9 days in Bulgaria & Romania Itinerary

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Fly
1
Sofia, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
2
Rila, Bulgaria
— 1 night
Drive
3
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
— 1 day
Shuttle
5
Bucharest, Romania
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Brasov, Romania
— 2 nights
Shuttle to Otopeni Airport, Fly to Lisbon

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Sofia, Bulgaria — 1 night

Spend time in one of Europe's oldest cities, the vibrant Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Sofia trip planner.

Lisbon, Portugal to Sofia is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of car and train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 2 hours traveling from Lisbon to Sofia. Traveling from Lisbon in February, expect Sofia to be a bit cooler, temps between 11°C and 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Rila.
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Historic Sites · Shopping · Fun & Games · Neighborhoods
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Rila, Bulgaria — 1 night

Rila is a town in southwestern Bulgaria, in Rila Municipality, part of Kyustendil Province. Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): take in the awesome beauty at Rila and then steep yourself in history at Rila Monastery.

To see ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read Rila journey planner.

Traveling by car from Sofia to Rila takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. February in Rila sees daily highs of 9°C and lows of -2°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to drive to Plovdiv.
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Historic Sites · Nature · Parks
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Plovdiv, Bulgaria — 2 nights

City of the Seven Hills

Though it is often seen as merely a stopover city, Plovdiv is actually a lively university town with bohemian cafes, a thriving art scene, and exciting nightlife.
On the 4th (Sat), make a trip to Plovdiv Old Town, explore the ancient world of Plovdiv Roman Theatre, have some family-friendly fun at Old Plovdiv Retro Photo, then examine the collection at Ethnographic Museum, then don't miss a visit to Ancient Stadium of Philippopolis, and finally test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Plovdiv travel planner.

You can drive from Rila to Plovdiv in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of taxi and train. In February, plan for daily highs up to 11°C, and evening lows to 0°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Sunny Beach.
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Sunny Beach, Bulgaria — 1 day

Famous for its nightlife, the town of Sunny Beach along the Black Sea coast is the most popular summer vacation spot in the country.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sun): do a tasting at Wine tasting Messembria and then make a splash at Action Aquapark.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Sunny Beach travel route planner.

Traveling by car from Plovdiv to Sunny Beach takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a daytime high around 10°C in February, and nighttime lows around 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to take a shuttle to Bucharest.
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Theme Parks · Wineries
Side Trip
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Bucharest, Romania — 2 nights

The booming city of Bucharest is a sophisticated metropolis with a high contrast of old- and new-world architecture.
On the 6th (Mon), get a sense of history and politics at Palace of Parliament, then contemplate the long history of Stavropoleos Monastery, then view the masterpieces at Muzeul National al Satului "Dimitrie Gusti", and finally stroll around Herăstrău Park. On the 7th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in nature's colorful creations at Cismigiu Parc, make a trip to Piaka Revolukiei, pause for some photo ops at Statuia Ecvestra a Lui Carol I, then admire the landmark architecture of Biblioteca Centrala Universitara, then test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, and finally visit Old Town.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the Bucharest trip planner.

Take a shuttle from Sunny Beach to Bucharest in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Sunny Beach in February, expect Bucharest to be little chillier, temps between 6°C and -3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Brasov.
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Brasov, Romania — 2 nights

With the dramatic Carpathian Mountains as backdrop, Brasov is the largest city in a region of mountain resorts.
On the 8th (Wed), explore the historical opulence of Rasnov Citadel, explore the historical opulence of Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle), don't miss a visit to Piaka Sfatului, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Black Church (Biserica Neagra), and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Muntele Tampa. On the 9th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: step into the grandiose world of Peles Castle.

To find traveler tips, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Brasov tour itinerary app.

You can drive from Bucharest to Brasov in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. On the 9th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.
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Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums
Side Trips
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Bulgaria travel guide

4.4
Eventful history has endowed Bulgaria with a rich cultural, architectural, and artistic heritage, while natural beauty and recreational opportunities make it one of Europe's most desirable holiday destinations. Carpeted by dense forests and fed by mighty rivers, this ancient land once drew invaders from distant corners of Europe. Today, the country's Black Sea coastline and seven rugged mountain ranges top the itineraries of nearly 8 million annual visitors. While its growing cities offer modern shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities, Bulgaria's countryside remains a history buff's paradise, boasting well-preserved reminders of ancient civilizations that conquered or passed through this land. Begin your Bulgarian adventure in Sofia, one of Europe's oldest capitals, with over 250 historic landmarks.
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Romania travel guide

4.3
Castles · Historic Walking Areas · Government Buildings
An image of ancient architecture contrasted against a backdrop of vivdly green landscape represents the country of Romania, which features a diversity of landscape that has been largely undeveloped. With numerous mountain, valley, and lakeside resorts, an abundance of activities await outdoor enthusiasts. The other side of Romanian tourism is its impressive collection of ancient ruins, prehistoric fortresses, and medieval castles. Many of these date back to prehistoric times, the Ottoman Empire, and Austro-Hungarian rule, the influences of which are still apparent in preserved details. Tourism in Romania is not as prevalent as other countries, which this makes the travel experience here feel more authentic and awe-inspiring. Check out this simple but captivating country and discover its natural and historic beauty.
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