Discover Bulgaria and Romania
Bulgaria: Sofia, the capital city; historic Plovdiv; Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital. Then, Romania: Bucharest, the “Little Paris”; city of Sibiu; Sighisoara, home of Vlad Tepes
|Style||Value VacationTravel in larger groups than our Small Group tours, but at fantastic value prices. These group tour packages are operated by our carefully selected partners and may be shared with other English speaking passengers ensuring guaranteed departures. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Group Size||25 travelers max|
|Themes||History & Culture, Bucket List, City Stays|
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From the complex history and rugged terrain to the diverse heritage and medieval atmosphere, Bulgaria and Romania are two emerging Eastern European destinations welcoming culture-minded, curious travelers. Explore the numerous churches, fortresses, monasteries and other landmarks that reflect over 2,000 years of history in Bulgaria's eclectic capital, Sofia. Stand in awe upon the Rila Monastery, admiring the radiant fresco paintings created by the most famous Bulgarian artists before discovering the 1st century Roman Amphitheater in Plovdiv, considered one of the world’s best-preserved ancient theaters. Then, dive into the legend of Dracula and explore the mysterious Transylvanian towns and ancient sites. Wander the tree-lined boulevards of Bucharest, Romania's capital city once known as the “Little Paris”. Visit the lovely medieval town of Sibiu, Vlad Tepes's hometown of Sighisoara, whose walled and well-preserved old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Painted Monasteries of the Bucovina region, where the beautiful walls depict bible stories and are masterpieces of Byzantine art, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wrap up your incredible trip at the infamous 14th century Bran Castle, also known as "Count Dracula's Castle".
- Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR) on scheduled carriers, including taxes & fees
- All ground transportation and transfers
- 11 nights accommodations in first class hotels
- 16 Meals: 11 breakfasts, 5 dinners (including welcome and farewell dinner)
- Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
- Professional, English-speaking Tour Director and local guides
Why you'll love it
- Appreciate the highlights of Bulgaria's capital city, Sofia, including the Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
- Visit the Rila Monastery, one of the most famous places in Bulgaria founded in the middle of the 10th century.
- Surround yourself with millenary history found among the ruins of the Roman, Ottoman, and Bulgarian Renaissance at Plovdiv.
- Witness Tsarevets fortress, once home to the kings of Bulgaria.
- Walk along Samovodska Charshia, the oldest street in Veliko Tarnovo.
- Embrace the rich history of the village of Arbanasi.
- Explore Bucharest, known as the "Little Paris", and visit the Palace of Parliament and the Revolution Square.
- Tour the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary, where the son of Vlad the Impaler was assassinated.
- Take in the medieval atmosphere in Sighisoara, home of the famous Wallachian prince, Vlad Tepes, who inspired the legend of Dracula.
- See the Bucovina region's monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important legacies of Byzantine art in the world.
- Marvel at Dracula's Castle in Bran, its most famous castle.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 Depart USA
- Depart the United States on your overnight flight to Sofia, Bulgaria
Day 2 Arrive Sofia
- Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel
- Welcome dinner in a local restaurant
Hotel Anel, Sofia Palace Hotel or similar DinnerFull Day Itinerary
Arrive in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, where after completing immigration and customs formalities, you will meet our representative and transfer to your hotel for check-in. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3 Sofia
- Tour of Sofia
- Scenic drive to the Rila Mountains to visit the Rila Monastery
Hotel Anel, Sofia Palace Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
This morning, enjoy a city tour of Sofia highlighting the emblematic architecture of the city: St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, believed to be one the 50 largest Christian church buildings by volume in the world; Church of St. George, considered the best-preserved Byzantine church; the Russian Church, officially known as the Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker; the Banya Bashi Mosque, constructed during the years the Ottomans had control of the city; and the Roman ruins of ancient Serdica.
Later, travel to Rila Mountains, a magical place admired for its stark beauty, to visit the largest Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria, the Rila Monastery. Founded in the middle of the 10th century by Saint Ivan of Rila, the monastery played a key role in the preservation of the Bulgarian culture and language of the centuries. Visit the monastery's church with its impressive fresco paintings, painted by famous Bulgarian artists since the 19th century AD, and the museum that houses a collection of exhibits related to the history of the monastery and the spread of Christianity in the area.
Later, return to Sofia, and spend the evening at leisure.
Day 4 Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo
- Enjoy a walking tour of Plovdiv
- Travel through the Balkan Mountains and scenic Shipka Pass
Yantra Grand Hotel, Meridian Hotel Bolyarski or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
Say goodbye to Sofia and begin your journey to Veliko Tarnovo. Stop at the second largest city in Bulgaria, Plovdiv, a city of millenary history with ruins from the Roman, Ottoman, and Bulgarian Renaissance period having been preserved. During your walking tour of the city see the Roman Forum and the stadium, as well as the Roman amphitheater. Walk through the cobbled streets of the small and old city surrounded by houses and beautiful churches. Visit the church of St. Constantine and Helena, as well as the Ethnographic Museum, which is located in the home of a wealthy merchant from the 19th century BC.
