Amazing Castles in Bulgaria You Can Actually Stay In

Live out your fairytale fantasies with a stay at the Royal Valentina castle in Bulgaria
Live out your fairytale fantasies with a stay at the Royal Valentina castle in Bulgaria | Courtesy of Royal Valentina Castle /
Culture Trip Travel Team

Bulgaria, an Eastern European treasure, is famed for its rugged strongholds and rich royal history, so turrets and tradition practically come as standard here. Whether you’re in the capital of Sofia or the country’s underrated ski resorts like Bansko or Borovets, a hotel with a sense of history will make your holiday an unforgettable one. Here are some of the country’s most characterful castles for an overnight stay.

1. Royal Valentina Castle

Independent Hotel

A view of the grounds of Royal Valentina Castle, with covered terraces with seating, loungers and umbrellas, with the countryside all around
Courtesy of Royal Valentina Castle /

This spa hotel’s fairytale factor comes from its battlements and turrets. The castle can be found amid a magical rolling green forest close to Bulgaria’s Pirin National Park. Inside, the fantasy continues with four-poster beds, heavy tapestry rugs and exposed brick walls in rooms with glorious mountain views. Retreat to the outdoor pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi for an afternoon of pampering.

2. Magic Castle Hotel

Independent Hotel

The red and grey exterior of Magic Castle Hotel, with two cone-shaped towers, in winter
Courtesy of Magic Castle Hotel / Expedia

Less of a castle and more of a pretty mansion filled with bright, comfy rooms, the Magic Castle Hotel is within walking distance of Sofia’s centre. Arched windows and bedrooms in turret towers add character, while memory-foam mattresses, books to borrow and a home-cooked breakfast go above and beyond the offerings at most budget hotels.

3. Hotel Horlog Castle

Independent Hotel

The exterior of Hotel Horlog Castle, with some exposed stone, a turret and a tower with forest all around
Courtesy of Hotel Horlog Castle /

Horse riding, hog roasts and hearty log fires are just some of the draws to this fairytale location. Hotel Horlog Castle sits in the town of Trigrad, deep in the Rhodope Mountains in southern Bulgaria, which accounts for its rustic, historical look. It features hefty wooden beams and stone fireplaces (in certain rooms), along with an outdoor terrace for enjoying the craggy, pine-fringed scenery. Hike to atmospheric caves with giant stalactites or ride the resident steeds through unspoilt valleys.

4. Primorski Hotel


The courtyard and clock tower of the palatial Primorski Hotel, with trees next to it
Courtesy of Primorski Hotel / Expedia

This affordable stay in coastal Saints Constantine and Helena is constructed like a cream-coloured Bulgarian palace, complete with proud bell towers and a central courtyard. Inside are hyper-modern rooms in ice white, dove grey and raw wood, some with serene sea views. Attached are a sprawling thermal spa and beach club, as well as pretty al fresco terraces for drinks and coffee, surrounded by lovely tree-lined grounds.

5. Hotel Royal Castle Design and Spa

Independent Hotel

Palm trees and sunbeds at the outdoor pool of Hotel Royal Castle Design and Spa in Bulgaria
Courtesy of Hotel Royal Castle Design and Spa / Expedia

Set on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, this sprawling pleasure resort has an outdoor pool and a water park steps away from the beach, as well as a sizeable spa. The decor here is ebullient in a very Eastern European way, with black-and-silver headboards, velvet-upholstered Chesterfields and circular beds. Head to the cocktail bar for lashings of gold, marble and cowhide.

6. Complex the Castle

Independent Hotel

People skiing with children out front of Complex the Castle, with a red roof and two towers next to snow-covered pine trees
Courtesy of Complex the Castle /

Only metres from Pamporovo’s finest ski slopes, Complex the Castle has simple, cream-and-pine rooms and lovely, rustic, stone-clad communal areas. With ski-in, ski-out access and a ski school, it’s a quaint, red-turreted base for Bulgaria’s hyper-affordable slopeside scene. A traditional tavern and many roaring fireplaces complete the old-world picture.

7. Festa Winter Palace

Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel

A fountain lit up at night out front of the Festa Winter Palace in Bulgaria
Courtesy of Festa Winter Palace / Expedia

At the foot of Rila Mountain, this palatial ski hotel has the grand balconies and swirling dome that live up to its name. A comfy, homely base for the pristine Borovets ski resort, it has a limb-thawing spa and an indoor pool, as well as a glam terrace with cosy igloos to enjoy some après-ski drinks. Marble floors, chandeliers and wood panelling give a lick of glamour, while rooms look out to snow-dusted pines.

To see more, discover our guide to the most beautiful Medieval castles around the world.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article