10 Best Things To Do In Kula, Bulgaria

things to do in kula
| 6 min read

Kula is a quaint town situated within the Vidin province, found on the northwestern side of Bulgaria. Kula is a Bulgarian word that means ‘tower,’ and this town is the site of the ancient Roman fortress of Castra Martis. This architectural and constructional monument played a huge role in the country’s history during the Roman and the Early Byzantine Age. What’s more, Kula offers easy access to nearby towns that are rich in history as well. So while you’re here, go fishing or head to the Balkan Mountains for more adventure. For those who love history and nature, scroll down below for the best things to do in Kula, Bulgaria.

1. Enjoy a stroll around Castra Martis

Kula (Кула) - Castra Martis
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pudelek used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Castra Martis, located in the town center, is an important landmark. Built on a slope overlooking the Voinishka river, it’s an ancient fortress that was meant to guard a once-important Roman road. Just near the fortress ruins is a museum that showcases archeological findings. The recommended duration for a tour here is two hours. It is open every day but opening times may vary due to the seasons. It’s best to visit in autumn or spring when the weather is just right, and in the morning or late afternoon. People of all ages can visit, but caution is needed for the elderly as the path within Castra Martis can be uneven. To get to Castra Martis, it will take a 40-minute drive from Vidin City and a 4-hour drive from Sofia City.

Castra Martis

Website: Castra Martis

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 2 LEV (1.24 USD) for foreigners, 1 LEV (0.62 USD) for Bulgarians for a tour; the fortress is accessible without entry fees should you opt to visit without a tour

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2. Go fishing at Yazovir Kula

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Just five minutes away from Kula, Yazovir Kula, or Kula Dam in English, is a reservoir where you can go fishing after spending a few hours strolling around Castra Martis. It’s best to bring your own fishing equipment as there are no known stores nearby and to wear waterproof shoes suitable for fishing. Here, you can also catch a glimpse of nature as Kula Dam is surrounded by tall evergreen trees on hills that change with the seasons. If you’re an artist, capture the moment with your choice of artistic medium.

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Nearby Attractions

3. See the prehistoric drawings within Magura Cave

Magura - drawings
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nk used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

If you don’t mind going on an hour’s drive from Kula, another historical place to visit is Magura Cave, which is one of the oldest caves in Bulgaria at 15 million years old. Now, it has one main gallery with six halls and three surrounding galleries. Carved into the cave’s walls are prehistoric drawings that date back to the Stone Age and early Bronze Age. The cave is 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) long and has a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees Fahrenheit), so don’t forget to bring a jacket. The recommended tour duration is two to three hours. While there are tours, which you’re required to pay before entering the cave, it’s in Bulgarian, so it’s best to have a translator with you in order to understand the tour guide. The entrance to the cave itself is 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from the main entrance, so it’s also best to wear walking shoes to avoid twisting your ankles.

Magura Cave

Website: Magura Cave

Opening hours: 9:30am - 6:30pm (daily)

Price: 10 LEV (6.09 USD) - 20 LEV (12.18 USD)

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4. Climb up and see the rock formations of Belogradchik Fortress

Belogradchik Fortress Entrance
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yanko Malinov used under CC BY-SA 4.0

An hour from Kula is Belogradchik, which means “white construction” in Bulgarian, which is a town set on the base of the Balkan Mountains. Its most prominent landmarks are the nearby Belogradchik Fortress and the Belogradchik Rocks. The rock formations were formed for millions of years due to weathering, and the fortress itself was created during the Roman empire’s reign, constructed for surveillance. The recommended tour duration here is approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The climb to the fortress can be challenging but worth it. From the top, the view of Vidin’s countryside and its rock formations will leave you in awe. It’s best to visit this ancient fortress during autumn or in spring, especially during the early morning or late afternoon, to avoid a heat stroke.

Belogradchik Fortress

Address: Пор. Чолаков 23, 3900, Bulgaria

Website: Belogradchik Fortress

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)

Price: 6 LEV (3.72 USD) - 12 LEV (7.31 USD)

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5. Visit the medieval fortress of Baba Vida along the Danube River

Baba Vida Klearchos 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Klearchos Kapoutsis used under CC BY 2.0

Baba Vida is a 35-minute drive from Kula and is the only fully preserved medieval fortress in Bulgaria. The construction of this fortress dates back to the second half of the 10th century. Currently, it’s a known tourist attraction and has a summer theatre where various events are showcased. You can visit the museum and even witness a reenactment of execution inside its former prison. Anyone can visit, but extra caution should be given to the elderly because of its uneven cobblestone pathways; it’s also best to wear walking shoes because of this. You can walk around for an hour or two, and you can visit during any season since it offers a lot of shade due to its high walls and towers.

