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beautiful red building with Greek columns and fountains in front of it, the National Theatre building in Sofia, Bulgaria

Everything you need to know before visiting Bulgaria

by Daniela

Visiting Bulgaria for the first time and don’t know what to expect? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here I share with you some travel tips about Bulgaria, that will make your journey easier and more enjoyable. Bulgaria is at the corner of Europe, both geographically and touristically speaking, and there isn’t sufficient first-hand information that will prepare you for your trip. On the other hand, the fact that Bulgaria remains unexplored is kind of good, I guess, as you can still visit great and authentic places, unspoiled by tourism.

COVID-19 Information about visiting Bulgaria:
Following the measures to contain the spread the COVID-19 (corona virus) pandemic, Bulgaria closed their borders. As of 1 June the borders of the country are open again for citizens of the EU Member States or of the Schengen States (including San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, and the Vatican). The travelers can freely enter the country and won’t be subject to a 14-day quarantine. If you are a citizen of another country, you won’t be able to enter the country or there will apply some restrictions. More information can be found on the website of Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Planning a trip to Bulgaria? Find out here everything you need to know about visiting Bulgaria!Click To Tweet
Note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation some places may be closed, or have different opening hours or some additional restrictions. Consult the website of the respective attraction, hotel or restaurant in advance for the latest updates.
If you have doubts, or questions, just leave a comment below and I’ll double check it for you, as some info can be available only in Bulgarian.
Safe travels to Bulgaria!

I am a native Bulgarian who has been travelling and living abroad for about 12 years already, so as a tourist in my own country I can easily spot those things that are weird, or you need to know about or understand beforehand, so that you can enjoy your stay in Bulgaria. Some things, believe me, will be quite cultural-shock worthy, others not that obvious, but if you can understand why things work that way, you will love the country!

This post has been last updated on 7 June 2020.

Click on the section that you are interested in below in the table of contents or keep reading further and discover my 25 essential travel tips for visiting Bulgaria.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: Things to know when planning your trip to Bulgaria

Things to know when planning your trip to Bulgaria

Here are some tips about things to consider when you start planning your trip to Bulgaria. In this section I answer questions about visa requirements, Bulgarian currency, when to go to Bulgaria and which places to avoid when visiting Bulgaria.

Bulgaria is in the EU but is not a Schengen country

If you are from an EU-member state country and you are travelling to Bulgaria, it will mean that at the airport you will have to go through passport control. The same is true if you travel by car and enter the country through one of the checkpoints. If you are outside of the EU, you have to check with the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or your local Bulgarian Embassy/Consulate whether you need a visa to visit Bulgaria. Here you can find a list of the countries that need visa for Bulgaria and what the requirements are.

Tip: If you have a Bulgarian visa, it doesn’t mean it’s valid for the Schengen countries. But if you have a Schengen visa, you can enter Bulgaria and stay for up to 90 days. Confusing, isn’t it? But well, worth to know so that you won’t be unpleasantly surprised.

Money matters

Although Bulgaria is in the EU, Bulgaria does not use the EURO. The Bulgarian currency is called “lev” (лев), in plural with counting numbers “leva” (лева): 5 leva, 10 leva. Quite often the currency is abbreviated into “lv.” (лв.) when it comes to price lists, prices, menus, etc. The official abbreviation for the currency, which is used by banks and other official authorities, is BGN.

Fun fact: Lev” means actually a lion, which is also the symbol of Bulgaria. The lion can be found also on Bulgaria’s National Emblem.

What you should know, in order to avoid any scams, is that the lev has a fixed exchange rate to the euro and it doesn’t fluctuate: 1 EUR = 1.95583 lev. Quite easy, isn’t it? You divide all prices by 2 and you get the price in euro.

All that said about money, the best way to get cash in the local currency is by redrawing from an ATM. I strongly discourage using any exchange offices, in order to avoid any type of scamming. I’m not saying that all exchange offices are scammers, but just go to the bank or use an ATM to be on the safe side.