Later cross the Balkan Mountains through the historic Shipka Pass, which played a key role in the Russo-Turkish war.
Later that afternoon, arrive in Veliko Tarnovo, the medieval capital of Bulgaria, check into your hotel followed by dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day 5 Veliko Tarnovo
- Take a scenic panoramic tour of Veliko Tarnovo
- Journey to the village of Arbanasi
Yantra Grand Hotel, Meridian Hotel Bolyarski or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic tour of Veliko Tarnovo, knows as "City of the Tsars". Walk along the cobbled streets of the Tsarevets Fortress, where the kings of Bulgaria once resided. Stroll through Samovodska Charshia, a beautiful, historical street lined with craftsman, traditional sweets, and boutiques.
Later, travel to Arbanasi, a village rich in history and historical sites located northeast of Veliko Tarnovo. Visit the Konstantsalieva House, a beautiful example of traditional Bulgarian architecture, before seeing the fresco-covered Church of the Nativity and a chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
Return to Veliko Tarnovo, enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 6 Ruse and Bucharest
- Visit the city of Ruse, the "Pearl of the Danube"
- Travel to Romania
Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, travel to the elegant city of Ruse, situated on the banks of the Danube river, often described as the "Pearl of the Danube".
Later, bid farewell to Bulgaria and make your way to Bucharest, the bustling capital of Romania. Check into your hotel and enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day 7 Bucharest
- City tour of Bucharest
- Guided tour of Palace of Parliament and the National Village Museum
Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
This morning, join your guide for a city tour of Bucharest, once known as the “Little Paris”. Your tour begins at the Palace of Parliament, the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon and the National Village Museum. Learn how the Romanian people managed to overthrow the last communist dictator of Eastern Europe at the Revolution Square.
Later, visit architectural jewel of Bucharest, the Romanian Athenaeum, followed by a visit to the Bucharest National Opera House, a classic old world venue. Later, visit The National Military Club building and admire the impressive architecture, the Military Academy and the Arch of Triumph.
Enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 8 Curtea de Arges and Sibiu
- Visit the Cozia Monastery in Curtea de Arges
- Cross Transylvanian Alps through the scenic Otl River Valley
- Explore Sibiu on a walking tour
Golden Tulip Ana Tower Sibiu or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, travel to Curtea de Arges, located on the bank of the river Arges. Visit the Cozia Monastery, built in 1386 and one of the most important pilgrimage and prayer sites in Romania.
Continue through the scenic Otl River Valley and cross the Transylvanian Alps.
Later, arrive in city of Sibiu and enjoy a walking tour. Stop at medieval shops and houses before exploring the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary, where the son of Vlad the Impaler (another one of Dracula’s nicknames) was assassinated.
This evening, enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day 9 Sighisoara, Red Lake to Piatra Neamt
- Travel across the Bicaz gorge
- Explore the medieval town of Sighisoara, hometown of Vlad Tepes "the Impaler" who inspired the legend of Dracula
- Visit the Clock Tower, home of the Musuem of History of the City
Central Plaza Hotel or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, cross the Bicaz gorge, the largest gorge in Romania. Admire the beauty of the landscape, the Red Lake, and its mountain station.
Later, visit Sighisoara, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the heart of Transylvania and the hometown of the famous Wallachian prince, Vlad Tepes “the Impaler”, who inspired the legend of Dracula. Visit the Clock Tower, which houses the Museum of the History of the City, the Medieval Weapon Museum, and a torture chamber.
Continue to Piatra Neamt, check into your hotel, and enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.
Day 10 Bucovina region
- Explore Sucevita Monastery, one of the Painted Monasteries of the Bucovina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Visit a traditional black pottery workshop in the town of Marginea
- Tour the Voronet Monastery, one of the Painted Monasteries of the Bucovina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Central Plaza Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
After breakfast, head off to the Bucovina region where you will visit its monasteries, the most representative monuments of Moldovan art. Declared a World Heritage Site, these monasteries are one of the most important legacies of Byzantine art in the world, in which their interior and exterior fresco paintings in bright colors stand out. Visit the Sucevita Monastery, a classic Moldavian Church, built around 1583 by three Movila brothers, the only painted church that was not founded by a ruling prince.
Continue to the town of Marginea and witness how traditional black pottery is made, using techniques that date back 300 years.
