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.

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Our Bulgaria trips

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Enjoy a thrilling tour of Eastern Europe from Romania to Bulgaria. From Bucharest, head...

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Travel from beautiful Budapest to ancient Sofia. Venture through the baroque town of...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Bulgaria tour reviews

Articles on Bulgaria

Bulgaria travel highlights

Bulgaria holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit Bulgaria
Geography and environment
Top 5 Famous Bulgarians
Health and Safety
Further Reading

Bulgaria travel FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce: 

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination
  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

While most larger hotels will include a gratuity, restaurants rarely add a service charge and a 10% tip is the custom.

Travellers should be able to access the internet at cyber cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots in Bulgaria's major cities and towns. Remote and rural areas will have less internet availability, so be prepared for this when travelling out of the city.

Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Bulgaria, but patchy in some remote places. Travellers should activate global roaming before leaving home.

Western-style, flushable toilets are mostly the standard in Bulgaria, however squat toilets can be found in some public restrooms.

Cup of coffee in a cafe = 1-2 BGN
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 2-3 BGN
Basic, takeaway lunch = 6-8 BGN
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 10-15 BGN

Tap water is chlorinated but generally considered safe to drink (unless otherwise marked), however some travellers may not enjoy the taste and should stick to using a water bottle.

Major credit cards are accepted in large cities, mostly in shops and hotels. Smaller vendors may not accept credit cards, so carry enough cash to cover small purchases.

ATMs are commonly found in Bulgaria's cities and urban areas, however not all bank machines accept overseas cards. Access may be difficult in some remote areas.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 3 Mar Liberation Day
  • 14 Apr Orthodox Good Friday
  • 15 Apr Orthodox Holy Easter
  • 16 Apr Orthodox Easter Sunday
  • 17 Apr Orthodox Easter Monday
  • 1 May Labour Day
  • 6 May Saint George's Day / Army Day
  • 24 May Culture & Literacy Day
  • 6 Sep Unification Day
  • 22 Sep Independence Day
  • 24 Dec Christmas Eve
  • 25 Dec Christmas Day
  • 26 Dec 2nd Day of Christmas

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Bulgaria go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/bulgaria/public-holidays

Responsible Travel

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.

A market vendor in Sofia, Bulgaria

How we're giving back

In Bulgaria, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.