Bulgaria is one of the Balkans' most exuberant nations in virtually every possible way. From its mist-shrouded mountains and shimmering coastline, to its lively folk soundtrack and intriguing ancient mythology - there's an unexpected surprise at almost every turn. And, while it has experienced an at-times-too-quick growth spurt in the last decade, visitors will find Bulgaria to be a country of fascinating culture, impressive sights and extremely gracious hospitality.
Bulgaria Tours & Travel
All our Bulgaria trips
At a glance
- Trips Available:
- Capital city:
- Sofia (population 1.2 million)
- 7.3 million
- Time zone:
- (GMT+02:00) Helsinki, Kyiv, Riga, Sofia, Tallinn, Vilnius
- Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
- Dialing code:
Best time to visit Bulgaria
Bulgaria follows the classic seasonal pattern that belongs to this corner of Europe. Expect chilly conditions in winter and a delightfully warm (and very busy) summer. As with many of its neighbours, spring is a fantastic time to really explore Bulgaria, as the going is relatively easy throughout the whole country.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Famous Bulgarians
1. Vasil Levski
A revolutionary who would be remembered as the Apostle of Liberty, Levski became a national hero after leading the battle for liberation from Ottoman rule in the early 1870s.
2. Georgi Ivanov
The first Bulgarian cosmonaut in 1979, Ivanov was awarded the title 'Hero of the Soviet Union'. However, he had to change his original surname, Kakalov, because it occasionally had negative connotations in Russian.
A famous Bulgarian pop/funk band from the late 70s and early 80s. As with most acts who were prominent during this era, FSB appear to have always worn their pants far too tight, but their songs did become the iconic sounds of a generation.
4. Peyo Yavorov
This romantic poet and revolutionary was viewed by many as the finest poet in Bulgarian history. The majority of his works were about his two great loves: the first of whom died from tuberculosis, the second, took her own life, which ultimately drove Yavorov to do the same.
5. Stanislav Ianevski
Ianevski was catapulted into the international spotlight after playing Viktor Krum in the 2005 instalment of the Harry Potter series,The Goblet of Fire. While he does little talking in the film, Ianevski does some impressive broom-flying and walking around looking gruff.
FAQs on Bulgaria
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 2-3 BGN
Basic, takeaway lunch = 6-8 BGN
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 10-15 BGN
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Mar 3 National Day (Day of Liberation)
May 1 Labour Day
May 3 Orthodox Easter
May 6 St George's Day (Day of Bulgarian Army)
May 24 St Cyril and Methodius Day (Day of Culture and Literacy)
Sep 6 The Unification of Bulgaria
Sep 22 Independence Day
Nov 1 Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders
Dec 24-25 Christmas
Dec 31 New Year's Eve
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/bulgaria/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Bulgaria Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Bulgaria
1. Be considerate of Bulgaria’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with tap or filtered water.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
|Street without a name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria||Kapka Kassabova|
|Balkan Ghosts||Robert Kaplan|
|And Other Stories||Georgi Gospodinov|