Top 10 Incredible and Unique Things to Do in Bulgaria | Sights & Attractions

Top 10 Incredible and Unique Things to Do in Bulgaria

If you are planning a visit to Bulgaria or you are currently in the country and looking for fun things to do, we have you covered! Bulgaria is a large country that spans a few different geographical locations. There are the big cities that are home to the culture and incredible food. But there are also small towns that offer the true experience and give you an authentic Bulgarian vibe. Whether you are looking to relax in a spa, sunbathe on the beach, or explore the mountains, Bulgaria has a little bit of everything.

1. Seven Rila Lakes

The Seven Rila Lakes is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful things to see in Bulgaria. Located just under two hours outside of the capital city of Sofia, this beautiful location cannot be missed. Hence the name, there are seven lakes within the Rila mountain range that require a small hike to see them in all of their glory. You start the trip driving up the mountain (enjoying the incredible view in the process). Then you take a cable car to the start of the hike (or you can hike it if you have the time). And start your loop-trail to see all seven of the lakes.

Each of the lakes are named after their appearance and are known as The Tear (2,535 meters high), The Eye, The Kidney, The Twin, The Trefoil, The Fish Lake, and The Lower Lake. You can do the entire almost 10 kilometer loop trail or just parts of it if you’re alright with seeing just a few of the lakes and don’t have time for a whole day hike.

For more details about visiting this amazing location check out our post: (Coming soon)

2. Explore the Capital City of Sofia

Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city, is the largest city in Bulgaria in terms of population. It is also the second oldest city in Europe, and a wonderful place to explore, relax, and enjoy delicious food and historical sites. Whether you are looking to promenade and people watch, enjoy delicious food and coffee, see historical sites and museums, or do some VERY affordable shopping (second hand too), Sofia has a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to also enjoy the historic churches and cathedrals in the city.

Check out the full list of things to do in Sofia here: 10 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Sofia | Exploring the Unique Things in Bulgaria’s Capital City

We were incredibly impressed by the standard o food, restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops in the city. Not only was just about all the food in the Sofia amazing, but the places were also beautifully designed and decorated, and all very affordable.

Be sure to check out the best places to eat here: Where to Eat in Sofia | 11 Best Cafes and Restaurants

3. Relax at the Thermal Spas

Who doesn’t love a good spa day? Especially when it is very affordable and the pools’ waters are sourced from natural thermal springs in the area. There are a few different options for thermal spas across the country, but some of the easiest ones to visit are located just outside of Sofia near Pancharevo Lake. We discovered the Infinity Spa when our hiking plans were halted due to an unexpected storm. We ended up having one of the best experiences ever spending the day at Infinity Spa overlooking Pancharevo Lake. Being able to stay at the spa and in the pools even as the thunderstorms came made for a very memorable experience.

4. Go Horseback Riding

Horseback riding in any country is generally an incredible experience. Combine the natural amazingness of horseback riding with the mountain scenery of Bulgaria and you have memories for a lifetime. We visited Rusaliite Adventure House in Bachevo village for our horseback riding adventures. We went on a two day horseback riding trek, staying at their lodge in between. The horses were beautiful, the small farm was quaint and lovely, and the overall experience defined the epic feeling of our trip. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of galloping through the mountains, drinking fresh mountain water from a spring, and having a picnic lunch in the forest. 100% recommended.

5. Roses of Bulgaria

If you were to ask people what Bulgaria is most famous for, they would most likely tell you “Roses”. The Bulgarian Rose industry creates and exports incredibly high quality roses and perfumes. Bulgarian roses are world famous for their quality and for good reason! The soil and climate in the area has made for the perfect conditions for some of the finest roses in the world. If you want a truly unique experience you can go to Rose Valley or Kazalnak region in the early summer. In the first week of June you can and participate in the Rose Festival. Rose picking rituals, parades, and so much more await you!

If you aren’t able to make it to the Rose Festival itself, you should at least try some of the perfumes and rose infused beverages or delicacies that are offered throughout the country.

