25 Best Things to Do in Veliko Tarnovo

Considered one of the most beautiful cities in Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo is still an underrated tourist destination. A Medieval fortress, an unbearably charming Old Town, and amazing views, are some of the attractions this cute city has to offer. In this comprehensive city guide you’ll find all the best things do in Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria), carefully selected by a local.

Tip: Sometimes Veliko Tarnovo is spelled as Veliko Turnovo. In Bulgarian it’s written Велико Търново. Locals call it simply Tarnovo, but it shouldn’t be mixed with Malko Tarnovo, which is a small town in South-eastern Bulgaria at the border with Turkey. Some tourists like to shorten the name to Veliko, but “Veliko” means just “Great”.

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houses with red roofs clung to a hill, Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria

How to get to Veliko Tarnovo?

Veliko Tarnovo is located in Central North Bulgaria at about a 2,5 hours’ drive from the 4 airports in the country: Sofia, Varna, Bourgas and Plovdiv. Sofia is the largest international airport in Bulgaria and there are seasonal flights with some European low-cost companies to Varna, Bourgas and Plovdiv.

To get to Veliko Tarnovo from one of the airports, you can rent a car or you can take the bus. There are bus lines operating from Sofia and Varna at regular times. You can also opt for the train, but it’s not advisable – it’s very slow and trains in Bulgaria in general aren’t that comfortable. Moreover, there’s not a direct connection from Sofia or Varna – you have to get off in Gorna Oryahovitsa and take another train or the bus, or a taxi. From Plovdiv there’s a direct train, but it will take you a century to reach your destination.

Tip: All buses from Sofia to Varna and from Varna to Sofia stop in Veliko Tarnovo, but not all buses from Sofia to Veliko Tarnovo end up in Varna and the other way around: not all buses from Varna to Veliko Tarnovo go to Sofia.

Veliko Tarnovo can be also easily reached from Bucharest (Romania) or Istanbul (Turkey). There are regular bus lines operating between these cities, so Veliko Tarnovo can be a stop on your next adventure on the Balkans. Veliko Tarnovo is popular day trip for the locals from Bucharest most popular day trips from Bucharest.

Should you decide just to visit Veliko Tarnovo for one day from Bucharest, there are different options with a combination between Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi, the Emen Canyon or the Ivanovo Caves:

houses on a hill with an orthodox church bell tower in the middle, off-the-beaten path things to do in Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria

How to get by bus to Veliko Tarnovo?

From the Central Bus Station in Sofia or in Varna, you can choose from one of the following bus lines: Etap, Grup, Biomet, or Union Ivkoni. When searching in the English version of the Central Bus Station in Sofia, use “V.Tarnovo”. You can’t type in the name, so from the drop down menu, choose for “V.Tarnovo”. You would think that the names are arranged in alphabetical order, yes they are, and the letter “B” (the Bulgarian for “V”) comes on 3rd place. So you will find V.Tarnovo after “A” and “B”.

On the website of the Bus Station in Varna, use the same technique as above, only this time the name is mentioned as “Veliko Tarnovo”.

Tip: Before travelling to Bulgaria, learn the Bulgarian alphabet and how to read in the Cyrillic script. It’s gonna be of a great advantage to be able to read at least the places’ names.

How to get by train to Veliko Tarnovo?

Veliko Tarnovo has its own railway station, but there’s no direct connection from Sofia or Varna. If you are taking the train, you need to get off in Gorna Oryahovitsa, a town at some 10 km from Veliko Tarnovo. If you end up at the train station in Gorna Oryahovitsa, here’s how you can go to Veliko Tarnovo:

  • by train – it takes about 20 minutes and there about 7 trains per day. Now you get the picture why I don’t recommend the train.
  • by bus – there’s a direct bus line from the train station (No. 10), but the bus stop is a bit further from the station on the main road. You can also choose to get to the bus station in Gorna Oryahovitsa and get from there bus lines 10 (via Samovodene) or 14 (via Lyaskovets). In either way the journey will be between 30 minutes to an hour (line 14 is faster than 10).
  • by a minibus – they leave each hour.
  • by a taxi – the fastest way to get to Veliko Tarnovo. Taxis are affordable in Bulgaria.

