Koprivshtica (or Koprivshtitsa) is one of the most charming little towns in Bulgaria. Its traditional colorful houses and cobbled streets take you back to the Bulgarian Revival in the 19th century. Koprivshtica is the perfect destination for a day trip from either Sofia or Plovdiv.
About Koprivshtica – a Traditional Bulgarian Village
Koprivshtica is a small town a little above 1000 meters of altitude, on Topolnitsa River, between Sofia and Plovdiv. It is an open-air museum, featuring restored, brightly colored houses.
Its history started in the 14th century, but it was destroyed by the Turkish and rebuilt a couple of times. The town reached its greatest prosperity in the 19th century. It was also here in Koprivshtica where the first shot of the April Uprising against the Ottomans was fired.
How to get to Koprivshtica – Bulgaria
Another option is to take the train from Sofia, which will take 1,5 to 2 hours. However, the train station in Koprivshtica is about 10 km from the town so you’ll need to take a minibus for the last part. You can check the schedules or buy train tickets online here.
Of course, you can join a small-group day trip from Sofia so you don’t have to worry about transport.
Things to see in Koprivshtica
There are more than 300 beautifully colored houses in Koprivshtica. A few of them are now museum houses. A combined ticket to visit the 5 public museums costs only 6 BGN (roughly 3€). Aside from being the perfect setting for very instagrammable photos, the colorful houses are also worth visiting inside. They host collections of old weapons, national Bulgarian costumes, embroidery, jewelry, and art.
They also have large, well-cared-for courtyards but my favorite features are the wood-carved ceilings. You should visit at least a couple of the museum-houses of Koprivshtica to get an idea of life in Bulgaria during the Revival.
The five museum houses are:
The Karavelov House is a complex of three houses in a flowery courtyard.
The blue-painted Dimcho Debelyanov House was the home of a poet.
Todor Kableshkov House has beautiful wood-carved ceilings. It also displays collections presenting the story of a local leader of the April Uprising against the Ottomans.
The Lyutov House was a merchant’s house featuring beautiful murals representing European cities visited by the owner.
Benkovski House is an all-wooden former home of a textile merchant. He traveled all over the Orient but his life was cut short during the Ottoman reprisals.
Other buildings to have a look at are the yellow old school, and the blue church. There is also a private ethnographic museum, Oslekov House. This is one house you shouldn’t miss, as it has exquisite frescoes both outside and inside the house. The ticket to visit Oslekov House costs 2 BGN (1 €).
Other things to do in Koprivshtica
Take a walk. The best way to explore Koprivshtica is to wander around the cobbled streets and admire the vernacular architecture of the colorful houses and the wooden gates. There is also a small fair in the center of the town where you can buy refreshments and some souvenirs.
One thing you shouldn’t miss after a long walk in Koprivshtica is a good lunch. As I mentioned before, Bulgaria is a great destination for food in general, and Koprivshtica is no exception. Besides, traditional Bulgarian food is also very affordable in Koprivshtica. A good lunch here will cost about half what it would cost in a large city in Bulgaria.
If you plan to stay for a few days in Koprivshtica, you can use the town as a base for hiking trips to the woods of the Sredna Gora mountain range.
Where to stay in Koprivshtica, Bulgaria
You can stay in Koprivshtica at Stoichkovata Kashta, a comfortable guest house close to the center. If you’re traveling with family or friends, you can choose the Red House and have it all for your group.
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