When we first time was going to Bulgaria, we found that there was almost no useful information on the Internet. The same minimally useful texts with little changes going from site to site, most of them are very outdated or they only provide general information that is difficult to apply in practice.
To make it easier for you to prepare, plan your budget, gather things and rest as comfortably as possible, we have prepared a short list of tips and recommendations for tourists who are going to Bulgaria for the first time.
Tips, recommendations and lifehacks for tourists who travel to Bulgaria for the first time
For your convenience, we divided all the councils into distinct groups. So you can quickly find exactly the information that will be most useful for you.
We will try to update the list of tips. Now they are relevant for 2017.
General advices about recreation in Bulgaria
In this section, all useful ideas, information and lifehacks that are difficult to attribute to a specific group are collected.
It makes no sense to read reviews on the Internet – they are outdated
At least only one in four corresponds to reality. Most of them are very outdated, or are fakes, promoting the interests of travel agencies. At least this impression was created after our trip to Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is not the Soviet Union – Dispelling the popular myth
Many do not want to go to Bulgaria, fearing to see a kind of a remnant of the past, almost the USSR.
In fact, in last few years the country has moved very far ahead. It is part of the European Union, it have modern roads, hotels completely modernized and built up new ones.
The only thing left of the USSR is the quality of the products. Even cheap food in the supermarket is much more similar to natural food than in modern Russia.
You can make sure of this yourself by looking at the photos of Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is a country of contrasts
Even in the most expensive resort in Bulgaria – Sunny Beach there are a lot of places that look mildly not very on the outskirts. , By the way, as in any city in the world.
The level of service in Bulgaria is better than we expected
Reading on the Internet about the level of service in Bulgaria, it seems that everything here is very, very bad.
In fact, even in the cheapest hotel the level of service was quite sufficient.
Of course, if you choose a cheap option for housing, do not count on the service of the 5 stars hotel. But the necessary minimum (bed, shower, toilet, air conditioning, refrigerator) is present in the simplest room. You can even have a TV there, but all programs are mainly in Bulgarian.
There are no good 5* hotels in Bulgaria and All Inclusive service – it`s not true
By the level of service the resorts of Golden Sands and Sunny Beach are almost similar to five-star hotels in Turkey and similar countries actively engaged in tourism.
At the same time, prices for vacation in Bulgaria are still lower.
Do not believe me? Check and compare the price of 5* hotels with All Inclusive option! (It looks for the nearest dates by default).
Cheapness in Bulgaria is no longer true
On the Internet you can read about surprisingly low prices in Bulgaria. Unfortunately, after the country’s accession to the European Union, prices have increased, but they still not so high.
By the standards of 2017, we advise you to count on lower prices rather than your city, maybe some goods are slightly more expensive.
But we also need to say that the quality of products in Bulgaria, although it is at a high level, sometimes falls down compared to European standards (for example, we did not like sweets).
There may be minor problems with language in Bulgaria
The Bulgarian language uses Cyrillic. Only the Bulgarians of the younger generation know English well. But all the signs and prices are in English too, as well as people in hotels and restaurants speak English well.
The only сuriosity is that the Bulgarians nod their disagreement, but agree, shaking their heads from side to side.
The national instrument of Bulgaria – bagpipes
You can listen to it without difficulty, for example, in the evening, at the entrance to the Old Nessebar.
You can not wait for the leader of the group – just waste time
When we rested in Montenegro, we were very advised to wait for the leader of the group, in Bulgaria you can not waste time. And that’s why:
- In Bulgaria we were accepted by the agency Go2Holiday. Everything described is relevant for other tourists from our group, who rested in other resorts in Bulgaria. We can not say anything about other travel agencies.
- Their representative could not answer any of our questions. We asked, for example, about travel by bus, currency exchange, a cheap supermarket, interesting museums and places.
- If the representative answered, the answers were wrong or for their own purposes. He advised, for example, to change the currency from him personally, although the bank rate is much better.
- Almost half an hour he persuaded as to buy excursions, to visit which independently by bus, costs 2-3 times cheaper.
In Montenegro, representatives of the agency each time told us a lot of interesting and useful information, answered questions, and tours were unique, their cost was even lower than the independent placement of all listed attractions. Absolutely different approach to tourists. Well maybe it’s just that we were not so lucky? And what impressions do you have?
Going to Bulgaria – what should we take with us?
Collecting things to Bulgaria – fairly simple. Nothing special to take here is not necessary. But nevertheless we will go through the most interesting details.
What to take in Bulgaria, how to pack a suitcase?
You need to take everything the same to Bulgaria, as in any other country with a beach holiday.
