Fun things to do in Bulgaria? What are the secret things only locals do?

What are some fun things to do in Bulgaria which tourists rarely experience?


Country: Bulgaria


My personal top 3:
1. Drink a beer in the big, outdoor hot mineral pool near the beach in St. Konstantin & Elena - with snow all around!
2. Nightlife on Varna beach in the high summer. 3 km. of bars, cafes, restaurants and discos. Dance under the stars with the sea behind you and an ocean of Varna party-people in front of you
3. Go inland and experience the astonishing mountain views and fresh air
Do you know, that in Bulgaria there are over 900 mineral water springs with different minerals and temperature, most good for bathing and drinking? Many are functioning as public baths, many are included in hotel's treatment's programms,many are private mineral treatments.
Do you know that on these geographycal teritorries here your idea about having good time and fun is practticing already some 2000 and more years by now? The only difference is the wine rather than beer.
discover new culture and tradition
eco adventure
swiming in Black Sea
hike and climb
relax in spa
Dear Team,
Here is a brief list of the things to do in Bulgaria.
The varied scenery, proven ecological factors, peace and quiet of the Bulgarian village are sufficient prerequisites for active holidays and relaxation in an unusual environment. All four seasons are suitable for rural tourism. Each season has its own fascination and holds unexpected surprises for today's urbanized man. If you want to immerse yourself in a domestic atmosphere, lifestyle and customs, you will no doubt want to get a taste of a farmer's daily chores.Products such as butter, cheese and yogurt are still made at home according to old technologies, fruit and vegetables are grown, herbs and mushrooms picked, etc.
- cooking according to traditional recipes, embroidery, and knitting.
- anyone is able to experience something new and make his dreams come true.
- Rural homes combine traditional furnishings with modern comforts and radiate coziness and warmth. The friendly hosts welcome their guests with the famous Bulgarian hospitality.
- The days are filled with good mood and unforgettable experiences.
If you have any interest in our country, I recommend you to check out our web site:, where you can find many more details, photos, videos, routes... about an unforgettable stay in Bulgaria.
Thanks for your interest in our country!
Best wishes
Plamen Yordanov
Visit the Northern coast to see Durankulak and Shabla, drive inland to Srebarna to see the Pelicans, then through Ruse to Veliko Turnovo to experience the Sound and Light spectacular!!!
Dear Sir,
I regret to have to tell you that we cannot see the Pelicans in Srebarna. We the careless Bulgarian people have destryed their enviroment. The birds are now in Romania. Sad, but true. Can we do something to help and protect many other reservs along the Bulgarian Balck sea coast?... Did you know that the DUNES in Nessebar, Sunny Beach and Ravda are totally destryed by us - the Bulgarians? Dunes are alive creatures eh... We are so eager to make money that we easy ruin all we have, and most of all we destry Nature. Instead of dunes we now have many EMPTY hotels. Should I countinue? Guess you know most of those.
- Descent on the rapids of Struma River by inflatable kayaks or raft and after that relax in hot mineral water pool.
- Two-day descent by inflatable kayaks on Arda River in a rocky and wild gorge, without any villages, roads or even paths. It is a great outdoor challenge./springtime only!/
7 weeks before Easter in some places in Bulgaria there is a very interesting and rare to see celebration called - Urugliovitza.
The neighbourhood boys and young men (still not married) make a big fire from corn-straw and torches from cherry-tree.
Then they jump over the fire and spin the torches ...
It usually happens night time and the spectacle is amazing!!!
Things locals do that most tourists dont know about in Nessebar (during summer):
- snorkling - some locals just love fresh clams.
- diving - kids and grown up kids (hehehe) jump to compete from the many jetties we have here. It's great fun.
- picknicking - sometimes we even stay the whole night.
These are only a few of the many fun things we do here for fun :)
Things locals do that most tourists dont know about in Nessebar (during summer):
- snorkling - some locals just love fresh clams.
- diving - kids and grown up kids (hehehe) jump to compete from the many jetties we have here. It's great fun.
- picknicking - sometimes we even stay the whole night.
These are only a few of the many fun things we do here for fun :)
If you are keen in mountain trecking and camping you would definitely like to go up to 7 Rila lakes and then down to Rila Monestary in a two-day trip, passing by also the gorgeous Mount Maliovitza. Right accross the ridge you can see Mount Musala 2925m high and plan a new trip to climb it after a good sleep at fresh air under the milky way.
Spending a night under the sky in Rila you may count billions of stars.