Baba Vida

Address: парк, 3703 Kraydunavski, Vidin, Bulgaria

Website: Baba Vida

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 9am - 4:30pm; Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Price: 4 LEV (2.48 USD) for adults; 2 LEV (1.24 USD) for students and retirees; 20 LEV (20.39 USD) with a tour guide

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6. Enter the abandoned ruins of Vidin Synagogue

Vidin Synagogue 2010
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Спасимир used under CC BY 3.0

Vidin Synagogue was once a grand synagogue boasting with life but became neglected after the Jews left during and after World War II. Despite this, it still has a reputation for being one of the largest Jewish temples in the country. Its arches and four towers remain, though weathered with time. It’s best to wear close-toed shoes while touring inside as the floor is somewhat covered in broken glass. The recommended tour duration is about an hour or two, and you can visit at sunrise and at sunset when the sun casts long shadows over the fortress. it’s worth visiting, even in its ruins. It leaves you hoping for its reconstruction and wondering how it looked during its golden days.

Vidin Synagogue

Address: Видинската синагога, ul. “Baba Vida” 29, 3703 g.k. Georgi Benkovski, Vidin, Bulgaria

Website: Vidin Synagogue

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7. Cross over to Serbia and visit Felix Romuliana

Felix Romuliana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Goran Andjelic used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Felix Romuliana is found within Gamzigrad, located near Zaječar, in Eastern Serbia. It was found to be an Imperial palace built by Roman Emperor Galerius and named after Romula, his mother. Emperor Galerius and his mother were buried on the hill above it. To visit, it takes approximately 40 minutes from Kula, and you have to cross the country border by car. It’s recommended to stay here for about two hours and to visit during autumn or spring. What’s more, it is quite off the beaten path, so it’s best to wear walking shoes.

Felix Romulania

Address: Gamzigrad, Serbia

Website: Felix Romulania

Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)

Price: 300 RSD (3.12 USD)

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8. Hike up the Midžor peak

Midžor Stara planina
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ivan Medenica used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Midžor peak on the Balkan mountains is two hours away from Kula. Found between Serbia and Bulgaria, it is the highest peak in the western area of the mountains. To get here, there are two routes to climb. You can take the usual route from the Babin Zub Hotel or from Topli Do Village, which is longer but more scenic if you are coming from Serbia. If you are coming from Bulgaria, there are tracks from Chuprene and Gorni Lom. It’s best to go here in the summer or winter, and it is relatively easy to climb.

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9. Take a step inside St. Dimitar Cathedral

St Dimitar Cathedral (Vidin) E4
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Elena Chochkova used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The St. Dimitar Cathedral is the second largest Greek Orthodox cathedral in Bulgaria, found in the center of Vidin. It has been standing since the end of the 17th century as the center of culture in the region. About 40 minutes from Kula and found near the Danube, this historical cathedral is a must-see even with its rundown stonework exteriors. Its interior is worth visiting as it has a number of murals and artworks within it, depicting what life was like in the past. It’s recommended to stay here for one to two hours and to keep a low voice as a sign of respect to others praying inside.

St. Dimitar Cathedral

Address: ul. “Ekzarh Yosif I” 2, 3700 g.k. Hristo Botev, Vidin, Bulgaria

Opening hours: 7:30am - 6pm (daily)

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10. Travel back in time inside Konaka Museum

Konaka Museum2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Спасимир used under CC BY 3.0

Konaka Museum, also known as Historical Museum Vidin, was built in the 18th century as a home to an Ottman soldier. Later on, it became an Ottoman police station before it was founded in 1956. Here, you can find numerous artifacts of Ancient Roman history, from mosaics to marble heads. On a broader level, there are artifacts about archaeology, numismatics, ethnography, Bulgarian lands, modern history, recent history, and public relations. About 30 to 40 minutes from Kula, this museum is one of the oldest in Vidin, and it has a library of over 4,600 volumes, which is open and free for the public to use. The recommended duration to stay here is around one to two hours.

Konaka Museum

Address: Tsar Simeon Velikiy 1, Vidin 3700, Bulgaria

Website: Konaka Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9am - 12pm, 2pm - 5pm (closed on Sun)

Price: 4 LEV (2.49 USD)

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Learn about ancient history in Kula

Kula may be a small town, but it has an ancient Roman fortress as its town center - what other town in the world has this? Other towns rich in history are just within its vicinity, as well. If you are someone who wants to learn about ancient history and look at stunning views of nature, head to Kula now.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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