Visiting the museum town of Koprivshtica

Koprivshtica

Many tourists coming to Bulgaria have heard about Koprivshtica and are eager to visit this true museum town. And for a reason – this is the town where you can see the most and the most well-preserved houses, churches, streets, bridges and atmosphere of Bulgaria from the 19th century.

Koprivshtica

Why 19th century and not earlier? Because the city had been burned by fire three times in the late 18th – early 19th century. That is why most houses here were built after the last fire of 1819. They are beautiful, authentically Bulgarian, with magnificent wooden ceilings and decorations and vivid colours. To us Bulgarians they have an even bigger importance – because in those houses lived people who lost their lives for the liberation of Bulgaria.

Strolling on the streets you feel like getting transferred to a completely different time. And it’s not only the buildings that impress – it’s also the beautiful nature all around. Koprivshtica is surrounded everywhere by Sredna Gora mountain (so, consider taking a jacket with you even in the summer, evenings are cooler). Air is crystal clear and smelling of nothing but greenery and freshness.

How to reach Koprivshtica

The most convenient option is by car (see a local and good rent a car in Bulgaria) . From Sofia it’s little over 100 kilometers. Take the road E871 – it’s good and really picturesque (amazing views and even a waterfall right on the road), my favorite option for reaching Koprivshtica.

On the way, after passing the town of Pirdop, you will see a sign to the ruins of the early christian Elenska basilica. Check it out – on this place there have always been cult buildings, ever since the thracians and the region is said to be charged with a special type of energy.

Elenska Basilica

Elenska Basilica

This road does pass through mountainous regions for maybe 5-10 km and even though it is good, may not be to everyone’s liking, especially during the winter. In this case – go for the railway.

Inside the town the public paring is paid. If you park the car just before entering the town though – it’s free.

By railway: There is a railway station in Koprivshtica – it’s outside the town but there are shuttles taking you to the town. So, this is a convenient and inexpensive option – takes between 1.5 and 2.5 hours one way from Sofia depending on the train type and then less than 10 leva a return ticket. See the timetable of the railway transport and how to book on Public transport page.

What to do and see in Koprivshtica

In the town’s central square you will find the tourist office. Get an entry for all museum houses (it’s 6 leva – a really modest price for what you will see) and – enjoy! I would advise to get a guided tour for all houses – pretty informative and you are bound to learn much more of the life of Bulgarians two centuries ago and their fight against the Ottomans.

Koprivshtica

Koprivshtica

Koprivshtica

You will need at least 2 hours to visit all museum houses and churches you will come across. Then, you may simply stroll the streets, enjoy the amazing residential houses built in the same traditional style and relax.

There are numerous cafes and tavernas serving traditional food – make sure to stop for a break. If you still have energy – climb the stairs taking you to Benkovski’s monument. The view to Koprivshtica from there is stunning.

Koprivshtica - Benkovski monument

Koprivshtica – Benkovski monument

Where to stay in Koprivshtica

My recommendation is to stay in a family house in Koprivshtica (quite inexpensive). You will dive into a typical Bulgarian house atmosphere and the people of Koprivshtica are amazing hosts. Some would offer to cook you a traditional Bulgarian breakfast / dinner – do not miss the chance 🙂

Of course it is perfectly possible to go and come back within the same day if based in Sofia or Plovdiv. But if possible, stay at least one night there.

Koprivshtica

You can find lots of accommodation options on Booking.com.


Booking.com

What else to do around

  • If you love hiking – you may hire local guides for a hike in the mountains around Koprivshtica. There are also bike routes but – you better book a biking tour a bit more in advance. Here are some mountain/biking guides recently referred to me: bulguides.com
  • If travelling by car – visit Hissarya hot mineral springs resort for awesome thermal water spa
  • Visit Panagyurishte (35 km from Koprivshtica) – charming little town, home to the Golden Treasure of Panagyurishte
  • Visit the charming town of Klisura (25 km from Koprivshtica) – with an impressive monument at the top of the city and traditional houses. Klisura, like Koprivshtica, was playing an important role in the liberation of Bulgaria.
Klisura

Klisura

  • Visit Starosel Trachian cult complex
  • Plovdiv and it’s Old City are 90 kms from Koprivshtica

No doubt you will want to return to Koprivshtica over and over again. I do, regardless of how many times I’ve been there. And every time I discover something new and amazing in this city…Enjoy it!

2 thoughts on “Visiting the museum town of Koprivshtica”

  1. Candy Yu says:

    We are going to Koprivshtica from Sofia on Mar. 16th., when I search for BDZ.bg about train timetable, it seems no direct train from Sofia to Koprivshtica… I’m so worried to break my travel plan. Could you please help to check what kind of traffic we could arrive at Koprivshtica from Sofia, by bus or train? Your support with prompt reply will be highly appreciated!!

    1. GreetBulgaria says:

      Hi Candy
      Between February and August 2020 there will be a major repair of the rail way line between the village of Anton and the city of Karlovo. Koprivshtica is in between so it falls in the repair range.
      But no worries, you can still get by train, just for the last part of your travel, after the village of Anton, they will transport you via a shuttle bus instead of the train. That’s for about 15 minutes only so – only a short distance indeed. The shuttle price is included in your train ticket price, the shuttle will be waiting for you when you get off at Anton village so – all should be fine and you will get quickly to Koprivshtica.

      Alternatively, you can use transport via a private driver – I have listed a company under my public transport page http://greetbulgaria.com/transport-in-bulgaria/
      You can also google for one day tours to Koprivshtica. If going with a tour, would recommend that you also have a guide with you telling the stories behind the houses of Koprivshtica. Otherwise you can ask for a guide at Koprivshtitsa tourist center.
      Hope that helped – let me know any other questions you may have. Have a great time visiting this amazing town!

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