Buzludzha, Zheravna, Belogradchik… it seems that we have a weird tradition in Bulgaria of giving famous sightseeing locations complicated names. However, one of the most famous and most complicated too is Koprivshtitsa. There are probably innumerable visitors of our country who have opted out on the option of going there because of the sheer difficulty of the name of this beautiful historic town in Central Bulgaria. Today we are taking you on a virtual journey there focusing on how to get to Koprivshtitsa and also, what to do and see there.
Koprivshtitsa is one of the most characteristic Bulgarian towns, huddled in the mountain-folds just 111 km east of Sofia. The town is a cultural and historic reserve encapsulating the atmosphere of the Bulgarian National Revival period of the 19th century. Apart from an enormous collection of ethnographic treasures, architectural monuments, national costumes, typical Bulgarian jewelry, traditional household weaves, enchanting embroidery and many works of art, the town is most famous for being one of the cradles of the April Uprising against the Ottoman domination, with the first shots fired in Koprivshtitsa in 1876.
Koprivshtitsa is attracting tourists and Bulgarians alike with its close proximity to the capital and cultural-historical significance. It’s a great recommendation for a day trip if you want to immerse yourself in the old times. Although it’s pretty close to other major cities too, Koprivshtitsa is a bit tricky to get to. Here are your options:
This is by far the easiest and most convenient way to reach the town. The road is pretty good and picturesque too. It is passing through the beautiful forests of the Sredna Gora Mountain and you will be fascinated by the outstanding views there. The drive form Sofia is one hour and a half, but you can get there from Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo too.
If you don’t have a car, then you are left with the only other option to get to Koprivshtitsa – the train. Trains are one of the most common ways to travel around the world and in Bulgaria it is quite an experience too. You can find the timetable and schedule of the trains to and from Koprivshtitsa here. The price of the one-way ticket is around 10 BGN (around 5 euro) and you can buy one either at the train station or online. The ride is between 1,5 and 2 hours, but it’s important to mention that the train station is 7 km away from the town. Once at the station you need to look for the shuttle busses that take you to the town itself. Don’t worry, it’s a quick ride.
Naturally, this is the most hassle-free way to get to Koprivshtitsa. There are a lot of companies that offer day trips to Koprivshtitsa from Sofia. We recommend Traventuria. They have been providing excellent service for years and also offer plenty of other cool experiences in Bulgaria. If you’re short on time you can also consider combining Koprivshtitsa & Plovdiv (Bulgaria’s second biggest city) in one day.
It is one of those must-see places in Bulgaria. Koprivshtitsa is famous with its history and atmosphere, its traditional crafts and its people. You will be able to learn more about the national revival period and where it all started. You will also learn about about плъстене /‘plustene’/ or felting – one of the oldest weaving techniques in the world. The city is an architectural reserve. There are more than 350 buildings labeled as “heritage sites”. A lot of them are linked to famous Bulgarian revolutionaries like Georgi Benkovski, Liuben Karavelov, Todor Kableshkov and many more.
You will be able to immerse yourself in the old times by walking the little paved streets. The locals are so friendly that you will probably get a few invitations to enter one of the beautiful houses. Quite often you might even end up having coffee or lunch with them. The town is even more enchanting during winter time, so start packing! Koprivshtitsa is waiting for you!
If you are lucky enough to be visiting in August you might even witness the National Festival of Bulgarian Folklore. A special event that’s held once every 5 years since 1965.
P.S. If you ever wondered how to pronounce the name Koprivshtitsa (Копривщица), the phonetic transcription is [Koˈprifʃtit͡sɐ]]. The name is supposedly coming from the Bulgarian word ‘коприва‘ meaning ‘nettle’.
Author: Free Sofia Tour Guide – Vasil Georgiev
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