There is no doubt that tourism contributes significantly to the domestic economy of Bulgaria. It is famous for its historical sites and artifacts as well as its seaside and winter resorts. That is why the government and tourism businesses in the private sectors promote their country heavily and offer attractive packages that will appeal to every market sector — from A to D.
Holidays in Bulgaria have both significant advantages and unmissable shortcomings. Tourists on a budget or students who plan to have their vacations in Bulgaria will be able to find several reasonably-priced options (such as comfortable lodgings, food an fare). At the same time, they will be able to enjoy the authentic Bulgarian vacation experience.
You can now find several up-to-date information about Bulgaria — where and how to book, where to stay, the most popular tourist spots as well as off-the-beaten path points worthy to be visited and discovered. Whereas several years ago, you could find only real estate websites or reprints from travel guides, which are 100 years old.
Advantages of doing holidays or rests in Bulgaria on a budget
Bulgaria is one of the best countries for budgetary vacations. Even in the expensive Sunny Beach resort, you still can find budget accommodations, whose service is at par or maybe even better than that of the more popular resorts. This is due to the fact that Bulgaria, believe it or not, is still developing its tourism — yes, even as it now attracts millions of tourists. The locals are very friendly, warm and hospitable. Hopefully, as Bulgarian tourism reaches to its peak, the local residents’ behavior towards tourists (especially foreign tourists) will remain the same.
Many tourists think that Bulgaria is still under USSR with countless concrete high-rise buildings, an atmosphere of devastation and backwardness. As you have already seen, nothing of this kind has any relation with reality. Since the fall of Communism, Bulgaria has become a very modern and very interesting country.
Prices in Bulgaria are low, especially for food. At the same time, the quality of most products at the level of neighboring EU countries. You can also see the entry of global brands into the local market, so it doesn’t feel any much different as you do back home.
English in Bulgaria is well understood, but it applies only to the younger generation. Older people speak well only in their native language.
Tourists in Bulgaria are much less than in other resorts – there is always a free place on the beaches. We also consider the fact that almost all beaches in the country are free. Money can only be taken for umbrellas and sun loungers, but even then about half of the beach is reserved for tourists on towels. By the way, it is better to buy your umbrella than to rent it.
The beaches of Bulgaria are mostly sandy and quite comfortable. On many of them you can find rescuers, the ambulance is on duty, there is a toilet and there are cabins for changing clothes.
It’s nice knowing the fact that you will be able live in the city, go for a walk around there, trying to mingle with the locals, eating out and shopping for souvenirs or cheap eats. Most of the resorts of Bulgaria have some interesting sights.
Public transport is widely available and accessible. Buses run regularly, are comfortable and cheap. We managed to travel almost all of the coasts and see the country much cheaper than we would have done on paid tours.
Fans of shopping will enjoy the wide variety of merchandise from here to even in neighboring countries such as Turkey (specifically in Istanbul). Not only you will be able to enjoy shopping, but you will also be able to see beautiful scenery on the Black Sea coast.
In addition to the sea in Bulgaria there are also beautiful mountains, but they are in the depths of the country, so you have to get there. If you want to get there, it is recommended that you should visit Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi or the Valley of Roses – you can easily reach them during one of the excursions.
Disadvantages of doing holidays or rest in Bulgaria on a budget
But there are also disadvantages. In terms of interesting sights, Bulgaria does not compare with Spain, Italy or France. There is no such quantity of palm trees and tropical plants as in the resorts of Thailand, Sri Lanka or Montenegro. The underwater world is also quite modest — you cannot see colorful fish, corals and any other sea life that you see in the tropical waters.
But prices are completely different too. Bulgaria is more suitable for a cheap and long holiday.
The climate in Bulgaria is quite familiar, with four seasons which are typical of most continental temperate climate. For those who are otherwise new to this climate, it takes some acclimatization, so get ready for the cold, cold winters and hot and humid summers.
Taxis are, as expected, expensive, especially at popular resorts. For example, in Sunny Beach, the cost of a trip can exceed 5 levs per kilometer. Even renting a scooter here can be worth 20 levs per hour.
