Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria is one of those beautiful little towns that not many people know about. If it wasn’t for a picture I randomly stumbled upon a few years ago I also probably wouldn’t have known about it.
Fortunately, it turned out it’s rather easy to visit Koprivshtitsa as a day trip from Sofia. And so I went! I couldn’t be happier to see this Balkan gem – as it turned out Koprivshtitsa is even more beautiful and charming in real life than I expected!
Read on to find out more about Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria and why you should go there too when you visit Sofia!
Table of contents
Where is Koprivshtitsa?
Koprivshtitsa is a small town located in the central part of Bulgaria, around 110 km east of Sofia, the capital, and 90 km north of Plovdiv. It is surrounded by Sredna Gora mountains that make the town even more picturesque!
How to get to Koprivshtitsa?
Getting to Koprivshtitsa isn’t very challenging but it isn’t super easy either, especially if you rely on public transport like me. Of course, the best option is to come here by car, it should take you around 2 hours.
I took the train from Sofia to Koprivshtitsa and it was a fine option too. There are a few connections per day, the journey takes around 2 hours.
The tricky part (but not so tricky really) is that the train station, also named Koprivshtitsa, is located some 10 km away from the actual town. Fortunately, there is a minibus connecting the station with the town and its schedule is synchronized with trains.
You can find the schedule of the minibus at the train station as well as at the stop in the town – I recommend taking the picture of it once you see it so you will know what time is your bus back to the station.
Taking the train + minibus was actually a very comfortable journey so I can recommend it when going for a day trip from Sofia.
Short history of Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria
Koprivshtitsa most likely was founded at the end of the 14th century, at the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire. Due to the massive fires, the town was badly destroyed hence what you can see there now is the amazing architecture from the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century mostly, the so-called Bulgarian Revival period.
Koprivshtitsa was also one of the centers of the April 1876 uprising against the Ottoman Empire (that Bulgaria was part of then) which eventually resulted in the re-establishment of Bulgaria two years later.
Today Koprivshtitsa is a sleepy town that feels like the time has stopped there. Which is one of the reasons why it’s so interesting to visit.
What to see in Koprivshtitsa
Koprivshtitsa is one of the most beautiful towns in Bulgaria and the Balkans. It’s full of buildings, mostly houses, from the 19th century that are the best example of Bulgarian Revival Architecture.
There are exactly 383 of them and the majority of them were restored to its former glory with vivid colors, rich decorations, and distinctive shapes.
You can visit some of the houses inside too. Many of them were transformed into memorial houses of its former inhabitants – famous Bulgarian writers, revolutionaries or politicians.
Some of the most beautiful ones are the Oslekov House (built between 1853 and 1856, today it’s home to the Ethnographical Museum), the Georgi Benkovski Memorial House (1831), the Dimcho Debelyanov Memorial House (1830), the Todor Kableshkov Memorial House (1845) or the Lyutov House (1854).
Don’t miss other sights too, such as Kalachev most, St. Virgin Mary church or the Sts. Cyril and Methodius School from 1837, with the first class school in Bulgaria. All of them are also built in the Bulgarian Revival style and fit just perfectly to this little town.
The best view of Koprivshtitsa is from the Georgi Benkovski monument located above the town. Going up there isn’t too difficult and you will be rewarded with some amazing views of Koprivshtitsa and surrounding Sredna Gora mountains.
But the best thing to do in Koprivshtitsa is to just wander around the cobbled streets and falling for the charming town and its old-times vibe.
The time really has stoped here and you can especially see it if you visit Koprivshtitsa from the bustling capital Sofia. No one is in a hurry, people just wander slowly around, neighbors have time to sit in front of their houses and talk.
If you get hungry or just want to relax there are a few restaurants serving Bulgarian food, as well as cafes in the center of the town.
Is it worth to visit Koprivshtitsa?
Definitely! Even if I spent only a few hours in Koprivshtitsa (I was in a hurry to return to Sofia to visit Museum of Socialist Art there) I loved every single moment there.
It’s one of those places that enchant you right away. The combination of beautiful architecture, charming corners, and surrounding mountains make Koprivshtitsa one of the best day trips from Sofia.
I’m just surprised that not many international tourists know about Koprivshtitsa. I was there one Saturday in August and there were tourists around (not too many of them but still), however, all of them were locals.
And if words are not enough here are a few more Koprivshtitsa pictures to show you how charming this little town really is!
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