City of Pernik (Pernik)

The city of Pernik is included to the region Pernik and to the province Pernik

Presentation of the destination

Pernik, in the mountains of Bulgaria

Pernik is a beautiful city in the west of Bulgaria. The city is located 20 kilometers southwest of Sofia and is therefore a popular daytrip destination for city travelers in Sofia. Because of the proximity, many of the visitors even settle down in Pernik, and use this much quieter city as a base for trips to Sofia. There are about 80,000 people living in the city, which makes Pernik the second largest city in Bulgaria, but still keeps the city in a quiet and cozy atmosphere. Pernik is the capital of the eponymous Pernik province and is characterized by its beautiful location in the Pernik Valley, formed by the mountains Golo Bardo, Vitosha, Lyulin and Viskyar. It is exactly these mountains that make Pernik such a special city. So the city itself is a bit elevated and the view of the mountains has a truly magical effect. Furthermore, the mountains offer the opportunity for a variety of recreational activities. Close to one of the country's largest ski areas, the region is popular with hikers from around the world during the summer months. But it is not necessary to leave the city center of Pernik to find its joy. Pernik is a historic city whose origins date back to the fourth century BC. This becomes clear from many historical buildings. The city was under Ottoman rule for over 400 years and did not really develop until the 20th century. So the city grew mainly by the coal mining. Under communist rule, the town was renamed Dimitrovo. Pernik is famous for the well-known Surva Festival, which takes place every January in the city. Furthermore, Pernik is the home of two football clubs.

Points of interests / things to see


Pernik has a long and exciting history, which today results in a very interesting downtown. In the fourth century, the Thracians built a fortress here to protect â € œyourâ € area from supposed invaders. This region is considered one of the strongholds of the Thracians and many archaeological sites bring exciting finds from this period to light. Among other things, the richest collection of Balkan pottery dates from this period. This collection is located in the city's Historical Museum, which has many other attractions to offer. Also noteworthy is the fact that King Odysaean Sitalk lived in Pernik and won the battle against Macedonia in 428 BC. Today, for example, the two exhibitions at the Historical Museum, which represent sculptures of the life-giving gods Asclepius and Hygieia, testify to this ancient past. The Bulgarians quickly recognized the city's good location and made a profit from it. Thus, in the ninth century, a mighty castle and castle walls were built. And this place was called Pernik. The name derives from the Slavic god Perun. The General Krak of Pernik, who played an enormously important role in the First Bulgarian Empire, was also based in Pernik. He succeeded in defending the city in 1004 from a first major wave of attacks. The city walls and the remains of the castle are still preserved today and are considered one of the most important historical buildings of the city. To date, there has not been any other population except Bulgaria and its minorities who have stayed in the city.


Surva is the city's highlight and has made the city famous across the country. The Surva is also known as â € œInternational Kukeri Festivalâ €. The Surva is a masquerade festival, and not just a masquerade festival, but the largest of its kind in the Balkans and throughout Eastern Europe. The Fesitval takes place every year on the last three days of January. At these times you should look after your accommodation in time, as many people from all over Europe travel to Pernik for the occasion. Thousands of Bulgarians come from all over the country and come to the festival long in advance. The colorful panels are very interesting to look at. Many are similar to animals, such as goats, bulls or chickens. Many of the masks have faces on both sides. These are to be interpreted symbolically and refer to the good and evil, both of which exist simultaneously in this world. Very important are the colors of the masks. The most used color is red. This stands for the power of nature, which is often equated with fire and the sun. The color black stands for the mother earth and the color white is used for the water and the light. The festival traditionally takes place at the end of winter, to prepare for a good spring with a good harvest. The festival has a long tradition and was first held in the 1960s and is part of the UNESCO list â € œProtected non-material cultural heritageâ €.

ski Resort

Pernik sits on a hill and is surrounded by other mountains. These mountains are home to some of the best ski resorts in the country. The slopes on the mountains Vitosha and Rila, both at the resort Borovets, and the mountain Pirin at the resort Bansko, are something of the pearl of the Bulgarian ski resorts. Pernik itself is already at an altitude of over 680 meters above sea level. This leads to a mild climate with an average temperature of 0.2 degrees in January. One of the best places to ski is the three-star Hotel Struma Hotel in the center of Pernik, where you will meet many like-minded people. Equally well-suited and a little cheaper is the two-star Hotel Zora. There are several ski schools where you can take courses and work on your skills. The best thing about skiing in Bulgaria is the fact that the slopes are still very untouched and natural, as the mass tourism in the country has not yet made its entrance.

Regional Museum of History

Pernik is a city rich in history and culture, and as has been clear in other sections, many of the most spectacular finds are in the Regional Museum of History. This is the best place to start learning about the history of the city. The museum is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and private tours are available on request.


Apart from the Regional Museum, there are only a few attractions that stand out from the crowd and are a compulsory building block in tourism. This does not mean that the old town is not absolutely breathtaking. It is much more the overall picture, consisting of dozens of historical buildings, which makes the visit to the city an unforgettable experience. Nevertheless, there are several other buildings that do justice to a second view. Such as the Palace of Cultures, which is located directly in the old town. Another interesting museum is the Museum of Coalmaking, which deals with the recent history of the city. After all, the city has grown rapidly in the last 100 years due to the depletion of Mother Earth. The castle of Krakra, including the city walls, should definitely be visited. Just outside is Duhlata Cave, the longest cave in the country.


Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and is increasingly becoming a modern metropolis. The city can be reached within 40 minutes by bus or train and definitely worth seeing. The city's history dates back to the fifth century BC and it lasted until the 18th century when the city was named capital. Today, over 1.3 million people live in the city. The many students make for a vibrant nightlife.


The Vitosha is one of the big mountains that surround Pernik. The mountain is also considered one of the tourist destinations of the city of Sofia and is considered one of the best places for hiking and skiing. The mountain has the shape of a gigantic cathedral and also houses some mineral springs. The highest point of the mountain is 2280 meters high, with ten peaks where the mountain towers over 2000 meters.

Novi Iskar

Novi Iskar is another popular destination and very easy to reach within a day trip. The city is often referred to as the northern district of Sofia, but in reality is a separate small town named after the Iskar Gorge. The beautiful town is home to many mansions of wealthy captains and is characterized by a cozy atmosphere.


The city of Pravets is located 80 kilometers from Pernik and has more than 4000 inhabitants. Pravets is a cozy mountain town surrounded by a lake.

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Time in pernik

Local time

Local time and timezone in pernik

Pernik time
UTC +3:00 (Europe/Sofia)
Summer time UTC +3:00
Winter time UTC +4:00


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Surrounding towns

  • Bankya ~14 km
  • Studena ~10 km
  • Draghicevo ~9 km
  • Vladaya ~13 km
  • Breznik ~18 km
  • Batanovtsi ~7 km
  • Divotino ~6 km
  • Marchaevo ~11 km
  • Rudartsi ~11 km
  • Boboratsi ~16 km

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How to get there ?

getting there

By Air: The nearest airport is in Sofia and is about 40 minutes away by taxi. By Bus: Buses are the best way to get around short distances. By train: trains are a great way to travel long distances.

Hotels in Pernik (Pernik)