Bulgaria Travel GuideExplore Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a holiday destination known to many for its Black Sea coast and Sunny Beach. While there are cheap flights over to Varna or Bourgas for the beaches, tourists often forget about the rest of the country. Sofia, Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo are all destinations that should be on the tourism radar. The country is well set up with buses and trains connecting most cities, as well as international airports in Sofia and Plovdiv that connect to the rest of Europe with low cost flights.
Find communist influences, Orthodox churches, historical ruins and some great restaurants in Sofia. (I would genuinely fly back to Sofia just to eat at some of these places!). Head over to Plovdiv, a city surrounded by hills, for an Ottoman old town, hipster arty district and ancient churches. Explore Bankso for skiing and hiking. Venture to Veliko Tarnovo for its old town and huge ancient fortress overlooking the valley.
Bulgaria has had three different empires/states. In amongst these have been invasions from the Mongol Empire, Ottoman Empire and Serbs. In recent history, 1946 – 1990, the country was a socialist state running under a communist regime similar to that of the Soviet Union. This period of communism in Bulgaria is a huge point of controversy. Some liked the fact that life was easier for them, being provided with a job and housing etc., others did not like the way of communist life. Even today, this period of time is not taught in schools and you won’t find any info in museums about it either. 365 Association is an organisation that has started talking about this era in Sofia so as not to lose the information and history.
Those seeking for an alternative city break will find exactly what they are looking for in Sofia and Plovdiv. Plenty of history, stunning nature, communism influences contrasting with Ottoman influences in the cities, street art, and most importantly: shopska salad.
Venture further. Explore more. Journey beyond.
Things to Know Before You Go
BGN – Bulgarian Lev
Trains and buses
No visa required for 90 days for UK citizens.
Bulgarian, in Cyrillic – English is not widely spoken
Cash or Card
ATM with no fees
Patatnik – baked cheesy mashed potato
Shumensko, Glarus craft beer, Zagorka, Pirinsko, Rakia
Tourist Sim Providers
A1 and Vivacom
Hello: Dobar den
Tea Town or Coffee Country
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