Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Issues to Know Earlier than You Go to Bulgaria [2023] – Wild Junket Journey Journey Weblog

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Final Up to date on August 7, 2023 by Nellie Huang

Bulgaria is only a three-hour flight from most components of Europe and it’s extremely reasonably priced. But it stays an under-visited vacation spot in Jap Europe. 

After my first Balkan journey virtually 10 years in the past, I used to be so pleasantly stunned to seek out such an fascinating area that has seemingly slipped beneath the radar. The Balkan states, spanning throughout southeastern Europe, are straightforward on the pocket, and are chocked stuffed with historical past and Soviet structure. 

I lastly returned to Bulgaria this summer time, and rekindled my love for the underrated Balkan state. Bulgaria is a fantastic nation packed to the brim with wealthy historical past and tradition, and a tinge of Soviet edginess that you just simply can’t discover in western Europe. Right here’s my Bulgaria journey information full of the whole lot it’s good to know earlier than you go to Bulgaria.

bulgaria travel - bulgaria travel itinerary - bulgaria holidays

Bulgaria Journey Information 2023

Value of Journey in Bulgaria

Excellent news, you don’t have to interrupt your financial institution to go to Bulgaria. Bulgaria is an extremely low cost vacation spot and it’s rather more reasonably priced than different components of Europe. You’ll get a bang in your buck, happening Bulgaria day excursions for as low cost as $50 and staying at respectable resorts for $50/night time.

Meals in Bulgaria is actually reasonably priced, contemporary and scrumptious. A meal in an ordinary restaurant is often round US$5-10 together with drinks. A pint of beer prices round $1-2.

Anticipate to pay round $30-50 for a midrange lodge with air con, non-public lavatory and WiFi. Accommodations on the seashore are positively rather more costly, at $70-150 for a four-star lodge.

bulgaria travel - nesebar

 

 


Methods to Get to Bulgaria

By Aircraft

Sofia Worldwide Airport is the primary gateway to Bulgaria. It’s a small airport however it’s served by most main cities in Europe.

You will get low cost flights to Sofia from London, Amsterdam and Paris for round $100 return (three-hour journey). Airways that serve Sofia embody British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Wizz Air and Ryanair.

Aeroflot and LOT Polish Airways fly from New York to Sofia for round US$700-1000 return. You’ll more than likely must transit through Moscow or Warsaw.

Seek for Low cost Flights to Bulgaria

bulgaria travel - plovdiv from above

By Prepare

As a landlocked nation surrounded by 5 international locations, Bulgaria is straightforward to get to overland. However most trains are typically outdated and tacky, and journey instances are often slower than buses. 

From Serbia, the Balkan Categorical runs every day between Sofia and Belgrade (11 hours) from June to September. Trains depart from each cities within the mornings. Take a look at Serbian Railways’ web site for particulars.

From Romania, you possibly can catch a practice from Bucharest (10-hour journey) to Ruse or Veliko Tarnovo. From Turkey, the every day Bosfor (Bosphorous Categorical) goes from Istanbul to Sofia and continues onto Bucharest. The journey takes 9 hours and there are sleeper cabins on the practice. Test the Turkish State Railways web site.

bulgaria travel - tram in Sofia

By Bus

It’s even cheaper to go to Bulgaria by the worldwide buses from the encircling international locations they usually’re comparatively comfy. On my first journey to Bulgaria, I took an in a single day bus from Istanbul to Plovdiv and it was straightforward and smooth-sailing.

When touring out of Bulgaria by bus, the price of entry visas for the international locations involved aren’t included within the costs of the bus tickets. A very good timetable for worldwide connections may be discovered right here

Plovdiv is the primary gateway for these touring overland from Greece, Turkey and Macedonia. Sofia is the closest metropolis for these touring overland from Serbia and Romania. Right here’s extra data for every journey route:

Worldwide Bus Routes to Bulgaria

Nation

Departure

Arrival

Period

 

Greece

Thessaloniki

Sofia

5-6 hours

 

Greece

Thessaloniki

Plovdiv

8-9 hours

 

Macedonia

Skopje

Sofia

6 hours

 

Macedonia

Ohrid

Sofia

9 hours

 

Romania

Bucharest

Sofia

9 hours

 

Romania

Bucharest

Ruse

3 hours

 

Serbia

Niš

Sofia

3 hours

 

Serbia

Dimitrovgrad 

Sofia

1-2 hours

 

Turkey

Istanbul

Sofia

10 hours

 

Turkey

Istanbul

Plovdiv

7 hours

 

When to Journey Bulgaria

The very best time to journey Bulgaria is in the course of the shoulder season, from April to June, and September to October. The climate will probably be extra nice, and the costs are decrease. I went to Bulgaria in April on my first journey and it was excellent.

It may possibly get actually sizzling in summer time, from June to August, with temperatures rising to 40+ levels Celsius. Summer time can be the height tourism season, when the seashores on the Black Sea are packed to the brim.

Winter is generally off-season throughout the nation, and many of the smaller cities will shut down. However Bulgaria is among the greatest price range ski locations in Europe, with reasonably priced and wonderful ski circumstances. Bansko is the most well-liked ski resort.

bulgaria travel - veliko tarnovo


How Lengthy to Journey Bulgaria?

This will depend on your curiosity after all, however two weeks are sufficient to discover Bulgaria correctly and get to know its tradition and folks.

I spent round per week in Bulgaria on my first journey and 10 days this time. I felt that I truly bought to comprehend it very well on my second journey and noticed much more than on my first journey.

In case you’re an intrepid traveler, I like to recommend the next itinerary because it’ll mean you can see the most effective of the nation at a soothing tempo. You in all probability wish to skip the seashores, however I recommend conserving Varna in your itinerary because it’s a cool coastal metropolis.

bulgaria travel - plovdiv

Two-Week Bulgaria Itinerary

  • Days 1-3: Sofia
  • Day 4: Day journey to Seven Rila Lakes & Monastery
  • Days 5-7: Veliko Tarnovo
  • Day 8: Day journey to Etara Ethnological Centre
  • Days 9-10: Varna
  • Day 11: Day journey to Nessebar
  • Days 12-13: Plovdiv
  • Day 14: Sofia

bulgaria travel - nesebar ruins


Methods to Get Round Bulgaria

By Automobile

It’s comparatively low cost and straightforward to drive in Bulgaria. The principle highways are properly constructed and indicators are in each Bulgarian and English. You’ll be able to lease a compact automotive in Sofia for US$78 per week or $130 for 2 weeks.

With a view to drive on Bulgarian roads, you’ll need to show a vignette offered at petrol stations and submit places of work. Rental vehicles employed inside Bulgaria ought to have already got a vignette.

Bulgarian drivers may be aggressive and most don’t follow the velocity restrict, so simply bear in mind.

Seek for Automobile Rental in Bulgaria!

bulgaria travel - my ride in bulgaria

By Bus

Bus is the quickest and hottest method to get round Bulgaria. There’s an amazing bus community throughout the nation and distances aren’t that lengthy. You will discover many bus and practice schedules right here.

Listed below are the primary bus firms in Bulgaria:

  • Biomet — Runs between Sofia and Veliko Târnovo, Varna and Burgas.
  • Etap-Grup — One other in depth intercity community, with buses between Sofia, Burgas, Varna, Ruse and Veliko Târnovo.
  • Union-Ivkoni — Hyperlinks most main cities and plenty of smaller ones, together with Sofia, Burgas, Varna, and Plovdiv.

By Prepare

Touring by practice is the most cost effective method to discover the nation, even cheaper than taking the bus.

For instance, a practice ticket from Sofia to Plovdiv prices simply US$5 for a two-hour practice journey. Though the trains are generally outdated and sluggish, a number of the rail journeys provide stunning views.

All trains are run by the Bulgarian State Railroad Firm. You’ll be able to purchase practice tickets on-line.

Period for Foremost Journey Routes in Bulgaria
Departure Arrival By Bus By Automobile By Prepare
Sofia Veliko Tarnovo 3.30-4 hours 3 hours
Veliko Tarnovo Varna 3-4 hours 2h45min
Varna Plovdiv 7 hours 4.5 hours 5-6 hours
Plovdiv Sofia 2 hours 1.5 hours 2 hours

The place to Keep in Bulgaria

There may be all kinds of lodging to select from in most components of Bulgaria they usually’re less expensive than in different components of Europe.

Sofia: Rosslyn Thracia Resort Sofia

As top-of-the-line resorts in Sofia, this elegant lodge is positioned just some minutes from Vitosha Road, a pedestrianized road proper within the coronary heart of the town. Room charges are affordable, decor is fashionable and the breakfast unfold is superb! Test charges right here.

Veliko Tarnovo: Park Resort Sevastokrator

This lodge has distinctive views of Veliko Tarnovo from above in addition to a pleasant swimming pool. It’s technically positioned in Arbanasi, a hilltop city simply 10 minutes away from Veliko Tarnovo. Test charges right here.

Varna: Rosslyn Dimyat Resort Varna

This upscale fashionable lodge is positioned within the coronary heart of Varna subsequent to the Sea Backyard, 500 m from the Varna Seaside. You’ll be able to’t get a greater location that that. Costs are reasonably priced for a 4-star high quality lodge. Test charges right here.

Plovdiv: The Keep Resort Central Sq. Plovdiv

An extremely fashionable lodge positioned proper within the coronary heart of outdated city Plovdiv, the Keep Resort presents wonderful worth for cash. Rooms are spacious and have plenty of services. Points of interest are all inside strolling distance from right here. Test charges right here.

bulgaria travel - hotel park sevaskotar in arbanasi


Meals in Bulgaria

I’m an enormous fan of Bulgarian meals, particularly the barbecued meats which can be ubiquitous right here. 

Bulgarian delicacies shares traits with different Balkan cuisines — it’s like a mix of Greek and Turkish meals. Meat is the primary staple, together with contemporary elements like tomatoes, dill and onions.

It’s truly fairly straightforward to seek out vegetarian Bulgarian dishes on practically each menu, although on account of Bulgaria’s love affair with its cheese and dairy merchandise, vegans received’t be so fortunate.

There are some Bulgarian staples it’s good to attempt:

  • Shopska salad — A mixture of tomatoes, cucumber, sirene cheese
  • Tarator — A chilly yogurt soup manufactured from cucumber and garlic
  • Kebapche — Often called Kebab in most locations, grilled meat with spices
  • Meshana skara — Blended grill that sometimes contains kebapche, kufte, and a skewer of pork meat much like a souvlaki

bulgaria travel - food in bulgaria


The place to Eat in Bulgaria

There are many Bulgarian eating places all over the place, in addition to extra worldwide choices within the large cities. I’ve discovered meals to be actually meals wherever I went.

Listed below are a number of the greatest locations I ate at:

  • Hadjidraganov’s Cellars, Sofia — This conventional Bulgarian restaurant is usually a little touristy, however it’s the most effective place to go for a really feel of Bulgarian traditions. Parts are large, and meals is served on wood Medieval-style platters. Learn evaluations.
  • Restaurant Shtastliveca Previous City, Veliko Tarnovo — Rated as the most effective restaurant in Veliko Tarnovo, this place has wonderful views of the outdated city and presents a well-rounded number of conventional and fashionable delicacies. Make sure to make a reserving upfront! Learn evaluations.
  • Park Resort Sevastokrator, Arbanasi — The restaurant at this lodge in Arbanasi not solely has nice views, but in addition an reasonably priced and good menu. They use contemporary merchandise and meat and I extremely advocate the grilled trout.

bulgaria travel - restaurant in nesebar


Issues to Do in Bulgaria

Discover Sofia’s Previous City

Bulgaria’s capital Sofia makes a wonderful base to get an introduction to Bulgarian tradition and historical past. The town has an eclectic mixture of Roman buildings, Ottoman mosques and Soviet blocs. You’ll want no less than three days to see all of them.

Begin with St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the second largest cathedral within the Balkan area. Then head on St George Rotunda, the oldest constructing in fashionable Sofia that dates again to the 300s. Don’t miss the Central Bathtub, one of the crucial photographed buildings in Bulgaria.

This bike tour is an effective way to see all of Sofia’s sights on wheels.

bulgaria travel - sofia cathedral

Hike across the Seven Rila Lakes

Outside lovers would love the Seven Rila Lakes, a gaggle of glacial lakes located within the northwestern Rila Mountains near Sofia. Mountaineering trails weave their method across the lakes which can be perched 2,500 meters above sea degree.

Every lake carries a reputation related to its most attribute characteristic. The best one is known as Salzata (“The Teardrop”) on account of its clear waters that permit visibility in depth.

In case you’re tight on time, you possibly can e-book a day journey to the Seven Rila Lakes from Sofia.

bulgaria travel - seven rila lakes

Go to the Well-known Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is the most important and most well-known Jap Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. The enduring landmark is positioned near the Seven Rila Lakes, at 117km (73 miles) from Sofia.

Based within the tenth century, the monastery is called after its founder, the hermit Ivan of Rila (876 – 946 AD), and homes round 60 monks.

It’s also possible to mix a go to there with the Seven Rila Lakes. This day tour is reasonably priced and comes with nice evaluations.

bulgaria travel - rila monastery

 

Wander round Veliko Tarnovo

Of all of the locations I’ve visited in Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo might be my favourite. This small city was as soon as the medieval capital of the Bulgarian empire, and now has a particular allure due to its lengthy historical past.

Veliko Tarnovov is a hodgepodge of spectacular castles, museums and historic websites. Stroll alongside the cobblestoned Gurko Road and admire well-preserved outdated homes, and watch craftsmen onerous at work within the Samodovska Chashia Market.

It’s also possible to go to Veliko Tarnovo on a day journey from Plovdiv. Get extra data right here.

Bulgaria Travel: All You Need to Know

Discover the Tsarevets Fortress

The enduring image of Veliko Tarnovo is the Tsarevets, a powerful fortress that dominates its skyline. With solely pedestrian entry, you possibly can stroll alongside the breathtaking fortress partitions and soak up views onto the encircling hills of Sveta Gora.

Youngsters are free to run, clamber and uncover, the one place the place warning is suggested is at Execution Rock on the northern finish of the fortress. Because the identify suggests a fall from right here all the way down to the Yantra River can be nothing lower than deadly. 

bulgaria travel - tsarevets fortress

 

Immerse within the Open Air Etara Ethnographic Museum

Situated near Veliko Tarnovo within the city of Gabrovo is that this stunning open air museum that transports you again in time. The ethnographic centre spans over 7 hectares of space, showcasing how life was in the course of the Bulgarian Nationwide Revival.

The park has replicas of conventional homes throughout that interval, in addition to water installations and craftsmen workshops. There are additionally shops promoting sweets and art work from yesteryears.

bulgaria travel - etara ethnographic museum

Go to the brand new Neofit Rilski Historic Park

Only a few kilometers exterior of Varna is the newly opened Neofit Rilski Historic Park. It’s but to be absolutely accomplished, however already presents some thrilling actions. I used to be fairly impressed by the size of the park.

For curious vacationers, the historic park is a good place to study Bulgarian historical past, from the Neolithic interval to the Thracian Civilization and Second Bulgarian Empire.

The park offers the feeling that you just’re stepping again in time, right into a medieval complicated with archery demonstrations and horse-riding shows. There are quite a few replicas of archaeological web site and historic monuments in addition to properties that folks used to reside in.

bulgaria travel - neofit rilski

Calm down on Varna’s Seashores

As a vibrant coastal metropolis, Varna is the primary gateway for vacationers which can be heading to the Black Beach. Intrepid vacationers will in all probability select to skip the seashores, however don’t miss out on the allure of Varna.

The town is full of historical past but it’s totally fashionable, with a lush and inexperienced seafront park to amble on. Its seashore shouldn’t be too dangerous to whereas away a lazy afternoon and revel in some contemporary seafood.

Within the metropolis centre you’ll discover Bulgaria’s largest Roman baths complicated and its best archaeological museum, in addition to a full of life cultural and restaurant scene.

bulgaria travel - varna sea garden

Get Misplaced within the Charming Previous City of Nesebar

The traditional a part of Nesebar is positioned on a peninsula that juts out from the Black Beach (beforehand an island).

Nesebar has on a number of events discovered itself on the frontier of a threatened empire, and as such it’s a city with a wealthy historical past. Because of the metropolis’s abundance of historic buildings, Nesebar turned a UNESCO Website  in 1983.

As we speak it’s actually widespread with vacationers particularly in summer time, so get there early if you wish to get misplaced in its slender cobblestoned streets.

bulgaria travel - nesebar

Soak Up Historical past in Plovdiv

As Europe’s oldest repeatedly inhabited metropolis, Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s heartthrob with a romantic outdated city. The town is full of colourful and creaky Nineteenth-century mansions that at the moment are house-museums, galleries and guesthouses.

Because the European Capital of Tradition 2019, Plovdiv is shortly drawing extra music and artwork lovers. As soon as an amiable waystation between Bulgaria and Greece or Turkey, the town has flowered right into a vacation spot in its personal proper – and one which must be on any itinerary by way of central Bulgaria.

For these brief on time, today tour leads you round Plovdiv, Asen Fortress and Bachkovo Fortress in 1 day.

bulgaria travel - amphitheater in plovdiv

 


Language in Bulgaria

Bulgarian is the nation’s solely official language. Bulgarian is written with Cyrillic, which makes making an attempt to learn Bulgarian phrases fairly troublesome for many of us.

English isn’t extensively spoken in Bulgaria, particularly among the many older era. However youthful Bulgarians within the large cities have a tendency to talk a little bit of English.

bulgaria travel - traditional costumes in bulgaria


Security in Bulgaria

Most components of Bulgaria are very secure and I by no means felt unsafe on each journeys there. I traveled solo on my first journey and with my four-year-old daughter on this current journey.   

The one hazard that vacationers face is theft, primarily from pickpockets. Typically, attempt to not stand out and keep away from darkish alleys at night time if touring solo.

bulgaria travel - nesebar


Sensible Ideas for Touring Bulgaria

  • Inside cities, minibuses referred to as marshroutki act like shared taxis and are widespread in lots of ex-Soviet international locations. You simply must flag them down and purchase tickets from the motive force.
  • One factor to notice for these touring Bulgaria with youngsters, it’s allowed to smoke in most locations in Bulgaria, even indoors. It may be annoying for non-smokers.
  • As an ex-Soviet nation, Bulgaria nonetheless shares a relationship with Russia and plenty of Bulgarians nonetheless converse Russian.
  • I consider Bulgarians as fairly much like Russians. They might not smile rather a lot and might come throughout as impolite. However give them a while, present that you just’re pleasant they usually’ll finally heat as much as you.

bulgaria travel - varna


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