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Exploring the past in Bulgaria

At the heart of the ancient world, Bulgaria’s archaeological heritage is under-explored. Many of the sites are on a par with those in neighbouring Turkey and Greece but the big difference for the visitor to Bulgaria is that there are none of the huge crowds you will find at the more famous sites. Bulgaria has some 40,000 archaeological and historical sites, seven of which are included on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites and a further eight are on the tentative list. These sites range in date from the earliest farmers some 8,000 years ago to monuments constructed since 1944.

Tips & Ideas for exploring the past in Bulgaria

Fresco from the thracian tomb near Aleksandrovo. Thracians in Bulgaria Today
Bulgaria has some quite spectacular archaeology, certainly rivalling that of neighbouring Greece and Turkey. But perhaps none more unique to Bulgaria than the extraordinary heritage of the Thracians. Although this group of ancient tribes inhabited a large part of the south eastern Balkan Peninsular including Greece, Romania and Turkey, it is in Bulgaria that we find the best of the Thracians today. Following in the footsteps of the Thracians takes you to to a number of beautifully decorated tombs, some of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and to collections of exquisite gold and silver metalwork in the country’s finest museums.

Finding the best Archaeology & History sites & museums in Bulgaria

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North West
Vidin, Montana, Vratsa

North Central
Pleven, Lovech, Veliko, Turnovo, Gabrovo, Ruse

North East
Varna, Dobrich, Shumen, Turgovishte, Razgrad, Silistra

South West
Grad Sofia, Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Pernik, Kyustendil

South Central
Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Khaskovo, Pazardzhik, Smolyan, Kurdzhali

South East
Burgas, Sliven, Yambol

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Move Over Italy & Greece, Bulgaria is Europe’s New Archaeology Destination

With a magnificent coastline on the Black Sea, the Balkan state of Bulgaria is at the very edge of south eastern Europe. You will not find an iconic monument to rival the Colosseum or the Parthenon, but Bulgaria has a complex and fascinating past that has been shaped by Greek, Latin, Slavic, Ottoman, Persian and Soviet influences … Continue Reading >>

Thomas Dowson

Archaeology Travel

Reproduction of the oldest gold artefacts, from a Neolithic necropolis near Varna.