You can’t pay in Bulgaria with US dollars or with euro. Don’t be fooled by the fact that on the euro banknotes it’s written in Bulgarian “евро”. This is because after the country joined the EU in 2007, Bulgarian became one of the official languages in the union.

Read more: Talking about scams… Scamming in Bulgaria, I can say, doesn’t occur more or less often than in any other country you would travel to. Just use your common sense in everything you do and beware of bad practices. There’s a good article on NTripping.com about safety in Bulgaria, which I highly recommend reading before visiting Bulgaria.


Weather in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has continental climate, which means that winters are cold, reaching temperatures of -20°C/-4°F with sometimes lots of snow and summers are hot with temperatures as high as 30-35°C/85-95°F. You know what the best part is about this climate? There are four seasons, so there’s a lovely spring in Bulgaria with mild temperatures and some rain and a golden autumn with an Indian summer. Did I just say snow? Yes! That’s right! You can also ski in Bulgaria, which most people do not know.

Places to avoid in Bulgaria

Once the most iconic places on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, today Sunny Beach and Golden Sands are overcrowded resorts where binge drinking and misbehaving tourists had set up low standards in all types of services provided. Unless you want to be perceived as a walking wallet and get low service, these aren’t places you want to visit. I know prices seem quite low for Western European standards, but visiting those places is not helping the local tourism industry and it’s only contributing to overtourism. I remember going to Golden Sands as a kid, as my parents both were working in the tourism industry. It aches me to see today how some places have been ruined by lack of regulations on national level to control and sustain the development of tourism in the region.

Tip: If you want to have a holiday at the sea side, go instead to places like Kavarna, Kranevo, Shkorpilovtsi, Obzor, Ravda, Pomorie, Chernomorets, Primorsko, Kiten, Ahtopol.

Are you struggling with choosing a place on the coast? Ask for advice in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to help you.

I know that Bulgaria’s marketing as a tourist destination, to put it mildly, sucks, so be aware of the fact that there’s much more to visit in the country than the Black Sea Coast. Bulgaria is an amazing country with beautiful and diverse nature, that just waits to be discovered. So, do your research before you go and ask me for an advice if you can’t find enough information online.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: How to prepare best for your trip to Bulgaria

How to prepare best for your trip to Bulgaria

So, you’ve decided to go to Bulgaria and you need to prepare for your trip. Here I’m sharing with you some essential things that will make your stay more enjoyable and will help you understand the Bulgarian mentality.


DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via those affiliate links, I will earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For full disclosure read the Privacy Policy.


Learn to read Bulgarian

Before you go to Bulgaria, learn to read the local alphabet. It’s not difficult, but it will help you understand a lot of the signs. Bulgarian language uses the Cyrillic script. It looks a bit like the Latin alphabet but here comes the tricky part: some letters look the same but are pronounced differently. In the big cities and touristy areas, there are usually signs in English or in transliterated Bulgarian, but in the country being able to read Bulgarian will be essential for your trip.

In Bulgarian language there are a lot of international words, which will help you understand what’s written, as long as you know how to read. Let’s say you see the sign “РЕСТОРАНТ” or “СНЕК-БАР”. It doesn’t make sense, does it. If you were able to read, you would find out that the first word is pronounced [res-toh-RANT]. Easy, or not? You are standing in front of a restaurant. The second word reads: [SNEK-bar], well you are looking at a snack-bar. Remember, that Bulgarian is a phonetic language (with some irregularities), which means that you read what you write, hence easy to learn.

Learn some survival level Bulgarian

This is absolutely essential. Don’t presume that everybody speaks English in Bulgaria. This is not the case and I will tell you why. As Bulgaria was part of the communist block, English wasn’t taught at schools widely until the 90-s. It was for the chosen ones and there were only a few select schools where you could learn it, as Western influence was considered evil and wasn’t for everyone. Thus, the generations that went to school prior to the fall of the Berlin wall, speak only Russian and German. Young people today speak English, as the language is widely taught at school.

Fun fact: I was quite lucky to be from the first generations that could learn English at school, which kind of changed my destiny for good.