For the train schedules check the official website of the Bulgarian National Railways.

two hills with a river in between and a medieval fortresses on both hills; the fortress to the right has a church on the top of the hill; Tsarevets and Trapezitsa fortresses in Veliko Tarnovo

Day trips to Veliko Tarnovo

If you are visiting Veliko Tarnovo on a day trip and you want to maximize on your time in the city and don’t bother with any logistics, I can recommend that you book an organized day trip. Being a popular tourist destination in Bulgaria, there are quite a lot of day trips to Veliko Tarnovo from other major cities in Bulgaria and Romania. Here’s a selection of some of the best day trips to Veliko Tarnovo:

Check here the availability for day trip from Sofia:

4 pictures of attractions in Veliko Tarnovo with overlay text: The best things to do in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Top things to do in Veliko Tarnovo

Being the capital of Bulgaria for over 2 centuries, Veliko Tarnovo was one of the major cities in Medieval Europe. Not much has left from these days in terms of monuments, as most of them have been destroyed when the Ottoman Empire took over the Bulgarian Kingdom. Still, Veliko Tarnovo is the most popular Bulgarian tourist destination among the locals because of the Medieval castle Tsarevets and the beautiful architecture from the National Revival (18 – 19 c.).

Besides plenty of historical sites and museums, Veliko Tarnovo is offering also lots of cultural experiences. The city has been developing itself as a cultural hub the last years, and whole year around there are festivals, various activities, shows and happenings that make Veliko Tarnovo a vibrant city.

On the map below, you can find all attractions in Veliko Tarnovo which are mentioned in this travel guide.

Veliko Tarnovo is the perfect place to discover by walking, but just have in mind that as the city was built on several hills, there will be some inclinations. If you don’t feel like walking or if you have difficulties with walking, you can always take a taxi. Taxis in Bulgaria are quite affordable.

a road leading to a medieval fortress with a church on the top of the hill; Tsarevets Fortress in Veliko Tarnovo

1. Visit the fortress of Veliko Tarnovo – Tsarevets

One of the most famous places to visit in Veliko Tarnovo that attracts thousands of tourists each year is the Medieval fortress of Tsarevets. Tsarevets is also a symbol of the city.

Veliko Tarnovo was originally built on three hills: Tserevets, Sveta Gora and Trapezitsa. The city was capital of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom (1185-1396), which was one of the biggest countries in Europe in the Middle Ages. Tsarevets was the hill where the aristocracy lived.

Nowadays you can visit the ruins of the King’s Palace, the ramparts, some houses and churches. On the top of the hill there’s the Patriarchal Church. When you make it to the top, take a deep breath and enjoy one of the most beautiful views you would ever see! The interior of the church is pretty sombre, it features modernist murals painted in the 80-s. Take a look for yourself and decide whether you will like them or not. IMHO, they are the most depressing thing that I have ever seen.

Practical info: Tsarevets / Царевец (in Bulgarian)
Address: Tsar Asen Square, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 10 BGN (5 EUR); students: 5 BGN (2,50 EUR)
Opening times: April – October: 8 am till 7 pm; November – March: 9 am till 4 pm
Website: www.tsarevets.eu (only Bulgarian)

a medieval fortress in the night lit up with different colors with a laser pointing from the top of the church that is in the middle of the hill; Light and Sound Show in Veliko Tarnovo

2. See the Light and Sound Show on Tsarevets

In the evening, when it gets dark, the visitors of the city can enjoy the impressive “Sound and Light” show over the Tsarevets fortress. The whole fortress is lit up and the show tells the history of Tsarevets and the Second Bulgarian Kingdom through sound and light.

