Bulgaria, a Balkan nation with a rich heritage, is nothing less than a hidden treasure. Bulgaria is capable of sweeping you off your feet with its natural and enriching beauty, especially during winters. Bulgaria in winter is absolutely magical to experience. From skiing and ice climbing the frozen waterfalls to the dance party on waters of cold biting rivers and having a cozy indoor night by the fireplace, the adventures that the heart of this country beholds can be way beyond your imaginations. Waking up to a snowy paradise is a dream of every traveler, and Bulgaria stands to be the living example to witness the same.
10 Things To Do In Bulgaria In Winter
Wondering why Bulgaria should be your ultimate winter destination this year? We’ve shortlisted 10 things to do in Bulgaria in winter. Take a look:
1. Bulgaria: Snowboard
Bulgaria boasts some of the most divine picturesque mountains of Europe ranging from Alps and Caucasus. During the winters, most of them are covered in snow, forming a gorgeous white sheet all over the country. The capital city Sofia is a home for the most stunning and luxurious ski resorts like Borovets, Bansko, Vitosha or dobrinishte. If you’re a big fan of snow-related sports activities, Bulgaria is the place for you. The ski season takes a leap in December start and functions till late March. So if you’re planning a trip to Bulgaria in the winter months, do not miss their extravagant ski and snowboarding activities. After all, no vacation is complete without getting a taste of adrenaline rush of the outdoors.
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2. Bulgaria: Taste local cuisine
As the saying goes, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. If you’re visiting Bulgaria, make sure to hog on local food. After a rather eventful day on snowy slopes, enjoy the traditional Bulgarian spread in the local restaurants. Situated in the cozy corners of the city, these restaurants are furnished with wooden interiors. Refurnish your taste buds with fresh farm grown vegetables, dried fruits, pickles and minced meat in honey as you enjoy the scenic sights outside your window. Food can connect you to the roots of any place, and the best advisable way to relish the culture and stories of any country is to enjoy a nice meal cooked by locals while listening to them narrate the tales of how a particular dish came into existence.
3. Bulgaria: Celebrate local festivals
December is the best season to visit Bulgaria. Not only will you find the pristine snow-covered mountains and snow activities, you will also get a chance to have the best Christmas and New Year’s celebration of your life. Around this time, the country resonates with folklore music and a festive spirit. Europe is known to celebrate Christmas in the most stunning way possible throughout the world. As they say, if you get a chance to experience Christmas in Europe, you have achieved eternal happiness in your life. Bulgaria is almost always crowded during this season, and thus it is always advisable to book the tickets, resort accommodation, and sightseeing tickets in advance to avoid the last minute price hike.
4. Bulgaria: Go ice skating
Ice skating is the most favorite pastime of Bulgarians during the winters in Bulgaria. People from all around the world visit the country to experience one of the best ice skating rinks worldwide. For the young people, this can be an adrenaline rush satisfying activity and is also considered as a go-to activity for honeymooners. The ice skating rink of Ariana is quite popular among the tourists because of its prime location, the enormous area and the unmistakable beauty that it offers and the free entry cost.
5. Bulgaria: Attend the popular spooky carnival
The carnival season in Bulgaria comes with a twist. There’s a bizarre ancient ritual followed in the deeper parts of Bulgaria. It meant to spook away the evil spirits. The men and women walk and dance around the streets, dressed in scary wild animal costumes, with a large bell around their waist which is called Kukeri. The Surva festival hosted in Pernik is a unique festival that is worth witnessing.
6. Bulgaria: Visit art museums and galleries
Winter in Bulgaria is holiday time, and the whole country seems to rejoice in their roots and celebrate the serenity that their hometown has to offer. The country, fortunately, stands rich in heritage and has its share of antique museums and art galleries. There’s nothing like a visit to an art gallery. There are some world-renowned galleries and museums which luckily remain open in Bulgaria in winter like the National art gallery and Sofia history museum. In fact, Muzeiko museum is a remarkable interactive kids museum, which is also known to be the largest science center of Balkans.
7. Bulgaria: Relax in a spa
What’s better than rejuvenating yourself by indulging in some spa sessions? Winters in Bulgaria can get severely cold. Imagine enjoying the view of snowy peaks as you sit inside a hot sauna tub. You can take a day off from all the outdoor activities and let your body relax. Almost every resort has an indoor spa, making it really convenient for the guests to run back to their resorts for relaxation after a full day of sightseeing.
8. Bulgaria: Take a walking tour
Europe is highly popular for free walking tours. If you want to explore the city and not follow the mainstream path, grab a map from the nearest city centers and start covering the unseen and unknown parts of Bulgaria. During winter in Bulgaria, the country turns into a white wonderland with glittering street lights. A walking tour in the city of Sofia involves encounters with local people, city architecture and even local food. If you don’t want to get absolutely lost in the city, it is advisable to hire a city guide and go along a larger group of people for the city tour.
9. Bulgaria: Connect with your inner self
The famous Rila monastery is a world heritage against a mountainous backdrop. According to many tourists, the air inside the monastery is so pure and clean that you can almost feel it physically. The interiors of the monastery are a piece of art. Every single element and details inside, starting from galleries to the old kitchen and weapon collections, are a mishmash of different historical eras. Apart from this monastery, another spiritual place worth visiting is the Cathedral Saint Alexandar Nevski. The tourists are not allowed to click pictures inside.
10. Bulgaria: Indulge in some wine and cheese
Christmas in Bulgaria is as beautiful as any other European country. Especially during winter, Christmas markets light the city up. These markets have gained immense popularity in recent years. The age-old shop exhibits their products gearing up for the pre-Christmas celebration. The main attraction is the top quality wine collection going back to the ancient Thracians era. They were the pioneer winemakers in the world. Relish the age-old wines with some delicious homemade cheese as you explore the Christmas market of Bulgaria and make the night worth remembering.
Bulgaria in winter is unbelievably beautiful. In fact, Bulgaria happens to be one of the most affordable countries in Europe. The ski and winter resorts as compared to other countries offer accommodation at a very low price. The quality of services and adventures are never compromised upon. The next time you are planning a trip to Europe, make sure you include Bulgaria to your itinerary and experience the country without burning a hole in your wallet.
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