Travel Inspiration

12 reasons your next trip should be to Bulgaria

This post is also available in: German

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!

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1. The people are lovely

ich traf auf viele sympathische Menschen in Bulgarien
I met a lot of lovely people in Bulgaria
In 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!

hmmm...wer bekommt da nicht Hunger?
hmmm…isn't it tempting?
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 mixture

In Sofia sind Relikte aus allen Epochen zu finden (hier: das Largo)
In Sofia you can find a lot of relicts from former times
Let'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 history

Orte voll mit spannenden Geschichten - wie z.B. das Rilakloster
Places full of history – like the Rila Monastery
Plovdiv 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 Landscape

The Seven Rila Lakes, Photo by: Klearchos Kapoutsis
I 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 spend

tolle Hotels zu guten Preisen
great hotels for great prices!
I 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 relexation

Massagen, heiße Steine oder Sauna - viele Optionen warten
just relax!
The 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. Accessibility

Various Budget airlines offer connections to Bulgaria – photo By: Clemens Vasters
Within 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!
 
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9. Bulgaria is a great winter destination

Skiurlaub - auch das geht super in Bulgarien
Skiing? Yes this is also doable!
Would 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 Bulgaria

Streetart in der Innenstadt Sofias
Streetart in Sofia
Sofia 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!

Highway in Bulgaria, Photo by: Tsvetan Bondzhov
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!
 
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12. Wine..and Wine!

ohne selbst Weinkenner zu sein habe ich die bulgarischen Tropfen lieben gelernt ;)
Oh…how i love bulgarian wines! ;)
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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Das Rilakloster (Innenansicht) weiß viele Geschichten zu erzählen
inside the Rila monastery

Which reasons to visit Bulgaria are most tempting to you?

I love to hear them! Just share it below in the comment section and feel free to share this article with your friends!

  • Thanks! Bulgaria is really on my list now! Would love to head there!

    • I know you will, Melvin and I’d be more than happy to host you and show you around in Sofia ;)

  • Such a wonderful country and equally wonderful people. Bulgaria is really heart of Europe. Tourists love this country because of more than 1 reasons as the author described above. History and culture of the country is very interesting. As well as you will surely love the local food here.

    • true words – cheers!

  • Thumbs up!

  • angeloff

    True story!

  • Ha! Maybe this is why I mentioned the people as #1 – you’re absolutely right ;)

    p.s.: I’m also living in Sofia for a few weeks now

  • Great article! Thank you!

    • Thanks for reading – cheers!

  • Vanya

    Great article, I’m from Sofia and I agree with everything you list here :)))

    • Thanks Vanya – your town is an enjoyable place!

  • Valid point, Lina! Now that you are mentioning the good and healthy stuff I also have to add the awesome Yogurt ;)

  • I really appreciate your kind words, Stoian – maybe you should take your friends to Bulgaria then, I guess this would change their mind!

  • Nikoleta Licheva

    Everything you’ve said in the article is true which makes me miss Bulgaria even more!! I love that you’ve mentioned my hometown pLOVEdiv <3

    • Ohh…Plovdiv is a great city..I have already been 3 times there!

  • Philip Pampoulov

    That was such a good video! It shows the many faces and treasures that Bulgaria has to offer. Would love to see a mini-series about your encounters there :) Hopefully more people can appreciate the beauty of my country.

    • Oh Philip – how did you know? This is one of the reasons I’m here. I’m currently producing some videos about the places :)

      • Philip Pampoulov

        I didn’t know actually :D But I was expecting someone to do one. Hope the production goes well!

  • Stefan

    Hi I am Stefan and have been to Bulgaria many times, my wife is bulgarian. I cannot describe how i love that country and its people. Bulgarian food and wines are unbelievable marvellous. People are so friendly and helpful. Sofia is like a champagne bottle you have shaken. I recommend you a trip to Melnik and its monastery. People who like playing golf will be in heaven when they play at Thracian Cliff, one of the most beautifull golfcourses of the world, created by Garry Player, directly in the rocks of the blacksea coast. All 18 holes with seaview.
    But………you also have to deal with seeing broken houses and empty villages.

    I love that country and can only beg you to go there to spent some money to support the local economy.

    With all my heart

    Stefan Schullerbauier

    • Wow, Stefan – I would like to highlight especially the end of your comment:

      To travel to Bulgaria and to spend money on the local businesses is one of the best ways to support!

  • I’m from Bulgaria but I live in Paris right now! Hell yes! Bulgaria is the place to be :)

  • Thank you so much!

  • Good idea!

