Please note: I only passed through Bulgaria on the way to Turkey via train. It was a choice I had to make due to the nature of my travels. By request, I am putting up my research here. info updated: (Dec 2011)
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» Memorable places in Bulgaria
» Ways into Bulgaria
» Bulgarian Food
» The Bulgarian People
» The Bulgarian Language
» Do's & Do not's
» Places to stay
» Potential for home?
» FAQ's on Bulgaria
Once known only for its Black Sea beach resorts, Bulgaria is now blossoming into a well developed Eastern European destination.
St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Visually stunning, it's one of the largest orthodox cathedrals in the world.
Built in the 6th century over another church this is a famous landmark that was once used as a mosque during the ottoman empires rule. Very close to the Nevsky Cathedral.
If you are visiting either of the above, this monument within easy walking distance.
Nearly every European capital has an upper scale shopping district, this is Sofia's.
Also known as the
Beautifully set in the cool mountains of the Rilksa River. By bus it's about 2.5 - 3 hours from Sofia, and there are many day tours from Sofia with prices from around 50 Euro. That said, for historical or culture fans you can also stay overnight in one of the monasteries own rooms for about 20 Euro.
Wooden houses, cobbled lanes, and artisans. What more could you ask for in a walk around this old part of the city.
Built in the 2nd century, it could accommodate up to 7,000 people. Restored in the 1970's it's still used to day for many events.
Plovdiv is filled with them! Most are Easter Orthodox in style, but there are quite a few old Roman Catholic churches.
Plovdiv is surrounded by some of the most scenic trails in Eastern Europe. Tours offer day trips, to overnight trails. While guides and independent hiking is are also possible.
Bulgaria is now apart of the Euro cheap fly zone, with many carriers offering cheap flights to Varna and Bourgas. The two other international airports include Sofia, and Plovdiv.
Kiev, Istanbul, Vienna and Bucharest all run regular international routes to Sofia and Varna. If taking many trains across Europe, it might be worthwhile to purchase a Euro rail ticket.
Eurolines offers international bus services into Bulgaria with little trouble. There are also a growing number of hop on and hop off tour Euro services. While for car owners you'll need to purchase road tax at the border, and health insurance for everyday you stay in Bulgaria.
Do be aware that many international trains and buses pass through over countries to get into Bulgaria. As such, you will need to have all applicable visas in order beforehand.
Bulgaria is known for it's diverse selection of food, in particular salads and vegetarian options! Traditionally this is due to Bulgaria's climate and location, and not due to vegetarianism as a while. So not all vegetarian looking meals will be meat free, so look out and ask.
Sofia has a reputation for several areas that have high crime areas. Alcohol issues amongst some locals in Sofia is also quite common, and it's advised not to engage with any nighttime public city parties where alcohol is consumed. That said, outside of these areas Bulgarians are opening up to new travelers discovering their country, cuisine and undiscovered beauty.
Cyrillic is not for beginners. Certainly learning the basic numbers, or having a reference on hand will be of great use.
Do be aware of people looking to "help" you at the train and bus stations. Don't get involved in disputes when alcohol is involved. Do not drink and drive in Bulgaria, the penalties are strong prison terms!
|Where I was going to stay
||Try a search for the lowest priced hotels in Bulgaria!
Canape Connection Hostel12A, William Gladstone Street, Sofia 1000, Bulgaria. The name of the street in cyrillic is "Уилиям Гладстон". Phone: +359 2 441 63 73
Hostel Mostel, 13, Petar Parchevich Str., Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Phone +359 879 100 185
Well, this boils back to a lot of things. And, I realize I should comment on the choices I made in my travel journal. I was planning to spend time in Bulgaria, but it never happened. But from what I had learned thus far, it wasn't gong to happen either. Times have changed though, so I am open to a more extensive look at Bulgaria..
Everyone was coming from Romania and going directly toTurkey.The fact both Romania and Turkey have better tourism advertising was a primary reason for the people I spoke with. Personally I was already trying to catch my Iranian & Pakistani visas in Turkey, had I stayed in Bulgaria for any length of time, I would not have got my Pakistani visa; so it was the right choice. Would I go back to Bulgaria? Yes, if the right opportunity came about.
Yes! You've got to buy a separate ticket for your large luggage, failing to do so could land you with a fine.