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.