Souvenirs and shopping in Bulgaria
A detailed article about souvenirs and purchases in Bulgaria. What is better to bring and where to buy a qualitative gift? Tips and reviews.

Souvenirs and shopping in Bulgaria

One of the most important and basic questions on any trip were and remain souvenirs.

Whatever country we may attend, whether it is a fantastic Montenegro, or romantic France, everyone sooner or later, think about pleasant things – a memorable gift for himself or some of relatives, friends, and perhaps colleagues. Of course, some of tourists are (most of them) in advance, interested in the selected country of vacation, and possible variants of souvenirs, but there are others who count on hurriedly bought on the last day a standard magnet or a cup. In this article we will try to fully reveal the various options for all kinds of gifts and purchases in sunny Bulgaria.

What to bring from Bulgaria as a souvenir?

Bulgaria is very rich in souvenirs. Exactly here you can choose necessary and important memorable gift for any occasion. As in any resort country, we advise to make purchases far from tourist routes, because their price may differ 2 or even 3 times!

Walking through different cities of the country, we often saw very active barkers, not only in various eating establishments, but also in all kinds of shops with souvenirs or products focused on memorable purchase for “loving themselves” tourists. The number of souvenir shops also scared us a bit. Particularly acute it is expressed in the old part of Nessebar, where in a rather small area there are many products for generous vacationers.

Lets talk more about shopping in Bulgaria.

Jewelry

Probably, jewelry is one of the most popular souvenirs in Bulgaria. This is especially true for silver, which is here relatively cheap.

Серебряные украшения

Occasionally in such stores, and often just on a tray, are marketed silver jewelery

In any resort town or village, you can easily find a large number of shops and stores, or even trays with a variety of “works of art”. According to locals, and many websites on the Internet, counterfeits are very rare, but prices differ just enormously depending on design idea, place of purchase and manufacturer. We have seen the difference in price per gram to 2 times, literally in the neighboring stores.

A price per gram of silver: from 4,7 to 20 levs. Despite this, all silver jewelry have a fine, and if you have time and desire, you can find original and inexpensive gift. Often sellers help in choosing – they can easily orient you on price and models suitable for you.

Also at Bulgarian resorts are selling gold and diamonds. The cost of products made of precious metals higher, than their prices in CIS countries. Although such shops anyway in demand among tourists.

Bulgarian cosmetics or Bulgarian Rose

For exquisite, fashionistas and lovers of natural cosmetics in Bulgaria is presented a wide range of cosmetic products for body care. Here you can please yourself by all kinds of creams, soaps, shampoos, toilet waters (from 8,5 levs), perfumes (from 11 levs). Unsurpassed aroma will add beauty and charm, and natural ingredients improve your skin and make it soft and silky. To the majority of cosmetic products is added a fragrant rose oil. In general, this flower in Bulgaria is considered a white gold. Closer to the center of the country there is even a very beautiful Rose Valley. There is planted a huge number of thorny beauties. People come hither on excursions, help gather petals and even spend holidays dedicated to this beautiful flower. For those, to whom rose fragrance seems too sugary, there a line of cosmetics with delicate fragrance of lavender. Lavender fields are also can be found in Bulgaria. Especially beautiful it looks from bird’s-eye view.

Prices for cosmetics are very different not only depending on resort town, but even in neighboring stores. Sometimes there is an information that fake cosmetic products are sold cheaper, but it can be attributed only to goods, which are sold on trays.

Spices

For connoisseurs of fragrant spices, Bulgaria offers a huge selection of products. They can be: a colored salt very nicely packed in layers (by the way, the salt is produced in Bulgaria in the old part of Pomorie at a factory), a mix named “шарена сол” 40 g cost only 0,35 levs (do not worry, in fact it is not salt, but the mix of aromatic herbs and vegetables), and possibly usual spices for favorite dishes. These spices are differ with rich aroma and give a flavor of cooked food.

Prices for spices are much lower in supermarkets, but spicesare beautifully packaged, of course, on trays.

Honey

We were very fortunate to visit the Honey Festival, which is held each year in the old part of Nessebar. Tourists love this event, because there you can not only enjoy a sweet treat, but also to buy for yourself or as a present “a jar of health”.