Here are some survival phrases in Bulgarian to start with:

basic phrases in bulgarian with pronunciation and translation

To learn more Bulgarian phrases, check out these apps:

My advice is, do not go to Bulgaria without a phrase book. You can either download a phrasebook app, or buy a traditional phrasebook. I highly recommend the Lonely Planet one. I have it at home as my boyfriend is Dutch. It has been indispensable for our visits to Bulgaria and he uses it each time. Whatever you choose for, you will be thankful at the end.

Read a bit about Bulgaria’s history before you go

Before visiting Bulgaria, read a bit about its history. It will help you understand most of the cultural differences that you will inevitably encounter on your way while travelling around in Bulgaria. Most of those differences are historically defined. Bulgarians are proud of their history and they won’t miss a chance to tell you how great and powerful Bulgaria was during the Middle Ages, which actually is true.

The oriental influences in the country from architecture, to food and mentality, are due to the 500 hundred years (1396 – 1878) in which Bulgaria was a province in the Ottoman Empire. This is also why there aren’t castles or palaces in Bulgaria, but a lot of monasteries and churches and those beautiful houses in Revival Style.

Being a communist country and a fervent follower of the USSR policy in the years of the Cold War, left Bulgaria with a big communist legacy which you can see not only in the architecture and the monuments but also in the low prices, in the bureaucracy and the shattered economy.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: Essentials you will need for your trip to Bulgaria

Essentials you will need for your trip to Bulgaria

When you start packing for your trip to Bulgaria, there are a few things that you have to consider.

Adapter/Converter

If Bulgaria is just a stop on your Euro- or Balkan trip, you don’t need to pack anything different or special. Good to know is that Bulgaria uses types C, E and F sockets/plugs so if you are coming from overseas you will need an adapter and/or converter. The standard voltage in the country is 230 V, so if your electric appliance are in the range of 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa), you’ll be fine. However, if you are coming from a country where the standard is 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you will need a converter. The best is to get one of those universal adapter gadgets.

SIM card

One of the perks to travel in Europe is that there are no roaming costs in all EU-member states, which means that you can buy a SIM card in any European country and use it in the rest. If you are from an EU-member state you don’t need to do anything.

Wifi in Bulgaria

Bulgaria has one of the fastest wifis in Europe and a lot of places (hotels, restaurants, cafés) offer free wifi access. In the big cities there are also a lot of hotspots.

Travel guide

When I travel, I always buy beforehand a travel guide for the country I will be visiting. I can’t stress enough on the fact how important and essential this is.

Here are my picks for you:

Tip: Here you will find a complete list of things that you will need for your trip to Europe. There’s also a printable checklist which you can personalize, which is handy if you travel with your family or a significant other.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: Getting to and around in Bulgaria

Getting to and around in Bulgaria

Airports in Bulgaria

There are four international airports in Bulgaria: Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Burgas. Varna and Burgas are mostly seasonal and serve holiday charters. The Sofia Airport is the main airport in Bulgaria. From Europe you can fly with low-cost companies either to Sofia or to Plovdiv. Of course, you can also go to Bulgaria by car, train or bus.

Trains in Bulgaria

Once in Bulgaria, you have a few options to get around, none of them being ideal. You can travel by train to some of the major cities but you won’t be able to reach small places. Like if you want to go to the Black Sea, you can only travel to Varna or Burgas and then you will have to use the bus or a taxi. Besides, trains aren’t comfortable and are quite slow. However, there are parts in Bulgaria where travelling by train is really fun, for example a day trip from Veliko Tarnovo to Tryavna or Gabrovo, but never attempt to reach Veliko Tarnovo from Sofia by train. Here is the website of BDZ – the national railway company.

Tip: Always ask locals how they travel to a place. They will give you the best advice how to reach a place: by train or by bus.

Buses in Bulgaria

Buses are the preferred type of transportation in Bulgaria. There are a few big companies that operate the major lines between the big cities and a lot of regional companies that operate from the big city hubs. When you inquire about a bus station in the big cities always say where you want to go. In some cities, like in Veliko Tarnovo for example, there are different bus stations that serve regional or national lines.

