Karlovo Travel Guide

  • Karlovo
    by SteedJnr
  • Levski Museum and Birthplace (with mountains)
    Levski Museum and Birthplace (with...
    by johngayton
  • New Town (with mountains)
    New Town (with mountains)
    by johngayton

Karlovo Things to Do

  • The Levski Heritage Trail

    As you wander around Karlovo you'll notice various wall plaques, in Bulgarian, at all sorts of odd places. These seem to be a work-in-process of developing a Levski Heritage Trail inspired by a local historian Stoyan Kichev. As yet there seems to be no published guidebook but the Levski Museum has details of the various places such as where he cut...

  • Karlovo History Museum

    Whilst much of the town is dominated by Levski-inspired historical markers it does have a rich history and culture in its own right. Evidence dates it back to Stone Age times and through the Thracian and Roman periods it was a local trade and manufacturing centre. During the late Ottoman and National Revival years the town blossomed as a hub of...

  • Levski's Birthplace and Museum

    Vasil Levski was born Vasil Ivanovich Kunchev, the eldest son of Ivan and Gina Kunchev, here in Karlovo on the 18th July 1837. His father was a wool dyer by trade at a time when the town was one of the Ottoman Empire's main suppliers of woolen braid.The house where he was born and bred, along with his two brothers and elder and younger sisters, was...

  • The Levski Monument

    This is probably the Bulgarian people's best known monument and every year on February 19th, the anniversary of his execution, thousands come to pay homage from all over the country. The monument is situated, appropriately enough, on Vasil Levski Square in the old town. To get there from the modern town centre take the main road heading downhill...

  • The Old Town

    The Old Town is a historical place which shows the spirit of the old houses of the Bulgarian National Revival. About a hundred houses have been preserved in this part – monuments of culture, two-storey, beautifully plastered and yards with decorative portals.You can also see the Mazakov house ,it’s an ethnographical exposition to the Historical...

  • St. Virgin church

    St. Virgin church, is restored in 1851. The Apostol served as a deacon there from 1859 to 1862. The church has impressive size with a plan of pseudo-basilica with a nave and two aisles.

  • St. Nikolai church

    St. Nikolai church was built in 1847. In its yard is the tomb of the mother of Levski – Gina Kuncheva is. The icons in the church were painted by famous artists from Samokov and Bansko.

  • Historical museum

    Historical museum of Karlovo is located near the Vassil Levski monument. The building was built in 1871 for a boy school .Now it is one of the most representative buildings from the time of the Bulgarian Revival. In the exhibition you can see the archaeological heritage of the Karlovo valley,its traditional culture, the development of the...

  • The monument of Levski

    The monument of the Apostol is in the old part of the town, in Vassil Levski square.During the last few years monuments of the Apostle were created in many Bulgarian settlements as well as in some foreign cities – Washington, Bucharest, Buenos Aires and Salonika.


Karlovo Restaurants

  • Still the best around

    I have just returned from another visit to Bulgaria and made many visits to this restaurant during my stay. I am glad to report that standards have not slipped and the restaurant still provides excellent food, service and entertainment. It is now summer and the dining has moved out into the garden complex of covered terraces and garden spaces. It...

  • Excellent food and atmosphere at great...

    I revisited the Riverside restaurant in Karavelovo this summer. In fact I spent every single evening of my 4 week holiday enjoying their food and atmosphere. I have a holiday villa close by and it is a Godsend! The restaurant has now opened a beautiful garden area to the rear with it's own bar and facilities. It is in the same rustic style as the...

  • Best in local dining and entertainment

    The area around Karlovo and Sopot has suffered in recent years with a very distinct lack of decent quality restaurants. This has now been remedied with the opening of ‘River Side’ restaurant in Karavelovo on the 8th of April 2010. This is a very high specification establishment and was launched to provide the very best dining experience in the...

  • In Search Of Lunch!

    One of my observations during my travels around Bulgaria is that there seems to be very few places where you can go just to have a few drinks. Even places that look like they should be pubs, with proper bars and barstools etc, often turn out to be restaurants and you do get some funny looks if you just sit and knock back half-a-dozen beers.Here in...

  • Tripe Soup - Cheapest Lunch In Town!

    Having spent a chilly January morning wandering the town a hot soup was the order of the day for lunch and this little cafe turned out to be more than up to the task. Situated on the market square this is very much a locals place with only three little formica tables inside and one plastic one outside. Everything is cheap and cheerful with the...

  • A good informal place

    If any of you may ever go to Karlovo, then he must go to Simonas' Pub, at the edge of the town, on the road from Plovdiv to Sofia. Good beer, good food, good music, nice people, warm atmosphere and low prices. A great place. Simona owes me a beer for this! Well, I'm joking! But it is true: the pub is a great place and Karlovo is a surprising town....


Karlovo Transportation

  • Buses From Plovdiv

    For a day out from Plovdiv buses run from the city's South (Yug) bus station every hour with a journey time of 1 hour 15 minutes. Karlovo town's bus station (Avtogara) is south of the town centre but the buses stop and pick up from a stop in the centre itself. The service is run by two complimentary bus companies, Hebros and Kastel Export, with a...

