Zoos are always a fun way to see native animals from the region you are in, and the popular exotic animals from every corner of the globe. The Sofia Zoo is quite affordable to visit and has a pretty big range of different animals to see. They had quite a few different bears from different areas of the world, which were adorable. I am a bit on the fence about this zoo in regards to the welfare of the animals in captivity though. Not all of them looked very happy. 🙁
A day trip away from the capital of Bulgaria (about 120km), the Rila Monastery is a gorgeous piece of architecture tucked away in the Balkan mountains, with breathtaking views and a tranquil atmosphere. It was founded in the 10th century by the hermit St. Ivan, and is most famous for it’s wood carvings and painted exterior. You can also visit the cave where St. Ivan used to pray, and pop a written wish into the walls (which I did, here’s hoping it comes true!). It’s just a small hike up a path to the cave, and a bit of a squeeze, but well worth visiting. There is also the idea that once you enter through the bottom of the cave, and through the other side, you are washed of your sins. A nice idea for starting fresh I guess!
Like most big cities, the graffiti and street art is always a great site to see. Sofia has amazing murals, beautiful stencil work and large spaces designated especially for artists to express themselves on. I love how there is no lame tag graffiti on top of the murals like you find in lots of other cities.
You can easily visit Plovdiv as a day trip (131km), but Shannon and I opted to stay the night. This town is famous for it’s Roman ruins, including an ampitheatre, stadium, and numerous baths. These were uncovered from beneath the city, and it’s an amazing sight to see.
Would you consider going to Bulgaria, or have you already?