On bank holidays the access is free and you can watch the show from the square in front of the fortress. For the rest of the occasions you will need to buy a ticket. Then, you will have access to a special panoramic terrace where you will have the best view over the fortress. On normal days, however, you will still be able to watch the show from the square, but there will be no music played there.

Practical info: Sound and Light Show/ “Звук и светлина” (in Bulgarian)
Address: Tsar Asen Square, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Tickets: adults: 20 BGN (10 EUR); students: 10 BGN (5 EUR)
Click here you to check the dates when the show is played and to book your tickets.

a watch tower of a medieval fortress and ramparts visible on a hill; Trapezitsa fortress in Veliko Tarnovo

3. Take the funicular to the Trapezitsa ruins

Trapezitsa is the brand new attraction in Veliko Tarnovo. It’s open for tourists since 2016 when in September the newly built funicular took the first tourists to the top of the hill.

On Trapezitsa hill there are preserved and restored the ramparts of another fortress dating back from the 13th century. Trapezitsa was the second most important stronghold in the medieval city.

You can reach the hill either via the funicular or via a special trail. If you choose for the latter, be prepared for some serious hiking.

Practical info: Trapizitsa/ “Трапезица” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Trapezitsa”, 5000 Trapezitsa, Veliko Tarnovo
Opening times: April-October: 8:30 am – 6 pm; November: 9 am – 4 pm; December – March: closed; funicular is open only between May and October; closed on Mondays
Admission fee (including funicular): adults: 16 BGN (8 EUR); students: 12 BGN (6 EUR)

Houses on Gurko Streeet, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, traditional house, geraniums

4. Stroll along the legendary Gurko Street

This is the most beautiful street in the city and the most popular place for a stroll. Needless to say, it’s my favorite place, too. Gurko Street works like a time machine – walk along the river Yantra in a late 19 c. set with cobblestone, flower-decked façades and houses clung to the rocks. At street level the houses just have one level, but on the riverside they have like 4 or even 5 storeys. The street is named after Iosif Gurko, an important figure from the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878) that led to the liberation of Bulgaria.

On Gurko Street you can find the famous Gurko restaurant, that serves traditional Bulgarian food.

a house with an atrium and a railing with iron smithwork and wooden ceilings; Sarafkina House in Veliko Tarnovo

5. Visit the Sarafkina House

While strolling along the Gurko Street, do not miss to visit the Sarafkina House (Sarafkina kashta). The house was built in 1861 for a wealthy banker and today it’s a museum depicting city life at the end of the 18th century – beginning of the 19th century. The exhibition showcases everyday paraphernalia and period outfits from the Bulgarian Revival (18 – 19 c.). Interestingly, from the street the house looks quite small, on 2 levels, but from the riverside it’s an imposing 5-storey building.

Practical info: Sarafkina House/ “Сарафкината къща” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “General Gurko” 88, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 6 BGN (3 EUR); students: 2 BGN (1 EUR)
Opening times: April-October: 9:30 am – 5:30 pm; November-March: 9 am – 5:30 pm. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.

a cobblestone street lined up with small souvenir shops; Samovodska Charshia in Veliko Tarnovo

6. Get crafty on Samovodska Charshia

Samovodska charshia is the old market street in the city. In the 19th century there used to be a farmer’s market where the farmers from the villages nearby would sell their produce. The name of the street originates from one of the nearby villages Samovodene.

Today the street hosts numerous craft and antique shops. You can see how the old crafts have been practiced, as the shop owners are the craftsmen and craftswomen, working there. This is also the place where you can buy your souvenirs. The charshia is a hot spot for all tourists and a favourite place for the locals to stroll on a Sunday.