6. Explore the Countryside

If you want to get the true, authentic experience when visiting a new country, you can’t just stay in the big cities. If you want toto understand the full vibe of the country, you need to venture out. It would also be a shame to miss some of the stunning views that the mountains have to offer. Bulgaria has a full plethora of incredible small towns to visit in the mountains and villages, some even quite close to Sofia and other big cities. We visited Bachevo village when we went horseback riding. It was lovely to see the slow and quaint village life and talk with the locals (as much as possible with our limited Bulgarian).

One note about the countryside. While the food in Sofia far exceeded our expectations, food in the countryside had the opposite effect. We were in very small villages so the restaurants were featuring local foods with a very limited selection of dishes (mostly meat dishes). But that is the authentic culture, so it was very interesting to learn about it and understand it more!

7. Eat Local Cuisine

You can’t visit Bulgaria without trying some of their most famous dishes. Within Sofia and the other major cities, you can find countless restaurants serving local cuisine. In the countryside they usually only offer local and traditional cuisine. Here are some of the dishes you can’t miss out on:

  1. Banitsa – a traditional pastry with eggs, cheese, and filo pastry
  2. Shopska salad – a simple salad with cucumbers, tomato, peppers, and cheese
  3. Mekitsa – donut-like pastry that is deep fried and served with cheese and jam or honey. This is a typical breakfast for locals in the mountain villages.

There are countless other dishes to try out, so be on the lookout at traditional restaurants for some of their famous goodies.

Be sure to check out the best places to eat here: Where to Eat in Sofia | 11 Best Cafes and Restaurants

8. Visit Plovdiv – Cultural Hub of Bulgaria

Plovdiv is arguably the most beautiful and picturesque city in Bulgaria. It is also the second largest city in Bulgaria and is known as the heart of Bulgaria’s cultural experience. Opera houses and music events combine with art in this quaint and memorable city. It is located only an hour and a half outside of Sofia which makes it an easy place to visit just for a day if you don’t have enough time to stay overnight.

9. Explore the Coastal Cities

Although most people think of mountains and lakes when Bulgaria comes to mind, there is also a very large and beautiful cost along the Black Sea. Cities like Varna and Burgas offer seaside vacations with a resort like atmosphere of relaxing and enjoying the beach. Obviously, the summer makes for the best time to visit this part of Bulgaria as you want to enjoy swimming while you relax at the beach.

10. Explore the Churches, and Cathedrals, and Ancient Monasteries

No trip to Bulgaria would be complete without visiting the countless churches, cathedrals, and ancient monasteries that are speckled throughout the country. Bulgaria boasts over 3,500 churches, over 200 monasteries, and countless cathedrals. St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a Bulgarian Orthodox cathedral in Sofia which is one of the most famous. But there are also countless others scattered throughout the country such as Sveta Nedelya Cathedral Church and Cathedral of Saint Joseph (also in Sofia). Church of Saint Vissarion of Smolyan, which is located in Southern Bulgaria is also quite impressive.

Overall, Bulgaria was a lovely trip. We enjoyed fully our five days there and are sure that you will too!

Looking for the best 5 day itinerary for Bulgaria? Check out our post here: 5 Days in Bulgaria – Ultimate Itinerary for an Unforgettable Trip

Lots of Love and Safe Travels,

Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters


  1. Makes me want to visit

    1. I hope you can visit one day!

  2. Great Pictures and Journalism saved me the Trip

  3. […] Looking for more fun things to do in Bulgaria? Check out our list here: Top 10 Incredible and Unique Things to Do in Bulgaria | Sights & Attractions […]

  4. It makes me happy to read more about Bulgaria nowadays. Nice summary! I’ll also start posting about my latest trips and family visits there soon!

  5. I was supposed to go to Bulgaria a few weeks ago on a lavender perfume making retreat, but it was canceled! I was so disappointed. Enjoyed reading your account and look forward to visiting in the future.

    1. Oh what a bummer! Hope you get to go in the future!

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