12 Unexpected Travel Tips for Bulgaria You Should Read 

Are you planning to travel to Bulgaria? Find out what to do and what are the top attractions.

Discover what is the language of Bulgaria, as well as how safe is Bulgaria to travel to.

Moreover, find out little known facts about our culture.

We will also share the public holidays in Bulgaria in 2020 and many more travel tips for Bulgaria.

Best Bulgaria travel tips
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Best Bulgaria travel tips

1. Is Bulgaria safe to travel to? 

Being safe is important.

The very first tip will review if it is safe to travel to Bulgaria and how to be safe during your holiday.

That’s why many travellers ask us if it is safe to travel to Bulgaria. Generally speaking, Bulgaria is a safe country to travel to.

Most of our foreign customers stated that Sofia and the majority of cities were safe to visit.

But, you still need to take into consideration all the travel tips for Bulgaria we share with you.

Is it safe to travel to Bulgaria? Absolutely, Bulgaria is very safe.
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Is Bulgaria safe to travel to?

2. How to stay away from pickpocketing?

The majority of the crimes in Bulgaria refers to pickpocketing, mugging and car theft. Thus, we would tell you to keep an eye on your valuables at all times.

An important travel tip is to carry your personal belongings close to your body.

Otherwise, you can leave them in a hotel safe.

Majority of the pickpockets are gipsies.

You can also spot them in public transportation, so you should be very careful if you decide to use it. A big part of the joy of exploring a new country is the opportunity to meet new people.

But we recommend being cautious. So trust your intuition when talking to strangers. Especially when asking someone to snap your perfect photo for Facebook. So, if someone seems suspicious, walk away immediately. 

3. What is the official language of Bulgaria?

The main concern of most of the tourists is about the language barrier when travelling to a new country.

That’s why many travellers are asking what is the language of Bulgaria. The official language of Bulgaria is Bulgarian.

It is part of the group of the Slavic languages and uses the Cyrillic alphabet as the Russian alphabet is based on it. So both languages are similar but at the same time, they have their own currencies.

The second official language of Bulgaria is English. Most of the Bulgarians in the big cities speak English, German, French, Spanish and many more.

If you are going to the countryside, plan to have a tour guide.

The older generation doesn’t speak English.

This is a very important note to have in mind. You just discovered what the official language of Bulgaria is.

Now it’s your turn to learn some words.

4. Our travel tip how to translate from English to the Bulgarian language

Bulgarian is the official language of Bulgaria, as already shared. It’s worth trying to learn few Bulgarians phrases while you are travelling to Bulgaria.

Moreover, learning a new language is always fun. As it’ll be easier for you to translate from English to Bulgarian.

Translate From English to Bulgarian language
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From English to Bulgarian language

Furthermore, the locals will love and appreciate your attempt to speak in Bulgarian.

Phrases translated from English to Bulgarian language

Besides, you will find below some of the most essential and useful Bulgarian words.

They are already translated from English to the Bulgarian language. 

  • Hello, more polite form, as well the plural form: “Zdraveite”
  • “Good evening”: Dobŭr vecher
  • “Good night”: Leka nosht
  • “Have a nice day”: Hubby den / priyaten den
  • “What is your name?”: Kak se kazvash? 
  • “My name is…”: Kazvam se…
  • “Nice to meet you”, from English to Bulgarian: Priyatno mi e da se zapoznaem
  • “You’re welcome”: Pak zapovyaday
  • “I don’t understand”: Ne razbiram
  • “Do you speak English?”: Govorite li anglijski?
  • “I don’t speak Bulgarian very well”: Ne govorya balgarski mnogo dobre
  • “How much does it cost?”: Kolko struva?
  • “Where is….?”: Kade e…?
  • “Turn to the right”: Nadyasno
  • “Keep straight forward”: Napravo 
  • “Turn to the left”: Na lyavo 

5. When are the National Holidays in Bulgaria in 2020?

 On the 3rd of March every year, all Bulgarians celebrate their liberation from the Ottoman rule. March 3 is the most important national holiday for Bulgaria, declared as such in 1978.

On the 3rd of March, the whole nation celebrates the most important national public holidays in Bulgaria
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On the 3rd of March Bulgaria marks The National Liberation Day

You’ll find below some of the national public holidays in Bulgaria.

They’re included in our list with travel tips for Bulgaria so that to plan your holiday well. 

