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history • 9 days, 8 nights

A Journey Through Bulgaria’s Abandoned Ruins and Otherworldly Monuments

history • 9 days, 8 nights

A Journey Through Bulgaria’s Abandoned Ruins and Otherworldly Monuments

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  • Group Size 10 People Maximum
  • Activity Level
  • Travel Style
    Road Trip
from $1,970 USD per person
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Traveling with Atlas Obscura during COVID-19

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  • Implemented expansive new safety protocols
  • Reduced trip deposits to just $100
  • Made it easier than ever to reschedule your trip

To learn more:

Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
Trip Overview

Join Atlas Obscura for a unique and memorable introduction to one of Europe’s oldest countries: Bulgaria. Across nine days and eight nights we’ll dive into Europe’s most southeasterly corner, as we explore ancient civilizations and marvel at otherworldly relics of a communist utopia that never came to be. Immerse yourself in the rich and often tragic history of a country that stands on the frontier between Europe and the Middle East—a country that has seen the rise and fall of three historic Bulgarian Kingdoms. We’ll be accompanied throughout by two local experts, who between them have experience of running many such trips, combined with a deep knowledge and passion for the subject matter. And when we’re not learning about Bulgaria’s complex history—or admiring the underrated architectural masterpieces constructed during its communist period—our small group of intrepid explorers will be taking in jaw-dropping natural landscapes, wandering the streets and markets of picturesque old towns, and feasting on hearty local cuisine.

  • Otherworldly Communist monuments
  • Jaw-dropping landscapes and picturesque towns
  • Recent and ancient history
  • Hearty and fresh local cuisine


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Additional Info


The listed price of the trip is per person based on double occupancy.

Traveling Solo?

You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you: 

Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $440. After booking your trip, please request a private room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll send a separate invoice for the cost.

Activity Level

This trip will not be particularly physically demanding. Some walking will be required, and often over uneven ground, but rarely for more than a short distance at a time. Be prepared for between three to five miles of moderate walking over the course of a day. The longest walks will be in Sofia, on the first day, as we intend to explore much of the capital on foot. Be sure to bring proper walking boots or other outdoor footwear, and be aware that this tour also involves a good amount of driving time, so dress for comfort.

Arrival & Departure

For flights in and out of Sofia Airport (SOF), we suggest you arrive anytime by 4 p.m. on May 9 and depart anytime on May 17. 

  • Eight nights of accommodation in modern, well-equipped hotels.
  • Daily breakfast and dinner.
  • The company of an experienced foreign tour leader in addition to a local guide.
  • Private transport throughout the trip in a comfortable minibus, excluding airport transfers.
  • Admission to all proposed activities and events, including museums and memorial complexes.
  • 24/7 emergency assistance during your trip, provided by Global Rescue.
  • Transportation and flights to/from Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including lunches and alcoholic beverages.
  • If applicable, applying for a Bulgarian visa.
  • Airport transfers.
  • Customary gratuities for Trip Leader and support staff.
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Trip FAQ

The itinerary crafted for this trip will bypass the country’s more famous tourist attractions. Instead, we’ll be investing our time, curiosity, and dollars into regions and communities that typically don’t enjoy so much love from foreigners. Bulgaria’s socialist-era architecture and memorials will be a particular focus for us, and the photos and conversations we share after the trip will help to raise the profile of these heritage sites worldwide. Within Bulgaria itself, the fact that foreign groups are seen visiting such places helps to encourage the cultural re-evaluation needed to save many of these sites from ruin. Case in point, one of the largest sites we visit, the Buzludzha Memorial House, has recently been awarded a preservation planning grant by the Getty Foundation in LA—a result of the monument’s growing international recognition.

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Upcoming Departures

  • May 7–May 15, 2022
    from $1,970
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  • May 21–May 29, 2022
    from $1,970
    Few Spots Left
  • Sep 3–Sep 11, 2022
    from $2,180
Choose your own private trip dates
Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family. Trip cost may vary based on group size and travel dates.

Choose your own private trip dates

Inquire now about a private departure for friends and family.

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