Nestled in the heart of Eastern Europe, Bulgaria and Romania are two of the most interesting yet underrated countries to visit in Europe. With an astonishing wealth of natural beauty to explore, a remarkably rich history, and gloriously beautiful towns that will transport you back in time to a bygone era, these two countries are remarkable spots to discover a different side of Europe.
Thanks to their position at the edge of Western Europe, both Romania and Bulgaria have been influenced by a vast number of different cultures over the years, and as such are some of the most interesting places to visit. If you are cruising to Europe and seeking gloriously picturesque landscapes, marvelous and diverse architecture, and a dive into the rich cultural heritage of the region, then there are plenty of hidden gems to discover in both countries. Take a look at the recommendations below and discover the most charming and delightful towns to visit in Bulgaria and Romania.
Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
Located in central Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo is a town steeped in history and stunning architecture. With its dramatic setting atop three hills and overlooking the meandering Yantra River, Veliko Tarnovo offers breathtaking panoramic views. Explore the medieval fortress of Tsarevets, wander through the narrow streets of the old town, and admire the beautifully preserved Bulgarian National Revival houses.
Nestled in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov is a picturesque town that combines medieval charm with natural beauty. Stroll through the well-preserved Old Town, marvel at the imposing Black Church, and take a cable car ride to the summit of Mount Tampa for panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. The colorful buildings, cobblestone streets, and vibrant squares make Brasov a delight for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Sibiu is known as the cultural capital of Romania and exudes a unique charm that captivates visitors. Its well-preserved medieval walls, colorful houses with clay-tiled roofs, and enchanting squares create an atmosphere reminiscent of fairy tales, while its vibrant arts scene is a huge draw for international visitors. Don’t miss a climb up the Council Tower or a stroll along the Liars’ Bridge as you explore the city.
Tucked away in the Pirin Mountains, Bansko is a charming Bulgarian town known mostly for its proximity to the renowned Bansko Ski Resort. However, the town itself has plenty more to offer than just a jumping-off point for powder hounds – it is a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, with cobbled streets lined with stone houses and traditional taverns serving up amazing local cuisine.
Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a well-preserved medieval gem that transports visitors back in time. Known as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this town is filled with narrow alleyways, colorful houses, and a formidable hilltop citadel.
Situated on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, Sozopol is a picturesque seaside town with a rich history dating back to classical antiquity. It is a wonderful place for a peaceful getaway, where you can relax on the sandy beaches and enjoy fresh seafood at the local restaurants overlooking the sea.
Sinaia, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Carpathians,” is a mountain resort town known for its stunning scenery and royal heritage. Explore the magnificent Peles Castle, a masterpiece of German Renaissance architecture, and take a leisurely walk through the beautifully landscaped gardens. The town’s serene ambiance and proximity to the Bucegi Mountains make it a perfect destination for nature lovers.
Bulgaria and Romania offer a wealth of picturesque towns that combine historical charm, natural beauty, and cultural heritage. Embark on a journey through these enchanting destinations, and you’ll be rewarded with unforgettable experiences and breathtaking sights that will leave you with lasting memories.