Top things to do

Top Choice Cafe in Blagoevgrad

PolCa

Blagoevgrad's friendliest cafe has a band of cheerful staff that stirs up soups, fresh salads and tasty sandwiches alongside an Italian-leaning menu of iced and classic coffees (from 1.50 lv). The family-run spot, p…
Top Choice Bulgarian in Melnik

Mehana Chavkova Kâshta

Sit beneath 500-year-old trees and watch Melnik meander past at this superb spot. Like many places in town, grilled meats and Bulgarian dishes are specialities (try the satch, a sizzling flat pan of meat and vegetab…
Top Choice Bulgarian in Blagoevgrad

Kristo Restaurant

The Kristo Hotel’s superb restaurant presents a dilemma: the terrace overlooks lovely Vavedenie Presvetiya Bogoroditsi church, but its interior is a cosy yet classy blend of brass lamps, crimson rugs and other tradi…
Top Choice Bulgarian in Bansko

Mehana Dedo Pene

This homespun eatery in a 19th-century stone building is decked out with classic Balkan trimmings such as crimson tablecloths and nostalgic crockery. It serves a predictable but thoroughly satisfying range of soups,…
Church in Bansko

Sveta Troitsa Church

Surrounded by 1m thick stone walls, this 19th-century church has the air of a fortress. By contrast, the interior is a multicolour marvel with flower-spangled ceilings and columns painted rich shades of green and cr…
Bulgarian in Bansko

Mehana Kasapinova Kâshta

This 18th-century inn, just southeast of the main square, once entertained Bulgarian revolutionaries. These days it's hungry hikers and skiers who file in for excellent barbecue. Atmospheric touches include colourfu…
Music in Bansko

International Jazz Festival

This enormously popular music festival, held from around 6 to 13 August, brings smouldering saxophonists and riotous jazz ensembles, both Bulgarian and international, to the heart of Bansko. Major events are held on…
Museum in Bansko

Velyan’s House

This richly painted 18th-century mansion stands out among Bulgaria's countless heritage properties. Admire elaborate frescoes within the house-museum and around the courtyard, and peer at intricate wood carvings of …
Monastery in Pirin Mountains

Rozhen Monastery

Standing serenely in the hills 7km north of Melnik, this working monastery has admirable 16th-century frescoes and a holy icon of the Virgin Mary. Its most significant building, the Nativity of the Virgin Church (16…
Museum in Melnik

Kordopulov House

Reportedly Bulgaria's largest Revival-era building, this whitewashed and wooden mansion beams down from a cliff face at the eastern end of Melnik's main road. Dating to 1754, the four-storey mansion was formerly the…