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Veliko Tarnovo

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The "City of the Czars." Veliko Tarnovo's beautiful architecture and monumental fortress compliment its rugged landscape.
Capital of the medieval Second Bulgarian Empire, which controlled most of the Balkan Peninsula at its height, Veliko Tarnovo is still dominated by Tsarevets. This massive fortress housed the royal and religious palaces, and still covers one of the Old Town's three hills, fully encompassing it with 12-foot walls. Be sure to visit its main tower for striking views of the city. Veliko Tarnovo's cultural and historical riches stretch out beyond the fortress. This city is rich in beautiful Bulgarian National Revival architecture, mostly in the form of whitewashed homes with red rooftops, wooden trim, and ample balconies. This city naturally has showy medieval and Bulgarian Renaissance churches, especially its cathedral, and plenty of museums. Even if you'd rather stay outside and enjoy the weather, Veliko Tarnovo's hilly, rugged landscape, with its steep valleys, makes for plenty of great views, which can be enjoyed from its many affordable cafes.
Route for Veliko Tarnovo tour
A popular stop for travelers passing between Bucharest and Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo is worth spending a night or two. Visitors usually head to Arbanasi, a traditional village nearby beloved for its Bulgarian National Revival architecture and its medieval churches, with rich interiors completely covered in atmospheric paintings. Veliko Tarnovo also lies near one of the country's best wine regions. As is common in Bulgaria, there are extensive ancient ruins nearby, in this case, the Roman town of Nicopolis ad Istrum, built by Emperor Trajan, and sacked by Attila the Hun.

Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring Veliko Tarnovo

Spend some time in Veliko Tarnovo on a tour that takes in other cities in Bulgaria and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including Veliko Tarnovo and other destinations throughout Bulgaria and Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.

* Starting price is based on double occupancy in 3 star accommodation, in the most affordable month an itinerary is offered. Airfare to Europe is not included.

Click on your choice of itinerary, select number of travelers in your party, month of travel, and desired star level of accommodation to get an approximate price. Submit the enquiry form with any additional details and we can start planning your customized trip.

What I love about Veliko Tarnovo


Trip Planner

Tsarevets Fortress is obviously Veliko’s main attraction, and worth visiting, but what I really love about this town are two streets in particular. The first one is Samovodska Charshya, a historical street that’s quite popular. Fully pedestrian and with colorful 19th century Bulgarian Revival houses, this former trade street is once again full or artisans that do a good job at recreating the town's historical atmosphere. The second one is Gurko Street, which isn't very well known, but the views are gorgeous and I love taking this walk whenever stopping a bit in Veliko. The best views are when you pass by Hotel Gurko, and can enjoy a panoramic view over Veliko’s inner valley, the Ivan Asen monument and the State Art gallery.

Where to stay in Veliko Tarnovo

We have selected only the best hotel options in terms of quality and location to make your stay as comfortable as possible. While there aren't many upscale options in Veliko Tarnovo, we've chosen the best 3-4 star options, with views of the city's fortress, as impressive at nights as during the day. Once we start preparing your customized itinerary we will present our recommended options for you to select from.
Central Modern Hotel in Veliko Tarnovo
Central Modern Hotel
A comfortable hotel in the heart of the city with a great view of the fortress.
Modern Boutique Hotel in Veliko Tarnovo
Modern Boutique Hotel
A lovely 4 star hotel located on the main street with a great view over the fortress. It has a great spa!

Things to do in Veliko Tarnovo

The best way to get to know Veliko Tarnovo's proud history is through a private walking tour. This city works well for day trips, especially to the charming village of Arbanasi or the Roman ruins of Nicopolis ad Istrum. When we send you your customized itinerary you will be able to choose additional excursions to include in your vacation package or consider for adding later.

Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Veliko Tarnovo

How long should I stay in Veliko Tarnovo?
We recommend spending a night in Veliko Tarnovo. Usually, you need half a day for a guided tour around the Old Town and Tsarevets Fortress. Additionally, you can also add a quick stop at the nearby Arbanasi Village.
What are Veliko Tarnovo's must-see sights?
Veliko Tarnovo's main attraction is the hilltop ruins of the Tsarevets Fortress, which has retained most of its walls, and some of its towers. The capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, this fortress covers an entire hill, and overlooks most of Veliko Tarnovo. Another big attraction is Samovodska Charshiya, street home to 19th century Bulgarian Revival architecture, and the workshops of many artisans and craftsmen, bringing back some of the place's old atmosphere. You should also stop at the Multimedia Visitors Centre, Rozhdestvo Bogorodichno Cathedral, Forty Martyrs Church, and the Asen Dynasty monument.
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