I’ve heard lots of people praise Plovdiv lately and it has always surprised me that they seem to know nothing about Veliko Tarnovo. In our humble opinion the old capital of Bulgaria is WAY prettier than Plovdiv. Instead of trying to convince you with words, we’ve decided to show it through pictures. We’re not even professional photographers and what we ended up capturing during our recent short visit is pretty darn good!
We have spent a large part of our lives in Gorna Oryahovitsa – a small town only 7 kilometers away from Veliko Tarnovo and we still have some family there (grandparents, cousins and aunts) which was the reason we spent our Easter holidays in this area. As weird as this may sound, we almost had no pictures of Veliko Tarnovo (how often do you take photos of the city you live in?) so we decided to take a quick walk around and just shoot what we see. When we came back and downloaded the photos, I was stunned. See for yourselves!
Tsarevets (Tsarevetz) from below
We drove to Veliko Tarnovo through Arbanassi. As we entered the city we had the opportunity to see the Tsarevets fortress from below. I will soon tell you more about the fortress! Take a look at this image:
Standing on the bridge, we turned around and saw the Bishop’s bridge on the other side. This is what it looked like:
The Tsarevetz Fortress
After we were done admiring the view from below Tsarevetz, we headed up towards the entrance of the fortress. As you will see on the pictures here, it is absolutely magnificent. On the right side of Tsarevetz is the Trapezitza hill to which (unfortunately) there is still no access as it is being renovated and prepared for visitors. Rumor has it that it will be ready until the end of the year and we absolutely can’t wait!
The main street of Veliko Tarnovo
We parked the car near the main shopping street of the city and decided to take a walk, do some window shopping and eventually grab a beer somewhere. As we crossed the street, I snapped a quick photo of it.
Panoramic view of Veliko Tarnovo
We continued our walk up that street, took a right turn as the road stirred us at its end and saw something that wasn’t there before: a panoramic terrace! Why should you can you ask? Here’s the answer:
If you decide to visit, click here for the Google maps location of the panoramic balcony. While we were being silly taking selfies on the terrace, dad decided we are worthy of a picture.
A walk on Gurko Street in Veliko Tarnovo
After seeing the view from up there and noticing where General Gurko Street was, we didn’t want to waste any more time and headed to it (by then we had completely forgotten of our plans to have beers and coffees). General Gurko Street is one of the most beautiful streets in the old town of Veliko Tarnovo. With traditional houses, perched on the hill much like swallows on wire on the left and a breathtaking view of the Assenevtzi (Assenevtsi) monument on the right, you will not want to leave! Just take a look at this:
These views were the last on our walk – we had to get back to family and dive into the Easter traditions. But not until a decision was made: a decision that we will see the sun rise above Tsarevetz on the next day.
Sunrise in Veliko Tarnovo
As planned we woke up at 5 a.m. and with one eye still half open jumped in the car to head off to Tsarevetz. As soon as we reached the highest point of the Arbanassi hill we realized that a thick fog had covered the entire fortress… Bugger! We didn’t have a drone, so we spent some time driving around and trying to find a place where one could see Tsarevetz from above. Let me save you the trouble: there isn’t such place. Perhaps in a building somewhere nearby, but nothing that you can have access to unless you’ve booked in advance.
Quite disappointed at first we headed off to the Assenevtzi monument and our disappointment didn’t last long… It was one of the most beautiful sunrises we had ever seen!
Actually, we enjoyed the morning in Veliko Tarnovo so much, that we decided to make a little video. Hope you enjoy it: