19 days in Bulgaria & Istanbul Itinerary

19 days in Bulgaria & Istanbul Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe travel route maker

Make it your trip
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Nessebar, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Shuttle
3
Varna, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
4
Silistra, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
5
Ruse, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
6
Pleven, Bulgaria
— 1 day
Drive
7
Vidin, Bulgaria
— 1 day
Drive
8
Montana, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
9
Sofia, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
10
Sandanski, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
11
Peshtera, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
12
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
13
Smolyan, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
14
Kardzhali, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
15
Kazanlak, Bulgaria
— 1 day
Drive
16
Yambol, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive

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Istanbul, Turkey

— 3 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Istanbul is known for historic sites, museums, and shopping. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Hagia Sophia Mosque, contemplate the waterfront views at Bosphorus Strait, indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, and take an in-depth tour of Galata Tower.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Istanbul trip builder website.

If you are flying in from Turkey, the closest major aiports are İstanbul Airport, İstanbul Atatürk Airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. In September, daytime highs in Istanbul are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can go by car to Nessebar.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 12 — 15:

Nessebar, Bulgaria

— 1 night

Pearl of the Black Sea

Between the ruggedly beautiful Balkan Mountains and shores of the Black Sea lies the World Heritage Site, Nessebar.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): look for gifts at JCraft Jewelry Shop, then explore the ancient world of Nessebar, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at Erma Spa Turkish Bath.

For maps, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Nessebar travel itinerary planner.

You can drive from Istanbul to Nessebar in 5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Turkey Time (TRT) to Eastern European Standard Time (EET), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect little chillier evenings in Nessebar when traveling from Istanbul in September, with lows around 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can catch the shuttle to Varna.

Things to do in Nessebar

Historic Sites · Fun & Games · Spas · Baths

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 15 — 16:

Varna, Bulgaria

— 1 night

Marine Capital of Bulgaria

Combine historical exploration and seaside relaxation at Varna, Bulgaria's coastal Black Sea city.
On the 17th (Fri), admire the natural beauty at ''Primorski'' park, then take an in-depth tour of Varna Archaeological Museum, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, and finally delve into the distant past at Stone Forest.

Plan a trip to Varna easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can take a shuttle from Nessebar to Varna in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In September in Varna, expect temperatures between 29°C during the day and 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can travel to Silistra.

Things to do in Varna

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 17:

Silistra, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Silistra is a port city in northeastern Bulgaria. Start off your visit on the 18th (Sat): make a trip to Medzhit Tabiya Fort and then admire the natural beauty at Dunavska Gradina.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Silistra trip builder.

Traveling by car from Varna to Silistra takes 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in September, and nighttime lows around 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Ruse.

Things to do in Silistra

Parks
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 18:
Highlights from your trip

Ruse, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Ruse is the fifth largest city in Bulgaria. Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Dimitrii of Basarbovo Monastery, explore the activities along Danube River, and then make a trip to Freedom Square.

For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Ruse trip maker.

Traveling by car from Silistra to Ruse takes 2 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can travel to Pleven.

Things to do in Ruse

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 18 — 19:

Pleven, Bulgaria

— 1 day
Pleven is the seventh most populous city in Bulgaria. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): stroll around Park Kaylaka, take an in-depth tour of Pleven Epopee 1877, and then examine the collection at Regional Historical Museum.

For reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Pleven travel route planner.

You can drive from Ruse to Pleven in 2 hours. In September, daytime highs in Pleven are 29°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can travel to Vidin.

Things to do in Pleven

Museums · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 19 — 20:
Highlights from your trip

Vidin, Bulgaria

— 1 day
Vidin is a port town on the southern bank of the Danube in north-western Bulgaria. Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of Vidin Synagogue, see the interesting displays at Baba Vida Fortress, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at St. Panteleimon Church.

For reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Vidin vacation planning tool.

You can drive from Pleven to Vidin in 3.5 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Vidin can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to travel to Montana.

Things to do in Vidin

Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 21:

Montana, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Montana is a city in northwestern Bulgaria, located 50km south of the Danube river, 40km northwest of Vratsa and 30km east of the Serbian border. On the 22nd (Wed), explore the ancient world of Ancient Fortress, then pause for some serene contemplation at Klisurski Monastery, and then don't miss a visit to Berkovitsa.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Montana online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Vidin to Montana takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in September, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Sofia.

Things to do in Montana

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 21 — 22:

Sofia, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Spend time in one of Europe's oldest cities, the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): take in the local highlights with Walking tours, then admire the landmark architecture of St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, and then admire the landmark architecture of Church St. George Rotunda.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Sofia road trip tool.

Drive from Montana to Sofia in 2.5 hours. In September, daytime highs in Sofia are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Sandanski.

Things to do in Sofia

Find places to stay Sep 22 — 23:

Sandanski, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Sandanski is a town and a recreation centre in south-western Bulgaria, part of Blagoevgrad Province. Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): walk around Townpark and then make a trip to Kordopulova House.

For reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Sandanski holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Sofia to Sandanski takes 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Peshtera.

Things to do in Sandanski

Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 23 — 24:
Highlights from your trip

Peshtera, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Peshtera is a town in southern Bulgaria. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): examine the collection at Cars Of Socialism, then Head underground at Cave Snejanka, and then admire the landmark architecture of St. Dimitar Church.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Peshtera tour itinerary builder.

Getting from Sandanski to Peshtera by car takes about 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 31°C in September, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Plovdiv.

Things to do in Peshtera

Parks · Museums · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 24 — 25:

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

— 1 night

City of the Seven Hills

Though it is often seen as merely a stopover city, Plovdiv is actually a lively university town with bohemian cafes, a thriving art scene, and exciting nightlife.
On the 26th (Sun), see the interesting displays at Ethnographic Museum, contemplate the long history of Plovdiv Roman Theatre, and then don't miss a visit to Plovdiv Old Town.

For where to stay, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Plovdiv trip builder site.

You can drive from Peshtera to Plovdiv in an hour. In September, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 16°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can drive to Smolyan.

Things to do in Plovdiv

Find places to stay Sep 25 — 26:

Smolyan, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Smolyan is a town and ski resort in the far south of Bulgaria near the border with Greece. On the 27th (Mon), don't miss a visit to The Wonderful Bridges, Head underground at Uhlovica Cave, and then take in breathtaking views at Waterfalls Canyon.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Smolyan attractions planner.

Drive from Plovdiv to Smolyan in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Kardzhali.

Things to do in Smolyan

Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 26 — 27:
Highlights from your trip

Kardzhali, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Tue): take in the spiritual surroundings of St. John the Baptist, then explore the ancient world of Perperikon, and then take in the dramatic natural features at The Stone Mushrooms.

To find reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Kardzhali trip planning site.

Getting from Smolyan to Kardzhali by car takes about 2 hours. In September, daytime highs in Kardzhali are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Kazanlak.

Things to do in Kardzhali

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 27 — 28:

Kazanlak, Bulgaria

— 1 day
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): pause for some photo ops at Buzludzha, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rozhdestvo Hristovo Temple, and then don't miss a visit to Thracian Tomb .

To find traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Kazanlak trip planner.

Drive from Kardzhali to Kazanlak in 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 29°C in September, and nighttime lows around 13°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can travel to Yambol.

Things to do in Kazanlak

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 28 — 29:

Yambol, Bulgaria

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 30th (Thu): brush up on your military savvy at Museum of Battle Glory and then walk around Central City Park.

To find out how to plan a trip to Yambol, use our trip itinerary maker.

Getting from Kazanlak to Yambol by car takes about 1.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Yambol when traveling from Kazanlak in September, with lows around 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Yambol

Parks · Museums
Find places to stay Sep 29 — 30:

Bulgaria travel guide

4.4
Eventful history has endowed Bulgaria with a rich cultural, architectural, and artistic heritage, while natural beauty and recreational opportunities make it one of Europe's most desirable holiday destinations. Carpeted by dense forests and fed by mighty rivers, this ancient land once drew invaders from distant corners of Europe. Today, the country's Black Sea coastline and seven rugged mountain ranges top the itineraries of nearly 8 million annual visitors. While its growing cities offer modern shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities, Bulgaria's countryside remains a history buff's paradise, boasting well-preserved reminders of ancient civilizations that conquered or passed through this land. Begin your Bulgarian adventure in Sofia, one of Europe's oldest capitals, with over 250 historic landmarks.

Pazardzhik Province travel guide

4.2
Bodies of Water · Nightlife · Caves
Pazardzhik Province is a province in Southern Bulgaria, named after its administrative and industrial centre - the city of Pazardzhik. The territory is 4,456.9 km that is divided into 12 municipalities with a total population of 275,548 inhabitants, as of February 2011.HistoryThe territory of the Pazardzhik Province has been inhabited since very early times. There are more than 50 discovered Stone Age and Bronze Age settlements. The earliest civilization to inhabit the region were the Thracians. The remains of the Thracian town Besapara are located in the hills near the provincial capital Pazardzhik. The Panagyurishte Treasure unearthed near the northern town of the same name is known as one of the finest examples of Thracian art. The 6.164 kg of 23-karat gold treasure which consists of nine vessels has been dated back to the 4th and 3rd century BC. In the 1st century BC the region became a Roman province and remained in the Byzantine Empire after the fall of Rome.Most of the region became part of the Bulgarian Empire in the beginning of the 9th century and remained in Bulgarian hands until the fall of the First Empire. With the rise of the Second Bulgarian Empire the region once again became part of the country until it was overran by the Ottomans in the late 14th century. Some of medieval fortresses are Tsepina near the village of Dorkovo and Krasen in the vicinities of Bata.

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