Welcome to Veliko Târnovo


Historic Târnovo is tucked into the dramatic bends of the Yantra River, clasped by an amphitheatre of forested hills. Bulgaria’s 19th-century National Revival splendour is easy to relive along historic lanes such as ul Gurko; similarly evocative is handicraft market Samovodska Charshiya, which retains much the same atmosphere it had two centuries ago.

The modern town has burst these tidy seams, splaying west from busy bul Bulgaria. Today’s Târnovo has Bulgaria’s second-largest university and is home to a multicultural expat scene. Its location between Bucharest and Istanbul has made it a backpacker favourite, though it’s worth more than a stopover if you’re to see it from the heights of its fortress down to its tangle of ramshackle lanes.


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Veliko Târnovo activities

$96.85 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Trip to Bulgaria from Bucharest

This day trip departs daily at 8am and will pick you up from your hotel in Bucharest and take you to the foothills of the Balkan Mountains where you will spend a great day discovering the impressive medieval settlement of Veliko Tarnovo. Veliko Tarnovo is the medieval capital of Bulgaria and home of the Tsaravets Fortress, the strongest Bulgarian fortification of the Middle Ages. The day trip includes visits to the St. Dimitrie Basarabov Monastery, the only monastery in Bulgaria carved into a cliff that is still inhabited today and Arbanasi Village that will take you a few centuries back in time through its medieval architecture.

$70.55 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Day Trip to Bulgaria with Veliko Tarnovo

The tour starts in the morning at the hotel where you will meet with your travel guide. You will drive south, crossing the Danube River which separates Romania from Bulgaria. Not far from the border is the charming medieval city, named Veliko Tarnovo, located on the Yantra River. With a very rich history, the town was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire and it attracts tourists with its eye-catching architecture. You will learn more about this remarkable city from your guide, walking on the cobble streets. Up on the hill, you will discover the fortress of Tsarevets, settled in the 4th century, surrounded by thick walls. On our way back, we will stop at the nearby village of Arbanassi, a World Heritage Site and make a stop at the famous Nativity Church. Tour highlights: The fortress of Tsarevets Situated at an altitude of 206 meters, it was settled in the 4th century. It became famous after the Second Bulgarian Empire established the capital at Veliko Tarnovo, often being compared to Rome or Constantinople in greatness. 400 residential buildings, over 22 churches and 4 monasteries where discovered on site. The main landmarks of the complex are the Royal Palace located in the center, from where 22 kings ruled the country; Baldwin's Tower- built in 1930 and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascension of God which in the 12th century became the seat of the Bulgarian patriarch. The Royal Palace includes Throne Room, the Palace Church and the Royal Chambers. Actually, the patriarchate on Tsarevets was a fortress of its own, having 2 defensive towers and an entrance on its west wall and the Patriarchal Cathedral was situated in the middle of its courtyard. Arbanassi The village was founded in the late 15th century by Christians and it’s known for the rich history. Nowadays, there are 7 monasteries and churches dating from the 16th century until the 18th century. The oldest church in Arbanasi is the Nativity church, famous for its mural paintings from inside the chapel, created in 1632, which represent important scenes from St. John the Baptist’s life, the patron of the chapel. The paintings in the nave represent the Feasts, the Passions and the Miracles of Christ.

$2267.11 Multi-day & Extended Tours

7-Night Bulgaria Tour from Sofia

Day 1:Arrival. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Sofia.Day 2:Breakfast. Tour of Plovdiv – known for its Old Town and the ancient theater, considered to be one of the oldest cities in Europe. Your guide will show you the fabulous remains of the Ancient Roman Empire: the Roman Stadium, the Roman Forum, and the Amphitheater as well as the typical houses in the Old Town.Overnight in Plovdiv.Day 3:Breakfast. We start with a tour to Kazanlak and the Valley of the Kings. Kazanlak is world famous with its Thracian tomb, a UNESCO heritage and with its Thracian golden treasures (4-5 century B.C.). After lunch we continue our day with transfer to the loveliest Bulgarian art city on the seaside – Sozopol. Tour of Sozopol. Overnight in Burgas.Day 4:Breakfast. Full day tour of Nesebar, one of UNESCO’s World Treasures and one of the most ancient towns in Europe. You will visit also Aladzha Monastery, which is one of the few cave monasteries in Bulgaria, where the different premises and their functions are clearly distinguishable. The next stop will be The Palace in Balchik, the former summer residence of the Romanian Queen Maria Alexandrina Victoria de Edinburg (1875–1938) and The University Botanical Garden in Balchik, which was created as a park, part of the palace and accommodates collections with more than 3500 plant species. The last stop for the day will be Varna, a city often called the Sea Capital of Bulgaria because of its history and its economic and cultural significance. Day 5:Breakfast. Full day tour across the ages through the first Bulgarian capitals: Pliska, the first capital of Bulgaria; Madara Rider, a mystic UNESCO heritage site, which is chiseled in the rock; Preslav, the second capital of ancient Bulgaria; Arbanasi, a beautiful village with views of Veliko Tarnovo; Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the strongest Bulgarian kingsOvernight in Veliko Tarnovo.Day 6:Breakfast. Tour of Veliko Tarnovo which is the Town of Great Bulgarian.  Visit Etar, he ethnographic museum, situated on the outskirts of the town of Gabrovo. The open-air museum consists of 50 sites: houses with handcraft workshops, water installations and other buildings. Transfer to Sofia. Overnight in SofiaDay 7: Breakfast. Walking tour of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which combines the ancient and the modern city in one. See the main sights: Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Parliament, Banya Bashi Mosque, The Synagogue, the National Theater, the Kings’ Palace. Visit Rila Monastery, which is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria and the second largest on the Balkans. Overnight in SofiaDay 8:Breakfast. Transfer to the airport.