I would recommend also 2-3 day trips in Pirin mountain and in Stara Planina Mountain. Just check out on the internet and plan a trip on your self.

Summer Camping in mountains is recommended between June and October.

I recomend also a 2- day trip with a car from Sofia to Belogradchick cliffs - one of the new 7 world wonders pretendents.

Bulgaria is fun itself.
Some more or less secret things:
1. Hanging around some excellent bars, cafes and clubs in Sofia where you can enjoy yourself by:
- listening to great jam sessions,
- tango dancing and/or watching,
- eating delicious and healthy food in cozy small restaurants,
- art galleries offering brilliant paintings and glass of wine,
- touch of magic objects and making wishes, etc.
No names, secrets are revealed only to those who look for them.
2. Mystic places and rituals
- Strandja mountain fire dancing,
- Thracian megalithes and caves in Rhodope mountains and in North BG - Utrobata cave, Tatul sanctuary
- Natural park Yailata - 5,000 year old tombs on the Black Sea Northern coast
- Rila and Pirin mountain - lake tours, Bez Bog part of Pirin mountain
3. Some hidden and still not spoilt thermal sources and fantastic waterfalls - Pchelin, dolna Banya, Raysko pruskalo.
4. Purely rustic tourism in mountain villages.
Oh my, there is enormous variety of secretive pleasures!!!
Just sit and chill in one of the thousands coffee shops in the city drinking coffee or beer. If you are tired of urban environment for 20 min you can go to Vitosha mountain. If it's in winter or spring you can ski, if it's in summer or fall you can hiking, picnic etc..
About the night... you can visit some of the night clubs, bars, disco clubs in the downtown ( I prefer the clubs in the downtown, because there are many in so-called "Student City", but they are full with village people.
If you have time you can visit Plovidiv city. It's 1h 30min by car or 2h by bus. It's really beautiful, there is an old town
Well, in fact the only thing you cannot do in Bulgaria is.. be bored of something. As maybe all of you know, in Bulgaria there is perfect sea with many beaches, bars, discos, prety women, various alcohol and so on. We have also many and different mountains. Rila and Pirin are really exciting and godly beautiful. They are for people liking extreme situations but also for people who would like just to get some walk in fresh air. Its just unexplainable.. you should feel it. Said in two words, Bulgaria have all the entertainment of the west countries combined with the beautiful nature of the all the other world. I have always said that if we had in Bulgaria Kangaroo, we would be one mini model of the world ;)
What do you consider "FUN"?
Fire dancing (nestinarstvo) if you brave enough...Look at my profile
Top 3 in and around Bansko:

1, get up the mountain in the summer make your own BBQ and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful surroundings.
2, Spend the day at the natural Mineral pools in Banya and Dobrinishte for the price of a UK pint.
3, Spend the long summer evenings in the main square in Bansko taking in the scenery, spending time with locals, grabbing an evening meal outside a local Mehana and just relaxing !!
Many are the things one can enjoy and have fun in Bulgaria. What most (even local people) don't think about, and these are not to be found in information guide books are few absolutaly empty villages totally isolated from the civilization. I know two in the Rhodopi mountain. In the first village lives only one man at age of 69. He keeps in good condtion the 40 houses, which people left as well, as the mosque and the church. The man lives on his own production of vegetables and milk products. He has some caws, sheep goats a donkey and chicken. There is no access to the village but walking only, if you KNOW the way through the forest.

In the other village there are two old people remaining after over 100 left in 1985... The Mother Nature and lost mountin hikers know about them. One can hardly imagine how nice they feel, how healthy and friendly they are. And they sing tremendously well.

Apart from the above, apart from many other wonders in BG., few are these who know that the fashion high quality French underwear is producing (hand made only)in forgotten places deep in the Pirin mountain. Guess who makes them? - Six ladies over 70 years of age. Can you think of other example of open minded old people to make modern sexy underwear with such creativity, beauty and art worth for Royalty?

By all means one should know someone local to tell you, to show you, to take you to places like those. My list is really long full with real true places and stories.

