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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK I will put here photos from little known places, areas, cities and towns in Bulgaria.

Kazanlak is the main town in the valley of the roses, surrounded by lavender and rose fields. This is the Thracian tomb:


The Rose valley itself


The old bath in the Yagoda village, betzeen the town of Kazanlak and Stara Zagora has seen better but it's so unexpected and amazing to see Austro-Hungarian-inspired architecture in a village in Bulgaria:


The tomb near Kazanlak




Koprinka dam near Kazanlak
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Lion fountain in Kazanlak


Further West from Kazanlak is the town of Karlovo, the birth place of our greatest national hero Vasil Levski. This is his museum:








I really like the mix between typically Balkan/Bulgarian with more Western(Austrian)-inspired architecture you can find in Karlovo and other towns near it:


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Apart from Kazanlak and especially Karlovo, Lovech seems to be another town that is overlooked but IMO it has one of the best if not the best river front in Bulgaria. It's just several houses but what a combo of colors and the covered bridge is wow:


The Varosha district


A street gladly little changed by time


But wait, there's more variety


And again the covered bridge
 

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I've only strayed in central Bulgaria once but I loved it! And yes, extremely underrated overall. First underrated city is, coming over the border from Bucharest, Ruse. I used to pass by its ugliest peripheral side by car when on my way to Greece and back, so I was truly shocked how pretty and enjoyable the city centre actually is, that one time when I did stop to explore it. Further on, towns lacking a major touristic interest can still be very pleasing to stop by, like it was for me in Dryanovo, for example. Veliko Turnovo is of course a regional hotspot and most people in this region of Eastern Europe will have heard of it, but IMO it is still vastly underrated and should be known as one of Europe's prettiest and most spectacular places. Plovdiv I absolutely loved but I don't know if we're still in "underrated" territory...

RE Lovech, indeed I must admit I only heard of it because of its football club, but it looks indeed very pretty and worth a visit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yes, we really call Ruse the little Vienna. In fact over here it is quite well-rated for its beauty and once importance (it was at one time more European than Sofia as all the fads and fashions from Vienna got here first), but I guess it's not as popular abroad. I think the most popular Bulgarian places abroad are on the Black Sea coast plus maybe Bansko and Plovdiv. And maybe Sofia for business and being the capital. Alas, all the money and investment goes to Sofia, sea coast and perhaps Plovdiv... Plovdiv is not underrated, I'd say, it's quite popular in Bulgaria as well as abroad. It has the best preserved ancient core from all of our cities.

Historically though all those cities in the center are extremely important, especially the ones south of the mountain. Almost all of our national uprising heroes were born in them - Koprivshtica, Panagyurishte, Sopot, Karlovo, Kalofer, etc. Were it not for them there'd be no Bulgaria today. The famous to us Battle of Shipka Pass took place in that area. The Buzludzha UFO-like commie monument is also found here. Also, some that are north of the mountains also hide hidden beauties like Lovech and of course Veliko Tarnovo and Elena but they're not that hidden. ;)

And here's Koprivshtitsa which is perhaps the flashiest/best preserved in the area. After this it will be hard to top it up but no need for that as every place has its own cham:




 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Shipka memorial (maybe not that underrated but since I'm so far focusing on this area of the mountain it's a must-show). It's located near the eponymous Shipka town and not far from Kazanlak. This is how it looks frozen in winter:

Normally it looks like this


And the Shipka church is like from a fairytale. The Russian style is not a coincidence, because that's the site of the Battle of Shipka Pass between Russia-led forces and the Ottoman army
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now a different part of the country, about 30 km from the Greek border lies Melnik.
Melnik is the smallest Bulgarian town with 239 people, that's less than many villages but it's a town because it is special. Just check out those natural rock formations above it called "pyramids" in Bulgarian


 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sinemorets is a village with wonderful nature. Below you see the Veleka river which makes two sharp turns before entering the Black sea, so the beach is a small peninsula



But wait, it has another beach with a river that goes into the sea, albeit a smaller one that often does not in fact reach the sea and looks like a long pond instead
 

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I have a curiosity, what are the feelings of Bulgarian people towards Balchik? While for Romanians it is very special for obvious reasons, I have the impression that for Bulgarians it is not quite the case, just another seaside town maybe. On the other hand it is quite well taken care of, it feels... respected.
 

