is the capital city of Bulgaria. Its traditions are based on the 800 year old war between Bulgarians and the Turks. Now the Bulgarians are busy reconstructing their country and to be a part of the European Union.
I went to
in the winter and it was pretty boring from a young person's perspective, as well as quite gloomy (and freezing). But there are a few sights, although they looked totally deserted. It was somewhat depressing.
Varna is about 6 hours away (by train - maximum 30 leva) from
. It has clean beaches and lots of character - lovely people and very cheap. Varna's night life is great, eating out is very cheap.
is incredible, one of my favorite cities in Europe. There is so much to see in the old town, and the residents of Plovdiv are so nice and relaxed. The highlight of Bulgaria, for me.
Visit the world famous Boyana Church which can be reached by public bus, Sveta Petka Church which is surrounded by the Sheraton Hotel. So a half-day walk through
is enough to visit the most important sights -- if you want to do more, a full day is all right. Please note that you have to purchase and punch a second ticket for your backpack. I saw fellow travelers who got fined by paying 7 leva (a single ticket is 0,70 leva). This is still usual in some other eastern European countries, not only in Bulgaria. The "Inspectors" or "Kontrol" only speak Bulgarian and are mostly elder people. Be careful when you enter the street tram at Sofia railway station or some stops before it.
is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has the second largest university in Bulgaria, which gives it a young, vibrant feeling. There is so much history to see.
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