, with its narrow streets and quaint shops, is particularly great for finding one-of-a-kind items.


If you’re looking for fresh produce, regional delicacies, or souvenirs, make sure to visit Veliko Tarnovo’s markets. The Municipal Market and the Pod Policeto Market offer a wide array of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and traditional Bulgarian treats. You can also find honey, wine, spices, and other local products that make for perfect gifts or treats to take home.


For book lovers, Veliko Tarnovo has several bookstores where you can find both Bulgarian and international titles. Whether you’re interested in history, literature, or travel guides, the bookstores in Veliko Tarnovo cater to all bibliophiles.


Don’t forget to sample and purchase some of Bulgaria’s famous rose oil products. Known for its high-quality rose essential oil, Veliko Tarnovo offers a range of beauty and skincare products, including soaps, creams, and perfumes. These products make for wonderful gifts or personal indulgences.


When shopping in Veliko Tarnovo, it’s also worth exploring the local antique and vintage shops. These hidden gems often hold unique treasures, including old books, retro clothing, vintage furniture, and collectibles. You never know what hidden gems you might stumble upon.


Shopping in Veliko Tarnovo allows you to take a piece of Bulgaria’s rich culture and heritage home with you. Whether it’s a handcrafted item, a regional delicacy, or a locally made product, these souvenirs will serve as cherished reminders of your time in this enchanting city.


So, immerse yourself in the vibrant shopping scene of Veliko Tarnovo, support local artisans and businesses, and discover special treasures that will forever remind you of this unique destination.


Best Time to Visit Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo offers its visitors a delightful experience throughout the year, each season bringing its own unique charm and attractions. So, the best time to visit Veliko Tarnovo largely depends on your personal preferences and interests.


Spring (April to June) in Veliko Tarnovo is a season of vibrant colors and blossoming nature. The weather is mild with temperatures ranging from comfortable to warm. It’s an ideal time for outdoor activities like hiking, exploring the countryside, and enjoying the blooming flowers in parks and gardens.


Summer (July to August) brings warmer temperatures and longer days, making it a popular time for tourists. The city comes alive with festivals, outdoor concerts, and cultural events. Summer is perfect for exploring the historical sites, strolling through the cobbled streets, and experiencing the lively atmosphere of Veliko Tarnovo.


Fall (September to November) offers a picturesque setting as the leaves change color, creating a stunning backdrop for the city. The weather is mild, making it a pleasant time to explore the outdoor attractions and enjoy the scenic landscapes. Fall is also the harvest season, so you can savor the flavors of fresh local produce.


Winter (December to February) brings a certain magic to Veliko Tarnovo, with the possibility of snow-covered streets and a cozy atmosphere. The city is beautifully decorated for the holidays, offering a festive ambiance. Winter is a great time to explore the indoor attractions, shop for unique Christmas gifts in the markets, and enjoy warm drinks in the charming cafes.


It’s important to note that the peak tourist season in Veliko Tarnovo is during the summer months, when the city is livelier and more crowded. If you prefer a quieter visit with fewer crowds, the shoulder seasons of spring and fall are recommended.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Veliko Tarnovo depends on your own preferences and interests. Whether you prefer the vibrancy of summer, the serenity of spring, the beauty of fall foliage, or the cozy winter atmosphere, Veliko Tarnovo welcomes visitors year-round with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm Bulgarian hospitality.


How to Get to Veliko Tarnovo

Getting to Veliko Tarnovo is relatively easy, with several transportation options available to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some popular ways to reach this beautiful Bulgarian city:


By Air: The nearest airport to Veliko Tarnovo is the Sofia Airport (SOF), which is well connected to major cities in Europe and beyond. From Sofia, you can take a taxi or a bus to Veliko Tarnovo, which is approximately a 3-hour drive away.


By Train: Veliko Tarnovo has its own train station, making it accessible by rail from various cities in Bulgaria, including Sofia and Plovdiv. Trains offer a comfortable and scenic journey, allowing you to admire the picturesque landscapes along the way.


By Bus: Buses are a convenient and affordable option for getting to Veliko Tarnovo. The city has a central bus station with regular connections to major cities in Bulgaria. You can check the schedules and book tickets in advance from reputable bus companies or at the bus station itself.


By Car: If you prefer a more independent mode of transportation, driving to Veliko Tarnovo can be a great option. The city is well connected to the national road network, making it easily accessible from different parts of the country. Car rental services are available both at Sofia Airport and in Veliko Tarnovo.


By Shared Transfer: Another option is to arrange a shared transfer or a private taxi from Sofia Airport or other nearby cities. This provides convenience and door-to-door service, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey without worrying about navigation or parking.


Once you arrive in Veliko Tarnovo, the city is relatively small and easy to navigate on foot. Taxis and local buses are also available for getting around within the city and exploring the surrounding areas.


Remember to check the latest transportation schedules and book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Consider your preferences for comfort, convenience, and budget when deciding on the best mode of transport to reach Veliko Tarnovo, and be prepared to embark on a journey filled with history, scenery, and Bulgarian charm.



Veliko Tarnovo, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm Bulgarian hospitality, is a destination that captivates visitors from around the world. Whether you’re exploring the ancient fortresses, wandering through the charming Old Town, or immersing yourself in the cultural heritage of the city, there is no shortage of experiences to be had.


From the Tsarevets Fortress and the Monument of Asenevtsi to the Transfiguration Monastery and the Samovodska Charshia, each attraction tells a unique story and offers a glimpse into the past. The city’s museums, traditional folklore shows, and mouthwatering cuisine only add to the allure.


Veliko Tarnovo’s natural beauty and outdoor activities provide an opportunity to connect with nature, whether it’s hiking through scenic trails, kayaking along the Yantra River, or simply basking in the tranquility of the surrounding countryside.


Choosing the best time to visit Veliko Tarnovo depends on your preferences, whether it’s embracing the vibrant atmosphere of summer or enjoying the serenity of a snowy winter. Regardless of the season, Veliko Tarnovo promises a memorable experience.


Getting to Veliko Tarnovo is convenient through air, train, bus, or by driving, and once you arrive, the city is easily explored on foot or with local transportation options.


In conclusion, Veliko Tarnovo is a hidden gem in Bulgaria, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and warm Bulgarian hospitality. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, Veliko Tarnovo offers an unforgettable journey through time and a chance to create cherished memories.