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 / Booking.com
Photo of Culture Trip Travel Team
23 February 2021

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.

Royal Valentina Castle

Independent Hotel
Map View
164336826
Courtesy of Royal Valentina Castle / Booking.com

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.

Magic Castle Hotel

Independent Hotel
4.8/5 (39 Reviews)
Courtesy of Magic Castle Hotel / Expedia
From $69 Per night per room

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.

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Hotel Horlog Castle

Independent Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Hotel Horlog Castle / Booking.com

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.

Primorski Hotel

Hotel
4.7/5 (29 Reviews)
Courtesy of Primorski Hotel / Expedia
From $54 Per night per room

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.

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  • Hotel Royal Castle Design and Spa

    Independent Hotel
    3.4/5 (9 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Hotel Royal Castle Design and Spa / Expedia
    From $148 Per night per room

    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.

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    Complex the Castle

    Independent Hotel
    Map View
    Courtesy of Complex the Castle / Booking.com

    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.

    Festa Winter Palace

    Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel
    4/5 (46 Reviews)
    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.

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    These recommendations were updated on February 23, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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