One of Bulgaria's most elegant cities, Ruse (roo-seh), sometimes written 'Rousse', has more than a touch of mitteleuropa grandness not seen elsewhere in the country. It's a city of imposing belle époque architecture and neatly trimmed leafy squares, as if a little chunk of Vienna had broken off and floated down the Danube. Its past is abundantly displayed in several museums and in its ruined Roman fortress, standing guard high over the Danube.
The heart of Ruse is the grand pl Svoboda, dominated by the huge Monument to Freedom. Some 18 streets radiate out from the square, which is bisected by Ruse’s main pedestrian street, ul Aleksandrovska. To the west lies the broad Danube. The train station and neighbouring Yug bus station are around 2.5km south of the city centre.
Ruse is also a base for visiting the nearby rock monasteries and other attractions at Rusenski Lom Nature Park.