And, by the way if you go on your own and if you prefer mountains to the sea, please mind - the brown bears are friendly, not dangerous at all. The bear would only ask you for a chocolate and if you please have some knowledge of German.
Ah yes, together with the good wine, in BG there is a desert (small one of course) with sand's pyramides (I am not talking about welknown Melnik and the area)just like in Mexico. Wish you good time in BG
Visit the old town of Sozopol on The Black dates back to 300 ad and has some beautiful scenery. "Villa's Hotel" is a lovely place to stay and has probably the best restaurant in the area.

Make a trip to the mountains and spa hotels during the summer as they are much cheaper "out of season" and much more peaceful than the hustle bustle of The Black Sea.

Make the journey to the town of Sandanski the birthplace of "Spartacus". There are some lovely spa hotels with thermal water. The fresh country wines are excellent.. no added ingredients or preservatives "no headaches" lol. It's only an hour from the Greek border so you can visit the Greek coastal city of Thesaloniki as well!
Well there isnt much secret that Bulgarians do that IS a secret anymore, maybe the fact that they still take a small barbeque and some meat, fish & fresh vegetables and go off into the country to eat in the middle of a wood or onto some hard to find beach.

Bulgaria is a large country with a small population so there are great areas of ...well nothing!
The people are still much in touch with their countryside and nature,in wildlife, with the woods glades & forests where solitude & quietness still exist.

So for me,when & should I need it, theres tranquility and silence,the commodities the West would love to have back, but cannot, having buried it under concrete or destroyed with rows of Electricity pylons. What fills Blgaria's space is diverse & varied; flat open steppeland covered in crops, broad mountain ranges, fierce or slow flowing rivers that cut through pine forest or farmland, wetlands and woodland, peninsulas and cliffs.

There are perhaps a handful of modern towns like Varna (where I live)mine skirts the Black Sea and it encapsulates the changes that have taken place since the Soviets retreated back into Russia leaving their satellite states to sink or swim in the unfamiliar Western world. Varna is a melting pot of old communal concrete blocs, ugly statues that commemorate Soviet achievement crumbling now against the McDonalds culture of high rise steel and glass which exemplifes the new Bulgaria. Varna is a mix of the old and the new which sometimes works and sometimes doesnt.
What does work can be enchanting, and incudes the 90,000+ sq metres of the Sea gardens which was finished around 1911 by Czech gardener Anton Novak. The gardens consist of fountains,pools,streams,some good Bulgarian sculpture laced with concrete Russian monuments,Impressive trees,shrubs & beds of flowers. In 1968 the Observatory and Planetarium were added plus the now outdated Varna Zoo which is also a part of it charm. The children’s corner and Dolphinarium are also popular attractions in this huge green machine that flanks the Black sea and offers views that ease the troubled soul.
The garden extends South to Varna port one way passing the outdoor Naval Museum and towards Golden Sands resort to the North.

Here around Varna, up and down along the coast are mixed tourist resorts and scattered secluded beaches only reachable by foot or 4 x 4 vehicles. Varna has its own airport and is the hub of the Black Sea so is unmissable.
To come to Bulgaria and not see Varna? Its not feasable.

Inland from Varna and across Bulgaria there are small villages, in the interior there are many dying villages where it seems like you are walking onto a movie set for Animal Farm.
To the south towards the border with greece the Rhodope mountains echo the highlands of Scotland with narrow twisting roads cutting through pine forests.

Monasteries abound in Bulgaria, often the oldest buildings here,attended to by bearded Monks. The Rila monastery is famous through Bulgaria and cradled in the Rila mountains,a must to view Bulgaria's past.

Bulgarian towns can echo 1984 so take some time to witness the results of the death of communism and explore the time in Bulgaria when collective farming/Indusry took place orchestrated by the grey men of Moscow.
Find those old Soviet Airstrips, huge old tractor Factories, dilapidated cow farms littering the now empty villages only reached by broken roads.

But along the route through this empty landscape swifts swoop into the rain puddles in the broken roads where donkey and horse drawn carts still trundle along. Here trees line the roads bursting into blossom in the spring, sheltering eagles hawks & owls which sit in trees watching for field mice, kings of the ploughed fields.

Bulgaria has a savage beauty that will appeal to some and repel others, it is to me a land of possibilities of "what ifs?"