You do not need to take food and water with you. You can take an umbrella from the sun, although it is more profitable to buy it right here.
More information in the article: What should you take to Bulgaria?
What money should you take to Bulgaria?
There are levs in Bulgaria (their course can be found by clicking on the inscription anywhere on our site). But import and export of Bulgarian currency from the country is prohibited by law.
In exchangers or banks, you will be able to exchange dollars, euros, krones and many other currencies without any problems.
How much money should I take to rest in Bulgaria?
To be honest, it can not be called – it all depends on your appetites and habits.
If you don`t want to visit any exurcions – you can fit even in $ 100, but it`s only if you saving money.
Detailed article: How much money should you take to Bulgaria for vacation?
You can take an umbrella to Bulgaria, or you can buy it here
In Bulgaria, most beaches have free zones. From paid, they differ only in the absence of umbrellas and sunbeds (on average, it costs 8 levs per day).
We advise you to take an umbrella with you or buy it right here (it costs 10-12 levs).
Resorts in Bulgaria – choose wisely
Choosing a resort in Bulgaria is not very complicated process. It is enough to decide what you want to get from the rest.
In the review of the most popular resorts of the country we already wrote about the prices at the resorts – from cheap to expensive. Also you can enjoy our selection of photos of different resorts in Bulgaria.
In Bulgaria it is quite possible to go independently, without the help of travel companies. In order not to waste time and repeatedly not to describe everything that you need for this, we recommend reading our article: To Bulgaria on your own. How to go by yourself. Prices.
I want to walk along the ancient medieval streets – Nessebar is your choice
In Bulgaria we lived in Nessebar. The city is very beautiful and romantic, but a quite expensive. A special impression is made by Old Nessebar with its old streets, dozens of small churches and ancient Bulgarian buildings.
There are such articles about Nessebar on our site:
- Sights of Old Nessebar – what can you see here?
- Photo of Nessebar – one time to see much better than three times to read
- Beaches of Nessebar: what are they, where are they and how are they different?
- Churches in Nessebar: detailed description and photos.
- Food in Bulgaria – how much does the food in Nessebar cost?
I want to rest cheaply, but qualitatively – Pomorie
If we come to Bulgaria once again, we will definitely live in Pomorie. This city was remembered not only by the pleasant resort atmosphere, fantastic landscapes and interesting sights, but also by low prices.
We recommend that you read these articles about Pomorie:
- Pomorie: what to see and what sights to visit?
- Prices for food and goods in Pomorie – all about shopping.
- Beaches of Pomorie – where are they and what to choose?
- Monastery of St. George – the main attraction of the city of Pomorie
- Pomorie Lake – a chance to see swans, herons, cormorants and pelicans in the wild
I want to live in a big city with cheap shopping and sights – Varna or Burgas
In our opinion, in this case it is best to go to Burgas or Varna. Both of these cities are quite large and very interesting.
In Varna there are a few more attractions, there is a dolphinarium and a small zoo, many beautiful fountains. Nearby is the Golden Sands resort, the Aladzha Monastery and the Botanical Garden of Balchik.
I like beautiful nature and parks – Balchik
We did not really like Balchik very much – he is very shabby, especially closer to the bus station and further from the sea. There are no special sights in the city, it’s expensive to go to other resorts.
But the botanical garden of the city is simply amazingly beautiful, literally from the first minutes it amazes the imagination with acombination of the beauty of nature and the skill of man. It is impossible to describe this place – it must be seen.
I prefer 5*, discos, drinks and All Included – Sunny Beach
Sunny Beach is the most popular resort in Bulgaria. It is created for wealthy people who want to quickly spend a lot of money. And this resort happy to help you: there are very high prices, a large number of luxury hotels and restaurants.
Even just during the walk here we felt like the city is literally pulling money out of us. For example, prices for icecream are two times highter.
In general, such a holiday is clearly not for us, but it will undoubtedly find its fans. In a separate article about Sunny Beach, we made a selection of the best hotels and picked up the best options for air travel. We also recommend to see our review of the beaches of Sunny Beach.
Other cities and resorts in Bulgaria
In fact, there are a lot of interesting resorts in Bulgaria. From those that we was able to visit, I want to advise Ravda and Obzor. Someone might like Aheloy, where you can see a wooden house 20 meters from a five-star hotel.
We will not talking about places where we were not, but we will be very grateful if you share your impressions with us.
Food in Bulgaria – how to save money
In Bulgaria you can eat in restaurants or buy products from supermarket.
The prices for food are quite affordable, and the food quality is good.
