What to take to Bulgaria?


Going to Bulgaria for the first time, many tourists ask the burning question: “What to take to Bulgaria?” On the one hand, you don’t want to forget something, but on the other hand, you don’t want to carry huge suitcases stuffed with things that you won’t even need.

We went to Bulgaria for a 14-day holiday and we managed to form our opinion on the list of things. We found out that much of what we took was non-essentials.

Bulgaria managed to surprise us with democratic prices.

Perhaps you will find these articles useful:


What should you take on a summer holiday in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is ideal for summer holidays. Warm, calm sea, breathtaking landscapes, friendly people and reasonable prices (if you choose the resort correctly) draw tourists not just from other parts of Bulgaria but from other countries as well.

In fact, there are even more foreign tourists in Bulgaria than the locals — Russians, Americans, British, French, Germans and other Europeans.

In Bulgaria you encounter great beaches: warm but not very salty sea, amazing nature, fresh fruits and a wide choice of sights and excursions.

You should list the things that are considered essential such as clothes, toiletries, money, passports, visas and documents (including insurance). You will find out about the peculiarities of Bulgaria and the packing of suitcases for a trip to this country later in this article

How does the resort affect on the list of necessary things?

Prices in Bulgarian resorts may vary. There are resorts that offer almost everything that a tourist can spend on as quickly as he/she can (a typical example is Sunny Beach), but there are much quieter and more beautiful seaside towns too that are mainly intended for family holidays (for example, Pomorie).

It is also a similar situation with prices in shops and restaurants – they are very different. In Pomorie you can safely come with an empty suitcase and buy food, clothes, cosmetics and everything you need from shops and prices are generally cheap — even cheaper than prices back home! Other resorts such as Sunny Beach are more expensive especially to Bulgarian standards, but they are still considered affordable to foreigners.


What currency to take to Bulgaria and how do the exchangers work?

It is more advantageous if you carry US dollars and/or euros. The national currency of Bulgaria, lev, is officially forbidden to import and export from the country. Amounts higher than of 1000 euros are subject to declaration. You can also exchange any other currency that you have in hand — the rate will be normal, but may not suit to your expectations.

We advise you to change money in banks – they have a profitable course (even taking into account the commission), and there’s no way that deception and cheating will occur. In exchange offices, the situation is exactly the opposite.

You may want to read a related article about the currency of Bulgaria, to find out about the most popular ways swindlers do when you exchange your own currency at local exchange offices.

Is it worth taking food to Bulgaria?

If they’re specific food products that you cannot do without, they can be worth the risk. For example, if you are traveling with a child and he is used to a specific food brand, you should take the jars with you.

Prices for food, even in expensive Nessebar, are quite low. The cheapest supermarket we found is called Mladost. Prices there were lower that at home, and the quality of products are pretty much at the same level.

You may be interested to check out another article about the prices for food in Bulgaria.

What to take with you on the beach

On the beach, we advise you to take with you the same things as always:

  • Water – on the waterfront, water is quite expensive. Often near the beach there are no shops at all that sell them.
  • Headgear and clothes – Bulgaria is quite hot, you may not notice that you are burning yourself in the searing heat.
  • Towels – almost on every beach there is a free zone, you can save on 8 levs for an umbrella and a lounger;
  • Umbrellas from the sun – if you do not plan to rent an umbrella or bring your own, we advise you to buy it. You can purchase an umbrella for 12 levs. But if you plan to just rent it, you have to pay 8 levs for a day’s use.
  • Money – nearby from some beaches there are small souvenir markets, shops, and ice cream. Next to others – there is nothing at all.

How about diving in Bulgaria? Is it worth it?

Bulgaria is bordered by the Black Sea on the east. While the country is not the first destination that comes to mind when you’re talking about scuba diving, it is slowly emerging as a diving area and is still actively developing. Diving is a bit interesting at Old Nessebar – you can see the real sunken city. There are also sights in Primorsko, as well as in Ravda, Sozopol and Varna. If desired, you can find even a few underwater caves.

But for an ordinary tourist, diving in Bulgaria is still a bit boring – there are no breathtaking corals or colorful fish, as in Egypt and other popular tropical resorts. Diving with the mask wouldn’t work — you cannot find any more interesting down there.

In terms of diving schools, Bulgaria is only in its developing stages. These schools have already appeared, but they still have no time to develop interesting routes.

Diving season is from April through November.

bulgarian market

Shopping in Bulgaria

You have to be a bit more specific when you’re shopping in Bulgaria. Most of the merchandise are imported from Turkey, so it is not surprising to find a lot knock-offs of luxury brands.

Among few of the things you can find which are authentic Bulgarian are cosmetics, the Bulgarian rose, knitted tablecloths, rakia (fruit vodka) and silver.

Even during the scorching summer we were surprised to find shops selling Greek fur coats. By the way, only in Old Nessebar we found three such stores.

There are several shopping tours in Bulgaria. Among the most popular ones is Burgas (which we do not recommend as things there tend to be quite expensive).

Helpful information: souvenirs and shopping in Bulgaria.

Why it is better to book a long vacation in Bulgaria

It is necessary to understand that the lion’s share of the price of a Bulgarian holiday is the cost of airplane tickets.

A week in Bulgaria will cost only a little less than two. Prices for food here cheaper than at home, the weather is good, so we don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t have a holiday there.

At least two weeks are enough to make the most of your stay in Bulgaria. During this time you will be able to do many things such as swimming, diving, shopping, taking pictures, going to historical sites and other sites of interest, sampling and enjoying Bulgarian cuisine and learn about their culture and way of life.

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