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What to visit in/near Veliko Tarnovo – exploring the hidden treasures

Settled in the core of Bulgaria – Veliko Tarnovo is a city that inhales history. This picturesque place, which was once the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, has a rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and a tangible sense of timelessness.

In any case, the charm of Veliko Tarnovo doesn’t stop inside as far as possible. You can visit astonishing locations not only in the city,  but also in the surrounding areas which are absolutely captivating. If you are visiting Bulgaria – you should definitely visit Veliko Tarnovo too, and today we are about to share with you the hidden treasures that are worth seeing.

Veliko Tarnovo – the city’s treasures

Before going to the surroundings of the city, we would strongly advise you to immerse yourself in the city’s treasures:

  1. Tsarevets Fortress – A travel back in history

The Tsarevets Fortress is the absolutely ‘must-visit’ if you are located in Veliko Tarnovo. Located in the heart of the city, it resigns the supreme of Bulgaria. This medieval fortress, roosted on a hill, once used to be the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, and today it is still a reminder of Bulgaria’s glorious past.

Meandering through the fortress is like jumping into a time machine. The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension, the imposing stone walls, and restored palaces – oh, these all transport you back to the time when Veliko Tarnovo was the center of political and cultural life, and believe us – it is absolutely amazing experience.

The stunning views of the city and the Yantra River below will captivate you as you explore the site. In the evening – don’t miss the Sound and Light Show, which brings the fortress’s history to life through a mesmerizing display of lights and music. Tsarevets Fortress will surely stay in your heart forever!

  1. Samovodska Charshia – the taste of the tradition

If you want a genuine taste of Bulgarian culture and tradition, you have to visit Samovodska Charshia, a charming street in Veliko Tarnovo. Here – you’ll find a brilliant collection of specialty shops, studios, and conventional diners.

Walking through the cobblestone roads, where craftsmans create high quality ceramics, adornments, and materials, of – one amazing experience that every visitor will love. You could take a stab at making your own show-stopper in one of the studios.

As you walk, entice your taste buds with Bulgarian food in comfortable bars that serve dishes like kavarma (slow-cooked meat and vegetables), banitsa, and heavenly baklava. Samovodska Charshia is a living example of Bulgaria’s artistic and cultural heritage. Believe us – Bulgarian dishes are always a must-try, especially in towns as Veliko Tarnovo.

  1. The Old Town – beauty untouched by the time

Veliko Tarnovo’s Old Town, also called Varusha, is a maze of thin, winding roads, old houses, and stunning vistas. Walking around this notable quarter wants to step back in time, as you absorb the special structural appeal and quiet environment. And you will surely love the experience at the beautiful old town.

The Church of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki, a small church built in the 13th century that is famous for its well-preserved frescoes, is one place in Varusha that must be seen. You can get in touch with the region’s artistic and spiritual heritage there. You will also have the chance to see a really beautiful place and make some good pictures.

  1. The Asenov Quarter – the creative hub

The Asenov Quarter, settled underneath Tsarevets Hill, is a blossoming imaginative center in Veliko Tarnovo and surely the best place for people that want to enjoy culture and creativity. This dynamic area is home to various craftsmanship displays, studios, and comprehensive developments.

Investigating the Asenov Quarter permits you to draw in with the neighbourhood workmanship scene. Contemporary sculptures, exhibitions, and works by Bulgarian artists are on display – all so interesting and captivating. The area’s imaginative energy is unmistakable, making it a must-visit for those enthusiastically for innovativeness, so don’t ever skip that beauty.

  1. Gurko Steet – breathtaking view

Gurko Street is a picture-perfect street that runs along the Yantra River and is a definitely must-visit. It’s named after the eminent Bulgarian craftsman Stanislav Dospevski, also known as Gurko amongst Bulgarian. Artisan shops, inviting cafes, and colorful houses line the street and create a beautiful feeling.

Walking around Gurko Street is so relaxing that you will surely love it. You can respite to respect the craftsmanship in plain view, taste Bulgarian espresso at a riverside bistro, or basically luxuriate in the excellence of the environmental elements. It’s an ideal spot for a heartfelt night walk or to catch the beauty of Veliko Tarnovo in your movement photos.

Near Veliko Tarnovo – let’s explore the surroundings

Once you have visited all the beauties of Veliko Tarnovo city – you should jump into the surroundings and explore unseen before places, such as:

  1. Arbanasi – Village in time capsule

Located a 4 kilometers from Veliko Tarnovo – Arbanasi is an enchanting town frozen in time, one of the most beautiful places in Tarnovo you can visit. This structural reserve is popular for its all around protected Revival time houses – each decorated with complicated frescoes and wooden carvings.

Arbanasi is like entering a living museum when you go there. You can look inside these old houses, which each tell a story about the past of the area. Try not to miss the Congregation of the Nativity, famous for its extraordinary frescoes that portray scriptural scenes in distinctive detail. So if you are there – do not forget to visit that place.

  1. Preobrazhenski Monastery – beautiful retreat

The Preobrazhenski Monastery, which is close to Veliko Tarnovo, is a peaceful haven from the bustle of city life, one absolutely beautiful place that you have to visit. Settled in the midst of lavish woodlands, this quiet mind boggling traces all the way back to the fourteenth 100 years, oh – what an amazing location!

  1. Dryanovo Monastery – enjoy astonishing cliffs

A short drive from Veliko Tarnovo carries you to the Dryanovo Cloister, one amazing place that again is worth visiting. This monastery, which was established in the 12th century, has been a significant part of Bulgarian history.

The Dryanovo Monastery’s setting is simply breathtaking. As you investigate monastary – you’ll experience the congregation and sanctuaries decorated with surprising frescoes. The nearby Bacho Kiro Cave is an archaeological site that has revealed a lot about the prehistoric era. The blend of regular excellence and verifiable importance makes this objective really extraordinary.

How to get from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo?

You are probably wondering how to get from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo as a tourist. Well, we have some suggestions here! You can choose between taking a bus, going with the train, or choosing a private taxi. Taking a bus is cheap, but not that comfortable. Going for the train is also very cheap, but it will take a lot of time until you get to Tarnovo.

However – going for a private ride with Around Bulgaria is definitely your best choice! Why? Starting with the fact that a private driver will take you from the required location with a specific car that fits your needs, going through the fact that he will take care of every little detail, and getting to the best part – all you need to do is to sit back and relax while you are enjoying your trip to Veliko Tarnovo.

Veliko Tarnovo and its surrounding regions offer an excursion through time and magnificence that will leave you dazzled. Whether you decide to visit the beauties in the city, or the surrounding locations, you will surely be amazed of the breath taking views, the historical places and the tradition of Bulgarians. As people like to say – once you visit Veliko Tarnovo – you always want to come back.

Return to the main post or visit these and more attractions on one of our private day tours.