Tip: If you are visiting Veliko Tarnovo is September, there’s a lovely festival held each year at the Samovodska Charshia – Night at the Samovodska Charshia (Нощ на Самоводската чаршия). In 2022 the festival was held between 21 and 25 September.

a inner courtyard of a building in the style of the caravanserei with porticos and a few tables and chairs showing it's used as a restaurant, Hadji Nikoli Inn in Veliko Tarnovo

7. Indulge in art and wine at the Hadji Nikoli Inn

If you don’t know where Hadji Nikoli Inn is, you will pass by without noticing it and still it is perhaps the most beautiful building in the city. Hidden behind the Samovodska Charshia, which is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Veliko Tarnovo, the former inn remains off the beaten path for the most visitors of Veliko Tarnovo. The Inn was built around 1850-1860 by one of the most prominent architects and builders of the time – Kolyu Ficheto. For many years the inn was left to its fate but it was recently beautifully restored.

Today, there’s a museum which hosts interesting exhibitions, an art gallery, a wine bar (the best in Veliko Tarnovo) and a gourmet restaurant with great atmosphere. My favorite place, however is the inner courtyard.

stairs leading uphill with a wrought iron fence and a kitty sleeping beside the fence, Varusha Quarter in Veliko Tarnovo

8. Climb some stairs in Varusha Quarter

A maze of narrow cobbled streets and stairs, lined up with houses in National Revival Style, and almost no cars, Varusha Quarter is like an oasis of tranquility in the middle of the busy town. Almost no tourist sets a foot there, only the people who live there. Perhaps, this is why the place is full of charm and a certain dose of nostalgia. Just take your time and get lost in this village-like part of Veliko Tarnovo.

Fun fact: The Old Towns in the Bulgarian cities are mostly called Varosha, which comes from Hungarian and means a city: város. In Veliko Tarnovo the pronunciation has been slightly changed from Varosha to Varusha.

a bridge leading to a monument with 4 Horsemen and uncovering a panoramic view of a city; Stambolov Bridge in Veliko Tarnovo

9. Walk the famous Stambolov Bridge

That’s another icon in the city. From the Stambolov bridge you have one of the most beautiful views of the city. It’s also the most favorite place of the local to go for a stroll. The bridge connects the part of the city where the University is located with the city. So, it’s always busy there with students walking back and forth to school.

The bridge was built at the end of the 19th century and was most probably inaugurated somewhere around the turn of the century, but the exact date is unknown. It’s named after the famous Bulgarian politician and writer Stefan Stambolov.

Fun fact: In 1932 a young pilot flew under the bridge with the legendary DAR-1 airplane – a Bulgarian 2-seat biplane.

The Stambolov Bridge is also the place where you can do bungee jumping in the city. In 2022 there will be, however, no jumps as the bridge will be renovated. For more info, check this website https://bungeeclub.bg/tarnovo (only in Bulgarian) or this one: https://adrenalin.bg/.

a monument with a sword and 4 horsemen and some houses behind; Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria, things to do in Veliko Tarnovo Bulgaria

10. Soak in the view from the Asenevtsi Monument

The locals call it the Horsemen (Конниците). This monument in the form of a giant sward with 4 kings on horses was built in 1985 to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom and the proclaiming of Veliko Tarnovo for its capital. The 4 horsemen are the kings from the Asen dynasty – Asen, Petar, Kaloyan and Ivan-Asen II. The Asen dynasty is also spelled sometimes as Assen. In Bulgarian it’s: Асен.

a stage with performers on it beside a monument with a sword and houses on a hill behind and the audience sitting on the rocks in front, Veliko Tarnovo Jazz Festival

11. Get a drink with a view at The Gallery

What can be better than enjoying a local beer with one of the most beautiful views in the world? And I don’t exaggerate. There are hardly any other places in the world that offer that amazing view – the colorful houses with red roof tiles cascaded on the hill with the river meandering around. The Galeria Café is located just in front of the State Art Gallery, hence the name and it is open throughout the summer. Stop by and enjoy a drink with a view.

