WHY TO VISIT BULGARIA
For a fairly small country, Bulgaria does offer a lot of advantages: Varied landscapes, superb archaeological treasures following the passage of its various civilisations, its ideal geographical position and hospitable population are amongst the best of them.
Sofia, its Capital shows two faces: First, charming and interesting with its old town centre, the cathedral, the National History Museum and the bars that open till late at night; and the second side, utilitarian and dowdy with its outskirts marked by austere Stalinist style buildings. Do not miss the cable car ride to the top of Mount Vitosha for a panoramic view over the city.
The other main city, Veliko Tarnovo, is divided into two by the river Yantra. You can discover the ruins of the old Royal castle, Tsarevets, the Church of the Assumption and the magnificent traditional style houses in the Old Town.
Nature lovers will probably wish to head for the mountains around Rila to enjoy some hiking, the Monastery at Rila is often the desired objective with its beautiful church decorated with over a thousand frescoes.
Finally on the banks of the Black sea, the town of Nesebar is famous for its 40 churches dating from the 5th Century and its picturesque position on a rocky peninsula.
WHAT TO SEE IN BULGARIA
Top destinations in Bulgaria are:
- Prin National PArk
- Sunny Beach
- Velkiko Turnovo
- Rila National Park
WHEN TO GO TO BULGARIA
Weather in Bulgaria
Best period to visit Bulgaria is from May to September.
Bulgaria has a continental climate, with long, hot, dry summers and – in the interior at least – bitterly cold winters, worth considering when deciding the best time to visit. July and August can be oppressively hot in the big cities, and crowded on the Black Sea coast – elsewhere, you won’t have to worry about being swamped by fellow visitors. Using public transport is reasonably easy throughout the year, although the highest cross-mountain routes will be closed during the coldest months.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Bulgaria
- Mid-May (11 days): Balkan Folklore Festival, Veliko Tarnovo
- Mid-June–mid-July (likely): Summer Music Festival at the Ancient Theater, Plovdiv (Verdi operas)
- June–July: Sofia Music Weeks
- June 4–5: Rose Festival, Kazanlak
- June 10–20: International Chamber Music Festival, Plovdiv
- Mid-June–mid-July (likely): Varna Summer: International Music Festival (classical music)
- July 3–8: International Folklore Festival Varna
- August 15: Varna Day
- August 22–26: International Folklore Festival, Burgas (dancing and music)
- August 1–21: International Arts and Crafts Fair, Varna
- Mid-September: Puppet Theater Festival, Sofia
- Early September: Aylyak Fest, Plovdiv (city culture festival)
- September 1–10: Apollonia Festival of Arts, Sozopol
- September: International Festival of Military Orchestras, Veliko Tarnovo
- October: Balabanov's House Music Days, Plovdiv
- Late October: One Dance Week, Plovdiv (contemporary dance)
- November 1: Revival Leaders' Day (observances)
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH BULGARIA
When travelling internally, buses and trains are frequent and cheap although the timetables are not very strictly kept to.
by plane, main airports are:
GENERAL INFORMATION ON BULGARIA
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: Purify drinking water if you are not in town. There are three areas you need to be aware of: Stray dogs in towns may be carriers of rabies, ticks in the countryside can transmit encephalitis (a vaccination exists for this) and watch out for the mosquitoes. Therefore be sure your vaccinations are up to date.
local currency: Bulgarian lev
local time zone: GMT+2 (+3)
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN BULGARIA
typical food in Bulgaria
- Tarator (cold soup made from cucumber, walnuts and yoghurt).
- Shopska Salata (huge salad starter with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and white cheese).
- Kavarma (individual casseroles of pork or veal, onions and mushrooms).
- Surmi (stuffed vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat).
- Kebapche (small, strongly spiced, minced meat rolls).
- Banitsa (pastry usually filled with sirene, a feta-like white cheese).
- Kebabche (elongated piece of grilled minced meat).
- Musaka (casserole of potatoes, eggs and minced pork meat).
- Lyutenitsa (a thick relish of tomatoes and peppers to be spread on bread or toasts).
- Shkembe Chorba (spicy, thick tripe soup).
- Tatator (light and refreshing, cold yogurt-base soup of cucumbers, garlic, dill and sometimes walnuts).
- Mekitsi (roasted bread with egg and cheese).
souvenirs from Bulgaria
- Rose water and rose oil
- Kukeri masks
- Copper items
- Hand made tablecloth, napkins and dollies
- For food lovers: Rahat lakoum, a turkish sweet; White wines like "Karlovski Misket", "Sungularski Misket", "Ludogorsko byalo", "Dimjat", "Sofia Shardone", "Keratsuda", "Traminer" or red wines such as "Gamza Suhindol", "Cabernet of Sovinon", "Merlo", "Cherga", "Melnik", "Khan Krum", "Mavrud; Rakia
Hello: Здравей (Zdraveĭ)
Goodbye: Довиждане (Dovizhdane)
How are you?: Как си? (Kak si?)
Thank you: Благодаря (Blagodarya)
What is your name?: Как се казваш? (Kak se kazvash?)
How much is it?: Колко струва? (Kolko struva?)
Sorry: съжалявам (sŭzhalyavam)