  • 1 January, Wednesday: New Year’s Day
  • 3 March, Tuesday: Bulgaria Liberation Day
  • 17 – 20 April, Friday: Monday (this year) – Orthodox Easter
  • 1 May, Friday: Labour Day
  • 6 May, Wednesday: Army Day/ St. George’s Day
  • 24 May, Sunday: Day of the Cyrillic Alphabet and Bulgarian Culture
  • 25 May, Monday: National Public holiday in Bulgaria
  • 6 September, Sunday: Unification Day (1885)
  • 7 September, Monday: National Public holiday in Bulgaria
  • 22 September, Tuesday: Independence Day
  • 24 December, Thursday: Christmas Eve
  • 25 -28 December, Friday – Monday: Christmas 

6. Do you know that the body language for “Yes” means “No” in Bulgaria?

Typical ways of nod with head in Bulgaria
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Nod your head for Yes and shake for No

When travelling to Bulgaria, pay attention to the awkward nodding of “No” when meaning “Yes”.

It’s the most confusing cultural difference we have in Bulgaria.

As in Bulgaria, you nod for No and shake your head for Yes. That’s why we tell our customers to listen to what people are saying rather than body language.

It is very funny.

Many people are getting quite excited when learning about our travel tip. Moreover, our travel guide will tell you the legend about it.

7. Is Tipping a common practice for all services in Bulgaria?

Keep in mind that the tipping etiquette is about 10% of the bill in Bulgaria. So remember to leave a tip to the waiter.

If you are staying at 4/5-star hotels, don’t miss to tip the porters.

You could leave 3 BGN per bag. If you are happy with the hotel housekeepers, you could tip them with at least 2/3 BGN per day.

Furthermore, expect to tip the taxi driver. The average amount is 2 BGN per ride.

Last but least, you are very much welcomed to tip your travel guide or driver during your holiday with us. 

typical example of tipping in Sofia Bulgaria
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tipping in Bulgaria

8. More travel tips for Bulgaria and Taxi service 

If you are landing in Sofia, you will find a few reputable Taxi companies. You will find a Taxi desk on the Arrivals if you want to catch up one from Sofia Airport.

We would rather recommend you to download the application for Yellow taxi in advance, as you can pay by credit card.

Watch out the table of fares displayed on the side windows of each vehicle before you get in the car.

The prices are pretty much the same, as the price is different for the daily and night shift. 

Sofia Airport taxi price

The approximate cost is 1 BGN per KM. You should expect to pay up to 13 EUR for a ride from Sofia airport to the city centre.

If you want to catch a Taxi from Sofia downtown to the Central bus terminal, the approximate cost will be 8 EUR.

Our travel tip for you is to avoid catching a Taxi on the street.

You should be careful with the one in front of the hotels, Sofia airport and the central bus station.

Always check the Taxi rates before you get in. Last but not least, you can always contact our team to help you. 

Information about the Sofia Airport taxi price
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Sofia Airport taxi price

9. How to get a visa for Bulgaria?

We do provide Visa support for all travellers from Non-EU countries.

You can request it once you book your holiday package with us. There will be extra fares.

Moreover, there is a visa-free stay up to 30 days in Bulgaria.

How to get a visa for Bulgaria
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How to get a visa for Bulgaria

It’s applicable for visitors from the EU, Australia, Japan, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Israel. Reach out to Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or contact us for more information. 

10. Which museums do you recommend to visit in Sofia?

Boyana Church

Address: 3, Boyansko ezero St; Sofia 1616. 

Welcome visitors every day from Monday until Sunday

November-March, 9.00 a.m.– 5.30 p.m. (ticket sale till 5.00 p.m.)

April-October, 9.30 a.m.– 6.00 p.m. (ticket sale till 5.30 p.m.)

Image of the famous Boyana Church (UNESCO site) and the opening hours
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Boyana Church, Sofia (UNESCO site)
  • Entrance fee Adults: 10.00 BGN
  • Students: 2.00 BGN
  • Groups of 10 or more Adults: 7.00 BGN per person
  • Groups of 10 or more Students: 1.00 BGN per student

* There is a combined ticket for 12.00 BGN per adult for the Boyana Church and the National History Museum

* There is a combined ticket for 14.00 BGN per adult for the Boyana Church, the National History Museum and Zemen Monastery

National History Museum

Address: Vitoshko Lale 16 St, Sofia 1618

Welcome visitors every day from Monday till Sunday

April-October, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

November-March, 9.00 a.m.– 5.30 p.m.

Landscape photo of National History Museum Sofia in Bulgaria
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National History Museum Sofia in Bulgaria
  • Entrance fee Adults: 10.00 BGN
  • Students: 3.00 BGN
  • Visitors with children: 3.00 BGN, for children over 7 years: 1.00 BGN
  • Groups of 10 and more people: 7.00 BGN per person
Free entrance:
  • For all visitors – every last Monday of the month
  • For people with special needs and their attendant
  • Children up to 7 years old
  • 18th of May – International Day of the Museums
Preferential fees:
  • 17th of September – The Day of Sofia –  for all visitors: 1.00 BGN
  • 1st of November – Day of National Leaders, entrance is free for students, to other visitors: 1.00 BGN

Museum of Christian Art

Address: St Alexander Nevsky Sq., Sofia 1000

Works every Tuesday–Sunday, from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (ticket sale till 5.30 p.m.)

