Travel blog: Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria

"Koprivshtitsa ... oh my God, a village as small as a box, where only rye grows, where winter lasts nine months a year, where the most used roads are just two spans wide, where noble guests are accepted as hadji; that neither Blanqui, nor Ami Boué, nor Cyprian Robert, nor Louis Legér etc. etc... ever visited; and look what rabble of activists and patriots this place has produced".

Zahari Stoyanov, Bulgarian writer and revolutionary


If you are looking for a weekend get-away and you like the spirit of old and beautiful Bulgarian villages/towns, Koprivshtitsa is the place to be! Located in central Bulgaria close to the Balkan mountains, the town is actually an architectural reserve and it attracts tourists with the delicious local cuisine and beautiful colorful houses. In contrast, Bulgarians also love this place because of the history behind it. Koprivshtitsa was one of the centers of the April uprising in 1876 against the Ottoman empire. Many of the revolutionaries who took part in it as well as many famous Bulgarian writers were born in Koprivshtitsa – and their homes are turned into interesting house-museums. A curious fact is that the uprising was actually not successful in a way that the rebels were tortured and hanged. However, in Bulgarian history this uprising is one of the most symbolic and significant ones as it had an impact on the Bulgarian spirit and liberation in 1878.

If you are wondering how to reach Koprivshtitsa, you will have to choose between car, train or bus. There are two things to point out, though. As far as I know there are buses only from and to Sofia. Also, when it comes to a train trip, the railway station is around 15 km away. There is usually a minivan that picks up the passengers from the train station and takes them to Koprivshtitsa (they charge you a few leva for that), but the schedule of the minivan must be checked in advance. This means that the most convenient way to travel to Koprivshtitsa is definitely by car.

Many of the old houses are now hotels or restaurants, so make sure to spend at least a day (or two) in Koprivshtitsa. Most of them have also preserved the Bulgarian spirit and style for furniture and colors, so you can’t help but fall in love with the town. I personally have visited the restaurant “Pri chuchura” and stayed at Bonchova guest house and can only praise them both.

If you are not into museums and galleries, a simple walk around the beautiful paved streets in Koprivshtitsa will be enough for you to take great photos and to feel the lovely atmosphere. There are also two eco trails – “Trakiiski mogili” and “Po patya na zdraveto”, the second one being famous for the sports equipment along it and starting at Doganska str.

In any case, one of the most common activities in Koprivshtitsa is definitely visiting the museums. Most of them include old photographs, accessories, authentic furniture, old books or even weapons used in the April uprising. One ticket (costs 6 lv) gives you entry to six of the most famous museums – you can purchase the ticket at each one of the museums included:

  • The ethnographic Lyutova (or also Topalova) house-museum;
  • Georgi Benkovski house-museum and Georgi Benkovski monument (which is close to the house-museum and offers amazing view over Koprivshtitsa). Georgi Benkovski is famous Bulgarian hero who took part in the uprising;
  • The old school
  • The house-musem of Lyuben Karavelov, a famous Bulgarian writer and revolutionary;
  • The house-musem of Dimcho Debelyanov, a famous Bulgarian writer;
  • The house-museum of Todor Kableshkov, a Bulgarian revolutionary and one of the leaders of the uprising;

Other museums or places which you should definitely visit (and don’t worry, the entry fee is either really really cheap or non-existent):

  • The ethnographic Oslekova house-museum named after its owner who was hanged after the uprising as his house was where the clothes of the rebels were made;
  • Uspenie Bogorodichno church which is around 200 years old as well as St. Nicholas church
  • "Kalacheviyat most" bridge. It is where the April uprising started and this is why it is also called “The first shot” bridge (in Bulgarian "Parvata pushka")
  • The art gallery
  • The April ossuary

What I definitely recommend is visiting Koprivshtitsa over the weekend, when all restaurants and museums are open (some of them may be closed on Monday or Tuesday). This is when the town is full of tourists, so it is very lively and the atmosphere is really pleasant. Also, try to visit Koprivshtitsa in spring, summer or autumn (especially in autumn when the hills surrounding Koprivhstitsa are really colorful). Also, sports shoes are a must because of the paved roads which are also very slippery in winter.

Check my travel map and follow me on Instagram to see more photos from Bulgaria!

Log In