  • It’s sad that media works like that sometimes and does generalization – we’d like to change that with articles like this..it’s better to travel and see it with your own eyes than to trust some haters :)

  • Will do – and have been already to many of the mentioned places like Pomorie, Melnik, Burgas, Veliko Turnovo…moreover Pamporovo, Gabrowo, Varna, the beaches, Nessebar, Bansko, Rila Monastery on earlier trips :)

  • That’s my style as I mostly produce videos which take a long time in preparation – also: with that I get to know places much better and I am able to connect with the people. Moreover I’ll also use the chance to visit more countries in the balkans from here. Cheers!

  • Cvetina Stoqnova

    Thank you so much for your beautiful description of my country. I live in Sofia and it’s always pleasant to hear such words from a foreigner. Have a great time here and collect thousands of happy moments that will turn into amazing memories!

    • Oh…I’m looking forward to the summer to hang out with the locals in the parks and the great venues in the city…and of course for some trips to the sea :)

  • Hristina Lasheva

    So True! Glad you liked my country :)

  • Milana

    Hey, thank you very much for the nice article! How are finding Sofia so far? The central part of the city is nice i think, but there are many neighborhoods which are old and not well-kept. Hopefully you are not staying there :) Have a nice time!

    • Yes – it’s like in other big cities as well ;)

  • Rick Ivanov

    Thank you!

  • Deyan

    One correction: Bulgaria is not the latest member of the EU. The latest member of the EU is Croatia which joined the Union on the 1st of July 2013. Bulgaria joined the EU on the 1st of January 2007, together with Romania.

    • That’s right – I missed to point out that it is “one of the recent” members ;)

  • Todor Ivanov Ivanov

    Bulgaria is also good summer destination. For example Nesseber http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nesebar .

  • Dave

    I’m thinking this list needs one more item.. Rakia! Connecting People

    • HiHi – this one I like ;)

  • Nona

    Hello , I am from Sofia…thank you from the great article! At last some positve things to be said about my country! I hope everybody could see the bright side :)

    • Hey,

      my aim was to show the great sides Bulgaria has to offer – I’m not the kind of guy who searches for the problems and bad stuff. There is enough in the media about all that.
      This is the same with everywhere I go – like last year in South America.

      Of course it’s not always rainbows and unicorns but I’m just sick of all the negative news the media shows us every day and want to point out the cool stuff one can experience on this planet…and: there is more than you think and sometimes at places where you don’t expect it ;)

  • Jani Shutova

    Your article made me extremely delighted, Steve! Bulgaria is my heaven on Earth! :))))

  • Nice comments about Bulgaria! I am living there from more than 2 years and I really love it! I built a small interactive website for everybody to discover this not so well known country: http://discoverbulgaria.info – For the facebook page of the site: https://www.facebook.com/DiscoveryBulgaria. Have a nice day!

  • Wow..thanks Stanislav for this great advice – there is still a lot to see!

  • Bulgaria is a country of contrasts – you can relax or you can have great parties. Everything is for a good money. Bulgaria is one of the most beautiful countries and people are real! Thank you for the nice words, Steve :)

  • Teddy Toneva

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It is so refreshing to see foreigners appreciating our little Eastern European jewel :) And yes, I agree with everything in your article (especially the wine part!)

  • Elena Kollarova

    Thank you Steve for a truly great 12 reasons to visit my fatherland – Bulgaria! Reading through made me so nostalgic and proud that I was born and raised there! I am Bulgarian but have been living in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) for the past several years! I am trying to share with everyone a piece of my country’s history & traditions as they both are so rich, vivid, and colorful! We might be a small country but have so much to tell the world, if only there are ears and eyes to hear and see! Thank you again for your article and I hope you have even more amazing and unforgettable time in Bulgaria! Would love to see/read more about your adventures! Наздраве от Бостън! :)
    Елена Коларова

    • Great – welcome here, then. Much more to come ;)

  • Glad you hear you love the amazing Bulgaria :)

  • Ha! Been there a few weeks ago – check the latest video on the Youtube channel :)

  • I am reading so much lately how travelers are amazed by Bulgaria and I ask myself is there something wrong with me. :) I hated it. Hated. I hated the food too, and I never hate the food lol. They put dill in every dish I ate there.

  • Pakos

    oh sofia sofia…. Im cypriot but bulgaria won me! i live here now for 8+ years. Great article my friend good job! http://www.melotonia.com

  • Katya Zaimov

    I promise you, you cannot see “most” attractions in just 6 months! I have travelled in the country for many years and have seen a lot of places – sea, most mountains, cities, villages and ruins. I still cannot claim that I have seen even half of it.

  • Thank you, Dani!

  • Great! Thanks for featuring my country on your site! :-)

  • Bulgaria is so versatile! You may find activities for any tastes and budget all in any season! We like skiing in Borovets in winter and swimming in Sunny Beach in summer. National cuisine is tasty and unusual, people are kind and open-minded

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