Wait, there is also a bonus attached to it – to get to the café you have to pass along the most famous bridge in the city – the Stambolov Bridge. Besides, in the summer the place is used as a venue for various festivals. So you can listen to a band playing, with the twinkling lights on the windows as a backdrop. Life can’t get better than that.

sandstone building with white columns in neoclassical style, the art gallery in Veliko Tarnovo

12. Get acquainted with Bulgarian Art at the State Art Gallery

While walking around the Asenevtsi Monument or hanging at the Gallery Cafe, take the time to visit the State Gallery – the beautiful building standing on a small promontory in one of the meanders of the Yantra River. The art gallery is housed since 1985 in the former building of the Academy of Applied Arts which was built in the 1930s.

The complete name of the gallery is Boris Denev Art Gallery, named after the Veliko-Tarnovo-born famous Bulgarian artist Boris Denev (1883-1969). The Gallery has a lovely collection from Bulgarian fine artists, so that you can get an idea of the Bulgarian fine art movements.

Practical info: Boris Denev State Art Gallery/ Художествена галерия “Борис Денев” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Alexander Stamboliyski”, 5003 g.k. Sveta gora, Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: free
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

13. See all of Bulgaria in one day at Mini Bulgaria

This is one of the newest attractions in Veliko Tarnovo. The park was opened in September 2017. There are exhibited miniatures of the most iconic places in Bulgaria in a scale 1:25. Do you want to see the most beautiful places in Bulgaria in one day? Take a stroll in the park Mini Bulgaria in Veliko Tarnovo!

Practical info: Mini Bulgaria Park/ Парк “Мини България” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Sveti Kliment Ohridski”, 5000 Tsarevets, Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 12 BGN (6 EUR); students: 8 BGN (4 EUR)
Opening times: April-September: 9 am – 7:30 pm; October-March: 9 am – 6 pm
Website: mini-bulgaria.com

a wooden bridge above the river leading to a green hill with a fortress on it, the Bishop's Bridge in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

14. Walk the Bishop’s Bridge (Vladishki Most)

This is one of the most romantic places in Veliko Tarnovo. The wooden bridge was built in the late 17th century. It’s called the Bishop’s Bridge as it was close to the seat of the episcopal see and most likely its construction was financed by the the then bishop. From the bridge, there’s this beautiful view to the Tsarevets fortress and the Yantra River.

houses on a river bank with some vegetable gardens in front, Asen's Quarter in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

15. Get back in time in Asenov Quarter

This part of the city is often overlooked by the tourists and no one hardly ever walks the streets there. When you visit the Tsarevets Fortress, just walk the road down to the river instead of going back to the city centre. You will be surprised by the serenity and peacefulness of the area. Once called the New Town (first built in the 13th century), today it’s the oldest quarter in the city.

There are 5 churches in this quarter and 4 of them are national monuments. I love the stately look of the St. Demetrius Church and the colors of the Assumption Church. And of course the beautiful Bishop’s Bridge (Vladishki most) is also there.

a medieval church with arches and a green lawn i front with 3 cyprusses and at the background ramparts of a fortress, 40 Holy Martyrs Church in Veliko Tarnovo

16. Visit the famous Church of Holy Forty Martyrs

While still at the Asenov Quarter, visit one of the most famous churches in Bulgaria – the Church of the Holy 40 Martyrs. The church was built in 1230 to commemorate the victory of Bulgaria’s King Ivan Asen II over Theodore Comnenus Ducas from the Despotate of Epyrus.

The church is also famous as there can be seen 3 of the most significant historical records from the Middle Ages: Omurtag’s Column, Asen’s Column and the Column from Rodosto.

On 22 September 1908 the Independence of Bulgaria was proclaimed from the Church of the Holy Forty Martyrs.

