What to do in Vidin, Bulgaria: Discover this off-the-beaten-path medieval city

Are you looking to discover a new underrated touristic destination in Bulgaria? If you love to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, then this is the place for you. In December 2022, I stepped foot in Vidin, Bulgaria, for the first time. This border city sits right by the Danube river and has on display brilliant medieval structures that still stand as proof of its wonderful history. 

Vidin is a small town located in the northwest of Bulgaria, on the banks of the Danube river. It is one of the lesser-known attractions in Bulgaria, which has a rich history, beautiful architecture, and stunning natural surroundings.

In this Vidin guide, we’ll explore the hidden treasures of ancient Bulgaria city. This underrated border town has a lot to offer travelers, from stunning views over the Danube to a charming old town.

What to do in Vidin, Bulgaria

But first, let’s talk about logistics. 

How to get to Vidin, Bulgaria?

As I said, Vidin is a border city. Unfortunately, this part of Bulgaria has few connections by public transport to the rest of the country. You may try to get there by train, but it might be complicated. 

If you are already on a road trip in Bulgaria, Vidin is within reach from any corner of the country in less than a day. 

That’s why I recommend driving to Vidin.  You can reach Vidin from Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, in about 3.5 hours. If you are in the South part of Romania, you may reach it from Craiova in 1.5 hours and 4.5 hours from Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. 

What’s the best way to explore Vidin, Bulgaria?

Vidin is a small town, and the best way to see it is to explore it on foot. You may simply find the touristic spots on Google Maps, but that won’t paint the entire story of the place. That’s why I recommend doing a self-guided walking tour using the Questo app. 

This Vidin tour exists on the Questo app (available on Android and iOS), and it’s like having a guide with you at all times while also having some fun. To make things interesting and get you to the main spots in the city, the tour is somewhat of a scavenger hunt, giving you clues and asking for answers before it gives you the stories of the places you’re seeing. If this sounds interesting to you, I bet you will have a lot of fun! 

Here’s our day in Vidin, Bulgaria, as we explored this off-the-beaten-path destination using the digital tour guide on the Questo app:

To access the tour, simply download the Questo app, and search for “Vidin.” The tour costs 5 Euros for one device, but you can play it in a group using a single mobile app. The fun is guaranteed!

Why visit Vidin, Bulgaria?

One of the main attractions in Vidin is the Baba Vida Fortress, a medieval castle that dates back to the 10th century. The castle is well-preserved and serves as a museum, showcasing the history and culture of the region. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and take in the panoramic views from the top of the walls.

In addition to the castle, Vidin is home to several other historic landmarks, including:

  • St. Panteleimon Church
  • Vidin Drama Theater
  • St. Dimitri Cathedral
  • Konaka museum
  • Vidin Synagogue (currently under renovation)
  • Museum Krastata Kazarma & more. 

The town also boasts a number of cultural institutions, such as the Vidin Art Gallery and the Regional Historical Museum.

Nature lovers will appreciate the nearby Danube Biosphere Reserve, a protected area that is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The reserve is a popular destination for birdwatching, hiking, and picnics.

If you love to discover off-the-beaten-path destinations in Bulgaria, I. recommend also checking out Gavrovo, Sevlievo, Dryanovo and Tryavna.

What to eat in Vidin, Bulgaria?

Vidin is also known for its food and wine, with a number of restaurants and wineries offering delicious local specialties. Visitors can sample traditional Bulgarian dishes such as banitsa, kavarma, and katino meze, and try the region’s famous red wines.

Where should you stay In Vidin, Bulgaria?

If you want to make the most out of your visit and have enough time to enjoy everything Vidin has to offer, I recommend staying at Impuls Hotel & SPA. They offer the best services in town and are still within walking distance of the center. You may reach all tourist attractions from this point, and they also offer free parking. 

Plan your trip to Vidin, Bulgaria

Overall, Vidin is a charming and picturesque town that offers something for everyone. Its rich history, beautiful architecture, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Bulgaria. Additionally, Vidin is a great place to visit if you are interested in wine. And Vidin isn’t the only town around worth discovering, but it may be an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding area.

The best part of this trip was the mobile tour. It was fun to walk around the city because I was guided through Vidin using a simple mobile app that gets you involved in the history of the town and tells you juicy stories that you would have never found out otherwise. 

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

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