Closed: Mondays, official Bulgarian holidays, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Easter

Photo of the Museum of Christian Art in Sofia, Bulgaria
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Museum of Christian Art in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Entrance fee Adults: 6.00 BGN
  • Pupils, students and pensioners: 3.00 BGN
  • Thursdays: 2.00 BGN

National Archeology Museum

Address: Atanas Burov Square, 1000 Sofia Center, Sofia

Closed: Mondays during the winter season

Summer season: May-October, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Winter season: November-April, 9.00 a.m.– 5.30 p.m.

Photo of National Archeology Museum in Sofia, Bulgaria
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National Archeology Museum in Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Entrance fee Adults: 10.00 BGN
  • Pupils, students and pensioners: 2.00 BGN
  • Groups of pupils, students, children – over 10 people: 1.00 BGN
  • Parent / parents with children under 16 – group ticket: 10.00 BGN

Museum of Socialist Art

Address: 7, Lazar Stanchev St., Sofia 1756

Tuesday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Ticket office: until 5.30 p.m.
Closed: Mondays, official Bulgarian holidays, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Easter

The old man and the five-pointed red star, which are a symbol of the Communism shown in the Museum of Socialist Art
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Museum of Socialist Art, Sofia
  • Entrance fee Adults: 6.00 BGN
  • Pupils, students and pensioners: 3.00 BGN
  • Thursdays: 2.00 BGN

National Art Gallery

Address: 1, Knyaz Alexander I Blvd., Sofia 1000

Closed: Mondays

Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. (ticket sale till 5.30 p.m.)

  • Entrance fee Adults: 6.00 BGN
  • Pupils, students and pensioners: 3.00 BGN

11. What to do in Sofia?

Free Sofia Tour will help you to explore Sofia in a very authentic way. Don’t miss their tour.

Furthermore, they offer Bulgarian communist tour.

If you like wine, don’t miss to taste the famous Bulgarian wine. You can even book a wine tour. For the food lovers, we recommend Izbata Tavern located on 18 Str Slavyanska. You should rather visit them in advance to make a reservation.

Another great choice is Shtastliveca restaurant Vitosha mountain is the closest site for hiking and skiing. It is one of the symbols of Sofia, as if you walk on Vitoshka Street, you can see its beauty.

The National Palace of Culture (NDK) is the largest multifunctional complex in Southeastern Europe. It was officially opened in 1981 to mark 1300 years since setting up the Bulgarian state. Designed to host a wide range of events such – official meetings, conferences, symposia and concerts, it is one of the symbols of Sofia.
Photo of National Palace of Culture part of top ideas of What to do in Sofia, Bulgaria
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National Palace of Culture, Sofia

Bulgaria has old traditions in ballet and opera art. Indulge yourself in the art of classical music. We can organize for you a visit of any of the shows of National Opera and Ballet of Bulgaria offers. Click here https://www.operasofia.bg/en/ to find out more information. 

12. Where can you find free Wifi in Bulgaria?

Bulgarian is a developing country. But, Internet speed appeared to be one of the fastest in the world.

The average upload speed is 23 Mbps, and the average download speed in Bulgaria is 33.7 Mbps. Most of the foreign travellers to Bulgaria are surprised by the speed of the local Internet.

Free Wifi hotspots are available in all cities in various public areas. This is quite useful when you are planning the places you want to visit during your holiday in Bulgaria.

Since 2012 there are several bus lines in Sofia equipped with wireless routers. Passengers can easily connect to the internet with their smartphones, tablets, laptops or tablets.

Take advantage of the following bus lines – 111, 72, 74, 82 and 309.

Free WiFi Bulgaria on bus line 111 in Sofia
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Use a free WiFi on bus line 111, Sofia

Different applications will provide you with an offline map of the Wifi in Bulgaria. Download one to make sure you document your stay properly.

Once you are in town, you can use free Wi-Fi in many of the restaurants.

Moreover, all hotels, bars, coffee-shops and pubs have their own private networks — request for the password to gain access.

In summary, you are ready to explore Bulgaria with our travel tips for Bulgaria. We will be happy to let us know if it’s safe to travel to Bulgaria and how was your travel. 

If you want to learn more about Bulgaria and what are the top reasons why Bulgaria is worth visiting, you may review our other articles.

Useful travel tips for Bulgaria when travelling to Eastern Europe
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