Bulgaria is a country rich in both natural and cultural attractions and from a sightseeing perspective it caters to all tastes. Popular things to see and do in Bulgaria include myriad outdoor activities and opportunities for ecotourism, and the country's mountain scenery is unsurpassed. In addition to this natural splendour, Bulgaria has a rich history and folklore and visitors can enjoy a wealth of archaeological sites, religious institutions, museums and ethnographic attractions.
The capital city, Sofia, boasts a number of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Bulgaria, including the Boyana Church, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, St George Rotunda, the SS Cyril and Methodius National Library, and the St Sophia Church. Looming over the city is another great Bulgarian tourist attraction, the Vitosha Mountain, which provides a natural playground for visitors and locals alike in all seasons.
Bulgaria is half covered in mountains and it is the craggy beauty of its many ranges that most characterises the country in the global imagination. The more delicate, flowery mountains in the Rhodope range, which is scattered with picturesque villages, is complemented by the rugged splendour of the Pirin and Rila mountain ranges. Some of the most popular attractions in the mountainous regions are the 10th-century Rila Monastery, the Pirin National Park, the folk centre of Momchiloutsi village, and a number of ancient Thracian sites. This is, of course, in addition to the natural wonders of caves, hot springs, alpine lakes and dense forests.
Bulgaria's tourism tends to be dominated by its many beach and ski resorts but these holiday centres, enjoyable though they are, should only serve as a doorstep into the country, which has a lot to offer travellers, and is often overlooked as a great European destination.
Pirin National Park
Situated in the highest reaches of the Pirin Mountains, Pirin National Park encompasses rugged alpine peaks that rise 8,202ft (2,500m) into the atmosphere with more than a hundred glacial lakes spread at their feet. The magnificent landscape is made up of old forests, waterfalls,... see full details
St George Rotunda
The rotunda church of St George is considered to be the oldest building in Sofia, dating back to the 4th century, and is situated amid the remains of the ancient Roman town of Serdica. The St George Rotunda is famous for its exquisite... see full details
Rising above the capital city of Sofia, Vitosha Mountain is one of the symbols of the capital and is the most visited mountain in Bulgaria. Starting where the suburbs end, the whole mountain has been designated a national park - the oldest in... see full details
The biggest and most famous of Bulgaria's monasteries is situated in the northwestern part of the Rila Mountains and is one of the most significant monuments on the Balkan Peninsula. Rila Monastery was founded by a hermit, St John of Rila, in the... see full details
Just 13 miles (about 20km) west of Varna, Pobiti Kamani (the Petrified Forest) makes for an interesting and worthwhile daytrip. The origin of the stone columns - which measure up to 23 feet (seven metres) in height, and 10 feet (three metres) in... see full details
The Boyana Church complex - located on the outskirts of Sofia - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of Bulgaria's most important tourist attractions. The first of the three buildings that make up the Boyana Church complex was built in the... see full details