For those who don’t know, every time I traveled to Bulgaria (before moving here) my exploring was limited. In other words, I haven’t seen a lot of Bulgaria – until now! My parents visit often and my dad is actually here now so I decided to take a week off of work and go on a road trip throughout Bulgaria while we both had the chance! We mainly stayed on the Western/Central side of Bulgaria and I have to stay that it is one BEAUTIFUL country.
Here is a breakdown, day by day, of what we did and where we went!
Day 1 and 2: Plovdiv
Plovdiv is the 2nd largest city in Bulgaria and one with a lot of history, especially in Old Town. Being my first time here, we decided to explore as soon as we got there. Since it was later in the day, a lot of the museums were closed, but we still got to see a lot of Old Town. The houses are beautiful there and full of color. They are mainly from the 19th century and a lot of them double as museums. The streets are made up of cobblestones and it is such a pretty sight. We made our way to Nebet Tepe (Nebet Hill) which is where you can see a panoramic view of Plovdiv. It is actually an ancient settlement from the 12th century BC and still has some of the stones and walls scattered around.
Our second day in Plovdiv was spent walking around, running a few errands, and of course, eating. We started off our day by walking through Kapana, which is considered to be the art district or neighborhood of Plovdiv. One of the most popular bars/hangout places in Plovdiv is called Kotka i Mishka (Котка и Мишка)or “Cat and Mouse” – right next door is a café called Central Perk – A.K.A. the same name as the one from the TV series Friends (my favorite). We ended up sitting there for coffee before continuing on with our day.
During our time in Plovdiv, we found a couple of good restaurants – one of which was Smokini (which means Fig in Bulgarian). The food was delicious and as a chocolate soufflé connoisseur, I have to say that their soufflé made the Top 3 on my list.
My dad and I explored the city center (or main street) of Plovdiv, more of Old Town, and made our way to the Ancient Roman Theatre which is actually still used for various festivals today! We, unfortunately, weren’t able to go in because it was closed both days that we were there. I recommend getting a Plovdiv City Card online or through the app to get access to a lot of the museums for a small fee. Excuse me for the poor picture of the theatre below… I was trying to secure my phone through the gated fence and take the picture at the same time.
Day 3: Pamporovo and Smolyan
Our road trip throughout Bulgaria continued as we made our way to Pamporovo which was about an hour and 30-minute drive or 80km (50mi). On our way there, we stopped by the Bachkovo Monastery which is one of the biggest Monasteries in Bulgaria after the Rila Monastery. There is so much history and beauty here – I 100% recommend it.
Once we got back on the road, we decided to swing past the Чудните Мостове (Chudnite Mostove or The Wonderful Bridges). Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make it down to see the bridges, but we did climb to the top of them! The road there was long, full of turns, and potholes, but the view from the top was amazing. If you are the adventurous type, there is a zip line that you can ride which will take you from one side of the bridges to the other.
Stay Tuned For More
I am going to end here for now and continue next week with Part 2 so this blog doesn’t get too long. Let me know what you think about my road trip throughout Bulgaria so far! Have you ever been to any of these places?