Romania and Bulgaria are among the most accessible holiday destinations in Eastern Europe. The fact that the two countries are neighboring is an advantage, because it’s very simple to plan a holiday and visit cities and tourist attractions, both in Romania and in Bulgaria.
If you think about where to plan a holiday this year, stop thinking, because you can opt for a holiday in Eastern Europe and we make some recommendations for different vacation options.
One day trip to northern Bulgaria
If you already decided to visit Romania, especially, Bucharest, than all you need is just one day for a quick day trip to Bulgaria, more specifically in the northern region. You can start your trip in Ruse, just right across the border with Romania, and visit both Romania and Bulgaria.
Only 65 km away from Bucharest, Ruse is famous for its unique cultural and natural patrimony, some of it of national and global importance. The city today and its surroundings offer very interesting tourist attractions, but also various tourist services related to many restaurants, cafes, clubs, hotels and shops, concentrated in the central area of the old town. The Basarabov monastery, built in a cave, is located just 10 km away from the city of Ruse, being one of the main attractions in the area.
Not far away, one of Bulgaria’s oldest towns is Veliko Tarnovo. The town is interesting because of the colorful buildings, many dating back to medieval times, that give it a special charm, but the attraction of the city is Tsarevets or simply known as the Veliko Tarnovo fortress. The fortress is beautifully landscaped and includes a park, and at the top of the hill inside the fortress there is the Church of the Blessed Savior. The fortress was used by the Romans and by Thracians as a defensive position, and the Byzantines brought it to its present form. The ruins of more than 400 houses, 18 churches, monasteries, shops and shelters, towers, or gates were preserved.
Finally, just a few kilometers from Veliko Tarnovo is the beautiful village of Arbanassi, a World Heritage site. Asides from the overall feeling of medieval times, Arbanassi has some great antique shops where you can buy some wonderful items at very affordable prices. Of course, a visit to Arbanassi wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Church of the Natitvity, which is half underground.
3 day trip to Bulgaria from Bucharest
For a longer trip, spending more than just one day in Bulgaria, you can opt for a 3-day trip from Bucharest to Bulgaria. The first stop on your trip should be the beautiful area near the Ruselski Lom River. The main attraction in the area is the Ivanovo rock churches (which were built through stone carving). Most churches and cells date back to the 12th-14th centuries. Due to their age, as well as the paintings that still cover significant parts of the walls, the objectives became part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 1979. The murals are loaded with antique motifs – nude carotids, lion capitols and masks.
After visiting the rock churches, you can reach Veliko Tarnovo and its attractions, especially the Samovodene Street, which is best known for the many artisan shops that can be found there, with a large variety of handmade items and art works.
The next day, you can travel to Plovdiv, the second largest city in Bulgaria. It’s one of the oldest cities in Europe that is still inhabited after 8000 years of existence. It also represents a mix of the influences of the Ottoman Empire from the 1300s and the Roman Empire from the antiquity. During the Roman domination, the former Trimontium developed a lot and became the main regional center, building a lot of Byzantine-style buildings, which were later transformed into Oriental monuments by the Turks.
Known for the International Fair organized each year, for the Roman Amphitheater, but also for the 7 hills on which it spreads, Plodviv is a tourist destination for those who want to know more about Bulgarian history.
You can also take advantage of the opportunity ad do some light trekking to the seven Rila lakes. These beautiful lakes are part of the Rila Mountains and are the main source of attraction for tourists who venture to travel to the foothills of the Bulgarian mountains.
For the last day of your trip, you can visit Sofia, by far the largest city in Bulgaria. The capital city of Bulgaria is one of the best European cities for exploring on foot. However, it’s one of the least known cities in the Old Continent. This is because for most foreign tourists, Sofia is usually the point where they head to the Bulgarian seaside or the beautiful mountains of this country. But Sofia has its own charm and rhythm, and today it has an unusually fresh dynamic for a city that has gone through decades of communist regime. The old and authentic feeling that intertwines with the Western image is omnipresent on every corner of Sofia. And the monuments of this historic city are an extra invitation for a stay in the mysterious and beautiful capital of Bulgaria.
10-day tour to Romania and Bulgaria
For those of you interested in booking a tour of Romania and Bulgaria for a longer trip, here’s what you can during a 10-days stay. You can start your tour in Sofia and the first couple of day you could dedicate for visiting the Bulgarian capital with some of its famous attractions (the Alexander Nevski cathedral, the Sveta Sofia church, the National Theatre, the Party House or the Rotonda of Sveti Georgi). Next, you can make a quick visit to Rila Monastery and then head out to Plovdiv.
After sightseeing in Plovdidv, your trip can bring you to the Kazanluk Region. This region is famous mostly for its rose fields, where the Bulgarian rose is cultivated and for the Thracian tombs. The entire Valley of Thracian Kings has several Thracian tombs that date back to the 5th and 3rd centuries B.C. The final stops in Bulgaria can include Veliko Tarnovo and the Arbanassi village.
From there, you can travel to Romania and arrive in Bucharest. Take a trip on the famous Transfagarasan road, when it’s open during the summer season. On the road, you can stop for some pictures and a short break at Poienari fortress, which was rebuilt by Vlad Tepes. Next, you will arrive in Sibiu, where you can take a walking tour of the Transylvanian city and its most famous attractions.
Continue your journey through Transylvania, by visiting the beautiful Hunyadi Castle in Hunedoara County and the Alba Iulia fortress. After all this sightseeing it’s time to stop and relax in the Rimetea village. Other important travel destinations in Transylvania include Turda salt mine and a sightseeing tour of Cluj-Napoca city.
If you want to see some beautiful paintings and find out more about Romania’s history, you should visit the beautiful Bucovina region, with its painted monasteries and churches. Plenty of these monasteries are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
South from Bucovina you can visit other interesting places, such as the Bicaz Gorges, the Red Lake (which was formed relatively recently, in the 1830s) and the Praid village, known mostly for its salt mine. Finish the last days of your trip by visiting some of the “must-see” Romanian travel destinations: Sighisoara, Brasov, Bran Castle, Peles Castle and the village of Viscri. Don’t forget to relax and unwind on an easy trekking tour in the Bucegi Mountains.
Romania and Bulgaria summer tour
Finally, if all you want is beach, sand and sun for a nice and relaxing summer vacation, than a summer tour in Romania and Bulgaria is all that you need!
Start you tour in Bucharest, with a trip to the Danube Delta. You won’t regret going on a boat ride and observing the rare bird species that can be found in the Delta. Next, a visit to the city of Constanta will bring you on the Black Sea coast. The old casino and the artifacts dating from the Roman period are the highlights of a sightseeing tour in the city.
After the first couple of days, it’s time to cross the border to Bulgaria and make a quick stop at the charming Balchik Castle and at the Kaliakra cliffs. These cliffs form a rocky wall that reaches almost 70 meters above the Black Sea. The view from above is simply stunning. The Balchik Castle was built in 1924 by Romanian king Ferdinand as retreat place for Queen Mary.
From there, it’s easy to reach the famous Bulgarian resort Golden Sands. During your tour, you can also visit Varna, one of the most beautiful coastal towns and the Euxinograd Palace, which is located just outside of Varna. Other beautiful resorts include Nessebur and Sozopol, which you can visit on your way south to Plovdiv.
The last days of your summer tour are perfect for sightseeing and visiting some of the most beautiful attractions in Plovdiv and Sofia, such as the Roman Theatre,or Rila Monastery.
In a nutshell, if you don’t know where to plan your next exciting trip, especially if you’re on a budget, consider a tour of Romania and Bulgaria, some of the most affordable and beautiful Eastern European destinations.