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Added on 02 Oct 2016,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 02 Oct 2016



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Type of sights

Heritage building(s)


Name and address


BG-3703 Vidin

Geodetic coordinates

43.992454 22.881491


Baba Vida Fortress,Vidin
Baba Vida Fortress,Vidin
Stambol kapia, city gate in Vidin
Stambol kapia, city gate in Vidin
Cathedral of St Dimitar, Vidin
Cathedral of St Dimitar, Vidin
Deserted Synagogue in Vidin
Deserted Synagogue in Vidin

Vidin (Bulgarian: Видин) is a city in the northwest of Bulgaria, on the banks of Danube River, which is the borderline between Bulgaria and Romania. The northwest is infamously the poorest region in the country. Vidin is one of the oldest cities in Bulgaria, with a rich history. Its history begins in the 1st century when it was overcome by the Romans and became called Bononia. In 1396, the Ottomans defeated the last Bulgarian stronghold - the one in Vidin. They ruled there until 1878, when Vidin was liberated from the Turks. In 1942, Vidin experienced a flood due to the rising Danube. It was a great tragedy, but Vidin managed to overcome the problem with the flood, the diseases, and famine. Since then, Vidin has been an important military commercial and transport center for 200 years. There are many landmarks that exhibit the glorious past of Vidin: Baba Vida castle, the Vidin Synagogue (deserted after Jewish emigration to Israel), St. Petka church, the Osman Pazvantoglue mosque and library (built by the late Turkish ruler of northwestern Bulgaria in the 18th century), the Krastata Kazarma and St. Dimitar church.


Vidin is currently the poorest city in the EU, but it is a beautiful town with many historic and cultural landmarks. Tourism has experienced a decline except for groups that come along the Danube on cruises, but a visit to Vidin is definitely worth a visit. The people tend to be more hospitable here than in larger cities like Sofia. In Vidin, there is a foreign language school and young people can usually speak English well. In other schools students learn English, too. For elderly people, there is a language academy, usually teaching English or German. There are a lot of Vlachs (Bulgaro-Romanians), so knowing Romanian is always a plus! Many residents work on farms in nearby villages, raise domestic animals, and sow plants, and so this region is famous for its production of food.

Unfortunately, because of its economic issues, Vidin has many problems. Lack of funds has caused the sidewalks and streets to fall into disrepair, and many buildings are vacant and crumbling. There is no university in the northwest region, so young people mostly move to other cities or countries. There are many stray dogs and cats, but they are usually docile. Air pollution and littering are major issues, despite students’ attempts to clean the town. Vidin is, however, one of the safest cities in Bulgaria.


As of dec. 2015, The ONLY Tourist Information center is in the park near Danube shore, near Vidin Port, at the end of main pedestrian street, ul. Gradinska. They have some free bulgarian-english booklets with attractions and an useful black-white printed map with best tourist sites from city center, written in bulgarian, with few english notes. Warning: On the main street and other places in town you'll see Tourist Information signs with arrows, but they directs to a tourist site, not to a tourist information center.

There's an old, communist, but charming feel in many parts of the town and coming from Romania or other eastern block countries you'll feel nostalgic.

Vidin boasts two well-preserved medieval fortresses, Baba Vida—Vidin's main landmark, built in the period from the 10th to the 14th century—and Kaleto, as well as many old Orthodox churches such as St Pantaleimon, St Petka (both 17th century), and St Great Martyr Demetrius (19th century), a Jewish synagogue (1894), a mosque and a library of Osman Pazvantoğlu (late 18th century), the cruciform barracks of 1798, and a number of old Renaissance buildings.

  • Baba Vida Fortress (9h - 17h; tickets 4lv, under 14 free; combined daily ticket with Konaka museum: 5lv): This tenth century medieval castle is a wonderful attraction for children and adults. It is said to be the only entirely preserved medieval castle in the country. There you can see brilliant architecture and a lot of tools used during Bulgaria’s history like swords, bows, arrows, and others. On the upper part, you can sit in tranquility and enjoy a great view of the Danube and to the New Europe Bridge Wikipedia Icon. Across from the entrance there are souvenir shops from which you can buy numerous Bulgarian and Baba Vida souvenirs. There is also a beach nearby, so if you visit, you can even go swimming or sunbathing. During the summer, there are sometimes theatre performances.
  • Danube River: The Danube is the longest river in Bulgaria and the third longest in the world. Moreover, there are many locals with boats and courageous tourists can ask for a trip onto the river. To play it safe, go to one of the boat restaurants situated at the main port in warm weather.

"Metropolitan Christian Complex"
Residents of Vidin are very proud of the area containing the Synagogue, Osman Pazvantoglu Mosque, and St. Pantaleimon Church. The latter two are directly across the street from each other, and together, all three represent the religious tolerance of Vidin, especially during the Ottoman occupation.

  • St. Dimitar Church (Simeon Veliki Street): This is the second biggest church in Bulgaria after St. Alexander Nevski in Sofia, and it is one of the oldest. The central dome is 33 meters high. Inside, there are beautiful murals depicting Biblical events, as well as the life of the town’s patron St. Dimitar. The priests are all friendly and the atmosphere is formal. On big holidays like Easter, Christmas, and New Year’s almost every inhabitant goes there to celebrate the big day. But it isn’t necessary to go there on holidays only. It is traditional to light a candle for the happiness of your family or friends, or to remember the dead.
  • Osman Pazvantoglu Mosque (9:00 - 16:00): This is the only mosque in the world to have a heart on top instead of a half moon. Osman Pazvantoglu made it to show his love to a Bulgarian woman. It was built from 1801-1802, but no longer serves a religious function. Also in the yard is a library supposedly built for his mother.
  • Synagogue: Smaller than the synagogue in Sofia, but supposedly more beautiful, this was built in 1894 with donations from citizens in the nearby neighborhood and Jews from all over the country. Since 1950, the building has been out of use. The yard is open, and you can explore the ruined building, especially if you want silence.
  • Konaka Historical Museum Vidin (9:00-18:00 M-F, 2-5 lv, 2 Obshtinska St, combined daily ticket with Baba Vida Fortress: 5lv) - : The Konaka Museum is in the center of Vidin. It is an 18th century building reconstructed after the liberation from the Ottomans, during which Bulgarian Renaissance architectural elements were introduced. It originally served as a police station. It is very well preserved and holds information about Vidin’s past. There are many exhibits from all ages, including Prehistoric, Antique, and the Middle Ages. The museum has an interesting architecture and views from upstairs windows, but is recommended to consult the web site before visiting because it's an old museum from 1960-1970 with information only in Bulgarian. Sometime you can find a lady at ticket booth that understand and barely speaks english, but mostly there's only a Bulgarian speaking, but friendly lady.
  • Krastata Kazarma (Cross-Shaped Barracks) (9:00-12:00, 14:00-17:00 M-Sat, 2-4 lv, 34 Knyaz Boris I): It was built in 1801 for the Ottomans. After Bulgaria’s liberation, it served as a law court and barracks for the Bulgarian army. Today it is an ethnographic museum with national costumes and Bulgarian crafts.
  • Nikola Petrov Gallery: Built in 1961, this gallery houses amazing works of art by famous Bulgarian painters and sculptors. It is situated in the Danube Park.

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Input taken over from:

Wikivoyage contributors, 'Vidin', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 10 May 2016, 02:05 UTC, <> [accessed 2 October 2016]

taken over / edited on

02 Oct 2016

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Added on 02 Oct 2016,

last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 02 Oct 2016