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“Water, water everywhere” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Architectural-Ethnographic Complex ETAR

Architectural-Ethnographic Complex ETAR
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Gabrovo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Water, water everywhere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

This skansen is probably the best I have ever seen. There is a number of buildings set in a picturesque forest environment with a babbling brook running through the middle. Most of the buildings have some form of water driven activity such as spinning wheels, milling and so on. The water comes from the hill behind. It appears to be natural flow but I dont think it can be. The buildings are all in magnificent condition and many are photogenically bright. There are several places to buy treats such as delicious pastries. A licensed outdoor restaurant is situated just near the entrance. The food is good and the prices are very reasonable.

Visited August 2013
Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Burgas, Bulgaria
Level Contributor
103 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Pleasant Setting”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2013

Etar shows many of the traditional Bulgarian crafts and traditional buildings but it is more of a park with craft shops than an ethnographic museum. I really enjoyed our visit here but it was more a pleasant day in the park than an educational trip. If you're in the area an looking for something to do, especially on a nice day, I'd recommend you visit but don't bother travelling here just for this

Visited July 2013
Thank GretelRatzinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
124 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 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.
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 138 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.

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