Veliko Tarnovo is a medieval town, very picturesque and full of charm, located in the north-central Bulgaria, in a hilly area that attracts a lot of foreign tourists. Veliko Tarnovo is famous as the historical capital of the Third Bulgarian Empire, situated on three hills and along the Yantra River, the medieval town is the perfect place for lovers of palaces, fortresses, monasteries and houses of stone and also here, you'll see up the hill, the village Arbanassi, with its century old houses, from 16-17 century, some of them have become museums, churches and monasteries. Besides the medieval air, the city offers numerous pubs and terraces with delicious dishes, and prices are more than decent, also you’ll find clothing, jewelry, handbags and shoes, all handmade and great quality.
Tiny Gurko Street, with its narrow cobbled streets, picturesque houses and some wonderful views of the city which is not visible from the hill fortress Tsarevets, will definitely catch your attention. The fortress was, in turn, a fortress, a royal house and a patriarchal palace, a part of the ruins actually being even reconstructed in medieval spirit. The fortress covers a large area and the walk is pleasant, especially since you can admire an impressive view towards Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi. Here is found the Bulgarian kings palace, of which there are still some ruins, especially debris throne room. Here is the residence of the Bulgarian Patriarchate, currently, consisting of the Patriarchal Cathedral "Holy Ascension of the Lord."
On Rakovsky Lane Street, you will find antique shops, clothing boutiques , workshops where craftsmen paint, sculpt or make jewelry. Beside the fortress, it is interesting to visit also the Cathedral, built in the nineteenth century and renovated in 1913.
The church of the 40 Martyrs was built by order of Tsar Ivan Assen II in honor of the victory of Klokotnitsa in March 1230 and was largely demolished, being the place where Bulgaria was declared independent.
The Old town area, perfectly preserved, covers three hills: Tsarevets, Trapezița and Sveta Gora, forming a gorgeous embossed floor, which required over time to develop an architecture adapted to the mountainous area. The church has become a symbol of the hill Tsarevets once belonged to the Bulgarian Patriarchate, currently being a museum.
Bulgarians are known for particularly tasty foods, like fish dishes, salads, various traditional recipes, grilled vegetables or pork and veal…also huge portions and decent prices.
Shtastlivetsa is in my opinion one of the best restaurants in town, with an overwhelming menu, who can satisfy the most demanding tastes. You should try their pizza, is unbelievable! Bulgarians tradition excels in cosmetics and other products of roses, and in Veliko are everywhere creams, perfumes, jams, honey rose petals…
The city is a perfect destination for a day trip or a weekend. I really enjoyed and I recommend it to others!