Taxis in Bulgaria

Taxis are quite affordable in Bulgaria and the preferred transport in big cities and even between cities for short distances. All taxis in Bulgaria are yellow. If they are free, there is s green light on the front shield at the left corner above the passenger’s seat. If the taxi is occupied, the light is red. In the big cities there are taxi stands (special places where taxis are allowed to stop and wait), or you can stop a taxi by waving on the street.

Tip: Beware of fake taxis and taxi scams in Bulgaria, especially in the touristy places and in Sofia. Taxi scams work the same way as everywhere around the world, so be cautious and use your common sense. Here is an article on taxi scams in Sofia and here are some great tips on how to catch a taxi in Bulgaria.


Getting around by car in Bulgaria

If you decide to travel by car in Bulgaria, you should know that there are only 2 completely finished highways and 2 half-finished highways and some bits and pieces of work-in-progress. Be prepared that a lot of roads in Bulgaria are in bad condition and I mean really like with potholes the size of a crater. Be careful when driving in Bulgaria, a lot of drivers do not adhere to the rules, which combined with the lack of proper road markings, can be quite challenging. But this should not put you off from travelling by car in Bulgaria, as some of the most beautiful places can be reached that way only. Just be prepared.

There are no toll roads in Bulgaria, but you will need to buy a vignette. Here are the prices and the requirements on the official website of the road authorities in Bulgaria.

Tip: What about doing a road trip in Bulgaria? Here you will find an amazing selection of places for a 7-day road trip from North to South Bulgaria.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: Tips about what to expect when visiting Bulgaria

Tips about what to expect when visiting Bulgaria

When in Bulgaria, be prepared for some cultural shock experiences. Here are the most important things you need to know in order to have a pleasant stay in Bulgaria.

Shake your head for “yes” and nod for “no”

This is so confusing. If you don’t know that Bulgarians shake their heads to indicate “yes” and nod for “no”, you can find yourself in pretty weird situations. Even if people speak in English to you, they will still shake their heads to agree with you or nod to disagree or confirm a negative answer. Believe me, learning to do the opposite is amazingly difficult. I find myself quite often in situations in Bulgaria that I don’t use any gestures with my head, simply because it’s confusing, after living for so long in countries where “yes” is a nod. Well, after a while I get used to it and I participate normally in conversations.

Talking about gestures, Bulgarians gesticulate quite a lot and play with the intonation of their voice, so at some point it might seem to you that two people are arguing, but it might be that they are just excited about something.

Tip: If you find yourself in an awkward situation not knowing what the other person means, ask for a verbal confirmation and listen what the other person says and do not look at the gesture he or she makes with the head.

Bulgarians are fond of their traditions

You will be surprised how fond Bulgarians are of their traditions. Everywhere you’ll go you’ll find handcrafted souvenirs, traditional style restaurants with live folklore music and dancing, and if you happen to be in Bulgaria on one of the major holidays, do not miss the traditional celebrations. This immaterial cultural heritage is one of the hidden charms of Bulgaria. Most of the customs have their roots in pagan rituals but some of them revolve also around traditions with religious background.

One of the most famous traditions in Bulgaria is wearing a martenitsa on 1 March. If you happen to be in Bulgaria at the beginning of March you won’t see a single person without the white and red bracelet or small ornament worn on the clothes. There are many legends about the martenitsa but the meaning of wearing and exchanging martenitsi is that you are wishing health and prosperity for yourself or for the person you are giving it to. After you see the first swallow or stork, or a tree in blossom, you hang the martenitsa on a tree and make a wish. This is why there so many trees with white and red bracelets hanging on. Bulgarians leave their martenitsi not only home but all around the world. It’s funny to walk around in Keukenhof, for example (the famous tulip gardens in the Netherlands) and come across trees with hanging martenitsi on them.

