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Gabrovo (Bulgarian: Габрово) [1] is a city in Central Northern Bulgaria.

A church in Gabrovo


Once an industrial city which produced much of Bulgaria's textiles, carpets and clothing, Gabrovo has reinvented itself since the fall of communism as a popular tourist destination, providing a comfortable place to stay, shop and dine and quick access to many local destinations. The city is also home to two museums, several historical churches and monuments in and historic bridges over the Yantra River, all popular destinations for tourists and sight seers. Recently the town won one of the biggest prizes in a national survey for "The best living town in Bulgaria" - Gabrovo won the "Greenest (Ecological) city" and came in second in readers’ choice contest.

Gabrovo began as communities harnessing the power of the Yantra River for mills and water wheels. A result of this legacy makes Gabrovo the longest city in Bulgaria as it follows the river, running north from the Balkans Mountains.

The standard currency is the Bulgarian lev and foreign currencies may be exchanged at most of the banks in the city.


The official language of Gabrovo, a Bulgarian city, is Bulgarian, a Slavic language, which is related to Russian and Ukrainian. Bulgarian is different from other Slavic languages in a number of ways, including the use of a definitive article. A significant number of people in Gabrovo speak English or German in addition to their native Bulgarian, so shopping, dining out and asking for directions is possible for tourists.


The city has a continental climate, owing to its position close to the Balkan Mountains and distance from the Black Sea. Gabrovo has hot summers and cold, snowy winters – which is good for the popular sky resorts in the nearby Uzana area. This part of Bulgaria has all four seasons, although spring is brief and falls mainly in April. The average high daily temperature in summer is about 27?C and in winter about 4?C.


Gabrovo is in the Eastern European time zone (UTC+2, with a DST of UTC+3 from April to October), the same time zone as Athens, Greece, and Kiev, Ukraine.

Get in

Its favorable geographical location, at the geographical center of Bulgaria, makes it possible for Gabrovo to provide quick connections to airports, river ports and seaports across the country. Convenient roads connect the Gabrovo Municipality to many surrounding municipalities and towns.

By car

Gabrovo is at an intersection point of two of the national arterial thoroughfares, which are of great significance to the European road network, i.e. road E-85 as part of the trans-European transport corridor № 9 (Helsinki - St. Petersburg - Kiev - Bucharest - Rousse - Veliko Tarnovo - Gabrovo - Dimitrovgrad with deviations to Greece and Turkey) and Hemus Motorway Sofia – Varna.

By bus

Regular daily buses connect Gabrovo with most of the other major cities in Bulgaria, including Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Rousse and others. These may be dedicated lines, serving only Gabrovo and the other city, or Gabrovo may simply be one stop among many.

By train

Gabrovo may be accessed through a railroad spur at an intersection with the European railway line C-E 95 (which runs north-south) in the small village of Tsareva Livada. Stops on the mainline to the north include historic Veliko Turnovo and the major transport hub of Gorna Oryahovitsa and stops to the south include the mountain villages of Tryavna and Raduntsi and the city Stara Zagora on the southern side of the Balkan Mountains. The spur line from Tsareva Livada runs several times a day, though there are sometimes two hours layovers at the Tsareva Livada railroad station between the Gabrovo train and trains running on the main north-south line.

By plane

There are no airports in Gabrovo or the neighboring cities of Kazanluk or Veliko Turnovo. However, arranging transport by bus or train from one of the Bulgarian cities with an airport to Gabrovo is relatively simple.

Gabrovo's distance from Bulgarian airports:

  • Sofia – 220 km
  • Varna – 274 km
  • Bourgas – 234 km
  • Plovdiv – 150 km
  • Gorna Oryahovitsa – 60 km

Get around

Gabrovo is home to many taxis, marshrutkas, 11 urban bus lines [2] bus lines, four urban trolley lines and five urban minibus lines, all of which offer quick transport at low cost to destinations across the city. The municipal government building, cultural center, library, theater, the city bazaar (vegetable and farmer's market), multiple restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and both museums are also close to the center of the city, placing them all with in easy walking distance of each other.