  • If You're In No Hurry...

    ...then you can always try hitching a lift on the local's transport.OK Just gratuitous use of the pics! Karlovo actually does have a good local public bus system. However unless you want to visit somewhere out of the town everywhere of interest is in easy walking distance.

  • If You Want To Save 1 lev...

    ...take the train!The single bus fare (Jan 2010) to Karlovo from Plovdiv was 4.60 leva (no matter which company you use) but the train is only 3.60 and the track follows pretty much the same route as the bus.The drawbacks though are that the trains take about 20 minutes longer (because of the frequent stops en route), there's only about 4 services...


Karlovo Shopping

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    Kalovo Produce Market: Where To Get Your Fresh Fruit and Veg.

    by johngayton Updated Jan 21, 2010

    Karlovo's main fresh produce market is located in its own square in the new part of the town, just across from where the buses stop (as opposed to the bus station proper). This is where you can get your local fruit and vegetables at very reasonable prices.

    What to buy: Out of season this is still a colourful market, even if most of the produce is imported. The local crop in January seems to be a sort of bright-orange clementine, of which every stall had mini-mountains. At first I had thought that these variously-sized, and sometime knobbly-shaped, fruits would have been good only for marmalade (and at 1.20 leva per kilo were certainly cheap enough). However, on getting a chance to taste them a couple of days later, for breakfast in Bansko, they are in fact sweet and juicy.

    The other thing that seemed to be popular are hand-made brooms at 3 leva each - though I don't know whether the gloves come as freebies? (pic #2)

    Tasty Fruit Look No Hands! Market Square
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Budget Travel

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Karlovo Local Customs

  • Rose Festival

    The Day of Roses in Karlovo is celebrated on the first Saturday of June. Then Karlovo becomes the capital of the most beautiful and fragrant flower – the rose. It is an opportunity to show the beauty of the regional heritage.The holiday begins with the ‘Rose picking’ ritual in the rose fields near the city. Later the celebration moves from the rose...

  • Birth of Levski

    The date of Vasil Levski’s birth it is celebrated on 18 of July. A national fair Vasil Levski’s Day is organized on this day with a traditional literary morning in the birth house of Levski.Also there are variety of performances, scientific conferences, sport and tourist competitions, exhibitions. The day ends with festive illuminations in the...

  • Memorial day

    On 19th February in Karlovo it is commemorated the feat and self-sacrifice of Vasil Levski. On this day in front of the monument of the Apostle, the citizens and the guests of the town bow down in admiration to the hero. The whole week is dedicated to Levski – exhibitions and literary meetings are organized by the school, the museum and the...


Karlovo Warnings and Dangers

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    Touts At The Bus Stop

    by johngayton Written Jan 20, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you are at the town centre bus stop waiting for the Plovdiv bus you'll probably be approached by a taxi driver who'll offer to take you into Plovdiv for the same price as the bus. There's no con here but it's up to you whether or not to take him up on the offer.

    Once he's got your money and you're sitting comfortable in his cab he'll continue touting until he's got a full cab - at least four passengers, five if he can squeeze them in.

    On the other hand it may be a driver who's got a pick-up in Plovdiv (or has just come from there) and so anything extra he can make is a bonus.

    It's your decision but remember that the bus is going to be just as quick and is perfectly comfortable.

    Bus Awaiting Passengers

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Karlovo Off The Beaten Path

  • Balkanski Rozi mountain chalet

    The hostel is at 1100m on the trail along Stara reka - from Karlovo – Hubavets to Levski hostel/mountain house and Botev peak. I've never stayed here, as the buildings are deep into the forest just next to the river. Balkanski rozi is about 1 hour from Hubavets (3h from Karlovo) and it's a good decision if there are no places at Hubavets and no...

  • Hubavetz mountain hut

    A nice place on the Stara reka. The chalet is about 2 hours from Karlovo on one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Central Balkan National Park. It's a good choice for one day trip or, you could stay here overnight and continue on the next morning to Levski challet/hut and Botev Peak. Rakia is really good, as the chalet is popular here.For more...

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Karlovo General

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  • There's More Than One Levski Stadium In...

    Sofia's "Vasil Levski Stadium" is Bulgaria's largest sporting arena and home to the Bulgarian National football team as well as being host to many other National sporting events.Here in Karlovo the local stadium is, unsurprisingly, also known as the "Vasil Levski Stadium". It may not be as grandoise as its Sofia counterpart but it does have a much...

  • The Rose Valley In Winter

    Rose oil has been one of the Karlovo region's main livelihoods for well over 150 years. It seems that the valley has ideal growing conditions to maximise the yields. Even in winter there's still cultivation in greenhouses and polytunnels and as the bus travels through you'll still get a hint of the aromas and so I can imagine it would be pretty...

  • Not What I Thought It Was

    When I first noticed this statue in Karlovo's 20th July Square I assumed it was a tribute to the heroes of Bulgaria's Nationalist Liberation Movement. Not so. The curator at the town's History Museum informs me that it is just "Komunista Propoganda". Perhaps this is why I can't find out any further information about it but it is a fine peice of...


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