What to see and where to be when visiting Blagoevgrad.
When you google ‘Blagoevgrad’ pictures of this square pop up most of the time. Although it’s a nice square this city has got more to offer. Let me tell you about where to go and what to do when staying in Blagoevgrad.
What to see?
I would recommend the old town, known as Vitosha. It’s small, but beautiful. Typical Bulgarian houses, the orthodox church and English information signs next to the historical houses.
Location: Street Bistritsa, coordinates: 42.020905, 23.103846
If you like a wide view over town go to the cross, which you can find on top of one of the mountains. You can go there by car (or taxi), but it’s also possible to walk there.
Location: ‘Krusta’, coordinates: 42.022648, 23.110600
Blagoevgrad has a park aswell, called Bachinovo. It’s situated on the north west side of the city and you can either walk there (a side walk next to the street, not recommended for big groups/families) or go there by car. It has a lake with swans and ducks, surrounded by a pedestrian, grass and trees. There’s a climbing parcour for kids, some restaurants, open air train sets, a kid’s zoo and a playground (next to restaurant ‘Vodenitsata’).
Location: ‘Park Bachinovo’, coordinates: 42.033928, 23.128031
The square from all the pictures is situated next to the old American University and the Drama Theater ‘Nikola Vaptsarov’. It has different fountains and benches and you can see the cross from there.
Location: square Georgi Izmirliev-Makedoncheto, coordinates: 42.021394, 23.096009
Blagoevgrad has a Regional museum of History. A big, old building from communist times which has aged but with a big collection of pottery, jewelry, handcrafts, paintings, costumes, and also a 20th century collection, pictures and books.
Address: street Bistritsa 2, Varosha (Old town), coordinates: 42.020383, 23.102929
Where to eat?
For Bulgarian cuisine go to this restaurant in the center called ‘Mehana starata kushta‘ (restaurant ‘the old house’). Inside there are different corners and levels with tables and outside there’s a big terrace. They’ve got live music on friday and saturday night.
Address: Ivan Vazov street 7
coordinates: 42.022042, 23.102104
There’s also a great restaurant next to the park Bachinovo, which is called ‘Mehana vodenitsata‘ (restaurant ‘the water mill’). This place is amazing, all in Bulgarian style, with a big terrace, a kid’s zoo and even a playground. They’ve got live music on friday and saturday night as well.
coordinates: 42.035296, 23.132712
For international cuisine go to Raffy, where they have pasta, sushi, ice cream and more. The prices are compared to other places a bit higher, but the food is delicious. Good to know: this place turns into a bar on friday and saturday night, playing louder music and serving cocktails.
Address: street Trakia 1
coordinates: 42.020546, 23.100677
Another place with an international menu is Large. This is a small restaurant on the second floor where you can have pizza, meat, salad and much more. This is a place for the colder seasons, where you can warm up and have a good diner in a cozy environment.
Address: Hristo Tatarchev street 1
coordinates: 42.021159, 23.099641
Where to have a drink?
For a nice cup of coffee go to PolCa. This cute coffeebar was opened by a woman from Poland and one from Canada. Together they speak a lot of languages and make your coffee on the spot. They also have soup, sandwiches and sweets.
Address: street Krali Marko 10
coordinates: 42.016803, 23.097352
Also for drinks I can recommend Raffy. They’ve got coffee, soft drinks and cocktails. Go there when you want to have a break from shopping or before you go out.
Address: street Trakia 1, coordinates: 42.020546, 23.100677
For those who like going out, here are some of the places to go to:
What to do?
There’s a small cinema ‘Cinemax’ with one hall. You can watch English movies with Bulgarian subtitles there. Just make sure you don’t pick a Bulgarian or children’s movie, they might be in Bulgarian and hard to understand. Address: square Georgi Izmirliev – Makedoncheto 9, coordinates: 42.021198, 23.096955
For those who like bowling; lucky you! There’s a bowling center called ‘Corona’ where you can bowl, play pool, have a drink or diner and let your kids play in the playground (inside and outside!). Address: square Georgi Izmirliev-Makedoncheto 1, coordinates: 42.020956, 23.096269
In the summer you can enjoy the outdoor swimming pool known as Aqua park. One big pool, one wave pool and multiple water slides. You can buy drinks, ice cream and fast food while enjoying the sun.
Address: street Katina i Nikola Haydukovi 74, coordinates: 42.027563, 23.108058
You can get a massage or go the sauna at Spa Center Bali. They’ve got classic, relax, oil and more massages, a fitness room, small indoor pool and different aroma therapies. Everything you need for a day of relaxing.
Address: boulevard Sveti Dimitar Solunski 20, coordinates: 42.015395, 23.082879
When you like shopping go the center of the city. The 2 biggest shopping streets meet at the mall with a big H&M. Street Todor Aleksandrov and street Dimitar Talev have a lot of clothing and shoe stores.
Address mall: street Todor Aleksandrov 2, coordinates: 42.020642, 23.100137
Where to sleep?
Hotel Fenix, a small hotel between the bus/train station and the center. On the first floor you can have your breakfast, diner and a drink, on the other floors are the rooms. The owner and some of the staff speak English and they can help you when needed.
Address: street Todor Alexandrov 78, coordinates: 42.015392, 23.090786
Another hotel, called hotel Kartala, is also an option. This is also a small hotel run by a family with narrow staircases to nice rooms. They are very welcoming but most of the staff only speak Bulgarian. Bring yourself a dictionary when staying here!
Address: street Vasil Aprilov 22, coordinates: 42.023710, 23.097852
The city of Blagoevgrad is close to the known Rila monastery. Read here how to get there and have the most out of it!