Veliko Tarnovo is a city that offers an unforgettable view, being built on 3 hills. But let’s see together why we liked this city so much.
To see in Veliko Tarnovo
Veliko Tarnovo is one of the oldest and most important cities of Bulgaria. To realize how old this settlement is, there are traces of humans dating from the third millennium i.Hr. It was the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. But in 1878, here was signed the first constitution of Bulgaria, a constitution that moves the state capital to Sofia.
Veliko Tarnovo City Tour
A lot of the information we are telling you here, we found them in a city tour offered for free to tourists. It started at 11 o’clock, but we were a little … about 10 minutes. (it took a while until we found/paid for the parking). But luckily we have friends to stop the tour from starting for us 😀
We walked through the city for two hours, discovering its history and beauty. Our guide was a young and very energetic lady, who managed to give us interesting info and also the emotion she feels when telling us about her city.
It was a great experience, which we certainly recommend. As far as we understood these are done daily, so you can’t miss it and of course, it is free. (though it would be nice but not necessarily to give something to the guide).
Veliko Tarnovo – Viewpoint
The city is built on hills and offers a series of breathtaking views. And, of course, there are a number of cafes, restaurants where you can stay and admire the city in all its splendor.
A free viewpoint is a platform built by architectural students, which, besides the view, also offers you a dose of adrenaline because you are above the city. 😀
Monument to the Assen Dynasty
The Assen dynasty monument can be seen from all over the city. This monument is dedicated to Emperors Assen, Peter, Kaloyan and Ivan Assen II. Being built in 1985 on the 800th anniversary of the rebellion of brothers Assen and Peter. We have only seen this monument from afar (from our room or from the city), but we imagine is even more impressive when you are next to it.
Having a few hours at our disposal, we decided to go to Arbanassi. A small town that is at a stone’s throw from Veliko Tarnovo. The tourist signs aren’t the best and eventually, we decided to walk randomly through the narrow streets and the houses/monuments with stone fences, enjoying the sun.
We can’t say it was the most memorable experience, it was relaxing, but if you don’t have too much time in Veliko Tarnovo, we don’t think it is necessary to come here. We checked it because we were in the area, but we don’t think it was worth the time.
Tsarevets – Fortress of Veliko Tarnovo
This fortress is the most important tourist attraction here, besides the city itself. It seems like you are seeing a fortress from a book or maybe even from “Game of Thrones”.
The road that leads you to the fortress is perfect for pictures, but also for admiring. The fortress was built in the 12th century and had an eventful history. One of the most important was when it resisted three days the Ottoman invasion in 1393, which shows how well made it was.
Inside, you can walk on several levels, all culminating with the church on the top of the hill. On the outside, this church doesn’t look like anything special, it may even seem mediocre. The church was built between 1970 and 1980 and painted in a more non-conformist style.
From what we noticed and asked around, the opinion on the paintings inside the church is divided. Or you like it a lot, or it will be the ugliest thing you ever saw. We are part of the first category, being positively impressed. The gallery below we hope it will make it justice.
In the evening (check the program before) the fortress it lighten-up by a light and music show, which we, unfortunately, didn’t see.
PS: Tickets are purchased from a store across the road from the entrance to the fortress. Cost: 6 leva / person
When looking for accommodation in this city, ideally is to find one that has the following two features: be in the city center and have a spectacular view.
We found this kind of accommodation, but the photos presented on Booking were for more beautiful rooms, we received a more bad-looking one. But the sight compensated for the other minuses.
If you are interested in a 10% discount on Booking, just click on this link, maybe you will have more luck.
Generally the traditional Bulgarian food is excellent, and fortunately, Veliko Tarnovo is no exception to this rule. Here you can find everything you want in terms of food, vegetables in all possible forms and well-done meat. In the dessert category, we didn’t found our favorite dessert from Nessebar (yogurt streaked with fig jam, here‘s the whole story).
We ate in the center at the “Shtastliveca” restaurant. And to make sure we had a table, we booked at lunchtime. We chose this restaurant because it looked good, it was recommended by one of our friends and especially because it had a terrace from where you can enjoy the view.
Veliko Tarnovo impressed us so much that it is on the short list of cities where we will come back as soon as possible.