Tryavna is one of the loveliest places in Bulgaria. I truly mean it.
How to get there?
It is located in central Bulgaria close to Gabrovo and Veliko Tarnovo. Although it is located at the foot of the Balkan mountains, it is fairly easy to reach Tryavna by car, bus or train.
What to do or see?
There are plenty of museums in Tryavna, including the Museum of the Wood-Carving and Ethnographical Arts, Slaveykov house-museum, the Old School Museum, the church of Archangel Michael, the museum of Asian and African art. They are all very interesting and the entry fees are usually very cheap (and there is a discount for students).
Tryavna is very popular because of the typical Bulgarian National Revival architecture – so walk along the main pedestrian street where you will find beautiful old houses, galleries and cozy shops that sell souvenirs, jams, sweets (try “orehovka” cookie made from walnuts!) and coffee on sand (a must!). The pedestrian street starts at a square with a really nice clock tower, symbolic for Tryavna, and continues along the old bridge over Trevnenska river behind the clock tower.
I personally recommend two spots in Tryavna if you want to enjoy a nice view and take awesome photos. One of them is the restaurant/café in Brashlyan complex (a hotel located on one of the hills around Tryavna) – it takes around 15-minutes walk from the main pedestrian street of Tryavna to reach it). From there you see the whole town and the view is really lovely. The other one is a minute away from the main pedestrian street, just behind the candy shops, and close to the museum of the Wood-Carving and Ethnographical Arts. Basically, if you are coming from the clock tower and you walk along the pedestrian street, take the first street on the left. You should soon reach Trevnenska river - there you the clock tower and the bridge beautifully reflecting in the river (if the weather is nice). This is the place where I took the photo above.
Visit a local restaurant (I personally recommend “Starata kashta”) where you will be able to taste food that is typical for the region (for instance, “trevnenska pitka” or Tryavna bread in English).
Stay at least a couple of days in the region – other places that you should definitely visit include Dryanovo monastery, Bacho Kiro cave, Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanasi, Etar ethno village and Sokolski monastery, Shipka pass, monument and church as well as Buzludzha monument. My personal favourite is the architectural reserve Bozhentsi.
You should consider visiting Tryavna in May – this is when locals organize Trabant Fest! Make sure you check the exact dates for the festival in advance.
PS: There is an eco trail from Tryavna to Bozhentsi!