Gabrovo is renowned for being the Bulgarian capital of humour and the Gabrovan people have long been the object of many Bulgarian jokes as being stingy with spending their money. Its population has taken this reputation of frugality with good humour and celebrates these jokes with a carnival and one of their most renowned assets, the Museum of Humour and Satire.
The town is situated very close to the geographical centre of Bulgaria, near the Stara Planina mountain range. Rich in textile and cultural heritage, Gabrovo pays homage to its past with numerous bridges over the Yantra River and their accompanying memorial statues which are scattered throughout the centre.
Walking around Gabrovo has a different feel from nearby Veliko Tarnovo, with its pedestrianized centre and open plan park where you can enjoy a drink from one of the surrounding bars and watch the world go by. Narrow streets will lead you to one of the seemingly hidden mehanas which serve great traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Or if you prefer, you can buy ingredients for your dinner from the outdoor market – including some excellent homemade wine!
Although the centre appears quite small, it has an array of museums, churches and theatres worth a visit. The surrounding area offers great hiking and cycling routes and sightseeing attractions which include monasteries, the village reserve of Bojentzi, Etar, Skipka Pass and Buzludja.
More information about Gabrovo’s attractions here