Silistra, on the banks of the Danube River, is home to about 50,000 people.
Bus services from Ruse, Varna, Shumen, Dobrich, Veliko Turnovo, Razgrad, Sofia Train Sofia-Silistra /but not recommended in my opinion/ Main roads to Ruse 120 km, Razgrad 90 km, Shumen 130 km, Dobrich 80 km. Varna via Dobrich 135 km. Constanta /Romania/ 130 km. The roads are in good condition, but in the winter are little problematic when snowing. The winds blow the snow through the road and in the low parts /Dobroudja is hilly area/ can be large sleeps.. Never drive alone in the winter, no matter in a daylight or not! Nearest airports are in Bucharest OTP, Varna WAR and Constanta /this is in Romania/ There is a border crossing point to Romania in the town, and foot near one can board a ferry to the other side of the Danube river; from there to Calarasi, the Romanian town across. Another option is a watertaxi service from Drustar hotel, but this is operated just in the summer. In Calarasi take off point is at the canal near the city park there.
- 1 Silistra railway station.
Silistra is not that big and easy to explore by foot. The Gallery of fine arts is in the very center, the hotels, the shopping area, town's park along the river, cafés, restasurants lie in that area. If you need transport, get a taxi - just wave at the free one /green lamp/, its cheep €1-2 in town. Many locals use bycycle as transport. Sometimes you can see a donkey carts also.. ;)
Silistra is 2000 years old, and the roman general Flavius Aetius, that was the only one to defeat Attila the Hun, is born and raised in Silistra, then called Durrostorum. In the middle ages the town was the seat of the Church, and many - from Byzantines to Celtic, Gothic, Avar, Alan, Russian, Turkish and of course, Slavic and proto-Bulgarian people had lived or passed by here. Ruins from the past can be seen lying all around. Public swimming pools, tennis courts by the Drustar Hotel 5*.
- 1 Medjidi Tabia fortress (Меджиди табия). Last standing Ottoman fortress after Russo-Turkish wars. There's a small museum inside. Entrance €1.
- 2 Roman Tomb of Silistra. An ancient Roman burial tomb, dating back to the mid-4th century AD. This tomb is the best-preserved architectural monument of the Ancient Roman city of Durostorum and features extensive frescoes.
- 3 Archaeological Museum of Silistra.
- Danube Garden. One of the oldest parks in Bulgaria, with many oak trees and excellent views over the river.
- Gallery of fine Arts. Housed in an ex-Romanian military school, beautiful building with fine objects within.
Take a river boat ride. Ask at Drustar Hotel or in the Infocenter at the Municipality. There are combined efforts to develop tourism in Dobroudja alongside Romanian municipalities north of the border and Bulgarian ones.
Rent a car and drive to the Kainardja village 30 km. There is a history spot where the Peace after the First Crimean war 1774 /Russo-Turkish/ was signed. The village has famous wine cellar.. 10 km. away, near the Strelkovo village /big honey producing place/ is the shrine of the Tracian god Zalmoxis, believed to be the father of Dionissius, the ancient Greek god of Wine.. Bulgarians celebrate this ancient tradition every 14 February, alongside with the orthodox saint Trifon and the catholic Valentine.. Wine, love, women and gods... How not to think about Orpheus, with his songs and music, that could resurrect the dead... and who was first Thracian god, then Greek.. Get to Alfatar, where the Beautiful Albena has lived. Enjoy folk dance, music and traditions presented to you in Boryana's house - another famous beauty from Yordan Yovkov novelas.. Bulgarian folklore is unique, no other like that survived the ages.. Do not mistake to think the modern popfolk /or chalga, said in Bulgarian/ is the authentic folk-music.. ask at the hotel to play some real pieces to you.. And there are several tv channels that play authentic style. Make the difference! From there you can take a trip to Tervel town /beautiful church/ and Dobrich. Or drive to Tutrakan town, on the Danube bank, famous with a fine fish soup and Fire over Water festival /end of June/. How about facing the 1st of July sunrise with Ken form Uriah Heep singing live July Morning? Well - be there!
The Silistra town feast is on 14 September - the Cross Rising day. There is a small version of Oktoberfest back the Municipality, near park entrance. There is also a fair, kids entertainment and concerts and cultural events during the feast week.
Meanwhile, 11 km on the way to Constanta is situated the Dervent Monastery. The legend says that Holy Apostle Andrew has preached in Dobroudja after Christ Transcend, and there is a spring near that is running after St. Andrew hit the ground in a hot summer day to fill the thirst of him an his disciples. The monastery church is believed by women to help conceive, after a night spent in. Further near Adamchlisi is Tropeum Trajani - a roman monument marking emperor Trajan's victory over Dacian tribes. A little further is St. Andrew Monastery, with the cave, where the Holy Apostle is believed to had used as church and living premises. It's a great place and worth a visit.
St. Paul and St. Peter is the main church in town, beautifully decorated and packed with orthodox icons. You should listen to the church choir chants during a mass, unbelievable... Buy an icon. Light a candle - up for the living, down for the dead.. Pray in front of your patron saint..
In the evening is best to visit one of the many taverns, good food, wines and beverages. Many of them has live music played, and if you're eager, you can learn one to two easy folk-dances - horo - where all dancers hold each others by hands. Its fun and also calories burning experience, since it takes a lot of hopping and swinging. Ask somebody to show you how.
- 1 Srebarna Nature Reserve (Природен резерват Сребърна) (Near Srebarna village. 18km west of Silistra, 2 km south of banks of Danube). Nature reserve surrounding a quite shallow lake (3m of depth at its maximum) which is an important stop over point for migratory birds. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985, the reserve also houses a museum which exhibits stuffed animals typical to the area. A World Birding Biosphere Reserve since 1977, this Important Birding Area (IBA) has been a protected area since the 1940s and under the Ramsar convention since 1975.
Wines in Bulgaria are very good. The local sort is white fetyaska, but riesling is also fine. Red wines are noble.. long aftertaste, rich nose, and a pleasure for the tongue. Other Bulgarian unique brands are Gumza, Broad Melnik vine, Mavrud.. to name some.. Hell, the wine production started here at the ancient times, where is believed to biblical Flood, when Black sea was connected to Mediterranean in some geological disaster creating Bosphorus and Dardaneles.. and before that.. Bulgarians love wine /.. and beer.. and rakia../, almost every family has own vineyard, and traditionally makes his own wine.. The rests is used to brew a moonshine, called rakya /grappa/, a strong 40-60 ¤ high alcohol drink, usually drank with a salad as a starter. Bulgaria's welcome drink. Meanwhile, rakia is being made not only from grapes, but from fruits also - apples, pears, plums, apricots / Silistra special/, cherry, melons, roses.. in fact just cucumbers and cabbage is not being used for that.. My cousin once distilled rakia made from quince and carrots..It was fine.. And the whole process of extracting the rakia is hell of experience.. Getting to the distillery /called kazan/ with the material, the firewood, drinks and food and other stuff while brewing.. Enjoy! Cofee is fine, and in the local cafe starts every day. The rest of the day two or three more - in a bar or cafe near the job, on the way home. Teas are also popular, but people most enjoy herbal tea, since Bulgaria is herbal rich. Bulgaria is the Land of Roses.
- Pelican Lake Guesthouse (Environmental Project Centre), Petko Simov 16 (200m from Natural History Museum and Lakeside Ecotrails), ☏ . Small guesthouse with A/C, wi-fi, splash pool, fruit and vegetable garden, information and tours of Srebarna Reserve. €15-50/night off-season, 20% more May-Oct, breakfast €4, packed lunch €5, dinner €6.