This unique museum-village, nestled in wooded hills between Karlovo and Sofia, is a perfectly – and deliberately – preserved hamlet filled with Bulgarian National Revival–period architecture, cobblestone streets, and bridges that arc gently over a lovely brook. Nearly 400 buildings of architectural and historical significance are protected by government decree, some of them restored churches and house-museums containing fascinating collections of décor and implements from yesteryear.
Because much of Koprivshtitsa (Ko-priv-shti-tsa) is filled with rambling, overgrown lanes, it’s also a very safe and fun place for children to scamper around in. Some of the traditional homes function as guesthouses or restaurants, most loaded with traditional ambience, making Koprivshtitsa a romantic getaway, too. And, while the inevitable busloads of tour groups add to the gentrified sense of being in a giant open-air museum, the muddiness of the lanes after the rain, and the garrulous, bemused old locals keep Koprivshtitsa from being too precious for its own good.