Practical info: Holy Forty Martyrs Church/ Църква “Св. Четиридесет мъченици” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Sveti Kliment Ohridski” 22, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 6 BGN (3 EUR); students: 2 BGN (1 EUR)
Opening times: April-October: 9 am – 6 pm; November-March: 9 am – 4:30 pm

a skywalk-type of platform in a city with a view of green hills a few buildings and a monument, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

17. Get a bird’s eye view of the city from the City Skywalk

There are a few terraces on the main street from where you can enjoy a view over the Yantra River, the Horsemen Monument and the Gallery, but I’ve recently discovered this place and it offers the best view. It’s a kind of a skywalk they’ve built in one tiny opening on the street between two buildings. If you’ve been to Veliko Tarnovo, you’ve probably passed by many times without noticing it. See the map above for the exact location of the skywalk.

Christmas stalls on both sides with some hanging lights, the Christmas village in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

18. Chill out at Marno Pole Park

The city park is another place that is often overlooked by the tourists. In the summer, you can stop there to chill out under the shadows of the trees. You can play chess on the special chess tables, or you can sit down on a bench and enjoy the flowers and the serenity. There are also beer gardens at the park, if you aren’t much of a chess-player. In the winter the the park turns into a Christmas village with the festively decorated stalls and beautiful lights.

colorful vegetables displayed in crates on a farmer's market in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

19. Get fresh fruit and veggies at the daily Farmer’s Market

One of the things that I mostly miss that I am now living in the Netherlands, is the daily farmer’s market. There isn’t a more sustainable way of getting your food on the table than choosing for the shortest way your food will travel from the farm to the table. The Farmer’s market is bursting with aromas and colours.

If you are travelling on a budget and cooking your meals, get your veggies and fruit at the market. Even if you are eating each time at restaurants and cafes, stop by at the market and get some fresh seasonal fruit and enjoy the colours and the special vibe.

a graffiti of a girl with some firewood above her head and a lamb on top, Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

20. Go on a graffiti hunt in Veliko Tarnovo

Veliko Tarnovo is also home to some pretty cool graffiti. With a Fine Arts High School, the city boasts as a centre of young and talented artists. Unfortunately, there’s no graffiti walking tour, so you have to go on a scavenger tour to discover them. On the other hand, it’s perhaps better to discover them without a tour, as you’ll come to places where tourists normally don’t go. I wish I knew a bit more about them, so that I could tell you, but I am sure you will be able to appreciate them on your own. Don’t miss also the big murals from the communist days which are located on Stefan Stambolov Street. I’ve found some amazing graffiti on Knyaz Dondukov Street.

The first Graffiti Art Festival was held in the city at the beginning of September 2019. So I’m pretty curious about the creations the artists made at one of the schools in the city – Slaveikov Elementary School. If you visit the city before me, tell me about the new graffiti in the comments below.

a display window of a pastry shop with lots of cakes, cookies and similar sweets, Amaretto cafe in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

21. Forget about the calories at Amaretto Bakery & Cafe

The best part about coming over and over again to a place is that you see how it changes. My last discovery from my last visit to Veliko Tarnovo is this lovely café. It’s quite different from the rest of the cafés in the city, a bit hipster looking, which is quite surprising for a traditional city like Veliko Tarnovo.

You can go there for breakfast and try a traditional Bulgarian banichka (filo-type dough pastry with feta-type cheese). Just be warned – resisting all the sweets and cakes and cookies and pies is impossible. And the coffee they serve is to die for! Their fresh juices are also a nice surprise. I tried the watermelon one and it was full of taste and super refreshing. Oh, and their signature Amaretto chocolate cake is everything you need.

22. Visit the Archeological Museum to learn about the local history

The three most important museums in Veliko Tarnovo are located next to each other, so it’s quite easy to visit them in half a day.

The Archaeological Museum showcases archeological artifacts found in and around Veliko Tarnovo. There is also a permanent exhibition that focuses on the period when Veliko Tarnovo was a capital of Bulgaria (12th – 14th century).