Tip: Visit a traditional restaurant or a “mehana” in Bulgaria with live music and learn some traditional dance steps. Don’t be discouraged by the difficulty! There are some simple ones, the best one to start with is the “pravo horo”. Bulgarians love to dance and there are a lot of dancing clubs where they practice traditional dancing as recreation.

Curious how Bulgarian traditional folklore music is? I’ve created this small playlist for you just to get an impression of how it sounds. There’s also one “pravo horo” to get you in the mood of dancing. But I have to warn you, traditional singing is not for everybody. You will either like it, or hate it. My boyfriend says it sounds like a mass massacre of cats… but I can assure you no animal violence or violence of any kind is used during singing. I personally love it.

Check it out for yourself!

Read more: If you are keen on expanding your knowledge and learning more about Bulgarian customs and traditions, here are some books that you might consider checking out.

Take your shoes off when visiting a Bulgarian house

You are expected to take your shoes off when visiting a Bulgarian house. It is not only polite to do so, but it’s also hygienic. In many Bulgarian houses there’s a carpet on the floor, and in most of the cases it’s wall-to-wall fitted, so imagine you have to clean those after someone who has walked outside in the rain, or the snow, enters your house. Always take your shoes off, when the floor is carpeted, even if the hosts insist on you not doing so.

Which religions you will find in Bulgaria

The major religion in Bulgaria is Eastern Orthodox Christianity, about 60% of the population according to the 2011 census, 8% are Islam, 10% are irreligious and about 22% didn’t specify their religion in the 2011 census. Although people in general are not religious or practicing religion, religious holidays are quite popular with their traditions and rituals.

Fun fact: Easter in Bulgaria is the only church holiday that is according to the Julian calendar while the rest of the holidays, like Christmas, are according to the Gregorian calendar. In practice this means that Easter in Bulgaria is on a different date than in the rest of the Western Christianity – quite useful to know if you want to take your Easter break in Bulgaria. However, Christmas is celebrated on the same date as in the rest of the Western Christianity countries, which differs from Christmas in Russia or Macedonia, for example.

National holidays in Bulgaria

On public holidays all institutions and offices are closed. Most of the museums and attractions are open, as well as most of the stores or supermarkets, although with reduced working hours. If you are in Bulgarian during one of the holidays, you should remember that locals use them to travel around in the country and to take long weekends, so some places could be quite crowded. On the other hand, there will be some festivities in most of the places, so it will be fun.

This is a list of the public holidays in Bulgaria:

  • 1 January – New Year’s Day
  • 3 March – Liberation Day – Bulgaria’s National Holiday
  • 1 May – International Labour Day
  • 2 May – Easter in 2021
  • 6 May – Bulgarian Army Day and Saint Goerge’s Day
  • 24 May – Day of the Bulgarian Education and Culture
  • 6 September – Unification Day
  • 22 September – Bulgarian Independence Day
  • 24 – 26 December – Christmas Holidays
Fun fact: If a public holiday in Bulgaria is in the weekend, the Monday following the weekend is a day-off.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: Things to know about restaurants and food in Bulgaria

Things to know about restaurants and food in Bulgaria

There are a few things that you should know about the eating habits of Bulgarians that might impact your experience.

Restaurant etiquette in Bulgaria

At the restaurants food is not served at the same time to everybody on the table. So, it’s OK to start eating before the rest got their meals, unless you want to wait and eat your dish cold.

In most of the restaurants you won’t see a clear distinction between starters and main courses, so don’t get angry at the waiters when they bring your starter together with the main course. If you want to have your food served in a specific order, just tell this to your waiter.

Why is this so? When most people go out to a restaurant, they will most likely share and mix what they have ordered, thus trying everything that’s on the table.

If you happen to be in a restaurant with live music, do not leave after you have finished your meal, but stay for the party and order some drinks, unless of course you don’t like this type of amusement.


Tips about eating like a local in Bulgaria

If you want to be like the locals, order some French fries with cheese to go with your beer, and never ever drink your beer with a salad, instead order a rakiya (the local strong drink) to go with your salad.