The sea in Bulgaria is also not as salty as in Montenegro, for example. And it is heavier to swim in, sometimes you can find seaweed, and the sea air does not smell so fresh.
Why should you go to Bulgaria?
Every country has its special reasons to be visited by tourists. Despite the fact that Bulgaria does not have exciting and awe-inspiring landmarks or exotic climate and culture like in Asia, there are reasons why you should visit Bulgaria anytime.
There are lots of interesting sights in Bulgaria, including Nessebar which is famous for its historical artifacts, awesome natural wonders and lots of great beaches. So it turns out that the ideal time for a holiday in Bulgaria is summer. We advise you to come here in late August – early September, when there are not so many tourists, the climate becomes softer, the sea is still clean and warm. The cities are nice, pretty and highly walkable, if good weather permits.
Bulgaria is not a widely traveled country compared to its European neighbors, so you can expect the unexpected. It’s best to purchase travel insurance to get you covered.
The fact that Bulgaria is not often visited by lots of tourist so it means it’s not generally overcrowded, and therefore you can enjoy the places at your own pace.
Bulgaria has a great combination of quality, coziness and warm hospitality — plus great prices! If you want to visit the country during the chillier months, that may be the best time to do it, because these are the seasons where everything — food, lodging, etc. — becomes more affordable. Besides, you get to experience seasonal festivals such as the pumpkin festival in Sevlievo (a town in central Bulgaria) or the unique Bulgarian Christmas tradition.
Prices in Bulgaria – how can you save money?
Prices in Bulgaria are very low, especially taking into account if the resort mark-up. The quality of the products fully meets European standards, but we did not like local sweets.
The currency of Bulgaria is lev. Its rate is tied to the euro rate and is almost 2 levs for 1 Euro.
You do not need to bring water and food with you in Bulgaria because you can buy them cheap here. The seasonal local fruits are cheap, tasty and have many uses (culinary and other)
Packaged tours and guided tours are quite expensive and at the same time almost all of the same can be seen and traveled by public transport. Read more in the article, considering the pros and cons of independent tourism in Bulgaria. But if you like convenience and would like to go to popular tourist spots that cannot be accessed by public transport, guided tours are a good choice.
Also, you should not put large sums of money for souvenirs, unless they are really your thing. You really will not buy anything really worthwhile in Bulgaria. Well, except if you will choose a shopping tour to Istanbul, but you still need to choose great merchandise with prices that you can afford.
Helpful information: how much does a holiday in Bulgaria costs and how much money you need?
The sea and beaches in Bulgaria
The Black Sea is an important body of water in Europe. Most of the major rivers of the region flow in and out of this inland sea. Bulgaria is bordered by the Black Sea on the east, and you can find the country’s popular resorts as well as beautiful deserted beaches along the coast.
The bottom of the sea here is very gentle, the descent is mostly gradual and thus comfortable and thus children can swim there (still, you should supervise your kids when they swim!). There were no sharp cliffs and unexpected pits on the bottom during our vacation.
The beaches are mostly sandy. A lot of beaches here are quite developed and there are many others that are deserted. So the beaches of Bulgaria will appeal to everyone’s taste.
If you will have the strength and time, we advise you to stroll along the shore and see the picturesque seascapes – photos in Bulgaria are simply excellent.
As you can see, holidays in Bulgaria has its pros and cons. It is impossible to say with certainty will you like this country or not. But it’s worth a try. We met a lot of people who came to Bulgaria 5-10 times in a row. Since Bulgaria is still not a widely visited country, you should take advantage of its low prices and enjoy the warmth hospitality of the Bulgarian people. Bulgaria has grown to be a very progressive country since the end of Communism, and you should definitely check out the “diamond in the rough” in Europe!
- Pros and cons of popular resorts in Bulgaria
- An interesting article about nature in Bulgaria: what to look on
- What to see in Bulgaria: how to get there and what to expect?
- Our feedback about the rest in Bulgaria: what did we like and what not?
- What you need to know about Bulgaria: our advice
- Going to Bulgaria: what you should to takes?