You should see Bulgaria or yourself and judge it as I can only paint in poor words that which needs to be seen by the eyes and evaluated by the heart.
For me, in the summer every Sunday is a picknick day :)
Its a thing you cant succesfully do in the UK (Picnic) as you cant find the peace & quiet you find here in Bulgaria.
In the UK you spend hours in a traffic jam getting to wherever it is you are going then another 30 minutes finding somewhere to park.
Here I have found 2-3 beaches over the Asparuhovo bridge and to the south not far from Varna and Maybe some days there will be only 20 people on the beach?
Bulgarians should take their rubbish home though and remember to keep the wild places clean :-)
I would offer You to visit the old capitals of Bulgaria- Pliska,Preslav, Veliko Tarnovo, the monastries with their unique architekture and special atmosphear- Rila monastry,Bachkovo, Ivanovo rock monastery.The Tracian treasures are also interesting with theire fine art.You can see them in the Valey of the Kings or You can see the oldest gold in the world in the archiological museum of Varna.What teh Bulgarians often do is to have a rest in small villages built in the style of the Bulgarian Renaissance- Zheravna,Kotel, Brashlian,Teteven,Troyan,Triavna.You can see there some traditional crafts and arts or simply have a good rest in a calm and comfortable place, eat some lockal food and taste the different sorts of wine or rakia.If You want to learn some more about the folklore You should visit the village Balgari in the Strandzha mountain on the 03.06 and see the fire dance or visit the fest of Kukeri at the end of winter. And if You like modern art visit the town Sosopol at the begining of september.From the 01.09 to 10.09 there takes place the art festival Apolonia.
If You like nature visit the natural parks and reservs all over the country- the lake Srebarna with the different bird species, the lakes around Bourgas, the lake with the water lilies clouse to Primorsko,Rila,Pirin, Central Bolcan,Strandzha, go fishing or hunting.Ecotourism, mountain biking, climbing, skiing, rafting are beloved by the locals in the mountains.And diving,snorkling, surfing prefer the people by the sea. And if You like parites there are lots of bars and diskos or You can visit the fest in KAvarna July Morning or the house and techno party by Varvara in july or august.
There are many other oportunities to enjoy the time in Bulgaria.You only have to mension what are Your interests.
If you are young and you like the night life I'd recommend you the discos on the beach of varna because they are a lot more fun than the discos in Golden sands and St. St. Kons. and Elena,but they are not so popular for the tourists. And if you are not so young or if you don't like it to party loud you can try the mineral pool on the beach of varna. The water in it is very good for your health. It reduces the stress and the blood pressure and the experience is great.On the other side nevermind the age I'd recommend everyone to visit the best restaurant in varna - Raponggi.There you will try delicious meals in a pleasant athmosphere with relaxing music.
Bulgaria is nice please for holiday!
If you are 18-25 years, you must to see the summer resorts Sunny besch and Goldan sands! Inside you find the nice nigth live, cheap drink and hotels! Look : ;
If you are 25-30 years and have got kids; You need special offer for families hotel with rich family programs!
If you want to see Bulgaria inside- " valley of roses" nice place with richest history memories! Good for looking last week of may, first week of june!
What tourists rarely experience are the off-track villages, mostly in the mountains, where you could see how the locals live (and they live quite different compared to the citizens of big towns) and could taste natural food and drinks (very cheap), talk to funny old people, etc.
You should try the smallest town in Bulgaria - Melnik, located in the mountains near the border with Greece. It is a well known wine producing center. Near the town you can visit beautiful stone formations called "pyramids" and an interesting monastery of big importance to the Bulgarians. Without any doubt, you will spend a perfect night in one of the many pubs in Melnik, tasting their wine and specialties.
Visit small villages and enjoy organic food and the beauty of the pure nature. Visit some of the small, but very fine gallaries. And of course enjoy the bars and the discos everyday
there are no secret things, just be yourself
Actually there's something worth seeing that even most of bulgarians don't know. All over the Rodopi mountain there are ramains from the tracian culture. Most of them temples that look a lot li ke Machu pikchu, or Stonehenge and tombs of course :)
In Bulgarien gibt es interessante Sehenswurdigkeiten wie - kulturelle und historische Denkmalle,Moglichkeiten fur Jagd,Fisch fangen,Pferde reiten,Mineral Quelle und deshalb - Viele Kurorten,SPA Hotels und Strandbaden und andere verschiedene Sachen fur alle Hobbys....
Ive been in Bulgaria many times and I adore this country! And, in my opinion, the best thing they do is a mintcocktail !!! OMG !!! It make you so truthful ! :-)
We have an extraordinary hospitality:-)
Carting track vinitsa is the best one.
Depends on the season you visit our country.
In spring and autumn I would suggest sightseing arround the folowing cities and destinations:
Varna region - Aluja monastery 4-12 century A.C.- one of the many dug in the rock monasteryes in BG; easily approachable with a car or bus; wonderful nature arround it; it is regarded as a cultural sight and has also a small museum - try rockclimbing.
Svishtov city - on the banks of Danube river; visit the rver valley in the Pametnitzite region, the fortress with wonderfull view, or the house-museum of a famous bulgarian novelist - Aleko Konstantinov.
Zlatograd town - in the mid-south of Bulgaria, amongs the Rodopi mountain; wonderful ethnographic area with houses, shops and craftsman streets preseved from arround 1800year; the road through the mountain is wonderful for pictures.
Veliko Turnovo - one of the old capitals of the Bulgarian tzardom; has remains from medieval time - fortress, the Balduin tower, lots of churches as well as houses from the Bulgarina National Revival Period. Try a late night walk - from the lights at the fortress everything becomes different.

