Weekend in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria: What to see & What to do

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

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Planning a weekend trip to Stara Zagora, Bulgaria? Find out how to spend a weekend in Stara Zagora from learning about its history to a beer fun tour and much more.

Most of you, even if you’re a regular reader of the blog, probably don’t know that Owl Over The World is a member of ASTOM (the association of the owners of tourist online media in Bulgaria). Along with fellow travel bloggers from ASTOM, we were invited to spend a 3 day weekend in Stara Zagora, the fifth largest city in Bulgaria.

Quick Introduction to Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Stara Zagora is the fifth-largest city in Bulgaria and the administrative capital of the homonymous Stara Zagora Province. Stara Zagora has a rich history illustrated by the many ancient Roman buildings and ruins, which are preserved in the city’s center and not only.

The city of Stara Zagora was founded in 342 BC on the site of a Thracian settlement. Since then, Stara Zagora has changed its name a couple of times, 8 to be exact, and has been also under the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

The current name Stara Zagora has Slavic roots – Stara means old and Zagora comes from the medieval region of Zagore. Under the Ottoman Empire, the city was named Ulpia Augusta Traiana in honor of emperor Trajan. Other old names of Stara Zagora are Vereia and Beroe.

Stara Zagora is called the city of Linden – the best time to witness Linden is from May to Mid-July.

Stara Zagora is also called ”The center of the Universe”.

This post is not about an itinerary that you should follow if you’re traveling for the weekend to Stara Zagora. This post is about what you can find in the city and what I enjoyed the most.

Weekend in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

Baga-Tur

Baga-Tur is one of a kind, one & only, and unique pre-Bulgarians survival school. The time that we spent in the Baga-Tur school was one of the best times during our trip, as we had lots of fun there.

The aim of the Baga-Tur school is to remind people about the values of the pre-Bulgarians and show them how were they living, what kind of weapons they were using and how to use them. There are regular groups of kids there learning to ride horses, use swords and archery.

You can be part of the fun too. Every visitor to the school can get a riding lesson or archery lesson, for example. They also set up performances and demonstrations of the lives of the pre-Bulgarians.

The Baga-Tur school is located in the Ayazmoto Park, which is also part of the Stara Zagora Zoo.

If you have a weekend in Stara Zagora or even less time, I highly recommend checking out the Baga-Tur school.

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

 

Beer time!

Zagora Brewery is the only brewery in the country open for visitors and it’s the only beer museum in Bulgaria as well.

During the tour, the visitors get to see the first bottled beer, a collection from all the bottles that have been used for Zagorka, the museum with personal belongings of the first founder, and also learn more about the brewery, of course.

The tour lasts for about an hour and a half – you’ll have 45 minutes for the tour itself and then another 45 minutes for beer tasting and drinking.

Tours are held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Admission is 8 BGN

P.S. Just on the other side of the Zagorka Museum and the brewery is the Zagorka lake – a nice place where you can kill some time, walk around and relax.

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

Events

If you have a weekend in Stara Zagora, don’t miss out to check what’s going on around the city and what events might be held during that time. When we visited Stara Zagora, we went to a concert and also got the chance to go for a while at the stadium and watch the Balkaniada.

On top of that, Stara Zagora’s Opera is known as one of the best ones in the country and it’s building is the biggest one on the Balkanian Peninsula. You can also check the theater or the puppet theater.

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

The Museum of Religions

The Architectural complex “Museum of religions” is a unique cult place in the center of Stara Zagora, situated in the former Eski Mosque.

The museum is so unique because it’s the only place known so far that has been home to three religions: pagan sanctuary dedicated to the Thracian horseman, medieval Christian cemetery church, and Muslim temple. 

The wall-paintings and the decorations are unique on their own as well.

I was truly impressed and fascinated by this place.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM

Admission: 3 BGN

Lecture in Bulgarian: 10 BGN

Lecture in English or Russian: 20 BGN

 

Museum House Geo Milev

Geo Milev is an important name in Bulgarian literature. He was a poet, journalist, and translator.

His most famous poem is called ”September” and it was published in 1924. The poem describes the brutal suppression of the Bulgarian uprising of September 1923. In the Museum House, you can learn a lot more about him, his life and his work.

