Veliko Tarnovo is in north-central Bulgaria, and it’s a large part of why travelers with an interest in history know that many pleasures are waiting for them in this country. From the ancient Roman theatre in Plovdiv to the beautiful capital of Sofia, Bulgaria has a rich history that dates back thousands and thousands of years. Veliko Tarnovo is known for its architecture in particular, and many visitors plan a trip here solely for that reason and are surprised to discover a destination that is rich in literature and painting as well. If you’re looking for a new cultural destination in Europe, start planning your trip to Bulgaria.
The story of Veliko Tarnovo begins more than 5,000 years ago. This city is one of the oldest in Bulgaria, with traces of human history dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. This fact can be difficult for travelers to wrap their heads around, and repeatedly during a visit to this city you will be stunned by the sheer amount of history. There are many landmarks where you can explore this history, including the ruins of the castle Tsarevets, which once was home to the royal palace. Another fascinating site is called Trapezitsa, and is a fortress located right in the inner city.
Many visitors arrive to Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria with great intentions of seeing a wide variety of historical attractions, but are taken with the beauty of the city. Beyond the main tourist attractions, there are also many scenic look-out points in the city. Bring your camera to capture them, and try not just to rush from historic site to historic site, but also to stop and enjoy the atmosphere. Spending an afternoon at a café doing some people watching is just as important to gaining a cultural perspective of the city as visiting another religious site. Visitors who are interested in local churches will want to visit among others, the church of St Constantine and Helena, that provides incredible views over the Yantra River.
Museums are also an important part of the Veliko Tarnovo experience. One of the most significant is the Archaeological Museum, which serves as a great introduction to local history. One striking monument to visit in the city is the Asens’ Monument, dedicated to the rulers of the Asen Dynasty. Travelers that prefer to wander around instead of visiting monuments should check out a street called Samovodska Charshia, which was once an old trade street and today offers beautifully restored workshops and houses. Remember that many places in Bulgaria operate on a cash economy, so be prepared to pay for gifts and restaurants with cash.
Depending on the length of your visit to Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria there will be plenty more to see. From a visit to the City Art Gallery to gazing up at the traditional architecture of the Bulgarian National Revival, there are attractions around almost every corner. The city is one of Bulgaria’s main tourist destinations, and is often affectionately called Tarnovo. The name was changed to Veliko Tarnovo, meaning Great Tarnovo, in 1965 to celebrate the city’s great history and heritage. By planning a trip here, you can discover for yourself how the city earned its new name.