Since the year 2007 Bulgaria is a member of the European Union (EU). The Balkan state which borders on the Black Sea is relatively unknown to most European citizens. It has not been on focus of travel groups, organizers, lifestyle moderators, travel journalists or influencers. But this could change soon. Bulgaria is undergoing a sustainable change. A modernization process takes place at the moment. And it affects the whole country. You could recognize the changes everywhere.

Especially in Sofia the change is mostly noticeable, but not only there. If you observe Bulgaria perfunctory you will still recognize the chic of the socialist buildings. But in the trendy districts you will meet graffiti artist, musicians, hip-hoppers or skateboarders. In the scene meetings and clubs new bands appear and the fashion scene is bursting with new ideas. New trendy cafes and restaurants sprout up. Sofia is neither boring nor sleepy. It is pulsing.

You can put the ancient landscapes and traditional places in contrast to that. Bulgaria is known for its attar of roses. The interior is various with its mountains, grass areas, large rivers such as the Danube characterizing the natural treasures of Bulgaria. The country got a large history and carries the roots of the Greek, Slavic, Ottoman and Persian culture. It is the heritage of an ancient civilization, with many different traditions.

Sights in Bulgaria

A number of towns in central Bulgaria which are listed as historical monuments, famous monasteries and museum cities are absolutely worth a trip. On a tour of the monasteries you will travel through nine centuries of Bulgarian intellectual, political and cultural history. The Rila Monastery which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the most famous of them. The fascinating beauty of the imposing complex is revealed at an altitude of 1147 meters. The main church is enchanting with its luminous mural paintings in the interior.

Kloster Rila-Wandmalerein
Monastery Rila-murals
Kloster Rila
Rila Monastery

Tip on the edge: In Bulgaria, the nod of the head is No and shaking Yes ?

The capital Sofia

The Capital of the Balkan state is Sofia. The city is located in the west of the country close to Mt.Vitosha. Since the end of the communism Sofia is still in change and counts as one of the oldest Cities in Europe. The city’s landmarks date back from more then 2,000 years. Some of them were built under the authority of the Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and Soviets.

The magnificent Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the capital of Bulgaria is the second largest Orthodox Church on the Balkan-Peninsula. The impressive church was deigned by the Russian architect Alexander Pomeranzew during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. It is meant to commemorate the 200,000 Russian soldiers who fell while the liberation of Bulgaria in the Russian-Ottoman war in the late 19th century. In gratitude to the Russians who supported Bulgaria by regaining their freedom, the church was dedicated to the Russian saint and patron Tsar Alexander II.

Kirche Alexander Newsk
Church Alexander Newski

The valley of roses ?

The Valley of Roses is an area located in central Bulgaria, 200km eastbound of Sofia. The valley of roses is known for the open-air cultivation of white, pink and red roses, which grow there on wide fields for industrial purposes.The rose is called „The Queen of Flowers“. The rose is regarded as an symbol of Bulgaria worldwide. The country is one of the world’s most important rose oil producers.

Rosensammlerinnen im Tal der Rose
Rose collectors in the Valley of the Rose
Bulgarische Rosen-„Rosa damascena“
Bulgarian roses „Rosa Damascena“

Bulgaria culinary

When you are on a holiday trip food and drinks are always playing an important role, besides your destination and all of those sights. It is always good to get in touch with the culinary part of a country. The cuisine of Bulgaria is incredibly various which you could relate to the different landscapes. Each of those landscapes got their own regional preferences.

Food ?

The Bulgarian kitchen strikes your taste with various spices. Spicy sauces which are served with juicy meat are playing an important role. The Bulgarian kitchen is also prepared for vegetarians. Vegetable stews and fruit dishes are among the favorites of the locals. Also dairy products, cheese and yoghurt are very important in various meals.

Bob Tschorba mit schmackhaftem Fleisch und Gemüse
Bob Tschorba with spicy meat and vagetables 

Bob Tschorba is the national dish of Bulgaria – A bean stew – This can be served in both ways, as an appetizer or as a main course. Bob Tschorba is absolute tasty when its cooked in a clay pot directly above a fire pit. Most of the popular national dishes including all sorts of stews. The Bulgarians got their own bread which counts as national dish.

Drink ?

The viticulture has a long tradition in Bulgaria. It still takes place in the area where the ancient Thrace was located. Bulgaria is one of the world’s largest wine producers. These days Bulgaria produces around 2 Million hectoliters of wine each year, and the country exports about the half of the produced goods. The most important grape varieties including Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Pamid, Rkatsiteli, Melanin and Chardonnay. Melnik is a local Bulgarian grape variety with an endemic character that has been grown for ages in the Southwest of Bulgaria. All attempts to cultivate the grape Melnik in other regions of Bulgaria have been unsuccessful so far.

Wein aus Bulgarien
Wine from Bulgaria

The Villa Melnik is a modern and traditional winery. It is a longterm driven family business in viticulture and wine cultivation.The wines of Villa Melnik have won several awards and have an excellent price / performance ratio. We recommend a visit there. The owners  looking forward to welcome you on their property.

We would like to supplement this overview of the country in the coming weeks with further articles. Stay connected. We look forward to your visits to our blog. This link leads to an article about Romania.