If you are visiting Bulgaria for the first time and you are not sure what to expect, these simple Bulgaria travel tips listed below will help you make the most of your stay there while enjoying its vast cultural heritage and its incredible nature.
But with so much to see and do, planning your trip to Bulgaria can quickly get overwhelming. Leave it to the experts to curate a personal travel guide just for you — complete not only with expert recommendations on what to see and do, but also local dining, nightlife, getting around, cultural insights, and everything you need to make the most of your trip!The Bulgaria Travel Tips You Must Know For a Smooth Trip
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1.Do You Need a Visa to Stay in Bulgaria?
EU and U. citizens, as well as the Schengen area members, can stay in Bulgaria for up to 90 days without a visa. Members of other states are going to need one of the three visa types.
Tip: You can get in touch with the Bulgarian Embassy in your home country for more information on issuing visas or any special requirements for your country.
2. Bring a Bulgarian Phrasebook
This is by far one of the best Bulgaria travel tips.
The Bulgarian language is the official language in Bulgaria, and it uses the Cyrillic alphabet. In big cities like the capital Sofia, you will be able to communicate in English, especially with younger people.
But, most of the middle-aged and older people are more familiar with Russian than English, so learning some of the most common Bulgarian phrases will help you break the ice and manage.
3. The Bulgarian Currency
Although in the EU, Bulgaria doesn’t use the euro. This country currency is called “lev“ (лев), quite often abbreviated into “lv.“ (лв).
Banks and other official authorities use BGN as the official abbreviation for the currency. To avoid scams, bear in mind that lev has a fixed exchange rate to the euro: 1 EUR is around 2 BGN.
4. More Money Tips
Paying with US dollars or euro isn’t possible in Bulgaria, although some hotels and gas stations accept payments in euros, but at a slightly higher rate.
The Guidester Difference: Your personal travel guide by Guidester includes what you need to know about withdrawing and using currency wherever you’re going in Europe. In Bulgaria, the best way to get cash is to withdraw money from an ATM or bank chains. It is recommended to always have some cash on you when heading to the countryside and remote places.
5. Weather Conditions
Bulgaria has a continental climate with four seasons. Summers can get very hot, reaching temperatures as high as 40-42°C/104-107°F while winters are cold with lots of snow. Springtime in Bulgaria is especially lovely with its mild temperatures.
Tip: Indian summers aren’t uncommon, so fall is a great time to visit this astonishing country.
6. The Time Zone in Bulgaria
Bulgaria uses Eastern European Time (EET) which is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), written as an offset of UTC + 2:00.
During the spring and summer months, Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) is used. EEST is 3 hours ahead of UTC.
7. Hiking Spots in Bulgaria
Hiking is a popular activity in Bulgaria and for good reason – Bulgaria’s pristine mountains and breath-taking national parks are perfect spots for an adventure off-the-beaten-path.
You can choose between guided or independent hikes, moderate hiking in the Rhodope Mountains, or more challenging trekking in the Rilla and Vitosha Mountains.
The cave known as “The Eyes of God” and the impressive but little-known Canyon of Waterfalls near Smolyan with amazing views of the waterfalls and Rhodope Mountains are both worth visiting.
What other hikes are a "must" in Bulgaria?
Where are the trailheads?
If you’re interested in hiking during your trip, your Guidester will highlight the best hikes wherever you go in Bulgaria – and your custom maps will show you exactly where they are!
Tip: Before immersing yourself in gorgeous Bulgarian nature make sure to prepare well, especially if you are planning to hike in hot weather.
8. Bulgarian Cuisine
Most famous Bulgarian dishes include moussaka, stuffed peppers (palneni chushki), shopska salad, bob chorba, and yummy mekitsa fried bread.
Vegans and vegetarians are likely to indulge in a variety of savory options like lentils soup, beans stew and stuffed peppers with beans.
If you are a meat-lover, don’t worry. Bulgarian cuisine offers a plentitude of meat like kufteh, exquisite meatballs.
What are the best local dining spots with authentic Bulgarian cuisine?
Your Guidester includes local dining – and if you’re a self-described “foodie”, your personal travel guide will be packed full of the most authentic Bulgarian spots to tantalize your taste buds!
10. Public Transport
The cheapest way to travel is by train, even if you opt for first class. BUT, running late isn’t unusual, and traveling by train can take longer than in western countries.
To reach more remote villages, you can take taxi vans available once or a few times a week. You can find more information about how, when, and where you can find these taxi vans in your personal travel guide by Guidester.
Bulgaria Travel Tip: Since many places are not easy to reach via public transportation, renting a car is a good idea. Be prepared for the fact that many roads in Bulgaria are in bad condition.
Bulgaria is one of the most interesting European countries to visit, mainly because of its awe-inspiring nature, but in order to enjoy everything it offers, you need to prepare for the trip and plan it ahead!