Later, visit the Voronet Monastery, also known as the "Sistine Chapel of the East", considered to be the best architectural and pictorial example in the region.
Return to Piatra Neamt for an evening at leisure.
Day 11 Brasov
- Depart Piatra Neamt for Brasov
Hotel Aro Palace or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
Day 12 Bran and Sinaia
- City tour of the medieval city of Brasov
- Explore Bran Castle, often thought of as Dracula's Castle
- Visit the city of Sinaia, known as “the Pearl of the Carpathians”
- Farewell dinner in Sinaia
Hotel Palace or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
Enjoy a city tour of the fascinating medieval city of Brasov. Visit the old town and the Black Church, the most representative Gothic monument in Romania.
Continue to the town of Bran to admire its famous Bran Castle, once a medieval fortress, and royal residence, under the direction of Queen Maria. While known as Dracula’s Castle, the castle has no connection with Bram Stoker's novel, rather 600 years of Romanian past.
Later, arrive in Sinaia, known for its beauty as “the Pearl of the Carpathians”, and explore the wonderful Peles Palace, a former summer residence and retreat of the royal family built in the 19th century by the first King of Romania, Carlos I.
Tonight, join your fellow travelers in a farewell dinner.
Day 13 Depart Sinaia/Arrive USA
- Transfer to the airport in Bucharest for your return flight
- Arrive in the USA later today
Hotel Anel is a stylish hotel, home to a fascinating art gallery and conveniently located in the center of Sofia. Hotel Anel is surrounded by neoclassical government buildings, performing art theaters, restaurants, and just steps away from Central Market Hall, brimming with a variety of bakeries, cafes, souvenir shops and a grocery market.
Sofia Palace Hotel is ideally located on a cobblestone street in the center of Sofia, in a quiet, unassuming location. Just steps away from shopping on Vitoshka Boulevard, Sofia Palace Hotel is surrounded by neoclassical government buildings, performing art theaters, and restaurants, and is close by Central Market Hall, home to a variety of shops including bakeries, cafes, souvenir shops and a grocery market.
Yantra Grand Hotel, a cultural monument, is located off Velchova Zavera Square in the heart of Old Town Tarnovo. Yantra Grand Hotel will charm you with remarkable views of the Tzarevets Fortress, the architectural reserve village of Arbanasi, and the University of Veliko Tarnovo. The hotel also offers a full-service spa experience including massages, facials, and scrubs. Enjoy the heated swimming pool, gym, and sauna as well.
Bolyarski Meridian Hotel is located close to Samovodska Charshia Square in the heart of Old Town Tarnovo. Bolyarski Meridian's 15 floors provide remarkable views of Veliko Turnovo and the Yantra River. Bolyarski Meridian's eclectic interior is decorated with vibrant murals depicting historical scenes from the Second Bulgarian Kingdom Period. Enjoy the heated swimming pool, gym, and steam bath.
Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest landmark hotel, dating back to 1914, is ideally located in the heart of Bucharest overlooking Ateneului Park and a few steps away from Revolution Square. The hotel's historic lobby, Les Colonnades, is a example of Belle Époque architecture with its marble columns and elegant chandeliers. Enjoy the hotel's heated pool, salon, fitness center, restaurants and terrace, or take a walk to nearby restaurants and stores in historic Bucharest.
The luxurious Golden Tulip Ana Tower is conveniently located a few steps away from historic old town Sibiu, one of Europe's oldest cities. Enjoy the mountain landscape views from your room, take advantage of the state of the art fitness center, treat yourself to a massage, or take a stroll to Sibiu's historic Grand Square.
Located in the heart of Piatra Neamt, one of Romania's most picturesque cities, the Central Plaza Hotel stands 14 stories tall and seamlessly blends modern furnishings with architectural elegance. Enjoy the hotel or explore Piatra Neamt's rich history at Petrodava square or local museums, all in walking distance from your hotel.
Hotel Aro Palace is located in the heart of the medieval historic quarter of Brasov, overlooking the Tampa Mountain and facing Central Par. Hotel Aro Palace opened in 1939, on the eve of World War II, and has experienced several expansions over the past 90 years. Today, the hotel blends modern features inside its historical past. Spoil yourself with a massage, take a dip in the pool, rest up at the spa, or hit the gym.
Hotel Palace is nestled in the mountain resort of Sinaia, better known as the “The Carpathian Pearl”. Sinaia, situated in the Bucegi mountains, connects southern Romania with Transylvania. Hotel Palace is a classic hotel in the center of town within walking distance of the Sinaia Casino and the Sinaia Monastery. The hotel boasts spectacular views, an indoor pool, a fitness center, and spa treatments.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Depart from another city? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about Bulgaria? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Romania? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
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