Do not bring water and food from home – they are not expensive here
Try the Bulgarian products – they are very tasty
From Bulgarian products we advise you to try:
- Tarator – this is something like yogurt with fresh cucumbers and greens. Strangely enough, the drink turned out very tasty. It is very refreshing in the summer.
- Kaimak is a Bulgarian milk product, which, to taste and consistency, is very similar to something between a sour cottage cheese and thick cream.
- Ayran is a Bulgarian milk drink.
- Cheese – both magazine and homemade cheeses are very tasty. We still liked the fused cheese of local production – they have a very unusual taste.
- Fruits – most of the Bulgarian fruits are delicious, but are not expensive.
When do you need to take food from home?
The resorts of Bulgaria are quite small. The choice in the supermarkets is also small. If, for example, your child is accustomed to a specific brand of baby food – it is better to take it from home.
Do not recommend buying Duner – a local version of shaurma
Dyuner – a local version of shawarma with meat, potatoes and vegetables. On many sites it is advised, but every time we get a lot of vegetables and a very ridiculous portion of meat. In general, I don`t like it.
Corn is the most popular fast food in Bulgaria
Literally at every corner they sell boiled corn, which costs from 1 to 2.5 levs. Local people like it very much, tourists buy less often.
Souvenirs and purchases in Bulgaria – what and where to buy?
In Bulgaria, there are very few interesting national souvenirs. Bringing home something that is both national and useful is hard.
You can go to Istanbul for shopping
From Bulgaria to Istanbul you can easily get on the bus. They say that there is a great shopping – we did not check. But at least, the city itself is simply amazing.
Excellent shopping in Bourgas is a myth
On the Internet often write that the best shopping in Bulgaria – in Burgas. Unfortunately, the prices there are now quite high, many fakes. But the choice is also very good.
We bought souvenirs in Pomorie, so it turned out cheaper.
What should you bring from Bulgaria?
Where is the most profitable to buy souvenirs in Bulgaria?
Excursions and attractions – what to see and how to save money?
There are a lot of sights in Bulgaria. Unfortunately, the most interesting thing are deep in the country, it’s rather difficult to get there. But in coastal resorts, there is something to see.
Travel by public transport – it’s 2 times cheaper
It is profitable to travel by public transport in Bulgaria. You can visit the same places as on excursions, but 2-3 times cheaper and without time limit.
The buses are very comfortable, with air conditioning and comfortable chairs, they going quite often.
Many attractions you can visit only on a rented car
Unfortunately, some of the sights can be visited only during the excursion or on a rented car.
For example, Cape Kaliakra, Broken Stones, Aladzha Monastery, Ropotamo, Ravadinovo Castle and many, many others.
Visit the botanical garden in Balchik – just an amazingly beautiful place
When you will visit the botanical garden in Balchik, be sure to give a whole day for it. There are really many beautiful places to see.
Look at the Pomorie lake. We advise you to take a pair of binoculars or a camera with a powerful zoom
About Pomorian Lake, we wrote more than once, even in this article. It is highly advisable to bring with you a binocular or a digital camera with a powerful zoom to watch the birds.
Go to the lake is in windy weather, otherwise you will just fight with mosquito. Do not forget the water and hats – it’s pretty hot here.
If you get to the lake, we advise you to visit the wild beach on the spit.
Ancient Nessebar will please you with the beauty of the ancient city – come here in the evening
Old Nessebar is one of the most beautiful places in the seaside part of Bulgaria. It`s better to come here in the evening – the city becomes surprisingly romantic and mysterious.
It is worth to go to the monastery of St. George – a very unusual and peaceful place
The entrance to the monastery and the monastery museum are free. Visit this place is definitely necessary.
Thracian tomb in Pomorie is not worth visiting
You can not to spend neither time nor money on the Thracian tomb – there is nothing special there, and the ticket price is high (4-5 levs). For this money it is easy to visit several good museums.
On the way to the tomb you can find a field where grows kiwi. Despite the fact that it looks slightly abandoned, it is not advisable to tear fruits – the guard dogs do not sleep.
In Burgas is worth visiting the Seaside Park and an exhibition of sand figures
Also, come to the central street, next to the monument to Alesha. In the morning a misty curtain of small drops of water is created there.
In Varna there is a dolphinarium and a zoo
In Varna, you can take the children to the dolphinarium or visit the local small zoo. Of course, there are many churches and other interesting places in the city.
Useful articles and interesting tips:
- How much will a holiday in Bulgaria cost? Lets count together!
- Pros and Cons of spending holiday in Bulgaria
- Our feedbacks about the holiday in Nessebar, Bulgaria
- All about currency and exchangers in Bulgaria
- Language in Bulgaria. Will they understand you?
- What to see in Bulgaria? Our list of tips for tourists.