A former Bulgarian capital, Veliko Turnovo is a city that should not be missed on the way down to Bulgaria from Bucharest. It is famous for its citadel and what a citadel it is. The walls are all intact and look extremely impressive, the sound and light show at night only adds to the spectacle of the town. With cliffs falling down to the Yantra River from the citadel, an epic Soviet statue lower in the city and a long meandering road up from the railway station to the citadel, it is a town that offers the perfect one night lay over either before or after Sophia. As you walk down towards the city there are restaurants and bars and a lot of places serving pizza, but don’t expect a great night out, enjoy the citadel, a few churches and it would be wiser to sleep early or party the night away with friends in the hostel itself.
Hostel Mostel – I stayed at the Hostel Mostel, which is just a couple of minutes away from the site of the sound and light show right in front of the citadel gates. The hostel welcomes its guests with a beer and food which I had never experienced before. It’s quiet, comfortable and off the main road to make it a perfect place to stay. It also can’t get much closer to the citadel from there. It’s around a half an hour walk from the train station but it’s always nice to walk through a city on arrival and that’s just what we did, taking the road as it winds up through the town.
A Golden Tip
Veliko Turnovo is the closest city to the crazy communist monument at Buzludzha. It is just eighty kilometres away and if you’re into that eerie communist architecture this is the best place to get to it all from.
Also, don’t miss the sound and light show at 8 pm each day at the Citadel in Veliko Turnovo.