Bucharest I hear you say? Where is this? Romania! In Central Europe, Romania shares a border with Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Bulgaria. In fact, there are a lot of places you could see if you picked up a rental car in Bulgaria.
So let's take a look at some of the things you can enjoy while traveling!
Seeing as you are starting your drive in Bucharest, why not visit this beautiful city while you are here! There is a very diverse cultural scene here, with lots of visual arts, performing arts, and great nightlife. Did you know that Bucharest was once nicknamed Little Paris? This was because of the French influence on architecture. Visit the Palace of the Parliament, built in the 1980s (still young like me!), and is the second-largest building in Europe. Another monument, built-in 1935, is the Arcul de Triumf, modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. There are also many museums to enjoy within the city limits. See the National Museum of Art, located in the former Royal Palace, and for something different, visit the National bank of Romania which houses a beautiful coin collection from Romania's history.
Only a 2-hour drive south of Bucharest, you can reach Bulgaria and visit the city of Ruse. This beautiful port attracts many tourists every year. It has a vast array of stunning Baroque and Rococo architecture so be sure to see the Battenberg Palace, which now houses the Rousse Regional Historical Museum. Also visit the Dohodno Zdanie, which is a gorgeous old theater, and be sure to see Rousse TV Tower, the tallest in Bulgaria and one of the tallest in the Balkan Peninsula.
Another 2-hour drive southeast of Ruse you will find Shumen. A great city that houses a Monument, built-in 1981 to commemorate the 1300th anniversary of the very First Empire of Bulgaria. You will definitely be able to find it as it can be seen from almost 20 miles away! Also be sure to go to the Madara Rider, an early medieval rock near the village of Madara in Shumen. The reason for the name is that there is an engraving of a horseman, a dog, and a lion on the rock. Dating back to around 710 AD it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. What a beautiful piece of nature.
Varna is only about an hour’s drive away to the east and what a great city to visit. This seaside resort town is very popular with tourists. Relax on the beach or see the city and enjoy sights such as the Sea Garden, the oldest park in the city, which houses an open-air theater, an Aquarium, a Dolphinarium, Observatory and Planetarium, The Museum of Natural History, a Terrarium, a Zoo, a children's amusement park, and an ice rink... just to name a few! The beaches in the city (sea baths) have wonderful hot spas, swimming pools, and public showers. Don't forget to go to some of the food markets and sample a genuine taste of Bulgaria!
Dobrich is a wonderful old town in Bulgaria and is only an hour’s drive north of Varna. Here you can just walk down the old streets and see the Clock Tower. Stunning. Visit the Church of St George, a magnificent building, and the statue of Vasil Levski, a Bulgarian revolutionary who was renowned as a National Hero as he liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. Also be sure to take some time out in Dobrich park, beautiful and peaceful, a great way to just admire life.
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