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Bulgaria

Bulgaria Travel Guide

Bulgaria is a Balkan country bordering Turkey, Greece, Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, and the Black Sea. When we arrived in Bulgaria after two months in Istanbul, I (Sabrina) immediately asked: why did we leave Istanbul? The thing is Bulgaria has a rough and charmless exterior. However, if you can get past the initial gruffness, you’ll come to know that Bulgaria has a lot to offer. Travel in Bulgaria isn’t neatly packaged for tourists. But, once you dig in and spend some time, you’ll likely have a very rewarding experience. After our trip, we were indeed glad we came.

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Bulgaria Travel Guide - Travel the Balkans

Bulgaria Travel Guide Overview

  • Bulgaria Travel Basics
  • Where to Go in Bulgaria (Map)
  • What to Experience in Bulgaria
Planning a trip to Bulgaria? Read these helpful guides next:
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Old Town of Plovdiv | Bulgaria Travel Guide

Bulgaria Travel Basics

Official Name: Republic of Bulgaria

Capital: Sofia

Government: Parliamentary Republic 

Regions: Bulgaria is divided into 28 provinces. 

Population: 7.1 million 

Language: Bulgarian

Currency: Bulgarian Lev (BGN)

Payment Culture: Cash, though we were able to use our credit cards in Sofia and Plovdiv almost everywhere.

Tipping Etiquette: 10%

Water Quality: In Sofia, tap water is generally safe to drink. However, as you travel beyond the capital, we recommend only drinking filtered water.

Something Interesting: The Cyrillic alphabet was invented by two monks (Cyril and Methodius) in the First Bulgarian Empire in the 10th century. Cyrillic is used in Russia and in other Balkan and Slavic nations. 

 
Bulgaria Travel Guide - Sofia Roman Ruins

Where to Go in Bulgaria

Click the dots to explore specific destinations
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Гузен негонен бяга

 

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian Saying

A guilty person runs when he isn’t chased.

What to Experience in Bulgaria

Our favorite things to see and do
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Bulgaria Travel Guide
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Sofia

The capital of Bulgaria feels like a living and breathing history book – one that you can walk right into. In a single day, you can discover Sofia’s ancient Greek, Roman, medieval, Ottoman-era, and communist past.

At the Serdika Metro Station, you can walk on an ancient Roman street, gaze at a communist-era building complex (the Largo), and see an Ottoman-style mosque (Banya Bashi). History aside, Sofia is an amazing destination for food and wine.

Look for accommodation in Sofia.

Here’s a perfect Sofia One Day Itinerary

 
Bulgaria Travel Guide, Plovdiv
Plovdiv

Plovdiv

Bulgaria’s second largest city is a fascinating destination for travelers who love history, wine and offbeat places. It’s also considered the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe. It was the ancient Thracians, a collection of Indo-European tribes, who originally settled in Plovdiv.

You can easily visit Plovdiv as a day trip from Sofia, or even better as a 2-day trip.

Look for accommodation in Plovdiv.

Learn about how to spend a wine-themed day in Plovdiv.

 
Bulgaria Travel Guide - Sofia Saint George Rotunda
@moonhoneytravelers
  • Sunrise in the Karwendel Mountains.

The weather forecast predicted early afternoon thunderstorms, so we woke up extra early and started hiking at 5:30 am. Seeing the sunrise as we crested the Mandlscharte was like entering heaven.

After a long and difficult 9-hour stage, we arrived at @solsteinhaus in rain. Luckily, the thunder never came.

The highlight of this incredible day was meeting @clarazijlstra and @jaqi_sta - two brilliant and talented women who radiate passion and warmth! Hope to see you both again! 💛💛💛
  • Italian Dolomites Tip:

Skip Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) and Lago di Sorapiss and hike to Lago di Coldai instead for a crowd-free alpine lake experience.
  • The 6-stage Karwendel High Trail was one of the highlights of our summer. This hut-to-hut hiking trail traverses part of the Karwendel Mountain Range in Tirol, Austria.

Tips for hiking the Karwendel Höhenweg:

- Make reservations for huts 3-5 months in advance.

- Hike the trail east to west. It’s more common to hike in the other direction, but we think the trail unfolds more beautifully if you hike east to west.

- Hike to Speckkarspitze peak on Day 2 and Kleine Stempeljochspitze peak on Day 3.

- Bring climbing gloves for securely and comfortably grasping steel cables.

We’ll be publishing a Karwendel High Trail Trekking guide next week. Let us know if you have any questions about the route.
  • Kati and I decided to hop over the border to explore the Pala Group for a few days and we’re so grateful and overjoyed to be here.

This magnificent range has something for everyone: easy valley walks to alpine pastures, grueling peak climbs, via ferratas, and so much more. The Alta Via 2 traverses the range as well, which is making us miss our dear friends @susielambie and @jored7 who we met while hiking the AV1 last year.
  • On top of Slovenia. 

@feelslovenia @triglav.national.park
  • Eagle Walk Stage 22, Lechtal Alps, Austria.

The trail starts out gently, descending loamy terrain across grassy slopes.

After several water crossings, the grueling ascent to Grießlscharte commences. 

The hike up Langkar cirque is relentless and unforgiving! It feels like it’ll never end.

Luckily, the final stretch is semi-vertical and secured with cables, delivering you hastily to the Scharte.

As soon as we reached the ridge, we howled at the wind, feeling strong AF.

This trek was unforgettable! We hope more international hikers will discover the beauty and remoteness of the Lechtal Alps.