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I have a curiosity, what are the feelings of Bulgarian people towards Balchik? While for Romanians it is very special for obvious reasons, I have the impression that for Bulgarians it is not quite the case, just another seaside town maybe. On the other hand it is quite well taken care of, it feels... respected.
Basically. It doesn't really have a special place in our consciousness from a historic point of view. I would say nearby cape Kaliakra is more prominent due to the legend surrounding it.

Also, it's not really a resort either so not much beach tourism there.
 

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Kaliakra is great too, the red cliffs along the coast are stunning. I've had friends who hiked there and found caves to sleep in, then in the morning realised that the caves also are home to snakes as well. 😮

The last time I was in Balchik there I arrived during the weekend and it was absolutely full of people enjoying the place and the moment, the seaside promenade was full, there were buskers and bands playing music every few tens of metres, the restaurants were also full. I wasn't expecting it to be such a success with the public and I was starting to worry about overtourism, when the next morning (Monday) I realised almost everyone was gone - they must have visited for a day trip while based in a larger seaside resort. Maybe weekend trips from Bulgarians living not too far from the coast, as well. If things have stayed more or less the same then I'd say overall the balance is right for the town. I wish some of the works showing the artistic and cultural impact of the interwar town were translated in Bulgarian, though.

Basically. It doesn't really have a special place in our consciousness from a historic point of view. I would say nearby cape Kaliakra is more prominent due to the legend surrounding it.

Also, it's not really a resort either so not much beach tourism there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a curiosity, what are the feelings of Bulgarian people towards Balchik? While for Romanians it is very special for obvious reasons, I have the impression that for Bulgarians it is not quite the case, just another seaside town maybe. On the other hand it is quite well taken care of, it feels... respected.
Most Bulgarians like it, but yeah, it's nothing special for us. I've been there on a sea vacation and frankly won't go back. I just don't find it very attractive. As said above it's not really a resort town. No nice beaches and the architecture isn't anything special aside from the Palace. Well Kranevo is even worse lol, a very ugly village with tacky architecture but it has nice, sandy beaches.

In general Varna is more beautiful than Burgas for me although both are livable. It's has more old-timey architecture and more hilly areas. When it comes to small sea towns, the better ones seem to be in the Southern part of our coast IMO. I mean from Sveti Vlas and below. I like Kaliakra, though and have heard Obzor is nice but have never been there so Idk. I've also heard good things about Kavarna but street view is all messed up there.

In general there are less towns in the Northern coast, you'll see there are far more satellites in the south due to flatter terrain. Though I admit some of the nicest beaches are in the North like those of Albena, Kranevo and the Golden Sands resort (a Sunny Beach without the crowds). Oh and they have an Eiffel-tower replica there plus a Ferris wheel:


In the south I liked the beaches of Sinemorets but those at Achtopol were dirty and the ones in Pomorie are a bit grayish in color like those of Burgas. PErhaps those of Sunny Beach are nice but too crowded.
 

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IMO the best place on the coast is Old Nessebar, which is almost entirely unknown outside of the countries of the Black Sea, despite it being among the best seaside places anywhere in Europe IMO, so I supppose it qualifies as underrated. Architecturally I love Balchik as well, but in a totally different way. There is some beach too but not a lot, just bellow the castle, nevertheless that's where I learnt to swim! LOL It's because the water is extremely calm, there were almost no waves during my stay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
True!
And now one video from Burgas to Sofia with train passing trough the Balkan route and featuring the Rose valley, Kazanlak, Karlovo, Sopot that I mentioned above and many more:
It's even more beautiful from a passenger's view and if you take the bus the road is less interesting.
 

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The guy behind Paliparan (the travel blog), whose epic twitter thread on his 5000km Bucharest-Mariupol & back trip from a few weeks ago I shared on this section, has also made a trip from Bucharest to Blagoevgrad and back. Very much recommended! Also, Blagoevgrad is very pretty for a city entirely without any sort of reputation outside of Bulgarian borders.























 
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