In the late spring or early summer, the weather is great for visiting some of the natural parcs and mountains.
Rila mountain - take the road through the largest monastery -Rila monastery, stay a few nights in (chak out the old kitchen - it's a scrily darck chimney-tower with high black walls) and go on through the Rilla National Park to visit the Suhoto ezero (Dry lake - you can take a bath in it whilst it's still full of water, because in the summer it dries totally), Ribnoto ezero (Fish lake - about 15km walk from the nearest carreachable place - the road is nice for camping high up in the mountain, or choose the road going to the famous seven Rilla lakes (Okoto/The Eye, Bubreka/The kidney etc). The forests are from old tall pine trees, lots of small rivers and sharp cliffs for climbing or photoshooting, also some companys offer horseriding.

Rodopi mountain - exept for the dozens of old towns with preserved arhitecture, you can see also large grass covered hills and mountain pastures, hear the bulgarian pipe music (which is the only other instrument of that kind except for the scottish pipe).
Krushunski waterfalls - the Maarata region, close to Lovetch city and Letnitza. Great waterfalls for photographers, anyone who has been there has no regrets! I woud suggest to the bravest a quick bath in the cold but cristal clear waters :)
Chudnite mostove/bridges - the region of Rodopi mountain, close to Chepelare town; ages ago those were caves that in time colapsed and formed natural bridgelike constructions that are covered in plants and hidden deep into the forests. Also a breathtaking place to visit.

Summer - Bulgaria is known for the variety of nature sights it has to offer - plains, high mountains and come to that - a wonderful seaside. Some of the places along the Black Sea coastline you might like to visit:

Kaliakra- a headland north of Varna; has remains from the earliest thrace tribes - 4 century BC., also a fortress from the roman empire, a church etc. Rich in both cultural and natual sights; can also see dophins and cormorans.

Nesebur - in the Burgas and Pomorie region, a city with ages of history, dating back to the thrace tribes, byzantium, the three Bulgarian tzardoms and so on. Nowadays has an old and a new part of the town, the old is connected only with a narow road and is almost an island. Go through the sand dunes to the south beach in teh new city, take a look from the high cliffs above it and than walk along the beach to the wonderful boat club in the night. The water is shalow so you can make a nightswim or spend the late hours in the old city with lots of lights at the remains, take some scary photos there or go to some of the lovely restaurants.
Right next to Nesebur is Sunny beach resourt where you can enjoy water sports, ride a jet, water skying, oing arround with a parachute pulled by a boat etc.

Varna - the marine capital of Bulgaria; has also lots of cultural and religion places to visit - The cathedral Theotokos, the Bachvarov theatre, the Varna Necropol (the oldest gold treasure in the world), the wonderful Aquarium or the Dolphinarium both in the beautiful Marine garden. Along the seashore road of the gardn are situated lots of restourants, clubs and this is where most of the nightlife is.

In the winter any of the mountain resorts would suit your requerments as we are prepairing to join as a candidate for the winter Olympic games.
Vitosha mountain as well as all other bulgartian mountains has a well preserved national park, where you can take a walk, ride a mountain bike or climb the large roks called "mureni", at the region of the Golden Bridges. You will enjoy the sight of the capital of Bulgaria - Sofia, that isa right besides the mountain.
Rila mountain has two nice winter resourts - Borovetz and Pamporovo.

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