15 days in Turkey, Romania & Bulgaria Itinerary

15 days in Turkey, Romania & Bulgaria Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
Fly
2
Goreme, Turkey
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Bucharest, Romania
— 3 nights
Shuttle
4
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
— 2 nights
Fly

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Istanbul, Turkey

— 4 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Step off the beaten path and head to Istanbul Modern and Sultanahmet Square. Get outdoors at Halic and Suma Beach. There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of Topkapi Palace, appreciate the extensive heritage of Sultanahmet District, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sultan Ahmed Mosque, and explore the world behind art at Chora Museum.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Istanbul online sightseeing planner.

Budapest, Hungary to Istanbul is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time to Turkey Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Istanbul when traveling from Budapest in December, with lows around 7°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Goreme.

Things to do in Istanbul

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:

Goreme, Turkey

— 3 nights
Famed for its landscape of unusually shaped stone formations and churches cut into the natural rocks, Goreme sits in the central part of the country, an area originally settled during Roman times.
Get in touch with nature at Cappadocia Cave Dwellings and Royal Balloon. Museum-lovers will get to explore Zelve Open Air Museum and Goreme Open-Air Museum. Change things up with these side-trips from Goreme: Saruhan Culture and Event Center (in Nevsehir) and Mazi Yeralti Sehri (in Urgup). There's much more to do: step into the grandiose world of Uchisar Castle, enjoy some diversion at Naile Art Gallery, delve into the distant past at Özkonak Underground City, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Güvercinlik Vadisi (Pigeon Valley).

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read Goreme day trip app.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Goreme takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Goreme when traveling from Istanbul in December, with lows around -3°C. On the 28th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can fly to Bucharest.

Things to do in Goreme

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 25 — 28:

Bucharest, Romania

— 3 nights
The booming city of Bucharest is a sophisticated metropolis with a high contrast of old- and new-world architecture.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Stavropoleos Monastery, appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Town, view the masterpieces at Muzeul National al Satului "Dimitrie Gusti", then take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Holy Saviour Italian Church, and finally let the kids burn off some steam at Ferma Animalelor. Keep things going the next day: admire the landmark architecture of Mogosoaia Palace, then catch a concert at Ateneul Roman, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Biserica Sfantul Anton - Curtea Veche, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Catedrala Patriarhala.

To see photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Bucharest day trip website.

You can fly from Goreme to Bucharest in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Turkey Time (TRT) to Eastern European Standard Time (EET), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 5°C in December, and nighttime lows around -3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to take a shuttle to Sunny Beach.

Things to do in Bucharest

Historic Sites · Nightlife · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

— 2 nights
Famous for its nightlife, the town of Sunny Beach along the Black Sea coast is the most popular summer vacation spot in the country.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): admire the landmark architecture of Church of the Assumption, see the interesting displays at Pomorie Museum of History, and then admire all the interesting features of Karting Sunny Beach. Keep things going the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at The Church of St. John Aliturgetos, admire the landmark architecture of St Stephens Church, then stop by Ji'votnoto and Gallery - TA, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Irakli Beach.

To see more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Sunny Beach driving holiday planner.

You can take a shuttle from Bucharest to Sunny Beach in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Sunny Beach when traveling from Bucharest in December, with lows around 0°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can catch the flight back home.

Things to do in Sunny Beach

Theme Parks · Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:

Turkey travel guide

4.4
Ruins · Architectural Buildings · Sacred & Religious Sites
Rich in culture and customs and brimming with hospitality, natural beauty, and historical heritage, Turkey serves as a crossroads between Asia and Europe. The landmass known as Anatolia on which Turkey thrives has been home to numerous civilizations and their faiths and cultures, as attested by the 13 World Heritage Sites and countless religious sites you'll find here. Relive the ancient world through the ruins, customs, and traditions that are among the nation's most precious heritages. Adventure-seekers have plenty do to here, including mountain climbing, scuba diving, rafting, and skiing. A holiday to Turkey is incomplete without a cup of Turkish coffee, the pinnacle of Turkish cuisine inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Romania travel guide

4.4
Castles · Churches · Historic Walking Areas
An image of ancient architecture contrasted against a backdrop of vivdly green landscape represents the country of Romania, which features a diversity of landscape that has been largely undeveloped. With numerous mountain, valley, and lakeside resorts, an abundance of activities await outdoor enthusiasts. The other side of Romanian tourism is its impressive collection of ancient ruins, prehistoric fortresses, and medieval castles. Many of these date back to prehistoric times, the Ottoman Empire, and Austro-Hungarian rule, the influences of which are still apparent in preserved details. Tourism in Romania is not as prevalent as other countries, which this makes the travel experience here feel more authentic and awe-inspiring. Check out this simple but captivating country and discover its natural and historic beauty.

Bulgaria travel guide

4.4
Architectural Buildings · Ruins · Nightlife
Eventful history has endowed Bulgaria with a rich cultural, architectural, and artistic heritage, while natural beauty and recreational opportunities make it one of Europe's most desirable holiday destinations. Carpeted by dense forests and fed by mighty rivers, this ancient land once drew invaders from distant corners of Europe. Today, the country's Black Sea coastline and seven rugged mountain ranges top the itineraries of nearly 8 million annual visitors. While its growing cities offer modern shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities, Bulgaria's countryside remains a history buff's paradise, boasting well-preserved reminders of ancient civilizations that conquered or passed through this land. Begin your Bulgarian adventure in Sofia, one of Europe's oldest capitals, with over 250 historic landmarks.