We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“The traditional complex”

Architectural-Ethnographic Complex ETAR
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Gabrovo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
124 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“The traditional complex”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2013

Traditional atmosphere, small shops, good location and perfect place for relaxing!We had a very nice time there! We liked it!

Visited July 2013
Thank Samseera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

122 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Mamaroneck, New York
Level Contributor
83 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Cute, but could be more...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

ETAR is more of a craft shop mall, rather than an ethnographic complex. Not all craftsmen demonstrate their craft and none of them are in period garb. Each craft shop is independently owned and operated and runs on its own schedule, which means that you may not be able to see them all, despite the fact that you have purchased a ticket to the complex and are visiting during complex business hours. The sweetshop was the most exciting part of our visit. Try the traditional Bulgarian lollipops and the walnut cookies! Great Turkish delight too, soft and gooey, not the stiff boxed one you get in grocery stores. There is an excellent Mehana right across the road from the main entrance, traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Val7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sofia, Bulgaria
Level Contributor
132 reviews
117 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“see traditional crafts and have a pleasant rest”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

While I know a lot about old crafts in Bulgaria, I didn't know much about to what extent water power was used. Some of the crafts presented are water-powered, in others the products are hand-made. You can buy souvenirs at many of the places and I suppose the biggest queues are at the cafe which makes Turkish coffee in the traditional way and at the sweets shop.
There's an option for a guided tour. Mine was in Bulgarian but I suppose there's a possibility for English too. If so, then it is a must in case you don't have your own guide. The tour takes approx. 30 minutes and then you have as much free time as you wish.
One more thing - about parking places. There are two small parking lots at the two sides of the complex, but I suppose they easily get overcrowded in busy days. Because the complex is situated in a narrow valley, your alternative is to park on the road - everybody does it and it is for free, just as the parking lots.
There's an ATM at the hotel/restaurant at the entrance closer to Gabrovo.
Access from this entrance is through stairs, and you go down by them. The other entrance, at the other side of the compex, is more easily accessibleas there are no stairs. Even wheelchairs can pass normally, but have in mind that the whole place is covered with cobble stones and slabs of stone - in the traditional way. So for people in wheelchairs it is still possible to pass, but I suppose it would better be with the help of others.
After the visit, if you have enough time, go to one of the two restaurants at each end. I visited the one at the far end, at the more accessible entrance. There they offer traditional Bulgarian cuisine under the shadow of trees and shades.

Visited May 2013
Thank Tsvetana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
206 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Great Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2013

This open air museum gives an idea of what life was like a couple of hundred years ago. The craft areas all use traditional methods and the craftsmen (and women) are all very happy to demonstrate their skills. Everything is water powered and much of what you see must have been what was happening in England before the Industrial Revolution. There is a cafe at the start and one at the end for refreshments. In spite of "captive audience" prices are very good and here is a chance to bring back some genuine low cost souvenirs.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank AnnualOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
186 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“very nice”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2013

A very well maintained complex, gives a good view about old crafts, certainly worth a visit. The nice thing is that you can see the craftsman at work.

Visited June 2013
Thank nadinekebloem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Architectural-Ethnographic Complex ETAR also viewed

Gabrovo, Gabrovo Province
Veliko Tarnovo, Veliko Tarnovo Province

Been to Architectural-Ethnographic Complex ETAR? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing