Most people outside of Bulgaria don't know how diverse and beautiful one of the latest member of the EU is. I have been filming there for around 6 weeks (a german promotional video “erlebe Bulgarien”) and was so amazed that I moved there for 6 more months – I put together 12 reasons why your next trip should be to Bulgaria!
The video I produced is in german and uses some preconceptions about Bulgaria in an ironic way. Unless you speak or learn german you should use the english captions provided – head over to YouTube to watch it![box type=”info”]This article is part of the free Backpacking in Europe Guide where you find more great information, resources and destination guides to plan & organize your trip to Europe![/box]
1. The people are lovelyIn fact Bulgarian is not a widely known language therefore you have to deal with the language barrier – mostly this ends up in funny situations but as soon as you got invited to a shot of Rakija you won't realize that barrier anymore ;)
2. Yummy Food aka Foodporn!Oh yes – food coma alert! The local cuisine is sooo good: it is a mix of slavic, greek and oriental cuisine so you end up with a menu where it's hard to choose. The bulgarian cuisine is already a good reason to book a flight ticket immediately!
3. Great mixtureLet's face it: eastern european countries always have to deal with these communism stereotypes – meanwhile years have passed and in cities like Sofia old architecture, concrete buildings and modern skyscrapers formed an interesting mixture. Each part tells a different story!
4. A country full of historyPlovdiv is amongst the oldest cities of Europe, some sources even state it as the oldest still existing city…however: the bulgarian history dates back to the 7th century B.C. – a lot of historical spots are waiting for you!
Tip: If you want to see Plovdiv but have only little time take you can book a tour to Plovdiv starting in Sofia by GetYourGuide!
5. Breathtaking LandscapeI love being in the nature, doing hikes and experiencing beautiful panoramic views (like last year in South America). Beside the coast you are able to find those spots in the balkans like for example the seven rila lakes – so: don't forget your hiking equipment!
Tip: There is also a guided full day tour from Sofia to experience this!
6. Great Value for the money you spendI don't like to call Bulgaria a ‘cheap' country, I prefer to highlight that you get a lot of value for the money you spend: a room in an international standard 4 star hotel for less than 50€, a taxi ride in Sofia is mostly around 2-3€ and for a good meal you hardly pay more than 5 € – but the quality is as good as you're used to.
7. Pure relexationThe high density of mineral water springs made Bulgaria a popular Wellness destination – most of the Hotels have a Spa with Sauna, Jacuzzi, Hamam and often they offer different massages like the traditional honey massage which I highly recommend!
8. AccessibilityWithin Europe Bulgaria is well connected and offers a lot of low-cost-carrier options (London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, Amsterdam) which makes it possible to get tickets below 50€…and mostly it doesn't take you more than 2-4h to get there!
9. Bulgaria is a great winter destinationWould you've known that the country has more than 200km of slopes and that the biggest resort Bansko already hosted several FIS World-Cups? Or that Sofia has an own little ski zone right in the backyard?
10. Sofia – the ubercool capital of BulgariaSofia is a great destination for a weekend getaway: cool bars, funny streetart, impressive sights and a lively nightlife guarantee a blast. Did I mention the free Wi-Fi everywhere?
11. Roadtrip? No Problem!Bulgaria is one of the most recent members of the EU and received some great support regarding the development of their infrastructure. During the last few years a lot of new highways were opened – now you are able to get from Sofia to the Black Sea within 4h!
Tip: Attend a tour starting in Sofia and see the famous Rila Monastery and Boyana Church!
12. Wine..and Wine!Bulgaria is one of the biggest wine exporting countries in the world – Grape growing and wine production have a long history here, dating back to the times of the Thracians. Moreover the wines are amongst the best in the world – so: Nazdrave!
Getting there, Tours & Accommodation
As mentioned there are a lot of flight connections within Europe therefore I recommend using a flight search enginge like Skyscanner to find the cheapest & best connection for you.
If you like to have a guided tour you should check out the various, affordable tours by GetYourGuide in Bulgaria which start at 12€ per Person.
Regarding Hotels and Hostels in Bulgaria: head over to my list of recommended places to stay – this list contains all the places I stayed in and found to be great and recommendable!
Before you leave you should also think about a good travel insurance – I recommend the travel insurance from WorldNomads which I'm using regularly on my trips.
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Which reasons to visit Bulgaria are most tempting to you?
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This post is also available in: German