Ruse is one of Bulgaria’s biggest and most important port cities, serving as a vital link between several countries across Europe and Asia thanks to its strategic location on the Danube River. However, there’s much more to this city than its thriving port. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Little Vienna’, Ruse is among the most elegant and enchanting cities situated on the Danube, revered for its rich history, culture and magnificent architecture.
There are over 300 incredible historical and architectural highlights to discover in Ruse, many of which feature on Bulgaria’s National Heritage List, and simply strolling around the city’s streets on foot will present you with an abundance of impressive Viennese-inspired Baroque, Renaissance, Gothic and Rococo style landmarks and monuments.
Liberty Square is a great place to start your exploration. Perhaps marvel at striking sights such as the Statue of Liberty, the Opera House, the iconic Dohodno Zdanie theatre and St Trinity Church here, then venture down the surrounding streets in search of interesting attractions such as the Rousse Historical Museum, the Pantheon of National Revival Heroes national monument and the ruins of the Sexaginta Prista Roman Fortress. A wander along Aleksandrovska Street – Ruse’s main street – is highly recommended, to take in its melting pot of architectural styles.
Away from Ruse’s many man-made marvels, there are natural delights to uncover close-by too. The Natural Park of Rusenski Lom – situated a short journey south from the city – is a sprawling 32 square kilometre wonderland of dramatic cliff faces and rock formations, beautiful riverside terraces and ancient caves such as the Orlova Chuka Cave – Bulgaria’s second-longest cave. Rusenski Lom is a haven for birdwatches too, home to around 172 diverse species including Egyptian vultures, lesser kestrels and eagle owls.