A church in Gabrovo
  • Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex (about 8 kilometers south-east of Gabrovo on E-85.), [3]. Usually referred to as Etura, this is a recreation of a Bulgarian Revival Village, similar to what Gabrovo was like during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Built in the 1960s, the complex is home to a number of shops and crafts such as wood-carving, pottery, coppersmith crafts, furriery, cutlery making, needlework etc. There are also shops for souvenirs and a nearby three star hotel with a bar and a restaurant. Etura is about eight kilometers from the center of Gabrovo.
  • The House of Humour and Satire No. 68 Bryanska Blvd. (бул. Брянска 68 — along the Yantra River, about one kilometer north of the center of the city.), [4]. Over the centuries, Gabrovo and the people of Gabrovo developed a reputation for being skinflints. To their credit, the people of Gabrovo took this reputation and made it their own, eventually establishing a museum in the city which covers this reputation and provides a venue for other aspects of Bulgarian culture and the arts of Gabrovo.
  • The Ethnographical Village of Bozhentsi (about 15 kilometers east of Gabrovo and just north of the Shipka Pass). A village and architectural reserve in Gabrovo municipality, as compared to the city of Gabrovo itself, Bozhentsi was proclaimed an architectural and historical reserve in 1964 and is part of UNESCO's cultural monuments. A Roman bridge lies east of the village and a forest path leading to Tryavna begins on the other side.
  • Shipka Memorial (about 18 kilometers south-east of Gabrovo and 13 km north of the village of Shipka on E-85). A memorial to those who died for the Liberation of Bulgaria during the Battles of Shipka Pass in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. There are several floors inside the a 31.5-metre (98-foot) high stone tower where one can find replica of Bulgarian military flags and other relics and the top of the tower reveals a panorama of Shipka Peak and the surrounding area.
  • Dryanovo Monastery (about 20 kilometers north east of Gabrovo, close to the village of Dryanovo on E-85). A functioning Bulgarian Orthodox monastery situated in the Andaka River Valley, It was founded in the 12th century, during the Second Bulgarian Empire and is dedicated to Archangel Michael. Twice burnt down and pillaged during the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, the monastery was restored at it present place in 1845. It was the site of several battles during the April Uprising of 1876.
  • Gradishte (about three kilometers east of the center of Gabrovo). This is the site of ruins of a fortress dating to antiquity, a picnic area, a children's playground and lovely pine groves. The Gradishte site also features a cliff-top view of Gabrovo.
  • Sokolski Monastery (about 15 kilometers southwest of Gabrovo, not far from Etura). The Sokolski Monastery is a Bulgarian Orthodox monastery founded in 1833 and named after its founder Yosif Sokolski. It in the Bulgarka Nature Park and is close to the Sokolovo cave. The whole monastery was built during the Bulgarian National Revival with the strong support of the people of Gabrovo and the local villages. The monastery also played an important role during the April Uprising.
  • Regional Historical Museum Str. 10 Nikolaevska (ул. Николаевска № 10), [5]. The Historical Museum takes an important place in the cultural life of Gabrovo. The beginning dates back to the first museum collection initiated in 1883 in Aprilov High School by the school principal Raicho Karolev. Nowadays the museum is housed in a beautiful baroque building built in 1904. Its rich collection includes 90 000 exhibits from the Paleolithic era, the late-ancient civilization on these lands (IV-VI centuries BC.), the First and Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the Ottoman Empire, the Revival period and the industrial boom, up to present days.
  • Hristo Tsekov] Gallery No. 10 Kiril and Metodii (ул. Св. Кирил и Методий № 10), [6]. The gallery was opened in 1974. It is named after the first Bulgarian artist with professional education who was born in Gabrovo and graduated the Art School in Moscow. Its permanent exhibition presents valuable models of icons from the icon-painting school in Tryavna. The gallery has four exhibition halls with a total area of 3000 sq. m.


A church in Gabrovo

Gabrvo offers a profusion of shopping opportunities, including the Central Mall of Gabrovo [7] (just south of the city center), the Terra Mall [8] (north-west of the city center by about 1 km), a Technopolis [9] (north-west of the city center by about 3 km) and a Billa Supermarket [10] (north-east of the city center by about 1 km). In addition are many shops selling souvenirs, clothing, shoes, books and numerous Bulgarian delis, which are referred to as magazines.


  • Glineni Garneta, No. 9 Radion Umikov St. (Глинени Гърнета - ул. Радион Умников 9, 066/805 168) The Glineni Garneta serves cakes, pies, fruit cocktails, coffees and similar desserts and snacks. Refreshments, though not a full meal, are available for around 8 to 16 lev (or $5 to $10 U.S. or 4 to 8 Euros).
  • Tempo, No. 1 Shipka St. (Темпо - ул. Шипка 1, 066/804 867) The Tempo serves Italian and traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Dinner is available for around 8 to 16 lev (or $5 to $10 U.S. or 4 to 8 Euros).
  • La Skala, No. 3 Radion Umikov St. (Ла Скалла - ул. Радион Умников 3, 066/805 051) The La Skala serves pizza and similar foods. Dinner is available for around 10 to 25 lev (or $6 to $17 U.S. or 5 to 13 Euros).

  • Pri Lovetsa, No. 17 Emanuil Manolov St. ( При Ловеца - ул. Емануил Манолов 17, Габрово 089 913 489) The Pri Lovetsa serves traditional Bulgarian and international cuisine. Dinner is available for around 10 to 25 lev (or $6 to $17 U.S. or 5 to 13 Euros).


Drinking establishments are common in Bulgaria and Gabrovo. Beer and alcohol are available at almost all coffee shops, restaurants and shops where food and refreshments are available. There are few establishments which serve only alcohol.


  • Gabrovo Hills Hotel ((Габрово Хилс Хотел)), No. 55 Iztok St. (ул. Изток 55) (Gabrovo Hills Hotel is 500 meters from the centre of town), +028 6293 39. The hotel offers view of the city of Gabrovo, Buzludzha Peak and Botev Peak and the Balkan range.
  • Koliovata House ((Колиовата Къща)), No. 23 Opulchenska St. (ул. Опълченска 23) (located in the center of Gabrovo in the old part of the town), +089 7920 757. Guests have the chance to experience the atmosphere typical for a Bulgarian renaissance accommodation.
  • Hotel Gabrovo (Хотел Габрово), No. 4 Hemus Blvd. (бул. Хемус 4) (between Gabrovo and Etara), 066 8017 05. This hotel is located between the city of Gabrovo and the Etar Architectural-Ethnographic Complex, offering easy access to both.
  • Hotel Balkan (Хотел Балкан), No. 14 Emanuel Manolov St. (ул. Емануил Манолов 14) (in the heart of Gabrovo), 066 8010 66. This hotel is near shops and restaurants. It has a terrace, a night club, a casino and a modern gym.

Get out

Hiking, biking and camping opportunities are widely available in the nearby Central Balkan National Park [11] and in the Nature Park Bulgarka, itself home to Ethnographic Complex Etara, Dryanovo Monastery, Sokolski Monastery, Shipka Pass, and the Uzana area. Also, the Gradishte Trail (Екопътека Градище) leads from the city center to the ruined fortress overlooking Gabrovo. The Bozhentsi Trail (Екопътека Боженци - Дряновски манастир) leads to the village and the Dryanovo Monastery.

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