The North of Bulgaria a region situated between the natural borders of the Balkan Mountains to the west and south and the river Danube to the north. To the west, the region borders with the Bulgarian part of Dobrudja. North Bulgaria is often referred to by its name from Roman time Moesia.
The Bulgarian North is situated in the geographical area of the Danube plain. Its fertile grounds and the fact that it is situated along the banks of one of Europe's largest rivers that has been used for centuries for transportation purposes have contributed to the early settlement of people in the area. There are still remains of the era of Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire all across Moesia. Later, when the Slavs and the Proto-Bulgarians settled in the region, they built upon the legacy of their predecessors, utilising the many fortresses, roads and aqueducts, present even today, to their own needs. In the Middle Ages the region was home to the major cities of Bulgarians. During the Renaissance, the cultural and scientific development of Europe was funnelled through Danube to the entire East contributing to the Enlightenment across the Bulgarian lands as a whole. In modern times, after World War Two when Bulgaria fell under the influence of the Soviet block, the North was the gateway to the Soviet partners. Nowadays, however, the region is relatively underdeveloped when compared to other regions in Bulgaria. For tourist this means that, with the exception of larger towns, the region is not very lively. Nevertheless, the countless number of historical artefacts, remains from various epochs, are worth seeing: from ancient fortresses and medieval castles, to renaissance homes and baroque opera houses; from traditional hand-crafts to classical fine arts; the region towns like the ones nicknamed "Small Vienna" and "Second Bulgarian Empire Capital" are full of culture and history.
The cities in the region vary from student towns filled with historical and cultural entertainments to industrial urban areas.
- 1 Arbanassi (Арбанаси) — a village with several historical churches
- 2 Belogradchik (Белоградчик) — the remnants of an old Roman outpost in the Bulgarian northwest; with some interesting rock formations which make it a popular destination for avid climbers, even if it is slightly off the beaten track
- 3 Chiprovtsi (Чипровци) — a quaint mountain town famous for its carpets, known locally as kilimi, which are hand-woven on vertical looms—you can watch a weaving demonstration, participate in a weaving class, or enjoy a hike to the nearby Chiprovtsi Waterfall
- 4 Lovech (Ловеч) — known as "the city of lilacs" due to the dense woods of lilacs growing on the feet of Stratesh Park towering over the city, Lovech has a lovely old town and one of the few bridges in the world with shops over it
- 5 Pleven
- 6 Ruse (Русе) — known as the "Small Vienna", the city centre offers an impressive architectural ensemble that cannot be found any place else within Bulgaria. The city boasts various places of interest among which the Sexiginta Prista Roman Castle, The Theatre, The House of Caliopa, The Pantheon and so on.
- 7 Varshets (Вършец) — Surround yourself in nature with a visit to Varshets. Located along the foothills of the Western Balkan Mountains under the watchful eye of the Todorini Kukli peak, Varshets refreshes the senses with fresh mountain air, curative mineral springs and a lush, green forest ready to explore.
- 8 Vidin (Видин) — A lovely city on the bank of Danube river situated in extreme northwest of Bulgaria
- 9 Vratsa (Враца) — one of the most picturesque cities in Bulgaria. The biggest city in northwestern Bulgaria after Sofia, the town is an important economical, administrative, and cultural center.
- 10 Veliko Tarnovo (Велико Търново) — a beautiful city along a winding river, capital of medieval Bulgarian kingdom between 12th and 14th centuries. The original city castle and walls are reconstructed. Be sure also to visit nearby Arbanassi.
- Baba Vida
- Belogradchik fortress
- Sexaginta Prista