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Heralding itself as "The Birthplace of Bulgaria", the town of Dobrich lies 30km inland from Balchik. As with most towns in Bulgaria, first impressions are of desolate-looking concrete blocks and run down arterial routes. The town is therefore often neglected by guidebooks, and thus generally overlooked by tourists from the coast. But EU and government funds have been pumped into the area and Dobrich actually has a lot to offer its guests.
The centre of Dobrich is an extremely lively pedestrianised area with amazingly cheap yet cosmopolitan cafes, bars and restaurants. Just off the main pedestrian thoroughfare is the "Stariya Dobrich" (Old Dobrich) area, where historic nineteenth-century houses line cobbled streets and craftsmen demonstrate their traditional trades.
A few minutes walk away is the Regional Art Gallery, one of the best in Bulgaria, boasting over 3000 works by the country's most celebrated artists from the last four centuries. Dobrich's exceptional Ethnographic Museum is just around the corner inside the courtyard of a national revival period house. A heritage display of costumes, jewellery, and machinery compliments the beautifully preserved living quarters of an affluent Dobrudjan wool-trading family.
Efforts to further explore Dobrich will uncover a scattering of churches and mosques featuring original frescoes and carvings.
If driving to Dobrich, also look out for signs to "Tolbuhin" as this name was adopted for the existing Dobrich by the Communists and only relinquished in 1990. Vehicle registrations in the area still begin with the letters "TX" ("X" being the Cyrillic equivalent to our letter "H").
The town's animated centre, interesting history, well-manicured parklands and proximity to the coast are already leading to an infiltration of tourists and foreign buyers.
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