Usually, the festival begins on the last days of August and ends in the first half of September. Working hours: from 10-11 am till 21-22 pm.

Manov honey is a very popular kind of honey (from liquid droplets allocated by certain plants). It is considered one of the most useful by its properties.

Prices for honey and beekeeping products may differ depending on varieties of honey, the volume of production and the manufacturer (about 7 levs per small jar). Experienced beekeepers will gladly advise you and help with the choice.

Textile

Textile is very common in Bulgarian cities. Beautiful large openwork tablecloths or small, but very nice napkins can be seen almost everywhere.

Sometimes it seems that one half of older women knit hook, and another – sell their production. In fact, it is, of course, not the case. But Bulgarians are wonderful people. Where else will you be allowed to take photos and who else will even pose during a laborious work? Probably, the greatest impression on us made the work of masters from Sunny Beach. Lovely old ladies were sitting under the scorching sun barely hiding behind umbrellas and worked diligently. Their works were lying directly next to them on covered asphalt. When we asked permission to photograph them, they were even a little embarrassed, but allowed us.

Prices for such products are high, as indeed for any things made by hand.

And in the old part of Nessebar we were lucky to accidentally wander into a small side street, one of the houses of which was completely hung with marketed textiles. All kinds of table clothes and napkins in different sizes and colors were simply mesmerizing.

In the cities of Bulgaria there are also specialty shops with textile products, but in our subjective opinion, more pleasant to buy it from elderly women.

Alcohol

The most common alcoholic drink of the Balkans is considered to be rakia. This liquid is equal in strength to a moonshine. There are several different kinds of rakia: of plums, grapes, pears, apples, and the most delicious, in the opinion of experts, is made of apricots.

The second place in the list of Bulgarian alcoholic drinks rightfully occupies mastika. This strong alcoholic liqueur, based on anise extract, has the taste of Althaea officinalis. The peculiarity of the drink is considered to be its color changes when adding the water – it becomes outwardly similar to milk.

Винный магазин

So during one of the walks we found a small, but very cozy wine shop right in the heart of the old town of Nessebar.

And, of course, Bulgarian wines. New manufacturers over the past few decades have tried to optimize the manufacturing process: they have built and perfected plants, planted more quality grades of grapes. If you are looking for a souvenir for gift, then we recommend you to go to a supermarket and to draw your attention to wines of famous companies, such as Targoviste, “Asenovgrad», Mazzek. The most popular sorts of wine are Mavrud, Misket, Pelinkovach, Muscat, Pamid, Dimyat and Gamza.

To many wineries are organized excursions, beside them there are also stores with widely represented alcoholic products. For example, at the entrance to Pomorie from Nessebar you can see a wine and brandy plant «Chernomorsko zlato», which produces not only wine, but also brandy and rakia.

Dairy products

Dairy production in the country is of very high quality, tasty and various, as indeed all the food, produced in Bulgaria. All that we were able to taste, was just indescribably delicious! The only thing that confused us a bit, most of milk producers write an expiry date – 3 (!!!) years.

During hot summer days it was particularly nice to quench our thirst with the help of various dairy products. A very unusual taste had tarator – it reminded our favorite okroshka, but without sausages (meat) and potatoes (its price – 2 levs per 1 l). Airan was also a pleasant drink. It consists of water and milk with leaven, such a kind of a yogurt. It was very refreshing and gave strength and energy (we have paid 0,71 levsper 500 ml).

We just fell in love with cheeses of Bulgaria, because they are very delicious and nutritious. Separately, we want to highlight kajmak – in taste it’s something average between sour curd and very thick cream. We have also tasted melted cheeses (from 1,49 levs) – initially, their taste seemed to us not so pleasant (perhaps, because we are accustomed to a lot of chemicals in them), but later we have “tasted” once more and convinced of the magnificence of taste diversity of this wonderful country.

