The capital of Bulgaria, Sofia is both a modern city and an historic treasure filled with landmarks reflecting over 2,000 years of Greek, Roman, Ottoman, and Soviet occupation. Away from the buildings and boulevards, vast parks and manicured gardens offer a welcome respite. Many cultural institutions are located in Sofia, including the National Opera House, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Music Academy, and the Ivan Vazov National Theater. Residents and visitors alike enjoy some of Bulgaria’s finest museums, theaters, sidewalk cafés, art galleries, and open markets.


With a lively nightlife and millennia-old ruins, Plovdiv mingles both the new and the old. Like Rome, Plovdiv straddles seven hills; but as it is Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city it is far more ancient. The romantic old town is packed with 19th-century mansions that are now house-museums, galleries and guesthouses.

Bulgaria’s second cosmopolitan city hosts many music and art festivals which draw large crowds, while renovations in the Kapana creative quarter and Tsar Simeon Gardens have given the city new spirit. Plodiv sits between Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey, and was once a good place to stop for any weary traveler.


Varna, a port city and seaside resort on Bulgaria’s Black Sea, is considered the sea capital of Bulgaria. With vibe of a modern metropolitan city, you only have to walk a few steps from the hustle and bustle to find forgotten side streets and ancient Roman ruins. The city is known for the "Gold of Varna"--6,000-year-old Thracian jewelry discovered in a necropolis--displayed at the Archaeological Museum. In the summer, Varna comes alive as a European cultural center, hosting the world-renowned Varna Summer International Festival and many other events.