I’ll be honest with you: this Bulgaria travel article was written begrudgingly.
Not because I don’t adore Bulgaria, or because there’s a shortage of things to lovingly dote on. Rather, it’s the opposite. Bulgaria is so great, I want to selfishly keep it as my own travel secret.
Let’s rewind a bit. My love affair with this underrated Balkan powerhouse began over a year ago, when I first flounced from Sofia to Varna, discovering that Bulgaria was a country with not just limitless beauty by the bucketload, but incessant calories to keep energy (and weight gain) sky-high.
And as I would soon discover, Bulgaria is unique. Not only is it packed with peculiar, mindblowing, almost alien-like sights, but it’s also packed to the brim with photogenic gems that (in any other part of the world) would command literal mobs of Instagramming zombies.
Honestly, when it comes to the cool and offbeat, Bulgaria is the reigning king. If there’s one thing you should take away from this post, it’s this: GO TO BULGARIA. JUST DO IT. You’ll gain fifty pounds and contract “insufferable Bulgari-osis” which is a disease I just made up. Symptoms include an incessant yapping about your Bulgaria trip and being terrible at parties, but it’s okay. *whispers* it’s all for Bulgaria.
Yikes. I’m starting to sound too much like a propaganda poster, so let’s jump right into the good stuff.
Tell me in the comments: what are some other amazing places to see in Bulgaria? I’ve tried my best to sum up the best of Bulgaria in this post, but after only two visits, I’m sure I’ve missed more gems! Feel free to share below 🙂
Unique Things to do in Bulgaria that will Make You Go “Whaaat?!”
If I sound a tad fanatical, it’s for good reason. Take a shot of rakia and indulge me for a few minutes as you scroll through this list. I promise you’ll become a believer quicker than I can inhale a block of Bulgarian white cheese (which is fast, by the way).
PS: There are SO many interesting places to see in Bulgaria, I would probably be publishing a full-on encyclopedia if I included them all. Instead, I’ve had to choose my favorites, and here they are.
Without further ado, here are some things that you can’t miss when you visit Bulgaria:
1. Explore the ruins of an abandoned UFO
Built as a communist meeting place in the 1970s, Bulgaria’s Buzludzha monument is an abandoned relic that sits ominously on a peak in the Stara Zagora province. Nicknamed Bulgaria’s “UFO”, its imposing concrete structure and sporadic bouts of dense, white fog will make you feel like you’ve teleported to an eerie sci-fi movie. As you navigate the hairpin turns that beam you up to this real-life flying saucer, you quickly start to feel like you’re traveling to the ends of the Earth.
Once upon a time, actually breaking into Buzludzha was one of the favorite things to do in Bulgaria for eager backpackers and modern Indiana Joneses. These days, doing so is virtually impossible thanks to a security guard (who clearly hates his job a lot, but that’s another story). I’ve visited during both my Bulgaria trips and it has always been a highlight.
While the most exciting way is to rent a car and explore for yourself, you can easily book tours that take you there (especially through local hostels). If you prefer to book online in advance, click here for a tour!
RANDOM TIP: Don’t miss the stone monument that sits just below Buzludzha – it’s two massive fists holding up torches and looks really cool.