Sweets, jams

The country is also rich in the variety of sweets. All kinds of chocolates, cookies, pastries and cakes (very tasty and nourishing) and, of course, the variety of Eastern sweets. But most of all we liked local jams. They are both of our usual fruits, and more “exotic”, for example, figs or rose petals. The cost of 700 g bucket – 2,94 levs. In stores you can also find more curative jams – of cones. It is believed that it well helps at colds and coughs. The cost of 500 g jar – 2,48 levs.

Pleasant “trifles”

Кожаные кошелечки

Fancy leather crafts can also serve as a good souvenir from Bulgaria.

To this category we would like to include various souvenirs, which will be less helpful and pleasant, but not as empty as magnets, cups, frames for photos and trinkets (they are here in a large quantity).

First of all, to this category can be attributed small and very nicely made purses in the form of various animals, fruits or vegetables. Outwardly, they are more like coin holders, made of genuine leather. Despite its small size, such “trifles” are expensive – from 30 levs.

Also to this list is worth to include crafts, made of wood and ceramics. Although, in comparison with previous years their number has considerably decreased, it is still possible to find rather interesting products, that are worthy of attention.

Copper jewelry and costume jewelry can also be found in the resort towns of Bulgaria. Curious tourists love to watch, when right before their eyes are made bracelets or pendants with their names. Although, in our subjective opinion, this is another veiled “draining money”.

And finally, souvenirs “from the sea”. I do not know how about you, but I would be sorry to give money for even beautiful, but big and completely useless shell or coral. Yes, of course, when seeing such a store eyes rejoice and joyfully begin to explore its motley. But it is worth to sanely think of such a gift. It will delight only in the beginning and then, it will be hidden into some cupboard away from omnipresent dust. The cost of the smallest seashell – 1 lev.

The same applies to a popular and fashionable nowadays attribute – a dream catcher. The smallest mascot will cost you 50 levs.

Shopping in Bulgaria. Reviews of tourists.

What we could not understand (according to the reaction of tourists, not only we), were barkers to shops with fur coats in the midst of resort season. Fur coats from Greece in Old Nessebar every time “met” and “seen off” us.

Also we have seen shops with sheepskin coats, leather jackets and all sorts of furs mainly in tourist areas of the cities. Therefore, if you want to bring from Bulgaria something exclusive – you can easily find and choose an interesting model.

Полотенца из Болгарии

In Bulgaria, you can even choose the sets of towels, but be sure to check their quality.

For us it was very helpful and informative to visit Burgas – the city with the most cheap shopping, according to dozens of travel companies with their posters on all the resorts of the country.

Perhaps, few years ago it was true, but now all that we have been able to see there – prices for jeans with a discount 133 levs and not very nice and qualitative Turkish shirts of 30 levs apiece.

If you do not believe us, you can see for yourself, if you visit the city. We recall only, that the majority of shops in Burgas (and in most other resort towns) start working at 10 am.

As a whole, in Bulgaria is possible to buy everything: from towels (from levs 20 for more or less qualitative products), shoes (from 130 levs), glasses (from 7 levs at a discount for Polaroid, if we can believe them) to scarves (from 20 levs), bags (of 7 levs ) and suitcases (from 50 levs).

During the velvet season there are good discounts for perfumes and colognes of famous brands, so you can treat yourself or a loved one by a favorite aroma, which will be remembered for a long time.

For those who are going in the nearest future to visit this beautiful sunny country, we would like to give some advice:

  1. If you decide to go shopping in Bulgaria, better choose for this purpose the town of Pomorie. Here are also, generally, sold products made in Turkey, but at more reasonable prices (if desired, you can buy a shirt for 20 levs).
  2. According to our observations, it is also better to buy cosmetics in Pomorie. Exactly in this city, it is the cheapest (but not fake), is sold in specialized cosmetic stores.
  3. Dairy products (and all foods in general) are better to buy of Bulgarian production. Believe me, you will not be disappointed by their taste and quality.
  4. And if you want to surprise your loved ones by a beautiful seashell, you can go to Pomorie spit or get to Pomorie, and then walk to the spit. Besides that, you will get great pleasure from swimming in crystal clear waters and sunbathing at almost wild beach, with a small share of luck, you can find a beautiful shell in the sea, near the shore (although, personally we pitied a living clam and it has returned to the place of habitation).

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