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5 Top Attractions of Bulgaria, an Undersung European Gem

photo: Evgeni Fabisuk

When you're looking for a place to get away and enjoy a relaxing vacation, but you want somewhere different that isn't a typical tourist location, consider taking a trip to Bulgaria. Though not usually the first place that most would think about when planning a getaway, the country has many amazing sights to see and places to explore.
 

Whether you're interested in visiting an ancient monastery, a centuries old cathedral or a scenic sea garden, you will find plenty of exciting things to enjoy. Here are just 5 of the top tourist attraction in Bulgaria for you to visit.

Cathedral Saint Alexander Nevski - Sofia


Set within the western village of Sofia, the Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevski (top) is a Bulgarian Orthodox church that begun in 1882 and completed in 1912. Featuring a gold dome and neo-Byzantine architecture, it was built as a memorial to the soldiers who passed away in the Russo-Turkish War that took place between 1877 and 1878. This cross-domed basilica also includes 12 bells and features an Italian marble interior decor with other materials that include alabaster and Brazilian onyx. Open each day from 7 am to 6 pm.


Sea Garden - Varna


Located along the Black Sea in Bulgaria, the city of Varna features an amazing Sea Garden, known to be one of the largest of all landscaped parks in the Balkans. The Sea Garden (also known as the Seaside Garden) began as a small garden in 1862 and was later developed into a seaside park in 1881. Associated with Czech gardener Anton Novak, it includes a variety of plant species from places like France, Germany and the Netherlands among other areas.The sea garden and local park is a popular place for the citizens of Varna to gather and enjoy relaxing in the soothing environment. The park also includes an open-air amphitheatre and children's amusement park along with a zoo and natural history museum.


3. Borovets Ski Resort - Borovets


Set within the Rila mountains of Bulgaria, the Borovets Ski Resort features luxury hotels along with restaurants, bars and shopping venues. The resort offers plenty of winter activities from skiing and snowboarding to ski-doos and cross-country trails. The resort includes ski runs for all levels of expertise and the slopes are covered with snow from December to April. The resort is just 54 miles from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria and is at 8,500 ft above sea level. If you enjoy the mountain atmosphere and winter sports, check out Borovets Ski Resort.


photo: Detelina Petkova


Rila Monastery - Rila


Located in the forests of the Rila Mountains, the Rila Monastery includes 29,000 square feet of dwellings, farm buildings and a monastery that features unique Bulgarian architecture with stone walls in the shape of an irregular pentagon. Originally built in 927 A.D. by Saint Ivan of Rila, it was intended to be his home, allowing him to live as a hermit. After its completion, it became a school for the students of Saint Ivan to receive an education. Supported by the Bulgarian government, the monastery became a spiritual and cultural centre for the Bulgarian people, and today it is a premier example of Bulgarian architecture and culture.


Palace and Botanical Gardens of Balchik


Set on the Bulgarian Black Sea coastline, the Palace and Botanical Gardens of Balchik was originally created to be the summer residence of Queen Maria of Romania. The palace was her residence from 1926 to 1937, and was known as the "Quiet Nest Palace." Queen Maria passed away in 1937 and the palace and gardens became an example of coastal Bulgarian architecture and landscaping. Opened to visitors, they provide visitors with examples of the local trees and vegetation along with interior decor and designs of royalty in Bulgaria.

 

Living in Bulgaria

 

Bulgaria is a great place to visit on vacation, but Bulgaria is also a great place to live. If you're not committed to moving to the country, you could also get residency in Bulgaria. There are professional services online that you can contact for more information.

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