Potatoes are considered a vegetable in Bulgaria. I still can’t forget the face of my boyfriend (who’s Dutch), when he got served during a dinner at a friend’s family a dish with some meat, baked potatoes and rice.

Tipping is not a must, but is appreciated

You can leave a tip in Bulgaria if you are satisfied with the service and the food. The service is not calculated separately in Bulgaria. So, if you were happy with your meal, give some tip, but it’s not compulsory.

A normal practice in Bulgaria is to just leave the tip on the table, after you have received the change back. Also, it’s customary to leave the cash for the bill, including the tip, on the table and leave the place, if you are not expecting any change back, of course.

a pile of colourful rugs with a text on them: Things to know about booking a hotel in Bulgaria

Things to know about booking a hotel in Bulgaria

Hotels in Bulgaria in general offer a very good quality for money. There are huge resorts at the sea side and cute B&B’s in the countryside. It’s up to you where you want to stay. A quite popular type of hotels in Bulgaria are the small family hotels – these are something between a small hotel and a B&B. They are called “къща за гости” (kushta za gosti) or “house for guests” in English. Hotel prices are also quite affordable in Bulgaria compared to the rest of the countries in the EU.

Tip: If you are visiting Veliko Tarnovo, here is my complete guide on the hotels in the city, which will help you to choose the hotel with both perfect location and perfect view.

For the best hotels in Bulgaria, use this search option below on Booking.com. When you click on a hotel you can read reviews of customers and see the hotels’ scores.



Booking.com

 

I am sure I haven’t answered all your burning questions about Bulgaria. So, go and shoot in the comments below. Anything you need to know, what a questions pops up in your mind. I will be happy to reply to all of them and give you the best travel tips about Bulgaria I can. 

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12 comments
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12 comments

hannah 2nd September 2019 - 3:21 pm

Hi, thank you for all your information, I am planning a trip next June but have some concerns not as you mentioned poor roads, one of our group will be in a wheelchair and I don’t want them to miss out is it going to be really difficult for them to get around? do you suggest anywhere that will be ok for wheelchair use?

Reply
ipanematravels 3rd September 2019 - 10:46 pm

Thank you for your question! Accessibility is still a bit of an issue in Bulgaria and not only because of the poor state of some roads. It all depends which places you will be visiting and where the hotels/attractions are located. I would suggest to check each attraction/hotel/place separately. For example, to choose a hotel in the Varusha quarter in Veliko Tarnovo, is not a good idea, but a hotel on the main street is absolutely OK.
For the rest I am sure you will enjoy your time in Bulgaria!

Reply
Paul Weston 8th August 2019 - 10:09 am

Hello
My brother and I are wanting to visit Bulgaria for the first time in September 2019. We are both in our late 50’s so don’t want a beach resort but a resort or city where we can travel to places of interest and enjoy the unspoilt culture of the area. Can you recommend what would be suitable, travelling from Gatwick, London?
Thank you.
Kindest regards
Paul

Reply
ipanematravels 8th August 2019 - 10:53 pm

Hi Paul,
I would recommend choosing as a base cities like Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv, Bansko or Smolyan. First 2 are relatively large cities with amazing cultural and historical heritage and lots of lovely places to visit around on a day trip. Smolyan & Bansko are more if you love mountains: lots of hiking (not very difficult) with amazing nature and little villages. If you choose for Veliko Tarnovo, you can take a look at this post: https://ipanematravels.com/bulgaria-visit-veliko-tarnovo/. Here’s some inspiration for the Rhodope Mountains: https://ipanematravels.com/summer-holiday-destinations-in-europe-away-from-the-crowds/#Rhodope-Mountains
Wishing you great time in Bulgaria!

Reply
Khushboo 12th June 2019 - 10:39 am

Hi Daniela,

Thank you so much for this article! The information is extremely helpful.
I have some questions:

1. I am travelling to Bulgaria for a week in August. I’ve heard that Bulgaria is famous for rose, lavender and sunflower fields. Do you know if I will get to see them in August? And where they are located?

