Your Bulgaria survival guide: Practical Information

Currency and prices

Bulgaria is part of the European Union, but not of the Euro zone. It is advisable to exchange currency in the banks, or the dedicated  “change bureaus”. Keep in mind you can find banks that are open late and work on the weekends in the shopping malls. Be sure to always carry some cash on you, because there are many places that don’t accept card payments.

Average daily budget:
Single person – 25€
Two people – 50€

Accomodation: 
Hostel: 7 – 25€ per night
Hotel:
 35 – 80€ per night

Food:
“Shopska” salad 4€

Drinks:
Beer (0,5l) 2,5€

The weather

Bulgaria is a country with four distinct seasons throughout the year. During the spring and autumn, there are cool rain showers, scattered sun and a warm, humid climate. Summers are hot, with sunshine from June until September, while winters are crisp and cold. 

Depending on the type of holiday you are looking for, Bulgaria is a suitable location for any season of the year. In the warmer months, you can enjoy the Black Sea coast, full of sandy beaches and historic sites. Likewise, the winter season attracts skiers and lovers of winter sports.

Average temperature in Bulgaria by season: 

Spring: Between 7 and 17 Cº

Summer: Between 14 and 35 Cº

Autumn: Between 9 and 17 Cº

Winter: Between -5 and 4 Cº

Public Transport in Bulgaria

Transportation nationwide is developed with buses and trains travelling between cities and villages.  It is quite easy and convenient to reach most locations with either of these modes of transportation. 

Within the bigger cities, there are trams, trolleys, buses, and subway lines to help you get around. Conveniently, the ticket price is the same for all transits – regardless of how long your commute is. 

Of course, if you want to explore Bulgaria in detail and have some more remote locations on your list – it is advisable to rent a car. 

City transport (Sofia): 0.80€ one way / 2€ daily ticket
Country-wide: Sofia – Plovdiv 5€ by train; 5€ (bus)

For nation-wide tickets check out the public websites: 
Buses: avtogari.info
Trains: 
bdz.bg 

Language

Bulgarians use the Cyrillic alphabet and the spoken language is Bulgarian. Because it’s a Slavonic language, it is quite similar to Russian, Croatian and Serbian. The majority of younger Bulgarians speak English fluently and while the older generations know a few words, enough to get by. 

You’ll notice that even among themselves, Bulgarians often use hand and head gestures so if you cannot understand or articulate something, don’t hesitate to put your acting skills to use. 

If you are eager to learn a couple of words in Bulgarian, check out our essential Bulgarian words dictionary.  

Fun fact: the longest word in the Bulgarian language is NEPROTIVOKONSTITUTSIOSTVOVATELSTVUVAITE. Ironically, this unusually long word simply means “do not act against the constitution.”

Healthcare

  • Nation-wide emergency number: 112

  • Always carry your ID with you!

  • There are no vaccines necessary when traveling to Bulgaria.

  • If you are from a European country, be sure to always bring you European Health Card with you. This way, you will receive the same medical care and treatment as Bulgarians. Whether you have this card or not, it is always advisable to pay for travel insurance.

  • While most tap water is safe to drink and you can always bring your own water bottle and fill up at the city’s water fountains, the safest option is purchasing bottled water.

  • Each of the larger cities have hospitals with acceptable standards, but not always high. It is recommended to visit private hospitals if you want first-rate service and English-speaking health professionals

 

Bank Holidays in Bulgaria 2019

January 1st: New Year’s Day

March 3rd: Bulgaria Liberation Day 

April 26 – 29: Holy Week (Easter)

May 1st:  Labor Day 

May 6th: Day of bravery and Bulgarian Army

May 24th: Day of Slavonic alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment and Culture 

September 6th: Unification Day 

September 22nd: Independence Day

24th, 25th and 26th of December: Christmas Eve and Christmas