Practical info: Archeological Museum / Археологически музей (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Ivanka Boteva” 2, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 6 BGN (3 EUR); students: 2 BGN (1 EUR)
Opening times: April-October: 9 am – 6 pm; November-March: 9 am – 5:30 pm; closed on Mondays 9 am – 12 am

a beautiful building in Bulgarian national Revival style with a small square in front and benches to sit on; National Revival Museum in Veliko Tarnovo

23. See where the Constitution of Modern Bulgaria has been signed

One of the most iconic buildings in Veliko Tarnovo is the former Turkish konak, where Bulgaria’s First National Assembly was held after the Liberation in 1878. This place is of great importance as there were laid the foundations of present-day Bulgaria and its new constitution was signed. The Museum of National Revival and Constituent Assembly is one of the most visited museums by the locals.

Practical info: Museum of National Revival and Constituent Assembly / Музей “Възраждане и Учредително събрание” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Ivan Vazov” 2, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 6 BGN (3 EUR); students: 2 BGN (1 EUR)
Opening times: April-October: 9 am – 6 pm; November-March: 9 am – 5:30 pm

an underground room without windows with some straw on the floor and chains hanging on the walls used as a jail, the Jail Museum in Veliko Tarnovo

24. Visit the Prison Museum

Behind the Museum of National Revival and Constituent Assembly is located the Prison Museum. This museum is often overlooked by the tourists, but it’s quite interesting. The prison was built in the mid 1850s and has been functioning as such until 1954. Some of the famous revolutionaries from the period of the National Revival have been kept prisoners there.

Practical info: Prison Museum / Музей “Затвор” (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Ivan Vazov” 2, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 6 BGN (3 EUR); students: 2 BGN (1 EUR)
Opening times: April-October: 9 am – 6 pm; November-March: 9 am – 5:30 pm; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

25. Meet the king “in person” at the Multimedia Visitors Centre

The Multimedia Centre features wax figures of Medieval characters: kings, peasants, soldiers in everyday situations. It tells the story of the city in the 12th-14th century. If you are travelling with kids, they will love this museum. My personal opinion is that this museum is a bit far-fetched as an attraction.

Practical info: Multimedia Visitors Centre / Мултимедиен посетителски център „Царевград Търнов“ (in Bulgarian)
Address: ul. “Nikola Pikolo”, 5000 Veliko Tarnovo
Admission fee: adults: 10 BGN (5 EUR); students: 5 BGN (2,5 EUR); fee for taking pictures: 5 BGN (2,5 EUR)
Opening times: April-October: 9:30 am – 6:30 pm; November-March: 9 am – 5 pm; closed on Mondays 9 am – 12 am

Final words

Once, I used to call Veliko Tarnovo my home town and I’ve spent a greater part of my life there. No matter where I go, I will keep comparing Veliko Tarnovo to the rest of the world. To me, it will always be the most beautiful city in the world. I’ve seen it change through the decades, and it has always been for the better.

Prepare for your trip to Veliko Tarnovo

  1. Traveling for the first time to Bulgaria? Check out my post about what to expect and how to prepare for your travel.
  2. Need accommodation in Veliko Tarnovo? My extensive hotels guide will help you find the hotel with the best view in Veliko Tarnovo.
  3. Staying longer in Veliko Tarnovo? Check out my suggestions for day trips from Veliko Tarnovo.
  4. Want to discover more of Bulgaria? Take this road trip from north to south along some of the most beautiful places in Bulgaria. Veliko Tarnovo is one of them.
  5. No idea what to pack for your trip to Europe? Check my posts packed with useful information and advice about packing for Europe in the summer and packing for Europe in the autumn.

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About Daniela

Daniela is the creator and writer of this travel blog. A writer by nature and occupation and traveller by heart, Daniela will take you to all forgotten corners of Europe and even beyond. She travels with her partner, but his only role is to be the greatest fan of this blog. To learn more, check out the About section.