2. We are planning to visit Sofia (3 nights including a day trip to Rila monastery and Rila lakes), Plovdiv (1 night), Veliko Tarnovo (2 nights). Are there any other places you suggest we must visit?

Thanks!

Reply
ipanematravels 12th June 2019 - 11:07 pm

Thank you for your nice words! See below replies to your questions:
1. I’m afraid you won’t be able to see roses and lavender fields in August. The roses would be picked already at the end of May, beginning of June and lavender is blooming in June & July. The most fields with roses and lavender are located near Kazanlak. Sunflower fields – you will be able to see those, as the sunflowers bloom till the end of August. And you won’t need to look hard for them as they are almost everywhere in Bulgaria. However, most of them are located in North East Bulgaria (the region is called Dobrudzha) and between the Balkan Mountains and Sredna Gora (you will be passing, through if you are travelling from Plovdiv to Veliko Tarnovo or the other way around).
2. I’m not sure whether you will be travelling by car or not and how many days you need to fill in. If you have a car, there are some great places to stop on the way between the major sites. For example, if you are travelling from Plovdiv to Veliko Tarnovo, my suggestions will be to visit the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak (UNESCO), the Shipka Church (near the village of Shipka), Shipka Monument and Etara(t) Ethnographic Village. All of those are located on E85 from Plovdiv to Veliko Tarnovo and you can visit them in one day. If you travelling from Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia (or the other way around), great places to stop will be the Emen Canyon, Krushuna Waterfalls, Devetashka Cave.
Have you checked my posts about Veliko Tarnovo (https://ipanematravels.com/bulgaria-visit-veliko-tarnovo/) and the day trips from Veliko Tarnovo (https://ipanematravels.com/day-trips-from-veliko-tarnovo/). You can find some other ideas there.
I hope you will have great time in Bulgaria! Well, actually I am sure you will.

Reply
Susan Quick 3rd November 2018 - 1:05 pm

Hi, wow a lot of useful information. We are visiting veliko at xmas and have already booked our accomodation but after having read your comments I am concerned, the hotel have asked us too pay in euros and no lev or credit cards what are your thoughts on this

Regards
Susan

Reply
ipanematravels 3rd November 2018 - 5:25 pm

Hi Susan, I hope there will be snow for Christmas, then Veliko Tarnovo is a real magic! Each year there’s also a Christmas market, so I’m sure you will love it! Regarding your concerns, did you book the hotel via their website or via a site like booking.com? I assume they have converted the currency for you in EUR as you can’t possibly pay in lev. However, if you ARE in Bulgaria and they ask you to pay cash in EUR, then it’s shady. I wish you a great stay in the most beautiful city in the world, at least according to me! (You might perhaps have already found my posts about Veliko Tarnovo and Tsarevets)

Reply
Bob 4th September 2018 - 11:19 am

hello you have a lot of useful information ! Thank you.
We are thinking of buying an apartment close to the sea and are wondering what areas we should include in our serach. We dont need to be very close to the beach but it would be nice. We want to visit within the period from may till okt when its winter in our country. We saw an apartment in Lozenets on the coast but it seems very touristy. We would like an area reasonably close to main roads and beach if possible.Which areas would you recommend.
Thank you so much for your time,
Regards Bob van den Bergh

Reply
ipanematravels 6th September 2018 - 12:08 am

Hi Bob, thank you for your comment. I would say that you might need to compromise on something – places on a main road tend to be more touristy than those away from the main road. I am not sure how touristy is too touristy for you. Lozenets is a resort place so people go there for the summer. It is less touristy than places like Sozopol or Sunny Beach. Maybe try searching in Ahtopol or Varvara (South) or Shabla and Durankulak (North).

Reply
Stephanie 14th July 2018 - 4:30 pm

This is a lot of great information, I’ve never thought about visiting Bulgaria but if I do I’ll definitely use this!

Reply
Aireona 14th July 2018 - 2:00 am

I would love to visit Bulgaria! But I have never really heard all that much about it, so it is great to look through this guide. It is so comprehensive!

Reply

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