Bulgaria is located in southeastern Europe and is one of the most beautiful and exciting countries on this earth. Not many people know about the country, especially non-europeans can barely point it on the map. But whenever you decide to travel to this country on the Balkans, don’t put any expectations in it: just let yourself surprise and inspire. You will be overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people, as well as from the stunning nature, the exciting history, the fantastic black sea coast and the lively nightlife.
I promise you won’t regret your stay in Bulgaria!
According to personal preferences you have a great choice of hotels in the country. Hostels are pretty popular among backpackers and you can find a normal hostel for 15 to 20 BGN (bulgarian lev). If you like it more comfortable and want to stay a single or two bed room you should plan to spend up to 40 BGN per night. If you want to stay at a hostel you will spend between 30 and 80 BGN depending on the location. I recommend you to look for private renting or, if you are a fan of it, couchsurfing.
Until May 2015 the price for a ticket was 1 BGN. However, since June 2016 the tickets cost 1,60 BGN. If you want to take a taxi, you can still travel cheap, when you chose the right company. For more advice click here.
If you want to travel within Bulgaria, you can buy a ticket for 30 BGN from Sofia to the black sea coast and see the beautiful places such as Nessebar. Busses are modern comfortable to travel with.
When coming to Bulgaria, you shouldn’t be on a diet, because the country’s cuisine is amazing. If you want to eat really good stuff, go to a traditional restaurant “mehana” or “kratshma” where you can have a salad, main course and drinks for 20 BGN. If you want to eat something small on the way, you can find “Banitsa” (puff paste with white cheese) for 1-2 BGN. Duner are also pretty popular here and you can get delicious ones for 3 BGN. Of course you can find the classical fast food chains here, but who needs that, when the local cuisine is that delicious?
Bulgaria offers plenty of sights to local people and tourists. During the week you can visit many museums for free. Also free tourguides are available and are the perfect way to get to know the city.
If you want to save money
Mind the most fancy and popular places such a s Bansko (mountains) and the area around Sunny beach at the seaside. This places have been amazing and very affordable until a few years ago, but the good prices converted those places in areas of mass tourism and overpriced places. People go there to party and you won’t be able to relax.
Do you know the saying: When in Rome, do as the romans do? It means you should do it the way they do it. Eat your breakfast the bulgarian way. A real bulgarian breakfast consists of “Banitsa” (puff paste with cheese) and “Ayran” (Yogurt drink) or “Boza” (brown fermentated wheat drink). You can have this breakfast for already 2,50 BGN and you will find it almost around every corner. According to the season you can find Banitsa with almost everything: apple, pumpkin, leek, spinach and of course: white cheese. All of them taste delicious and you can’t get enough of them. The only disadvantage: Puff paste and cheese are calory bombs and not the best food if you are on diet. But who cares about diet while traveling? And you will burn it easily when your are walking around Sofia all day long.
Go for less expensive hotels. Here you can save a lot of money, as for example at the hostel Mostel in Sofia, Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo. The hostel offers lunch and dinner. However I recommend you to go out and eat at local restaurant, as prices are reasonable and the food is more than delicious.
Your “to do list for Bulgaria”
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and is really worth to travel. You can visit many museums, wonderful orthodox churches (Alexander Nevski, the biggest orthodox church), walk in the parks and relax, eat great food and go shopping. Socialistic architecture meets the modern age and creates a flair like east Berlin. More about Sofia here.
Here, close to Kazanlak, one of the biggest battles in the bulgarian history has been taken place. Here, the bulgarians defeated the Ottoman empire in their beattle for independence. A historical place which will cause you goosebumps.
Visit the famous rose harvest festical. Did you know that Bulgaria is the biggest producer of rose oil? In spring the valleys are covered with a sweet scent of roses.
The city in the heart of the country is worth to see. Especially the old town is a highlight. The thracian city Plovdiv is looking back at a 8000 year old history and has been inhabited since back then.
Skiing in Vitosha
Vitosha is the name of the mountain in Sofia, only 20 minutes away from the center. During the winter you can ski there for less money and have fun on the tracks. Other ski resorts in Bulgaria are Borovets, Bansko and Pamporovo. But don’t compare this mountains with the Alps, because your are not the same of course. However, the Bulgarian ski tracks are worth to be seen.
Besucht Veliko Tarnovo
Zahlreiche Magazine kürten diese Stadt mit Recht zu einer der schönsten Städte Europas. Im Gebirge gelegen bezaubert sie mit mittelalterlichem Flair und herrlicher Architektur. Auf jedem Fall eine Reise wert!
Enjoy the black sea coast
The Bulgarian black sea coast is more than 250 km long and offers a lot of quiet places, where you can chill out and relax. Fresh fish and fresh air willmake your stay unforgettable. Mind Golden Sands, because it’s overcrowded and overpriced. Go to Nessebar, Balchik or Kaliakra instead.
This city is one of the eldest in Europe and is protected by the UNESCO. Numerous churches are waiting to be seen. Ater a walk in the old town you can relax on the beach or eat some fresh fish in a nic loval restaurant.
Climb the mountains!
Bulgaria is a paradise for hikers. Only the Balkan mountains are extended over the whole country from the west to the black sea.
The Rila mountain with its summit Musala (2.900 m) is the highest peak on the Balkans. The mountain also has a national park, which is considered as the biggest in the country. Hike the seven lakes of Rila and enjoy the fantastic view.
Rhodope, the beating heart of Bulgaria
If you want to get to know the real Bulgaria, you should go and see the Rhodope mountains. The nature here is stunning that it’s hard to explain in words. Visit the caves (devil’s throat and Iagodinska cave) and Perperikon where you can find acient excavations and tombs of the Thracian emperors.
Melnik, Rupite, Rozhen Monastir
Visit the Macedonian region in southwestern Bulgaria. Here you can find the town Melnik which is famous for great Bulgarian vine. A few minutes away from Melnik you can find the monastery of Rozhen. The medieval monastery looks back at very dark years of the history during the occupation by the Ottoman empire.
On your way I recommend you to stop at Rupite, the place of Baba Vanga. The seeress is considered as omen and healer and the accuracy of her providence is 80%.