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Bulgaria

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Introducing Bulgaria

The Balkan country of Bulgaria has a multitude of different terrains from the pristine sandy beaches on the Black Sea to the rugged mountain interior including at the base of the Vitosha mountain, the capital city of Sofia.

The country is made up of various cultures including Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences.

There is a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and crafts which are most visible off the beaten track rather than in the purpose-built holiday resorts of Sunny Beach and Golden Sands for which the country is currently best known.

The age-old tradition of shaking your head for yes and nodding for no is a quirky oddity and one which throws an unsuspecting tourist so beware!

Key Information

Continent Europe
CapitalSofia
CurrencyBulgarian Lev
LanguageBulgarian
VisaFCO Advice
VaccinationsVaccination Advice
Tourist OfficeBulgaria Tourist Board

Getting Around

Car – If you are heading to the more remote villages or monasteries then by far the most convenient way to get around is by car although road conditions vary from good to downright awful.

Bus – The most reliable and favourable means of transport between cities is by bus. Local buses reach most villages, though these services are usually infrequent, or seasonal in ski or beach destinations.

Taxi – Standard rules for taxis abroad in that you should agree on a fare in advance of the trip.

Train – Not the quickest form of transport in Bulgaria however if you like the slow pace of life then the scenery can be enjoyed to the fullest.

Air – Bulgaria Air features internal services between Sofia and Varna and Sofia and Bourgas.

Boat – There are some seasonal Black Sea routes however it is of course best to check at the time of your stay to ensure all is running to plan.

Top 20 Things To See & Do in Bulgaria

  1. Sofia: Explore Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, and visit landmarks like Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National Palace of Culture, and Vitosha Boulevard for shopping and dining.
  2. Rila Monastery: Marvel at the stunning Rila Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its intricate frescoes, architecture, and spiritual significance.
  3. Plovdiv: Discover the ancient city of Plovdiv, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe, and explore its well-preserved Old Town, Roman amphitheatre, and charming cobblestone streets.
  4. Black Sea Coast: Relax on the sandy beaches of Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast, including popular resorts like Sunny Beach, Golden Sands, and Sozopol, known for their vibrant nightlife and water sports.
  5. Rila National Park: Hike through the breathtaking landscapes of Rila National Park, home to the Seven Rila Lakes, alpine meadows, and diverse wildlife, including brown bears and eagles.
  6. Veliko Tarnovo: Step back in time in Veliko Tarnovo, the former medieval capital of Bulgaria, and explore the Tsarevets Fortress, Samovodska Charshia Street, and Asen’s Fortress.
  7. Bansko: Hit the slopes in Bansko, Bulgaria’s premier ski resort, offering world-class skiing and snowboarding facilities, as well as a charming old town with traditional taverns and shops.
  8. Nessebar: Wander through the ancient town of Nessebar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and admire its well-preserved medieval churches, cobblestone streets, and sea views.
  9. Vitosha Mountain: Escape to Vitosha Mountain, just outside Sofia, for hiking, skiing, and stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.
  10. Koprivshtitsa: Experience Bulgarian history and culture in Koprivshtitsa, a picturesque town known for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture, colourful houses, and museums.
  11. Bulgarian Cuisine: Indulge in traditional Bulgarian cuisine, including hearty dishes like banitsa, kavarma, and shopska salad, as well as Bulgarian wines and rakia.
  12. Thracian Tombs: Discover the ancient Thracian heritage of Bulgaria by visiting Thracian tombs and archaeological sites like the Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak and the Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari.
  13. Varna: Visit the coastal city of Varna, Bulgaria’s third-largest city, and explore its archaeological museum, Sea Garden, and the Roman Baths.
  14. Pirin National Park: Explore the pristine wilderness of Pirin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its rugged mountains, glacial lakes, and diverse flora and fauna.
  15. Devetashka Cave: Venture into Devetashka Cave, one of Bulgaria’s largest caves, and marvel at its impressive rock formations, underground river, and resident bat colony.
  16. Belogradchik Rocks: Admire the natural beauty of the Belogradchik Rocks, a stunning rock formation in northwest Bulgaria, featuring towering sandstone cliffs and unique rock formations.
  17. Shipka Pass: Journey through Shipka Pass, a scenic mountain pass in the Balkan Mountains, and visit the Shipka Memorial Church and Monument to Liberty.
  18. Bulgarian Rose Valley: Experience the beauty and fragrance of the Bulgarian Rose Valley, known for its rose oil production, rose fields, and annual Rose Festival in Kazanlak.
  19. Pomorie Salt Pans: Explore the Pomorie Salt Pans, a unique natural phenomenon where salt is harvested from shallow coastal lagoons, and learn about traditional salt production methods.
  20. Buzludzha Monument: Discover the abandoned Buzludzha Monument, a futuristic communist-era building perched atop a mountain peak, offering panoramic views and a glimpse into Bulgaria’s history.

Pre-bookable Excursions in Bulgaria

More Information

Contact the Bulgaria Tourist Board or your local travel agent for more information on holidays to Bulgaria.

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