$68.16 Tours & Sightseeing

Full-Day Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi Tour from Sofia

Your tour begins with as 8:30am pickup from your accommodations in Sofia. Climb aboard the comfortable air-conditioned minivan and settle in for picturesque 3-hour drive. Upon arrival in Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria, head for the old fortress to explore the history of its kings, the rulers of Bulgaria in 13th and 14th centuries. After a 2-hour walk between the mighty walls, which have survived numerous sieges, head toward the city center. On the way to a local restaurant, make a short stop in one of the old streets of Veliko Tarnovo to learn how people lived there in 18th and 19th centuries.Enjoy a traditional Bulgarian lunch at your own expense before continuing to the nearby village of Arbanassi. Visit the church and its 17th-cenury Nativity of Christ to see preserved wooden iconostases and frescoes, representing the Tarnovo painting school. In the late afternoon, begin your journey back to Sofia where you will be dropped off back at your accommodations.

$75.33 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Veliko Tarnovo Cultural Day Trip from Varna

The tour starts at 8am from your accommodation in Varna. You will arrive in Veliko Turnovo (228 km from Varna) at about 10.30am and will start first with the sightseeing walking tour in the old town. In architectural terms, the appearance of the old part of the town will take you in the past. Walking along Gurko street or Samovodskata Charshia (the crafts streets), you will have the possibility to see 200 years old houses and to enjoy the really unique atmosphere of the place. The market street is a kind of an ethnographic complex with crafts workshops, souvenir shops and galleries.Then you will continue to the medieval fortress Tsarevets, situated on the homonymous peak, surrounded on three sides by the river Yantra. Excavations show that Tsarevets was not a closed fortress, but a real medieval town, in the center of which the following objects were rising: the palace, the church “St. Petka”, multiple residential and public buildings, water reservoirs and battle towers. The Patriarch’s residence was on the highest part of Tsarevets, and the Patriarch’s church “The Ascension of Christ” was also in close proximity.After Tsarevets you will have lunch time in a nice restaurant. Then you will continue with some of Veliko Tarnovo’s famous temples. One of the most emblematic medieval churches is the temple “St. Forty Holy Martyrs”, constructed in honor of the triumph of Tsar Ivan Asen II (1218 – 1241) over the Epir Despot Teodor Komnin (1180 –1273).At the afternoon you will visit the Transfiguration Monastery, one of the most famous and beautiful Eastern Orthodox monasteries, located in the Dervent gorge of the Yantra River, 7 km north of Veliko Tarnovo. It is one of the five stauropegic monasteries of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.You will continue your sightseeing tour with the architectural reservation Arbanasi, known for the rich history and large number of historical monuments, such as 17th- and 18th-century churches and examples of Bulgarian National Revival architecture.At late afternoon you will sett off back to Varna and your accommodation, where you will arrive at about 8.30 PM.

$155.45 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Day trip to Tsaravets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo and The Emen Canyon

At 6:00 you meet your guide at your hotel and start the journey on the route Bucharest – Giurgiu – Emen – Veliko Tarnovo. The first part of the day greets us with a relaxing trek through the Emen Canyon. Its vertical walls are 120 meters high, its waterfalls are long and its caves are deep: Emen Cave, at 3.3km, is the deepest in Bulgaria. In the canyon we follow a 3km trail comprised of wooden bridges suspended above the river that formed it – a real adrenaline rush! We spend the rest of the day in Veliko Tarnovo, an architectural jewel endowed with numerous spots overlooking the town and its surroundings. We visit the Tsaravets Citadel, learn the history of the country and we enjoy a traditional meal at Hadji Nikoli Inn, a bohemian summer garden isolated from the swerve of the city.