What kind of people live in Bulgaria? All about the Bulgarians

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When you arrive to Bulgaria, one of the first things that will catch your eye is the locals and their attitude. The Bulgarians are very friendly and hospitable people, who are capable of selfless assistance, not only to their fellow citizens, but also to tourists.

The attitude of the Bulgarians to tourists

Except nosy locals that you encounter in popular resorts (such as the people in Sunny Beach), the locals are generally really friendly and hospitable.

You may tend to think that such hospitality should be encouraged because Bulgaria’s tourism is still developing, and it needs to attract more tourists especially from abroad. But on the other hand, it may be a bit mean for you to think of that — the locals are really warm and welcoming, and the the treatment feels natural. You can feel that warm hospitality the most when you visit the folks in the rural areas.

Few examples of attitudes to tourists on our experience:

  • You can ask about anything any Bulgarian, a person will stop, will try to understand what you want from him or her, and he or she will answer. If he or she cannot help you, he or she will call another Bulgarian and they will try to help you together.
  • It is considered perfectly normal to get something as a gift from the Bulgarians. Personally, we often received fresh fruits as gifts. Even in Sunny Beach, which seemed to us the most expensive resort in the country.
  • It is very nice to talk to the Bulgarians, they would be happy to ask you how you relax, where you’ve been and what you’ve seen. They may even recommend something interesting to you — maybe a local dish or delicacy, a restaurant or a resort.

How do the Bulgarians’ relations to the tourists change, if any at all?

Bulgarian’s attitude towards tourists may vary only slightly, depending on the resort. For instance: in most popular resorts such as Sunny Beach or Golden Sands you can feel more like a “consumer” there and locals will milk a lot of money from you as much as possible, which is not a good thing, but that’s business there. Prices are much higher, taxi drivers try to “negotiate” with you about 100 levs per 5-minute way, and a kilogram of fruits will be offered to you at 25 levs (or even higher).

Also, much more often happens a deceit in exchange offices – you can exchange money not according to the exchange rate, that was written on a sign, or get old money, which are no longer in circulation.

Vacationing in small towns, such as Pomorie, will be the most advantageous and comfortable.

Are people in Bulgaria hospitable?

In general, people in Bulgaria are very friendly and welcoming. Of course, they will be nice to you if you are nice to them too and do not treat them in a condescending way. Do not forget to say “hello” (“добрый ден”) and “thank you” (“много благодаря”). When we stayed at one of the cheapest hotels in Nessebar, we felt as if we had come to relatives. The smiles and the warm and friendly attitude of the locals make us want to return to Bulgaria very soon.

Also in Bulgaria, people are especially reverent attitude towards children. We saw a lot of different sports clubs, children’s football clubs and a variety of clubs. It immediately dawned upon us that children are the future of this country, so that’s why they really take an effort to protect them and look after their welfare.

It may be useful: Our reviews about a vacation in Bulgaria

Communicating with the locals

The Bulgarian language is not obviously and easily understood by Americans, other native English speakers and most other Europeans. The Bulgarian language is written in Cyrillic. You can converse in English with the younger Bulgarians, but not so with the older ones, so you may try to learn some stock Bulgarian words and phrases.

However, rest assured that menus at many restaurants are described in English too, for the benefit of the foreign tourists. Hotel or restaurant managers and staff will most likely converse to you in good English, probably because they are trained to deal with foreign customers.

The only oddity – Bulgarians express their disagreement by nodding of their head, and the agreement – by a kind of rocking it from side to side.

We recommend to read: All about the language in Bulgaria – will they understand you?

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