He lost his right eye during World War I and he had a glass eye as a replacement. That’s how his body was recognized years after his death, found in a mass grave near Sofia. In 1925, Geo Milev was taken to a police station for a “short interrogation” from which he never returned.

The Museum hosts cultural events and theatrical performances.

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

Hilendar Convent

Vasil Ivanov Kunchev known as Vasil Levski was a Bulgarian revolutionary. Dubbed the Apostle of Freedom, he’s considered by many of us as the greatest Bulgarian and he’s a national hero. He died in 1873, but no one ever forgot him and never will, he will always live in the hearts of the Bulgarian people.

Levski ideologized and strategized a revolutionary movement to liberate Bulgaria from Ottoman rule.

The Hilendar Convent is a cellar school and the first of its kind for the region of Stara Zagora. The most interesting thing about it, however, is the connection to Vasil Levski. He started his education there and spent 3 years in this place.

You should book a visit in advance with the Regional History Museum.

Admission is 3 BGN.

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

The defenders of Stara Zagora and views

The memorial complex ”The Defenders of Stara Zagora” was built in 1977 in order to commemorate the men who were fighting in the National Liberation War. The monument is impressive by its size and is located on a hill, from where you can have a nice view to the city of Stara Zagora and some surrounding areas. 

The monument represents the Samara flag, which is one of the most important military symbols.

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

House of the Architect

We randomly stumbled upon this place after our first lunch in Stara Zagora. We decided to check it out and personally, I really liked this place. The house is alternative and very artistic. 

They also often organize different types of events. You can check out their Facebook page for more info. 

The Regional History Museum, Antique Forum Augusta Traiana, The Neolithic Dwellings Museum, Mosaics

The Regional History Museum

The Regional History Museum in Stara Zagora tells the story of the city, which started thousands and thousands of years ago. In the museum, you can see the traces of civilizations from 6 000 B.C. until today. During the last 10 000 years, Stara Zagora has been continuously inhabited. 

The museum was built on the remains of an ancient Roman city Augusta Traiana. The Reginal History Museum has several levels and each one represents different periods of the history of Stara Zagora. 

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM to 6 PM

Admission: 5 BGN

Lecture in Bulgarian: 10 BGN

Lecture in English or Russian: 20 BGN

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

Antique Forum Augusta Traiana

The Neolithic Dwellings Museum

This museum is one of the best-preserved expositions of people of Antiquity in Europe, dating back more than 8 000 years. 

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 9 AM to 12 PM & 1 PM to 5:30 PM

Admission: 5 BGN

Lecture in Bulgarian: 10 BGN

Lecture in English or Russian: 20 BGN

weekend in stara zagora bulgaria

Where to stay and eat in Stara Zagora

You can choose from many places to stay at on your weekend in Stara Zagora, I like Hotel La Roka. I can recommend this place, as it has a good location close to the center, it’s clean and tidy, and they also serve breakfast.

Other recommended places to stay in Stara Zagora:

Fox Rooms Aparthotel

Forum Hotel

Uniqato Hotel

Park Hotel Stara Zagora

Apart from our breakfast that was included in our stay in the hotel, we were getting lunch and dinner in Uniqato restaurant. Uniqato is a great restaurant that serves good food, but it’s a little bit pricey for Bulgarian standards. I can absolutely recommend the avocado and spelt salad, the zucchini salmon rolls, and many other things from the menu.  

 

Tourist Information Center

For more information on Stara Zagora or help with organizing your trip to the city of Linden, you can get in touch with the TIC of Stara Zagora.

Address: 27, Ruski Boulevard

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 8 PM & Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

Visit their website starazagora.love for more info.

Around Stara Zagora

Stara Zagora could be also a great starting point for visiting places in the surrounding area. If you have a long weekend in Stara Zagora, you can easily spare a day and visit some of these places.

Some of these places are the submerged church St. Ivan Rilski located in Jrebchevo dam, Shipka monument, Shipka memorial church, and Buzludzha, one of the best places to visit in Bulgaria.

READ NEXT: Day trip to Buzludzha

I want to thank the Stara Zagora tourism board for having us as guests in Stara Zagora. As always, opinions are my own. Thank you!

Thanks for reading, 

Bilyana

If you like this post, please share it with your friends and follow Owl Over The World on Facebook & Instagram for more travel tips & inspiration. 


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